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August 25, 2014

Tripoli Falls to Islamist Militias

They lost power in recent elections, but they decided they don't really care about elections.

Back when the Green Revolution in Iran failed, I wondered why. I think it's pretty obvious: In an unsettled political environment, it doesn't matter how many people a movement has on its side; it matters how many men of fighting age and fighting temperament it has on its side.

One problem in fighting global jihad is that that its barbaric, violent principles seem to be very appealing indeed to men of fighting age and fighting temperament (of the Islamic persuasion). Anti-jihadist principles appeal to less belligerent men (men with businesses, men with families, older men) and to women, but we continue to see Islamism capture the minds of men of fighting age and fighting temperament.

I don't see any challenger on the horizon. Not that Obama would take advice from me, but it might do some marginal good if, in one of his many half-assed speeches, he spoke in such a way that he associated masculinity, vigor, and courage (virtues most praised by younger men) with ideals other than domination and killing.

That is, if he made the ethics of peace and compassion sound compelling to the mind of your average Angry Young Man.

Associating these things with effete men and women does nothing to change the mind of an Angry Young Man, except that he's already backing the right horse. He wants to define himself against soft men and women, so if he sees something associated with soft men and women, he naturally wants to take the opposite position.

Don't tell the young machos they shouldn't be macho. Instead, accept that their entire sense of self stems from their belief in their own machismo, and suggest that machismo is associated with good things, like "Not murdering everyone."

Our own armed forces are pretty damned effective at associating masculine values with a life-affirming ethic.

For hundreds of years the chivalric code attempted to associate masculine values with Christian compassion and honor.

You're not going to turn these guys into true soldiers (instead of brigands, rapists, and assassins, which is what they are), but you could try.

Not that any American president could make more than the most marginal difference in the minds of a jihad-friendly Angry Young Man, but, if you're going to talk at all, might as well say something helpful.

At any rate, Tripoli is now gone.

Libya’s Islamist militias said Sunday they have consolidated their hold on Tripoli and its international airport, driving out rival militias to the outskirts of the capital following a weekslong battle for control of the strategic hub.

The umbrella group for Islamist militias calling itself Dawn of Libya said it has also taken hold of other locations in the capital controlled by the rival militias, drawing to a close one chapter in a prolonged confrontation between the Islamist-allied militia, largely from the city of Misrata, and the powerful militia from the western mountains of Zintan.

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posted by Ace at 07:47 PM

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