Monday, July 11, 2005


Christopher Hitchens explains why we cannot surrenderto the Jihadis (read the whole thing):

The preachers of this faith have taken care to warn us that they love death more than we love life. Their wager is that this makes them unstoppable. Well, we shall have to see. They certainly cannot prove their point unless we assist them in doing so.

My American friends have been impressed by the composure of the Londoners they have seen on the screen: I bet London Transport runs again rather sooner than US airlines resumed flying after 9/11.

I remember living in London through the Provisional IRA bombing in the 70s. I saw the very first car-bomb explode against the Old Bailey in 1972. There was no warning that time, but after a while a certain etiquette developed.

And, even as I detested the people who might have just as soon have blown me up as anyone else, I was aware there were ancient disputes involved, and that there was a potential political solution.

Nothing of the sort applies in this case. We know very well what the "grievances" of the jihadists are.

The grievance of seeing unveiled women. The grievance of the existence, not of the State of Israel, but of the Jewish people. The grievance of the heresy of democracy, which impedes the imposition of sharia law. The grievance of a work of fiction written by an Indian living in London. The grievance of the existence of black African Muslim farmers, who won't abandon lands in Darfur. The grievance of the existence of homosexuals. The grievance of music, and of most representational art. The grievance of the existence of Hinduism. The grievance of East Timor's liberation from Indonesian rule. All of these have been proclaimed as a licence to kill infidels or apostates, or anyone who just gets in the way.

Their grievances are in many ways similar to the many grievances I hear each day from my patients in jail. It is always someone else's fault that they are not successful or happy or that they are incarcerated. There is a plot to keep them down--to prevent them from achieving their goals. Rarely do any of them look within themselves to try to discover the source of their repeated failures; or to question their own choices. Blame is always externalized. Victimhood is always embraced. Innocence is always maintained. Anger and resentment are not only their emotions, they become a way of life.

So it seems to be with those who would like to blame the West--especially America-- for their own inadequacies and shortcomings. If they spent as much effort and time devoted to improving their individual and collective status in their own countries; if they would examine the rage that seems to motivate them; then there might be some hope to deal rationally with them. But this has not happened, and there can be no surrender to the evil these murderous fanatics are willing to contemplate, instead of taking responsibility for their own lives.

Meanwhile, Wretchard, commenting on the finding of the last missing Navy Seal, and the fact that in response to losses, the Americans sent in even more troops; and were not prepared to surrender the battle:

Bin Laden understood and accepted that American logistics, technology and science would be superior to his own. What he was less prepared to believe was the possibility that their fighting spirit would be equal or greater than his. Sixty two years ago the Imperial Japanese Navy fought the USN for three straight days and nights in the waters surrounding Guadalcanal, from November 12-15, 1942. Both sides fought at point-blank range in some cases. Two USN Admirals, Scott and Callahan, died in a single night. Still the IJN and USN came on. Only after the USS Washington sank the battlecruiser Kirishima on November 15th did the Japanese break off. But it was not the material loss that shocked the Japanese: losses were about even on both sides; it was the realization that USN would not give up.

It is the canonical assumption of those who set out to conquer the world that all men are not created equal: that there are ubermensch and untermensch, men of divine descent and mongrel races, jihadis and infidels; that somehow these differences in quality will allow the chosen few to dominate the many. Yet in each case these beliefs have proven wrong, whether in the snows of Russia, the waters of Ironbottom Sound, or in the mountains of Afghanistan.

Read both articles, and you will begin to understand why there can be no surrender to Bin Laden, Zarqawi, or Islam and all the jihadi thugs it seems to generate.

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