Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Comment on The Belmont Club,

Regarding Pooh-Key-Stahn, one of the annoying things about Islamists and Islamic States is found in a hypocrisy that may be at the core of Islam. The very word of the faith means submission and that by definition should imply a selflessness. By western standards if you are being selfless then you are are at least as aware of the needs of others as you are of your own. That has no connection with our experience of Islam in practice and it is directly related to the conduct of the Pakistanis that puts them on a path of confrontation with the United States. In Islam you demonstrate your submission by thinking only of the will of Allah, to the exclusion of the needs or interests of other human beings. That will that you must submit to is as defined by the words and deeds of one human being as interpreted by a very narrow elite. What Allah wants is for you to obtain, by any means necessary, the submission of others, without regard for their interests or concerns and without consideration that they are as much examples of God's creation and will as are you or any other person, past or present.

The result of that is that minor conflicts or impediments to a person's will, when that will is to compel the submission of others, are elevated into major conflicts and used for unending self serving grievance and the justification of violence. To a Western observer that is the height of selfishness and makes the claim of submission to a transcendent will hypocritical. It also means that real concerns even existential threats faced by another are discounted. Allah does not command you to worry about the problems of an infidel.

Unlike what the Left and the Democrats and the Islamists believe, the United States did not go into these wars the way the British acquired their Empire, "in a fit of absent mindedness." We are dealing with a real threat that is determined confront us on an existential level. If our presence in AfPak was merely a failed effort to corner the opium crop and chase the local versions of Pancho Villa around for the newsreels then we could declare defeat or victory or sell our interests to the Chinese, who if they ever get control will prove far more brutal than the US in suppressing an Islamist threat, and simply leave.

The expectation that we would get tired and go away made it a reasonable bet for the Pakistanis to offer sanctuary to the Taliban and turn a blind eye towards al-Qaeda. The fact that the US cannot walk away and leave the Taliban and al-Qaeda to reconstitute, and that India will also now see this threat as rising to a level of life and death, is a revelation to them. By aligning with China against India and with the Taliban and al-Qaeda against the US (hoping to keep the latter pointed at Afghanistan while they alternately dance and maneuver within Pakistan) the Pakistanis have painted themselves into a box.

Bush-Cheney refused to accept the traditional Social Worker model of dealing with dysfunctional threats as discrete events to be isolated and administered in an unending series of processes. They kicked over the green tables and insisted that the game of plausible deniability and perpetual conflict was over. Iraq could not use the open sore of the Palestinian grievances to give cover to Saddam's aggressions. The Iranians could no longer use the perpetual conflict with the Sunni and the Jews to give cover to their aggressions. The Taliban could no longer use the threat of instability caused by Iran to cover for their giving haven to al-Qaeda. The Pakistanis could no longer use the conflict in Afghanistan to enable their support of terrorism in India and nuclear proliferation. Even when the players could point at long standing rivalries we knew the problems were linked.

The Left, the academics, pundits and diplomats have made a nice living for decades off these conflicts, at the end of the day and a well catered conference the summary of the summary of the executive report on any problem read "Blame America and the Jews," and they labored mightily to restore the consensus that existed before 9-11. It did not work before and it will not work now. Existential threats must be faced. The Indians can not accept atomic weapons in the hands of al-Qaeda. The Americans can not accept atomic weapons in the hands of al-Qaeda or I would think Iran. The Israelis can not accept atomic weapons in the hands of Iran or its agents. The Israelis can not accept Europeans telling them to divide their capital and bow their necks before the knife. They have nothing to lose by saying "No."

The Left seeks in an Alynskite tactic to generate conflicts between democratic regimes, knowing that others will pay the costs. They had gotten a local indictment issued in England against Tzipi Livni , the former Israeli Justice Minister/ Now in better days if a functionary of one nations government so deliberately presumed to insult the sovereignty and therefor the people of another government it would have lead to a rupture in relations and a demand, not a request, for an apology. Wars do start this way. If anyone doubts that then I suggest they look up "The War of Jenkin's Ear" for what Her Majesty's Government once took seriously. For an American example of how seriously a nation can and should take a threat or interference consider the "Zimmerman Dispatch" or the "XYZ Affair." Should the Israelis respond by sinking a British warship or destroying an embassy? That is not how they have done things, although as the USS Liberty incident showed they would rather engage in combat than risk a defeat, but the Leader writers of the Grauniad look forward to the day they do.

Now the EU is presuming to tell the Israelis to give up half of Jerusalem. Apparently the staff in Brussels are now serving as pro bono lawyers for the PA. The Israelis could start issuing some indictments of their own, or even start issuing Letters of Marque and Reprisal.

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