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Sunday, January 08, 2012

Compromise Impossible

The Western doctrine of non-violence depends on the willingness to compromise. To resolve any conflict by sitting down at a table, finding points of agreement and then working through the rest. The ruthless killing fields of the twentieth century have not shaken that eternal faith in a diplomatic solution, rather they have only strengthened it. But what happens when a compromise is genuinely impossible?

The commitment to non-violence depends on the assumption that while small numbers of fanatics might seek war, the vast majority of people do not. And even if they do want war, they want a humane war, not a genocidal war of extermination. Therefore even when such wars are fought, they do not reflect the will of the people, only that of a small group of fanatics.

That such a manifestly absurd belief that flies in the face of human history could be so widely held among the decision makers of the world's dominant civilizations is itself apt testimony to the decline and fall of those civilizations. Nevertheless this belief remains unshakeable.

Atrocities are attributed to a dictator and a few of his cronies. Remove the dictator, roll in the voting booths and then we need make war no more. But the rise of Islamic terrorism presents an explosive challenge to that worldview. There is no Hitler or Stalin of Islam. No small group holding power on which everything can be blamed. In the age of terrorism, it is the ordinary Muslim who acts as the killer. Who sheds his guise of humanity and kills.

Islamic terrorism is the most democratic and representative form of war there is. There is no draft. No government mandate. And no compulsion but that of the Koran. Of course in territories under their control, becoming a Jihadist sometimes is compulsory. But that certainly isn't the case in the West. While Western diplomats chatter about democracy, the Muslim votes with his bomb vest. And his vote is the decisive one.

Islamic terrorism is a direct refutation to that understanding of evil as a function of governments, rather than people. Its election victories mock the idea that democratic political representation ends violence. While Western intellectuals parrot the party line about a tiny minority of extremists being at fault, the political success of Islamist parties demonstrates  that they are neither a minority nor extremist. That the version of Islam they relegate to cave dwelling barbarians is actually the mainstream one.

If Western elites were to accept this, they would also have to accept that compromise is impossible. And that we face a war of extermination waged against us with every available weapon from demographics to atomics. But rather than accept the error of their ideas, they mainstream the Islamists. When the Muslim Brotherhood or Hamas ride a wave of popular support, they rush to explain why they are really moderate after all. If Al-Qaeda were to win elections in Yemen, there would immediately be distinctions made between the moderate Al-Qaeda terrorists who won the election, and the extremists who don't represent the humanistic principles that Al-Qaeda stands for.

The official position is that we are fighting a war of ideas against 'radicalization'. To win, we have to beat that tiny minority of extremists in a debate over the nature of their religion. And while they have an encyclopedic knowledge of the Koran and the Hadiths, we have a silly little ditty we picked up about Islam being a "Religion of Peace". But no matter how often we lose the debate, we never admit defeat. Instead we go on empowering Islamic populism, and when the populists turn out to be the very radicals we were fighting all along, then we reach for the dictionary and redefine them as moderates.

The intellectual error that lies at the heart of this cluster of stupidity is that the fault cannot lie in the people. That no people can be committed to war and destruction. That no mass of human beings would rather kill, than reach a reasonable compromise.

And so when the compromise is refused, its inadequacy is held to blame. Next time a more generous compromise must be offered. And if that too is rejected, then it's time to sit down and understand why the previous offers were judged so inadequate and bid even higher, like a game of poker in which the objective is to lose as much money as possible. The notion that the compromises are being rejected for the very reason that they are compromises is not one that can be accepted.

One sided compromises quickly become appeasement. But that is the only kind of compromises that are accepted, and even they are only temporary. Why compromise when you can win? To the mindset of a people who believe they would be running the world, if not for setbacks, political weakness and treachery-- the very word is poisonous. A treaty is a slap in the face to destiny. And a war is nothing to fear. The value that civilized morality assigns to life is absent in a culture where the individual is only an extension of the family, whose honor matters more than his or her life.

The Western fixation on non-violent solutions has no common echo in the Muslim world. There a non-violent solution is strategic, not moral. Such strategic cowardice has its place, but it is the violent solution that is held to be the moral one. The Jihad is approved by the Koran. But treating on equal terms with infidels is immoral. If Western leaders think that war is immoral, the Islamists view the lack of a war as immoral. This is a gap that cannot be bridged with any manner of compromise. No more than you can stop a sword with a handkerchief.

