The Thinking 

An Entire City — and One Muslim

April 19, 2013


A MAJOR American city is now in a state of complete lockdown — its subways, offices and schools closed — as police engage in a massive manhunt for a single Muslim from Chechnya. They are looking for a man who has done what Muslims from Chechnya have done for many years: slaughtered innocent civilians.

It wasn’t as if this 19-year-old from a region bristling with Muslim terrorists had to crawl across our borders in the middle of the night to get here. It appears that he was freely admitted, his nationality and religion well known. This is not surprising. There is no accepted principle under which we could exclude him. It would be mean and unfair to exclude Muslims from Chechnya, or Saudi Arabia or Iran. That’s the normal thinking. It would be as mean and unfair to exclude them as it is mean and unfair for Muslims to kill and maim people.

Most Muslims are not terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslims.

The doctrines of Islam lead to mass murder. It is a very simple reality. We can exclude the good Muslims to protect ourselves from the bad ones, or we can be willing victims of one of the oldest, most well-understood and well-documented forms of hatred in history.

As an aside, the residents of Watertown, Massachusetts have received a valuable lesson in the idiocy of leftist gun control. I wonder how many of them cowering in their homes because a terrorist with bombs is on the loose wish they were armed.

— Comments —

Sage McLaughlin writes:

Your post reminded me of a somewhat tangential point.  Look at the show of force the Boston Police Department mustered in those photographs.  How is it possible that a free, self-governing society could be maintained in the face of such martial power on the part of the local constabulary, while the government systematically forbids the keeping of any serious arms by the general public?  It is not, and leftists know it is not, being hostile to self-government except insofar as universal suffrage is concerned — the role of universal suffrage also being to make any rational self-government impossible.

Here is a concrete expression of Sam Francis’s concept of “anarcho-tyranny:” the citizenry is not only disarmed, but is prohibited by a web of laws and punitive measures from taking any steps to protect itself from lawless, malevolent foreigners, who are permitted access to the country and allowed to roam at will, often even receiving preferential accommodations.

The American people, by doing nothing about this situation beyond listening to inane talk radio programs from the likes of basically liberal ignoramuses like Sean Hannity, show themselves worthy of the contempt in which their rulers hold them.

Sheila C. writes:

Thank you for an excellent, succinct summation of the situation re the Boston bombing.  Thank you, Sage McLaughlin, for an equally excellent comment regarding the anarcho-tyranny under which we strive to maintain some vestiges of traditional American liberty and mores.  My only complaint is that you have not addressed the plethora of those who have openly expressed their heart-felt desire that those responsible be found to be evil White men, the hated of whom is officially sanctioned.

Hannon writes:

Sage McLaughlin writes

“… the role of universal suffrage also being to make any rational self-government impossible.”

“Universal suffrage” is an ambiguous term and I wonder if Mr. McLaughlin could expand upon this point. A few of us might consider restricting the vote to citizens who are net taxpayers, but how many could imagine women not having the legal right to vote? It begs the further question: Whose interests are served by women obtaining that privilege?

Laura writes:

Before women had the vote they held significant power in the form of the right of petition, as well as in their everyday personal influence. The all-male suffrage reinforced the value of male authority. So, yes, I could imagine a good society without the female vote. But that is a discussion for another day.

Rob writes:

You wrote: “They are looking for a man who has done what Muslims from Chechnya have done for many years: slaughtered innocent civilians.”

And before that, the Russian Air Force was carpet-bombing their villages and cities.

You know how liberals insist that the invasion of Muslim countries creates jihad?  Chechnya is probably the only case in the world where this was proved true.  Chechnya declared indepedence from Russia in 1991, and when the Russians invaded the country in 1994, it was not to root out Muslim terrorists that were attacking Russia.  It was to crush a secessionist movement in the name of empire.  The First Chechen War began as a nationalist reaction to foreign invasion.  The Chechens appealed first to the West for aid, and when that was not forthcoming, they turned to the East.  Unfortunately for everyone, those most willing to help were Salafists flush with our petrol-dollars.  Eventually a nationalist revolt morphed into a jihad thanks to Salafist influence (or rather, insistence).  When the Russians finally pulled out after the first war, Maskhadov’s independent government was not strong enough to resist the many Islamic warlords that held most of the power in Chechnya.  These warlords would later invade Dagestan, which precipitated the Second Chechen War, a second Russian invasion and the attempted genocide of the Chechen people by the Russian government.  Only at this point did Chechen terrorism begin in earnest.

