UPDATED: The logic of nuclear genocide: As I've described below, there is a (thankfully) not-fully-articulated logic to much of the more excited rhetoric we've been hearing since the beginning of the latest war in Lebanon, which points in the direction of calling for nuclear genocide of Muslims.
Most war fever commentators have, to their credit, shied away from totally explaining where their thinking is logically headed. To see this chain of thought more completely explicated, you have to look to the fever swamps of the Rapture Reverends. A reader points me to the conservative column site WorldNet Daily, from whence comes a call for killing "45 million-plus Islamic fundamentalists" by a Christian minister named Michael D. Evans, who is described thusly:
"Michael D. Evans is the author of "The American Prophecies," an Amazon and Barnes and Noble No.1 best seller, and a New York Times best seller. He is also the founder of America’s largest Christian coalition, the Jerusalem Prayer Team."
He is the author of Beyond Iraq: The Next Moves, which WND helpfully explains is:
THE BOOK THAT KNOCKED HILLARY OFF THE #2 AMAZON SPOT!
In his smash best-seller "Beyond Iraq: The next move," Michael D. Evans clearly defines the roles that America, Iraq and Israel play in the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Breaking through the cluttered, and often confusing, information overload on this topic, Dr. Evans presents the Scriptures and current events side-by-side. As he does this, he leads readers to some startling but inescapable conclusions...
"Mike Evans is a true ambassador to Jerusalem. His efforts at peace conferences and the UN have earned him great respect and admiration." -- EHUD OLMERT, prime minister of Israel
"You have consistently demonstrated the moral clarity that is necessary to defend Israel from the lies and distortions of its enemies." --BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, former prime minister of Israel
(By the way, you've got to sympathize with poor Olmert and Netanyahu for having to put up with influential Americans like the Rev. Evans. Wouldn't you like to be a fly-on-the-wall to hear what Netanyahu, who has never given the impression that he suffers fools gladly, mutters to his aides in private after he finally escorts the Rev. from his office with the warmest promises to carefully study the Rev.'s annotated updating of the Book of the Apocalypse?)
In his July 28, 2006 column, the Rev. Evans, of all people, announced that Pat Buchanan was a "nutcase:"
Buchanan Comes Out of the Closet
Pat Buchanan's anti-Semitism finally came out of the closet for all the world to see. Buchanan has been accused of anti-Semitism for years, but has played the artful dodger and managed to remain, albeit on the sidelines, in the public arena while hiding an obvious disdain for Israel and the Jewish people.
But no longer.
His outrageous remarks last week [i.e., Buchanan's column "No, this is not 'our war'"] have permanently marked Buchanan as a nutcase. This in the face of growing world opinion that it is finally time to stop talking to terror organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas and instead eliminate their ability to wage war against civilization.
What Buchanan, and most of the left-leaning world press seem ignorant of is the fact that Israeli blood is paying for American and Western freedom, right now, on the ground, in the real world.
You see, Pat, in the real world, you cannot negotiate with terrorists.
In the real world, 45 million-plus Islamic fundamentalists want to annihilate Israel and America.
In the real world, they will not stop killing us until we kill them. This is not about some short-term geographical or political agenda; this is about a world religion gone mad in the minds of 10 percent of its adherents and their apocalyptic vision for the overthrow of all governments, religions and peoples to usher in a new world of Islamic conquest.
They do not want land, freedom, political power, money or rights. What they want is simple: Your soul … or your blood.
How do you negotiate with an Islamic radical who has only one goal:
Total world domination resulting in the conversion, or destruction, of every human being on earth.
Do you offer to convert or murder half the world if they will delay their attacks?
Do you suggest that they should be happy with Eastern World domination instead of total world domination?
Do you ask them to give the Western nations a little respite from their homemade bombs while we consider the claims of Islam and see if there are reasons to consider converting?
Do you give them the opportunity to build madrasas in Western nations to preach Islamic violence and conquest, if they will just allow us to continue our present way of life for a little while longer?
Just how do you negotiate with a terrorist who wants to kill himself, and you, rather than to let you live as a non-Muslim?
How about it, Pat? I'm listening …
Since I don't hear anything but a tired anti-Semitic diatribe coming from you, let me tell you how:
You allow the most courageous nation on earth, the one that was born out of the fires of the Holocaust, the one that has survived every attack against it, everyday, since its birth in the fires of war in May of 1948 to do what lazy, fat, over-comfortable and over-prosperous, opinionated but spineless Americans like you no longer have the gumption, spiritual will or moral clarity to do.
You allow them to fight, destroy, annihilate and eliminate the threat of Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria – and Iran, if necessary. You shut up while they gear up to take on the greatest threat to American and Western freedom that we have experienced since World War II.
