Wherein I make a million enemies

January 9, 2007 at 2:11 am (Culture, History, Idiots, International community, Leftist idiocy, The Rest, The United States, The West, War, World War III)

(Note: If I later regret writing this post, it may magically disappear.)

It is time that we realized that war is a part of human society. It is part of our very being. We humans have been fighting wars since our beginning. If one believes in evolution, we have been fighting wars even before we were humans, competing for resources and whatnot. This tendency to violence continued as our species evolved; indeed, violence is how we became dominant and is how any species becomes and remains dominant.

But this is, of course, not an issue of species. It is quite common for beings to fight with others of their kind, especially for resources (whether food, water, mate, children, area of dominance, recognition in or advancement in the pecking order, and so on) or defense (of one’s resources or one’s self, or one’s descendants and/or mate, and so on).

Since we have been fighting from the very beginning, I see no reason whatsoever why we should expect humanity today to be any different. That we fight does not change; why we fight does change.

One reason I think some people are of the opinion that we can restrain from fighting is because they exist in relatively stable societies. But very few societies of the innumerable societies around the world can be called stable. When there is stability, we can afford to refine ourselves, beating our swords into plowshares and our spears into pruninghooks. But in societies where stability has no yet settled in, one cannot afford to so let down one’s guard. Violence, regardless how common or extraordinary it may be, is still a fact of life and remains an issue of survival. We should not project our security and abilities onto those who do not have the same.

The problem with this situation is that no society is an island: every society is like a landlocked country, with inevitable and unavoidable interaction with others around it. Even if we (in The United States, for example) are secure and stable, our interactions with those (such as in Africa) who are not secure or stable means we must act accordingly: in other words, we must act according to how the others’ situation may be, not how ours is, because when we act according to their situation we will protect ourselves but when we act in a way that ignores their situation we only open up ourselves to harm.

As such, promoting tranquility within a society that can afford it is quite commendable. But projecting this ideal onto others or expecting oneself to abide by it is ridiculous.

And justice, in the realm of violence and coercion, is defined by the victor. We can imagine universal or absolute justice all we want, but the realities of the world will not change. Indeed, we should work to establish situations such that the ideal of justice, as we envision it, can flourish, but we should not be too concerned whether such-and-such campaign or act was just or unjust. For one thing, these issues are decided long after the fact, and the other point is that we often ignore what is just or proper for our own safety, security, and defense. Justice is a double-edged sword: those clamoring for us to be just should demand the same of our enemies with equal vehemence.

We must also realize that laws hold only so much sway over the battlefield. It is quite commendable that we have rules of engagement, laws on war, definitions of crimes against humanity, and so on. But, really, in a way this makes no sense. Wars are fought to be won; combatants use any resource to achieve this goal. It is only in modern times that we have even begun entertaining the notion of restraint or human rights. This is not to say that we should ignore such issues, but that we pay too much attention to them sometimes. If we fight, we should fight to win. Unless there is a reason, we should not allow ourselves to be tied down. It is wrong–wrong, I say–to us, to our people, to our civilization, and even to our enemies and their civilizations or quasi-civilizations to permit a campaign of violence to prolong itself simply because doing what must be done to end it would be considered unjust. (As an example, Truman’s dropping of two atomic bombs was not only appropriate but the right thing to do. One can argue that if he did not do it, he could be held liable for World War II’s Pacific theatre’s prolonged nature and the damage to The United States thereby. A swift, decisive end and victory benefited all sides.)

I refuse to entertain the notion, for example, that a war can be legal or illegal. A war is a war. Period. Judging a war’s legality is quite ridiculous. It’s almost like deciding whether gravity is legal in one instance but illegal in another. People who appeal to this aspect are idiots, in my mind. The same will not be done in the various many other wars being fought or that have been fought. Such “concerned” people are wont to be very selective as to which wars or armed campaigned will be brought in for judgment. Such self-serving high-handed hypocrisy is unacceptable: I condemn it and the high horses its perpetrators rode in on.

What frustrates me is how utterly silly we must seem to our enemies. Here we are, fighting for our survival, all the while bickering over petty rules and issues. Despite all of our strength and potential, we fight with both hands and one leg tied down. What a silly image we must seem to our enemies, our enemies who are in the grip of the state of nature and use all artifices of bloody tooth and nail with nary a regret or thought. We try to fight them on our terms while they continue to fight us on their terms.

