Written by Daniel Greenfield
A group of Navy SEALS may have stormed a Pakistani garrison town and taken off the top of Bin Laden's head, but he still lives on in the heads of the political establishment. The big Bin Laden has gone to feed the sharks, but it is the little Bin Laden who dictated that he receive a Muslim burial, forbade the release of the death photos and warned off the town of Virginia Beach from celebrating their hometown heroes.
It was never the big Bin Laden that the West was afraid of, but the little one. A small turbaned figure that sits in the heads of the establishment and drives its officials and legislators to wonder if they have somehow upset the Muslims this day.
The big Bin Laden could never have imprisoned an American in his own country for even thinking about protesting a mosque. Not with any amount of death or carnage. The big Bin Laden could never have gotten newspapers to refuse to print the Mohammed cartoons. He could kill us, but he could never make us censor ourselves. But the little one sitting in the worried heads of newspaper editors pulled it off. The big Bin Laden could have have normalized the groping of children in airports as a substitute for profiling Muslims, but the little Bin Laden always whispering about how dangerous it is to offend Muslims can convince us to do anything.
At the conclusion of 1984, Winston Smith wins a victory over himself by coming to love Big Brother. But there is no Big Brother. He is the mythical personification of the party. The collectivist side of every individual in Oceania. By giving in to it, Smith destroys the individual part of himself. He blissfully commits suicide because he can no longer believe in the virtue of resistance. Big Brother did not exist. It was that little Big Brother who haunted Smith.
It is the little Bin Laden who haunts the free world. Who commands the censorship of the press, the suppression of the truth, the appeasement of terrorists and the gradual dissolution of the free world. An imaginary devil on the shoulder of Brussels and Washington D.C. who menaces them with the lesser threat of one and a half billion Muslims, and the great threat of the destruction of their progress toward world union. Big Brother conquered Smith by destroying his own self-respect for himself. Bin Laden is destroying the remnants of the West's self-respect for itself.
The act of killing Bin Laden is no exorcism, no matter that the crowds may chant and cheer with relief. This is not V-Day. After a decade we finally managed to killed one man. And on that same day we sent countless millions of dollars to the Muslim countries that funded and protected him. Money that will return to us in the forms of bombs and bullets. And then we made sure to bury him according to their rites and traditions, to wish him a speedy passage to the paradise of Islamic martyrs. Is that what victory looks like. And over whom but ourselves?
Like Winston Smith we have learned to love Big Islam. At least our leaders and all the institutions under the control of our establishment have. And the little Bin Laden sits in their heads urging them to greater and greater acts of obeisance. Censorship isn't enough anymore. We must go beyond obedience and toward love. East of Orwell's old stomping grounds, the Tower Hamlets London Borough Council forbade its non-Muslim councilors from eating at meetings during Ramadan. Under Mayor Lutfur Rahman in association with the Islamic Forum of Europe which aims to create a Global Islamic Order, the THLBC shows us that Oceania is actually Islamania. Orwell may have predicted the outcome, but he missed out on the Pakistani accent.
Killing the little Bin Laden will prove to be much harder than sending Navy SEALS to Pakistan. You can direct choppers to a spot on a map, but not a spot in the mind. And no Navy SEAL can fit inside the minds of the men who sent them to purge their demons. Only the man or woman can liberate their own mind. Only you can kill the little Bin Laden within.
The greatest weapon of the enemy is terror. Not the act itself. As horrifying as any individual atrocity may be, that alone is no threat. On the same day that Al-Qaeda murdered 3,000 people, 10,000 babies were born. A number that shows the futility of Islamic terror trying to fulfill its genocidal imperative against the non-Muslim world through sheer murder alone. It was only through our government's subsequent collaboration with that mythical beast, "Moderate Islam" that the Salafist assault on America, turned into a Muslim Brotherhood victory.
The establishment was not terrorized by the body count alone, but by the chaos. The burning wreckage , the security alerts and the need for a response. A response that risked destabilizing the world that was being achieved. A world without war, where differences are settled around conference tables and with UN Peacekeeping forces. The progressive vision for the future that had become unconsciously embedded in the minds of most Western leaders was under assault. And the most dangerous implication of the attack was the conclusion that we were not just at war with a few extremists, but that this was the opening shot in a clash of civilizations.
