Francis hits one out of the ballpark today, expanding on an earlier Kurt Schlichter column. The money quote:
Prior administrations have foolishly attempted to purchase North Korean cooperation with carrots: thousands of tons of free oil, a light-water nuclear reactor, and so on. What those administrations failed to realize was that once the oil, the reactor, etc. had been delivered, their power to maintain the agreement lapsed. But a credible threat of invasion and regime decapitation has enduring influence over the mind of the satrap of a lesser power…even one with some notional nuclear capability.
Foolishly, liberals have long sought to purchase not merely cooperation, but approval also. There is a subtle difference. Satraps of lesser powers, as Francis describes them, may be made to avoid troubling us through judicious application of leverage. Stop waving around your nukes, or we’ll kill you all. However, this does not purchase likability. The enemy will resent you and hate you (not that I particularly care – he’s the enemy, after all).
Leftists often lament that America is not well-liked by various powers and peoples around the Earth. We are supposed to care about how much the French approve of us, or the Pakistanis, or even some random country in the middle of nowhere. The approval of the Muslim world is of endless importance to Leftists. And so, when dealing with tyrannical regimes, the Left requires a solution that theoretically will both work, and make the other side like us more. Bribery of the sort Francis and Kurt describe is the oft-used tactic. After all, who doesn’t like being given heaps of free shit?
Naturally, the tactic fails to achieve a long term balance of power. Foreign aid money must continue to flow to purchase cooperation and approval. Disapproval becomes leverage the other country may use against us. “Sorry, America, our people just don’t like you much anymore. Perhaps if you gave us more, they might approve of you once more.” The market price for political approval grows, the incentive to crap on America likewise grows. Few get heaping piles of money and free reactors by being our friend, after all.
Incentives are such that it is more profitable to disapprove of America. Indeed, America-hating is so profitable now that Americans themselves are agitating for a slice of that action. Yell from the rooftops that America is the worst nation since Nazi Germany, and you’re likely to get a cushy gig as a political adviser, a journalist, or as a tenured professor. On the other hand, wave an American flag, and you’re the worst bigot since Leonardo Dicaprio’s character in Django Unchained.
The obsession with approval runs deep in Leftist circles. Tolerance of homosexuality, for instance, was a good and decent thing to ask for. After all, it is not us who are inclined to exterminate gays by throwing them off of buildings (see the people Leftists want to suck up to for examples of that behavior). Yet tolerance was insufficient for the Left. They required approval also, a wholly different affair. To tolerate you means that I must merely leave you alone to do as you will so far as you likewise leave me alone. Quid pro quo still applies. Smoke the sausage if you want, but do not cause trouble for me because I do not share your proclivities, nor have any particular wish to be involved in them. Yet the “bake the cake” and “cater the pizza” examples show us that tolerance was not their game. Approve of it, they demand. Participate in it or you are a bigot and we will ruin you.
Approval is everything to them, because approval is the high; the aphrodisiac of politics. One is made to feel popular, loved, and worshiped by such. Feelings like those reinforce a notion of superiority, the idea that one is better than everyone else. In reality, it merely makes the narcissistic wimp vulnerable to sucker tactics. Power flows the other way. The person expressing disapproval controls the entire situation, and once the great big pile of free shit is accepted, the disapproval begins anew. Bake the cake, they will say. Next it might be “gays should get an oppression discount on the cake.”
It is no different from the Oppression Olympics in our domestic politics. The offended person possesses all the power. Thus we get more offended people, not less. Similarly in international politics, we get more posturing assholes demanding free shit from America, not less.
Trump, at the very least, has restored some level of balance to this. He is willing to brandish the Stick, long covered in cobwebs and dust. And what’s more, his enemies know well his willingness to use it. They will grumble, they will not approve of us. But what does that matter? Toleration is all that is required. That Kim II ding-dong whatever doesn’t love us certainly doesn’t bother me. That China is probably irritated with Trump’s trade negotiation tactics is irrelevant. I don’t even care if NATO members like us. I’m not losing any sleep over any of this.
