Articles

Saturday, October 22, 2011

No Victory But Defeat

The most common justification for the Shalit deal is to wear it as a perverse badge of moral nobility. "What other country would exchange a thousand terrorists for one man." This is a close cousin of the argument that says the United States treating terrorists with kid gloves proves that it is nobler than them. Both of these insufferable arguments are symptoms of the moral decline of civilization.

If the life of a single soldier is more important than the battle, then why have battles or soldiers at all? We don't send soldiers out to fight because we think that their lives are worthless, but because the objective of war is to save even more lives than those that will be lost in fighting it. Or to preserve that liberty and independence from enemy oppression which are the qualities that make life worthwhile.

There is nothing to be proud of in a moral confusion that puts the soldier before the battle. Even less in a country whose commanders and politicians think nothing of sacrificing soldiers in order to preserve the lives of enemy civilians.

All the kvelling over Gilad Shalit would be a trifle less dishonest if the pundits, politicians and generals did not believe that sending a dozen boys like Shalit into battle without air and artillery support to avoid harming enemy civilians was also evidence of moral superiority.

If the moral equations say that the life of Gilad Shalit is worth a major national defeat and that the life of a Gilad Shalit is worth less than that of an enemy civilian, then it's no wonder that the terrorists are thriving. Israel's own idiot elites have laid out a formula under which the IDF must lose every battle to preserve the nation's morality. It's Masada as practiced by left-wing lunatics.

This peacenik logic makes it appearance at rallies protesting against terrorism when someone breaks out into another round of, "Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu", to show that we really want peace. Whom do we want peace with? The people killing us. The people we are protesting against. But like teachers' pets we have to keep reminding the teacher that we really are good students.

Armed pacifism is a contradiction in terms. Reluctant warriors who believe that peace is the ideal state are forced to blame the lack of peace on someone else. "We would love to put flowers in our guns and let the birds nest in our cannons, but those people over there keep shooting at us." It's true, but it's also besides the point. Expediency is a weak and unconvincing argument against an ideal.

If you view war as an unfortunate response to violence, while the enemy views war as a moral act-- then the moral weight of the argument will always be on their side.

The Muslims declare that war is their ultimate ambition while the Israelis counter that peace is their ultimate ambition, but they just can't make it work when the other side is trying to kill them. In a rational world they would win the argument. In a world where emotional arguments that appeal to ideals are more compelling than pragmatic 'shades of grey' positions, the people who believe that purity of arms comes from the righteousness of their cause win out over those who believe that purity of arms comes from avoiding killing civilians. 

Or take that famous Golda Meir quote. "Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us." The insipid quote assumes that people who love their children don't hate other people. Or don't hate them enough to send their children into battle against them.

Nazi Germany was not a nation full of honor killings and suicide bombers. It may be assumed that they did a reasonably good job of loving their children. That didn't mean that they loved other people's children. It didn't mean that they were unwilling to risk their children to achieve their objectives.

The Islamists have built up an image of a cult of death and there is some truth to that. Islam as ideology disdains the life of the individual, as much as the mass parades of the Nazis or the Communists did. Does that mean Hamas leaders don't love their children?

Suicide bombers rarely come from the ranks of the leadership. The Nablus junkie or the high strung teenager who thinks she wants to die, is a useful tool for Hamas and Fatah leaders. Suicide bombers are no different than the canon fodder in any other war-- taught that their acts make them glorious, when actually it means they were disposable all along.

The Golda quote appears to be a simple moral equation, but what it leaves out is the risk factor. The majority of Arab Muslims don't expect to be wiped out by fighting Israel. Some of them will die in the battle, but that is true of all wars. The individual risk factor is small enough that they can easily love their children and hate Israel, without having to make a hard and fast choice between the two.

The assumption that pacifism is the only true form of love is a dangerous one. Take the Golda quote at face value, and you have to question why Israelis send their sons into battle at all? Many of the fathers and mothers of the left no longer do. But if you don't send some of your sons to battle, then all your sons will die anyway, or end up second-class citizens or slaves.

