Real terror and good Germans

factory builder

Everybody knows there’s an awful lot of talk nowadays about terrorists. Well, I don’t know about ya’ll, but for me nothing’s changed. I’m not scared. The world was dangerous then, it’s dangerous now. And I am no more “terrorized” now than I was when that astonishing coup took place after the presidential election last November. But I just keep thinking about that overused word “terrorist.” What the hell is a terrorist anyway?

Didn’t the Nazis use that word to describe their underground opponents?

Isn’t terrorist just a word used to subjectively describe an opponent? To say “terrorist” is to say illegitimate opponent, isn’t it? Once labeled, the opponent cannot ever again engage in dialogue. He is illegitimate, an outlaw, sub-human, an untermensch.

To use the term terrorist also makes the world a more dangerous place. It is a word used by demagogues. It needlessly moves politics toward confrontation, toward violence. Violence is often made even more dangerous because by rhetorically marginalizing an opponent, we tend to both radicalize him and underestimate him. And make no mistake, the West has a deadly and cunning opponent—an enemy that we cannot afford to underestimate. Murderous and heroic, bin Laden and Ladenism is no doubt an enemy that must be destroyed. But he is not the enemy. It’s much worse than that.

Tragically, there is an active congruence of evil political calculus loose in the world. One broad element is the nascent Pan-Islamic nationalism, “Ladenism,” aroused by bin Laden and his cohorts. It is a willing power for Saddam, or his replacement, to use, together with oil, as a lever to achieve his real aspiration: terrible and oppressive global power. But equally chilling, and perhaps just as deadly, the other element is now using this Eastern enemy to achieve, Nazi-like, their gleichschaltung [reinforcing and building up institutional powers]—to consolidate the rash November coup in greedy, terrible and oppressive power over the world. In a bizarre twist of fortune, each force needs the other. Each force supports and buttresses the other.

Alas, the decent ordinary people of the West are in much the same position as the “good” Germans were in 1943. Just as they did, we know what kind of administration took power. Nevertheless, we must support the policies of that administration. Because we can’t take a chance on losing to the “outside enemy,” we are going have to go along with the junta. We are caught in the middle. If we seriously oppose the junta, we ourselves will be labeled terrorists. Not only that, but Ladenism must be defeated. Get in line people, take a number, it’s still early. The lights are going out and things are getting out of control. This is just the beginning of real, terrible war.