January 1, 2010

INSTAPROPHET: Glenn Reynolds in June, 2002


Dateline: Wednesday, June 12, 2002 Department of Bureaucratic Security in which Glenn Reynolds said:

Wars are won by destroying the enemy, not by playing defense. Now we've got a huge, multi-multibillion-dollar government department dedicated to playing defense. (And one that, being a bureaucracy, won't ever go away, even if the war is won).
Many bureaucratic empires will be built, many budgets will be enhanced (the administration says that this reorganization won't lead to additional spending, but nobody believes that) and many meetings will be held. Will any of this do as much to protect us from terrorism as a daisy-cutter on Saddam Hussein, or the neutralization of Saudi Arabia's campaign to spread Islamic fundamentalism around the world? I doubt it.
Perhaps it will take another attack before America -- and the administration -- get serious. It doesn't seem likely that the new Department of Homeland Security will do much to stand in the way of that.
The really chilling thing to this prognostication is that the next successful attack hasn't happened.... yet. But that's really what it will take. It will take an existential event in which many Americans, including children, will die for the people to wake up in their grief.

Another American prophet, Herman Melville, put it this way after Lincoln's assassination:

There is sobbing of the strong,
And a pall upon the land;
But the People in their weeping
Bare the iron hand;
Beware the People weeping
When they bare the iron hand.

-- Herman Melville's poem: The Martyr

A more contemporary American prophet also sees what looms:

Man's ego is inflated, his laws are outdated, they don't apply no more,
You can't rely no more to be standin' around waitin'.
In the home of the brave, Jefferson turnin' over in his grave,
Fools glorifying themselves, trying to manipulate Satan.
And there's a slow, slow train comin' up around the bend.

-- Bob Dylan, Slow Train

Pointer to Reynolds: Soccer Dad in Will the terrorist kill healthcare reform?

Posted by Vanderleun at January 1, 2010 12:24 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

A not unlikely result of another attack will have the opposite effect: Democrats and leftists proclaiming loudly and with great righteousness that "This is the result of our imperialism and slaughter in Islamic lands! When will we learn to leave these people in peace so they can stop "defending" themselves by the only means they know?"

This pervasive mentality needs to be overthrown. I agree, it can only be done with an offensive strategy and not a "defensive" one. We can start with prohibiting immigration of (more) Muslims into the West.

Posted by: Hannon at January 1, 2010 2:04 PM

Sept 11 was not big enough to change the Left consensus. The next attack on the US will just confirm we shouldn't have reacted to Sept 11.

"Paging General LeMay. General Curtis LeMay please pick up the white courtesy phone."

Even General Petraus is waging a "hearts and minds" campaign. There is no more politically correct organization in the world than the US DoD and its generals.

My proposal is to suggest to the various leaders all through the world that should the USA be a target of a mass casualty strike we will randomly destroy 3 midle eastern nations and a random number of Russian cities. Let it be the job of the middle eastern groups to stop their hitmen.

Our strong desire to wage a Macnamara style proportional response is exactly what leads us to face the choice of bombing civilians or allowing the jihadists to hide among the civilians. This is war, there are no limits.

Posted by: Scott M at January 1, 2010 2:43 PM

You got that right Scott.

Posted by: vanderleun at January 1, 2010 3:01 PM

I am torn between a sense of anointing America for burial, as it seems, or praying for Lazarus to come forth.

Help my unbelief. . .

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at January 1, 2010 3:17 PM

Alan Dershowitz once put forth a fine idea for dealing with Palestinian terror: every time a suicide bomber slips over the border and blows up innocents, a Palestinian town is conquered and subsumed into Israel. We need something analogous -- perhaps one terrorist for them = one oil field for us. Two countries for two towers didn't get the point across.

Posted by: Gagdad Bob at January 1, 2010 5:39 PM

To be fair, we didn't do to the two countries what was done to the two towers. But there's always the future.

Posted by: vanderleun at January 1, 2010 6:28 PM

We still lack imagination vis-a-vis the jihadists. We have become jaded, accepting of shootings and bombings.

The next round of murders against us may well be most gruesome and terrifying: jihadist agents infected and contagious with Ebola virus or its equivalent. Jihadists, with no apparent gun or bomb will appear in crowded venues -- airports, buses, subway cars, hospital waiting rooms and lobbies, children's schools, etc. The horrifying outbreak of the disease will spread like wildfire, overwhelming inadequate medical facilities which will have to be completely quarantined.

And our representatives still won't care enough to do what's necessary. Who will bare the iron hand against whom? Where's the movement to impeach those Representatives and Senators and President who have clearly violated their oaths of office?

Posted by: FamouslyUnknown at January 1, 2010 7:14 PM

If we don't allow anti-Western Muslims to enter America then the terrorists will have won! /s

Posted by: pst314 at January 1, 2010 8:19 PM

I recommend The Gods of the Copybook Headings by Rudyard Kipling, as well.

Posted by: AST at January 1, 2010 8:31 PM

For starters, how about the deportation of all Muslims who harbor any anti-Western sympathies? After all, we interned or deported large numbers of Nazi sympathizers during WWII.