All of Israel is expected to love Gilad Shalit enough to die for him at the hands of the terrorists who are his blood price. But then why must IDF soldiers second-guess themselves in a combat situation to avoid being sent to jail. And why have soldiers been sent to the front line underequipped and without the proper support. Is it really Shalit that the country is expected to be willing to die for, or pacifism? The willingness to deal rather than fight. The Korbanot Shalom, the Sacrifices for Peace, that have defined Israel in the Oslo age. With Yitzchak Rabin, acting out the role of a secular version of the patriarch of that same name, as the ultimate sacrifice on the altar of peace.

There are more rational ways to reword the Golda quote. For example one might say that, "Peace will come when the Arabs do not see any advantage that they can gain for their children by hating us." The New Middle East plan was loosely based around such thinking. So is the One State Solution. Eliminate any practical reasons for the hate by minimizing Israel as an economic and political entity and the hate will stop.

It's a condescending approach that completely ignores the function of such hate for the haters. The Third Reich did not hate Jews for any of the reasons that appear in Mein Kampf, but because hating Jews allowed Nazi Party members to seize their belongings, and gave their supporters an identity. Hating an outside group fulfills that function for Arabs and Muslims, who cling to Anti-Semitism in times of doubt-- and no amount of peace songs will change that.

Arabs and Muslims love their own children by hating Jews. It is a perverse kind of love, but it is  love nonetheless. Lacking a meaningful identity beyond the family and the tribe, they build one of hate instead. Hate is what they pass down to their children. Hate is their prophecy for the future. If their children do not hate enough, then they will kill them. Out of a love that is so mixed with hate that there is hardly any difference.

Alternatively one might say. "Peace will come when the Jews love their own children enough to hate the Arabs." It's not a pretty thought, but a relevant one to an Israeli political system where soldiers are sent off to die in avoidable ways for the sake of enemy civilians and Israeli civilians are forced to absorb terrorist attacks by a security establishment that is unwilling to do everything it takes to protect them.

Israeli leaders have treated their own people as "Sacrifices for Peace" in a liberal holocaust, a fire offering to the gods of pacifism and international law. Israeli leaders traded a relative peace for a constant war in the name of what they called peace. But the "Peace Process" had no more to do with peace, than another round of "Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu" or the withdrawal from Gaza. It was an act of ritual sacrifice for reasons moral and political.

The Shalit exchange was more of the same. One life traded off for many more who will die at the hands of the freed killers. But it was necessary for political and moral reasons. The political reasons are obvious. The moral ones are even more obvious. To remind us that we are better people, no matter what the final cost of that moral morale boost may be.

But true morality isn't found in ritualized self-sacrifice, it's localized in moral priorities. Ritual self-sacrifice is not moral, no matter how much it may seem that way in the light of the cameras. It is profoundly immoral to act without considering the consequences and all the rationalizations in the world do not change that.

"Peace will come when the Jews love their own children more than they need to be loved by their enemies." That is perhaps the most rational formulation of the Golda quote. And it seems as equally hopeless an expectation as Golda's original quote.

The Muslim world expresses its dysfunction by violently rejecting the outside world and the free world expresses it by seeking external validation. The collision between the two is the essence of liberal dysfunction which makes the way that we treat outsiders into its highest standard of morality and then abuses its own people to showcase its broken telescopic morality.

If we must feed rabid dogs and starve our own children to show how moral we are, then only through such suicidal behavior will we ever feel good that we are truly good people. If the essence of feeling good about ourselves is to feel bad about ourselves, and to feel good by feeling bad, then we become the ASHamed Jews of Jacobson's novel, The Finkler Question, who find redemption in this warped form of Jewish identity.

The question however is not only a Jewish one. In a civilization where the national ethics of Western nations demands that they find their moral center at the bottom of a grave pit, the old moral code of "Love the Stranger" has been transformed into "Hate your Brother". The socialist position that the stranger is the stranger because your brother has his boot on his head, means that it is your mission to love the stranger by hating your brother. And once the stranger is your brother and your brother is the stranger, then the inner becomes the other, and your nation and civilization are on the edge of a cliff.

