Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Perils of a Siege Mentality

What bothers me endlessly about the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is that they operate on the policy that defeat by our enemies is implicitly conceded. That is the policy adopted by our government, and one can trace it all the way back to President Ronald Reagan’s failure to retaliate against the murder of nearly 250 Marines in their bunker-like barracks in Lebanon in 1983 and the policy that sent them there. Instead of striking a mortal blow at Iran and Hezbollah, we indulged in a wave of maudlin mourning and shameful self-pity.

The policy of defeat, however, is made possible by a variety of factors, not least of which are the philosophy of multiculturalism, a refusal to identify and strike against our enemies (that is, a refusal to ascribe evil to the advocates of the philosophy that motivates them), and, in the context of a government dedicated to expanding its powers under both Republican and Democratic administrations, a penchant for control at all costs, including the sacrifice of freedom. Tyrannies, dictatorships, and authoritarian regimes have no concern about the loss of freedom. Freedom is their enemy. It is not on their checklists of things to preserve and protect. Freedom is antithetical to control.

The TSA is deserving of every bit of criticism it has earned, both as a functioning bureaucracy and as a product of government policies. It is staffed by thousands of careless, indiscriminate, prostituting, ignorant drones. I no longer consider them as Americans, but as an alien presence in our midst, as alien as the mindless followers of Islam. So, please, no one remind me or any other liberty-loving American that they are just “doing their job” or that they do not establish policy, or that they are just “following orders.” That’s the Nuremberg trial defense. Every nation at any period of its history has its population of dross and ballast – even during the American Revolution – and the TSA is a natural magnet for the ones in this country.

But the TSA is merely a handmaiden of the DHS, and the DHS is but an ossified expression of a suicidal policy that has been germinating for decades. It is purely reactive in nature. It has accepted the overall policy of a state of siege as a normal, permanent mode of this country’s existence. The government does not bear the burden of such a policy, but rather its citizens. That policy will not strike a mortal blow at our enemies – Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and the lesser regimes – so it must adopt a state of siege mentality. Osama bin Laden knew his enemy, we must credit him with the observation that neither George W. Bush nor Barack Obama would acknowledge and act against Islamic states as the enemy, but instead adopt the futile policy of appeasement and a state of siege.
As part of the "bleed-until-bankruptcy plan," bin Laden cited a British estimate that it cost al Qaeda about $500,000 to carry out the attacks of September 11, 2001, an amount that he said paled in comparison with the costs incurred by the United States. "Every dollar of al Qaeda defeated a million dollars, by the permission of Allah, besides the loss of a huge number of jobs," he said. As for the economic deficit, it has reached record astronomical numbers estimated to total more than a trillion dollars.

The total U.S. national debt is more than $7 trillion. The U.S. federal deficit was $413 billion in 2004, according to the Treasury Department.

A government that will not acknowledge an external enemy of “the people” must regard “the people” as its potential enemy. Its capacity for aggression, if not directed against a legitimate enemy, will be directed against a nation’s civilian population. Witness now the energy it is expending to control the speech of its citizens via the Federal Communications Commission through its incipient control of the Internet. “Net neutrality” is just a euphemism for neutering the power of ideas.

Two consequences are ensured by such a state of siege policy: the establishment of a police state that monitors and regulates every action and thought of the citizens of this country (this is beside the domestic policy of adopting socialized medicine through ObamaCare, and other instances of destructive and parasitical Democratic legislation); and the continued assault on this country by its enemies. A government that will not order its military to open its gates and storm out to assault the besiegers, is doomed to capitulation and defeat.

What is holding us back? In 2002 former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger was interviewed about the Marine barracks massacre. He was asked why President Reagan did not order a military response. He answered, quoting Reagan:
“Almost any target we attack will have huge collateral damage.” Collateral damage is the polite way of phrasing the number of innocent women and children who are killed because you’re engaging in a war, and it was up in the hundreds of thousands.
But a concern about “collateral damage” was not our policy while waging war against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. If it had been, World War II would have lasted decades or even have been lost – just as the current “war against terrorism” has lasted a decade and is being lost. Weinberger also made this revealing observation about Reagan:
He said he simply did not want to trust the future of the world to philosophic assumptions.

There you have it. Philosophical bankruptcy, even “on principle,” necessarily means moral bankruptcy. Instead, Reagan, Bush, and to a lesser extend President Obama, cite “tradition,” God, and other irrelevant issues as reasons to “resist” Islamic jihadists, but not to exterminate their root. That would be “judgmental,” and moral judgments are prohibited in an environment of “moral equivalency.”

