Jihadis and Warmunists: Brothers Under the Skin

Watching the parade of the naïve, the far left, and their energy-hogging celebrity manipulators marching in New York City this week, I was struck by how much these true believers had in common with jihadis, a notion reinforced by Purdue Professor Louis Rene Beres’ description of jihadis in Gatestone Institute and my friend “Ignatz's’" comment at Just One Minute.

Both movements seem to these authors to be a means of denying death and change and making the mortal, immortal and the insignificant individual life, a significant force when massed with others.

If this is true -- and I think it is -- we cannot defeat these irrational movements in the ordinary ways.  New strategies are called for.

Jihadis

Beres’ argument (and you should read it all to fully understand it) is, in sum, that the bloody depredations of jihadism provide its adherents with a “delusion of immortality” and a “religious justification” for erotic satisfaction.

If this is the case, he says, we cannot stifle its advance by treating terrorism simply as a normal striving for land or politics or strategy. It’s a different kind of enemy.

Among more "normal" conflict scenarios, America, Europe and Israel now need to consider mega-threats of both unconventional war and unconventional terrorism. Faced with determined adversaries -- who are not only willing to die, but who actively seek their own "deaths" in order to live forever -- Washington and Jerusalem should finally address the what needs to be done in addition to military remediation.

Sustained and selective armed force against IS and related Jihadist targets is certainly necessary and appropriate. However, it is also important to remind our leaders that force always needs to be combined with reinforcing efforts to convince these terrorists that their expected martyrdom is ultimately just an elaborate fiction.

Jihadists, in killing Americans, Israelis, and all other "unbelievers," may not even intend to commit evil, so much as to do themselves and Allah good -- and to do so with an absolute purity of heart. In their view, waging Holy War can never be shameful; it can only be heroic.

Going forward, our main task should be to systematically undermine these fantasies and doctrinal "underpinnings." In conjunction with the recommended nuanced persuasions of military firepower, it can be done.

Warmunists

The New York demonstration, full as it was of communist organizers and sympathizers, inspired one wag to argue the marchers really were warmunists -- that is, far left-wingers posing as environmentalists.  (Any question respecting their commitment to environmentalism and keeping the planet clean were resolved by shots of the mounds of trash they left behind while purporting to save the planet.)

Ignatz made observations about the marchers which strike me as related to Beres’ comments about jihadis:

Lefties love to talk about revolution, "cause change" fundamental transformations, progress, etc., but they are the most retrograde reactionaries imaginable. They want a one-time revolution to cement and codify utter stasis.

People who talk about change are scared to death of the creative destruction of free markets. People who worship Darwinian progress, which after all implies millions of extinctions, want to save every single evolutionary cul-de-sac of a species they can find living in some pothole or cave somewhere. Their desire to somehow fix our climate to an optimum they have arbitrarily decided is in all our interests is obvious. Less obvious is their desire for the tranquility and stultifying sameness of socialism, not because it's fair but because it's predictable and controllable and therefore not as disruptive and scary. They seek the perennial childlike state of someone else supplying their security while they indulge their pleasures, presumably because they regret ever having to grow up.

These fools of all ages are on a children's crusade to compel the adults of the world to create an actual real-world Neverland for them where nothing ever changes, they'll never age and they can pretend they're somehow going to be the magical ones picked by fate to cheat death. 


The jihadis’ “heresy” charges against those who oppose their tyranny is simply another version of the warmunists’ “treason”. If you had any doubt about that, here’s Robert F Kennedy, Jr, who disproves his existential claims about climate warming by flying in private planes to warn us we will perish if we don’t stop using conventional energy.

Kennedy lamented in an interview with Climate Depot, [he]is not permitted by law to “punish” or to imprison those who disagree with him -- and this, he proposed, is a problem of existential proportions. Were he to have his way, Kennedy admitted, he would cheer the prosecution of a host of “treasonous” figures -- among them a number of unspecified “politicians”; those bêtes noires of the global Left, Kansas’s own Koch Brothers; “the oil industry and the Republican echo chamber”; and, for good measure, anybody else whose estimation of the threat posed by fossil fuels has provoked them into “selling out the public trust.” Those who contend that global warming “does not exist,” Kennedy claimed, are guilty of “a criminal offense — and they ought to be serving time for it.” 

Just as Eric Hoffer warned us a half century ago about all mass movements in his book The True Believer: Thoughts On The Nature Of Mass Movements such movements thrive in climates where individual opportunities are limited. He said then that they had not had much purchase in the United States because capitalism and our Constitution permitted so much advancement and freedom. Don’t the warmunists and the jihadis imperviousness to reality and fact share a common root? Doesn’t the drive of both to convert us all to their way of thinking echo Hoffer’s belief that the death denier "strengthen[s] his own faith by converting others"? Can you think of a better explanation, for example, of Kennedy’s tyrannical wish?

As anti-capitalist laws and regulations cooked up by this administration impoverish the middle class and shrink it while expanding the numbers now on the dole and pc restrictions of free speech in the workplace and colleges strangle us, do you suppose the climate for pernicious mass movements will grow or will it shrink?

I think we need to redouble our efforts to separate fact from fiction here and abroad even as we undertake warfare in the Middle East and to strengthen free markets and  free speech rights here even though to do so means challenging in every available forum the ridiculous notions of the adherents of  both of these mass movements.

