Well, well, this has been educating…
The time is the end of July 2006. Charles Johnson’s masterful exposé of Reuters’ photography fraud broke through my skepticism as to the power of information warfare in general and of Internet campaigning in particular. I couldn’t adopt Charles’ format of short news items, because it wasn’t my style, but then I found Gates of Vienna, with the format of news items followed by lengthy commentary, and I liked it right away. So when August 2006 came, I launched this blog.
The time is the middle of December 2007. Between the two points of time, Israeli Prime Minister Olmert has gone through a complete meltdown, starting with his acceptance of a ceasefire agreement authored by the treacherous, Jew-hating United Nations, going through his refusal to even visit, let alone do something sensible about, the rocket-shelled Israeli town of Sderot, and now his participation in the Saudi-made conference of Annapolis, complete with declarations of intent to offer the Land of Israel as if on a fire-sale (God forbid).
The writings by us all—Charles Johnson, Zombie, Fjordman, Dymphna, Baron Bodissey, and me, to name a few—have had little effect beyond organizing the thoughts of those who were already predisposed toward right thinking. Here and there you might find a few converts, à la Neo-Neocon, but not in a critical mass. My intention is not to demoralize; only to bring some realism and then propose a better way. It must be remembered why the Muslims and their Leftist allies are dangerous: because they do not confine themselves to cyberyapping—because they make new facts on the ground.
Riding on the crest of Charles Johnson’s great hour from July 2006 for so long is no mean feat, but I should have known better, from the start. I had given in to impulse and youthful hope, but I should have heeded the lesson from the Holocaust Encyclopedia on my shelf, the particular lesson from its entries detailing the pre-Holocaust Jewish counterpropaganda efforts. Those existed; more: they were plentiful, contrary to what is commonly believed. The common belief results from their catastrophic failure in halting the tide. There were defenses of the Jews in the face of the accusations, and there were Jewish attacks upon the Jew-haters. Amazing, how it all mirrors the course of my writings: apologetics in the earlier part of my blog, then the realization that we are better off blackening our enemies’ name rather than trying to clear our own. Neither path, in the 1930’s, succeeded in halting the march of facts on the ground.
I shouldn’t have believed otherwise. I should have learned from the Israel/“Palestine” diaries on Daily Kos, especially the more recent ones. What I have seen there is both horrifying and enlightening at the same time: the moving of so many commenters who used to think themselves objective and even-handed—and really strove to be so!—into one of the two poles. Many a “both pro-Israel and pro-Palestine” poster now endorses the Rwanda (i.e. One-State) Solution, and many a pro-Israel poster with a willingness to compromise now displays deep skepticism as to the other side’s good faith. The polarity, the acrimony, the venom and the sweeping, absolute statements on both sides all run counter to the stated goals of objectivity, even-handedness, readiness to listen and rational discussion. There is no reason in all this: the mad passion and judgmentalism have supernaturally gripped those who call themselves, “reality-based”. Calls for compromise always translate to, “Let the other side start with trust-building moves”. It is the height of delusion to think mere words, even under the most articulate and dazzling presentation, could turn the tide of this war. If the same world that cried, “Jews to Palestine!” 70 years ago now cries, “Jews out of Palestine!”, then the truth must be remembered, at all times: this entire drama is in the hands of a higher Director. The irrational hatred toward us, and the hard-heartedness of governments worldwide, are the products of people who only think they are in full control.
The war of minds is out, then. How about organizing the right-minded for waging the war of survival? This is where the next layer of cyberfutility comes. Both blogfathers of mine, Little Green Footballs and Gates of Vienna, made this clear to me, even if the one is more realistic than the other.
The legend of Rodrigo of Spain (Roderic, the Visigoth, Christian king) has it, that the king was asked to add yet another padlock to an enchanted tower, but instead decided to break all the locks, in order to enter the tower and take (as he believed) the treasures inside it. When he did so, he found no treasure, but only a scroll in an urn, and upon reading it, Rodrigo saw a prophecy of doom: that whoever broke into the tower would see the downfall of Spain. And also upon the scroll was an illustration of a battle, in which Rodrigo spotted, to his horror, his own white horse without the rider. The king rode away in panic, and over the next few years tried to forget it all, even holding extravagant banquets and tournaments for that purpose. But day by day he could hear the news of the Muslims advancing from east to west in North Africa, until one day they crossed the Pillars of Hercules, and the prophecy came to pass.
