Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Be Afraid! Be Very Afraid!
Here we go again!
Let me begin by asserting that I.S.I.S. (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) or now I guess simply I.S. (Islamic State) is plainly a threat to the civilized world. There's no question of that. But it's a question of the scope of that threat which makes me blink when I follow the recent hysteria rampant on the news. The slogan "They are coming here." seems to encapsulate the dread which the news mavens seek to promote. The threat appears to at once specific and vaporous at the same time. The "Chattering Class" seems especially wigged out that these barbarians seem adept at social media, clearly a mostly generational change in the ranks of the ongoing threat which has been rumbling at least since the olden days of the original Iraq hostage crisis back during the Jimmy Carter days.
The sheer brutality, the utter uncompromising violence perpetrated by these guys also seems to send a chill, as if this kind of raw murderous activity were somehow new to the world. I've been reading some Robert E. Howard recently and it's interesting to process the news through the lens of his take on barbarism, a state which he thought yielded some benefits. It's a different matter to see bloodletting in anything approximating a romantic eye when it's unfolding before your actual eyes. But the beheading of newsmen which has most recently stirred up the talkers to rage for vengeance seems an act straight out of a Conan story.
I don't know if the be-headings are so chilling to the news folks because they happened to their own or merely because it happened to someone who merely looked and sounded like them, but they are clearly unnerved by it. The fact these kinds of appalling events have happened to countless unnamed and poorly numbered people in the interior of the country seems of less immediacy. That it could happen to some of "us" has enraged the talkers to the point they clearly want another war, somewhere to right the wrong, to reestablish the "natural order".
I.S.I.S. is a clear and present danger, if not to the United States directly then more likely to Europe. But they are a threat to the people they hound and murder and enslave right now, no foresight needed. Should we send American troops yet again to fight for and against these people? I don't think so, not now, not unless we really mean it this time. If this group is the equivalent of Hitler (as some of the more extreme talkers suggest, but someone almost always suggests this) then it is incumbent on all civilized folk to marshal their will and their fortunes to fight it. We need to reinstate the draft immediately and begin to rebuild the force to meet this threat. We need to raise taxes substantially to pay for the war to bring the peace we hope for.
Without these measures, those who cry for war are talking out their asses yet again. They are just acting pugnacious and trying to scare folks for ratings and ultimately they hope for votes. But if they mean it, then let them call for steps which indicate their seriousness. Otherwise, just shut the hell up and monitor the threat and keep it in perspective, which seems to be current course of action. The world is a large and dangerous place, it always has been. Get used to it.