And, what is more, we allow ourselves to be drawn into double standards. Our enemies, their sympathizers, and various observers shout and scream about excesses and abuses of human rights and illegal campaigns and imperialism and so on, and so forth, and yet these very same people refuse to be held accountable for similar abuses on their part. Why is it that something we do is wrong but when done by another, it cannot be condemned? Quite simply, they know what we value and they hold us to it. They do not value the same and so do not accept being held to it. But we have critics aplenty amongst ourselves: anyone who criticizes us based on our values and standards must be prepared to adopt them and apply the same to his/her own actions. After all, is this not fair? If one is not prepared to do so, one should shut up. We have no need for their irrelevant and foreign voices – foreign to our ways, values, standards, and morals. Let them settle their own affairs, or else permit us to likewise meddle. We will handle our own moral issues, thankyouverymuch. We don’t need anyone’s help.
I say all of this because I am becoming increasingly annoyed by how reluctant we in The West are becoming to engaging the enemy in the way we must. In this I include some of my brothers and sisters on The Right. (The Left is beyond reasoning: they fight and are militant for all the wrong reasons. But at least they recognize the fact that violence in part of humanity. Well, the radicals do.) Fighting is in our blood. We have to do it. We have no choice. If we lay down our arms, we will be overrun by every tinhat dictator and his dog.

Sometimes I desire to shake such idealistic people and say unto them: Wake up! Look at the world! Look at what we really are!

I recognize we in The West are different. This should impact how we interact with others in The West. But we would be very foolish to assume that we can or ought to behave similarly with those who do not share our values and standards. They are implacable and unchangeable: only when we overwhelm them and make them adopt our values and standards, whether they want to or not, can we behave civilly with them.

Wise as serpents, my friends; wise as serpents.

Does this make sense?

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19 Comments

  1. Curt said,

    Very wise, it makes perfect sense. It is dynamic writing like this that makes Muslihoon one of my favorite blogs.

  2. Wickedpinto said,

    I think less “dynamic” and more “descriptive” also, he has “contextual” understanding, making his point more valid.

    It is less about HOW he writes, and more about WHAT HE KNOWS!

  3. Wickedpinto said,

    A quick story.

    I was nearly NJP’d while I was in the Marine Corps, I had a VERY kind and thoughtful Company commander who assigned me a “class” prior to my imminent NJP for UA (AWOL for army, UA for Marines) and my company commander attended. She (yes she) wanted to see how I handled it.

    I opened up my “class” (it is a class, it’s a 30 minute method of education) and I said, “I just became LCpl (wickedpinto) for the second time thanks to my command, and I was trusted, and I failed twice in 2 weeks, I won’t be giving you any excuses, but I will be giving you reasons that I should PVT (wickedpint) again. I enlisted 3 years ago, I gave my life, my effort and my hope of success to others who are not me. I dropped out of college, I joined open contract, and I have already been court-martialed because I forgot that at times.

    I’m not asking for sympathy, I FUCKED UP! I KNOW what I’m supposed to do, and I fucked up and I deserved it. If the nation needed you right now, and you were UA? What could be done? NOTHING!!! YOU let them down, just like I would have, had that same situation occured. As an example, if you were supposed to be home at 8, and didn’t show up until 9, and your wife, mother, eldest daughter fell asleep and there was a fire? What excuse do you have?

    Our job is NOT! to fix electronics, our job is not to have a good life, and dance happily each celibration, It is our job to stand strong against foreign enemies the rest of our nation doesn’t understand.

    It is our job to defend (I used 280 million as a reference in 1998) 280 million people who don’t really care about us, and don’t really know who we are, but because of what it is we do, they are safe. It might not be much for the boots, but it should be, your job is not to repair electronics but rather to stand in the stead of others so that 280 million others can rest without nightmares this evening, and not even THINK of us, or them or the enemy.

    I (absolutely true) “ma’am, May I remove my rank now?”

    Absolutely true. and I didn’t remove my rank, I actually added to it later.

  4. S. Weasel said,

    It’s very, very hard for those of us born in the latter part of the 20th Century to wrap our heads around the scale of horror the West visited on itself in the earlier part of the 20th Century. There are places in Russia where so many died there was no-one left to scavenge the dead, let alone bury them, and scuffing the undergrowth is still likely to kick up soldiers’ bones and soldiers’ kit. In the South of England, you could look up to see a thousand (a thousand) warplanes in the sky at one time, headed for the Continent. Eventually, people stopped going to the shelters in London during air raids. What was the point? Death came so often and so casually to civilians and soldiers alike that ultimately the importance of every individual life was devalued and diminished.

