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.