Monday, March 06, 2017

Baby Steps

A comment attached to a recent Jamie Glazov report on Jihad Watch, in which Glazov, unsurprisingly, lauds President Trump for having the courage to name the problem as "radical Islamic terrorism" alludes to the point about such close-but-no-cigar rhetoric:

What Trump did is a step in the right direction. It was a major step considering that neither Bush nor Obama would say it. But it isn’t entirely true. Until we have a president who is willing to say islam is the problem we are still working with one hand tied behind our backs.

 It seems axiomatic among Counter-Jihad Softies to assume that even a baby step in the right direction is a good thing.  However, I would argue that sometimes it can be deleterious.  If the problem is a context of protracted, complex sabotage by a foreign power -- including a two-track system of terrorism and stealth, where the two tracks are deceitfully kept apart as though there is no collusion between the two -- then what Trump's baby step rhetoric can do is actually reinforce, unwittingly, that deceitful distinction between terror and stealth.  For, the rhetoric only goes after the front-line jihadists and their battlefield generals, so to speak: only the ones exploding, the ones plotting explosions, and the ones planning broader facilitation of the larger, more complex terror plots.  In terms of the broader facilitation, sure, a robust policy rooting that out would help in the short-term, but if that policy is built on a non-existent, fantasy-based distinction between the average Muslim and the broader facilitator of terror plots -- conceiving the former as having utterly nothing to do with the latter, and even going further, of being on our side against the latter -- then such a policy, and the baby-step rhetoric that underpins it, will actually help to ensure that in the future, among the Muslims (or their future generations) who in the meantime will have infiltrated into every institution of Western societies, there will be critically placed moles ready to move the Jihad to Phase II -- a dramatic escalation (in terms of incidence, geographical dispersion, spectacular location, high casualties, and gruesome methods) of violent terror throughout the West which, by that time, will have been degraded and compromised enough by its continual appeasement of Muslims, including trillions spent on safety measures from terrorism.

That last sentence contains an implication about terrorism and the broader strategy of Jihad as Islam undergoes a global revival of its former glory, meanwhile, their perennial enemy (the West) remains ostensibly much more powerful and sophisticated than they are. The implication is that the broader strategy of Jihad involves two phases. The first phase, which we are in, involves a use of terrorism not as a means for outright conquest, but mainly (if not only) as a means for a protracted shock to our infrastructures (socioeconomic infrastructure as much as technological infrastructure), a protracted drain on our system, and a protracted degradation of our collective conscious (e.g., exacerbating our irrational responses of acting out of repressed fear of Muslims and triggering our Western anxiety about being "racist" against Brown People).

Thus, in this first phase, because of our superiority, Muslims deploy terror as a "strategy of sidération" and part of that necessitates that the link between terror and stealth be kept invisible to the enemy.  And thus also in this first phase, terror is kept below a certain threshold in terms of incidence and effect (casualties and material destruction) -- for, if the terror happens too much and too lethally, it would be more likely to trigger Western governments, even if they be deeply infected by PC MC, to wake up and clamp down on Muslims.

And since the goal of this global revival of Islam is the destruction of the West as an impediment to full Shariah, it will have to involve, at some point, actual, physical, violent conquest.  There is no such thing as "Shariah creep" simply because the end game of full Shariah is so diametrically antithetical to the values and worldview of the average modern Westerner, and as such he would only acquiesce at the point of a sword.  See my argument about this in my recent essay, Philip Haney's lapse in logic.


So, if Trump's baby step (that we should oppose "radical Islamic terrorism") is the first movement in a process that will end up contradicting the logical implication of that baby step (namely, that there is a broader Islam that is not "radical" and is not "terrorism" which we should not oppose) -- then sure, it's a good thing.  However, such rhetoric has a built-in resistance to following through with the logical contradiction of its central implication, especially among those (like the witless Jamie Glazov and the insufferably correct Sam Harris) who sincerely believe in dividing Islam up into good and bad segments.


Nobody said...

One difference b/w Trump and the rest is that Trump appears to know that it's Islam that is the problem. Two examples:

1. After the San Bernardino shooting, he called for a ban on Muslims. That was Trump unplugged, unscripted, if you will. Yeah, he read out that statement in a rally, but has clung to that ever since. When he was attacked by the Khans on that during the DNC, he questioned whether the wife was allowed to speak or had to be silent due to Islam. Not 'Radical Islamic Terrorism'

2. After the death of Judge Scalia, he joked that Obama would have attended the funeral had it been in a mosque. People who pick nits on this one, like most mainstream people, wouldn't dream of making such a joke for fear of being Islamophobic

As it is, his original Travel Ban was (unconstitutionally) knocked off in court due to the theory that it was targeted at Muslims. As a result, in the new EO, he had to take off the exceptions for non-Muslim minorities such as Christians or Yazidis. So I wouldn't put pressure on him to be dead on target, if only b'cos the judiciary currently is still stacked against him.

The difference b/w him and mainstream Republicans is that the latter seem to actually think that most Muslims are benign. Starting w/ Pence and right down to Gorka. Trump, however, seems to know that Muslims are the problem, when he talks about medieval times, people chopping off heads, and his reading of the Al Smith poem 'The Snake' at his rallies. Nobody watching them would conclude that the snake is anything other than Muslims: he was equating the snake to Muslim refugees in Germany & Sweden who rape local women. That's not an assymptotic attack the way most others are.

Hesperado said...

Nobody, even if you're correct about Trump, two factors work against the holistic logic (that leads to suspect all Muslims):

1) he's only one person out of a minuscule minority in the Mainstream who may feel this way; and though he has a lot of power as POTUS,

2) he has to moderate the holistic logic severely, and part of that is setting into place in policy & official rhetoric the kind of moderation that leads to reinforcing the disconnect between Violent Jihad and Stealthy Jihad.

However, I'm not even so sure of the premise. I agree that Trump's previous actions and words have indicated glimpses of the holistic logic, but I don't think he's capable or has the intellectual leisure time to think it through; and my years of butting heads with even people in the Counter-Jihad who can't think through the logical conclusions of their own rhetoric leads me to think it's not only possible for a mind to do that, but actually psychologically quite common. At best, then, Trump would have that asymptotic confusion that is common in the Counter-Jihad Mainstream; a confusion that hasn't properly digested and thought through the paradox between an intolerance against Islam and a fuzzy, incoherent belief in innumerable harmless Muslims.