This isn't morality or ethics, but a mockery of them that twists them to the furthest possible extreme until they become a suicide pact. But the balance of power is on the side of the suicides who have the purity of idealism on their side. And everyone to the right of them huddles in their shadow, devising weak compromise arguments that fail against the extremity of their positions.

By accepting the moral validity of the pacifist argument on any level, the purity of any extreme form of that has also been validated. Accepting the pacifist argument nullifies the morality of self-defense and paradoxically means that only those who reject it have morality on their side.

The terrorists who have never accepted that position in any way, shape or form have become the heroes of the left. Their very rejection of peace testifies to their credibility as their intractability proves their suffering and their ideals. Conversely the more Israelis talk of peace, the more they discredit their own moral case. Once you admit that you would rather not die for your ideals or your country, then you have lost the emotional argument to those who will.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Excellent piece, though hard to swallow. You write the truth. And it is difficult to face. But face it we must if there is any hope for survival. Thank you, Mr. Greenfield, for slogging through the hard truths and putting it out there with your golden pen for so many to read. Your message is on target and spoken with eloquence.

Keliata said...

"All the kvelling over Gilad Shalit would be a trifle less dishonest if the pundits, politicians and generals did not believe that sending a dozen boys like Shalit into battle without air and artillery support to avoid harming enemy civilians was also evidence of moral superiority.

If the moral equations say that the life of Gilad Shalit is worth a major national defeat and that the life of a Gilad Shalit is worth less than that of an enemy civilian, then it's no wonder that the terrorists are thriving. Israel's own idiot elites have laid out a formula under which the IDF must lose every battle to preserve the nation's morality. It's Masada as practiced by left-wing lunatics."


That says everything that needs to be said about Gilad Shalit and the government's (and world) attitude when it comes to Jews in general and Israeli Jews in particular.


This article should be sent to every MK. And there's a good chance that I will.

mindRider said...

Yes, again you are right and clearly paint reality but is being a continuous "Sparta" the faith of Judaism, is it not our religious aim to bring peace to the world?

marek said...

mindReader,
Bringing peace to world is not the aim of the Jewish faith.
Our aim is to not bring a war unless it is forced on us.
That's why the Judaism is not proselytizing.

Kristin Solo said...

Golda's quote may be described as 'insipid' if taken at face value but in fact it highlights the significant intrinsic contrast between two clashing cultures .
Israel places high regard on the sanctity of life and values its soldiers as Sons of Zion.
Muslims consider life is expendable in the cause of Islam and indoctrinates its sons to aspire to Shahid martyrdom .
Netanyahu had to make a hard decision to either abandon or rescue Gilad Shalit. His decision was the right one , the negatives of which, Israel can handle,
likely adopting a much more offensive strategy against Hamas et al now that Gilad Shalit is out of Gaza!
Regardless of the Jihad facilitating UN yelling 'foul', Israel should strike hard and take out key terrorist figures by targeted assassinations in response to any further attempts to abduct Israelis.
Missiles assaults on Israel out of Gaza should invite ten times as many in return .
Roll in the tanks & armoured vehicles & flatten the Hamas strongholds... Oh yeah and take back the Israeli owned territory of Gaza!

Anonymous said...

My book, "Satan's Trinity: Hitler, Stalin & Muhammad," will be available within the month and one may pre-order at http://www.satanstrinity.wordpress.com/ For the first time in history "HSM" appear together on a book cover. The idea behind the book is to make headway against the ludicrous idea that Muhammad should be conjoined with any religious leader/founder. Once this comparison, driven by actual names, has been made then it must be attacked. Once the attack has been launched then the attackers will be forced to defend their attack. Since the attack is indefensible then the "religion" Muhammad (if he existed) founded will begin to be viewed as the scam it is. This book has been written under the principle of KISS. And nothing is simpler to understand than Hitler and Stalin…..and now, Muhammad. Thank you for your time.......C"H"Martel

Gaucho said...

