Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Going Postal Goes Global

“The pussy licks itself as the world burns.” ~ Greek proverb

There’s nothing like a big-ticket terrorist attack to make the West completely lose its marbles.

One hundred and twenty-nine dead in Paris. An act of war, according to Hollande, which it is indeed. But an act of war by a failed and decaying “state” that has been nothing but a temper tantrum since its inception.

French airstrikes have hit the latest trailer to claim to be Islamic State’s HQ. They’ll hit some more before the week is out and that will both be enough and not the end. Because Islamic State is an absolute failure as a world or even regional power but a rousing success as a meme. I frankly still have doubts that al-Baghdadi or whatever his successor is going by had much of a hand in the Paris attacks. Evidence backs me on this too, considering at least one of the shooters was a French national. This was less a behind-the-lines raid and more a rowdy fan club trying to get some attention.

This is what a Belgian looks like.

Which you’re not supposed to admit in polite company but it’s absolutely necessary to putting things like Islamic State in perspective. They’re not going to be a real state - ever - and they’re more of a danger to other Muslims, but all you’re going to hear the rest of the year is how Islam and the West are in some sort of grand conflict. Because of half a dozen yahoos who couldn’t get dates.

The West has never really understood Islam. Not because Islam is inherently alien but because the Western powers have been gloriously stupid for the past 1500 years or so. While Saladin, a shrewd and practical ruler, was busy gobbling up Syrian rivals, the princes of Christendom launched one ill-fated operation after another to claim some Levantine fishing village. Fast forward through most of the High Middle Ages and you’ve got Slavic and Balkan rulers consistently dying, their lands changing hands, because they couldn’t stop squabbling among themselves long enough to put up a united front against the Ottomans.

And if you want to see how the 19th Century imperial powers fucked everything up… well, look at Syria. The three-way civil war between inland Sunnis, coastal Shia, and the Kurds on the Turkish border are the fault of French and British colonial governors who liked to stoke the tribal hatreds, keep the locals too divided to ever kick out the invaders. The Brits were pulling this shit as recently as Yemen in the middle of the Cold War, getting glowing articles in Time about their reactionary proxies fighting “for Allah and the Imam.” Those same proxies formed the primordial ooze of every modern salafist nutcase from al Qaeda to ISIS.

The history of Islam versus the West is really a history of one-sided narcissism and Euro-racism. And it continues to this day: Look how goddamn long it took the US to support the Kurds of Kobane. Look how long it took them to finally support the Peshmerga in Iraq. Look how NATO quietly looks away when Turkey starts bombing the same Kurds who were kicking ISIS ass up and down the dessert. Look how European and American racists are losing their shit over Syrian refugees when ISIS gets most of its recruits from those same Western countries.

Between 250 and 400 jihadists in the area are thought to have come from [Belgium], which has a population of 11 million.

Britain and Australia are big contributors too. As is France. Mohammed Emwazi, popularly known as Jihadi John, came from an upper middle-class London neighborhood. Why hide among refugees when you’re already a born and bred citizen?

Why a French or Belgian citizen would take up jihad rather than clubbing and cocaine has less to do with Islam and much more to do with why any young man embraces a reactionary creed: the sense of individual purpose and power. Those 19th Century colonial outposts were a dumping ground for such young men in Europe and since they’ve closed, we make jokes about how Belgium is only known for chocolate and child-molesters. Blackwater, Rhodesia - I’ve covered this all before - violence by young men for personal validation is quite common throughout the world, whether inspired by Islamic State’s black flag or the unhinged manifesto of Elliot Rodgers.

You won’t hear that in all the hand-wringing coverage over Paris. The bodies are still too warm for any serious analysis by the “serious people” - mostly because it would reveal that a hundred and twenty-some Parisians died not in a modern Pearl Harbor but in just another Columbine. For all its bluster and for all the paranoia among wealthy white folks, Islamic State is nothing more than the lashing out by the detritus of a broken middle-class.

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