Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Edwards Is Doomed

John Edwards, that is. The 2008 campaign sees its first victim. He's road kill. It's over. Say goodnight and return to your ginormous mansion. Not that he ever had a chance.

Salon is reporting that the Edwards campaign has fired the two bloggers/hate mongers he just hired last month. This isn't confirmed yet but it's only a matter of time. Edwards base is collapsing like a New Orleans levy. Just look at the comments on Edwards own site. Same song, different verse over at MyDD.

Edwards' Internet base will dispise him for firing the two hate bloggers. Not that firing them in and of itself will harm him too much. But the whole episode is very telling. He's willing to hire people who, based on their paper trail, should never have been allowed within 100 feet of his campaign HQ. Then, as soon as their blasphemous bile was exposed to the wider public, he throws them to the wolves.

This is not how you run a serious campaign. Of course, Edwards is a not a serious candidate. He's a rich amateur, a mook, a dilettante. He won't win a single primary. He might not make it to the primaries.

Go ahead, send him money. Say nice things about him to your friends. Sing his praises on the Web. None of this will matter. He can screw up something so simple as hiring a few minor staffers then he'll be crushed by Clinton. If he isn't undone by his own flaws first.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Where and the How

The idea has been all over the blogosphere for a while. Its popularity has increased in Britain with the recent revelations of a plot to kidnap and behead British soldiers on British soil, but this is the first time I've seen the idea raised in a respectable publication. This article from the New English Review is titled "Tribalism, Culture and the Nation-State".

In order for the Western world to effectively deal with Islam, it must be just as ruthless a segregator and expel that which is not-West, in this case, the cultural practices of Muslims. For practical purposes this means expelling Muslims themselves, who would naturally take their cultural practices with them and be re-absorbed into the Dar al-Islam.

At this point, it is useful to remember that all war results in the movement of peoples. The mass movements following WWII were perhaps the largest in human experience, when ethnic Germans were expelled from all over Eastern Europe. Sometimes these expulsions were a matter of government decree as in Czechoslovakia through the Benes Decree, while others fled in response to the social pressure exerted by their neighbors. But the fact remains, millions were uprooted from the territories of Poland, Russia and Czechoslovakia to be resettled into the then shrunken German homeland. They endured hardship, starvation, disease and death. The transfer could have been handled more humanely, but it was necessary they be moved. ... [snip]

It seems to me, we have come to a crossroads. We have the choice either to expel the current threat and the people bearing it, and then to contain that threat within certain boundaries, or we can continue with business as before, as the states and elites of Europe continued to do all through the 1930s...
[snip]

Our sentimental belief that everyone wants the same thing, and that all creeds are essentially the same, will no longer do, and the kind of preemptive population transfers undertaken by Czechoslovakia (and many other European states), after World War II, when the Volksdeutsche sent to Germany, will have to be considered, discussed, and ultimately, have to take in a perfectly rational, no-nonsense, unhysterical and humane way. [emphasis added]

Let's think about this seriously for a moment. Let's consider some of the details of such an idea. Some degree of realism is required here.

Forget for a moment the legal obstacles. Laws can be changed in a democratic nation; very easily during martial law. Even more easily after a coup, or as part of a populist authoritarian takeover. This is especially true in countries without a written constitution as in the UK.

Forget for a moment the tsunami of violence that would immediately follow the leak of government plans for ‘population transfer’: the wave of rioting and fire bombs and random murder. Forget the burning cities, the torched schools and churches, the blasted buses.

Forget for a moment the economic consequences, the capital flight, the currency devaluation, the collapsing equity prices. Forget the destruction of British businesses abroad, the murder of businessmen overseas, the financial losses.

Forget for a moment the international outcry, the embargoes, the burned embassies, the murdered diplomats, expatriates and tourists. Forget that any plans to expel Muslims would be seen as a declaration of war on all Islamic countries. Forget the gnashing of teeth at the UN and EU. Forget the World Court, Amnesty International, the Vatican. Forget the reaction of the media worldwide. Forget that the UK would become a true international pariah state.

Forget the logistical complexities of rounding up 1.5 – 2 million angry men, women and children against their will. Forget that many will forcibly resist. Forget that many will go underground, hidden by sympathizers in attics and basements, nursing their hate, biding their time.

The questions I want to address are simple: where do you send them and how do you get them there? This is not like Czechoslovakia or Poland expelling Germans, or Turkey expelling Greeks. Muslims cannot simply be forced across the border into ‘their’ country. First, Britain is an island. Second, no European country ‘bordering’ Britain would want 2 million angry, impoverished refugees. This would not even be like the Partition of India. The refugees can’t walk or pack onto trains for the long ride out.

We are talking about forcing people onto airplanes and flying them somewhere. Between 1.5 and 2 million people would need a lot of planes flying for a long time. They won’t just sit quietly and enjoy the in-flight movie. That’s the whole point of expelling them, remember. The flights would require a significant number of guards on board to prevent the refugees from storming the cockpit.

Ok, these people are rounded up and forced onto planes thick with armed guards. The planes and their fighter escorts leave British airspace. Then what? Where do these planes land?

This is not like Egypt or other Arab states expelling Jews. In those cases Israel was glad to take them. The planes landed at Ben-Gurion airport and the Jewish refugees were welcomed, given housing and many forms of public assistance. This is not like Idi Amin expelling Asians from Uganda. Many flew to the UK where they were accepted as refugees.

