Friday, September 05, 2014

American Responses Which Islamists Would Respect

I sent a link to the Romney column in the post below, and got a link back to a Peter Beinart column in The Atlantic magazine in return. In 'Pursuing ISIS to the Gates Of Hell', Beinart discusses Walter Russell Mead's analysis of American foreign policy, which argues that America has four foreign-policy traditions.

Ignoring the issue of four camps, I disagree with a couple things Beinart said.

>>These aren’t policy prescriptions. They are cries for revenge.<< The entire Arab world accepts revenge as an ideal policy prescription. If Beinart doesn't understand that, he is not very knowledgeable about that which he writes. The Islamist plan to take over the West is based on the so far correct belief that the West will never adopt the Islamists' strategy of terror and revenge. If we were to do so, much of Iran, Afghanistan, Gaza, and now Egypt, Somalia, and Libya would no longer exist. Also the suburbs of London, Paris, Marseille, and Rome would be cleansed of Muslims. The Islamists would rage, but they would respect us for not only our strength, but our willingness to use that strength without mercy. In our position it is exactly what they would do. It is, in fact, exactly what they are doing now where they can: Kill all the Yazidy men, sell their daughters into sexual slavery. Slaughter the Christians in Syria. Bomb Jewish temples. Slaughter the infidel in Africa, sell their daughters into sexual slavery. Take 1700 prisoners in Iraq, and slaughter them in front of video cameras, distribute the video to the world. Pol Pot didn't have the guts to do that, nor Mao, nor Stalin, nor Hitler. This is what they value. What would the Islamists respect if Islamists held hostage an American soldier and demanded the release of prisoners from Guantanamo? They would respect Obama bringing those prisoners to the lawn of the White House, forcing them to kneel, then personally blowing their brains out on world wide television. When he was done, the bodies would be shown being sewn into pig skins filled with pig manure, then buried in unmarked graves. That is what the Islamists would respect. Instead, ISIS slaughters 1700 prisoners, and Obama calls for "better political inclusion".

>>The Iran hostage crisis did not lend itself to a simple policy response either.<<

Rubbish. Utter, pure, unadulterated rubbish.

The people who took the Americans hostage expected that Jimmy Carter, the most powerful man on the entire planet, would unquestionably tell them that if the hostages were not released unharmed within 24 hours, that America would commence bombing Iranian cities. They planned on doing so, having made their point. End of crisis.

Instead, Jimmy Carter, the most powerful man of all, wailed and whimpered and sobbed about having supported the wicked, wicked, evil Shah, and opened talks to determine the wants and needs and concerns and just complaints of the Iranian revolutionaries.

The Iranians, as well as the Arabs, were stunned by Carter's refusal, his cowardice, in not using America's power to get the hostages back immediately. That is why they were also stunned when George Bush invaded Afghanistan: They expected another Jimmy Carter response.

Arabs and Persians have little respect for those without power, but the person lower still is the person with great power who is afraid to use it ruthlessly. For him they hold utter contempt. The purpose of power is to use it to subjugate your enemies. Carter had the power but he didn't use it. Except, of course, when swinging his canoe paddle at a vicious swimming bunny.

If we want to respond to challenges from the Islamists which they will respect on their own terms, we are going to have to shut up with the fantasies of "bringing democracy" and stomp our enemies flat. Then go home, with a warning to their successors that anyone who tries peeing on America's foot will get the same treatment. No nation building, no voting, no democracy, no mercy. We will just stomp them flat and go home, leaving any survivors to rebuild the rubble.

That is what they would respect. That is what they are doing wherever they can. That is why they have no respect for the British or the French, who allow them to operate openly in their capital cities, burning hundreds of cars a night, raping those they want to rape, not merely with impunity, but with the protection of the national governments which are afraid of offending their delicate sensibilities.

Since we are not going to use our power ruthlessly, I think the Islamists are going to win.

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