Remember your Machiavelli:
It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.
If you’ve long felt the country coming apart at the seems, fracturing along its ideological breakpoints, you aren’t alone. Right or Left, it’s not hard to see it. The Internet is chock full of vitriol and hatred between the the camps. In meatspace, the peace was often maintained by deliberately looking the other way, or just keeping quiet.
But now, with the rise of Donald Trump, even meatspace is becoming hostile politically. I’ve lost many personal friends, and I’ll probably lose more. There are riots in streets, and graffiti right down the road from me that says “Kill Whitey – Black Lives Matter.” Hoax or true, who knows? But God knows you didn’t see things like that in my town even a year ago.
We’re heading to a dark place as a nation, presuming we even last much longer as a nation. I don’t know. When I read Kurt’s first book in this series, People’s Republic, I was instantly struck with how plausible and realistic the world he constructed felt.
In his new book, Indian Country, this world is taken up to the eleven. You see what it would actually be like to live in a time when the country wasn’t just splitting apart, but had already cut itself to pieces. Make no mistake, the world he describes is so very possible, even likely, that it’s actually something of a frightening read.
In some ways, his writing style reminds me of Tom Kratman, as it should given their broadly similar backgrounds. You can definitely tell that the author served. His description of tactics, the grasp of command, and what it means to fight ring true.
Some trolls on Twitter, usually of the Progressive variety, have taken to calling him a stupid “jagoff” on Memorial Day, but they only prove why Kurt’s world feels so realistic. The hatred and vitriol slung his way for just the mere act of writing and promoting this book shows the truth of it.
Kelly Turnbull, Kurt’s protagonist, is a fascinating character. At first read, you might think him a simplistic military man, without any real depth. But as you get into the book, you realize that Kelly is a sort of observer of humanity, almost as much a passenger in this story as the reader.
Oh, he’s not a helpless passenger. During the course of the story, he fights, and motivates his men (and yes, they are his men, despite being a motley collection of civilians, cops, and ex-military) to great feats. But the reader gets the sense that though this story takes place in a tiny part of southern Indiana, it’s part of a much wider world that’s slowly but surely going straight to Hell.
There are some memorable characters, and some amusing one-liners here and there, including an old stubborn redneck downing Pabst on the way to a firefight because damnit, the beer was just there, and plenty of jabs at politically correct social justice culture. It’s not Crusader company, damnit, it’s “Caring” company. I guess every tanker is just a caring transsexual overweight otherkin lesbian in disguise. It sounds like the sort of irritating intellectual refuse peddled by your average SJW. Kurt, it would seem, is well acquainted with them.
The villains aren’t cardboard cutouts either. One isn’t really a villain at all, despite his role as a major antagonist. Others, while being comically idiotic zampolits (is there any other kind?), manage to get in their own way more often than not.
Indian Country is a book I couldn’t put down. It was at times, entertaining, horrifying, real, and utterly insane. And it’s a thing that may come to pass sooner or later. Kurt intends this book to be a warning. Perhaps he, like some of my friends (Sarah, I’m looking at you), believe we can still avert the coming crisis.
Me? I’m a cynic and a pessimist. Not so different from Kurt’s protagonist, in this respect. When I read Indian Country, I feel like I’m reading a history of the near future.
Wherever you might stand on the future of our country, all I can say is, this book is powerful beyond my ability to describe it, and I give it the strongest possible endorsement.
As the bodies cool from the Manchester attack, the usual routine is making a comeback. There will be candlelight vigils, people will pray to gods they don’t believe in, and buildings around the world will be lit in the usual retinue of national colors. Facebook, in all likelihood, will have some kind of automatic profile picture generator.
