observations and opinion
For some time now, this page has been talking about the weird fight club known as the Islamic State. They are the evil spawn of Bin Laden and the whole sick club of tyrants oppressing and dividing the Islamic peoples of most of the earth. The thesis expounded here is that these creeps will continue to gain ground, and support and force, unless they are exterminated at the root.
Strong words will not do the trick. The liberty we enjoy is a fragile flower, up against raw weather, demanding fierce defence. “Rough men ready to do violence on our behalf” as Orwell put it, stand between us and enslavement – enslavement to a security state at best, to medieval monsters at worst.
Soft hearted and soft headed denial of this essential truth is what enabled Nazi Germany to bloom, and what today feeds the evil weed called ISIS. I’ve been saying all this for a long time. Louder voices than mine have been saying it too. But apparently it took the sound of gunfire and explosives in Paris last week, to actually pierce the thick fog of denial encircling Western leaders’ heads. Maybe.
From Our Liberty is Not Free – October 4, 2014
The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (“ISIL”, aka “ISIS”) seems unique in modern history: it is a growing gang of thugs and miscreants, welded together through the bonds of war, obeying a leader who says he speaks for Allah. It has tapped into oil reserves and infrastructure for funding. More potent, perhaps, it has tapped into a thick vein of rage formed by decades of oppressive oligarchy in Middle Eastern lands. It is well-organized and technically sophisticated in the arts of war , terror and propaganda. In a very short time it has rolled up more victories and acquired more territory than any recent aggressor. It has pledged to kill everyone it does not enslave and, interestingly, seems to be keeping that promise.
[Our] desire for peace is sincere. We can all wish that bad people did not do bad things. We can also wish to ride unicorns to work or to find gold coins in our cherry pie. Denial is a key component to optimism. But it is also a key ingredient in delusion and disaster.
We do not want a war. Of course we don’t. The problem is, we are already at war. It has been declared against us. The question is, are we prepared to fight it, or simply to lose it.
From Maybe Too Much Tolerance is a Root Cause of Terrorism – April 21, 2013
The other thing that is striking is that some good people, smart people, don’t believe that any force is necessary to preserve freedom or justice. They think everyone is inherently nice. They think everyone is inherently blameless, or at the very least, that hard circumstances in life may explain or possibly even excuse horrific conduct. They have taken the sum total of human knowledge and history and, well, ignored it. And indeed, if every criminal or terrorist is somehow blameless, then punishment is indeed unjust and indeed will not deter, because the blameless malefactor will “need” to act. Because he is marginalized. Because of his “feelings of exclusion.”
Don’t you wish that was true? Don’t you wish there was a wand we could wave, that would change the feelings of the hordes of young men who have been hatched in Wahabist or Hezzbolah or Aryan-nation clubhouses, fueled by dynamite and internal agony? Or that we could send them an iPhone or dig them a well or cure their rage with sandwiches and schoolbooks? God knows, I wish it were true, that we could change their “feelings” and if not vent their hatred, somehow put a stopper in it.
From Trapped in a Cage of Flames- February 14, 2015
[The ISIS men] gave up the ways of human life and adopted a new culture – the cult of death, of cold cruelty. Of terror. And now these faceless creatures, these robots full of blood, aren’t living anymore. They are dead inside, or dying. They must feel it. That makes their deeds meaningless and enables them to push farther, farther, farther. I assure you, as certain as there is soil beneath my feet tonight – I know and so do you, that these people will do more, worse than you can imagine, worse than we have seen – to every victim they can trap and point a camera at. You know it.
And they know it too. The ISIS men have shucked off the last stitch of humanity and become masses of muscles and bones, hinged to motiveless intent, deployed to enact disgusting events. There’s no limit anymore because they’ve already done so much – there is no earthly or other reprieve for their souls. They’re zombies, the walking dead. Almost dead, anyhow. That is all they have become – “extras” in a horror movie until the day comes, when one of them gets a starring role.
From The Anti-Vaxxers don’t believe in ISIS, Either – February 16, 2015
… what we cannot do is ignore the evidence exploding all over the world, about what hyper-radical Jihadists want and are doing.
