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July 10, 2005

The Logic of Violence

-- by Thomas Leavitt

It appears that some conservatives (reactionaries? dumbservatives?) think that violence is the solution to all problems. The more extreme, the better. This is fundamentally different worldview from that held by us liberal followers of the Enlightenment, who feel that reason and logic should prevail in human affairs.

See this excerpt from The Dumb Democrat, entitled THE LONDON BOMBINGS: the options, for an excellent example of how these folks think.

But what could we do anyway? We could keep playing the capitalist odds hoping it is our neighbors who get killed next or, very simply, we could demand that the enemy surrender. We could simply announce to the Muslim world ( 52% of Muslims in London were not willing to condemn the 9/11 bombings and no Imam (except one) has issued a fatwa against OBL for 9/11) that their support for OBL and his ideology has earned them the following ultimatum: change your ways and turn over OBL in one month or there will be a crater one mile wide round outside of Medina; in another month, if he has not been turned over, there will be another crater inside Medina with Gumbad-e-Khizra being precisely at the center of it. If at that point you still feel divinely inspired to follow OBL toward some 15th Century mad dog Caliphate we will eliminate Mecca one terrorizing month or so later, at which point you can pray 5 times a day in the direction of the Pakistan/Afghanistan border where your great savior OBL is living like a diseased and slimy rat in a dark dank hole.

Don't ask me why he thinks that apprehending Osama Bin Ladin will single-handedly stop Al Quaeda or religiously motivated Arab or Muslim fundamentalist terrorism...

If you think he's just one lone nut, let me present you with Michael Savage (host of the nation's fifth most listened to radio talk show) - who goes one step beyond this suggestion, and advocates that we pre-emptively nuke every Arab capitol as a means of cowing the terrorists into submission (I guess)... a suggestion he made several years ago, in fact.

Now, I won't speak for others, but I don't particularly want to deal with the fallout that would result from our taking the course of action this guy outlines... it is hard to think of a more effective means of inducing global social and economic catastrophe/collapse than nuking Medina and Mecca (hell, than even threatening to do so). If you think the Muslim world is stirred up now, wait until George Bush opens his mouth to make such a statement... I sure as hell wouldn't want to be an American abroad at that point - let alone a soldier serving in Iraq!

Posted by Thomas Leavitt at July 10, 2005 3:52 PM

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Comments

Maybe I'm just dreadfully daft, or perhaps its just that the idea seems so prima facie absurd to me that I never considered it before, but after engaging in an e-mail exchange with some of my pro Iraq invasion friends (who let me know I was a terrorist sympathizer because I don't believe we should have invaded) that a good bit of these people actually entertain the fantasy world notion that we can kill every terrorist. They seem incapable of noticing that this pursuit of terrorist at any and all costs mentality creates an autocatalytic cycle of terrorist generation and carries a heavy cost,in both money spent and lives lost - both American and foreign, civilian and military. I suppose they've never heard of such a thing as a Phyrric victory.

Posted by: Hume's Ghost at July 10, 2005 8:05 PM

Don't ask me why he thinks that apprehending Osama Bin Ladin will single-handedly stop Al Quaeda or religiously motivated Arab or Muslim fundamentalist terrorism...

So why is the DNC obsessing on this point? Remember all the things Kerry said about letting OBL "off the hook" in Afghanistan?

Personally, I don't favor a violent "final solution" to the problem; I favor not allowing groups who cannot live in a liberal democracy to immigrate.

The only thing that is going to stop Islamic terrorism is for Islam to grow up. But seeing as it was started by a child-molesting, genocidal, blood-thirsty, lunatic I have little hope it will.

Posted by: Anonymous at July 11, 2005 2:48 AM

... just because capturing Osama won't stop terrorism, or even just Al Quaeda, doesn't mean we shouldn't be bringing him to justice. Or that we shouldn't be focused on capturing him.

The Isrealis spent decades hunting down every last Nzai, and more decades hunting down every last terrorist from the Munich Olympics... there is value to ensuring that people are held accountable for evil acts. Not to mention that a trial would be a good venue for highlighting the faulty nature of his logic (as with Miloslovic and others brought before the Hague tribunal). Too bad Bush has damaged our moral authority and credibility with Gitmo et. al. and thus weakened our ability to make these points.

Posted by: Thomas Leavitt [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 11, 2005 10:17 AM

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