Western diplomats can't accept the impossibility of compromise because it overturns the political developments that led them to this stage. And they are not about to go back in time, no matter how much of a dead end the present path that they are taking may be. Rather they are still trying to pin the blame on individual dictators, orchestrating elections and counting on the goodwill of the majority to avoid the violence. They have not made any progress, but that is not for lack of compromising.

Israel has nearly been compromised out of existence through the process of one sided compromises that lead to nothing but more violence. Europe is following swiftly on its heels. And America, Australia and Canada are not far behind. The compromisers say that we must given in to show what noble and well-meaning people we are. And if our compromise is rejected, that is proof that we did not compromise hard enough. The diplomatic and political blood-letting is a slow form of suicide. The rhetoric about peace becomes a warm bath in which the suicide slits his wrists and floats away to dreams of a New Middle East in a cloud of his own blood.

And none of these sacrifices, the abandonment of dignity, law, religion and life avail as nothing against the  inevitable violence of people who believe that it is their moral duty to kill us. That murdering us is their sacred duty to their god. That the atrocities they commit are a fulfillment of their national destiny.

Compromise exchanges victory for a tolerable agreement. But the fiction of the inevitable compromise is the work of Western intellectuals and diplomats serving declining trade empires. The compromise is their preferred method of achieving stability without excessive risk. It preserves the lives of individuals at the expense of the power and interests of the nation. This seems an obviously moral tradeoff in the 21st century Post-Religious West-- but a shameful act of cowardice in the eternally 7th century Muslim East.

In the face of such determined evil, compromise is impossible. And even when possible, immoral, for such compromises are nothing more than Chamberlain pacts, pieces of paper that do not bring peace, but a chance for the enemy of life and freedom to improve his position, to devour and mangle more victims, before finally turning his eyes toward the biggest prize.

13 comments:

mindRider said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mindRider said...

Apparently Mohammed's understanding of the basic psychology of man was much better than we give him credit for. Man wants and deeply desires and adores violence, to murder to pillage and to rape, the veneer of civilization invented by Judaism which had sublimated this desire for blood spilling from human sacrifice by the transformation of the surrounding cultures popular human sacrifice into animal sacrifice and in Europe this grand application of counter core feeling humanity that makes a society livable, was painted onto the primitive cultures by the spread of Christianity which itself did their best to subsitute the human lust of blood by both creating the image of their crucified, bloodied, broken savior above every cove and the ritual of drinking wine/blood and eating bread/body in their religious ceremony. Incorporating the Mithrassian blood cult which was widely spread during the rise of Christianity into the new religion. Islam has never found a symbolic alternative for bloodlust because Mohammed was an ignorant man who's Quran only expresses his desire in justifying his own all too human traits without ever considering the necessity of larger than "clan" level permanent society, hence Islam's uncompromising murderous aggression, even internally between the different branches of Islam.

1/09/2012

HermitLion said...

If the desire to wage war and exterminate other groups is one aspect of human nature, then the cowardice of the overly-affluent is its completing second.

The compromises that non-leaders at the top of first-world nations make, are always at the expense of someone else, and intend to preserve their private prosperity, as well as that of their affiliates, on the expense of 'those filthy peasants' they rule over.
A comfortable-living moral-midget cannot be expected to risk his own benefits, for the sake of something abstract - like ideals, or the future. Especially if any action he would take could affect his current well-being.

But the non-leaders are merely the face of the majority of their generation, and so, like in that famous quote by Joseph de Maistre, "every nation has the government it deserves"...

Anonymous said...

Of course compromise is impossible. Why would islam, which is the non-negotiable, unalterable, perfect word of Allah and Mohammed, ever make compromises for the filthy, non-islamic world, which is imperfect? As usual, the west presumes everyone wants to work like they do, which means compromising. But that ain't how Islam works. There is no such thing as Islamic extremism. They are going about their normal, everyday, Islamic business when they try to subjugate and kill non-muslims. They are doing nothing extreme. The Sep 11 attack was business-as-usual, nothing-to-see-here type stuff. It wasn't an 'attack' - they're just being themselves.

Edward Cline said...

