John C. Wright (johncwright) wrote,
John C. Wright

The Extreme Folly and the Extreme Unction of the West

First, let me recommend two articles:
  • An article by historian Victor Davis Hanson pointing out that the Fort Hood shooting was a terrorist act following a pattern of terrorist acts. He note the absurdity, if not insanity of public figures denying the obvious link between Muslims and Muslim violence.

  • An article by historian Fabio Paolo Barbieri offering an explanation as to why public figures say things that they know to be absurd, if not insane, such as denying the obvious link between Muslims and Muslim violence..

Mr. Barbieri has a follow up article here

Second, let me comment on the Fort Hood shootings:

Our public figures (either freely elected voters or freely selected by the marketplace for media info-entertainment) reacted to the Fort Hood shootings with Politically-Correct clownishness unparalleled even in this clownish age.

I thought I was bitter and cynical and unemotional enough not to be appalled. Apparently that thought is false to facts. I am so appalled it makes me seasick.

Commentary ranged from the mulishly stupid to the seriously stupid to the flippantly stupid to the surrealistically stupid.

An example in the mulishly stupid category is MSNBC news anchorman Keith Olbermann ridiculing those who called it an act of Jihadist terrorism, despite that the shooter was wearing traditional Muslim garb and crying out ‘Allah Ackbar’ as he opened fire.

A second example of the mulishly stupid is the editor of the Nation Magazine, who dismissed it as Islamophobia even to mention the fact that the Fort Hood shooter is a Palestinian Muslim. (

(The editorial’s exact words: “Enlightened Americans -- at least those who trace their patriotism to Thomas Jefferson, a man fascinated by and respectful of Islam and whose library contained copies of the Koran -- should be unsettled by the initial rush to judgment regarding not just this one Muslim but all Muslims.” Got that? Enlightened Americans are unsettled if anyone ‘rushes to judgment’ about this shooting, despite that the shooter was wearing traditional Muslim garb and crying out ‘Allah Ackbar’ as he opened fire. The shooter’s business card says ‘Soldier of Allah’ but not Major, U.S. Army)

An example of the seriously stupid can be seen in this BBC headline: Shooting Raises Fears for Muslims in US Army. ( ) The real (non-Muslim) victims of the real atrocity (13 dead, 42 wounded) for them is not the story: only the hypothetical (Muslim) victims of a hypothetical backlash (death toll tops 0 and still climbing!). They are perfectly serious: their main worry is that you, dear reader, will go berserk, don a Nazi uniform and a KKK hood and hang a Muslim.

(The article defines harm thusly “…the vast majority of Muslim citizens in America …. have probably suffered some discrimination, if only a hostile look, since the 11 September 2001 attacks.” I am not making this up. The BBC is more worried about probable hostile looks than real dead men murdered while unarmed by a traitor who opened fire at random, and without warning, on his own unit, his own people.)

An example in the flippantly stupid category is the suggestion by Giraldo Rivera that the shooter was motivated by a toothache, once again despite the fact that the shooter was wearing traditional Muslim garb and crying out ‘Allah Ackbar’ as he opened fire.

Mr. Rivera is not being serious, because, for him, the possibility of a Muslim jihadist taking the Muslim doctrine of Jihad seriously is not even worth discussing.

An example of the surreally stupid category was that suggestion that the shooter suffered from “pre-traumatic stress syndrome” which is a new form of shell shock (invented ad hoc just for this one case) suffered by soldiers who have never been shelled. This is surreal —there are words in a row, but none of them refer to anything in this universe.

An editorial in the Chicago Sun-Times (,CST-NWS-stein08.article) said that calling the Fort Hood shooting “Islamic terrorism” is “inflammatory” and a type of “racism”, something only “fundamentalists” do, not “patriotic Americans.” The editorial writer had to strain his pen to work in a sneering mention of the word “fundamentalist” because this had nothing to do with the topic. This editorial can serve as an example of any of the above: it is at once mulish, surreal, flippant and very seriously stupid.

Imagine how the members of the greatest generation would have reacted if, during their world war, a German-American officer recently converted to National Socialism had betrayed and shot a dozen unarmed soldiers in his own unit after donning an S.S. uniform and shouting “Heil Hitler!” Would they have bent all their will and political capital, wagered the public goodwill and their own dwindling reputations, all in an effort to convince the public to pretend no war and no enemy existed or could exist?

Would they have been more worried about mobs attacking Germans than about the German Army and its plans for conquest?

Discrimination against Muslims is not the highest-priority concern, it is the sole concern of these public figures. They have coined a term which sums up their view of you, dear reader: that term is ‘Islamophobia’ — the psychopathic and irrational and utterly groundless fear of Islam. They regard you as a mental patient, on the same level as a psychotic who tries to drill a hole in his skull because he is convinced evil bugs that crept in his ears last night are eating his brain. That is their picture of you.

But who is the insane one here? Their words, the priorities, their judgments about relative dangers are utterly divorced from reality. They quail over dangers that do not exist and dismiss dangers that do.