The most prominent warlord of this period was Shamil Basaev, who took part in the Budyonnovsk raid (which ended the first war) and masterminded the Beslan massacre.  He began his career as a guerrilla who lost 12 family members to Russian bombs, including his sister, wife, and young child.  If the federal government carpet-bombed your town and killed a dozen of your kin, would you still view them as fully human?

Do you know how Russian soldiers made money during their occupation of the country?  They would murder Chechens and then ransom the bodies back to the grieving families.

I don’t like Muslims and I see no reason to allow them into the country.  But when you throw the Chechens in with all the rest of the jihadists, it’s obvious you don’t know the history.  I recommend A Small Corner of Hell by Anna Politkovskaya.  I should say the late Anna Politkovskaya, as she was in all likelihood murdered by the Russian government.

I love your website.  Keep up the great work.

Laura writes:

Thank you.

My comments about Chechen terrorists were not meant as a justification for Russian control of Chechnya. I do not, however, believe Russia’s brutality ever justified Chechen mass murder of civilians, including the attack on Moscow’s Dubrovka Theater in 2002 and the seizure of the school in Beslan in 2004.

Mr. McLaughlin writes:

To Sheila C.:

It seems clear that the reason liberals so badly want the perpetrators of these horrors to be white militia men, is not because they think it will be better for Muslims (whom they must know deep down are not going to start suffering from pogroms if it hasn’t happened already), but for reasons far sicker and more base.  Namely, because it would help the politicians they voted for to discredit their domestic opposition.  They want the Tea Party discredited, they want something to bash white conservatives over the head with.  In short, it would be good politics.  As I said, it is very sick, but this is what they want.  Naturally, I know a lot of very conservative people, and I have never had anyone confide in me that he hoped the perpetrators of some vicious act were nonwhites so we’d have an excuse to really stick it to the left.

To Hannon:

There are still people alive who lived before the nineteenth Amendment was ratified.  So even if it seems simply unimaginable for the franchise to restricted to men, until a hundred years ago that was the universal practice in every democracy.  Only our worship of formal authority makes it difficult to imagine that women’s opinions could have been deeply influential on social life, even in the absence of the legal right to vote in an election.  Universal suffrage undermines self-government in a number of ways, but the details will have to wait for another thread.

To Rob:

Rob’s description of events is basically right, but it’s worth noting that revolutionary rhetoric in Chechnya has taken on an Islamic character repeatedly through the centuries.  So while it’s true that the secessionist movement that fought the Russians in 1992 did not avail itself of very much jihadist imagery or language in its public diplomacy, and as a Muslim people was dominated by non-Salafist warlords, the Chechens were always going to be peculiarly vulnerable to jihadist influence.  This is due to their status as Muslims.  The “unprecedented” change from a nationalist movement to an Islamic supremacist one has been overstated.

There was no special reason, after all, that Khattab’s International Islamic Brigade had to supply 300 fighters to the Chechen separatists during the first post-Soviet Chechen war in 1992-3.  Basaev integrated his own men into the IIB’s Chechen formation very early on.  Was his motive to gain access to money men, and materiel that would give him a leg up over domestic rivals like Maskhadov?  Possibly, but it is hard to say without speculating, and anyway it’s all academic.  Chechen separatism moved seamlessly into an arm of the jihad a long time ago, as it had done during the eighteenth century, and as it always will do so long as that region remains Muslim.  The first chapters of Gall and Dewall’s Chechnya are an excellent summary of that history.

APRIL 20, 2013

Jay from Goshen writes:

They locked down an entire city. They lifted the lockdown. A homeowner, free to leave his own home after hours of virtual incarceration, noticed something amiss and alerts the authorities, who then find the suspect – and hog all the credit.

Am I the only one to notice the irony of these events? I don’t think so.

This orgy of fake patriotism about “the authorities” nauseates me. It was the homeowner doing his civic duty who deserves the credit. Anyone could have apprehended the b*****d. He was seriously injured, and dehydrated. The dehydration alone would weaken him severely. This is all for the ratings.

Laura writes:

Two conclusions emerge from the strange, seemingly scripted spectacle of an entire major American metropolitan region undergoing a state of martial law in order to track down one injured, weakened 19-year-old:

1) Our security forces are fearful, insecure and systematically programmed to overreact.

2) The idea that security and protection lie first and foremost in the hands of ordinary citizens has long since perished.

The combination of these realities is dangerous.

