Saturday, August 12, 2006


Victor Davis Hanson discusses the absurdity that postmodern thinking has made of the rules of modern warfare. Rule #1:
Any death — enemy or friendly, accidental or deliberate, civilian or soldier — favors the terrorists. The Islamists have no claim on morality; Westerners do and show it hourly. So, in a strange way, images of the dead and dying are attributed only to our failing. If ours are killed, it is because those in power were not careful (inadequate body armor, unarmored humvees, etc), most likely due to some supposed conspiracy (Halliburton profiteering, blood for oil, wars for Israel , etc.). When Muslim enemies are killed, whether by intent or accidentally, the whole arsenal of Western postmodern thought comes into play. For the United States to have such power over life and death, the enemy appears to the world as weak, sympathetic, and victimized; we as strong and oppressive. Terrorists are still “constructed” as “the other” and thus are seen as suffering — doctored photos or not — through the grim prism of Western colonialism, racism, and imperialism.

In short, it is not just that Western public opinion won’t tolerate many losses; it won’t tolerate for very long killing the enemy either — unless the belligerents are something akin to the white, Christian Europeans of Milosevic’s Serbia, who, fortunately for NATO war planners in the Balkans, could not seek refuge behind any politically correct paradigm and so were bombed with impunity. Remember, multiculturalism always trumps fascism: the worst homophobe, the intolerant theocrat, and the woman-hating bigot is always sympathetic if he wears some third-world garb, mouths anti-Americanism, and looks most un-European. To win these wars, our soldiers must not die or kill.

Rule #2 comes about because of the marxist template that modern journalism uses to filter all news from the war (i.e., the "Oppressor"/"Oppressed" meme, in which the U.S. is always by definition the "Oppressor");

Rule #3 ensures that the opposition to the war always be considered more moral than the waging of the war (see reasons 1 and 2 above) and besides, since we are the oppressors in every conflict, we deserve to lose. Thus the opposition in our own country is not about differences in how to win the war; it is about supporting the enemy and rooting for him instead of us.

You must read the entire list of the new rules to appreciate how insane it all has become. Those who are familiar with postmodern rhetoric and the impact it has had on our society, particularly in the last 20 years or so, will hardly be astonished. The surreal aspect to these rule comes about because postmodern thought uses the technique of "Contradictory Discourses" as a fundamental political strategy:
In postmodern discourse, truth is rejected explicitly and consisteny can be a rare phenomenon. Consider the following pairs of claims.
- On the one hand, all truth is relative; on the other hand, postmodernism tells it like it really is.
- On the one hand, all cultures are equally deserving of respect; on the other, Western culture is uniquely destructive and bad.
- Values are subjective--but sexism and racism are really evil
- Technology is bad and destructive--and it is unfair that some people have more technology than others.
- Tolerance is good and dominance is bad--but when postmodernists come to power, political correctness follows.
There is a common pattern here: Subjectivism and relativism in one breath, dogmatic absolutism in the next.

You can see the contradictory quality of the new rules in all their surrealistic glory:

-Wars must be won by soldiers who should not die; and who must not kill
-US (and Israeli) soldiers are alternately helpless victims of the oppressive capitalistic society of America/Israel; and oppressive savages indiscriminantly killing helpless women and children
-The enemy can brutally and indiscriminantly kill 100's, even 1000's of innocent Americans/Israelis, but they are justified in doing so because of our oppression; while American/Israeli forces who use special caution and effort to spare innocents in their attacks on the enemy are guilty of heinous war crimes.

Etc. Etc.

Even as we were winning the Cold War at the end of the last century (or thought we were), the entire philosophical basis of totalitarian oppression had already thoroughly infiltrated our society via postmodernism.