Reading LGF is a lot like being in Rodrigo’s situation: you hear the news of Muslim atrocity, you hear day by day of more and more inroads they make into non-Muslim lands and cultures, but you are confined to mere spectatorship. On the peanut gallery following every such LGF post, all you can do is write something like, “ROPMA!” or a witty disparaging pun on Mohammad’s name. It does not have to be a prophecy of doom as it was for Rodrigo, yet the commenting policy on LGF has made it so. Charles’ request that all commenters “exercise self-control” and avoid “loose-cannon hate speech” were the last straw for me. I knew, I then surely knew, that I could just waste away a few good years on LGF that way, interrupted only by the sound of Ishmaelite hordes marching down my street (God forbid). Apart from its still-valuable role as a newswire, LGF could serve as nothing but an online get-together: an assembly of the bored and life-lacking, replete with the cyberlingo I hate intensely: “troll”, “Godwin’s Law”, “ROTFL”, “GTG BRB” and all those pathetic caricatures of human conversation. A waste of time even in peacetime—then how much more so in today’s situation.
It looked like Gates of Vienna’s hour to shine. For a time, GoV was basking in its newfound veneer of seriosity and rationality. Certainly the comments on GoV tend to be of a much more intellectual nature than those on LGF (though, it is prudent to mention, intellectualism is often nothing but a cover for mental self-stimulation—in other words, “ROTFL” and “LOL” dressed in a more highbrow form). And there were, of course, comments I didn’t like, but this time I decided to acquiesce on them. Offensive ideas are the price of freedom of speech. If you think otherwise, then you’re in principal agreement with those who riot over certain cartoons.
But it was exactly on that point, freedom of speech, that I was jolted out of my sense of security on Gates of Vienna. In the post Faith of Our Fathers, from December 11, 2007, Baron Bodissey posted the following notice:
I just had to hunt down and delete some comments which were intemperate, and threatened GoV through their infammatory [sic] statements.
I will not engage in this kind of operation on a routine basis.
Since Blogger does not allow me to ban people, I will be forced to close posts to comments if this continues.
This is not what I want to do. I hope you all can control yourselves, because these comment threads are extraordinarily informative and valuable.
You have been warned.
On that thread there is a poster who insinuated that Jews (albeit left-wing Jews, as he made clear later) were responsible for the push to ban Christianity from the USA. Believe me, although the idea was offensive to me, it didn’t carry a tenth of the offense that the Baron’s warning did. The warning, especially the term “intemperate” and the phrasing “I hope you all can control yourselves”, flashed a hundred alarm bells in my head. Alarm bells all blaring out, “LGF Redux! LGF Redux!”
In some comments upthread, it can be seen that the reason for all this was a comment with a “Kill all X” type of expression. I can agree with the idea that it must have been (to use Charles’ infamous term) “loose-cannon”, but there is a chance there is more to it. But there is a much more concrete issue here: by the Baron’s own admission (again upthread), his readiness to restrict certain types of comment stemmed from his fear that “Blogger could shut us down for it”. A fear which in no wise do I hold to be unfounded, but means that the online arena is under constant threat of silencing. And while “Kill all X” comments may still be the only point where the red line has been crossed, we all know how slippery the slope is: I for one know that, after a long time of putting the red line at “Kill all X” comments, Charles Johnson saw it fit to delete a comment of mine advocating mass expulsion of Muslims from non-Muslim states. The Road to Serfdom can only wind further from that point.
How we disarm ourselves while our Muslim and Leftist enemies grow bolder and bolder! How we constrain ourselves to gentlemanliness while they bar no holds! How eagerly we carve out the words, “We are better than them”, not realizing that those words will be encompassed by our own tombstones (God forbid)! And how, out of consideration of our public image, we shy away from real solutions!
For all the throat-clutching going on between the Right and the Left in Israel, it is next to nothing to the vile abuse, the hideous demonization, heaped upon Rabbi Meir Kahane (HaShem avenge his blood) in his day. One might think it was the assassination of Rabin that tempered the spirits, and although there is truth to that, the fact is that the behavior toward Rabbi Kahane (by the so-called Right as well as the Left!) was incomparable to anything even before that assassination in 1995. Let me tell you why.
An Israeli right-winger can point out the dangers of concessions toward the “Palestinians”, and how the “peace process” has been nothing but a piece-by-piece process of giving away the Land of Israel for nothing in return, and the Israeli left-winger might even agree, reluctantly, with some of his points, but then the left-winger will deliver the Magic Question: “But what do you suggest we do? Keep fighting them forever? Live by our sword? What is the alternative to a negotiated peace agreement?” Yes, the classic battered wife’s phrase, “What is the alternative?”, the phrase she says to all those who implore her to leave the abusive man before tragedy should strike. The problem is, the Israeli right-wingers take the bait. They appear to stand their ground, talking about “Israel’s need for security” (why this should be the subject of discussion at all is never made clear), but they retreat into the language of diplomacy and “treaties”. The left-winger need never break out into a state of panic in the face of most Israeli right-wingers, for he knows they have no solution. They can point out what the problem is, which way not to go, but when asked for a positive proposal, they end up being not all that far away from the left-wingers.