Mr. McLaughlin writes:

I’d also concur with Jay about the unseemly spectacle of self-congratulation that ensued last night. I was listening on the radio to the press conference that the District Attorney’s office, the Boston PD, and the Governor convened following the capture of the perpetrator. Eventually I had to turn it off in disgust. The police were conspicuously annoyed by a line of questioning into how they could have set up a perimeter around the suspect only to discover later that he was actually just outside that perimeter (brilliant work!) and just walked away from them, going wherever he would. They went on about how exhausted they were, what an intense investigation it was, even repeating it for emphasis–“and let me just reiterate that, this was a really intense investigation”–cheering how much easier the community would sleep that night, congratulating one another as though they were there to accept Emmys for Best Federal Law Enforcement Office Ever, with the Boston PD receiving Best Police Force in a Supporting Role.

Rob writes:

I thank you and Mr. McLaughlin for your thoughtful replies.

He writes: “Rob’s description of events is basically right, but it’s worth noting that revolutionary rhetoric in Chechnya has taken on an Islamic character repeatedly through the centuries.”  This is indisputably true, but I think it misses an important point: the Russians have invaded Chechnya many times over the centuries (Tolstoy took part in one such invasion), but they have never before attempted to wipe out the Chechens as a people (unless you count Stalin’s massive deportation of Caucasians to Central Asia, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Chechens and Ingushes).  Also, earlier jihadist violence was generally in response to these very Russian invasions, and the Chechens never attacked Russian civilians before the late 20th century to my knowledge.  I own Gall and DeWall’s book, and they don’t mention Imam Shamil or his contemporaries targeting Russian population centers.

“There was no special reason, after all, that Khattab’s International Islamic Brigade had to supply 300 fighters to the Chechen separatists during the first post-Soviet Chechen war in 1992-3.”

And there was no special reason for Russia to invade Chechnya.  The right of self-defense applies to all human beings, even Muslims.  What sort of country might an independent Chechnya have become absent Russian aggression?  As Mr. McLaughlin says, it’s down to speculation.  Without an active war, Khattab would have had a much harder time pushing his agenda.  There have been plans to build an oil pipeline through Chechnya to Baku, and the jobs created might have acted as a further bulwark against the Salafists.

P.S. Not that it justifies hostage-taking, but the most of the 130 hostages who died at the Moscow theater were killed when the Russian police pumped a toxic gas through the vents.  They were killed by their own people.

Jay from Goshen writes:

Sage McLaughlin is correct to point out that Tsarnaev was outside the security perimeter. This makes the patriotic orgy even more fake.

And more: the whole chain of events post-bombing is surreal, and I can’t understand it. They should have simply disappeared, or had a rational Plan B. Instead, they embarked upon a crazy Thelma and Louise rampage (killing a cop on MIT’s campus, robbing a convenience store on the campus, carjacking) that was bound to get them apprehended or killed. Both happened.

Perhaps their goal was to go down in a blaze of glory – I don’t know. But the cops shouldn’t get credit for apprehending a wounded man, dazed with dehydration. That I do know.

And as for the giddy, cheering public – how do we know how many more are waiting to plant bombs? What next?

Mr. McLaughlin responds to Rob:

I’m not sure, but it seems Rob has taken my remarks to suggest that the Chechens have played the Bad Guys to the Russian Good Guys. That is not my belief, and when asked I have always said that in that particular conflict, there simply are no good guys.

APRIL 21, 2013

Laura writes:

Here’s a very good statement from the libertarian George Donelly regarding the overreaction and imposition of martial law in Boston:

The proper reaction to a criminal (and let’s remember that the surviving Tsarnaev brother hasn’t been convicted yet) is to boldly (but tactically) proceed forward against him until he is neutralized.

Human life is precious. All life is precious, in fact. It demands protection. But there is something more important to me than my life – my self-respect. My self-respect demands that I not allow another person to control me through fear. It demands that I have courage. It demands that I resist evil.

We all feel fear. When there is a gun to your head, you have no choice but to comply. But we must not allow the fear to control us. We must not allow the gun, or the pressure cooker in this case, to become internalized and control us even when it is physically absent. Otherwise, any old boogieman can – and will – come along and enslave us.

If you allow an angsty teenager with a pressure cooker to frighten you into abandoning your daily routine and cowering in your home as if it were a prison, then you desperately need to re-evaluate your posture towards life. Reclaim your self-respect, Boston.

Bostonians could have sent a powerful message of courage to the world yesterday by continuing with their lives as usual. Now that would have served as a great deterrent to future terrorism. And the suspect would have been caught more quickly.

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