You cheer while they mount their tanks, you cry when you see the photographs of their missing and killed, you get angry when you hear the enemies of freedom speaking evil of them, and you use your platform, whatever it may be, to promote their cause and to defend their character.
You do this because you know that modern-day Israel is doing what we in the West – for fear of disapproval (what would Barbra Streisand think?) – are too frightened to do:
Wage war against an intractable enemy until they either lay down their weapons and surrender unconditionally, or are laid down by the righteous retribution of honorable men who will not allow their criminal acts to continue.
A reader writes:
Off on a business trip, but I want to offer that I appreciate your blogging about the "War on Terror." I'm a little appalled and disturbed at what I see happening on the American Right, they are simply as emotionally overwrought and uncontrolled abroad as the Left is at home. It seems there is no "reality based choice" out there. There are many people out there who do believe this is as bad as "Nazi Germany," but the scary thing is that so many smart people refuse to disabuse them of this notion.
Anyway, keep up the good work.
The current frenzy has an insidious underlying logic to it that ultimately points in a direction so horrible that I've been hesitant to point it out for fear that making this chain of thought explicit will help it become popular in its full extent.
The good news is that the current shooting war in Lebanon won't last forever. (The Security Council just unanimously voted on a plan to bring it to a halt, although I have no idea if it will work.) War fever drives people nuts -- for example, in early 1942, when my grandfather was driving through Pismo Beach, California, he became convinced that a Japanese farmer on a slope overlooking the coast had grown his crops in a coded pattern to transmit (very very slowly) secret messages to the Japanese invasion fleet lurking offshore. This was not considered nutty in the post-Pearl Harbor mental climate. Indeed, rather than my grandfather being hauled off for a long stress-free rest amidst flowers and nice men in white coats, the poor farmer and all the other Japanese in California were rounded up and sent away to camps.
Here is the full foreign policy logic that is bubbling under the hysteria:
1. All Muslims everywhere are Them.
Arabs who are shooting rockets at Israel, Iranians who supply the rockets, Pakistanis who try to blow up planes, Shi'ites like Ahmadinejad, Sunnis like bin Laden, all Muslims are "Them." (Christians who live in Arab countries like Lebanon are probably Them too, but it's best not to think too hard about this.)
2. America and Israel are Us.
3.They want to kill Us.
4. Our merciful strategy of trying to democratize Them by conquering Them just makes Them perversely want to kill Us more.
5. Trying to blow up Their weapons from the air doesn't seem to work, as We have seen in Our war in Lebanon, and just makes Them want to kill Us even more.
6. Even if We did destroy all Their rockets and cyclotrons, They will still try to kill Us with Their sports drink bottles, which will only become more deadly as technology progresses.
7. Unlike sane people like Stalin and Mao, They cannot be deterred by threats of military retribution because They are religious maniacs who want to die.
8. It is either Us or Them.
9. We must run any risk to be safe.
They must die.
All of Them.
We have 10,000 nuclear warheads.
That should suffice.
And here is the domestic policy sub-logic:
A. Us doesn't include wild-eyed Us-haters like Connecticut businessman Ned Lamont or potential Hitlers who harbor secret evil thoughts against Us that only spill out after a dozen drinks like Mel Gibson.
B. These dangerous weak sisters who are not Them but neither are they Us will never accept this irrefutable logic, so these people must be dealt with so that their hatred of Us will not stand in the way of Us securing Our safety.
Of course, there are large assumptions included in this logic. One obvious problem is the couple of million or so Muslims who live in America. Here the logic runs in the opposite direction:
Profiling them when they try to get on our airplanes, preventing them from immigrating, encouraging them to leave our country -- all of these steps are immoral to the point of unthinkability. Dividing people up into "Us" and "Them" for the purpose of deciding who gets the most attention at airport security screening is too awful to contemplate. The whole concept of excluding anybody in the world from moving to America is deeply, deeply dubious, indeed it's probably anti-Semitic if you examined it closely enough. Look at 1924. If you got Mel Gibson drunk enough, he'd probably be in favor of these kind of things.
Nothing can or should be done domestically to makes us safer. Instead, We should blow Them all up over there. The only thing that anyone should be allowed to consider is a coherent, well-integrated strategy of:
Invade the world.
Invite the world.
The good news, fortunately, is threefold. First, at present, nobody is really saying all of this -- it's still too awful to express every step of the logic. Second, when you do come out and say it like I just did, it sounds not only horrific, but laughably stupid.
Third, war fever isn't permanent. This too shall pass. Once rockets aren't killing one or two Israeli civilians per day, the mania will recede.
But, it's unlikely that any UN plan will permanently solve Israel's problems, so this logical dementia will eventually return.