    That’s what set the stage for the modern West. Problem is, both sides derive their argument from it. Both sides believe that we must never let a war so vast happen again, certainly not in a nuclear age. One side thinks the way to do that is for all of us to pool our resources and smack down aggressive and irresponsible nations at the earliest sign of trouble. The other side thinks we must never fight, no matter how provoked — we must continue to negotiate and talk until the other side lays down their arms at last.

    The latter approach (kind of) worked during the Cold War, as the neither Russia nor the US had any desire to go up in flames. But who knows what radical Islamists really believe and what they’re willing to risk? Our best hope is that their men at the top are more cynical and driven by ambition (this we understand) than they are devout (this is, to us, indistinguishable from madness).

    (Musli, you’ll have to work a LOT harder at it to make enemies. This was an eminently sensible post).

  5. mysteryofiniquity said,

    I agree one hundred percent with this post. (And thank you wickedpinto for defending our rights, no matter how it gets done!!)

    Muslihoon writes;
    “Our enemies, their sympathizers, and various observers shout and scream about excesses and abuses of human rights and illegal campaigns and imperialism and so on, and so forth, and yet these very same people refuse to be held accountable for similar abuses on their part.”

    This is the main point. When other societies refuse to or are not able to follow the rules of a peaceful society, you must use the same means they employ to “convince” them to be a peaceful society. But, like you, I believe war is simply a fact of life and must be dealt with as it is: war. No politics, no “rules.”

    Good post!

  6. Fernando Martinez said,

    Why aren’t you commenting on show’s like New’s and Note’s on NPR? Or Face the Nation? We are in need of a voice like your’s. A fresh, powerful clear voice that will shock and awe. Your words, “If we fight, we should fight to win”. They are almost magical. Here, here!

  7. Michael said,

    Does this make sense?

    Well, yeah, but what does this have to do with the hotness of Jessica Alba?

  8. bugsngasgal said,

    The spoiled, comfortable people of the West are incapable of stepping outside of their worldview to understand the alien mindsets and alternate realities that exist in much of the rest of the world. We are so wedded to propriety and niceties that we are helpless against those who use those weaknesses against us. The adversary suffers from no such foolishness; they are stronger in that respect because they can manipulate many Westerners in the war of ideas.

    What we seem to have trouble with is understanding that while it may be important to maintain civility, rules, and decorum, that is not as important as doing whatever it takes to utterly strip the adversary of all possible capacity to ever threaten you again.

  9. Mahsheed said,

    “Wise as serpents, my friends; wise as serpents.”

    You forget “but innocent as doves”. This is very disappointing talk to hear coming from a Christian, my friend.

  10. dicentra said,

    You forget “but innocent as doves”. This is very disappointing talk to hear coming from a Christian, my friend.

    We in the West have got the Harmless As Doves routine down pat, but we have abandoned the wise part. Musli reminds us that we need both. Until you can find me a New Testament prophet who is on record saying that we ought to allow our enemies to destroy us by force of arms in order to comply with the Harmless As Doves clause, I will take it to mean that we ought not go a-conquering for the spoils or for the thrill of bloodsport, which is what war throughout the ages has mostly been about. Sport and spoils. Period.

    Musli, you’re dead on about how we spoiled, spoiled Westerners don’t get how incredibly rare civil society is and how easily it can be lost to apathy and indifference. We don’t get that there will always be barbarians at the gates who desire nothing more than to Take Our Stuff and Grind Us Under Their Heels, if not from greed then from the blackest of envies.

    In a fascinating interview on Hewitt the other day, Thomas Barnett observes what happens when part of the world becomes highly prosperous because of its interconnectedness and another part of the world decides to take a short-cut to catch up.

    Leninism offered a catch up strategy. It was kind of the extreme dictatorship by a single party, and rapid industrialization. In effect, Lenin took Marx and turned him on his head. Marx thought that capitalism was going to self destruct at the height of its creative powers. When that didn’t happen, say, in the failed socialist revolution in Germany, Lenin said no, we’ve got to go back in time, and we’ve got to catch a country before it becomes too capitalistic. Mao did one better than Lenin and said no, we’ve got to go back and catch them while they’re still in the villages. And what we’re looking at now with the radical Salafi jihadist movement is again, even another attempt to go further back in time, and make the argument that you really want to catch up and surpass the evil infidel, in this instance, life of the capitalist West. You’ve got to go back to a perfect time defined as roughly the 7th Century, the first two or three centuries after the life of the prophet Mohammed.

    Nihil novum sub sole. Just now we’ve got nukes, so we can annihilate everyone instead of just the neighboring tribe.