So, discussions such as the Washington Post’s cogitations about the efficacy of airport body scanners and intrusive pat-downs are superfluous but indicative of how far this country has declined as a free one, and how far the government is prepared to go to establish a permanent police state. In the broad picture of things, such an article is useless speculation and complicit in a trend to “condition” Americans to being answerable to the state. In the country of the self-blinded, the one-eyed man is king because he has a purpose and an insidious method and can see where he is going.

Reading this cold, dispassionate discussion in the Washington Post of how better to establish a police state, one realizes that this is now a country that would prefer to live in a state of siege, rather than eliminate the countries that sponsor terrorism and that have attacked us by proxy with foreign and American-born or naturalized terrorists.

What bothers me just as much is also the willingness of Americans to tolerate and endure the airport terminal as a police state. There is no fundamental difference between conscientiously filling out a 1099 and an IRS audit, and removing one’s shoes, belts and jewelry and submitting to a body scan or a pat-down, except in its immediacy. Obey, or suffer the consequences. So, let us suggest here that, for example, the omnipotent IRS, as one controlling agency, has conditioned Americans to that kind of treatment, to sanction the hostage-taking of their values and to concede that they are but the wards of a guardian government. The Tea Party movement to the contrary notwithstanding, Americans are behaving more and more like sheep willing to be sheared. They need to be taught that such shearing leaves them naked before the government and all its eager, groping minions, and a laughing stock of our external enemies, who will continue killing us as they snort in triumph.

Sheared, shivering, and going about their government-approved business, laden with computerized ankle or wrist bracelets, too many Americans will assure themselves that they will feel “safe.” They will be told that surrendering their freedom is the “price of freedom.”

Contradictions do not exist in reality, except in human action and within one’s mind. That is a perilous, suicidal mode of existence.


Slade Calhoun said...

"Suicidal" is right. Didn't Ayn Rand write somewhere that there isn't a single group in America that isn't pursuing a course of suicide? Well, just extend that to the country as a whole. I am starting to believe in an American death-wish.

revereridesagain said...

I wonder if the increasingly sheep-ish attitude of Americans is beginning to manifest in claims that only a "Christian Nation" can defeat Islam.

I bookmark anti-Islam sites with an eye to relative lack of Christian religiousity because I don't need two sources of irritation for the price of one. Most dislike but tolerate anti-jihad-minded atheists. Perhaps it is just "the season", but I sense a slight upsurge in calls for some form of Christian theocracy, both from commentors and now bloggers themselves. There are more references to the "Kingdom of God" and "Jesus Our Only Lord/Rightful King", calls to substitute "God's Magnificient Kingdom" for the rule of reason, and insistence that Christian mores be granted greater influence on this nation's laws. All this at the same time we are trying to stave off Islamic Sharia. And I'm concerned about the influence it will have on the choice of presidential candidates.

So am I paranoid, is it too much egg nog, or is some game afoot?

Anonymous said...

RevereRidesagian: You have every right to be concerned. As I remarked to you on Facebook, the Christian theocratically-minded now feel it's safe to come out of the woodwork, now that they've had some success in the midterms. Take, for example, Canada Free Press. Over the last year it ran some boffo articles, but lately it's been pushing the Christian agenda. Pajamas and PJTV are also leaning in that direction. Yes, this will have an effect on who the Republican candidate will be in 2012. Also, it's odd that many Tea Party ads and promos have virtually vanished from the Internet; at least, I haven't seen much from them. All we can do now is remember the "we few" speech in Henry V. Yes, it's scary that we're being assaulted not only by Islamists, but by our buddies, the Christian right, just the other side of the same coin.

Teresa said...

revereridesagain: Where do you find anti-Islam sites that don't push Christianity?

revereridesagain said...

Hi Teresa -- the answer is: not many places! There is, of course, this site and Dugout, and Bosch's, but finding good-quality, active sites with a focus on monitoring Islam that don't have a Christian slant is difficult. The other sites I visit frequently -- JihadWatch, Infidel Bloggers Alliance, Bare Naked Islam, Jawa Report, Pam Geller's AtlasShrugs and several others, have excellent coverage (BNI is utterly fearless about exposing the violence and horror of Islam) of news pertaining to the Islamic jihad, as do Citizen Warrior and Infidel Task force. Andrew Bostom and several other authors who expose Islam have good sites.

