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Tuesday December 12 2006

I like these two pronouncements, which come right next to each other, and with stars in between, here:

Generally, though, if you want to know why someone is angry, just listen and they will tell you.

* * *

WARNING: NO religious wars in the comments! Everyone be nice to each other no matter what you believe and most important, remember I’m the only one who gets to preach on this site.

Here, on the other hand, a religious war (of the merely verbal variety) might just liven things up a little, what with all my physical and computational maladies that I have lately been droning on about, ad, to use a metaphor which I am afraid has been rather too literal for my taste (and I do mean taste), nauseam.

So, for some enjoyably gruesome speculations about the Pesky Muslims and what we may end up doing about them, try reading this.

John Derbyshire compares two strategies for dealing with Islam.  There’s chucking them all out of our countries and fencing them off, and then selectively and judiciously attacking them, trading with them, etc., as and when.  And then there’s outright slaughter, with Islam itself as the target of obliteration.  He says that the the fencing the off option would probably be easier.  I reckon that slaughter and obliteration might be easier, but that’s a quibble.  What I really want to say is that I like, as they used to say, the cut of this man’s jib (sp?).

Basically, the Peskier sorts of Muslims must somehow be made to realise that if there are a few serious terrorist hits of the sort they now yearn for (as opposed to the little pinpricks with a few dozen, hundred or thousand deaths that we’ve had from them so far), the rules of Western engagement with Islam would then seriously change.  Against them.

I don’t think it would, yet, be a good idea for people like the Prime Minister of the UK to be threatening all Muslims everywhere with ruin and catastrophe if between them the Muslims don’t mend their ways.  But, the Internet (I think I prefer a capital I there – see the comments on this) can say this, and is saying it.  Good.  Starting with all those uncouth nuke-em-now merchants at the time of 9/11, and then subsequently with gradually less maniacal prose and punctuation, it has been saying it, for over five years.  Very good.

The ‘reform’ of Islam is a huge and unprecedented notion, against which Islam is extremely well defended by its own – seemingly inherent – nature.  At present I see little sign of such ‘reform’. The Islamonutters proclaim that Islam means death or surrender to everyone else, and the ‘moderate’ Muslims remain pretty much mute, because, unfortunately, the Islamonutters are right.  ‘Reforming’ Islam means rewriting its holy writings, in which it says again and again - or such is my understanding - that these holy writings must not be re-written.  This will only be embarked upon if millions upon millions of Muslims become truly convinced that the alternative is liable to be the kind of thing that the Romans did to people whom they seriously disliked, i.e. what the Allies did to Nazi Germany in the closing stages of the WW2 but about a hundred times worse.

As Derbyshire says, in this, in connection with Bosnia, “there is rubble and there is rubble”.  He then says:

Armchair warriors like myself are sometimes accused of laboring under the illusion that all the world’s problems can be solved by neat “surgical strikes” on troublesome locations, in which suspect facilities, or persons, are cleanly eliminated with minimal collateral damage.

Not guilty! I am, in fact, willing to confess myself a collateral-damage armchair warrior, who would be happy to see us trade in our inventory of smart laser-guided precision munitions for lots and lots and lots of old-style iron bombs, and fleets of great big iron planes to deliver them. Remember those photographs of mid-1945 Berlin, fragments of broken wall sticking up out of vast drifts and dunes of pulverized masonry? Now that’s rubble.

Oh, and we won that war.

Ah, the reckless courage of the non-combatant!  I know just the feeling.  You sometimes hear people saying that “I take no pleasure” from saying this or that horrible thing.  I have surely said this myself, several times.  But actually I very much enjoy saying these kinds of things.  Why else would I be doing it?  Nobody is paying me for this.  No, I like facing disagreeable truths with others find too horrifying to think about, as does John Derbyshire.

I would take little pleasure in such things actually happening, because they would be far, far too scary, to everyone.  Even being able to say I told you so would be of little comfort.  But that’s different.

A point which I have definitely made before deserves relentless repetition.  The way to stop major wars is to realise what they are going to be like beforehand, so that the minds of all those decent middle-of-the-road types who so often (because they never saw it all coming) start major wars are concentrated, by abject terror of the consequences of having this particular one.

Compare and contrast: WW1 and WW3.  Not nearly enough important people understood what WW1 was going to be like, which is all part of why it happened.  WW3 on the other hand, the fixture described in such popular entertainments as Doctor Strangelove, was widely understood to be frightful, before it even got started.  Which is why it never did, and why the very USSR itself collapsed like a punctured beanbag without any hint of military drama, just drunkeness and incompetence.  And fear.

So, to repeat, this particular West-versus-Islam fixture, if it seriously hots up, will consist of an evil combination of Islamonutter atrocities, on a quite large scale, accompanied by similarly gruesome Western atrocities against Islam, and eventually followed by Western atrocities against Islam (all of it) on a scale that history has never before witnessed and which few Westerners now dare to contemplate out loud, but which millions of Westerners will contemplate very loudly indeed, once they start to think that if it’s us or them, let it be them.

If enough people on both sides of this potential holocaust get all that, it won’t happen.  If enough people don’t get all that, it very well might.

Tonight, Channel 5 TV, The Glories of Islamic Art.  Or, if history takes a sharp turn for the worse: the target list.

You wrote something like this, but better. Heavier on the sorrow and lighter on the anger. What happened to it?

Posted by Natalie Solent on 13 December 2006

Of course, we might get both the fence and the bombing.  Fence first, that is.  Indeed, if the West successfully inoculates itself against Islam it is difficult to see what the nutters can do.  They can try lobbing bombs over the fence but we will simply lob bigger bombs back.

Or move the fence that bit nearer Mecca.

Or both.

Posted by Patrick Crozier on 13 December 2006
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