Another masterpiece, Daniel. Please do label it as 'Important postings'! We need these forwardable essential articles to be kept handy and easy to find whenever the need arises for emergency treatment of friends & family Leftards. Thank you!

Paul said...

Those are some excellent observations.

"The Muslims declare that war is their ultimate ambition while the Israelis counter that peace is their ultimate ambition, but they just can't make it work when the other side is trying to kill them. In a rational world they would win the argument. In a world where emotional arguments that appeal to ideals are more compelling than pragmatic 'shades of grey' positions, the people who believe that purity of arms comes from the righteousness of their cause win out over those who believe that purity of arms comes from avoiding killing civilians."

I think this is the crux of the issue. Israel is stuck in a position shared by many other small countries under seige by Islam and others enabled by superstitious bigotry that generates hostility against them and where population growth and occupation are engineered against them. When the odds are against you, if you are in the right, then you always have the high ground in any test of nerves. And that's what war is, it is the ultimate test of nerves.

When you are a hysterical mob, you can afford to fight applying attrition. A blood soaked mob, even dignified by the trappings of the ambitions for, or actual statehood doesn't have to fight smart. Israel has to fight smart. Because Israel is right, then in war it can keep its head and maneuver in combat to best achieve objectives that preserve the lives its soldiers and does not waste resources on unimportant targets. And that's what civilians are, unimportant targets. Of course Islam props up civilians in front of combatants in order to make their targets of aggression look like murderers when they try to defend themselves. Even so, civilians are unimportant targets and when you kill civilians in combat, you are wasting your time. You may also be indulging yourself in sadistic murder, that happens in combat and certainly Islam has a long history of extolling this kind of play in combat. Sometimes its the only combat they have.

Israel also has the luxury of fighting for itself and nothing else. This is the luxury of being a small country capable of defending itself and limiting its ambitions to the integrity of statehood. Islam has no such luxury. OBL was right when he declared that Islam was in a war for survival. Either Islam must carve out an unchallengeable place for itself in the world, run by Muslims, or it must be destroyed. This is why accusing Jews of running the world are so instrumental to Islam and its global ambitions. If Israel can survive against Islam without becoming anything like Islam, then any nation can. You just have to be right instead of wrong.

Keliata said...

Slightly OT but now that this is a done deal what will happen with the IDF? A few "tough on crime" type retaliatory attacks or lasting change in practices and an enduring resolve to truly fight terrorism.

I also wonder what impact this will have on Israeli kids? It's true that many are dodging the draft--in some cases due to sympathy for their enemies, some from a desparate desire to make peace.

But to be honest--if I were an Israeli kid I would consider dodgine the draft. Not saying I absolutely would, but I would consider it. I'd consider it if I were a parent, too.

Given the horrendous conditions Gilad lived through...I might have doubts about serving and at the very least consider life in an Israeli prison preferable to "life" as a Hamas hostage.

Especially when my government is sending me off to war and I really don't understand why.

:( Those images of Gilad Shalit and articles about his torture and extended isolation have rattled me. I wouldn't subject myself to that just to fight a war that hasn't even declared and doesn't have a clear goal.

And if I'm not captured I have the prospect of being killed by on of the thousands of freed terrorists.


The IDF should spend more time coming up with war plans and less time on Facebook checking the religious status of teens excempt from military service.

Just some thoughts and worries about friends in Israel.

Linda Rivera said...

I am filled with deep horror that Israeli leaders willingly release 1,027 barbaric terrorists. My heart and my brain tell me the same thing that Israel, U.S. and other leaders who rejoice over this horror, have taken the side of barbaric Muslim terrorists against innocents.

Keliata said...

sorry for the many typos.

Oh, when I wrote if I were a parent I would consider it, I meant listening to my kid if he/she were concerned.