Hearts will be drawn on chalk, tears will be shed on TV, and random people who never met before, nor will ever see each other again, will embrace on the streets. Politicians will hold hands and walk together, and everyone will repeat the same mantras we’ve heard a thousand times before.
“We denounce this cowardly attack. We will be strong together…” Yada, yada, yada.
The usual media talking heads will tell us that it is a tragedy, sure, but the worst part is that the white racists of Redneckistan are going to be empowered, and Muslims around the globe will face more racism and Islamophobia. This isn’t the real Islam, they’ll tell us. For Islam is a Religion of Peace.
I don’t know about you, folks, but I’ve no more patience with this. These people believe that hugs, tears, candles, and symbols chalked onto the streets will somehow banish murderous extremists like ISIS. Together, the power of the Care Bear rainbows will banish all badthink to another dimension, or something. I feel like I’m surrounded by emotional toddlers, unable to separate magical fantasy from grounded reality.
Peace with the Islamic world is most assuredly possible, but it won’t come from hearts drawn in the streets, it will come with a price tag in blood and treasure. Islam, after all, has always had bloody borders. And the weakness of the West has only emboldened them.
Stop for a moment and look at it from the angle of an extremely devout Muslim, one who believes in the supremacy of his faith, that Allah punishes those who disobey him, and rewards the faithful. The weakness of the West must appear to such a man to be everything that Allah has said. The West does all sorts of things their faith prohibits, from drinking, to not stoning women who cheat on their husbands, to permitting gays to live.
To them, we are degenerate, and the conquest of our countries, and the killing of our people is perfectly in line with the dictates of their faith. Indeed, it would be shameful to shy away from exterminating us for our sins against Allah. It would be evil, in the minds of such men, to permit us to go unpunished.
Of course, the usual response from the Progressives is “not all Muslims are like that.” And it’s perfectly true. Indeed, most Muslims aren’t like that. Most probably don’t care about what’s going on at an Ariana Grande concert in Britain. But here’s the thing: enough are like that to cause us a great deal of grief and suffering. Surveys and studies have been conducted on this very topic (and these not ones that would be friendly to the right wing point of view), and support of suicide bombing attacks like this are in the double digits, though short of an outright majority, in most Muslim countries, and even many Muslim populations in the West.
Support for Sharia law is an absolute majority in most Muslim countries. In the same study, you see that ISIS is viewed negatively by most Muslims, which seems good… except in many countries, again, there is easily double digit support for them (note that Jordan and Lebanon are very prominent exceptions – their extremist populations are much lower, they seem to be doing something right). This National Review piece goes into some detail as well.
What you find consistently in all this — and it jibes with personal observation as well — is that somewhere between 20 and 25% of Muslims are either extremists themselves, or are supportive of the extremists and their tactics. So sure, most are not “like that” but enough are. And of the non-extremist variety, most still want Sharia law, a form of jurisprudence that is anathema to the West and its notions of human rights. Maybe they don’t feel the need to kill us over it, as their extremist coreligionists do, but that still doesn’t mean that everybody would just get along and sing Kumbaya around the campfires.
Feminists are fond of using “not all men” as a meme, a counterexample, because to them enough men are rapists, in their view. I submit that the percentage of men in the West who support rape, or are rapists themselves, is far less than 20-25%, at least by an order of magnitude if not more. And the remainder certainly do not subscribe to a form of jurisprudence that legitimizes stoning an adulteress to death. Yet that is enough for RadFems to say “yes, all men!”
See the double standard yet?
Something must be done. After all, what is the definition of insanity, if not doing the exact same thing over and over again, expecting things to change?
I’m tired of this in the news. And it has already struck in my part of the world, among people I actually know. It’s getting too common, and too close to home. And let me make this very clear to my readers. If my child were ever killed in such an attack, I would go on a God-damned (and I don’t make this invocation lightly) one man Crusade for vengeance. God may have said “vengeance is mine” but I would damn my soul to Hell to get even with anybody who attacked my family.
