Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Posted by Daniel Greenfield 9 Comments
Out of Dallas comes a story about a 60 year old woman who wrestled away a gun from a 19 year old teenager trying to steal her car and shot him. The story's closing paragraph contains the cautionary note that has become obligatory for postmodern America.
"We don't recommend it," Sgt. McFarlin said of the woman's decision to confront her attacker. "Always the safe thing to do, unless you're in fear of imminent bodily injury, is to comply."
Complying is indeed the recommended option these days, whether it's with criminals or terrorists. Follow orders and hope you don't get hurt. How many women have been forced into cars at the threat of a knife or a gun, only to be taken away and raped and murdered. When people are taught to comply, imminent injury ceases to be a risk but a consequence.
Complying was the standard recommendation for airplane hijackings. This cultural programming was only broken on Flight 93, when the consequences of compliance had become clear. It is not in Afghanistan or Iraq, where the only truly decisive victory against terrorism occurred, but on that plane, when the passengers chose to resist their attackers and foil their plans.
The common denominator between crime and terrorism is that both are cultural threats to our society. They originate from cultures existing abroad and in the fringes of our own society. A criminal culture and a terrorist culture. They cannot be defeated purely through military means, they must be defeated at the cultural level, and that will only happen when a society of committed individuals resist them, rather than comply with them.
But we have been assiduously taught not to do this. We are taught to vest out faith and rights into the hands of government bodies who will handle our security for us. Our approach to terrorism is only an extension of our approach to crime, which is to slide back and forth between aggressive rhetoric and overbearing action to appeasement and downright romanticisation of the criminal and the terrorist. This romanticisation of murderers and criminals who challenge authority, itself stems from the loss of liberty inherent in a state which preaches government power as the ultimate good and the ultimate solution.
Once we transferred responsibility for our security from ourselves to a designated professional force and made it all but illegal, for people to defend others or themselves using force, we created the kind of society that could stand by as Kitty Genovese was attacked repeatedly over a half and allowed to die without any help.
We created a society perpetually afraid of crime and dependent on police brutality and ruthless policing to keep it at bay. By taking away the ability of ordinary citizens to protect themselves, we were left with the false choice of either weak policing and anarchy or ruthless policing and obscene erosions of individual freedoms.
All attempts to transfer individual responsibilities to the government however, are doomed to failure. A government educational system can never replace parents. Government policing can never take the place of individual deterrence and self-defense. Governments can defeat armed forces, but they cannot defeat a culture. Only one culture can defeat another culture and only one civilization can defeat another civilization.
The War on Terror was marked by a government that rushed to pass laws, that were promptly never taken advantage of, or misused for ordinary criminal prosecutions. While everyone from the President on down rushed to insure the public that everything was under control, attempts to give the American people a role in the War on Terror were either squashed or squandered. The government insisted on doing it on its own and worked hard to convince the public that this was a conventional threat that could be defeated by conventional means, because government always seeks to rhetorically recreate a situation along the parameters that place it within its sphere of control.
In the War on Terror, domestic terrorists have been barely touched, and the successes in Afghanistan and Iraq, ignored the fact that the real threat lay not from Osama Bin Laden, but from the growing Muslim immigration and accompanying legitimization of terrorism and delegitimization of self-defense, that has turned Europe's former great empires into supine chambers of appeasement before the spawn of Mohammedanism. Unable to admit the average American understands, the government's attempt to fight terrorism can only stop state sponsors of terrorism, but not the disease vector of terrorism itself, which is Islam.
The dream of Islamic supremacy cannot be blown up with a bomb. It can be defeated only by a superior culture. A culture that is unafraid of the truth and whose superiority rests in individual liberty and self-reliance, rather than on grand government programs that hunt mosquitoes with howitzer cannons.
Individual liberty is a free society's immunity mechanism that prevents it from being overcome by malignant ideologies. A socialist state which seeks to subdue the native energies, spirits and vigor of its people, turns a Democratic society into little more than an inferior version of the dictatorships and totalitarian ideologies it resists. Inferior because true totalitarian regimes are far more thorough, both in crushing their own people and in maintaining a police state over them.
A government cannot subdue the Islamic threat. Military force is an important component over defeating Islamic terrorism abroad, but we can score military victories over Islamic terrorism across the world, and yet see it spring up in new places every week. Because all that Islamists require is a weak government and a crumbling social structure to move in and begin taking over. Africa alone offers dozens of such places. So does Southeast Asia. So does Europe.
A government cannot subdue an ideology. Bombing another training camp in Pakistan does only a limited amount of good, when mosques are preaching Jihad recruiting terrorists in our own cities. Fighting Islamic terrorism abroad does little good, when our own schools and colleges are prosyletising students with classes on the glories of the Religion of Peace.
Terrorism is only the poison the snake spits. The snake itself is the rise of Islam as a force in the modern world. That snake stretches out from the sand pits of the Middle East, its coils draping across Asia and Europe and its fangs reaching across the ocean to America. The snake's body is composed of the numbers of its worshipers, of their mosques and charities and schools and institutions.
For the poison to seep in, they might prefer a Liberal Democrat President, but they would settle for a Republican one whose administration will counsel people not to worry, teach them to tape the windows shut and do nothing, especially not blame Islam or Muslims for terrorism. Especially not to fight back.
Since 9/11 Muslims boast that conversions to Islam have gone up. The murder of over 3000 Americans served as a kind of publicity stunt to launch the promotion of the religion responsible for it. The average American today is fed a dozen lies about Islam before breakfast, all of them sickeningly sweet. The empty debate rages about whether to pull in and out of Iraq, when the real battle for the West is being fought in Paris and Brussels and Rome and for that matter Detroit.
As the death toll in the unofficial war being fought in Europe rises, the media trumpets each dead American soldier. In Sweden women are told not to dress provocatively or meet the eyes of Muslim men. In Australia rhetoric against Muslims is punished with jail time. In England republication of cartoons offensive to Muslims is set to trigger a criminal prosecution. In America rumors of a supposed Koran in the toilet trigger police investigations.
All of it falls under a single banner. The same banner liberals and conservatives both, have spent too much time waving since the 70's. Whatever you do, don't fight back.