Grassroots Commentary

Our Culture and Our Neglected Security

George Handlery · Dec. 1, 2014

1.) Obama’s ukase to grant amnesty to illegals has its pros and cons. Going beyond these, a question arises: What will happen when the next ten million shows up and become assertive?

2.) Officially, those that register Putin’s expansionism do not know what is to be done. Their confusion is moved by the fear that an effective response might “isolate” and therefore radicalize Russia. In a way, they are right: the purpose of non-military sanctions is isolation. This places on the unstated agenda a search for ways to look good while subtly accepting the expansion. The attached hope is that the “very last demand” has been fulfilled through the last conquest.

There is good news: The hedgers need not to worry any longer. Putin revealed on November 22 that the world is about to be isolated, but Russia never. Proving his point, Putin finds his ilk in the way nails find the magnet. Embracing North Korea will enlist the support of the moment’s reigning Kim. The latter has proven his talent to nourish his people without giving them food. In the light of Russia’s economic prospects – an estimated yearly 140 billion loss – the application of The Dear Leader’s disaster know-how appears to be increasingly valuable.

3.) Even German diplomacy begins to admit that it is running out of tools to bring Putin to reason. “All we can do is keep an eye on the violence in eastern Ukraine and be prepared to react to it.” Powerful forces in the Atlantic zone want that reaction to be “easy,” to sound good, and to meet “sensitively” Russia’s approval.

Berlin fears harm to Russia more than Moscow does. So the Minister of Foreign Affairs opined on the 27th: “An economically isolated Russia, which…. may face collapse, would not…. improve security, but would pose a danger to itself and others. One of the problems is that many people aren’t having a dialogue.” It comes to mind, that the meek get appreciation from the sheep and are eaten by the wolves.

4.) Iran tempts Washington that seeks a way out, with a deal. The worm on the hook is Tehran’s willingness to be a partner fighting terror. Caution is in order. It goes beyond ignoring a past in which Iran has, politely put, proved to be fickle. “Deceptive” is the word of “Realpolitik.” An examination of the conditions suggest, that at least for some minds, something close to a “free lunch” continues to exist. All that is needed for the caterers is to find the fool that takes the bait.

In exchange for nuclear tolerance, the generosity is to be extended. To go along creates the prerequisites for the bomb that the mullahs promise not to seek. For these benefits, the well-meaning get help against terrorists. Provided, of course, that these are not subservient to Iran. Tehran is a proven supporter of good terrorists, which is of those that espouse its cause.

The bomb being built is real, the help offered is illusory.

At the same time, the agreement endlessly negotiated in Vienna does not have loopholes. It is a loophole.

5.) The West’s political culture and tradition puts emphasis on compromises and agreements. These are viewed as settlements that overcome differences. Other traditions and assumptions prevail in the real world and its multitude of cultures. Conflicts are settled by crushing the foe. In that frame of reference, agreements are, regardless of their verbal compromise, instruments to be converted into irreversible advantage. With Iran, the negotiators – China, Russia, the West and the Mullahs –pursue incompatible goals. Tehran needs time and opportunity. China and Russia wish to weaken the West that thinks that, above all, it needs to conduct a “dialogue.” The West is tempted, through its cultural prejudices, to regard any imperfect deal to be better than no deal. The result guarantees time. That gained time is pregnant with opportunities for the most devious one of the contracting parties.

Achieving an agreement will get votes at home. Therefore, there is a temptation to forego watertight controls of compliance for the sake of what will be proclaimed a “historic opportunity.”

6.) Skilled bloodletting is a realm in which the Caliphate earns admiring recognition. That esteem is an achievement because the term “Caliphate” induces the contempt of those that were born after the Dark Ages. This disrespectful reaction to what proclaims itself to serve God – there is even a modest Party of God – might be of short duration. Except for a few unfortunate “excesses,” the systemic mayhem is downplayed. The trick is to qualify violence as an expression of an ethnic-cultural trait. As we know, in democracies such peculiarities enjoy PC protection. The underrating is facilitated, because now the crimes committed happen far away and they are torts suffered by others.

7.) Two components associated with Islamic violence amaze outsiders. One is that suicide missions can lure volunteers. Especially surprising is that converts participate who are, until inducted, physically and by the tradition that socialized them, genuine “outsiders.” Here one answer might be the relativistic and value-avoiding trait of our now fashionable “moral education.” Nature fills artificial vacuums.

In second place stands the regional attraction of the Islamist state as the bridgehead of a global crusade. Muslim masses find an attraction in an ideology that combines religion, messianism, the promise of a “final victory,” the acceptance by a like-minded crowd, a kind of modern nationalism, and superiority attained through “membership.”

Book-length explanations are possible. One answer is frustrated pride and unfulfilled expectations. Once several now successful nations have suffered from their “belated development.” That condition came about once advanced foreign clusters developed and asserted themselves. Being economically and politically underdeveloped and to that extent militarily weak, demanded an appropriate reaction. Some world neighborhoods in that condition have joined the race belatedly. Even so, they managed to close the developmental gap.

Due to factors imbedded in culture and religion, Islam-defined societies have tended to fail to make the connection. Once discovered, that insight could mutate into a push to upgrade to the progressive world’s standards. Alternatively, wounded pride can suggest another course of action to deal with backwardness. The Islamists propose to face up to the challenge of progress by abolishing the modern world.

8.) From the European Union front. UKIP, a party that wishes to return Britain’s sovereignty to her elected government, is converting popular sympathy into seats in parliament. A stunned paper committed to “business as usual by the usual dealers” has found that UKIP is waging class war. What a great proof that is for a favored allegation of Duly Noted. It is that the gap that separates the old left-right elites in cahoots and the masses is growing. Mentioning “class war” is an admission that the people are growing disobedient. By being that, it insolently disturbs the entrenched “servants” that rule over it.

Indeed, the problem of continued control is that, to the extent that the old trust is lost, the people are now in opposition to the governing class.

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