October 30, 2006

Rules of Riverdale

Okay, lads, it's time to get to work. There's a war afoot. This might be the first time in recorded history that a nation-state, an entire civilization, has found itself under assault, and despite the carnage feels itself secure in front of the hearth. What have we become, a nation of lotus eaters? The War on Terror is a farce. The problem is Islam; the threat is existential. For the sake of the gods, can't we even name the enemy? Point One: Islam is a deeply reactionary ideology. The very notion of progress is absent from the belief system. The followers of the Prophet look backward for guidance to a period some 1300 years ago. Have a look at your timeline. We don't call it the Dark Ages for nothing. Point Two: Islam has never enjoyed a reformation or renaissance. It can't and it won't. It's a fixed system. To question the words of the Prophet, or to suggest reform, invites an instant death sentence. We can't negotiate with it or come to terms. The fight is existential. Us or them. Point Three: Western tradition relies on freedom: to argue, dispute, contradict, negotiate, support or reject, form alliances, break alliances, invent and innovate, undermine and destroy, celebrate the victor, condemn the loser, compete or cooperate, stomp one's opponent into the muck, or be magnanamous in victory. How cool is that? It beats the alternative: religious zealotry and self-immolation.The first option, be it ever so cruel, gave us modernity. The other option, be it ever so brutal, will give us . . . more brutality.Does the average American really want to bury his nose in a carpet five times a day? Islam demands it.Are Americans willing to live under theocracy? I thought the issue was settled two-hundred thirty odd years ago?Will we simply sit back and wait till an enemy power puts a nuke in the hands of a mujahadeen? Did I not say the threat is existential?Our enemies are right about one thing; we have become soft and decadent. Our inability to recognize the threat proves their point. And yet we persist in our illusions.God save the republic!~Basil


Aethelred said...

Whoa, there, big fella!
I appreciate the vitriole (one of my favorite softdrinks, doncha know), but you are overstating the case on some pretty slim evidence.
Are you, an historian, telling me that this is the first time in history that a powerful nation, secure within its borders, has believed that ignoring the chanting of savages half a world away is not "lotus eating"? Our security is as tight as can be. And frankly tighter than is warranted by the threat from Islam, unless you believe that they'll be launching ICBCs at us soon (Intercontinental ballistic camels).
Are you asserting that ALL muslims are terrorists? I know this is not true, and in fact is beneath you to suggest.
And to suggest that Islam is monolithic, immutable and coherent is also incorrect to the point where I suspect willful demagoguery in the name of rhetoric. You know that Islam is no more cohesive, even now when threatened on a broad front by a powerful enemy (that'd be us, Vern); they'd rather be killing each other for control of the ruins.
I agree that we should be more militant and decisive in our defense, when we have a target. Eradicating a nation that has attacked us is a policy that might work, if we truly think we can take on the rest of the planet and win (right now, that'd be "no").
But to attack a religion, particularly one which has millions of adherents who are loyal citizens of our own nation, is, well, dumb.
Pick yer targets, but don't shoot yerseff in the foot, Baz.

muninn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
muninn said...

The original post "Rules of Riverdale" was written and submitte by Basil. It was merely reposted here by Muninn

muninn said...

First, thanks for your commentaries on QTR. It looks like you have figured out how to make the thing work O.K.
Second,I know that the political class rules by keeping everyone in a breathless state of fear, but do you honostly believe that this nation is as secure as it needs to be? I know you have lived in the sandbox for a couple of years and have more first hand knowledge of the "Muslim Street" than I have, but do you not think that there is a threat out there? Of course not all Muslims are terrorists, but a whole lotta bad guys lately in the news have all been named Mohammed. Whats the deal with that? Not all SS soldiers were concentration camp guards, but the international tribunal at Nurmberg branded the entire million man plus organization as criminals.I believe that you are spot on when you say "..we should be more militant and decisive in our defense, when we have a target. Well right now we are sitting right on the borders of two excellent targets. Syria should be neutralized first by regime change if possible or nuclear strikes as a backup plan. That leaves Iran. Same plan applies. By picking your enemies off one at a time,starting with the weakest, you may avoid a final confrontation with the strongest of them. If they are still intransigent. Repeat earlier steps as necessary after their weaker allies are already defeated.Jihad is here! Believe it! Good thing it works both ways.
All the best-Muninn

Basil said...


Greetings, old friend. As an historian you should know better than to read your own views into someone else's text. Pay close attention. I write with pith. The words "despite the carnage" are critical to making my case in paragraph one. I don't give a rat's hind quarters about chanting savages half a world away. I worry about the barbarians who fly jets into skyscrapers on our home turf. The carnage on 9/11 was real. I don't imagine the Romans suffered any illusions the day the Vandals strolled into town for a little raping and looting. America acted vigorously after 9/11. Sadly, we have fallen asleep since then. I'm worried about the nut who shows up with a nuclear suitcase, or a satchel full of biological nasties. Our enemies are working on it. Count on it.

I never said, nor even implied, that all Muslims are terrorists. The vast majority of Muslims, as you should know, are complacent and fatalistic. But a population of unemployed, disaffected, young and mostly male, hot heads is easily manipulated into violence. Islam has no lack of volunteers. U.S. security can catch 99 attempts in a 100, but Islam only needs to get lucky once.

