This Number reprints commentary published in Number 45 of what was then called The Penguin Post. (The name of the newsletter was changed when it was discovered that there was another newsletter/weblog of that name.) Number 45 appeared on the ninth of December, 2008. It is not available on the internet.
Nothing has been removed from or added to this reprint, and no corrections have been made.
The Lessons Of Mumbai
What have we learned?
We know that one does not overthrow a nation or a culture by sniping; it takes more than that. So we have learned that our blood enemies intend simply to make life miserable for us. In the expectation of what, exactly? They believe that we shall change things, and those changes will help to bring down what we have built.
From bin Laden to the little boys memorizing the Koran in shabby “schools” in Indonesia, there prevails a faith that knows no doubt. The values of the submissive believers are god-given verities, and life has meaning because it is sacrificed in service to the death cult.
Our lives, however, are often suffused with doubt. We can be uncertain, and we are impatient, restless, and eager to do the right thing — by which we mean first figure out what is right, and then experiment with it. For us, change is good, and too often that means discarding the values we have inherited from the Enlightenment.
Muslims understand that because we are not in submission to their creator-god, eventually we shall make the changes necessary to bring our civilization to collapse. Our enemies need simply prod, poke, and pester.
This is why our news media are of such vital importance: they define our reality for us, and they often press on us values that contradict our heritage. This newsletter has pointed out that most journalists do not believe in the freedom of the press; they believe in the licensing of the press. In time, the confusion and impatience they sow will help to destroy our civilization. Unless, of course, we can see what is happening, and explain events to others….
This, then, is the challenge: begin to see.
“Prod, Poke And Pester” Could Involve Genuinely Catastrophic Events
The president-elect has a lot on his plate, and this newsletter has already told him in no uncertain terms to do something effective regarding domestic airline safety. There is more.
1. The harbors are vulnerable. Container ships are a concern that was mentioned years ago, but it is not clear that all the necessary measures have been taken to prevent bombs of all sorts from being accepted and clasped to the nation’s bosom. Too much emphasis has been placed on the inspection of cargo in the port of origin: because the USA does not have absolute control of those facilities, locals can penetrate the inspection teams and compromise their work. (If you are complacent or skeptical, read Frederick Forsyth’s The Afghan.) The public need not know all the measures that are in place, but there must be some assurance that they are adequate. Obama should require a survey of present circumstances.
2. There are “schools,” enclaves, organizations (scroll down, looking for “Jamaat ul-Fuqra” in the left margin, and click on the links) and mosques in the USA that are working to destroy Western Civilization. Rural Islamist complexes are closed off and patrolled by armed guards. These groups, some of them with private militias, are part of international networks fostering mass murder. Money is raised by front organizations to support Hamas. The Muslim community in the USA is complex, and some of its activities should be shut down. That would make the rest of it easier to watch. There is good reason not to trust Muslims in general, as the entire Islamic community — “moderate” or otherwise — is notoriously protective of its jihadis and uncritical of their crimes. But how can the US government obtain search warrants and close many of these institutions, without violating the constitution? The new administration must examine law, precedent and the ethics of self-defense to formulate an effective policy. It won’t be easy; look at the fuss over The Patriot Act, which was mild compared to the measures that must be taken.
Yes, we must do what we can. We have living among us hundreds of thousands of people whose loyalties are not just divided, but inimical to our civilization; the Islamic faithful of all sects and stripes would rejoice at our downfall, and prosecute our subjugation to Islam. These people, many of whom appear tolerant and indisposed to violence, are not our good neighbors. Their religion is an utterly uncompromising death cult, a fact Muslims are encouraged to deny with lies (“taqiyya”).
3. The infrastructure of the USA must be better protected. There is a relatively small number of bridges that, if destroyed, would halt most commerce in the USA. The new administration needs to create a civilian volunteer organization to observe and report activity near vital facilities of all sorts — airports, harbors, highway interchanges, tunnels, depots, power plants, refineries, chemical plants.
4. Particularly vulnerable institutions should be prepared for emergencies. Jewish schools and hospitals are at the top of the list, followed by all universities, large businesses, hospitals, large hotels and factories. There is a widespread need to implement basic security measures, and in high-risk cases, sophisticated protective networks should be put into place.
5. The public should know how to recognize activities that can be dangerous. Mobile phones can be fitted with radiation detectors that automatically report to a central location (this is a practical reality, reported in PenPo Number One; unfortunately the link to the source has expired); people should be informed to note and report behavior that could be the “casing” of a target, and simple alertness should be encouraged.
6. Concealed carry laws should be extended. The federal government could institute a program of civilian volunteers to serve as volunteer adjunct marshals, trained in target recognition and marksmanship. The problem: large numbers of Muslims would want to sign up. Obviously there would have to be some legal way of preventing them from sabotaging the program. Otherwise this concept would be easy to implement, and would be a powerful deterrent.
7. The United States Congress should formally declare war on the nation’s enemies. The knee-jerk response to that common sense will be, “You can’t do that, there is no nation to fight!”
A good idea can be mocked by inane remarks, but rational folks know it cannot be refuted by sloganeering or puerile babble. View the proposal in the light of precedent:
If the USA were to declare war on, say, Ecuador, it would be free to deal with anyone aiding Ecuador, wherever located (if Ecuador had a naval base on the Thames, the USA would be justified in bombing it). That might mean killing citizens of many nations — all of which would be quite proper as long as the targets are unambiguous. It would also mean killing people who are not wearing uniforms.