****

I also pray to G-d that Gilad Shalit's release during the holidays wasn't to increase his numbers in the polls:( I honestly hope that is not the case.

Ditto for Obama in sending all of our US troops home in time for the holidays.

Anonymous said...

Golda's quotes always offended me just like the: 1 Israeli worth 1000 Arabs and we feel soooo good because of that. It's imballanced, 1 innocent young man is worth 1000 killers? Maybe 10.000? Same with Golda's other diamond saying: I can forgive them for killing our children but I can't forgive them for making us kill theirs (or someting like that). Such relativistic, shallow thinking, so IMMORAL.

Anonymous said...

A very good read related to this article: Caroline Glick in Jpost.

HermitLion said...

The more I learn about the deal that was struck with hamas, the more I am horrified.
There was nothing 'moral' about it. Giving in to terrorists is not moral. Though it does feel good to see Shalit back, the reality is simply that we've paid (and will continue to pay) too high a price.

At least the Israeli government does not forget whose lives really matter - anyone but its own people.

Jack Feld said...

Daniel -

I have no major argument with your article.

I just wanted to note that one of the justifications the government gave for ransoming Shalit was to strengthen morale among the current troops and future draftees, by demonstrating that they would not be easily abandoned. Sounds like a weak argument to me, but take it for whatever you think it's worth.

Certainly there were political/electoral considerations in play as well. This is unavoidable. Shalit was a political football for the Left; Netanyahu took that ball away. I wonder if this was the major consideration.

And they said it clears the table so that the Iran issue can be dealt with without distraction. Another weak argument.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

I'm not too sure the prospect of being abandoned for five years while your parents stage protests until enough terrorists are freed from jail is really that much of a morale booster

as opposed to, if you're captured, we'll go in and get you right away and not stop until we do

cornholio said...

What a depressing article. Still-in-all I'm glad Gilad is free and I hope the released muslime scumbags have plenty of opportunities to catch a good case of lead poisoning.

Kristin Solo said...

I endorse that sentiment @ cornholio...Hopefully Israel spiked their last supper with bull's eye microchips!
Re Linda R & Hermit L:
After the horrors of the holocaust and the tears, toil, sweat & blood expended in re-establishing a homeland for the Jews, it ought not to be considered folly for Israel to take a calculated risk to rescue a young IDF soldier out of the hands of the most cruel,callous, bloodthirsty, murdering thugs on the face of the earth today!
Who cares for Israelis if Israel does not?
Bibi Netanyahu is deserving of credit for having a heart of compassion for his people!
He knows the cost... his brother Yoni sacrificed his life to bring home the hostages from Entebbe!

Greg RN said...

I only pray that in the future, Israel will show no mercy, and crush these demons tenfold for the slightest, Shalit should be the final line drawn in the sand, and when the Muslim terrorist views this as weakness, blind him so there is no vision, But, to the point, Israel is a microcosm of the death throes of the West perpetrated by the same spineless left who would not fight to save their own asses but would be looking for one to Kiss, I don't know anymore, this "Ship of Fools" we have as American Government think they have some place to hide after they created so much havoc in the world and here, but then again, is not that always been man's dilemma,no immediate consequences, and is it not the priviledged and elite who are so careless and rise to power and send others to fight for their flawed views of reality, MY G-D, how far have we fallen?

TBS said...

Really excellent piece, Sultan, you've pushed some new thoughts into my head. :)

I think actually a lot of people feel the way you do.

However, I don't think israel's actions come from the simple desire to be loved by our enemies.
The jewish culture is one of compassion and caring for the world. Don't forget that Tikkun Olam is a prevailing principle. For a people with such a culture, it is simply extremely diffcicult to act with disdain for human beings, enemies or not, because the imperative to recognise all people as potential neshamot is within us.

This is why a country has a miltary - to cut through all that philosophising and simply act in defence of the people, soldiers and country itself.

What I am hoping for is this. Let us take the pragmatic view that at least Shalit has been returned.
There are, as far as I know, no Israeli souls in a Hamas hell.

