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Belmont Club

Private Worlds

June 19th, 2014 - 8:57 pm

“I want you to drain them of their morale,” the robed man said.

“Yes,  your highness. It shall be as you say.”

“I want you to take what they have purchased at great cost — find the most precious thing they have — and smash it, so they will never attempt such a thing again.  Make fun of their victories. Make them ashamed of their traditions. May them hate their sacred places.”

“Yes your majesty.”

“And remember I made you. Paid for you education. Plucked you from obscurity. Smoothed your path to prominence. Do not fail me or I shall destroy you.”

“No majesty. Your wish is my command,” the minion answered, walking backward toward the door.

These corny lines from any pulp sci-fi drama illustrate the most potent weapon through history: betrayal and its handmaiden, demoralization.  Here’s what one primer advises: “Drain them of their morale so they do not want to fight … an impassioned small force can and has, many times, defeated a much larger force that has been carefully demoralized beforehand.” And it works. Look at how the Iraqi army melted away. Look at how the “International Community” which once toppled Saddam feels itself helpless before a militarily insignificant ISIS force.

ISIS/ISIL and al-Qaeda are terrifying because they’ve sent the message that you can’t beat them. And if you try they can always sue you in the international court of human rights. Even Glenn Beck admits “I hate to say these things … progressives, liberals, whoever on the other side, I will admit I was wrong about the war in Iraq. I really thought we could bring peace and justice and freedom and all of that stuff. … You are never going to bring freedom there. You’re never going to do it. They have to want it. When the Iraqis are just walking away, when the commanders are walking away from the fight, you can’t fight for them. And I don’t want to fight for them.”

Al Qaeda hardly ever won a single kinetic battle against the US. But it won the fight that counted.  By their brutality, obstinacy and will they have proved they will not go away before we will.

Thomas Sowell, who born in 1930, is old enough to remember World War 2 and a generation that would simply crush ISIS like a bug.  In those days people wanted their culture to survive enough to pay a high price for it.  America beat the Nazis and Soviets though it took them hundreds of thousands of lives and decades to do it. Just think of that. Sowell asks himself what it would have happened if the Greatest Generation had given up on Germany, Japan and the Cold War in that long, terrible struggle.

We haven’t yet announced when we are going to pull our troops out of Germany or Japan, and World War II was over more than 60 years ago. Turning those militaristic countries around was one of the great achievements in human history. Their neighboring countries have been able to enjoy a peace and security that they had not known for generations.

Perhaps what was achieved in Germany and Japan made it seem that we might achieve something similar in Iraq. But “the greatest generation” that had fought and survived the horrors of war around the world was under no illusion that trying to turn our defeated enemies around would be easy, quick and cheap.

Then of course there would have been no modern Europe or Asia,  no post-Cold War world. In those days people cared about things like a way of life.  And while we are grateful those crazy old coots for running across machine-gun swept beaches and frozen forests — they were considerate enough to rid the world of gas chambers and gulags and such —  the reality is we moderns can’t do what the Greatest Generation did any longer.

If we were told today that the price of defeating Fascism and Communism was a million British and American lives and 40 years, we’d say f*** it. Better Red than dead, and where do I sign up for the Nazi Party? Because nothing means enough to us now to pay for such epic, multi-generational tasks. One may not like that fact; yet there it is all the same.

A confident civilization can embark upon multi-generational projects whose payoff lies in posterity.  In todays multi-culti society we abort posterity. In that cultural sense the West, for all its material wealth, is less a civilization than ever.  The test of a civilization is the willingness to show up. Al-Qaeda is willing to show up. Is the west able to take the trouble?

A 21st century person visiting ancient Athens by time machine would find a world not much above subsistence with animals wandering the unpaved streets. Food would be basic, unappetizing and crude. Effective medicine would be nonexistent.  There would be no lights after dark apart from a few flaring torches.  Yet there would be a shared way of thinking and values in common, drama, art, patriotism and belief.  They would be an Athens, not just in the nominal sense, but as a way of life. And it would mean so much to them they would defend that way of of life to the death against the hordes of Persia.

By contrast modern societies are like thin clients; portals for passing influences. Being an American or Briton now means nothing more than having a passport with those words printed on the front. Like your computer Browser western societies have no inherent sense of state. There is no thing-in-itself. Data is injected from somewhere and the browser re-renders itself and morphs into something else. In that world being an American is no more different than being anyone else.