Watching the parade of the naïve, the far left, and their energy-hogging celebrity manipulators marching in New York City this week, I was struck by how much these true believers had in common with jihadis, a notion reinforced by Purdue Professor Louis Rene Beres’ description of jihadis in Gatestone Institute and my friend “Ignatz's’" comment at Just One Minute.

Both movements seem to these authors to be a means of denying death and change and making the mortal, immortal and the insignificant individual life, a significant force when massed with others.

If this is true -- and I think it is -- we cannot defeat these irrational movements in the ordinary ways.  New strategies are called for.

Jihadis

Beres’ argument (and you should read it all to fully understand it) is, in sum, that the bloody depredations of jihadism provide its adherents with a “delusion of immortality” and a “religious justification” for erotic satisfaction.

If this is the case, he says, we cannot stifle its advance by treating terrorism simply as a normal striving for land or politics or strategy. It’s a different kind of enemy.

Among more "normal" conflict scenarios, America, Europe and Israel now need to consider mega-threats of both unconventional war and unconventional terrorism. Faced with determined adversaries -- who are not only willing to die, but who actively seek their own "deaths" in order to live forever -- Washington and Jerusalem should finally address the what needs to be done in addition to military remediation.

Sustained and selective armed force against IS and related Jihadist targets is certainly necessary and appropriate. However, it is also important to remind our leaders that force always needs to be combined with reinforcing efforts to convince these terrorists that their expected martyrdom is ultimately just an elaborate fiction.

Jihadists, in killing Americans, Israelis, and all other "unbelievers," may not even intend to commit evil, so much as to do themselves and Allah good -- and to do so with an absolute purity of heart. In their view, waging Holy War can never be shameful; it can only be heroic.

Going forward, our main task should be to systematically undermine these fantasies and doctrinal "underpinnings." In conjunction with the recommended nuanced persuasions of military firepower, it can be done.

Warmunists

The New York demonstration, full as it was of communist organizers and sympathizers, inspired one wag to argue the marchers really were warmunists -- that is, far left-wingers posing as environmentalists.  (Any question respecting their commitment to environmentalism and keeping the planet clean were resolved by shots of the mounds of trash they left behind while purporting to save the planet.)

Ignatz made observations about the marchers which strike me as related to Beres’ comments about jihadis:

Lefties love to talk about revolution, "cause change" fundamental transformations, progress, etc., but they are the most retrograde reactionaries imaginable. They want a one-time revolution to cement and codify utter stasis.

People who talk about change are scared to death of the creative destruction of free markets. People who worship Darwinian progress, which after all implies millions of extinctions, want to save every single evolutionary cul-de-sac of a species they can find living in some pothole or cave somewhere. Their desire to somehow fix our climate to an optimum they have arbitrarily decided is in all our interests is obvious. Less obvious is their desire for the tranquility and stultifying sameness of socialism, not because it's fair but because it's predictable and controllable and therefore not as disruptive and scary. They seek the perennial childlike state of someone else supplying their security while they indulge their pleasures, presumably because they regret ever having to grow up.

These fools of all ages are on a children's crusade to compel the adults of the world to create an actual real-world Neverland for them where nothing ever changes, they'll never age and they can pretend they're somehow going to be the magical ones picked by fate to cheat death. 


The jihadis’ “heresy” charges against those who oppose their tyranny is simply another version of the warmunists’ “treason”. If you had any doubt about that, here’s Robert F Kennedy, Jr, who disproves his existential claims about climate warming by flying in private planes to warn us we will perish if we don’t stop using conventional energy.

Kennedy lamented in an interview with Climate Depot, [he]is not permitted by law to “punish” or to imprison those who disagree with him -- and this, he proposed, is a problem of existential proportions. Were he to have his way, Kennedy admitted, he would cheer the prosecution of a host of “treasonous” figures -- among them a number of unspecified “politicians”; those bêtes noires of the global Left, Kansas’s own Koch Brothers; “the oil industry and the Republican echo chamber”; and, for good measure, anybody else whose estimation of the threat posed by fossil fuels has provoked them into “selling out the public trust.” Those who contend that global warming “does not exist,” Kennedy claimed, are guilty of “a criminal offense — and they ought to be serving time for it.” 

Just as Eric Hoffer warned us a half century ago about all mass movements in his book The True Believer: Thoughts On The Nature Of Mass Movements such movements thrive in climates where individual opportunities are limited. He said then that they had not had much purchase in the United States because capitalism and our Constitution permitted so much advancement and freedom. Don’t the warmunists and the jihadis imperviousness to reality and fact share a common root? Doesn’t the drive of both to convert us all to their way of thinking echo Hoffer’s belief that the death denier "strengthen[s] his own faith by converting others"? Can you think of a better explanation, for example, of Kennedy’s tyrannical wish?

As anti-capitalist laws and regulations cooked up by this administration impoverish the middle class and shrink it while expanding the numbers now on the dole and pc restrictions of free speech in the workplace and colleges strangle us, do you suppose the climate for pernicious mass movements will grow or will it shrink?

I think we need to redouble our efforts to separate fact from fiction here and abroad even as we undertake warfare in the Middle East and to strengthen free markets and  free speech rights here even though to do so means challenging in every available forum the ridiculous notions of the adherents of  both of these mass movements.