The thing to do NOW is to formulate a new strategy - come down MUCH harder on terrorists ie if they get captured, they die.
No mercy for these killers, especially if caught in action.
Make sure no soldiers get captured in the future.
Cut off power and water to the Palestinians -let the Europeans and the aid junkies take care of them.

In other words, while compassion is a good value to have, let the government of Israel act as if each Israeli life is truly valuable, and stop mucking about!!

Citizens and various charity groups already help a lot of Muslims and that's fine if they want to. But unfortunately that is not the job of the army.

Israel will be hated and criticised whatever it does. So at least let it act with benefit and protection of its citizens.

TBS said...

kristin, you and I are on the same wavelength...

TBS said...

Another point re your comment about external validation.

Ironically it is actually Islam that must constantly refuel its external validation, by conquest, conversion, pedophile preganancies etc.
It cannot afford to simply sit still because it relies on the existence of enemies - RICH enemies it can plunder - for its sustenance.


I read often of Muslims converting to Christianity. I wonder if any actually convert to Judaism. Idle curiosity.

TBS said...

Daniel, I agree with you, if a soldier is captured they should go in and get them. i was puzzled for ages about why the Israelis did not sinmply tear their way through until they found him.

Anonymous said...

All the commentators here assume that they know all the facts and that everybody in Israel is stupid [ at least the 80% that agreed to the deal including the Army , the secret services and so on ].
Don't you feel a little bit strange that you are so sure of yourselves and still oppose most of those that live there ?
I am not talking about the moral dilemmas because this may involve cultural differences between US and Israel , I am talking about the considerations of security "winning" and "loosing" and so on.
According to your logic, the Hizbulla should have continued with kidnapping after they got their prisoner. Why don't they try ?
The point is that the price they pay for what they do is not only what they tell you and when they brag it does not mean that they really win.
It is obvious that for some reason the army could not rescue Gilad without endangering too many and that only now when Hamas is not sure where they stand with the Arab "spring" they agreed to compromise.
P.s. There are Arabs that convert to Judaism

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Some convert, since Judaism doesn't actually missionize, it's unusual, but a relative of a Hamas leader converted

Islam's basic instability means that like any unstable element it constantly has to pass off its energy to more stable vessels

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

The 80 percent is the product of a biased media climate and a commitment to IDF soldiers.

But what would the numbers be for a military operation to retake Gaza vs the Hamas deal.

Hezbollah got what it wanted, it will try again on its timetable. And its timetable is the Iranian timetable.

The bizarre "Hamas won't do it again" meme seems to be coming from Barak on down. It makes no sense and depends on people like Barak whispering that they made Hamas pay behind the scenes.

Hamas itself has said that it will do it again.

Unlike Hezbollah, Hamas is in a more urgent struggle with Israel.

Anonymous said...

For 5 years everybody was waiting for the Army and they tried their best I am sure, and decided against it.
Nobody goes for such a deal without considering the obvious.

Cynical infidel corporal said...

"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country.
He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."
(Attributed to General George Patton Jr.)

THIS is the attitude we need !
Aren't you against "ritualized self-sacrifice", Daniel ? Then what was that glorification of "dying for ideals and country" at the end of your otherwise sane article ? Israelis must not and will not become "shahids" or "kamikaze". Let's leave the psychotic death cult mentality to our enemies and stick with just shooting the bastards. "Old school".
I value my life. And I assume that you probably value yours even more, given that I'm in Haifa (and very close to an ugly local mosque in a troublesome muzzie neighbourhood), while you are ... where ?... NY ?...

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

what do you mean?

Cynical infidel corporal said...

I mean, I like your articles (really). But it's easy for you to be such a passionate hurrah-patriot, when you are in New York.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

I'm not talking about patriotism or calling for war for the greater glory of Israel. I'm saying that the alternative to believing in the right to defend yourself is nonexistence.

Cynical infidel corporal said...