President Obama is finding to his surprise that his deconstruction of America cuts both ways. After convincing voters that America never had any strategic interests in Iraq, he can scarcely muster any argument for doing anything there.  If any Mexican can come across the border to become “American” then there’s no reason why said “Americans” should obey him, and not the president of Mexico. After all the president of Mexico speaks Spanish and Obama doesn’t.

Having proved to all that “nothing is worth dying for” it is all too easy to add “including anything Obama tells you to die for”. By converting the US Ship of State into a clown car Obama made himself a clown.  And that is how Obama is being treated.  He’s excluded from talks between Putin, Merkel and Hollande over the latest crisis in Ukraine though doubtless he’s being kept informed on the golf course. Obama is out of the loop as Leader of the Free World —  a term which itself was made a running joke by the Left — so why take it seriously?

A century that was supposed to usher in the dawn of a new international order and The End of History is instead rife with crumbling old mansions; the EU tumbling,  NATO fictive, the UN toothless and Uncle Sam basically with Alzheimer’s.  The void is being filled by a number regional alliances in the Asia, the Middle East and Europe with largely feudal interests, that is to say limited to keeping the demesne and the surrounding environs free of bandits.  But the grand old common highway is darkening and the grass is growing between the paving stones.

The west probably began to crumble when the Left arrogated unto itself the right to reset anything it wanted. When the Citizens United decision and the 2nd Amendment were declared null until formally repealed while Brown vs Board and Obamacare remained the “law of the land” forever, which when once adopted was immutable.

The same veto power was enacted for international relations. Were the NVA were beaten by the Tet? Never mind, we’ll throw in the towel the next time our party takes office. Then on “no more Vietnams” will become immutable law. So what if US troops beat the Baathists in Iraq handily, why we can always throw it away when our president takes office. We’ll show them that it’s pointless to try, just like the Emperor Pulpine tells his minion in our leading dialog. It doesn’t matter if another point of view temporarily takes power. Did Ronald Reagan win the Cold War. Silly him. Throw it away. Did a country refuse to join the EU? Ask them again and again until they agree once, and then it will be forever.

The Left decries the threat of secession, but it is the prime example of internal secession; it is a nation unto itself, willing to enter into alliance only when they are calling the tune. It lives by veto and diktat and by the motto: our way or the highway.

When they are in charge it will be CTRL-F5. Reload and override cache. Delete all cookies, erase all browsing history and erase all passwords. In fact they even called the policy Reset. This is how the West arrived at its memoryless state, the one in which civilization became a browser, with no state of its own, reflecting only what it was desirable to project on it.

There is probably no way back to the America of Sowell’s memory. The American operating system is gone. We are in a Leftbook world. No local hard drive, no local culture. Just whatever. Alas the Left has found to its surprise that they are not the only ones who can hit the CTRL-F5 keys. The Islamists can do it; the regional powers can do it; and Putin can do it. And they can’t object now, for the hole they opened is free for everyone to use. By destroying the operating system they have lost control over the peripherals which were once wired to the Pax Americana.

It will be interesting to see what happens next.  The Left’s vehicle for power is the State. But the State depends on the nation. How if the the nations are supplanted — as in Latin America, the Middle East and even America and Europe — by tribes. What happens to the State?

If what used to be called “America” is replaced by affinity groups based around races, beliefs or sexual orientations, the Left will inherit nothing but a broken, Balkanized world, not the shiny New International Order they were counting on.

Perhaps the only way forward is to go farther than the left has dreamed; to go right past the death of nationality into the birth of the individual.  Maybe the future will belong to affinity groups. One of the most interesting responses to Obamacare has been the rise of affinity-based health care groups.

“When all this came up with the ACA, I just realized I don’t want to be a part of any of this,” said Tucker, who views the Affordable Care Act as the government meddling in her personal health care. The Christian Healthcare program is not as comprehensive as insurance — she has to pay for her preventive care, for example — but the monthly payment of $150 can’t be beat, she said.

Tucker is part of a small but growing group of Americans whose opposition to the Affordable Care Act is spurring them to seek out alternatives, choosing once-fringe methods to pay for their medical care in an effort to skirt the many requirements the law imposes on the private health insurance market.

The result is a burgeoning business among brokers, clinics and insurers that are advertising themselves as a way to avoid the sweeping federal program. The options range from Christian co-ops such as Tucker’s to membership-based primary-care clinics to insurance policies that cover specific diseases, such as cancer.

