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December 31, 2009

The Left's Permanent War on the War on Terrorism

Via Instapundit, this exquisite distillation of the left's Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella defense against terrorism:

Some idiot set firecrackers off on a jet and [we're supposed] to be afraid of that? Al-Q is a joke

And that's from Spence Ackerman, a light of the left (at least of the dimmer variety), not some random Twit-wit.

And it's not just him; another dim light of the left, Matthew Yglesias, is similarly unilaterally lowering his personal Terrorist Threat Condition Chart from "Orange" to "Hakuna Matada:"

Obviously, people shouldn’t be lighting anything on fire inside airplanes. That said, all the big Christmas airline incident really shows to me is how little punch our dread terrorist adversaries really pack. Once again, this seems like a pretty unserious plot. And even if you did manage to blow up an airplane in mid-air, that would be both a very serious crime and a great tragedy, but hardly a first-order national security threat....

Ultimately, it does no favors to anyone to blow this sort of thing out of proportion. The United States could not, of course, be “devastated” by anything resembling this scheme. We ought to be clear on that fact. We want to send the message around the world that this sort of vile attempt to slaughter innocent people is not, at the end of the day, anything resembling a serious challenge to American power. It’s attempted murder, it’s wrong, we should try to stop it, but it’s really not much more than that.

Emphases added. Although they're barely added. Those sentences pretty much just bold themselves, don't they?

On one hand, he says we should merely treat terrorism as an act of attempted murder. Well -- let's be clear. It's an attempt at mass-murder.

Soo... okay, let's say I treat terrorism as "merely" organized, sophisticated, unending institutionally-sponsored attempts at mass-murder.

I'm sorry-- I'm not clear, what level of alarm am I supposed to have over that? Because you seem to be suggesting I should take a wait-and-see attitude on it. Apparently, by your lights, I'm currently taking this much too seriously.

Though it's nice to see it acknowledged that mass murder is "wrong" and "we should try to stop it." Thanks for that.

This is obvious, but obvious is what I do, so here goes:

The left has four political goals:

1) To reverse the public perception that they are a bunch of sissy-pants (not Sassypants, which is altogether different).

2) To de-emphasize terrorism as a media issue, because terror concerns play well for conservatives. (See Goal 1 and the sissy-pants problem.)

3) To sell the public, politically, on a hateful policy of treating terrorists nicely, because, like, Dostoyevsky said something like "you can judge a nation by the way it treats psychotic murder-cultists intent on killing as many innocent civilians as possible for no other reason except to masturbate in human blood."

4) To actually reduce terrorism, because doing so achieves Goal 1 and Goal 2, and also would be a great selling point for Goal 3. (See?! It makes no sense but it works!)

Before getting any further, let us note the incandescently obvious that Goals 1-3 are Major Goals and Goal 4 is a sort of "Nice but Not Necessary" sort of thing. If they can accomplish Goals 1-3, in terms of politics, they're all set. If they can sell the public on the idea that a little bit of mass-murder never killed anyone (except for the people it actually killed, of course), they can pretty ignore Goal 4.

Goal 4 is an entirely secondary proposition which merely assists in Goals 1-3. If you nail Goals 1-3, you really don't need Goal 4. And you can pretty much tell they know that by their emphasis on the first three, and blowing off altogether the fourth. ("The system worked," you've no doubt heard.)

Now, on to the slightly less obvious stuff. Slightly.

To achieve Goals 1-3, they have settled on a basic, stupid, unserious, unpersuasive, jackass political message: Only little pussy-fairies are afraid of terrorists and terrorism; real tough strong he-men types, like us on the left, laugh at it as a big joke. Don't you want to join the super-tough guys who laugh in the face of mass-murder? (As long as it's mass-murder killing other people, of course.) So join us, and laugh at terror, be one of the Real Tough Guys with the Cocks of Burnished Blued Steel, and just put your silly-ass concerns about terrorism away. Let's focus on what really matters -- universal health care and the fundamental restructuring of the economy into something more socialistic -- and let us not be distracted by the childish antics of some Muslim head-cases who are, after all, just "acting up" in a particularly aggressive fashion.

Oh, and of course: Let us also be so bad-ass and Rambo-licious as to shower terrorists with kindness and good treatment, because, you know, if you're really a super nail-spitting fire-breathing Hard Case like us, you never let a bit of righteous fury interfere with your civility and dedication to social justice.

