They Have Learned Nothing and Forgotten Nothing

“Ils n’ont rien appris, ni rien oublié.” Talleyrand

Talleyrand was criticizing the House of Bourbon and in particular the restored kingdom of Charles X that lasted only six years from 1824 and signaled the end of the monarchy in France. Charles X did not understand the immense changes brought about by the French Revolution and Napoleon and went back to absolute rule as if those changes had been mere deviations in the normal course of history.

Just like the Bourbons, Obama, Hillary, Kerry, the Neocons and the string of experts and pundits haven’t forgotten their previous positions and haven’t learned anything as events pass them by. With these leaders we are living in bubbles inside of bubbles, in fantasy worlds inside of fantasy worlds. “Let them alone: they are blind leaders of the blind.”

Postmodernism creates its own reality, a gaseous virtual world in which truth is subjective, conflicts don’t exist, biological differences are social impositions, and the ideas of Woodstock 1969 are as vivid now as they were then.

In this ethereal world Obama sings Kumbaya with peaceful Muslims, the remains of the old Neocon group become Marco Rubio’s foreign policy advisors and together with John Kasich, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham and John McCain they push for a no-fly zone in Syria, to confront Putin and fight ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra, Assad, Iran and Russia at the same time. Hillary imitates Charles X by acting as if her many mistakes haven’t occurred. Hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees and migrants, and trillions of dollars wasted don’t mean a thing to them. If they haven’t forgotten the hippie mirages of eternal peace and the brotherhood of man, neither have they learned that democracy is a concept foreign to Islam or —if things keep going the way they are— the European Armageddon is as near as a couple of decades, and the American one not much later than that.

Meanwhile and trying to stay planted on the real world, our problem with ISIS, Al-Qaeda, the Taliban or Boko Haram is not that we can’t defeat them, but that we don’t understand and don’t want to understand because political correctness blinds us.

The Fantasy World of the Religion of Peace

Islam is not a religion in the sense we Americans think of religion. Otherwise one can’t explain, for example, why Imams plot attacks and hide weapons in mosques (World Trade Center, France), or why Muslim women can be just as dangerous as Muslim men. Islam is a political, social and religious system all in one. Worship is only part of Islam because there is no separation between mosque and state in Islam. The Koran, Hadith and Sunnah are indisputably political as well as religious documents and Sharia is their legal underpinning. When seen this way, Islam is clearly incompatible with the U.S. Constitution and with Western democracy in general.

Our ideological response to Islamism is to explain it away by the use of words. Going from perverted to hijacked to un-Islamic, the latest escape-from-reality word is radicalized, a clever passive-aggressive way of saying that Muslims are victims of circumstances and external evil forces. As Obama says: “we see growing efforts by terrorists to poison the minds of people like the Boston Marathon bombers and the San Bernardino killers.” The truth is very different. The more pious and devout a Muslim becomes, the more desire and incentive he or she has to fully live the religious and political parts of Islam as one and the same. And this development does not need external, forced or abnormal circumstances to appear.

Muslims are in conflict with themselves and with their neighbors everywhere in the world. An indirect proof of this is that there isn’t much Islamic terrorism in East Asia or Latin America because there aren’t many Muslims there, but where Sunni and Shia Muslims live together or where Muslims live within or close to other civilizations, there is always religious and civil war, conflict, violence and terrorism. And this is nothing new, as Islamic invasions have been constants in Middle Eastern, North African and European history since the 7th century. Islam was temporarily stopped in the 17th century but it is again in motion with the destabilization brought about by the Iraq invasion, the forced change of regimes in Egypt and Libya, the Arab Spring and the civil war in Syria. The resulting mass migration into Europe has morphed into an invasion that will extend for years and many millions of people. But we don’t want to know.

In this context, “the majority of Muslims are peaceful” is an irrelevant assertion. Most of the time in history resolute minorities, sometimes a few people, at times even one person, have led important movements that changed the world. Nazis and Communists were tiny minorities in Germany and Russia but led passive majorities to unimaginable suffering on a worldwide scale.

The Fantasy World of Postmodern War

Postmodernism seals the fate of the West because it impedes democratic countries from winning any war. Just compare World War II General Curtis LeMay’s decisive“I’ll tell you what war is about: you’ve got to kill people, and when you’ve killed enough, they stop fighting” with Obama’s restraint on bombing ISIS for fear of civilian casualties and environmental damage.

The postmodern argument regarding war in general and Islam in particular is of the type “if we react after Pearl Harbor the Japanese will get even angrier at us.” Our leaders use several variants of this sissy argument to establish the postmodern approach to war: Rules of engagement that care more for the enemy than for our troops. Efforts to have minimal casualties and zero collateral damage and to make sure there are more lawyers than lieutenants on the front lines. The tactical goal of post-modern war is not to win battles but to develop “counter-insurgency.” The political objective is not to defeat the enemy and impose our peace but “to win their hearts and minds.” This means that the permanence of conflict is built into the premises, by not allowing war to decide (Edward Luttwak). The saddest example of postmodern war is the way the UN and Europe criticize, stop and punish Israel in each and every Arab-Israeli conflict, with “proportionality” and “restraint” as the only responses allowed to Israel when Arab countries or Hamas or Hezbollah terrorists attack it.

The Fantasy World of Postmodern Security

Profiling everybody when looking for terrorists or weapons doesn’t work because it is extremely inefficient. And it is inefficient by design. Profiling everybody means we’re not profiling any group or individuals in particular, therefore our politically correct conscience is saved but the problem persists and the danger is ever more present. The NSA and TSA, typically inefficient government bureaucracies, go after everybody and catch nobody. We want to believe that profiling doesn’t work, although it does in Israel. We don’t want to see that any policeman worth his salt instinctively, correctly, profiles: if the suspect is a young man, the policeman isn’t going to look for 80-year-old ladies. The NSA spies on everybody’s messages and calls but didn’t catch the Boston bombers or the San Bernardino shooters. The TSA only gets one in four when looking for weapons at airports, and just recently it was discovered that seventy-two TSA employees were on a terrorist watch list. This is Keystone Cops territory, but our leaders pretend we’re safe and we sheepishly accept it.

As I said before, you don’t have to choose your enemies because it’s enough for them to choose you, and your unwillingness to hit them hard doesn’t matter because they will certainly hit you with everything they have or will have. After all, they are the ones who live in the real world.

Vladimir Dorta, 12/22/2015