Killin’ Cousins

The latest round of Middle East violence (a darn shame, but made inevitable by the genocidal policies of Hezbollah and Iran) have shed a bright light on one of the many things that are wrong with religion-inspired policies in the real world. And it turns out to be one of those instances of the extremes meeting around back, a coincidence of opposites. It allows us to see precisely what terrorism and pacifism have in common. How ostensible ethical enlightenment, by way of decadence, makes way for fascistic terrorism. They are killin’ cousins.

Come to think of it, it is less the violence than the calls for peace talks and cease-fires that point up the irony. Such peace-making is simply inappropriate in the present situation. (Oh, I am aware it may be over by the time you read this, but that hardly matters: the same sort of scenario will be coming up again soon enough.) The very idea of negotiations takes for granted that both sides of the conflict have worldly goals and that they think pragmatically. The operant idea is that war is just clumsy diplomacy, and that one can cut to the chase, avoiding all the violence, by having the two sides sit down and come to some compromise.

But that is not what is going on in any of the conflicts against Islamofascism. Instead, the model here is that diplomacy is a sneaky form of war. You are dealing with insane fanatics, people whose theology reduces them to bestial savages. (Don’t accuse me of “dehumanizing” the terrorists; they’ve already done that for us.) Theirs is the politics of the absolute, a Kierkegaardian nightmare. There is no worldly end to be served. They are just inveterate Jew-haters. They want to execute Die Endlösung, the Final Solution, by killing all Jews. This smacks more of apocalypticism than of politics. The Islamofascists are trying to act out the scenario of the myth-world in the midst of the real world. They want to bring Armageddon to pass. Nor is this just my inference. Have you been keeping up with the End-Time rantings of Ahmedinejad of Iran? He wants to prepare the way for the return of the Mahdi by wiping out Jews.

Armageddon just might turn around and bite them on the butt, though. Islamic terrorists appear to be a hydra that multiplies its heads the more quickly the faster one lops them off. Our decadent Western liberal pundits wring their hands, clutch their skirts and lament that opposing the terrorists only creates new terrorists because we are antagonizing them. They are right about this. Where they are wrong is in the implication that the best course of “action” for the West, and for the Jews, is to roll over and die. The war in Iraq is indeed breeding new terrorists, and so, I am sure, is the Israeli incursion into Lebanon. And there will always be fresh ones to take the place of each one who straps a dynamite belt on and explodes himself like Daffy Duck in that old cartoon. The new ones may be younger and younger, leapfrogging the process of maturity, since they are indoctrinated that it is better to simply go to Paradise right now. Some of them, however, will be so young they won’t know what to do with all the virgins awaiting them once they get there.

At any rate, the whole populations of some Arab societies are gradually being recruited for an endless barrage against Jews. It matters not that Islamists die in the process (or as the process). All that matters is that Jews die. Get that? It is better that Jews die than that Muslims live. That is fanaticism. One cannot deal, negotiate, with that. One may be so foolish as to think one can, but then one is only surrendering to the covert war that is diplomacy. Since the Islamofascists have no worldly, pragmatic aims, what “compromise” could satisfy them? Killing half the Jews or three quarters? Not even that. They would just use any cease-fire as a respite to rebuild their strength to attack anew.

And this is why the apocalyptic demon they have summoned out of Aladdin’s Lamp may destroy them, too, or even instead. With an enemy like this, indefatigable, unreasonable, motivated by a hatred for which one is willing to martyr oneself and one’s new generations, what is the only solution? Israel herself will be faced with the prospect of the Endlösung: against the Palestinians, the Lebanese, and any other intractable foe.

And who could blame Israel for refusing to roll over and die? Tragically, the Liberals of the West will urge them to. Better that Israel surrender to martyrdom so the lives of their murderers may be saved. That is what liberals are already saying, though they may not admit it to themselves. Behold the moral confusion of the cowardly.

The other day I heard a radio caller express the optimistic piety of the Liberal Christian. He cooed to the radio host as to how many of his ilk believed that faith was a real force for healing in situations such as the Israel-Hezbollah conflict, and that ceasefires and treaties and the like were the way to go—because faith says so. Here, I realized, is the same sort of miracle-politics that Hezbollah trades in. Pragmatic situations, calculable repercussions are all cast aside in favor of a cherished dogma. And the value of the dogma is one’s fidelity to it, come what may. The fine print is that one may wind up a martyr for peace and one may even take others along for the ride, but that will be all right. As long as one has stuck to the pacifist party line, one has succeeded, no matter how horrific the consequences.

The religious peace activists do not expect a bevy of virgins to greet them in heaven. Oh no, that would be sexist. In fact, it is hard to figure out what they think their reward will be. On the one hand, if fidelity is their criterion for success, not worldly results (as Jim Wallace always used to assure us), then it doesn’t much matter what happens and who dies. We can all congratulate ourselves that we were Christlike: “What a good boy am I.” On the other hand, if their faith tells them that God will reward our peace-making with miraculous success in this world, then we are talking about a superstition little better than the vehement fanaticism of the Islamofascists. Both alike are practicing the politics of miracle. A miracle is supposed to be an event dropped by God into the midst of human history, with nothing leading to it, an interruption of immanent cause-and-effect. That is why historians can never declare a report of a miracle to be probable. There is no way to trace something outside of the sequence of cause and effect. But supernaturalists insist that we believe in the miracles of the Bible anyway, without real evidence, which is impossible in the nature of the case. Well, it is the same with miracle politics. One hopes and prays and believes for a peace which passes understanding, a peace that only God could impose, one that does not proceed from the hanging threads of human policy or compromise, a peace that would have to consist of a new creation in a circumscribed piece of geography, an embassy of the imagined coming millennium.

The liberal Christian peace-maker accuses George W. Bush of barreling through the china shop of geo-politics using his evangelical faith as a road-map to and through Armageddon. But they are only engaging in projection. Bush is a conventionally religious Methodist, a member of a Twelve-Step denomination with no theology at all. He is no Pat Robertson, a nut easily as delusional as Ahmedinejad, and Robertson is not in power. Success or failure, Bush is a pragmatic politician. His vision is one of a democratic and capitalist Middle East, something religion says nothing about. It is his left-wing pacifist critics who are slaves of a dangerous strain of heedless fanaticism.

So both leftist Christians and Islamofascist savages have left worldly considerations behind. Both are dangerous. The Muslim fanatics are of more immediate danger, but the Christian fanatics are purveyors of a more subtle poison, one that actually plays in tandem with the Muslims. At least it may be said of the Islamists that they have a robust courage, a will to power. Too bad it is a nihilistic berserker rage, leading the world back to the Dark Ages. The Christian peacenik’s is the cringing slave-morality that dignifies suicide as martyrdom, surrender as peace, appeasement as diplomacy. Beneath the veneer of self-proclaimed moral heroism there festers a moral rot, a failure of nerve. The Muslim hater of the West at least has the wolf’s sharp sense of smell: he can smell the rot of the liberal West and sees it an easy, impotent victim. The rest of us must steel ourselves to reject with contempt the whining of effete Christian liberalism if we are to draw upon the reserves of our heroic American heritage to withstand the terror-mongering Arabs as we once did their predecessors the Nazis.

So says Zarathustra.

Robert M. Price
August 2006


Copyright©2009 by Robert M Price
Spirit of Carolina Web Design