What’s Wrong with the World

The men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark.


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

Cleaning house.

So it looks as though, having first fitfully embraced the Jihad by means of democracy, Palestine will consummate this union by simple brute force. Hamas, a forthright agent of the Jihad, is swiftly conquering Gaza, dispossessing the nationalist organization Fatah; and in a kind of microcosm of Western impotence, we see Nationalism, a thing basically understood by the West, overthrown by Religion, a thing made mysterious to by our folly of forgetfulness — overthrown first by Westerns mechanisms such as elections and other democratic forms, and then by means of Western technology. We have before us, in short, Democracy and Progress.

Western impotence, my friends, is something that in my judgment amounts to simply a fact we have to confront. By that I mean merely this: the Jihad is older and deeper than most of us realized at first, and even today many influential people are still in a position of the most brassbound and reactionary denial about it. The Jihad will not soon be changed or defeated, much less broken and discredited, by any craft we here possess. We cannot introduce Permanent Revolution into the strange ferment of piety and radicalism in the Dar al-Islam: and expect to profit from the consequences of that toxic brew. We can hardly predict those consequences, much less exploit them toward a just peace.

What we can do, perhaps, is stand our ground in the Dar al-Harb — the house of war, our lands, where Islam is not ascendant, but into which Muslims continue to filter, most for perfectly understandable and even noble reasons, but far too many for reasons of insurrection and terror. Spain, let us say, is not yet an Islamic outpost: but many on both sides of this contest expect Spain to become one, perhaps even within the lifetime of the rising generation. This catastrophe we should set our minds and our policy against with the fullest vigor and resolve. The Republic of France, often the object of our jests and barbs, has recently taken demonstrable if insufficient steps, hard on the heels of petty insurrections in the banlieues, toward a wholesome realism; and she ought to be supported and praised. Here in our own land, the drift of prejudice, and the hardening of even reflective opinion, is in my observation decisively in the right direction: that is, toward intransigent opposition to the Jihad, toward deep suspicion of its enablers, and toward a healthy and necessary skepticism of the whole culture and religion from which it has emerged. An example of this: Last summer I had occasion to present some of the proud Liberals of my acquaintance and relation, with drafts of several of the more strident chapters in a book written against the Jihad (publication date still unknown). These old Democrats and young progressives, whom I expected to return to me with fire in their bellies, reproaches for my temerity, and distress at my intolerance, instead returned sullen and resigned, but in agreement. Digging further into this happy surprise of agreement, I discovered that for some the Cartoon Jihad had effected the hardening of opinion, for others the silence of official Islam, for still others the palpable dissimulation of some spokesmen of Islam — whatever the specific impetus, the result was the same: they had had it with the Islamic religion, and were quite through with all the platitudes that have long fettered any discussion on the subject.

So, if the reader will permit me to carry through a metaphor, not of my making: we have our own house to attend to, which is the house that the Jihad craves to bring under its dominion by whatever means available. There may be some reason, in the course of defending our house from razzias and revolts and usurpations, for calculated interference of a destabilizing character in the enemy’s house. For instance, while the Democracy in Palestine Project is clearly a failure on its own terms, for democracy has not hindered our enemy but helped him attain power, and has not advanced liberty unless liberty be confused with anarchy — yet it is not obvious to me why we should now join the chorus of diplomats and analysts pining for “stability” in that unfortunate land. Leaving the factions butcher one another, while plainly ruinous for the inhabitants of Palestine, will at least shift the focus of bloodletting to the Dar al-Islam itself. Even the smoothest PR-men for the Palestinians sounded a little ridiculous blaming their civil war on Israel and the West, which together gave the Palestinians the means to conduct real wars for real things like a State.

But I think the important thing this: Before we can advance our resistance to the Jihad from a basically defensive posture — which is all we are really capable of now — to a more robust and healthy offensive one, we must cleanse ourselves of the crippling errors, misperceptions, delusions and rationalisms, which we have taken hold of in our minds. The principle of Democracy should be set aside, or at least reduced to an emphatically instrumental place. We favor democracy — to the extent that it weakens our enemy or strengthens our friends. The principle of Pluralism should be similarly demoted, because its effect on our house, which again is where we must focus, is to weaken our unity against the Jihad. Above all we have give the public discourse of the Republic free range over the subject of the Islamic religion, without cringing in the face of the various prepackaged invectives that our enemy and his dupes make such ready use of.

Such a “free range” of inquiry will likely expose what was plain to the men of the West long ago: that the Jihad is native to the primitive tradition of Islam and not a recent innovation; that it derives from the actions and teachings of the Prophet, whose example is unimpeachable in Islamic doctrine; and that its success as an instrument of conquest and subjugation is unparalleled in the history of the world.

