Fighting the Borg
Richard Landes at the Augean Stables describes the psychological death spiral of those who have been convinced that Resistance is Futile. It works like this. Since fighting only makes things worse one submits. And the more one submits the more Resistance is Futile.
"We don't dare start a war with the media," said one MFA official, "we can only lose." "Don't expect the Israelis to fight back," warned a prominent diaspora lawyer, "They won't. They just won't." Nor is this merely a problem of Israeli official hasbarah. The Jewish leaders in the diaspora, playing by the positive-sum rules of the late 20th century, responded painfully slowly to the sudden zero-sum turn of direction at the end of 2000. Indeed, like the Israeli government, they discouraged those – leaders or rank and file – who started to fight back.
I understand the arguments, the concerns, the kinds of damage that can come if the media turns on us. But that's beginning to sound more and more like the joke about the two Jews in line for the showers at Auschwitz. One sneezes and the other whispers sharply, "Hush, Yankl, you'll make it worse for us."
It's possible to sympathize with this attitude even outside of Israel. Bill Roggio describes how the same deadly logic seems to have worked on America's policies in Iraq. The more one submits to MSM the worse things become. The worse things become the more on submits to the MSM. Resistance is Futile.
"We are fighting a Politically Correct war,"said Major Owens. "Specifically, Abu Ghraib has taken exponential importance " in how we approach fighting the insurgency, and has led to an excess in caution in dealing with arrest and detainee issues. The interrogation process has been neutered due to past errors. "PC has filled us with false fear," said Major West. "We treat detainees better than I treated my college roommates."
"We tiptoe around cultural issues so greatly that the Iraqi Army laughs at us," said Major West. He explained the difficulties in arresting women involved with the insurgency. In one case, it was well known a woman that was sheltering and aiding foreign fighters, and the evidence of her guilt was solid. In order to arrest her, the MTT needed permission from a general's staff. The Iraqi troops stood in wonderment at this absurd decision making process.
Detainees and Cognitive Dissonance Major West believes the U.S. is suffering from what he refers to as "COIN [counterinsurgency] false hope" in Anbar province, and this is impacting our effectiveness in fighting the insurgency. "In Anbar, the average male is our enemy, and you won't win his heart. But you can win his mind, and make him make rational decisions" to not attack US forces and Iraqi institutions and security forces. "We should detain large amounts of [military age] males, not re-releasing them." The catch and release program, where known insurgents are released only to fight another day, only serves to encourage and reinforce insurgent activity.
Major West went on to explain how the Americans need to enforce strict punishment for small crimes, using the "broken windows" theory of law enforcement to deter insurgent activities. Laws must be put on the books to make activities such as running weapons, providing shelter for terrorists, and digging holes to plant bombs major crimes. "The way the Iraqis see it, Americans suffer from cognitive dissonance on the legal and detention issues."
The lever is there, for anyone who dares to pull it. So what is the way out? Fearless leadership; the steady compass of one who is not afraid to lose seats in Congress and reviled on every occasion; the rock-firm hand of a man who is not afraid to lose an election to do the right thing. But if it requires that kind of sacrifice then ... Resistance is Futile.