Furthermore, Islam is not reactiing out of fear because we have them threatened on a broad front. You are putting the blame on America. And this is something all Americans must understand: Islam hates us for who we are. The followers of the Prophet have no tolerance for the liberal, western tradition. Their duty as Muslims is to spread the Koran, if necessary by the sword. We stand in the way.

Nor do I grant you the premise that America has millions of loyal Muslim citizens. Citizens they may be, but loyal? Where was the condemnation from American mosques after 9/11? Where is it even today? All I hear is the ranting from the "persecuted" about Islamophobia. In truth, Islam is transnational. These people are Muslims first, and maybe Americans later. Maybe. I'm too much a believer in the rule of law, and too liberal (I choke on the word), to suggest that American Muslims should be rounded up and shipped to camps, but this community (there's a Arabic word for it that slips my mind, also transnational in its implications) bears watching.

I don't care if Islam is not cohesive. I know their preference for fratricide given the opportunity. So, let them kill one another in the time-honored fashion. But they put a pair of jet liners into the heart of OUR financial capital. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I repeat: the problem is Islam. It's reactionary, violent, theocratic and oppressive. More to the point, the followers of Islam started this war. It's up to us to finish it.

I'm of a mind to send my 1911 to a certain recruit in Parris Island for the duration of this conflict. I can't be there myself, but I'll send material comfort to a future marine in the caliber of .45. Semper Fi, recruit! I mean exactly what I say. You need only ask when the time comes.


Aethelred said...

Ah, intelligent discourse ...
Basil, you say you realize the diversity of Islam, and then turn around and lump them together with a "they".
This is classic doublethink, ma fren.
I am pleased that Svinrod has acknowledged that his goal is Crusade and his target Islam (above), but I am concerned that you seem to be suggesting Crusade while advocating some sort of "defense" against the occasional crazy by general warfare.
If your goal is the destruction of Islamic governments throughout the world, and the suppression of Islam as a religion, then say so. Call the Crusade a Crusade, and we can turn the clock back a thousand years. Whooo.
The events of 9/11/01 were shocking, certainly. But so were the events of Oklahoma City, and I didn't hear anyone calling for a Crusade against disgrutled ex-military types (although, admittedly, there were a lot of volunteers for the role of McVeigh's executioner).
Basil, I doubt your candor in this argument. You are being disingenuous, hiding your light under a basket, if you pretend that war against a NATION can suppress a idea. These "terrorists" (to use a hackneyed term which does not accurately describe them)blew up three planes and killed several thousand people in the US. In the interrim, and in the name of avenging that incident, we have killed tens of thousands of harmless people who didn't know jihadist rhetoric from a goat's teat.
And the end result? Ah, well ...
The Pentagon is starting its own "direct information release" program because even Fox News can't spin it fast enough to make this crap look good ... the terrorists are continuing to foment violence and plots of violence around the world, and we have the finest army in the world playing "policeman" - being nibbled to death by inches while squatting in the ruins of Baghdad watching the bints sweep the evening's bodies out of the doorway.
That's a policy we should definitely continue, doncha think? Maybe we should take our Bradleys and turn them into school buses. Give M1-A1s to the meter maids for parking control.
Anyway, by all means send your 1911 to our new recruit ... it'll be much more effective than that SADA Beretta 9mm he'll be packing one day.
Semper fideles, semper fortis, semper durus.

Basil said...

Let's see if I can add some clarity to this debate. If Islam is the problem, which should be obvious to anyone even half awake at this point, how do we fight an idealogy based in religious orthodoxy from the Middle Ages and yet transnational in its power base?

First, we need to get off our addiction to oil. We need to cut off the flow of petro-dollars that are fueling this outbreak of terrorism.

Second: Any sign of domestic sedition from the Umma in the United States, be it from mosques or madrassas, must be dealt with as treason. Ditto for the Europeans, though they seem to have lost their backbone even on home turf.

Third: Any nation-state, or the leader of any such state, who aids and abetts terrorists, will be subject to swift retailiation by the U.S. military, with the understanding that all assets, military, economic, and industrial are legitimate targets. Bust one nation back to the Stone Age and see if the others don't change their tune.

Fourth: Spread democracy and freedom in the Arab world so that our alternative looks better than self-immolation. We have been largely successful in Afghanistan. We're trying to do it again in Iraq. Drain the swamps where terrorism breeds, and we might have a shot at curtailing this intifada before it metastisizes into something worse.

Fifth: The hardest of all, insist that "friendly" governments in the Islamic world shut down mosques and madrassas where hatred of the West is the lesson of the day. And insist that the daily, government-sponsored, vitriol that passes for news, be curtailed. This will be nearly impossible without settling point one.

Arab populations tend to be quiescent unless whipped into violence by a constant stream of propaganda directed at the West. The hatred is taught; we see the long term affects in places like Gaza. Shut down the messengers, and Arab populations will likely return to a life of quiet complacency.

None of this is going to be easy. But what's the alternative? Eventually, some terrorist is going to unleash something far more lethal than a jet liner full to the gunnels with aviation fuel. The U.S. will be forced into a policy of nation smashing to protect itself. Does anyone want to live under that scenario?