Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Christopher Hitchens gets it right: "It would have been far better if President Bush had characterized the atrocity as an attack on civilization itself, and it would be preferable if we observed the anniversary in the same spirit.” An attack on America? Well, yes, it occurred here. But the attacks on London, and on Madrid, and on New Delhi, on the Danes and the Dutch and the French, on Israel and Tunisia and Bali and Argentina -- what continent, what hemisphere has been spared? Nine Eleven is our wound, but the whole world is bleeding.

I have always been careful to distinguish between Islam and Islamism. I would not be associated with the barbaric aspects of the Crusaders -- for all that their mission was right. Just so, any hypothetical moderate Moslem must not be shown the disrespect due to murderous fanatics and their blackguards. But as for the islamists themselves -- someone comes at me with a box cutter, I want them dead. Period. Well, no, semicolon. I want their family dead too.

First, because war should have a cost, and to one who is willing to lay down his own life as well as the lives of the innocent, his death is no cost at all. Since the rules of their game call for the deaths of the innocent, let’s accommodate that demand -- although calling their family "innocent" doesn't really fit. We are not diminished, for waging war as it has always been waged. The idea of professional armies who allow no civilian deaths -- this is a new thing under the sun. New, the way unicorns are new: not real, and not possible. The Thirty Years War (now that was a war!) killed a third of all Germans. Tough. Don’t have Thirty Years Wars. But if you do, dig your son’s grave ahead of time.

Second, because the families of terrorists are crap. I suppose any family might spawn a monster. But there is a culture that plops out monsters the way blowflies squirt out maggots. Whether you are an Evolutionist or a Creationist, you understand that the universe is founded on death. Whether “survival of the fittest,” or “the wages of sin” -- the idea of death as an essential tool is embodied in both theologies. What is inevitable, is not evil. Turning your children into homicidal monsters, however, is not inevitable. It is a choice. And that choice should carry a penalty. A capital penalty.

When a child used bad language in front of Confucius, he slapped the father. Yeah. Mohammad needs a good thrashing. But Hell is taking care of it. The cave Mohammad had his vision in was a tunnel. Guess where it leads? No, I’m not Moslem. Not Hindu, not Jewish, not Mormon, not Buddhist, not Shinto, not animist, not voodooist, not Satanist. You? Be what you want to be, and enjoy your life. And extend that courtesy to others. Go ahead and think I'm wrong. Think I'm going to Hell. Think what you like. But use box cutters on boxes.

All this bloodthirstiness of mine is very uncivilized. But that supposes that there is an unassailable case for the virtue of civilization. An unwise absolute. There is virtue in pragmatism. We must not idly suffer the killing of the innocent. But Um Nidal, Mama Jihad, is not innocent. Let the innocent, then, go free. But let the guilty perish. Guilty. Islamist. And the fallacy lies in assuming there is no mechanism by which "civilization" may protect itself. There is. It's called "war". Again we have encountered our old nemesis, ambiguity. Equivocation. Words meaning more than one thing. How inconvenient. When I say "civilization," I exclude all monsters and barbarians. Islamists.

How can I be so sure? There are reasons other than my innate self-righteousness: London and Madrid and New Delhi, and the Danes and the Dutch and the French, Israel, Tunisia, Bali, Argentina -- and New York, and Washington, and Pennsylvania. So many wounds, and a single feral beast the cause. Hunt it down and kill it, and find its nest and kill what lies there.

Or is my metaphor faulty?



GUYK said...

I am afraid that there are too many nests..much like fire ant mounds in my yard. The oly way I got rid of them was to kill all of them and that is the way I am begining to feel about Muslems. I saw the newsreels of the Moslims dancing in the streets all over the world after the 9-11 attack ..we are at war with Islam is just not politically correct to say so. But I have never been accused of being politically correct..hell, not often am I acused of being correct. But this is one time that I am betting my life on it..and would advise others to do the same.

Craig Lowery said...

EXCELLENT post, Jack. Your courage to say what needs to be said is admirable. If only our politicians with their lace underwear would (or could) find their cajones.
When the Israelites crossed the Jordan, God was right in telling them to "kill them ALL." They're better off dead than breeding more hell-bound cannon fodder to be a blight on the world.