Friday the 13th in Paris

November 17, 2015

“The influence of the (Islamic) religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it.”  –  Winston Churchill

Islamic fanatics struck another blow for cynicism last Friday night in Paris; wholesale and gratuitous slaughter in the name of some sanguinary Muslim god. History teaches few lessons these days.

We say “Muslim” god because most other religions forsook ritual religious slaughter centuries ago. Indeed, the nearest historical comparison is actually political. Before contemporary jihad, the Nazis were the last imperial movement to use industrial scale pogroms to underwrite an ideological message. Ironically, the EU now opens its borders to religious fascism, more virulent than the political strain that led to the Holocaust and associated carnage of WWII. Angela Merkel and the European Union do the ironic walk of shame here.

Alas, any distinction between politics and religion in a Muslim context is now moot. Politics are mostly religious in the Ummah and dystopic religion seems to be the only relevant politics permissible in much of the Muslim world.

Indeed, the irony is compound. The most egregious exporters of religious hate and sharia bigotry are putative EU/American “partners;” or allies; i.e. Pakistan, Afghanistan, Arabia, and Persia. Withal, Europe and America are fatally impaled on the horns of the Shia/Sunni dilemma – by choice. Judeo/Christian tolerance now has all the earmarks of a suicide pact. Body counts, as Stalin prophesied, are now just another statistic.

Indeed, Islam today is both sword and shield.  Terror strikes and then retreats to sanctuary under a burka of global religious immunities. Somehow the larger bovine Muslim majority has no moral or civic responsibility for terrorists, passive aggressors (nee moderates), or those unassimilated and indigestible Muslim refugees. The EU and America are paralyzed by guilt and restraint that has no meaning for Muslim shooters and bombers. The new law of international war is now made by religious zealots while the “best” in the West assume the defensive crouch of infidel catamites.

In the after-orgy of post-Paris apologetics, few western leaders dared to mention Islam, Islamism, or the global jihad. The enemy is still the undifferentiated local, militant, terrorist, or criminal as if the ideology or motive that binds them all doesn’t matter. In the not too distant past, the threat was atomized as local phenomena like Black September, Fatah, Hamas, al Qaeda, or Boko Haram. The flavor of Islam du jour at the moment is ISIS or the Islamic state.

No matter the body count or venue, Europe and America refuse to recognize jihad as a global Islamic assault. And as with the Charlie Hebdo atrocity, the best response that Francois Hollande and France can muster now is a karaoke Marseillaise, a knee-jerk hymn to irrelevant if not discredited notions of liberté, égalité, and fraternité.

Fey responses to terror are now routine in the West. Call it cultural appropriation. Summary executions are accepted by Islamist butcher and infidel victim alike. Atrocity has been routinized, now hallmarks of 21st Century practices in the East and tolerance in the West. Suicide bombers and their victims are joined by the same moral vacuity. The former have no moral compass and the latter are loath to exert any prudence.

Excuses are epidemic. Bernie Sanders on the looney Left actually believes that global warming and ISIS are wingmen. The Sanders pronouncement is of a piece with team  Obama’s flawed assessments where ISIS has been described as the “junior varsity.”

Exaggerating a threat might be a no lose hedge but underestimating an existential threat can be fatal. Just ask Paris.

Maybe Parisians should build a monument to terror too as New York and Washington did after the Saudi Muslim attack against lower Manhattan and the Pentagon.  Appeasement, withal, seems to be the new deterrence.

For those with the attention span to notice, global Islamic terror is the most obvious symptom that globalization is not working. Democratic civility and “one-world” comity are not ascending stars, especially in the Muslim world. Societies that venerate 7th Century absolutist monoculture or cult prophets are impervious to fact or reason – much less democracy.

With the possible exception of Kurdistan and a few of the former Soviet Muslim republics, the Ummah is morphing into universal dystopic theocracy.

The quest for Islamic monoculture is facilitated by three trends: a weak or indecisive West, dishonest assessments of the threat, and a generation of leaders in the West who fail to appreciate or defend the virtue, indeed, superiority of their own culture. Indeed, of the three, the most pernicious is the last, the notion that all cultures and religious beliefs are morally equivalent.

Culture is the synergistic interplay of positive national values which allow independence, civility, cooperation, tolerance, and peaceful productivity. None of these virtues can be attributed to most of the Muslim world today. Indeed, much of the Ummah is a cesspool of human depravities. Friday the 13th in Paris is just one of too many examples.

Days before the latest Paris slaughter, the President of the United States declared unequivocally that ISIS had been “contained.” Here again we have another triumph of false hope over experience. The White House, the Pentagon, and the American Intelligence Community still treat Islamism as a public relations problem to be “managed” largely with hyperbole, wishful thinking, and domestic mendacity. The Islamists win in places like New York, London, and Paris because they understand that real victories in real wars war come from the barrel of a gun not the mouths of fools.

Huntington was correct; the “clash of civilizations” is here. If the latest Muslim massacre in France does not underline that clash, it’s difficult to imagine what kind of losses or atrocity might have to be endured to convince the West.