I agree with you.
My point is that the right to defence and the desire to protect your family, your society and your freedom is not the same as the willingness "to die for ideals and the country". Defence is not a sacrifice of any kind and definitely not a suicidal "martyrdom".
No soldier wants to die. But every soldier wants to win the fight.
This is precisely the difference between the mentality of the pacifist loons and the mentality of those who choose armed defence against the enemy. It's the pacifists who idolize "sacrifice".
Ironically, in the end it's the pacifists who are actually willing to "die for ideals". But whenever these loons start talking about yet another "sacrifice for peace", a quote from Ayn Rand comes to my mind:

“It only stands to reason that where there’s sacrifice, there’s someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there’s service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master.”

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

I don't see a call to die for ideals or suicidal martyrdom in my article. Maybe it's there and I missed it, but I just don't see it.

Cynical infidel corporal said...

It's the last sentence in your article that I find objectionable. Apparently you wanted to say something else. If so, then you certainly should have phrased it differently. Because otherwise it not only sounds like preachy hurrah-patriotic rhethoric, but also implicitly suggests that we should adopt the attitude of our enemies in order to win "the emotional argument".
Using military force is not an "emotional argument". It's an entirely rational and logical argument against the fanatical psychotic enemy hell-bent on our destruction.
And it's our unfortunate misguided propensity towards "emotional arguments" that got us into this mess. Until we reject emotionalism, stop irrational moralizing and start acting rationally - we are screwed.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

"Once you admit that you would rather not die for your ideals or your country, then you have lost the emotional argument to those who will."

Is hardly rah-rah patriotism. And I'm discussing the reality of human attitudes which are emotional. Most people are not about to act rationally or think rationally. Factoring that out of any decision making process is not rational.

Cynical infidel corporal said...

Why "hardy" ? The call to "die for your ideas and your country" is a trademark rhethoric of hurrah-patriotic ideologues everywhere.
You should have used the word "fighting" instead. Huge difference, even in the emotional context.

And why you apriori accept that most people aren't going to think and act rationally ? Do you really have such a low opinion of man's capacity to think ? All mentally healthy (sane) people can use their brains properly, as intended. Even those who choose not to do so.
It's a conscious effort - to think. Certainly this effort may cause emotions. All good art is based on this. While valuable, even these meaningful, rational, deep emotions are merely secondary consequences, not primary causes. But vague, irrational, "causeless" emotions are just worthless however.

Do you think it's OK when people choose not to think and act rationally, but instead prefer to rely on emotional attitudes that appear from nowhere ?

Undecipherable raw emotionalism is not helpful in any decision making.
Heck, even our fanatical enemies aren't entirely irrational. Actually they are currently more rational than we are. This is how bad the situation really is...

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

I used "die" because it's key to the overall point of the article.

Most people are going to respond to emotional arguments at a core level. That doesn't mean not making rational arguments, it means working within human realities, rather than expecting them to be what they are not.

It's not a question of whether it's ok or not, my view of how things should be does not change how they are.

Cynical infidel corporal said...

What the hell is an "emotional argument" exactly ? And why it must be "won" ?
I suppose our real goal is national survival and protection of our culture. Our enemies will not change their attitude towards us, no matter what we do, even if we somehow transform our military into a uberbadass hybrid of Waffen SS and Darth Vader's Galactic Imperial Startroopers and then proceed to nuke the entire Middle East.

We should only care about defeating the enemy and achieving our goals with minimal risk to our troops. We must try to leave the "dying" part to the enemy.
They always brag about their readiness to die for their psychotic jihadist BS. I see no reason why we shouldn't arrange exactly that. Does a killed jihadist qualify as an argument ? Is it an "emotional argument" ? For me - yes. I experience very positive emotions whenever jihadist fanatics or their supporters get killed by our military.

Understanding the psychology (mindset) of our enemy is important for achieving our goals. But their actual immediate emotions are of no particular significance. Why should we give a damn ?

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

I don't see the point of this argument. I think you've misunderstood what I was saying while focusing on one word and placing far too much emphasis on it.

Post a Comment