    [Closed blockquote. -Musli.]

  11. dicentra said,

    Oops. Forgot to close the blockquote. That last paragraph is me.

  12. Muslihoon said,

    Fixed it for ya, dicentra.

  13. Mahsheed said,

    There are just wars and unjust wars, so Christianity is not a pacifist religion. But the context of Muslihoon’s argument is that we should do whatever it takes to win, in other words, that the ends justify the means. He even approves of dropping atomic bombs.

    Put not your trust in princes or horses.

  14. geoff said,

    But the context of Muslihoon’s argument is that we should do whatever it takes to win, in other words, that the ends justify the means

    You haven’t characterized the penalties for losing. Or the penalties that derive from deferring the fight until a later day.

  15. Wickedpinto said,

    Wars are wars, just and unjust is ALWAYS based on ideology, to act otherwise is a LIE!

    A BLATANT AND INDIFFERENT LIE!!!

  16. Purple Avenger said,

    This is very disappointing talk to hear coming from a Christian, my friend.

    Well, this is what you’re going to get when we’ve run out of cheeks to turn my friend.

  17. Mahsheed said,

    To hear you all talk it would seem that it is the religious right who is anti-war and not the secular left. As if anyone will buy our claiming our cowardice has really been Christian forgiveness. Haha.

    All the Western values worth defending are derived from the Christian faith (Judeo-Christian heritage). We cannot defend these values by abandoning them; this is impossible. By doing that we will already have lost.

    And let’s be clear. You’re really talking about defending ourselves but doing whatever it takes–torture, detaining prisoners without due process, counter-terrorism, dropping bombs, nuking them all to the stone-age.

    That’s all I have to say.

  18. blackflag said,

    Mansheed,
    I wouldnt say that he right or “pro-war” as much as I would say it is “pro-victory”. If you are going to commit to a conflict then pursue it with all your might, the time for diplomacy is over when the first shot is fired. The primary method of winning wars is too remove the capabilty and/or desire to make war from your opponents. We have yet to do that and our Politicians may see to it that we never do. The “secular left” statement really cracks me up, the “Left” arent typically secular. The Left typically believe in multi-culturalism and mistakenly think that thier own culture would survive under Sharia Law, therein in lies their primary fault.

    Let me address this:
    “And let’s be clear. You’re really talking about defending ourselves but doing whatever it takes–torture, detaining prisoners without due process, counter-terrorism, dropping bombs, nuking them all to the stone-age.”

    That statement is a nice grab for the slander brush right out of the Lefty Political Playbook.

    You claim torture but you don’t definewhat torture is, what is it? Sleep deprivation? Beheading? What? Got any proof?

    You claim “detaining prisoners without due process” but who are these prisoners and why are they deserving of “due process”. Are they American citizens and subject to the protections of the US Constitution or are they Saudi nationals captured on the field of battle in Somalia?

    “Counter Terrorism”, why yes, lets quadruple our efforts by all means.

    “Dropping bombs”, yes, this tends to happen during an armed conflict.

    “Nuking them all to the stone-age.”, Nuking who? And to what end?

    There are organized armed groups of Muslims waging Jihad on every major inhabited continent in the World. They all share the same militant Salafist ideology with very little deviation, everywhere Muslim lands meet non-muslim lands there is War being waged.. and this is the fualt of the West in what way?

    The basic tennant of life is:

    “The strong will always overcome the weak.”

    Think about that for a minute, “someone” will always be in charge and it’s typically the guy with the most military might at his disposal, so it has always been and so it shall always be. There is no “peace”, only the absence of warfare.

    Other than that I think your just trolling but I thought I’d answer before I logged off for the evening.

  19. Mahsheed said,

    Blackflag,

    You’ve basically restated the original post and comments.

    “The basic tennant of life is:
    “The strong will always overcome the weak.”
    Think about that for a minute, “someone” will always be in charge and it’s typically the guy with the most military might at his disposal, so it has always been and so it shall always be. There is no “peace”, only the absence of warfare.”

    The power of the Cross is the power of the weak over the strong.

    For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:
    “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
    the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

    Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.

    Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”

    (1 Corinthians 1: 18-31)

    You have lost sight of God. It is not about being pacificist or refusing to see a threat. It is about trusting in God to get us through this. In so far as we try to fight without faith in God and adherance to His Laws then we will lose and all our fancy technologies will not help us. They will not help us because God will not help us.

    The coming clash will force us to choose: do we want to be God’s children or His slaves? For if we will not have God as our Father then we must have Him as our master.

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