Endlessly repeated, endlessly repeated. It's all so stupid. But apparently some blogger -- or someone -- struck up on this idea in around 2006 (around then -- that's when I seem to remember it popping up) and the idea caught on like wildfire.

They really think that with a little "re-branding" they can solve their perennial Terrorist Gap problem.

By the way, Douchebags, not every problem in our lives can be fixed by "re-branding;" get this, some problems are actually real-world physical-reality problems and require real-world physical-reality solutions. A cute and counterintuitive marketing campaign is not, in fact, enough to stop terrorism, the same as it's not enough to cure AIDS, and it's not enough to cure cancer, and it's not enough to re-start the economy.

Their fundamental unseriousness on this topic is revealed right out of the gate as all their emphasis is on slogans and memes rather than actually doing something to stop or at least diminish the threat of terrorism.

Sure, guys, if I define a problem as not a problem at all, the problem does, in fact, effectively go away; or, at least, it goes away in the sense I'm no longer acknowledging it as a problem at all. But the fact that I no longer acknowledge it as such does not actually make it not such.

I can take a very blase attitude towards 250 people dying in an Al-Qaeda plane detonation. And yes, that will make those 250 deaths "not a problem" for me, but you know what it won't do? It won't bring those 250 human beings back to life.

This whole idea permeates the Obama Administration, which not only embraced it as a marketing campaign, but as actual, concrete US policy. The first -- engaging in a marketing campaign to soft-pedal terrorism -- is hateful enough (we are talking about human lives here, or does Hope and Change not concern itself with such petty, less-than-grandiose considerations?), but to actually reify such a vile idea into concrete, tangible US policy is unforgivable and anti-life and palpably evil.

Laugh at terrorism? Treat it less-than-seriously? This demonstrates what, exactly? Seems to demonstrate exactly what it's intended to demonstrate: A callousness to the number of preventable murders of United States citizens.

How to analogize? Well, you know, Friends of the Left, a cynical, jaded homicide cop who doesn't take murder all that seriously might be a "cool guy" and might make for an interesting character in a movie -- so jaded and sophisticated is he that he understands that Murder is an essential and unavoidable phenomenon of the human condition -- but you know what? When someone I know is killed I'd rather have the guy with the less-sophisticated attitude towards Murder, the guy who thinks Murder is a rather large trespass, working the case.

He might be a little less cosmpolitan, and a little less familiar with the New York City underground jazz scene, and maybe his apartment will be a big of disaster and not tastefully minimalist-moderne like the other guy's, but you know, I'd rather have someone who takes murder seriously working them murder cases.


Forgive me for my naive, uncouth Red State attitude toward this. I am, as you know, just a stupid, unenlightened tea-bagger. I'm not smart enough to treat Murder as a blow-off. I am not, as you so plainly are, super-smart totally-awesome bad-ass Ultra-Commandos of Cock Force Five.

The pathetic thing is they really think this crap is working. Wade into any comment section favored by the left and you'll see them all repeating this idea. Dislocating their shoulders to pat themselves on the back for their principled, elevated, hard-ass decision to take the mass-murder of their fellow citizens in an light, European que sera sera sort of fashion.

All I can advise them is: Keep it up. Keep pushing this attitude out there, keep trying to sell the American People on the idea that it's the sissy-pants and pants-wetters and nancyboys who actually take this stuff deadly seriously, and meanwhile those who mock concerns about mass murder potentially killing thousands at a clip are really the true zealots of the Cult of the Brave.

Let's both run on the same thing -- that is, after all, how true political decisions are made by the public. When both parties agree exactly that this is what we each represent, where the discussion isn't muddled by one party disguising its beliefs or trying to "hug" the other party's positions or triangulate or so forth.

When both parties run on the exact same message, the public gets the rare opportunity to make an unambiguous choice, untainted by the deliberate muddying of positions both parties so often engage in.

So let's do this. Let us both of us agree that I and my fellows take terrorism seriously, and you think we're scaredy-cats for doing so, and that you do not take terrorism all that seriously, and it is your belief -- your honest, true, serious belief -- that it makes you Courageous for treating mass murder with a puckish insouciance.

And let's go out there, and let's beat this unified message to death, and let's see what happens. Let's go to market selling our wares with the same basic message and see who tallies up the most sales.



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posted by Ace at 03:26 PM

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