So the passivity and magical invocations of the Progressives grates on my nerves. It’s disgustingly naive and utterly insane. It is the man who passively bows down to his executioner instead of fighting to the last. I don’t understand it. I can’t fathom it.
And they won’t do anything to address the problem. It’s sad that so many children suffered in Manchester, but let’s not kid ourselves… they won’t be the last. The blood will continue to run in the streets until the delusional idiots are stripped of power and run out of town, until the hearts on the sidewalk are erased with blood, until the candlelight vigils are seen for the farcical rituals they are.
The Progressives often mock Christians for being believers in a mystical sky wizard, but at least when the Christian man prays, he thinks somebody is on the other end. He thinks that, though his prayer may go unanswered, that someone heard it. The Progressive vigils and prayers go nowhere. They don’t even believe anyone is on the other end. It’s wasted breath, empty ritual stripped of all purpose and meaning.
The Christian, talking to God, believes that somebody is there with him. And if he must suffer, as Christ suffered, then that is the way of it. But at least Christ knows how it is with him, for He suffered likewise. That is why prayer can be a comfort in dire times. What does the prayer of a Progressive atheist offer to anyone, least of all to himself? It’s just theater, posing for the cameras, the useless village idiot saying “look everybody, I’m helping!”
The magic sigils won’t bring back the dead children. They won’t make Islam and the West friendly with one another. They won’t turn back the 20-25% of Muslims who like these attacks, and desire more of them.
And, eventually, the attacks will find their way to folks who won’t put up with it anymore, who will be as violent and angry as I’d be if it happened to my family… and then there will be war. And we’ll pay just as much attention to the lit-up buildings as Muslims do. That is to say, no attention at all.
It’s been a busy week for me… and in between the goings on, Tom Kratman’s column on EveryJoe came to an end. There’s not much to say on that, except that this does not mean an end to his writing career, which is good, because I’ve been following his Carrera series for quite some time, now. And The Rods and the Axe left us hanging, for sure. As an aside, if you haven’t read his Carrera series, definitely put it on your list. The first book is free on Kindle. Start here and get back to me.
But as to his column coming to an end, there’s very little to say. I will repeat what I posted there:
Your column will be missed, sir. It’s helped me understand a lot more about the military, among other things (I’ve also learned a great deal that may be of use if Antifa ever comes to my town…). I will, of course, eagerly await the next installment in the Carrera series, and I’ll continue to follow you on the bar and on Fecalbook.
It’s hard to know what to say when a favored column goes off the air. When Thomas Sowell recently put down his pen, I was both saddened that he was retiring, and respectful of the vast body of work he had left behind for us. It is with a similar thought that I take in the end of your column.
I’m proud to have played a small role in it, and eagerly await your next writings, even if they might be somewhat less frequent.
Give his final column a read. It contains links to some of his best work on EveryJoe, and I highly recommend all of it for my readers.
Weaponized Empathy is a topic I keep bringing up here at The Declination. It is an insidious weapon, both pervasive and subtle. The weapon preys upon your better nature, twisting your better instincts in the service of another.
Guilt-tripping is the best way I can describe it. You are made to feel guilty and remorse for things you have not done. A white man might be made to feel guilty for slavery in the United States, despite having never owned slaves, nor having countenanced slavery in any form. He might be called a Nazi for being vaguely Right-of-center, despite his ancestors having participated in the liberation of Jews from Nazi Germany.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a fresh-off-the-boat Romanian immigrant. You’re white, so you’re privileged. Therefore, also, you are guilty. The Left tells us not to be prejudiced, that is to say to prejudge a person. Yet they ascribe guilt, a literal form of judgment, onto people they don’t know.