This postmodern assault has been out in the open for some time now. It is being used by the new 21st century totalitarians to undermine:
- Objective reality
- Reason and the rational debate of ideas
- Individual freedom and freedom of thought and speech
- Progress and capitalism

The political and rhetorical strategies include:
- The distortion of language and meaning to undermine the individual's perception of reality;
- The use of direct or threatened physical violence to suppress speech and individual freedom;
- Politically "correct" thought control and cultural relativism to undermine reason and rational debate;
- The promotion of environmental hysteria to undermine progress, industrialization and capitalism

These activities represent the most serious assault on reality, reason, and individual freedom since the devastation wreaked by communism and socialism in the last century. I discuss in this post how the goals of socialism/communism and Islamofascism have come to be blended together (symbolized of course by the affection and cooperation between tyrants like Venezuela's Chavez and Iran's Ahmadinejad; or the connections between Hezbollah and Havana. In that post, I wrote:
Multiculturalism and political correctness are two of the fundamental pseudo-intellectual, quasi-religious tenets-- along with a third: radical environmentalism--that have been widely disseminated by intellectuals unable to abandon socialism even after its crushing failures in the 20th century. These tenets have been slowly, but relentlessly absorbed at all levels of Western culture in the last decade or so--but primarily since the end of the Cold War.

All three have been incorporated into most K-12 curricula and all other learning environments. They have been at the forefront of attempts by leading academics and academic institutions to rewrite most of history and undo thousands of years of Western cultural advancement. And further, as the culture has been completely saturated with this toxic brew, any attempt to question the tenets' validity or to contest their value is met with hysterical accusations of racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, imperialism, bigotry, or--worse of all --intolerance or insensitivity.

It just so happens, that these tenets represent three of the four pillars that are the foundation of an evolving epistemological, ethical and political strategy that the socialist remnants in the world have developed and are using to prevent their ideology from entering the dustbin of history.

And, what is most interesting is that, even as they encourage and enable Islam with the first three pillars; the Islamofascists are aiding and abetting them by using the fourth pillar- Terrorism. We can think of the four pillars as the reason for both the socialist revival (particularly in the western hemisphere recently) and the rapid advancement of the Islamic Jihad.

In fact, Islam is the new Marx according to this interesting article:
The similarities of communism and Islam are considerable. Both are egalitarian and advocate radical economic change. They both demand a domination of the public space and share a dogmatic, ideological view of the world.

Political Islam is also supplying the social services in a collective context that communism promised, and the status of groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah depends on this. Their facilities are often described by locals as superior to those provided by the ruling governments.

Islam also promises to deliver the poor masses from oppression, but there is a difference: instead of the working class rising up against the bourgeoisie, the uprising to be encouraged is by hapless, impoverished Muslims against their oppressive Western masters or puppet Arab leaders. And like communism, Islam believes the collective must be preserved at the expense of the individual. We are social beings first, individuals second.

Like communism, Islamism promises a better life for the poor, oppressed and alienated. It is cloaked in God, but its essence is strongly secular. Unless the West fights the war of ideas at this level, offering a competing vision of morality as well as economics and technology, the lure of Islamic extremism will continue to flourish.

And this will especially be the case as television shows the Western class oppressors dropping bombs on the Muslim proletariat.

I started out this post by talking about the surreal rules of modern warfare; but it seems to me this is only one major symptom of how postmodern illness and how its political thought and rhetoric have breathed new life into the dead-end doctrines of socialism and communism; and which has resulted in an alliance between those of the totalitarian left and right.

Historically, they have been on opposite sides; each fighting for supremacy. But today, both sides of the totalitarian political spectrum have come together and are united in their desire to destroy reason, logic, freedom and all of western civilization while they are at it. That is how they hope to gain ultimate and complete power over others.

And, make no mistake. Whether it is called a religious caliphate or a socialist uptopia, it is all about enslavement and control of the many by the few.

As long as we play by their specially designed postmodern--and hence, irrational, anti-western, anti-freedom-- rules; and accept the underlying premise that all the values of the west are inherently oppressive and evil; then it will impossible for us to win any battle of this war.

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