Clearly, “the enemy” in traditional war is more broadly defined than by nationality.
Congress could, if it so decided, declare that the USA is at war with all groups committing acts of conspiracy and aggression against the USA, and at war with their allies and supporters.
Next the protocols the USA intends to follow in its self-defense should be drawn up, so the world knows how the USA intends to fight. For example, since the combatants attacking us are not precisely state actors (because their nations are not at war with us), they should not be considered prisoners of war. That might lead Congress to declare that “a state of hostilities” exists, rather than a state of war, and define the difference.
That’s an example of the original thinking (sometimes called a workaround) that Congress has so far avoided. It involves the creation of a legal fiction and the drafting of rules governing its employment. Don’t fret, for there is nothing radically new or improper about creating legal fictions. It’s a precedented way of making life easier. The concepts of the corporation and the trust are legal fictions, and the latter was invented by ancient Romans.
The challenge to establish a new legal framework for military action can be met. Up to now, the USA has been puzzled by the novelty of fighting a force that has no nation. The result has been, among other confusions, Guantanamo, a (too-often temporary) retreat for villains that makes all prisons in the USA look like Andersonville. Press distortion and legal tomfoolery have led to ethical and factual confusions, weakening the ability of the USA to defend itself. The system is nonresponsive, unimaginative and slipshod. It’s time to adapt to realities.
If we would defend the West, we must first face the truth: we are under attack. Call it war or call it something else, it is just as serious and deadly as the worst people in the world can make it. Remember: they really do want to find a way to kill lots of us, and making their victims die horribly would be a bonus.
We are all threatened, wherever we are, and the threat is both new and old. The fact that the Bush administration has prevented another World Trade Center-Pentagon-United 93 catastrophe is proof that countermeasures work (it’s a shame that the public does not know how many really nasty plots have been aborted). Our enemy is adapting, and we must remain ahead of him, anticipating his attacks and making them difficult to execute.
Those who oppose innovative protective measures as civil rights violations should present their ideas for effective security. Meanwhile the public needs to be better informed — much better than the mainstream media have managed to accomplish — and given a voice in the planning of its self-defense. There are ways to avoid constitutional breaches and still improve the nation’s safety, so let us develop them. We owe our grandchildren nothing less than a sincere effort.
It is instructive to see how views and opinions change over the years. The above suggestions would not all be proposed today, while there is reason to believe the alarm they express should remain. There have been gains and losses, haven’t there? In the Losses column one must include Boko Haram in West Africa, the failure of US policy in Iraq, Afghanistan, and north Africa (Benghazi remains a disgraceful scandal), and the absurd US policy that allows Iran to proceed steadily toward nuclear capability. As for domestic US security, too little is known publicly (the effectively open border with Mexico being the exception), while troubling questions about the CIA and NSA remain.
As this is written, thoughtful observers can wonder just how sincere the USA’s commitment to defending the West actually is. In matters both substantive and symbolic, Washington is sending messages that its burden is too heavy. Political correctness and multiculturalism are increasingly employed as rationales for retiring from the field. The philosophical basis for an understanding of the cultural nature of the struggle has been compromised by sophistry and blatant lies; declaring ISIS “not Islamic” is literally insane, for example. (See this, and then note in particular how the Washington Post, a definitively collectivist — that is, essentially Obamoid — newspaper explains The One Leader’s deceitful babble.)
Hardly reported but quintessential fact
One recent event in particular deserves to be reported and understood: Islam has unequivocally declared its intransigence. An international Muslim organization that has bona fides to speak for the overwhelming majority of Muslim leaders, clerics, and the laity has stated forthrightly that freedom of speech and press cannot be tolerated.
The Muslim world has witnessed, understood, and tacitly endorsed the assault on Liberty. Few in the West realize that, for the news outlets selectively report tolerant proclamations and peaceful platitudes produced by significant men within Islam. For the most part, these quotable Muslims fall into two groups: liars and those who will suffer for their apostasy.
Then there are Muslims in the West who get it.
Of course the world will never know why Obama avoided Paris. Never mind; speculating about The One Leader’s mindset is futile and a distraction.
The world is at war. It is a war the West calls by a deceitful name, does not understand, can scarcely wage, and just might lack the persistence to survive.
The challenge is not to puzzle out opaque presidential priorities and prejudices. In fact with each passing day, Obama becomes less relevant. The challenge is to plan and implement a rational defense of the West in spite of the lunacies of the elites.
The West’s ultimate warriors
The West will look to its military forces, and hope they can adapt. Unfortunately they face challenges they have not yet imagined. The battles they have won have been indecisive — and have incited more jihadis to suicidally fanatical bloodshed.
The USA will look to Congress — prayerfully, for the legislators have a terrible record.
Those facts are depressing, if not frightening.
Remember this: when the perpetrators of the catastrophe of September 11, 2001 struck, only one effort to counter the attack was successful. The heroes of United flight 93 were ordinary people; they took definitive action, saved an unknown number of lives, and defeated the criminals.
Ultimately, this fight is yours to wage and to win.