August 29, 2016

“Eggshell diplomacy”: On ISIS, Gwynne Dyer channels Chamberlain, not Churchill

David MacKenzieRebel Columnist

Every so often, I digest a column from Gwynne Dyer, usually with mixed gastrointestinal results. I do appreciate his trademark realism that, more than occasionally, borders on complete cynicism. Dyer often discerns the dubious motives behind politics, and he has no compunction exposing the predictable self-interest of politicians. Yet, an article he wrote in late July seemed to underscore a Dyer-need for even greater realism on his part.

Dyer criticized French President Francois Hollande for saying “our country is at war” in the aftermath of the beheading of French Catholic priest, Jacques Hamel.

Dyer argued, like a number of his left-wing associates, that such rhetoric plays into the hands of terrorism, allowing IS to use it as a recruitment tool. Conservatives have heard this theory before. Supposed experts have made similar claims. Recently, an Italian official criticized the French government for even banning the “burkini”, arguing that the move would provoke terror attacks.

To be fair to the official, one might legitimately ask why a nation would bother to bureaucratically regulate burkinis when it barely regulates monokinis. If non-clothing isn’t an issue, then why would clothing be? Be that as it may, could beach-fashion hypocrisy possibly be the ultimate stimulus package for (often porn-loving) Jihadist recruitment?

Boiling Gwynne Dyer’s strategy down renders the following mantra: no harsh language lest ISIS gain recruits. But Dyer illuminates his biggest fears by saying, “If the terrorist attacks radicalize Christian and post-Christian French people and lead to anti-Muslim violence, Le Pen might even become France's next president.”

Dyer’s bizarre angst, then, is not over the Jihadist violence already evident in Europe, but over a hypothetical populist conservative backlash leading (perhaps) to further jihad. In other words, he believes his theoretical political scenarios are worse than the tangible violence already perpetrated by actual radicalized menaces.

To reiterate a psychological theme in my columns of late, why is unreality now more real than reality? Even if our worst partisan accusations are all valid, why would liberal psychosis be superior to conservative Islamophobia?

Yet, even if Dyer could absolutely prove his hypotheticals, his is still the politics of Chamberlain, not Churchill. It is like asking Cambodians in 1970 to be nobly dispassionate about their Khmer Rouge neighbours because, that way, their massacres would be gentler. Yes, let us not say “war” within the global earshot of Jihadists; with enough silence and sympathy, the religiously bellicose can become spiritually bucolic.

No, they won’t. Granted, I’m being reductionist, but the simplicity couldn’t be more stunning. The foreign policy of the Dyer-left resembles Battered Person Syndrome. It cannot identify the proper locus for the violence it experiences, and subsequently blames its own context. It’s afraid. Desperately afraid.

This is not pacifism. This is not Gandhi. Nor is it an Amish response steeped in non-violent Christology and non-coercive communalism. Rather, this is feckless, lapdog acquiescence. Progressives apparently believe the correct response to ISIS is roll-on-the-floor, let-the-Alpha-tickle-my-tummy passivity. It is closer to eggshell, not gunboat, diplomacy. It’s pathetic.

And such a compliant “spirit” likely emboldens an enemy far more than any militant, or embarrassingly patriotic, rhetoric on our part. Truthfully, the West now faces all manner of terrible ideologies. They have multiplied like Legion. Internally, the West faces an aggressive psycho-sexual progressivism; externally, a resurgent Marxism in the far East, and an Islamism in the Middle. All of these ideologies are profoundly Statist, have distinct totalitarian tendencies, and absolutely none of them are placated by either silence or servility.