It’s detractors call it “junk coverage”, but one wonders if that isn’t the future.  Perhaps it is the collapsing state which has become junk itself. For when you are left without tribe, when the family is denigrated and country becomes equivalent to bigotry, what are you left with but yourself and your friends? President whoever becomes a distant voice on the radio and soon, you switch it off. The last thing a man loses is not his party affiliation but his name.

Recent items of interest by Belmont readers based on Amazon click-throughs.

Miss Cheyenne
Helen of Troy 1509 Spring Curling Iron, White, 5/8 Inch Barrel
Augsburg Confession
Luther: Man Between God and the Devil
Physical Adsorption: Forces and Phenomena
The Witness Of Preaching, Second Edition
Think and Grow Rich for Women: Using Your Power to Create Success and Significance
With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa
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Endangering Prosperity: A Global View of the American School
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Did you know that you can purchase some of these books and pamphlets by Richard Fernandez and share them with you friends? They will receive a link in their email and it will automatically give them access to a Kindle reader on their smartphone, computer or even as a web-readable document.

The War of the Words for $3.99, Understanding the crisis of the early 21st century in terms of information corruption in the financial, security and political spheres
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Top Rated Comments   
You can make the argument that the modern day Left succeeded where the old Confederacy failed. They seceded and created their own state-within-a-state, with an internal constitution that supersedes the old constitution, and establishing it at an occupying cultural force.

The key to this new secession was denying they doing it in the first place, so they could remain a parasite within the host. But once the host was reduced to subjugation, then other parasites moved in. The result is that the host resources are now being harvested to support Mexico, responsibility to protect, a variety of sexual causes, etc. Basically it is being used as a stash to fund the special causes of the seceded parasite.

The problem starts if the host stops paying or if the host starts dying from the bloodsucking. And then they start talking about "how we're all in this together", and they start playing the organ music and all that. For they must switch between the duality of the Left as your brother and the Left as your moral master.

But it's too late. If they've Balkanized the country they can't retain the monopoly on exploitation. Sooner or later it will be hard for them to defend their slice of the pie. Like all parasites, the existence of the bloodsucker depends on the existence of the poor host animal. What the Left didn't figure is that if America can't defend itself then it can't defend the Left.

Obama's finding the old nag can't pull any more. When was the last time he fed it oats?
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
This saddens me more than I can say. Alas for America! and God damn those who've destroyed her.

I reached the breaking point when I sat in front of my computer on October 1st last year, looking at the Obamacare portal. I felt a revolt in my innermost being, an absolute "NO. I will NOT be your slave, your serf, your subject, you alien b*stards. I owe you no allegiance. None!"

That's the thing that has changed, utterly. I used to respect, or at least acknowledge as American, the federal government, and regard it as mine. But the Borg Collective have taken it over, and it is now a hostile, occupying power.

I have never felt this way about my government, and I'm 58 years old.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Those who are Americans, those who are our countrymen; can be roused to combat for our country and sacrifice for our people. Neither Honor nor Decency has been lost among those who are Americans. Those to whom the Oath still has meaning will understand.

The TWANLOC who rule us are very much another story. They have contempt for America, the country and its people. They rule us, but that may not be a permanent state of affairs. It is not "the law of the land forever".

Politics is how a society, any society; allocates power and resources short of physical violence. When politics breaks down, the default is the return of physical violence as the determining factor until a new equilibrium is established. Clausewitz knew: Der Krieg ist eine bloße Fortsetzung der Politik mit anderen Mitteln..

The politics of America centered around the Constitution, and a unique domestic formulation of the "American Way". The Left, TWANLOC, have been doing their best to remove both from American politics. Which reduces us to the default setting.

If will be singularly futile to appeal to the protection of the Constitution and its provisions, and a rule of law; when you yourself have deliberately made both concepts moot.

Subotai Bahadur
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (192)
All Comments   (192)
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Why don't we just drag the traitros out andd tar them like our ancestors did?Are we to prove this article right andd not have the nuts to do what our forefathers did to save liberty?

That is the problem! We have more than enough people to purge this parasite, we just need the will to do it. If they want to dismantle who we are they are going to have to fight to do it.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't particularly want to see Americans spilling American blood in American streets...'Though if we the people can't convince the tyranny inclined among us to back the hell off it may be inevitable.

Until then; Resist the bastards from within the system we've been bequeathed as they continue to rack up their intolerable acts. Our Founding Fathers worked for many years before the King's men forced their hand at that lonely bridge.

We own the moral high ground. Let's keep it.