There mere fact that there has been no backlash whatsoever against Muslims since 9/11 in no way decreases their neurotic anxiety over it. It is like a child fearing a monster under the bed. Worse, it is like a child being so afraid of the monster under the bed, that he will unlock the door and call out for help to the murdering child-rapist trying to break in.

In other news, the Obama Administration has decided to release 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and four other enemy combatants (currently in military custody) into the civilian court system. Were I on the legal team, the first motion I would make would be for a change of venue, and I would shop for a forum that lacked the death penalty and which would empanel a sympathetic jury. Since the U.S. military intelligence will not, during an ongoing war, reveal their covert operations used to gather evidence, and since the arrest was not carried out with proper knock-and-announce procedures or chain-of-evidence niceties, the chance of getting my client off on a technicality is good. No one read him his Miranda Rights. Perhaps the team that defended O.J. Simpson will represent them.

Imagine how the members of the greatest generation would have reacted if, during their world war, the field marshal or general of the Nazi War machine had been captured on the battlefield, and instead of a military tribunal or Nuremberg trial, he was sent to Manhattan for a jury trial. Of course, since in their day, the court system punished rather than protected criminals, even this analogy does not convey the ludicrous fecklessness of the current Administration’s decision. If they were doing this merely to provide cover for discovery of the Bush Administration Gitmo policies, preliminary to bringing war crimes charges against them in some international tribunal, I would at least give them credit for slyness. Otherwise, the behavior is evidence of schizophrenia which we can label the Carter Syndrome: the Administration suffers a hallucination that is no war, and no enemy.

The mere fact that our public figures react with dithering absurdity and insanity when faced with an existential threat to Western Civilization, such that not even repeated acts of nightmarishly evil torture and bloodshed and craven mass-murder of innocent civilians by ambuscade can stir the inhibitors of Cloudcuckooland from their self-imposed vacation from reality, leads me reluctantly to conclude that Western Civilization cannot survive and is not worthy of survival.

Our buildings and some of the institutions we have may continue to limp along, but in name only, sort of the way the Late Byzantine theocratic monarchs of Greece continue to pretend theirs was one and the same as the world-conquering Roman Republic, even though they had nothing in common in terms of laws or language, customs or cult. It will not happen overnight, but it could happen as quickly as the collapse of Roman Britain into barbarism after the Legions withdrew. The Imams will exercise a de facto “terror veto” over European or American policy and law, and special enclaves on our soil be set aside for them where our laws will have but secondary force, if that, and Sharia will obtain. The young will be attracted to their zeal and purity, and of course will hear no ill spoken of them in public, and so not just through reproduction, but through conversion, the West will fall under the growing shadow.

Suppose it goes nuclear. Even after the Jihadists atom-bomb two or three Western cities, the West will not react, except to cower and sue for peace, and warn the American public against a backlash. You think not? Really? Find for me the quote where any public figure, Left or Right, has said that the proper response to a terrorist nuclear attack would be to expel all Muslims from our soil, and in retaliation to annihilate their cities. Anyone? Mutually Assured Destruction was the announced doctrine of the Cold War. We said we would nuke Moscow if they nuked us. Even Dems said it. MAD is not the announced doctrine of the Global War of Terror. Can you imagine the current leadership in, say, England, supporting a plan of retaliatory mass-civilian bombing?

At the current time, the policies we pursue show that we would rather die than be accused of discrimination. We would rather die and have our loved ones killed than speak a harsh word against the foe. How in the world can any person, any society, at one time both be willing to burn nations, but not be willing to give offense?

I am forced to conclude that human beings do not have a survival instinct after all. They have instead an ego instinct, a sin instinct, a desire for self-flattery so powerful that not even life itself is more precious.

I have heard that a frog’s eye is so evolved that if it sees the motion in the air matching the profile of a fly, it will react, but that other motions will trigger no reaction. It is not that the frog sees the other motions and ignores them: no nerve impulse travels from the eye to the brain to begin with. The frog literally cannot see the motions of insects that are not food to it. Its nervous system is programmed and locked only to react to certain stimuli.

Our public figures, leaders and opinion-makers, are like that frog.

They cannot see any Jihadist. To them, there is no threat and no enemy. They live in a world where, for no reason, people are suddenly stabbed, but there is no stabber. Skyscrapers are burned, but no one and nothing caused the fire. Railways in Spain are bombed, undergrounds in London, nightclubs in Bali, Hotels in Bombay, and Jews are sought out, including rabbis and pregnant women, who are sadistically tortured and slowly killed, but it must be the Invisible Man doing it, because apparently no one can see any murderers. They are merely ‘militants’ or perhaps ‘youths.’

A threat from the proletarian, from the victim-class, from brown-skinned Semitics, from the underdog, is not a threat they are seeing and dismissing—they cannot see it in the first place. It has no categorization in the mental pigeonholes they use to organize the data of their world-model. The paynim can videotape sawing off the head of a Jewish newsman while shouting praises to Allah, and the nervous system of theses frog-eyed men will interpret this as a possible threat of theocracy from the Roman Catholic Church, or perhaps those sinister and homophobic Mormons.

