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“A Crackpot, Deviant Sect”: An Apocalyptic Death Cult Has Its Limits

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”
          —Voltaire

Years before Navy Seals killed Osama bin Laden, this column argued that al Qaeda was capable of “theatrical acts of mass murder,” but was not a military threat to the United States.

The phrase infuriated some readers. Back then tough guys talked about fighting “Islamofascism,” supposedly a totalitarian ideology linking bitter enemies such as Iran and al Qaeda (but never Saudi Arabia, where the oil and money are, and where almost all the 9/11 conspirators originated) in an alliance to destroy Western Civilization.

Nobody says that any more.

My point was simple. Fascism was a poor analogy. Pundits’ Churchillian fantasies aside, what made Nazism “uniquely dangerous wasn’t merely Hitler’s hypnotic ideology. It was German militarism and hyper-nationalism run amok. Islamic extremists control none of the world’s 60-odd Muslim-majority nations. They have no army, air force or navy. They pose no military threat to the integrity of the United States or any Western nation.”

Nor does ISIS, al Qaeda’s more flamboyant and equally murderous rival. Last week’s appalling atrocities in Paris, Beirut, and Egypt underscored that reality in the bloodiest possible way. Almost everybody anticipates similar attacks in the United States. We must pray that they fail. However, as President Obama has said, a terrorist willing to die can murder innocents in restaurants as easily as in Connecticut classrooms.

Yet for all the fury and despair these attacks have evoked—I think of a little Parisian girl named Charlotte and her family—ISIS cannot and will not prevail. It’s less a political movement than an apocalyptic death cult, and definitely not an existential threat to the United States, France, or Russia.

Sane leaders would know better than to antagonize three of the world’s most powerful military establishments at once.

ISIS’s self-anointed “Caliph,” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is not that kind of leader. Think David Koresh or Jim Jones with a militia and a Koran instead of a Bible. Theologically, ISIS is to Islam as the Ku Klux Klan is to Christianity, by which I mean they’re a crackpot, deviant sect. But they’re even crazier than that.

Madness, however, has never prevented cult leaders from gaining an enraptured following. If anything, the converse appears true.

It’s a fact of life Orwell recognized in a 1940 review of Hitler’s Mein Kampf: “Whereas Socialism, and even capitalism in a more grudging way, have said to people ‘I offer you a good time,’ Hitler has said to them, ‘I offer you struggle, danger, and death,’ and as a result a whole nation flings itself at his feet.”

Writing in The Atlantic, Graeme Wood explains ISIS’s hypnotic appeal to dispossessed and humiliated young men:

During the last years of the U.S. occupation of Iraq, the Islamic State’s immediate founding fathers…saw signs of the end times everywhere. They were anticipating, within a year, the arrival of the Mahdi—a messianic figure destined to lead the Muslims to victory before the end of the world…. For certain true believers—the kind who long for epic good-versus-evil battles—visions of apocalyptic bloodbaths fulfill a deep psychological need.

It almost goes without saying that you can’t make treaties with such people. They can only be defeated.

The question is how? And at what cost?

Confronted with a newly belligerent press corps in Turkey recently, President Obama spoke mockingly about taking action that would “somehow in the abstract make America look tough or make me look tough.”

“When you listen to what [GOP candidates] actually have to say,” the president said, “what they’re proposing, most of the time when pressed they describe things that we’re already doing. Maybe they’re not aware that we’re already doing them. Some of them seem to think that if I were just more bellicose in expressing what we’re doing, that that would make a difference, because that seems to be the only thing that they’re doing, is talking as if they’re tough.”

Mother Jones blogger Kevin Drum went down the list of the GOP candidates’ suggestions, but found nothing new:

There’s a lot we can do to defeat ISIS, and most of it we’re already doing. Airstrikes? Check. Broad coalition? Check. Working with Arab allies? Check. Engage with Sunni tribal leaders? Check. Embed with the Iraqi military? Check. There’s more we could do, but often it’s contradictory. You want to arm the Kurds and create a partnership with the Iraqi government? Good luck. You want to defeat Assad and ISIS? You better pick one. You want to avoid a large American ground force and you want to win the war fast? Not gonna happen.

Yes, Obama’s “red line” in Syria was a strategic blunder; his “junior varsity” remark was cocky and ill-advised. Also, Vladimir Putin’s right: The Assad government’s bad, but ISIS is far worse.

However, ISIS has turned to terror because it’s gradually losing the ground war, and the Caliphate is shrinking.

