What’s Wrong with the World

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What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

What "Fighting Them Over There" Really Means

Via Rod Dreher:

Islamic extremists embedded in the United States — posing as Hispanic nationals — are partnering with violent Mexican drug gangs to finance terror networks in the Middle East, according to a Drug Enforcement Administration report.

"Since drug traffickers and terrorists operate in a clandestine environment, both groups utilize similar methodologies to function ... all lend themselves to facilitation and are among the essential elements that may contribute to the successful conclusion of a catastrophic event by terrorists," said the confidential report, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times.

The 2005 report outlines an ongoing scheme in which multiple Middle Eastern drug-trafficking and terrorist cells operating in the U.S. fund terror networks overseas, aided by established Mexican cartels with highly sophisticated trafficking routes.

These terrorist groups, or sleeper cells, include people who speak Arabic, Spanish and Hebrew and, for the most part, arouse no suspicion in their communities. (Sara Carter, Washington Times for August 8, 2007)

Now, some of us who have taken the measure of the jihad, perceiving in it the nature of an existential threat to the very substance of our civilization, albeit one which will require time to ripen, have contemplated this very possibility for some time. In fact, we might even asseverate that this possibility suggests itself upon consideration of the entities involved: it is in the nature of clandestine organizations, even those that, like some Islamic groups, observe a decentralized, "leaderless resistance" style of organization, that they not concern themselves overmuch with the objectives of partners. Provided that there is sufficient overlap at the point of meeting, and provided, further, that there exist no immediate and overt conflicts of aim, collaboration can occur. That some nationals of Islamic nations may easily pass themselves off as Latin Americans only adds to the synergy.

However, the more profound aspects of this little revelation (or, rather, confirmation) are to be located in the overall geopolitical environment. Grasping this necessitates a brief detour through the clouds of propaganda that surround the citadels of American policy. One of the once-potent rhetorical tropes of the Bush administration and its enablers was that "We are fighting them over there so that we don't have to fight them here." Or, in the words of a T-shirt promoted on the website of the American Spectator,, "He's fighting them over there, so that they won't CUT OFF YOUR HEAD over here." In other words, we had to drain the swamps of authoritarian governance -in which we were complicit - which stifled the natural yearnings for freedom of the people of the Middle East, impelling them towards extremism as a perverse displacement of their desire for Western freedom and consumerism. Within their hearts and breasts burned the longing for liberty, the desire of every human heart, implanted there by God as a universal rule for political organization.

The hidden term of the "argument" for this policy was that the American strategy of openness would not be interrogated; global integration, inclusive of the free movement of people, would continue and intensify. The only remedy, therefore, for so-called "Islamofascism" could be the conversion of the Islamic world to our way of life, removing the ostensibly artificial and contingent differences which engendered such hostility, making possible the integrated, mobile, multicultural world order which was the final cause of history. The 'solution' to the problem of Islamic terror, of jihad, was not so much defense as a wider, evangelistic modernity.

Moreover, concurrent with the unfolding of the war on a military tactic of weaker powers, there came a determined push, on the part of the American establishment, to legitimize an immigration status-quo that embodied that fantasy of openness. The 'free movement of labour' was an integral element of that strategy of openness; global integration entailed not only the spread of the Western economic paradigm and the Western mode of political and cultural organization, but the movement of people, without which that economic paradigm could not function, without which Western elites would betray their belief in nondiscrimination and equality as regulative principles. So far from questioning the rationale for a "come as you are, however you get here" immigration policy, the establishment sought merely to retroactively legitimate a policy of chaos, because it was a policy of openness, which is very valuable, for a number of reasons.

The threat of Islamic terror could not prompt a questioning of immigration policy, because openness was deemed inviolable from the beginning. It was deemed holy. To touch it, in the sense of traducing it and advocating its revision, was akin to reaching out to touch the Ark of the Covenant: to turn from the glorious global future was to choose a sort of death, in the minds of these folks.

Now, the FBI concedes that the nemeses of these two strands of openness fetishization have converged; and the real meaning of that old rhetorical trope is disclosed: We fight them over there, because we will, indeed, must, have them over here; not having them here would be akin to them failing to emulate us over there, and so they simply must become like us, so that they will not fight us. We will succeed because we must. A failure to pursue openness would be unthinkable, unforgivable. We must succeed, and they must change, because we will not change.

Comments (6)

Sometimes it's a bummer to be right in one's predictions.

Indeed it is. Nevertheless, it is even more of a bummer to be misruled by such a government. Whether Steve Sailer's "Invade the world; invite the world", or Daniel Larison's "Immigration, imperialism, insolvency", the American establishment privileges a geo-politico-economic daydream over the common defense of actual Americans.

And they have taught many Americans to embrace this betrayal, by dissembling it as reverence for American institutions such as the military, and fidelity to the myth of America as a land of opportunity.

Feh. And regardless of the outcome of the 2008 presidential election, the foreign policy element of this strategy of openness will change only at the margins. And certain 'conservatives' will renew their dalliance with interventionist Democrats; some of them are already 'learning to live' with the prospect of Hillary or Obama in the White House. This institutional bias towards interventionism is the reason, incidentally, why immigration is the wedge issue that holds the most promise of shifting the political consensus: opponents of the current immigration regime have accomplished more than opponents of the war, not least because in immigration the consequences of openness are that much more visceral to the average American.

