Sunday, February 17, 2008

Deafening Left-Wing Silence on Islamist Barbarism

In the midst of the widespread distribution of the most barbarian videotape on Islamic depravity yet seen, the hard-left blogosphere's been deafeningly AWOL in joining the online campaign denouncing the violence.

Instead, we get top surrender voices like Glenn Greenwald
waving his own hare-brained bloody shirt against "the handful of Muslim-obsessed faux-warriors" he imagines are the real threat to civilization:

In response to my post on Friday pointing out that nobody outside of the handful of Muslim-obsessed faux-warriors is moved any longer by the Government's endless exploitation of Terrorism to secure more and more unchecked power, National Review's Mark Steyn said:

He may have a point: It's psychologically exhausting being on permanent Orange Alert, especially as the reason for it recedes further and further in the rear-view mirror. A lot of Americans are "over" 9/11, and, while the event had a lingering emotional power, the strategic challenge it exposed has not been accepted by much of the electorate.
The truth is exactly the opposite. There is nothing more psychologically invigorating than the belief that you are staring down the Greatest and Most Evil Enemy Ever in History, courageously waging glorious war for all that is Good and Just in the world. Nothing produces more pulsating feelings of excitement and nobility like convincing yourself that you are a Warrior defending Western Civilization from the greatest threat it has ever faced, following in - even surpassing - the mighty footsteps of the Greatest Generation and the Warrior-Crusaders who came before them.

For those who crave and glorify (though in their lives completely lack) acts of warrior courage, play-acting the role of the intrepid Warrior is uniquely satisfying. That's why nothing can fill the bottomless spare time of bored, aimless adolescents like sitting in front of a computer commanding vast armies and destructive military weapons, deployed against cunning, scary and evil enemies. That's why the Mark Steyns of every generation create such Enemies, becasue they are purposeless and aimless without them.

Steyn deeply flatters himself into believing that only he and his tragically small (and shrinking) band of warrior-comrades can bear the "psychologically exhausting" burden of defending The West and its freedoms. Sadly, most Americans - he says - are too weak, too brittle, just not up to the task of bearing the heavy burden of prosecuting the war against the omnipotent jihadi super-villains.

But not Steyn and friends. They are society's warriors, the Progeny of Churchill, Patten and Napoleon, bravely and tenaciously manning the barricades of Civilization itself. They'll find a powerful and protective Warrior who leads them; advocate all sorts of fascinating technologies and complex spying schemes to wage the War; spend hour upon hour chatting about battles and tactics and strategies; and endlessly depict themselves as besieged though tenacious. Far from being "psychologically exhausting," convincing yourself that you are all that - as Steyn and comrades explicitly do - is to bathe oneself in self-affirming and self-glorifying virtue. Nothing could ever compete with such glory when it comes to psychological fulfillment.
Greenwald continues to argue, further down, how America's pro-victory leadership lives for perpetual war:

This is why our nation's faux-warriors can never be reasoned with. It's why their greatest fear is having the Threats from Our Enemies be put into rational perspective, alongside all the other garden-variety manageable threats we face. To argue that they are exaggerating and melodramatizing the Enemy and the threat is to take away from them that which is most personally important to them.

Just consider the grandiose, baroque rhetoric they employ. What they are defending -- today's U.S. -- is not merely good. It's not even great. It's not even the greatest thing there is on the Earth right now. No -- it's much more grand than that: it's the Greatest Country ever to exist on the Earth in all of human history. That's what they're defending; that's the magnitude of the burden they bear, the incomparable importance of the crusade they lead.

Conversely, the Enemy they are facing down (from a safe distance) is not merely threatening or evil or scary or formidable. No, it's much, much more than that. This is the greatest Enemy that exists on the planet, the most cunning and nefarious and evil force the world has ever seen -- not just now, but for all of human history. There is nothing remotely like the depravity and power of this particular Enemy -- and there never has been. Ever. Everything these faux-warriors face and defend is superlative; there has never, ever been a war like the one they are waging (inside their heads). None of the old rules apply. This is all unique, unknown, the first and most important of its kind.
You know, I'm a reasonable guy, and while I imagine I know a bit more about international relations than retreatists like Greenwald, I'm usually open to a compelling argument.

That's not the case here. Painting your political opponents in such overly general brushstrokes does nothing for specificity in argumentation. Perhaps some war-backers have focused exclusively on the threat from Islamist terror. That doesn't mean they've wholly concocted some threat out of thin air.

Who's right?

Steyn, who argues the country's moved on from September 11? Or Greenwald, who sees the Bush-Cheney regime as the capstone of a new American warrior class chasing demons to slay across the globe's untamed periphery?

I'd say, unfortunately, that Steyn's much closer to the truth: Generally, folks - if they haven't moved on from September 11 - have become indifferent to it, and are increasingly hostile to a costly, and at-times uncertain, forward policy of expanding American world power in the defense of freedom.

But I digress. I'm mostly just annoyed that for all of Greenwald's fulminations against America's "faux-warriors," I see absolutely no repudiation of the most inhumane atrocties of our enemies:

12 year-old Taliban terrorist beheading a hostage?

Doesn't rate in Greenwald's Smithian phantasmagoria.

How about
al Qaeda's kerosene-soaked immolation of captives in Iraq?

Nope, not even a blink.

Greenwald, in fact, in his safe hideway over at Salon, provides increasing intellectual encouragement and succor to our nihilists enemies here at home, like the Code Pink protesters hoisting signs this last week announcing their support for "the Iraqi resistance" - support, in effect, advocating the killing of American troops currently at war.

No, I'd say the longer the war goes on, the more utility Greenwald gets in promoting his ultra-anti-American agenda.

But hey, I'm probably one of Greenwald's "faux-warriors," so what could I possibly know about things like courage, honor, and sacrifice (or international relations).