Wednesday, January 07, 2015

A Window into America's Future

“I would rather die standing than live kneeling.”

— Cartoonist Stéphane Charbonnier, "Charb," who died, standing, in today's terrorists attack in Paris
"The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam." 
President Barack Hussein Obama at the United Nations, 2012 
"It is madness for sheep to talk peace with a wolf." 
 — Thomas Fuller
Let's be clear here — this morning, the Islamic terrorists won and won big. Three men — three! — with rifles and an RPG brought a major First World city to it's knees. They also unconditionally succeeded in sending a terrifying and brutal message to Western societies who cling to the quaint notion of free expression…we can get to you no matter where you live, even in the heart of one of the greatest cities in the world.

The conclusion doesn't change if the French run the shooters to ground, kill them, put them on trial, whatever. They won. And they expect to die. It doesn't matter if they're "lone wolves," imported ISIS soldiers, radicalized French-born Muslims, or Major Nidal Malik Hasan on furlough. They won.

And all around the world terrorist strategists are rubbing their beards and thinking, "Hmmmmmmmm."

It is all a simple question of ROI, return on investment. For those of us who own our own businesses, for people who run any kind of enterprise, ROI is a simple formula that quite literally defines the possible. "If I spend 'X' on expanding my business, what will be the value of 'Y,' the return on the investment?" If my business is the destruction of Western culture, I've got to be aware that war isn't cheap. Secondly, wholesale slaughter is only useful if it advances my goals; for example, it works great in the Middle East, which is founded on a sort of wholesale slaughter economy. Not so great in Western democracies, where such killing tends to rally the low information voters.

But "discount slaughter," that's something else. Whether it's hacking a British soldier's head off on a busy street in London, killing a Dutch filmmaker, crashing a car into a crowd of pedestrians in Jerusalem, shattering Mumbai, or today's Paris atrocities, these type of attacks work well. In other words, the return on investment is very high...nobody has to travel to America and learn how to fly a jetliner, explosives don't have to be smuggled in, you don't have to stretch out a worldwide logistics net...all you need a good social media account, a glossy magazine and a sense that history is on your side...from Virginia Postrel, author of The Power of Glamour, on "The Glamour of Islamic State:"
Islamic State’s recruitment imagery and Internet fan posts offer a different, more contemporary and overtly violent form of glamour.Videos, magazine features and Twitter memes mirror the glamour of action movies, shooter video games and gangsta rap. They make killing look effortless, righteous and triumphant. They promise to make the jihadist feel manly and important. 
Indeed, the “intangible power” of Islamic State stems from its ability to meld common, often secular forms of martial and media glamour with a compellingly utopian version of religious faith. Conventional hometown imams often have little to offer alienated young British men longing for excitement and purpose, argued Shiraz Maher, a researcher at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at King’s College London, compared with “the hyper-empowering appeal of IS videos, filled with balaclava-wearing boys in smocks offering the promise of making history.”

That's ROI!
The journalists and cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo died because they satirized radical Islam. But freedom of expression, while largely absent in Islam, radical or otherwise, is one of the bedrocks of Western culture. It would be fair to say that without freedom of expression, our countries would cease to exist. The great American fantasist and graphic novelist Neil Gaiman put it best in this tweet today:
I unfortunately believe that the Paris attacks offer a window into America's future. The leader of our country has already stood before the United Nations and, with the quote beginning this post, given tacit approval to the destruction of freedom of speech (and White House shill Jay Carney told reporters in 2012, "We are aware that a French magazine published cartoons featuring a figure resembling the Prophet Muhammad, and obviously we have questions about the judgment of publishing something like this...").

Wolves don't respect weakness.

In 2002 my old friend and Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Doug Marlette did this cartoon, for which he was sentenced to death by radical Islamists:

Hell, maybe cartoonists are the bravest of us all. Here's a link to the Mohammed cartoons.

In his post-Apoc masterpiece The Stand, Steven King wrote, “The place where you made your stand never mattered. Only that you were there...and still on your feet.”

["It's hard to be loved by idiots..."]



KevinC said...

The few people on the left that realize what is going on here think that they can fight violent attacks on free speech like this with more free speech.

That's just one of the weapons to fight this menace. The other is actual weapons.

When we have foes who would use more than just words to eliminate free speech, free speech must be defended with more than just words.

nj larry said...