I think, too, that the average American feels that he has more epistemic access to the relevant factors in the case of immigration. Here I think he may be right, though I think conservatives are also too diffident about disagreeing with military action. Anyway, people can tell more readily that they are being sold a lot of nonsense on immigration.

What I cannot understand is the present administration's intransigence on immigration. Within _days_ of Bush's reelection, _this_ was the issue he was closeted with John McCain about. Not any of the life issues. Not any of the issues for which his grassroots people had knocked themselves out. No, it was "immigration reform."

Now, you may be right that there is something quasi-religious that explains the attitude. But another theory is that Bush simply has had a bad conscience about not enforcing immigration laws. He can't bring himself to do it, because it would involve not being "nice." He's just too darned soft-hearted on America soil. Yet he knows this means he's more or less aiding and abetting scofflaws, and it bugs him. So amnesty is a way to sort of "make it all all right," to make him feel like he's doing something about the issue rather than _merely_ refusing to enforce any sort of border security.

It was the immigration issue that finally opened my eyes to see what a complete fraud Bush is, as well as what humbug most of the current political establishment is.

Lydia wrote:
"you may be right that there is something quasi-religious that explains the attitude. But another theory is that Bush simply has had a bad conscience about not enforcing immigration laws. He can't bring himself to do it, because it would involve not being "nice." "

I'm sure Bush would love to allow Bangladeshis,
Tanzanians and Egyptians to underbid Americans for
jobs, but his relationship with Mexicans is on
entirely different quality.

How often Bush waxes poetic about "great" Indian
programmers and Chinese importers?

With Mexicans it is entirely different.

The sum of what Bush is really saying:

1. Hispanics are good people, their virtues make them
a great addition to America, a Hispanicized America
will be a better and more human America, and these are
compelling reason to keep bringing in as many Hispanic
immigrants as we can.

2. But many Americans, out of deep-seated racial
prejudice, dislike Hispanics, do not appreciate their
goodness, and resent their growing presence in
America; and this resentment against Hispanics is what
drives the opposition to the bill. The opponents have
no real arguments. All their supposed arguments
against the bill are just rationalizations for their
racial bigotry.

3. Bush is persuaded that points (1) and (2) are the
central and defining issues of this debate, and
therefore determined to make them the center of his
message and push them as hard as he can.

Of course many U.S. politicians support open borders,
but Bush is unique. With other politicians, it's more
of an abstraction. Only Bush pushes open borders out
of a specific love for Hispanics as Hispanics and his
desire that America be Hispanicized.

It comes down to this: Bush adores Hispanics, as good,
human people, and he dislikes white Americans, as
nasty, prejudiced people.

The president's sales pitch includes this: "Growing up
in Texas you recognize the decency and hard work and
humanity of Hispanics."

He does not refer to other ethnics in the same terms.

Here is from a Texas gent (commenter at Mr. Auster site) who knows an environment
down there:
"Throughout his life, Bush has been exposed to nice
Mexicans. At the lower end, there were probably nice
maids and ranch hands who helped out around the place
and, in their way, helped raise him. For all I know,
the Mexican maids were nicer to him than his mother,
who is a formidable woman. At the upper end, there
were the elegant, erudite, fun and mind-bogglingly
rich Mexican oligarchs with whom his father did
business and politics, and whose playboy children
would have been some of Bush's playmates in his
partying days. He just likes Mexicans. I think he
likes them better than Americans. The Mexican
functionaries he meets are a lot more like the people
he goes hunting with in Texas (some are the same
people) than any of his geek Washington advisers. Like
many people I know in Texas, he is very comfortable
with Mexican culture seen through a tex-mex lens. I
like it myself, and I am a sworn enemy of the Mexican
government. Bush probably has better memories overall
of relations with Mexicans throughout his life than he
does with Americans. I would bet that while his
personal experiences of his fellow Americans have been
good and bad, his experiences of Mexicans have been
almost all good from his point of view. He won't see
the bad in Mexico; he hasn't experienced it and,
anyway, to criticize Mexico on social or cultural
grounds would be racist. Not gonna happenЂ¦ Bush also
has those Mexican in-laws, and his half-Mexican
nephew, who for years now has been an explicitly
Hispanic political campaigner. He may well see all
those Mexicans as potential George P. votes down the
road. His family is more important to him than all
those other Americans he doesn't know, and he believes
that Bushes ruling America is exactly as it should be.
The family solidarity of the Bushes, in public and
private life, reminds me more than a little of those
same Mexican oligarchs, although the Bushes are not as
rich as the Mexican top tier. "

It all makes perfect sense to me. A deep emotional
attachment of a limited, unexamined but
self-righteous man.

I agree. Hispanics ARE good people. Doesn't mean I want the entire population of Latin America, or even a significant fraction of it, to come here. Numbers count. You want immigrants? Fine, but I won't agree until you tell me how many.

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