In Africa, Boko Haram pitilessly wars against the weak, all in the name of a version of Islam which is dedicated to the proposition that people should stay ignorant; ISIS/ISIL does its gruesome “performance art” murders on the internet, but that’s just a sideshow concealing their daily, gangland-style criminal seizure of land and people for oil and money; in communities around the world, most notably Pakistan and Afghanistan, girls put their lives on the line every time they walk to school. Everywhere, aggrieved losers tell themselves they’re Muslim as justification for killing sprees. London, Ottawa, Sydney, Paris, Copenhagen. Maybe they’re Muslims, maybe they’re not. What they are for sure is Nazis. What they are for sure, is measles.
No decent or peace-loving person wants to believe we are at risk, or wants to see war waged anywhere. But sadly, it is true: there is a disease within us and a terrible outbreak has erupted. We must take our medicine – take our shots – before the disease claims us, maims us, weakens us and then kills us.
From Our Guns of August – September 1, 2014
Your home, however pretty and serene, is surrounded by an invisible fence of people you pay to keep it quiet. The only question is whether you are protected by the people who have the most force and the greatest capacity and willingness to commit violence to preserve your way of life. In the latter half of the 20th century and early 21st, the West has amassed an array of weaponry and economic clout so titanic that the enemies of this civilization have been held at bay. That clout seems to be ebbing and with it, our peace. Again, this is not to advocate violence but rather, as with the weather, not to pretend it is not a reality in our lives.
From Swords into Plougshares – September 30, 2014
If we believe in progress – if we believe in greater equality of opportunity (or outcome for that matter), if we believe in taking the poison of bigotry out of decision-making, if we believe that girls in Syria, California, Chile, Bosnia, Chad or anywhere else, should have personal liberty and security, we have to act on that belief. If we want our kids to have a planet where crops grow and everyone doesn’t get skin cancer, we have to act on that. How do we witness the horrors of ISIS, or any other gang of criminals, and stand idly by? Haven’t we done that over and over and over, historically, and haven’t we seen the results? We cannot be stupid with the use of force (please God) but we cannot lie to ourselves that our liberty, our peace, is not reliant on the exercise or threat of force. That is just part of how it works and we must act accordingly. Otherwise all of our ideals are just words.
We Cannot Escape History – January 1, 2015
Quoting Abraham Lincoln:
“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.”
From The Charlie Hebdo Brigade – January 8, 2015
This morning and forever, the Charlie Hebdo massacre will be understood as a battle in the ongoing war to preserve our civilization – the liberty our forebears fought and died for, being defended again by a new kind of soldier: in this case journalists. In the last year journalists have been too numerous as casualties in this war, usually near the front line but this week, right at home in what was hoped to be safe ground – a newspaper office. The people of Charlie Hebdo were, indeed, soldiers for liberty, not just victims.
For we are, most certainly, in a war. A war to defend our civilization against Islamist tyranny and terror. That war saw more casualties yesterday and will see more in the days and years to come. The Charlie Hebdo journalists were not just “victims” but were, it seems in every sense, a Volunteer Brigade.
From Je Suis Tired of the Cynics – January 11, 2015
Listen, we’re human – we all feel fear. We fear for our children, for our friends, for our planet. We fear that the values we grew up taking for granted are now, weirdly, under assault. And we are right to be afraid. So go ahead, be afraid – that’s what you’re supposed to do when you’re in danger. But here’s the thing: if you’re going to be afraid, be afraid of something worthwhile. Not a hashtag. And for God’s sake, don’t be afraid of your own hopes.
People died this week to remind you of those hopes. They didn’t want to, but they did.
From Being Untrue to Liberty – June 27, 2015
The liberty that lets me write these words and lets you read them, was paid for in blood by men long dead, and is purchased again, day after day after day, by rough men ready to do violence on our behalf. Without those women and men, without their weapons, skill and courage, we are all just waiting to be told we cannot marry whom we love; to be told we cannot vote for the candidate we least dislike; to be told we cannot say the words that come to mind, or type vituperative comments on the internet.
Without the rough men ready to do violence on our behalf, we can just line up and wait for other rough men to come and chop our heads off, one by one by one.
From Assassins of Time – August 23, 2015
Will the current iteration of humanity stop this? It is unclear what level of depraved violence the mad thugs of Islamic State will have to unleash to draw an appropriate and righteous response from the world.
Like monstrous toddlers with swords, the Islamic State men keep testing us, desperate for our attention. Until they get it – really get it – one suspects they’ll keep testing.
God help the people captive to ISIS. God forgive those who shrug it off as just another faraway conflict.