"In 1095 an assembly of churchmen called by Pope Urban II met at Clermont, France. Messengers from the Byzantine Emperor Alexius Comnenus had urged the pope to send help against the armies of Muslim Turks. On November 27 the pope addressed the assembly and asked the warriors of Europe to liberate the Holy Land from the Muslims. The response of the assembly was overwhelmingly favorable. Thus was launched the first and most successful of at least eight crusades against the Muslim caliphates of the Near East."

We are killing ourselves by the sniveling sissy boys running the world. Read history. This was how countless dictators rose to power. Out of weakness came rebellion. It will come and then there will be a great cleansing of the western world. Sadly so many will perish. But the world will be saved.

Anonymous said...

KevinC, everyone else, you'll have to forgive me for being more like a liberal than I am anything else, but I'm sure there's some great harmony in our positions somewhere. That said, here's my take on things, for what it's worth:

1. I believe that the answer to someone getting violent over their sacred cows is to go ahead and slaughter even more of them. Depictions of Muhammad incite violence? Then may they choke on the deluge of Muhammad cartoon satire. Let there be millions of depictions, both good and bad.

2. Every person has a duty to protect themselves; if you're in the business of angering extremists, be sure you have the tools and mindset to protect yourself. While I strongly wish terrorists didn't exist, I wish even more that those who could be targeted could freely access tools for their defense...which is not always the case.

The pen may be mightier than the sword, but sometimes you need a sword to be able to keep hold of the pen.

Either way my heart breaks for those lost, just as it burns with anger for those that caused it. It's a dark day.

Michael Bane said...

Anon…who imagined that in the world of the 21st Century, it would be cartoonists who showed us the Way? God bless them, and God damn the cowards in our own country who enable this.

Michael B

Anonymous said...

Mr. Bane, haven't we always learned the most from the satirists, the court jesters, the fools, and the comedians?

I value free speech so highly precisely because the irreverent voice often speaks the clearest truths. A free person must not be cowed into silence by threats of violence.

Anyone who picks up a weapon and says "you will not think this way" should be damned to whatever Hell they believe in.

And may our highest honor go to anyone who picks up a weapon in defense of truth and knowledge, to say "You will not demand ignorance at the muzzle of a gun, or at the edge of a knife."

Anonymous said...

In the last cartoon you show, 'cons' can be translated into idiots, but also assholes and other sorts of pejoratives with similar meanings; however, the original meaning of the word (and still used that way every so often) might apply more strongly in the case here.

So it should translate as:"It's hard to be loved by cunts".

Reg T said...


Unfortunately, you are re-enforcing a mistaken, inaccurate meme - that there is a "radical" islam. What ISIS has been doing is _orthodox_ islam, not simply approved by the Qu'ran and Hadith, but _demanded_ by the Qu'ran and Hadith.

Any who call themselves muslim who do not act as ISIS does are actually apostates, and the Qu'ran condemns them to death. Indeed, it speaks of them as worse than infidels, since they belonged to islam but then betrayed it by refusing to follow the commands of Mohammed. Unless they are just pretending to be "moderate".

ISIS is islam uncovered, unchained, unfettered, true to the values of islam, the sura of the Qu'ran.. They are doing exactly as Mohamed commands them to do. The muslims who are "moderate" are either not true muslims, or they are practicing "Taqqiya", lying and deception, and when they become plentiful enough, when their community becomes strong enough (as in parts of Paris, for example), the mask comes off, and they show their true colors - the colors of orthodox islam.

Obama and all the other apologists love it when we repeat their myth of "radical muslims", "radical islam". They are practicing their own taqqiya, to mislead and misdirect us from the truth. It's time to stop aiding them in this deception.

kmitch200 said...

the Qu'ran condemns them to death. Indeed, it speaks of them as worse than infidels, since they belonged to islam but then betrayed it

I heard a story once about some kid born to a muslim father, schooled in an Indonesian school then he was moved somewhere.
Might have been the US...
Kid grew up in the midwest I think it was and went to a christian church for about 20 years run by Rev. Jeremiah Something.
Guess that fuckers head would first on the chopping block if SHTF mooslim style.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes, truth IS found in our humor; even in some cartoons.

In an episode of "South Park", "Nathan" the little boy with Downs Syndrome asked: "If a farmer has some sheep and a snake is trying to eat the sheep, what does the farmer do?" When he didn't get an answer that was satisfactory to him, he answered the question himself: "He kills the f---ing snake!"

Let these terrorists try to invade "that" diner in Killen, Texas. The bleeding-heart liberals will get a real lesson in gun control. It'll kind be like the "Gunny's" humorous Glock commercial.

Life Member

Anonymous said...

Michael, FYI - Neil Gaiman is British.