Then they say that you should feel guilty. Perhaps today you should feel guilty for being white, and tomorrow all men should feel guilty for having penises. And the day after, straight people should feel guilty for not being homosexual. And so on…
Guilt. I’m tired of it, folks. Pardon my French, but it’s all horseshit. Commensurate with Right-wing philosophy in general if you do the crime, you’re going to do the time. But the reverse is also true. If you haven’t done the crime, then you should not do the time.
In other words, I’m done with that sort of thing. I don’t care if folks on the Left think I’m some kind of cold-hearted, heretical bastard, a blasphemer of the religion of political correctness.
Most folks have heard about the attack in Sweden. If you haven’t, you’ve probably been living under a rock. Meanwhile, a Leftist Swedish rag talks about how cars ought to be banned in response to the attacks.
I wasn’t originally going to comment on the attack. After all, there are too many Islamic terror attacks these days for one blogger to ever hope to cover them all (and isn’t that a sad state of affairs?). But one thing compelled me to do so.
You see, like the picture of the Syrian boy who drowned, there is a horrifying picture floating around the Internet right now of an 11 year old girl who was, quite literally torn to pieces by the terror attack. Pieces of her are scattered all over the road, a leg here, a leg there, guts strewn all over the road.
I’m absolutely not going to post it on my blog, because my readers are likely to lose the contents of their stomachs if they see it. But I’ve seen it, and so have many others. You can probably find it for yourself with a little Google-fu. I did, however, verify the photo with local landmarks, and the position of the covered bodies in the photographs the press has released. So it’s not a fake (there have been weaponized fake pics floating around social media all too often lately).
It is, by an order of magnitude, a more powerful picture than the dead Syrian boy.
So why haven’t you seen even a semi-censored/pixelated version of this picture? Is it because it is too gruesome? Doubtful. Certainly if that were true, they could have at least posted an alternate angle.
No, the gruesome death of Ebba Akerlund doesn’t fit the pro-Islam, pro-migrant narrative. They could weaponize the photo, if they chose to, but they don’t want to. So why are pictures of Syrian children weaponized, and Swedish children not? It’s not rocket science, obviously.
This could have been worldwide news, at a level that would dwarf the dead Syrian boy, or the affair with United Airlines. But only a few outlets are even carrying her story at all.
It’s enough to make one sick, almost as sick as someone who saw the picture in question.
As for the media, I’d appreciate it if you stopped wasting my time, trying to sell Islam to the West like some kind of used car salesman decked out in 70s plaid, trying desperately to clear his lot of lemons. I’m not buying, okay?
Well, the reaction to Trump’s attack on Syria is, to say the least, rather mixed. Personally, I am somewhat disappointed. I don’t know about all of my readers, but I’m exhausted of Middle Eastern quagmires. Evan McMullin decided this was a good time to agree with Trump’s attack… and then bash Trump anyway. So doing what his opponents want doesn’t seem to have any effect on how much they hate him. If that was his goal, it failed miserably.
On the other hand, doom-and-gloom folks who say this is the end of Trump are off base, too. Drudge has something like 65% favorability for the attack on their recent poll last time I looked at it, and only 21% opposed (the remainder are uncertain). So folks on the right are still more or less behind him.
All that being said, I’d prefer if Trump concentrated on our domestic issues, especially illegal immigration. That, and keeping Syrian migrants out of the country, since those nations who have embraced mass numbers of migrants continue to suffer terror attacks from the same. Middle Eastern quagmires never end well. We’ve tried them time and time again, and the cost in blood and treasure isn’t worth it. To put it simply, it’s not our problem. And, quite frankly, I’m irritated at those who want to import these problems into my country.
All that being said, Francis has written a much better summary of where we are now that this has happened, and so I will more or less defer to him on this.
As I said on Twitter earlier, this is disappointing to me. I hoped to see better from Trump. However, I’ll let this one pass. There are many plausible explanations for why he did this, and not all of them are bad. That being said, I hope this is an aberration, and not the setting the tone for his administration. Otherwise I might be inclined to rethink my support for him going forward.