Rabbi Kahane was different. He could point out all the perils of concessionism like any right-winger, but he also had solutions. True, viable solutions. Workable ones. And with a divine stamp of approval to top it all, in case you thought of accusing him of “besmirching Judaism’s name” (not that that stopped such accusations, but the moral high ground was his). The left-wingers were quick to brand his solutions as “racist” and “fitting for dark regimes”, but that was not because that was the uppermost issue on their minds, but because they simply panicked at the sight of a right-wing Israeli Jew who actually brought a solution and not just pointed out the problems. They had never encountered such an adversary before, and now that their safety-net (of asking, “What is the alternative?”) was being torn apart, they went ballistic. And so the abuse and demonization came forth furiously, until, in 1988, the Israeli Left allied with the opinion-conscious Right to ban Rabbi Kahane from politics under the charge of “racism”. There has been nothing comparable in Israeli politics, ever.
You will be hated for deviating from “conventional opinion”, but you will not yet be under full firepower. As long as you just point out flaws in the Left/Islam alliance’s ideology, but offer no practical steps to halt their onslaught, you will not experience much more than name-calling. Such is the case of LGF and GoV: called “Nazis” and “fascists” all over the Leftist blogosphere, but not much else. But organize something real like a Counterjihad Europa conference, even if it’s only the beginning of the beginning of fighting back, and then the Marxist/Muslim proverbial guns will come blazing. I find it very hard to believe that the popping up of the Vlaams Belang affair right at the time of the Counterjihad Europa conference was a mere coincidence. If I believed that, I could just as well believe the reaction toward Rabbi Kahane was something commonplace.
Confinement to “cyberwarfare” (looking to me now as much an oxymoron as is “Palestinian Authority”), all the more so under posting constraints as on LGF first and now also on GoV, is as sensible and rational as a beggar exercising gastronomic discretion. Where would the world be now if the Internet had existed in Winston Churchill’s time and Churchill had confined himself to it, just spreading his ideas through it and little more than that? Unless we snap out of this virtual fixation and insistence on “not lowering ourselves to the level of the enemy”, we will be modern Rodrigos. We will be doomed to hearing the news of invading hordes approaching year by year, until it is too late.
I will admit my own big mistake: the Global View of the conflict I espoused. It is expressed here in one of the blog categories: “Alliances: forging a united front against the threat of Islam”. That was a mistake. Like democracy, the management of this war is impossible when scaled too large. Though it is always good for the participants to help each other—I stand with Serbia, Ethiopia and Thailand as before—the fact is each local area of this war will have to concentrate on its own part. Localization, the key to bypassing the treacherous governments of our age, is also the key to stemming the tide of Islamization in each particular part of the world. As I learned on Gates of Vienna: similarities not denied, the situation in, say, Thailand is not identical to that of Israel. To each part its best solutions.
Localization ultimately means getting out of your global newsroom (also known as the Internet) and starting a thousand local versions of Counterjihad Europa. And it means that, in those meetings, any idea is open to discussion. Not acceptance, I didn’t say “acceptance”—discussion. Because when any idea, however odious-sounding it may be, is up for discussion, then sooner or later the participants of the discussion will hit upon a real, workable solution. And that, after all that is said and done, is what we are all clamoring for.
Our survival is at stake. Whether the survival of our ways of life, or our physical survival, we cannot gamble, nor can we put gentlemanly constraints on ourselves. The survivalist turns his back on the oh-so noble but self-defeating phrase,
Beware, when fighting monsters, lest you become a monster yourself.
which only serves to hand the monsters an easy victory, a direct path to remaking the whole world in their monstrous image. Instead, the survivalist adopts the idea expressed in Midrash Tanchuma:
Just as they show you no mercy, so should you not show them any mercy.
May HaShem, the one and only true Decider of all that is taking place, give victory to His righteous speedily. May He, the King of Kings of Kings, show His strong hand as He did in the days of Egypt, and pour forth His wrath upon all those who gather against His anointed ones, against Israel. May He slaughter the evildoers until they have all repented or perished, and not one is left on the face of the earth. May He build Jerusalem, the Holy City, speedily in our days. Amen and amen.
[The blog is now officially closed. Having read this post, it should be clear it would be hypocritical of me to do otherwise.]