Thursday, August 05, 2004

Fantasy Ideology. This is a must read. I would quote some of it here, but I didn't know what to quote. I ended up wanting to quote most of the article. Lee Harris makes a compelling argument that the enemy we face does not have political or strategic goals, but lives in a fantasy where his ideals are everything and we all are just props in his fantasy. He ascribes this movement as not something we can overcome by politics, appeasement, or diplomacy. He goes even further and calls radical Islamism a disease that needs to be eradicated.
He thought that Bush's description of them not as the enemy, but as "evildoers" was on the mark.
There is one decisive advantage to the “evildoer” metaphor, and it is this: Combat with evildoers is not Clausewitzian war. You do not make treaties with evildoers or try to adjust your conduct to make them like you. You do not try to see the world from the evildoers’ point of view. You do not try to appease them, or persuade them, or reason with them. You try, on the contrary, to outwit them, to vanquish them, to kill them. You behave with them in the same manner that you would deal with a fatal epidemic — you try to wipe it out.
Here's the conclusion paragraph, but read the whole thing.
Let there be no doubt about it. The fantasy ideologies of the twentieth century were plagues, killing millions and millions of innocent men, women, and children. The only difference was that the victims and targets of such fantasy ideologies so frequently refused to see them for what they were, interpreting them as something quite different — as normal politics, as reasonable aspirations, as merely variations on the well-known theme of realpolitik, behaving — tragically enough — no differently from Montezuma when he attempted to decipher the inexplicable enigma posed by the appearance of the Spanish conquistadors. Nor did the fact that his response was entirely human make his fate any less terrible

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