Unfortunately, most have a religious slant to some degree. They all "welcome" agnostics and atheists, and some good atheist contributors and commentors visit all of them. But the "kingdom-of-god" point of view is everpresent.

If you need some comic relief, btw, Iowahawk is consistently hilarious, first-rate satire; and Pat Condell's videos at his British site can make you stand up and cheer.

Randy said...

Thank you, Revereridesagain, for those sites. I will book mark them post haste. I desperately need a dose of reason, a large one. RoR and ARC have been sustenance, but I need a full meal.

Roger said...

Looks like the Crusades are about to start all over again, but this time with better transportation and much deadlier weapons. I fear for my grandson...

revereridesagain said...

Roger, I think you just summed it up. Every time I think think this mess can't get more terrifying, it does. "Duck-and-cover" air raid drills, USSR 50-megaton hydrogen bombs, Cuban Missle Crises and the whole 40 years of the Cold War is nothing compared to the prospect of two religious hysteria-fueled armies of gods going at each other for control and domination over the rest of us.

revereridesagain said...

If anyone's interested there's another comments war going on over at JihadWatch with someone ranting that all the "Islamic curses" and "negativity" are wearing down the faithful and need to be fought by "deliberate blessing, acts of charity, prayer and fasting". I really do think we're in danger of a holy war here if the Christians get much more hysterical and insistent that only their Jesus Son of God Our King yadda yadda can defeat the enemy now.

Having spent many years investigating cults with a speciality in occultists I do know that "curses" can raise havoc with the minds of susceptible people, which is anyone who thinks mystical emanations of emotions have some kind of physical power. Which is too damn many people, so we have a nasty problem with the effects of this sort of thinking.

Meanwhile, excellent presentations by both Robert Spencer and Pam Geller to a human rights conference. They are cogent and rational and tireless and expert at boiling the danger of Islam down into understanable concepts. We could use an army of them.

Michael said...

Reagan did withdraw American troops from Lebanon - but that was the RIGHT decision. Reagan made a mistake by sending them to Lebanon in the first instance. That 283
Marines were killed was not a reason to prolong the intervention, but to withdraw American troops from Lebanon. And this intervention was yet ANOTHER example of the
defects of America’s foreign policy. Even during the Cold War, the USA’s foreign policy allowed most of America’s allies to free-ride on the backs of American soldiers and caused unnecessary war adventures, the most notorious of which was the Vietnamese war.

revereridesagain said...

Are we discussing the unchecked and steadily growing problem of recrudescent Islamic supremacism, or are we going to re-hash 'Nam?

The problem is not "America's foreign policy". The problem as it now stands is an aggressive worldwide movement by a 7th century Dark Ages form of theocracy to dominate the world and the refusal of those in charge of our defense to recognize and defend against us.

Jason said...

Reagan's foreign policy was just as awful as every President in at least the last fifty years (and really much longer), and it was specifically so bad because he was being a simple-minded conservative in the fullest sense of the term.

Islamic dictatorships have been stealing massive amounts of Western-developed oil they did not develop since roughly the 1940s and 1950s. They do not protect people's natural freedoms and property. Their society helplessly goes along with and allows religious terrorist organizations to operate within their countries--and they do not make their government stop it. They do not develop even a semi-rational, freedom-respecting culture. That makes them politically responsible for the violence (and resource and property plundering) their governments and the terrorist groups in their borders commit.

It is the simple-minded conservative sense of life and mentality that Reagan embodied in his political ideas that refuses to work out complex ideas and policies, such as it being morally proper for freedom-respecting people to defend itself by using massive force upon a society that allows primitive terrorist groups and dictatorial governments to rule them and refuses to develop culturally.

Tea-Party "common sense" will never lead to a foreign policy that has the courage and intellectual seriousness and certainty to make an example of a major Islamic regime.

Gene Palmisano said...

Please! You can hardly compare the Christian right to radical totalitarian Islam. The Christians have lived in this American republic since the inception and remain tolerant of other religions. Granted,they have had some issues with church and state,but one can hardly compare Roe v Wade to a world Caliphate and sharia law.
There is a notorious gun store in Grand Jnction CO. Above the door is a sign that reads:"I'll see your jihad and raise you one crusade." I am atheist, but should it come to holy war I will stand,
fight, and die with my Christian brothers if need be, to defeat this anti-man, anti-civilization cult of death known as Islam.