Friday, July 15, 2016

Spengler Rides Again

David P. Goldman channels Spengler and writes a column for the Asia Times. Frankly, he's a bloody-minded rascal. Today his topic is how to defeat terrorism, see what he writes:
Western European Muslims fear the terrorists more than they fear the police. The West will remain vulnerable to mass terror attacks until the balance of fear shifts in the other direction.

When snipers fired on Union soldiers from Tennessee or Kentucky villages, (General) Sherman expelled residents, burned houses, and laid waste to crops. There are lessons here for what we used to call, quaintly, the Global War on Terror.

Destroying ISIS, al-Qaeda and other Muslim terror groups is not particularly difficult, far less difficult than Sherman or Sheridan’s task during the Civil War. It simply requires doing some disgusting things.

The way to win the war is to frighten the larger community of Muslims who passively support terror by action or inaction–frighten them so badly that they will inform on family members. Frightening the larger Muslim population in the West does not require a great deal of effort: a few thousand deportations would do.

This approach to quashing insurgency has worked numerous times in the past. It is not characteristic of peacetime life in western democracies, to be sure, but neither was Phil Sheridan’s ride through the Shenandoah. We prefer to think about winning hearts and minds. Winning the hearts and minds of a people, though, isn’t difficult once they fear you.
Israelis dynamite the homes of terrorists, echoing Sherman and Sheridan. However, Sheridan and Sherman weren't dealing with a suicidal death cult. I'm not certain Goldman's analogy holds, although his deportations represent movement in the right direction.