"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards."
Claire Wolfe from: 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
‘Bout time we heard this again!

This message is never “off topic.”
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don't be stoopid, be a smahtee, come and join the Nazi pahtee.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment

--that 'ism' toon from 1948

36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
We don’t have to fight for them. We need only appoint proconsuls to rule them and to make them peaceful.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Government Advertised In JANUARY For “Escorts” For 65,000 Illegal Alien Children To Be “Resettled

This particular ad ran in FedBizOpps in January with RFI for “Escorts” for 65,000 unaccompanied alien children.

A. Introduction

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has a continuing and mission critical responsibility for accepting custody of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) from U.S. Border Patrol and other Federal agencies and transporting these juveniles to Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) shelters located throughout the continental United States. ICE is seeking the services of a responsible vendor that shares the philosophy of treating all UAC with dignity and respect, while adhering to standard operating procedures and policies that allow for an effective, efficient, and incident free transport. The Contractor shall provide unarmed escort staff, including management, supervision, manpower, training, certifications, licenses, drug testing, equipment, and supplies necessary to provide on-demand escort services for non-criminal/non-delinquent unaccompanied alien children ages infant to 17 years of age, seven (7) days a week, 365 days a year...

This is the relevant description:

Procurement Type: Request for Information (RFI)/Sources Sought
Title: Escort Services for Unaccompanied Alien Children
Classification Code: V- Transportation/Travel/Relocation
NAICS code: 561612
Primary POC: Rachel Ali, Contract Specialist/
Secondary POC: Tony Ross, Contracting Officer/
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Obama administration’s claim to have been surprised by the wave of children flooding over out borders may turn out to be another political lie of the year.
Sundance of Conservative Treehouse noticed a very peculiar advertisement:

On January 29th of this year, the federal government posted an advertisement seeking bids for a vendor contract to handle “Unaccompanied Alien Children“.

Not just any contract mind you, but a very specific contract – for a very specific number of unaccompanied minors: 65,000.

• Why would DHS and ICE be claiming “surprise” by the current influx of unaccompanied minors on the border in June, when they were taking bids for an exact contract to handle the exact situation in January?

• Secondly, how could they possibly anticipate 65,000 unaccompanied minors would be showing up at the border, when the most ever encountered in a previous year was 5,000 total ?
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've seen this floating around Facebook. I wonder how this can be checked out. The GRAPHICS could have been produced by any high school kid with access to the Adobe Creative Suite.

Has anyone anywhere checked the email addresses?
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
These two Eric Raymond posts pretty well describe how we got into this pickle: and

How we get out of it is much less clear to me. I suspect it'll involve a lot of bloodshed. However, I'm comforted that most of the several million firearms in private hands are not in leftist hands.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Too bad Col Harry G. Summers, Jr has been forgotten:

"You know you never beat us on the battlefield," I told my North Vietnamese Army (NVA) counterpart, Colonel Tu, during a meeting in Hanoi a week before the fall of Saigon. "That may be so," he replied, "but it is also irrelevant."
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe I should change the concept's name to to "Aggressive Isolationism" or "Activist Isolationism." Perhaps those more accurately describe what I'm getting at. With apologies to itellu3times, I dunno--I'm still working through this thing.

I've got to absent myself from BC for the rest of the day, so I won't be able to respond to further remarks. Please know that I don't mind vigorous discussion and I don't mind people disagreeing with me. But I'm not keen on ad hominem attacks and the idiocy that inspires them.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sgian Dubh: re "Agree with that except for one thing. What happens if the ChiComs close the South China Sea and/or require fees to cross it?"

Since we're dealing in hypotheticals, I'll ask, respectfully: if China does close the South China Sea should we fight a war, possibly a nuclear war, to counter Chinese aggression?

In answer to my own question: I don't know. Maybe.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nah. They'll just be starting a new trend.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mark v said "Here's your problem (and it's a big one): You assume it's one or the other."

No, I don't. You're assuming that's what I meant, and you're wrong.

Oh, and by the way: TR didn't say "walk softly but carry a big stick." He said "TALK softly but carry a big stick." Big difference between the two. If you're going to use someone else's words against me, make sure you get them right.

As for your remark, "I'm glad people like you will never be in a position to dictate policy. It's bad enough that you can vote." All I can say is: is that the best you can do--give me blather that's straight out of the Marxist playbook of silencing people who disagree with you?

36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
TR was wearing slippers, however.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
And bully for him that he did.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
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