Kristol is canned, but Dennis Prager persists, insisting that …. well, let him say it:
“I could largely assent to the proposition that terror is the new communism. Communism was an enslaving and murderous threat in its time and the Jihadism is such a threat in our lifetime.”
Well, sometimes smart people do give the impression duty requires them to condescend to the intellectual level of the dumb public, but Prager just never seems capable of rising above it.
Lenin (Note to Prager: a communist) said that “the purpose of terror is to terrorize.” It is a tactic. It can serve the lust for power or get you a radio show or clear a bar full of hoods. Terror can serve the ideologue, but it is not the ideology. The communist ideology is a roadmap for the acquisition, maintaining, and maximizing of power, pure and simple. Terror plays only a part. Just ask George Orwell. Saddam used terror to rule Iraq. He did not threaten the United States. Osama does not want to occupy the United States. He wants to ruin us so we can no longer afford to occupy the Middle East. He designed 9-11 to bankrupt us. He spent $500,000. We spent trillions, and we are bankrupt.
Prager’s problem is fear — his own: he and his neocon allies don’t have the courage to say that Islam or Arabs or Persians or Pashtuns are the enemy of the West. Those assertions can be discussed, debated, and, very possibly, refuted. No, it’s “Jihadism,” or “Islamicism,” or “Islamofascism,” or (GWB) simply “extremism.”
This vocabulary is inadequate. It is always undefined, because it is undefinable. The label is intentionally left empty, so the propagandist can fill it up with whatever fear tactic (yes, that door swings both ways) will work today. It is the neocon’s version of Lenin’s dialectic. But to what end do they wield it?
The neocons want “terror” to be the “new communism” because, fifty years ago, America, including both major political parties, was by and large united behind the battle against the menace of “godless communism.” Since 2001, neocons have longed for that unity (and for power over it, of course) so they can rule. Instead, they have left our country in ruins and they are sitting by the side of the road. They have brought not Islam, or Arabs, or Persians, or Pashtuns, but America to its knees.
Heckuva job, Pragie!
Here are the relevant cites:
For us there do not, and cannot, exist the old systems of morality and ‘humanity’ invented by the bourgeoisie for the purpose of exploiting and oppressing the ‘lower classes’. Our morality is new, for it rests on the bright idea of destroying all oppression and coercion. To us, everything is permitted, for we are the first in the world to raise the sword in the name of freeing everybody from bondage. Blood? Let there be blood if it alone will save us from the return of the old jackals.
(From an article by Lenin in The Red Sword, a weekly magazine of the Cheka (secret police), 1919)
“It means neither more nor less than unlimited power, resting directly on force, not limited by anything. Nothing else but that.”
(From “A Contribution to the History of the Question of the Dictatorship”)
The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power….Power is not a means, it is an end.
(O’Brien, in Room 101 of the Ministry of Love: George Orwell, 1984, Book III, Chapter 3)10:10 am on January 27, 2009 Email Christopher Manion