What country will take these people expelled from Britain? This I think is the ultimate weakness of this idea. Where do these people go? I argue that no Muslim nation would take them for fear of enabling Britain or even colluding with Britain, the infidel pariah state. Even if a government let the planes land, would the population? Imagine the effect on Pakistan (where many British Muslims trace their family tree). If the dictator of Pakistan decided to accept the planes, I argue that many Islamists would view this as a betrayal, as helping the infidels commit crimes against the ummah. You can imagine the scenes. Mobs storming government buildings. Bombings. A revolutionary situation.

For the sake of argument let’s say the first plane lands in Karachi. The refugees are welcomed with open arms. Now what? Is Pakistan going to just let this plane refuel and return for another load of refugees? Even if the government, such as it is, says they will allow this, why shouldn’t they shoot the empty plane out of the sky? That would certainly deter a second plane from landing. Why shouldn’t Islamists themselves, using should fired missiles or good old-fashioned gunfire, take down the plane that is being used to commit this 'heinous and despicable crime'?

Without a country willing to accept the refugees, willing to grant landing rights, willing to sell fuel and allow the planes to takeoff and return, over and over, for weeks, this plan collapses. How are poor, backward country like Pakistan and Bangladesh going to house and feed and take care of these extra people, many of whom cannot speak the language and will not have skills useful in a third world economy? It's not that the populace may not want to help their distant relatives. It's that the very act of deportation is an act of war against Dar al-Islam. Working with Britain, the hated kuffar, to see that deportation is 'rational, no-nonsense, unhysterical and humane' will be the traitorous act of apostates, worthy of death.

In short, I think this talk of ‘population transfer’ or deportation is a fantasy people use to comfort themselves in these anxious times. But it is not a harmless fantasy. It’s a variation on the time-worn European dream of the Strong Man who will ride in on a horse and solve all their problems. This fantasy, like so many political wet-dreams, encourages passivity. What’s worse, it’s a fantasy of government action. It’s the government that has gotten them into this mess!

Sorry my British friends, even if you elect the re-animated corpse of Francisco Franco, the government is not going to magically solve this problem for you. You can't vote your way out of this. Radical Islam inside Britain is your problem. You. Your chaps at the pub. Your pals from the cricket team. Your neighbors. Your classmates. Your children.

Militant Islamists are prepared to conspire and plot against you. They’re prepared to threaten and intimidate you. They’re prepared to risk jail to smuggle weapons and raise money. They’re prepared to come at you, your families, your countrymen with real physical violence.

To quote Jimmy Malone’s dying words from The Untouchables: what are you prepared to do?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Chicago Way

It's all over the internet - Brits are angry and getting angrier. "Vitriolic" and "volcanic" are words used to describe how people are feeling. And that's just the V-words. I've read phrases like "teetering on the brink of open ethnic warfare". The BNP can't keep up with applications for membership. One Labour MP called the growth of the BNP "a cry for help."

I think all right-minded Brits should sit down over a pint of Bass and watch the 1987 gangster film The Untouchables. On the surface this has nothing to do with Islamic terror or ethnic tensions or Britain whatsoever. But listen carefully, my friends.

In this classic film Sean Connery plays Jimmy Malone, a tough, honest Chicago cop - the voice of brutal realism. (When reading his lines it's important to hear his voice. It sounds much tougher.) Elliot Ness wants to bring down Al Capone but he is limited by his own naive idealism. Ness can't destroy Capone's organization legally because Capone has corrupted the legal and political systems through bribery and intimidation. Malone, the street-smart veteran, explains how to get Capone in the real world.

MALONE: You said you wanted to know how to get Capone. Do you really want to get him? You see what I'm saying? What are you prepared to do?

NESS: Everything within the law.

MALONE: And then what are you prepared to do? If you open the ball on these people, you must be prepared to go all the way. Because they won't give up the fight until one of you is dead.

NESS: I want to get Capone. I don't know how.

MALONE: Here's how you get Capone: he pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to hospital, you send one of his to the morgue! That's the Chicago way! And that's how you get Capone. Now, do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that?

The Untouchables is not just a mob film. It's about how good men do what's right when the authorities cannot or will not protect people from a violent gang bent on seizing control of city. Sound familiar?

Articles and Bricks

Today we have word of growing threats of a wave of beheadings across Britain, or even a Belsan-style seige. Some Brits may be taking comfort from this piece in the Times (UK), We're Far Too Nice to Muslim Extremists. That's all well and good but I think perhaps the time for tough articles may be coming to an end. What should a society do when threatened by violent extremists? Here are some insightful words from, of all people, Woody Allen. From Manhattan:

IKE (Allen): Has anybody read that the Nazis are gonna march in New Jersey, you know? I read this in the newspaper. (Waving his fist) We should go down there, get some guys together, you know, get some bricks and baseball bats and really explain things to 'em.

JERRY: There was this devastating satirical piece on that on the Op-Ed page of the Times. It was devastating.

IKE: W-e-e-ell, a satirical piece in the Times is one thing, but bricks and baseball bats really gets right to the point down there.

HELEN: Oh, but really biting satire is always better than physical force.

IKE: But true physical force is always better with Nazis, uh ... because it's hard to satirize a guy with shiny boots on.

Replace 'shiny boots' with some other relevant article of politicized clothing and I can imagine this same conversation occurring all over the UK. I'll leave any interpretations to the readers.