I saw a movie years ago, “The House of Games” (1987) in which a psychiatrist, played by Lindsay Crouse, tires to help a compulsive gambler kick the habit and winds up immersed in the conman universe. She is led around in circles by the chief of the conmen’s gang, Joe Mantegna, who even beds her. She winds up being taken for all her money and overhears the conmen, including the “compulsive gambler,” chortling over their sting as they divvy up their take. She was taken for a sucker right at the beginning because she was a bestselling author and had lots of money to steal.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093223/


This is more or less what is happening to the West with Islam. Diplomats refuse to believe the evidence of their eyes and keep digging themselves deeper and deeper in the Islamic con game. They are compulsive altruists and pragmatists. The Middle East Forum had an excellent article, “The Two Faces of Al-Jazeera”: AJ West presents a “civilized” face to the West, and AJ-Arabic, which is in sync with the Islamic agenda of conquest and dissimulation. It’s broadcasting taqiyya, but our diplomats and policymakers hale the debut of this Qatar-run outfit in the U.S.

http://www.meforum.org/3147/al-jazeera

It’s all a game of bluff and deceit to the Islamists, and the West’s pile of chips is growing smaller and smaller. Yet, our political leaders remain at the table, hoping to grand-slam the pros with the ideal compromise that will bring peace. They ignore the gun that’s pointed at them from beneath the table.

Malcolm said...

Daniel,

Have you ever read this article regarding Negotiations by Steven Den Beste

http://denbeste.nu/cd_log_entries/2003/01/Negotiations.shtml

John K said...

Sometimes I feel unsure about whether to post a comment or not. Usually I feel impressed to write if an article brings to mind a related matter or if I feel an insight into the matter that will help develop or extend the concept. But other times when the subject matter is more difficult, I find myself in learning mode and struggling to wrap my mind around the matter. It is in these times that I don't want you to think that you are not getting comments because the subject matter was not interesting or because the article was poorly written or wrong. The first time I found your blog I spent hours going through articles because even at my age, I found answers to questions I had wondered about my entire life. So you truly have a unique gift for insight and analysis, but I don't want to go into cheerleader mode and write gushy comments all the time. As long as I have been studying Islam and trying to understand the mindset, I still find it difficult to get into their heads because it is so foreign to our ways. It occurred to me that today's article serves as a kind of cultural translator. We've read the Quran and Sunna that explain these concepts, but you rephrase them in our language of Western Civilization in a way that we can understand what is happening. So I guess in summary I would have to say that I have heard much of today's material before, but now I understand them better. Thanks again.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Some pieces are more dense than others, but translating events for people is a major reason why I do what I do and it's good to know when I have succeeded.

TBS said...

Actually, I always thought - and stil do - that the passion for "talk" displayed by top diplomats was and is a way of procrastinating re hard decisions and actions while still gettijng paiud.
Plus the politicians and diplomats are in the talking game which is what they are best at, so any means they have of even appreciating battle is nullified by their own incpaacity at this miltary stuff.

They are the ultimate, these people, at slandering, thieving, putting off, writing, dictating - all in the verbal/adminstrative field. They do not want to fight and they do not wish to protect anyone else except themselves, not even in public office which affords them a level of protection seldom available to anyone else.

Treaties and negotiations cost them nothing - they get to talk, grandstand, make great speeches (written by lowly staff), make (or rather receive) lots of money, travel around and look busy.

Very little gets accomplished except that Islam gets more powerful. Which provides a nice amount of "work" for the next generation of pusillanimous talkers.

Keli Ata said...

This is truly an extraordinary article, Daniel; one of your best.


Of all the nations you cited I believe Israel will be the one to survive and inspire the others. provided Israel adopt an isolationist approach when it comes to fighting for survival.

It seems Israel fights hardest when its back is up against a wall, when friends have abandoned it. Then there is only Hashem, the Jewish people is there life.

I know a lot of people would disagree with that and argue that Israel needs all of the friends she can get, but I often think all of this friendship, conflicting opinions, right/left is too distracting.

The Jewish people (Israel in particular) seems to do best when they have only themselves and Hashem to rely on.

John K said...

Keli, Israel is there to be an example for all of us to follow. When we see Israel standing up and doing what's right, it is inspiring to all of us to do likewise. But Israel needs to get it's leftist disease under control. It has it as bad or worse than the US right now.

Marylou said...

A beyond excellent exposition of the true nature of Islam.

Now, will you kindly hop on the next plane and quickly get your name on all the state ballots so you can explain this to the whole country as a presidential candidate? Oh, never mind -- two of the candidates already are, but nobody’s paying any attention to them either.

Anonymous said...

One big advantage of the radical Islamisation of the Middle East and Africa is that the citizens in those countries will get to experience first hand the Rule of the Prophet.
Those that survive the pogroms, economic collapse, mass starvation, random beatings and Darwinian lawlessness that the Muslim Brotherhood and it's ilk will bring may learn the adage that you get the government you deserve, hard and fast.

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