Comments (3)

This post by Hugh Fitzgerald seems to me well worth reading.


I especially appreciate the following paragraphs:

"Let’s get this straight. There is no difference in the ultimate goal of Fatah or of Hamas. Both want Israel as a Jewish state to disappear. They both know it is wrong, unjust, contra naturam, for Infidels, and especially the Jews, to possess land that was once ruled by Muslims. This is especially true of the Jews, who are so despised in the Islamic world for being weak, and are the special focus of hatred. ...

The difference is in tactics. Fatah’s Mahmoud Abbas, loyal collaborator for decades with Yassir Arafat, behind the mild-mannered generally-accepted-accounting-principles suit-and-tie demeanor, is a firm supporter of terrorism in the past and in the present too, if the targets are the right ones. He believes that it will take patience. It will take a longer effort to soften Israel up, by continuing to weaken Israel economically and diplomatically, and militarily by pushing it back to the 1949 Armistice Lines which -- for god’s sake, just look at a map, and just imagine you are in the IDF and trying to plan to defend the population of Israel in this 1949 armistice lines, lines which the Arabs themselves always refused to make permanent.

Hamas, on the other hand, doesn’t want to wait. It wants not to chip away at Israel, not to slowly reduce it to conquerable proportions, but to subject it to military attack right now. It might consider a very temporary hudna or truce, but only so long as everyone is clear, including the Israelis, that it is temporary. And it is amusing to see how indignant Hamas becomes when Israel seems ill-disposed toward such an idea. Mahmoud Abbas himself can’t understand why, given how little is demanded of him by the outside world, and given how eager every Infidel government seems to be to ignore his real nature and the real goals of Fatah and of all the 'Palestinians,' Hamas remains so stubbornly, shoot-yourself-in-the-foot pur et dur. But there it is."

(Me again.) In other words, Fatah is nationalist only in the same sense that all those guys are nationalist--in aiming to drive the Jews into the sea ultimately and claim all of what they call "Palestine," including Israel, for Islam.

I think that all of this in-fighting is an obvious opportunity to call, not for "stabilization," as in stopping these guys from fighting each other, but for an end to all the ridiculous talk of a Palestinian state. There are plenty of people unfit to govern themselves, but most of them are de facto citizens of some country or other, and some do govern themselves. We have here an unusual opportunity to say, "Huh. Here are these people *self-evidently* totally unfit to govern themselves. How about if the 'international community' _doesn't_ go giving them a sovereign state? Sounds like a good idea."

It seems to me, however, that politicians are always locked into their own games. Having chosen to play an elaborate Let's Pretend, setting up the "Palestinians" with a quasi-state and a quasi-government, now that the whole thing is descending into chaos, they don't know how to find the rewind button. They have to keep acting like it's really a state and like we have to find some way to "stabilize" it.

This notion of Western impotence is odd to me. We have been far too willing in our foreign policy to act recklessly, basically on the supposition this shows our machismo. For example, it is easy for our military to topple a government, the difficult part is rebuilding the country into something workable. In Iraq we did not make any realistic assessment of what it would take to reconstruct the society. The consequences of that failure is what we have now, a war that has weakened us and empowered our enemies.

I linked this article over at RR, but it is worth repeating.

In Palestine, whatever pretense of democracy was made, the political identity of the Palestinians was formed and irrevocably shaped by the PLO. Since this group was hostile to the very principle of governance, the Palestinians were unable to create a new identity when given the chance. I don't know what the solution to that could have been, how they could have made that transition. What I do know is that it was a tragedy for the Palestinians to have Arafat as their leader. The final peace deal he turned down, which was the literally last minute offer that would grant real Palestinian autonomy, showed he was too afraid to take the personal risks involved.

I further disagree with an overly inflated view of the enemy. To state that Islam is an instrument of conquest and subjugation unparalleled in the history of the world must compare the historical record. The Roman Empire held about 4 million slaves at its height and conquered a quarter of the total human population. The Mongol Empire was the largest contiguous empire in human history. The death toll of the Mongol wars is placed around 40 million, around 10 percent of total world population. Of course, Nazism and Communism are more recent instruments of oppression with a striking death toll as well.

"To state that Islam is an instrument of conquest and subjugation unparalleled in the history . . ."

Step2, I did not state that. I stated that the Jihad is such an instrument. It turns the tyrant or madman into the saint; crowns lust for conquest with burning piety.

Incidentally, it was Lee Harris who convinced me of the uniqueness of jihad in terms of its effectiveness.

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