Dr. Dawg

Politically sidelined in a new world of struggle. Part 1: ISIS

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Confession: I’m not keeping up. So I may as well start taking a few risks and trust in the dialectic.

ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, whatever name is used*, may be the most evil gang of sadistic psychos the world has yet produced. They no more represent Islam than did the Japanese United Red Army represent Karl Marx. We learn about the beheadings (if far fewer than those that take place in Saudi Arabia) from self-promoting videos, ditto burning a hostage alive in a cage, and we recoil with visceral disgust and anger at their lip-smacking pleasure in the deeds.

I want them all dead. Every damned one.

And yet I persist in opposing action by the West, including Canada. Because every time we righteously intervene to topple this or that dictator or Islamist non-state actor, killing, directly or indirectly, a few thousand or (in the case of Iraq) hundreds of thousands of civilians, a fouler phoenix inevitably arises from the ashes. Compared to the sado-political ISIS, al-Qaeda looks like a crew of cranky elder statesmen these days, and the Taliban like Sunday school teachers (boys only, of course). Can you conceive of anything worse than ISIS and its new ally, the equally psychotic Boko Haram, each of which kills civilians en masse and rapes young schoolgirls for the pure pleasure of it? Well, be prepared to stretch your imaginations. Or draw a graph.

We literally make whole populations crazy, and crazed people with guns form gangs and governments, and then we react with more violence, proving only that the human capacity for monstrousness, nourished by its often unwitting enablers, has no limit.

But…if Germany had remained within its borders and conducted its Final Solution intramurally, what would we on the Left have proposed? Intervention? Highly likely. And the Right? Just as likely, nonintervention, with obligatory handwaves of disapproval. Somewhat like our alliance with Saudi Arabia, as the heads there continue to roll.

Yet Germany, being a European power, seems more familiar somehow (read: white). If we had won our point, would the West, in this utterly hypothetical situation, have starved, tortured and carpet-bombed the German civilian population into submission, knocked off Hitler, rescued the human contents of the death camps—and then just withdrawn, leaving the country almost entirely in the hands of crazed political insurgencies?

That question isn’t even worth posing, is it? We would have found plenty of people who shared our general Western world-view, worked with them, and restored something like the status quo antebellum. In fact, that’s what we ended up doing, after pretty much the whole world had been targeted by the Axis gangsters.

But these folks in the Middle East, now. Broadly speaking, they have a different worldview, one which the West does not share except in some superficial respects. Grasping that world-view, learning its vocabulary as it were, does not appear to be part of any of the West’s strategic plans. And in any case the West never intervenes militarily in places like the Middle East for purely humanitarian motives.

But is there a better solution to the ISIS phenomenon than intervention right now? I don’t know.

That’s where we on the Left are weak. Our opponents know it, and in our heart of hearts we know it too. I’ m all for the R2P doctrine, but where is it being applied? To Syria, eating itself from within? To Nigeria, infested with Boko Haram? To the spreading caliphate of ISIS? The great power veto and the composition of the Security Council being what they are, R2P is a non-starter.

So, failing UN action under R2P, what’s left, pun intended? As Rosa Luxemburg said, we have a choice between socialism and barbarism. Barbarism is winning hands down, and, truth be told, we don’t have a clue what to do about it. Concretely, that is. So let’s argue about “ISIS” vs. “ISIL” vs. “Daesh” and produce a few sparkling op-eds. ┬íRevoluci├│n!

When it comes to foreign armed adventures, our political enemies here at home are all lather, rinse, repeat. But we’re no slouches in the wash-house of the insane ourselves. Anyone have anything new to add?

* Apparently “ISIS” isn’t politically correct in some circles because it’s the name of an Egyptian female deity. Others oppose its use because ISIS is neither Islamic nor a state. Meanwhile, Sterling Archer now finds himself working for the CIA.

[Next: Cis, trans, ultra ad ultimam.]

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on March 21, 2015 1:29 PM.

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