La belle France is not.

 

By: Gene Lyons, The National Memo, November 18, 2015

November 18, 2015 Posted by | Adolph Hitler, ISIS, Paris Attacks | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Ben Carson; Hitler Is Coming”: The U.S. Is On The Verge Of A Nazi-Like Takeover, And Carson Is Ready To Save Us

There’s a great potential threat in the United States, more dangerous than the Leftist agenda and more powerful than Obamacare, immigrants and ISIS combined. It’s Adolf Hitler or at least the carbon copy of such a dictator. And Ben Carson has been warning about it for years.

On Wednesday at a campaign stop in New Hampshire the neurosurgeon turned conservative hero warned of the potential of a Nazi-esque force coming to power in the United States. And for those who think it could never happen here, he had something he needed to say.

“I beg to differ,” Carson said. “If you go back and look at the history of the world, tyranny and despotism and how it starts, it has a lot to do with control of thought and control of speech.”

“If people don’t speak up for what they believe, then other people will change things without them having a voice. Hitler changed things there and nobody protested. Nobody provided any opposition to him.”

He suggested that there is already somebody currently in the United States who is like Adolf Hitler. But is it Obama? No, of course not!

“I’m not going to go into that. I think that example is pretty clear,” Carson said when asked this question. When pressed, he denied that he was implying Obama was like Hitler. “No. I am saying in a situation where people do not express themselves, bad things can happen.”

This fear is not new for Carson. In fact, he’s been pretty damn scared of Nazis and the potential of their ideology taking hold in his country for years. In nearly all of his several published books, he makes references to Nazi Germany and Hitler.

He often suggests that the overreaching acts of the U.S. government into the private lives of citizens could give way to a mirror image of WWII Germany.

In the 2014 classic One Nation: What We Can All Do To Save America’s Future, he writes: “Throughout history many societies have failed to push back and have allowed an overly aggressive government to expand and dominate their lives. Nazi Germany is a perfect example of such a society. One can only wonder what would’ve happened if people had not tolerated the foolishness of Adolf Hitler’s appeal to the baser instincts of greed and envy and his institution of an official weapons confiscation program.”

And it could happen soon. Dictatorial regimes in the United States are imminent.

“Such domination is considerably more difficult when people have arms and can put up significant resistance,” he writes in 2015’s What I Believe. “This is the reason that brutal dictators like Fidel Castro, Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong, Adolf Hitler and Idi Amin tried to disarm the populace before imposing governmental control. Such domination could occur in America in the not too distant future if we are not vigilant.”

The real problem is socialism, which Carson says involves people giving up their personal liberties. When that happens, the country is just steps away from a Nazi-esque takeover.

“Sure, there are several different brands of socialism—at least as many types as there are would-be people-planners who wish to impose their plans to control the moral and economic lives of other people,” the doctor writes in 2014’s America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What This Nation Great. “But are you willing to surrender your precious liberties to a socialist state which promises ‘security’ for everyone and government-enforced equality? Isn’t this what Hitler and other socialists promised the German people in his Nazi (national socialist) platform—a country in which government guarantees security and ‘equality’ in exchange for giving up individual freedom? Will Americans fall for the same scam?

“Since Americans are by nature individualistic and entrepreneurial, by definition, then, the socialist program is anti-American, to say nothing of totalitarian.

“Socialism is an old dream. Some dreams are nightmares when put into practice.”

This is a nightmare Carson will stop at nothing to prevent. His campaign has not responded to a request for comment about Carson’s concerns about Nazis.

While he’s generally concerned about it, Carson is a forgiving individual, one who is willing to let bygones be bygones.

“Every person makes mistakes, so it should come as no surprise that every nation of the world has made mistakes as well,” Carson writes in America the Beautiful, in which he also questions whether the rise of the Islamic State is similar to that of the Nazis. “Talk with a German national about the hope their country placed in Hitler’s rise to power on the heels of the Great Depression. Or consider our own nation’s internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, and you’ll agree that the question is not whether a nation makes mistakes; the question is whether a nation learns from its mistakes, builds on that knowledge it gains over time, and grows in wisdom.”

For Carson, this question remains. Has the U.S. learned anything or is another Hitler just waiting around the corner?

 

By: Gideon Resnick, The Daily Beast, October 4, 2015

October 5, 2015 Posted by | Adolph Hitler, Ben Carson, Socialism, U. S. Government | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

   

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