Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Saving Throw vs Illusion

The brutal terror in Iraq is militarily insignificant. Its true target is the Western audience, especially the American, sitting at home, transmitted by an enabling media.

As Wretchard notes,
The enemy has not been without successes, proving tactically adaptable and ruthless. Yet at heart his strategy was static: it was to inflict a low but continuous rate of casualty on US forces and broadcast that fact to the world. The enemy center of gravity was the US electorate. They attached video and camera crews to their striking units in the same way that US forces attached supporting weapons to theirs, creating the first combined media-military arms in history. Using these new type of formations they relentlessly projected the message, 'we are in charge'. And people believed them.
What is asked of us in this war is really not very much at all: to simply not give in to self-absorbed impulses towards apathy. In the fantasy-game idiom, we just need to say "I disbelieve!" and make our saving-throw.

But it is discouraging how many willingly many wish to accept their message of despair, in a fit of self-loathing. Why? The Left simply cannot disbelieve; it would rob them of too much self-image:
Piers Brendon recalls in Dark Valley, his history of the 1930s, that the most common scrawl left by doomed Old Bolsheviks at Lubyanka prison were the words "What For?" But more poignant yet was the refusal of some Party members, exiled to Magadan, the worst camp of the Gulag, to smuggle news to their comrades of their fate. One said, 'at least now they still have hope in Communism. If I let them know the truth then they will have nothing'. Even in Magadan the Left's deepest need was to believe. Having abolished the God of their forefathers and finding themselves prostrate before the false god they fashioned for themselves, as between extinction and despair they chose extinction.
This is terribly important, because
Historically, most catastrophic defeats -- at Gaugamela or France in 1940 -- have not been consequent to inferiority in arms but to infirmity of concept. Defeat occurs first of all in the mind. By that standard the Global Caliphate is well on its way to imposing its will on Western politics which is intent, like some demented person, on rearranging objects on a green baize table.
The Left got used to believing the Big Lies for decades as it refused to see the horrors and evils of Stalin, and it would be too painful to get out of its illusory world:
The landscape of Communism from East Germany to Cambodia, from North Korea to Cuba deserves to preserved as a monument to the greatest act of hypnotism in history. Piers Brendon, writing in the Dark Valley, described the pilgrimage of Western intellectuals to this palace of horrors, intent upon discovering paradise. And discover it they did.

Before setting off for Moscow in 1932 to experience "the veritable future of mankind", Malcolm Muggeridge made a bonfire of bourgeois trappings, including his dinner jacket. Arthur Koestler endorsed the slogan at the frontier -- "Change trains for the twenty first century". ... Muggeridge ... soon perceived the truth and mocked the gullibility of other visitors. Lord Marley denied that official lies could have been told about the Five Year Plan -- "Think how ashamed the Soviet Government would be if it were discovered that their statistics had been falsified" -- and believed that the authorities permitted food queues in Moscow because they "provided a means for inducing the workers to take a rest". Edouard Herriot was convinced that the milk shortage was due to the large amount allocated to nursing mothers. George Bernard Shaw expressed his confidence that the Soviet Union was free from hunger by declaring that he had thrown his supplies of Western tinned food out of the train window ..." (from the chapter Stalin's Revolution)

But the El Dorado wasn't there; and the really big historical question is why it took the best minds of the West more than 50 years and countless lives to discover that elementary fact. This monumental self-hypnosis calls into question our collective ability to know; and when politicians and media talking heads speak with perfect assurance about "religions of peace" or alternatively, about a "death cult" with bloody borders, how certain are we that our epistemology is any better than that of the 20th century intellectuals?
It is a kind of mental disease:
None of these revelations matter because virtually no Western politician can ever use force again to prevent a regime, even one openly dedicated to terrorism, from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. The subject is verboten because the Left has declared it so. Unless something radically changes, it is only logical to prepare for the consequences of this head-in-the-sand policy, a possible catastrophe beside which September 11 will diminish into insignificance. Perhaps this event is already inevitable and those future victims beyond saving. But even so, it is important to begin the work of opening our eyes now, so that we might avoid the blindness which took the world of the 1930s and the 1990s over a cliff. Some mental disease in Western culture has allowed it to stand idly by while evil grew to monstrous proportions around and within it; an infirmity dignified with the name of pacifism. Perhaps it has already killed some of us reading this post; and the least we can do, if our final moments come, is to realize why we died.


Post a Comment

<< Home