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commented 2016-08-31 23:32:49 -0400
What I would have to say on this subject matter I would never post on the internet.
commented 2016-08-31 21:31:06 -0400
I have read some of Gwynne Dyer’s articles and find little comfort in his bizarre assurances that we are more likely to die from slipping in the bathtub than being killed by a terrorist or other ridiculous analogies. While it is true that no amount of preparing can stop every accident from occurring we can however take steps to limit the frequency and severity of many accidents by working on improving safety features and limiting our exposure to dangerous activities. In fact the government has safety standards and most companies test and try and improve and regulate defective products which is why it makes no sense for the same government and it’s media propaganda arm to offer such flippant advise. When we see a particular model of car in a number of deadly accidents the car is recalled and repairs are made often involving sizeable law suits. How would we react if the same car manufacturer responded "cheer up you are still more likely to die by getting hit struck by lightening or slipping in the bathtub? While it may be statistically true that I may have more chance of winning a lottery than being killed by a terrorist I still prefer to be given the choice of which lotteries I play and the ones I’m not buying.
commented 2016-08-31 18:43:57 -0400
“But also the strength of will and arms to bring about change.” could you extrapolate Cameron?
Chamberlain invited Nazis to the social events of the London elite. The Nazis didn’t hide their supremacist attitudes, but they were masters at subterfuge and used a tactic very similar to Islamic taqiyya. Chamberlain felt ‘he could work with them to bring about change’, that Nazi Germany was not really a threat. That was just before he resigned and Churchill took over and did what needed to be done.
Cameron do you honestly think Islam can be reasoned with? What sort of change are you suggesting. You don’t explain.
commented 2016-08-31 14:49:54 -0400
Bombs and bullets kill terrorist. To kill terrorism one needs education and leaders. But also the strength of will and arms to bring about change. This is harder to do that shoot people.
commented 2016-08-30 01:40:53 -0400
Here is a link to several interesting opinions of Gwynne Dyer. Based on his writings many consider him pro Palestine and anti-Semitic.

When I read Dyer’s recent book on ISIS, I had all but forgotten who he was. I didn’t really have a sense of where he was coming from until I started reading. It didn’t take long for me to get the picture.

He is an international foreign correspondent, and I assume has travelled to all of the places he writes about. That doesn’t make his opinion the last word on anything. His historical knowledge of events (sans opinion) is limitless though.
commented 2016-08-30 00:13:21 -0400
What Dyer needs is an education. These book smart people are going to be the end of the world. A few months living among the population in Afghanistan or Iraq would open these idiots eyes. Liza Rosie your last sentence is right on the money!
commented 2016-08-29 22:22:18 -0400
If anyone can’t place the name, think of the foreign correspondent on CBC who wore that ratty old brown leather bomber style jacket , and had a funny accent. Canadian newfy/slash British accent. I don’t know if he is still on the air. I don’t watch msm news at all anymore.
A ‘doomer’ and he finds it easier to surrender to Islam than to fight it. Islam has nothing but contempt for cowards, to show them your underbelly is the worst thing you can do.
commented 2016-08-29 21:47:25 -0400
He is widely respected, and listened to. He should stick to what he knows, the chronology of things, the players, and the facts. His America bashing is irritating, and his apologist attitude unhelpful. He blames the west for everything and Islam for not much.
I agree that “this is feckless, lapdog acquiescence.”
commented 2016-08-29 21:41:06 -0400
Gwynne Dyer has always been a doomer.
commented 2016-08-29 19:34:47 -0400
I just finished reading Gwynne Dyer’s book, entitled ’ ISIS, Terror and Today’s Middle East Don’t Panic’. I definitely got that impression too David. His grasp of the historical facts is amazing, but he definitely puts a Chamberlain spin on it, which made it difficult to finish.
commented 2016-08-29 18:57:53 -0400
Hey apologists , not fighting back will mean our destruction. Quit laying the blame on us and look at Europe, they have bent over backwards for them and they are not being treated well. What part of that are you missing?
commented 2016-08-29 18:52:06 -0400
Lefties. You can’t fix stupid!
commented 2016-08-29 18:28:13 -0400
Since 9/11 – IN THE NAME OF ISLAM: 31,640 Attacks, 201,254 Killed, 282,110 Injured…. that we know of.