Posted by: pst314 at January 1, 2010 8:39 PM

I thought that 9/11 would wake us up, and it seemed to, for a while. But it turned out to be more like driving more carefully after passing a grisly car accident and then getting as reckless as before once the memory fades. I don't believe that anything will wake us up anymore. There are too many of us who have been corrupted by political correctness and our easy way of life. Until we have to struggle again like my parents' generation did, I don't think we'll wise up. It's an ancient repeating pattern that attending to basic values yields a better life, after which we stop attending to those values until we lose what we've had.

Posted by: AST at January 1, 2010 8:51 PM

Most of the liberals I know still believe that islam is a religion of peace and tolerance, and that Americans only join the military for two reasons: (1) they like to kill, and (2) they're not qualified for anything else.

Posted by: pst314 at January 1, 2010 9:07 PM

In many cases these terrorists are promised cash payments for their family after they have done their deed. Maybe any family whose members would engage in such a thing should find their house razed, land laid waste and any shop they might own demolished and its contents burned.

Engaging in such an act should guarantee financial ruin for the family and possibly even the entire neighborhood or village if that is what it takes.

This has to stop. Simply arresting these animals and jailing them in comfort until we trade them for someone they have kidnapped isn't working.

It is time they are treated with the same dignity with which they treat their victims.

Posted by: crosspatch at January 1, 2010 9:50 PM

There were a few American Generals that had the right idea. I'm thinking George S. Patton and William Tecumseh Sherman as well as Curtis LeMay. The jihadis understand that type of response. We have the military might to make it happen. We just don't have the political will to carry it out. That must change.

Posted by: Ralph Gizzip at January 2, 2010 5:11 AM

Glenn has stated nothing new...anyone who teaches or learns about the Cold War would have figured this out. What do you think we have since 1941?

This is not against Prof. Reynolds, as his response to this was humble and as a 5+ year-viewer, he has always been such. But giving a constitutional lawyer Nostradamus like visage (Y'all) and one who will not do more than that (he's not running for office)denotes and arrogance and insularity that can only belong in the political blogging circuit.

Posted by: Anon at January 2, 2010 5:54 AM

Gee, Anon, so in your humble opinion, only those in office can "do anything"? So the rest of us in the US are both pointless and arrogant?

Frankly, you sound like a 25-year-old who might make a statement such as "The first guys who put rockets in space were stupid because [fill in with some 20/20 hindsight comment born of the arrogance of youth]."

Posted by: Karen at January 2, 2010 6:51 AM

Those of us who are not "in office", which is most of U.S., need to make some noise to get the attention of those who are "in office". Granted, all the noise-making of the past year has not stopped the 'evil party' in office from ramming through 'health care reform' over the protests of the 'stupid party'. In a most shocking display of how absolute power corrupts absolutely btw. But, we must keep making noise, louder and louder, all the way to Nov 2010. There are literally millions of our fellow citizens who still are not paying attention.

Back in the day I sold radio advertising, on average it takes seven "impressions" (seven different times of hearing a radio commercial) before listeners realize they have heard the message. We need to keep at it, day by day. What's the alternative, give up and submit?

Posted by: Boots at January 2, 2010 7:22 AM

Well, anon, if you came here from his link I think you can presume Reynolds shares your thoughts if not giving them to you.

Posted by: vanderleun at January 2, 2010 8:06 AM

How to uproot the plague of Islamic jihadism?

Understand the seeds, roots, ground, nutrients that give it proliferating life. The motives are clearly stated in the Koran and are further emphasized in the hadiths and stories attributed to Mohammed's life.

The Islamic teachings are simple: Convert the unbelievers, if not convertible immediately dominate them as second class residents in such a way that they will eventually convert, and at last, kill them if they physically resist their subjugated status.

These teachings, inculcated since childhood and continuing into adulthood, produce an as yet unending stream of jihadists and fellow travelers (less violent supporters of jihad) among the vast Muslim populace.

Until this Koran-based tyrannist interpretation of the will of God is destroyed by both non-sociopathic Muslims and non-Muslims, we will live in fear -- what I call 'Islammetusia,' the rational fear of Islam.

Most Muslims now live in this state of Islammetusia, knowing that they and their families will be murdered if they speak or act out against the jihadists/Islamists/Salafists viewpoint.

Hell! We are still unable to convince non-Muslim Western collaborators of Islamism throughout Europe and here in the USA/Canada that they have made a pact with the devil.

Know your enemy, know what YOU stand for and why, and act on YOUR principles. If the first phrase of the second paragraph of our Declaration of Independence is inadequate for you, then return to the womb of apathy.

Posted by: FamoulyUnknown at January 2, 2010 8:15 AM

Worth repeating: "If the first phrase of the second paragraph of our Declaration of Independence is inadequate for you, then return to the womb of apathy."

Posted by: vanderleun at January 2, 2010 8:23 AM

I really am troubled when I see people talking about "random" nuclear strikes against selected countries. What are the people of those regions going to feel about such a threat? Our problem, IMHO, is that we are funding with tax dollars (humanitarian, military, NGO) countries that don't believe in freedom. We should wall them off like pus pockets IF ONLY we could clearly identify them! My belief is that there are three main things that have kept this the stongest and most free in history: 1) First Amendment, 2) Second Amendment, and 3) Article I, section 2 of the Constitution http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#A1Sec2
If they can't believe in these, leave those people to melt into the mud with NO aid, NO grants, NO immigration, and NO contact as we move through the 21st century.

Posted by: SenatorMark4 at January 2, 2010 8:46 AM