Madame Defarge Proposes World Conquest

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LRC reader – let us call her Madame Defarge – sent an
email in response to my piece "A Mad Dream of Power" in
which she laid out what in her view needs to happen:

worry about the Muslims. Their objectives have not changed, i.e,
remove Israel and invade and transform the West (Europe/America)
into predominantly Islamic countries. Look around – mosques
are ubiquitous, 5,000,000 Muslims live in France, and many thousands
more reside in other European countries. Prior to 9/11 Islam was
the fastest growing religion in the world. These objectives will
be achieved, as the Christian West was clearly sleeping on the job.
Now, we have an opportunity to conquer the Holy Lands, take back
the oil fields, subdue the populace, and achieve Pax Americana.
I know George Washington argued against foreign intervention, but
we are pressed by events and technology that do not allow us to
wholly withdraw from the unpleasant parts of the world. Therefore,
we must conquer them to ensure our survival. Kipling was right,
of course re the ‘White Man’s burden.’ Win, or die." ~ Madame
Defarge (not her real name, of course).

I thought that was a remarkably clear statement of the simple argument
from superior force: one can do it; therefore do it. So although
I totally disagreed with the idea in it, I wrote back in what I
thought was a polite tone:

is an extraordinarily straightforward statement of what I expect
is the actual sentiment (perhaps unacknowledged) activating our
(what do you call them?) rulers. I think I disagree with it utterly,
and I do so out of conviction that the Christian ethic is right;
and it, in turn, is only a refinement of the universal ethic described
under the heading, the ‘Tao,’ by C.S. Lewis in The Abolition of
Man. Lewis’s Tao is the ethic of mankind – Golden Rule and
all that – and it has always had an opposite in the anti-mankind
ethic, the ‘barbaric’ ethic, the ethic of conquest, pillage, and
cruelty. If to survive we have to do what you suggest, does it make
any sense to survive at all, since one’s society survives only as
a horror? I think it is then not win or die but win and die. Thanks
for writing." ~ TW

I kind of got
my hat handed to me for that effort at civility, as follows:

a wilted lily! No wonder Islamic men call Western men weak. Thanks
for proving de Tocqueville right when he said American women were
uniquely strong. Don’t fear, someone will save you so you can continue
your refined ruminations. Must have enjoyed an immensely squishy
soft life. Fortunately, I didn’t. Hope there aren’t too many men
like you around though, or there won’t be much life for anyone left.
How could you believe (much less write) that it would be better
to die than to prevail through conquest when all of what you currently
enjoy is based on the conquests achieved by Western people? The
achievements of the Greeks, the Romans, the English, the founders
of America, the western pioneers (some of whom were my ancestors)
– settlers, cowboys, warriors. Were you educated at Harvard
or Princeton by any chance?" ~ Madame Defarge

I decided on
one more try, but I was beginning to think B. and I were not exactly
destined to make gorgeous philosophical harmony:

"I refuse
to answer your (final) question on grounds it might incriminate
me. I didn’t say it would be better to die than to prevail through
conquest, I said that if we engage in world conquest, our society
would die. Also of course a lot of people would die too, perhaps
thee and me. I am old: I was in WW II. I will not encourage young
men to die in any war except a war of (real) self-defense. As to
that, we are not defending our borders, as you note with reference
to the inflooding of Muslims, etc., so what use is the rest of this
crazy show of expansionist hypertestosterone by either ladies or
gents?" ~TW

No response.
For which I was glad, since I didn’t think we were really going
anywhere. I would not convince her, nor she me; that was plain.

I forwarded
the correspondence with Madame Defarge as above to a friend who
watches the current international playout closely, and I said:

never before seen the thing spelled out so plainly as by this lady.
What do you think of it? I believe it is the underlying strategy
of many of Bush’s advisors, but I think it is crazy and misguided.
But then, am I the one who is crazy and misguided not B.? ~ TW

To which my
friend answered:

I still don’t believe that Americans as a whole have the ***** for
an all-out ground war to eliminate all Muslims. In my opinion such
a war can only be won by ground troops, not just high tech gear.
~ MG

My response
to M:

I don’t think
it is a question of ***** but of sanity. We do have everything needed
to wipe out Moslem strength worldwide, IF (big if) we could use
just tactical nuclear without fear of retaliation. Our real chance
to conquer the world was in 1945, but the reds within the U.S. would
have prevented that if Truman & Co had tried it. Then the same
homegrown reds leaked the a-bomb to Russia, and the cat was out
of the bag. Now I think we are forced to accept that there are really
just two choices in the long run: some variety of nuclear whomp
that would end everything but the struggle at local levels to survive,
or peace among peoples, free trade, capitalist development, and
a great return of the concept of minding one’s own business. Oh
yes, there is a third choice or alternative: world socialism under
a central, totalitarian government; but I don’t believe it would
be stable or last – it would be faced with internal rebellions
all over the place. But maybe I do have to admit there really are
those three options. And perhaps sixty more depending on what God’s
views are on the present mess. ~ TW

Thus ended
my brush up against one of the more warlike ladies of our time.
I do not find myself particularly distressed to be dismissed as
such a limp sort; it’s virtually a compliment. And my recommendation
– turn about is fair play – for the serious warmongers
among our women is to go over to Islam, where the gents would be
very understanding of and sympathetic with them. Or they could get
a sniper rifle and a couple of pistols and head out there to the
Mideast and start shooting for good ol’ Empire. They’ll find it’s
great fun.

8, 2002

White [send him mail] writes
from Odessa, Texas.
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