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PostChanges in Venezuela, Somalia (Nigel Jones, -UK, 12/07/15 8:39 am)
It's not often in these dark days that we wake to great news, but the downfall of the Chavista socialist tyranny in Venezuela after 17 miserable years and the sweeping gains in France made by the Le Pen ladies in the wake of the Islamist massacre in Paris is a good reason for popping the champagne corks.
On the wider question of the long war against Islamist barbarism, I think it is time we learned some lessons from President Putin. Two possibly apocryphal stories illustrate the stance that the West should (but under its present enfeebled leadership will not) adopt.
Back in the day when western hostages were being kidnapped and held in Beirut by Hezbollah, that group made the mistake of kidnapping a Russian. Shortly thereafter a Hezbollah cleric was abducted. There then followed a small package delivered to Hezbollah HQ. Upon being opened it was found two contain a pair of human testicles and a message that unless the Russian was freed forthwith the rest of the Hezbollah cleric's anatomy would follow in short order. The Russian was freed.
More recently, the Somali pirates (whose barbarities featured in the Tom Hanks movie Captain Phillips) made a similar error when they stormed and captured a Russian tanker. Spetznatz special forces were activated and re-took the ship.
They then hanged all the pirates publicly on the deck. Discovering the village where the pirates hailed from, the Spetznatz boys went ashore and slaughtered the remaining population of the entire village. Since then the pirates have left the Russian ships well alone.
What I am saying, in short, is that in order to combat Islamist barbarism, the rulebook of civilised warfare must be set aside and we must be at least as ruthless and barbaric as the enemy. This is an existential struggle against an enemy without scruples or morals and we will only win it when we fight it that way--in the same way that the carpet bombing of German cities and Hiroshima won us WWII.
Wet words from the White House just won't cut the mustard I fear.
JE comments: Old Testament wrath or New Testament turning of the cheek? It's a decision we all must make. I'll leave it at that.
Perhaps the most significant news is the FN's first-place finish in France's regional elections. Is Le Pen fille poised to be that country's next leader? What will this mean for France? For the EU? For the "world order" as we know it?
And in this hemisphere, it's the beginning of the end for Venezuela's chavismo. I hope José Ignacio Soler will send a report.
Fight Barbarism with Barbarism?
(John Heelan, -UK
12/08/15 5:10 AM)
Nigel Jones commented on 7 December: "to combat Islamist barbarism, the rulebook of civilised warfare must be set aside and we must be at least as ruthless and barbaric as the enemy."
Is Nigel really suggesting that terrorists should be publicly beheaded on YouTube? While I understand justifying a lust for revenge, would that approach make us any less barbaric than the terrorists we are fighting?
Recent history suggests that the barbarity of napalm, body counts and village massacres did little to help the US win the Vietnam War, just as the use of white phosphorous and draconian punishments on the population of Gaza has apparently done little to stop the rockets on Israeli settlements.
I do not understand why Islamic terrorism cannot be reduced (or even stopped) by the religious leaders of Sunni and Shia faiths issuing fatwas confirming that shahids killing civilians would not get the paradise they expect on being killed.
JE comments: I second John Heelan's last point. Why, I ask, do fatwas always seem to be of the fire & brimstone variety?