Immigration, nonetheless, is not the only Trojan horse in the Muslim kit. The pathologies of Islamic culture are well recorded at the expense of women, children, ethnic and non-Muslim minorities. Alas, there is no single Islamic Trojan horse; the phenomenon today is more like a diseased herd at full gallop. Allahu akbar!

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This essay appeared previously in the Small Wars Journal, November 2015.

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General Casey Strikes Out

April 28, 2010

If you gaze for too long into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.  – Friedrich Nietzsche

As Joe Lieberman (D-Conn) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) threaten to subpoena the Justice Department and the Department of Defense for information on a domestic terrorist, we might want to review the bidding on Major Hasan and the brass at the Pentagon to date.

Army General George Casey, set a new standard for flag officer pandering while making excuses for domestic terror on the Sunday talk circuit last November. On three separate networks Casey seemed to be more concerned with “diversity” than troop safety. Casey you may recall was the field commander in Iraq who, like William Westmoreland before him, was kicked upstairs, in the middle of a war, to be Army Chief of Staff. On that Sunday, Casey was seconded by the White House when the President cautioned “against jumping to conclusions until we have all the facts”. This is the same Barak Obama who had no trouble jumping to conclusions about the Cambridge Police and charging them with “stupidity” for arresting an abusive and uncooperative Harvard professor. So let’s look at those “facts” about Major Nidal Malik Hasan before we jump.

Hasan is an American citizen of Palestinian descent. He received all of his higher education at taxpayer expense in exchange for a limited tour of duty with the US Army. He is now a middle-aged field grade officer, a doctor, and psychiatrist. He spent most of his military career at the notorious Walter Reed Medical Center, in Washington, DC, counseling combat veterans. He likes to argue with patients, proselytize them, and passes out copies of the Koran. Off duty, he is fond of donning Islamic garb and patronizing a radical mosque five miles from the capital. He is an outspoken critic of the “war on terror” which he preferred to call the war on Islam – contradicting his commander-in- chief. He is known to have publicly asserted that his first loyalty was to Islam, not America. He, or his name sake, posted defenses of suicide bombers on radical Islamic web sites. He attempted and possibly contacted an iman, a jihad recruiter, linked to al Qaeda. His automobile sported a bumper sticker “Allah is Love!” His bizarre behavior was reported to his superiors to no avail. Other colleagues say they kept silent out of fears that any criticism of Hasan would violate unwritten Army rules of political correctness.

Army brass “kicked the can” and transferred Hasan to Fort Hood, Texas where he received orders for his first overseas deployment. In protest, he claimed that he could not kill other Muslims; yet, he apparently had no problem murdering kafirs (unbelievers). On 5 November he shot and killed 13 unarmed fellow soldiers, including a pregnant mother, and wounded 31 – shouting “allahu akbar” in Arabic (God is great) as the massacre progressed.

Consider those facts; but let’s not jump to any conclusions. While you’re at it, consider the litany of false narratives that have followed yet another mass killing in the name of “Allah”. First was the characterization of Hasan as a victim; a victim of trash talk and having his automobile keyed, surely a racist slur. Then there was the post traumatic stress defense (PTSD). When it was revealed that Hasan had never been deployed anywhere near combat; apologists suggested he was stressed by the stress of his patients, stress by association if you will.  And then the “lone wolf” defense appeared where solo actors apparently have an immunity from being characterized as terrorists.

Consider also the facts in the unclassified Global Terrorism Database (GTD) maintained under federal contract at the University of Maryland which now contains the gory details of over 80,000 terrorist “incidents”; yes that number is eighty thousand worldwide since 1970. Also consider the unclassified data base maintained by US State Department, Country Reports on Terrorism, which tracks annual casualty figures from terror. Those casualties have grown by a factor of 15 since tracking began. In 2008 alone  nearly 60,000 were kidnapped, killed, or injured worldwide.

And before we jump to any conclusions, we,  like Senators Lieberman and Collins, need the answers to some questions. How did Casey get to be a general? Where did he get the notion that diversity is more important than national security or the safety of the troops? How did Nadal Malik Hasan get a commission in the US Army? Who thought he should be promoted to a field grade? How does the US Army get to play “kick the can” or “pass the buck” with dangerous incompetents? And finally, how much longer do we ignore what Islamists and terrorists so obviously have in common?

Consider all of this before you come to any conclusions. And then add the Fort Hood slaughter to the data bases, those reservoirs of facts we are so keen to keep – and ignore. And then make the number of atrocities we are willing to tolerate, or excuse, eighty thousand and one.

General George Casey repeated a mantra as he made the rounds last  November; “If our diversity becomes a casualty (of the Fort Hood massacre) then that’s worse”. Worse than what, General? We want to know what in the warped world of political correctness is worse than putting a bullet through an innocent pregnant girl and 43 of her innocent fellow soldiers.

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The author is a veteran with 25 years of military service. This essay appeared in the 29 April 10 edition of Family Security Matters.