No matter how many people are killed, and no matter how loudly and clearly the Jihadists announce their intentions, our public figures will continue to insist that George Bush is the only threat and the only enemy. From time to time they will also admit that the world is in grave danger from large Oil Companies or from unbridled consumerism or from fundamentalist Christianity.

We cannot look to the common man to save us. The majority of the mad public follows theses mad public leaders and repeats their mad public slogans. If the common man had the power to restore the nation, it would have been used after the Twin Towers burned to insist that the West do all in its considerable power to smite the paynim. Instead the most far-right of conservative Rightwingers publically visited mosques and proclaimed the cruel and warlike heresy of Mohammed to be a religion of peace. That was the warmongers. The doves actively aided and abetted the enemy, including acting as human shields, or publishing the details of espionage operations, and were not persecuted, or even criticized.

Our public figures are saying these things, and they are not being laughed to scorn, or tarred and feathered by angry mobs. They evince no shame or hesitation, but instead blaze with self-righteous indignation against … (wait for it) … the vast Rightwing Conspiracy.

This is not going to turn around in the next election. It is too deeply entrenched: even the most arch-Rightwing of Conservatives will not discuss the rational alternatives. The sad fact is that the enemy has discovered a vital weakness in the Enlightenment theory of law embraced by the West in the early 1800’s, which made religion a private matter, beyond the power of state to regulate. Only a Crusade can fight a Jihad; but the post-Christian West could not launch a Crusade even to save our lives, souls, and civilization. We would rather see our children’s brains dashed out against the stones.

Even to mention the possibility of Christianizing these Mahound-worshipping heretics by force, as a jest, earned columnist Ann Coulter a quick dismissal from the pages of National Review Online. If the arch-Conservatives are not even willing to discuss the possibility of self-defense against an organized religion, it cannot be discussed at all.

If the enemy is organized by religious faith rather than by loyalty to a nation-state, he is immune and invisible.

No. After the Towers fell, they were not built back up again. The sleeping giant muttering angrily in his sleep, and then hit the snooze button, turned over, and sank back into the smothering warmth of his fluffy pillows.

ADDED LATER: The comments have reach roughly 200 comments, of which roughly half are speeches written in a fury of passion telling us all that, not only is there no war, but that to say that there is, is cowardice, bigotry, un-American, treasonous, racist, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. One commenter said there was indeed a war, but that America was to blame. A large number of comments seem to agree that we cannot discriminate against the enemy or think ill of him. Nearly everyone was horrified at the notion that this nation might retaliate if and when the terrorists ignite the first of many nukes inside our major cities and military bases. Even people in sympathy with the idea of defending the West against the Jihad had to pause to say that the Christians were the real enemy, that being Christian was treason against the Republic, that Christians are frightful monsters out to get us all, and that Christians all secretly conspire to make Nehemiah Scudder into our Prophet and Dictator.
Not only was my autopsy on the West not shown wrong, if anything (if we can judge from this small and unscientific sample) the mental disease is much worse than I suspected. Even moderates cannot see the enemy, cannot admit he exists, and cannot blame him for his acts. They are not afraid of Jihadists: they are Afraid of Jesuits. They think the main danger to the nation is from the Christians. They talk as if somehow America, always an Atheist Nation since her founding by Frederick the Great and Neitzche, we recently invaded by horrid Xtians from the Moon.
What surprises me is that this farrago of nonsense is not coming from the far Uber-Leftoid Marxists, but from veterans, polite people, libertarians, even-tempered atheists, and, in short, the very people I would have thought had the most to fear from an hegemony by Sharia law.
I am not sure if I read a single disagreeing comment that did not express the fear of the coming Christian Theocracy.
I really wish the Magesterium would keep me informed about when we are planning to overthrow the Constitution with our troops of Albino Assassins, and perform intercissions on all the daemons of the freethinkers. I had not realized that the GATHER DARKNESS style technotheocracy was getting ready to impose our dread will on the innocent democracies of the world later this year.
It is not just sad, and dangerous, and stupid to be afraid of Christian theocracy at a time when, politically, we servants of the Pope do not even have the political will to overthrow abortion. It is insane, literally insane, like believing your body is made of glass level of insane, to be afraid of make-believe theocrats when real live theocrats, but of a different religion, are really in real life killing real people in the name of their religion.
Would some atheist or agnostic out there please reassure me that you have not all lost your marbles? Can ANYONE in your camp tell the difference between a religion that is attacking you, and hungers to murder you, and a religion that is not attacking you? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

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  • Dr Strange!

    Marvel’s DR STRANGE was not only the first comic I ever read as a teen, but it has remained my favorite from that day to this. So it is with…

  • Peace on Mars, Good Will Toward Puppies

    Mr. George RR Martin expresses hope that the coming Hugo season will not be characterized by rancor: So in the spirit of the season, I am going to…

  • Guest Review

    Bobby Trosclair, in the comments, says in a few paragraphs what I said in twelve pages: I have to agree that Lucas stumbled upon a conservative…