Nobody connected the dots or read Kipling on life’s few certainties: “The Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire / And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire.”No, the rot has been setting in for a long time. There's strong disagreement, though, about what people ought coalesce around to fix it. The same day, and apparently unrelated to the Cohen column, came Immanuel Wallerstein in Common Dreams, seeing The United States Heading for a Crash.
Until it was too late and people could see the Great Unraveling for what it was and what it had wrought.
The United States is in serious decline. Everything is going wrong. And in the panic, they are like a driver of a powerful automobile who has lost control of it, and doesn't know how to slow it down. So instead it is speeding it up and heading towards a major crash. The car is turning in all directions and skidding. It is self-destructive for the driver but the crash can bring disaster to the rest of the world as well.That "they" refers to the governing classes. I fear, though, that forty years of enabling incompetence and celebrating crudity contribute to the unraveling. It's no longer just about jihadis seeing weak horses and strong horses. It's also something that Mr Wallerstein naively hopes can be fixed with another dose of process.
There are ways of tamping down this catastrophic scenario. They involve however a decision to shift from warfare to political deals between all sorts of groups who don't like each other and don't trust each other. Such political deals are not unknown, but they are very difficult to arrange, and fragile when first made, until they solidify. One major element in such deals coming to fruition in the Middle East is less involvement of the United States, not more. Nobody trusts the United States, even when they momentarily call for U.S. assistance in doing this or that.That may be a way out of the morass in Asia Minor, simply to contain the Sillies by advising aid workers, journalists, curiosity seekers and assorted conscience-cowboys that the United States, or the United Nations, or the Civilized Powers, cannot guarantee their safety, and thereafter letting the conflicts burn themselves out.
That is not a way out of the crisis of confidence in the existing institutions. Elizabeth "Anchoress" Scalia summarizes the situation precisely.
The long sleep induced by prosperity and power must now be broken. The choice to remain unengaged, fully tricked out with technology, is coming to an end, as is the easy habit of playing partisan games at the expense of human lives.There's more to that passage than a commentary on foreign policy in a fragmenting international order. For years I've been griping about Process, Nuance, Failure. Perhaps people are beginning to listen.
We cannot simply listen to the “strategic class” and trust that they know what they are talking about. If they ever did, those days have passed. Our “meritocracy” and “public service” have proved a recipe to rule for them, and ruin for us. We cannot return to office people who need turning out. We cannot keep operating as obedient automatons who need only the right buttons pressed to do the social and political bidding of living, breathing appetites of ambition.
A number of recent Pajamas Media posts have provided the outline of a resolution. Start with Robert Spencer. He offers thoughts as advice on defeating the jihad, but there is much to rely upon in rebuilding the institutions. Self-despising multiculturalism (to use my phrase) must go.
The U.S. today faces an even stronger enemy than the Islamic jihadists – and stronger than Russia and China as well. That enemy is the entrenched culture of self-hatred that denigrates anything and everything American, and exalts the most inveterate America-haters as heroic underdogs struggling valiantly against a brutal and blind behemoth. That entrenched culture is the foremost obstacle to our defense against jihad terror and Islamic supremacism, in a never-ending tale of obfuscation of a genuine threat and slander of those who call attention to it.Two long twilight struggles. Recall, though, that defeating the Evil Empire required patriots to fight Communism with one hand, and well-meaning domestic dupes with the other.
In the aftermath of 9/11, George W. Bush should have called upon the education establishment to reject the revisionism and self-hatred that dominates the textbook view of American history and Western civilization today, and to recognize that Western culture and civilization are seriously threatened today and are worth defending.
Then comes Dave Swindle, suggesting that in a war, there can be no victory without preparation for victory.
We need to develop the moral clarity to give our enemies the deaths they seek. Or this 9/11 will be just like the ones to come. We’ll always just sit here anticipating that we’re going to be hit again. I think we need to give September 11 a new meaning. Here’s my dream for today, who’s with me? Someday, maybe decades from now, the last territory under Shariah law and the final land living under a secular despot’s fist will be liberated. Someday 9/11 will not be a day of fear but of celebration as not just the United States sits under the protection of the First Amendment, but the entire planet.That's calling for two things: an end to Nagasaki syndrome, and a willingness to mock the Sillies. (And more than a few Overly Earnest People in the west.) Where is the modern Spike Jones?
Is there some more important long-term objective that I’m missing? I don’t see how anyone on earth can ever truly be safe from becoming a slave himself as long as slave empires are permitted to masquerade around as though they, too, were liberal democracies worthy of respect.
Otherwise, Jon Bishop suggests, civilizations die.