Monday, August 11, 2008

The undefined or misdefined enemy

Those whom I would describe as being soft on Jihadist Islam have a great legalistic difficulty, or rather assume that I ought to have one in defining the enemy. These softies assume that the enemy is undefined or misdefined and therefore, in effect, immune from our opposition.

Lawrence responds to one of these softies who happens to live in NYC: You refer to them as "undefined or misdefined," but I've read a great number of books by and about them. They are neither undefined or misdefined. The commonly accepted belief by the scholars I’ve read is that more than 30% of all Muslims accept a Fundamentalist view of Islam. This includes a view of Jihad that is inimical to Western Civilization. This view insists that all Muslims (although presumably only the 30% will seek to comply) are commanded to engage in a war against "the infidel," the "infidel" being anyone who isn't in the 30%. Muslims are technically not infidels, but if they don't agree with the 30% they are as good as infidels. They have gone over to the infidel. They have denied their heritage. They have become traitors and must be killed.

To be a Jihadist is to be committed to killing infidels.

You, Mr. NYC, are worried about American citizens who have become Jihadists, but you would do better to worry about the American citizens who are potential victims of the Jihadists.

I'm reminded of an old SF novel by Heinlein, The Puppet Masters -- the aliens plan to take over the world by putting little alien parasites on the backs of peoples' necks. One moment the woman next to you is your wife, but then she gets a parasite and she is trying to kill you. You seem to be saying that we cannot do anything legally about Americans who have gotten the alien parasite on the backs of their necks until they actually kill someone. Actually, we can if we take them seriously enough.

Consider the American Revolution. We were not all "revolutionaries" in those days. Some of us were "Loyalists." The Loyalists fought against the Revolutionaries. I don't recall that anyone was worried about the point at which one became (or declared himself as remaining) a Loyalist or a Revolutionary, but those were intense times. If one were overt in his beliefs; that is, if he was "active," then it became known which side he was on.

During the Civil War we were for Union or States Rights and we fought a bloody war to decide whether the Union would be preserved. I don't recall anyone being mystified about whether someone was on the side of the North or on the side of the South. Everyone seemed to be crystal clear on that matter.

Now we are engaged in a war against religious fanatics who wish to kill us. So far they aren't doing terribly well and Americans at large are unwilling to have their lives disrupted in order to deal with them. "Did you know Malcolm changed his name to Mohammad and got an alien parasite attached on the back of his neck?"

"Who cares? No one takes Malcolm seriously,” you insist. But I want you to him seriously. He used to be a normal American, but now he has an alien parasite attached to the back of his neck.

"Come on,” you say, “what do you want me to do? If Malcolm wants an alien parasite on the back of his neck, that is entirely up to Malcolm. This is a free country. There is no law against alien parasites."

Well, there ought to be, Lawrence insists. We have irrefutable proof that everyone who gets one of these parasites wants to kill Americans who don't have them.

"Give me a break,” you say. “That's all talk. People are always talking about killing each other, but they don't do it. You can't arrest a person for talking."

But you could arrest a person for having an alien parasite on the back of his neck. If you could arrest a homicidal maniac, even though he hasn't succeeded in killing anyone (Charles Manson for example), you could arrest a person with an alien parasite on the back of his neck.

"What would you charge him with?"

"How about homicidal mania? We don't really care what else the parasite is pumping into him -- only the homicidal mania. We have proof that once someone gets one of these parasites he either kills his enemies or wants to them -- or he affixes parasites to the backs of their necks and seems to have an endless supply of them. Allah demands, so he has been told by such luminaries as Sayyid Qutb, that his job isn’t done until everyone in the world is either dead or has one of these parasites on the back of his neck.

"Well, that is spooky the way you tell it” Mr. NYC concedes, “but come on. Who besides Malcolm has one of these alien parasites?"

"Well, ummm, er . . ."

"Exactly. So the best thing you can do is forget about it."

Meanwhile, in an invisible space ship orbiting earth, the Aliens have been listening. They chuckle and rub their tentacles together in glee. One of them says delightedly, "this is going to be easier than I thought."

Lawrence Helm

San Jacinto, Earth

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