Most of the leaders who recite all the homilies about Islam's peacefulness have the same image of a clash of civilizations in their heads that we do. The difference is that they are willing to do everything possible to avoid it. And that means a desperate eagerness to convince Muslims that we are not their enemy. That we love and respect their religion. That our conflict is not with them and that their conflict is with a tiny minority of their own extremists. But for all the airplay that this meme gets, no one actually believes it. The Muslims certainly don't. And most First Worlders know better too. So do their leaders who still think that if they repeat it enough times someone out there will believe in it.
The moderate Muslim myth sought to split the ranks of the enemy into the moderates and the extremists. The moderates who will ally with us and help us stop the extremists. But that strategy has failed badly in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Muslims have done a much better job of dividing us, than we have of dividing them. And to win their trust, we have played a key role in dividing ourselves.
The little Bin Laden sits inside the mind of Western civilizations and issues its list of demands. What speech must be suppressed, what customs must be followed, how Islam must be praised and which of Islam's enemies must be weakened or destroyed. And our leaders have allowed him to set their course for them to stem the defection of the mythical moderates to the ranks of the mythical extremists. As if there were any more difference between them, than between the political and armed wings of an Islamic terrorist organization.
The worst of these whispers from the mouth of the little Bin Laden, worse than the censorship, the betrayal and the collaboration, is the sense of defeatism. The belief by the establishment that a war with Islam either cannot be won or is not worth winning. That the difference between ourselves and Bin Laden lies in the undifferentiated act of killing itself. And that once we fight back, then we have nothing left worth defending anymore.
Every article that compares Americans celebrating the death of a mass murderer, to his acts of mass murder, reveals the moral nullity of this pacifism that has crept over the overeducated elites. A pacifism concerned with absolute purity of action. The endless quest for a moral high ground on which we can stand and die proudly, without ever lifting a hand to defend ourselves. And while most would not agree with them, their ideas have crept in everywhere. With those ideas has come a sense of futility. That we can win the war and lose our souls. Or keep our souls and lose the war.
But a deeper fear is also in the air. Listen closely to Michael Moore asking why the terrorists didn't hit the parts of the country that voted for Bush, and you can faintly hear Winston Smith crying out, "Do it to Julia! Not me!" Moore was scheduled to fly to New York that day. And behind his ramblings there is genuine fear. The jet setting elite suffered a worse blow to their way of life, than most of the country did. And those who are the least capable of protecting themselves are also the most vulnerable to that fear.
The fear of that little Bin Laden is all around now. We are locking up Americans out of fear that they may offend a Muslim. And then violence will inevitably result. Self-censorship has become the order of the day. As Juan Williams learned there are things you just don't say. And the worst of them is to admit that you are afraid. Censorship in the name of tolerance seems nobler, than censorship out of fear that the next plane you're on will be blown out of the sky by a member of the Religion of Peace.
There you have the victory of terror over people who decide that any price is worth paying just to be left alone. The fear itself forms into a little Bin Laden, made up of their perception of what will set Muslims off. Just as an abuse victim carries around her abuser in her head until she drives him out, so too they carry around Bin Laden in their heads. Not the man specifically, but the fear. While they brand others as Islamophobes, it is they who are truly afraid.
Some are afraid of the present, others have enough foresight to fear for the future. And so they champion Middle Eastern democracy, hold Koran readings and befriend Muslims. The little Bin Laden in their heads convinces them step by step that the worst is inevitable and their only hope is to throw themselves on the mercy of their enemies. Hope and change? Despair and futility is more like it.
Their sense of safety comes from sticking to a narrative. And the narrative is that everything will be alright so long as no offends a Muslim. If we all talk quietly, tiptoe around and honor the Koran, then everything will be fine. Call Islam the Religion of Peace, and maybe we'll find out that's what it was all along. It's easier to believe that or to despair entirely, than to walk the middle way and recognize that the situation is bad, but not hopeless. That we are only as vulnerable as our fear and denial makes us. That the greatest threat to us is not terrorism, but our appeasement of terrorists.
Killing the Bin Laden within means destroying that instinct to appease, to censor yourself and tiptoe around the sensibilities of your murderers. To recite a prayer for the souls of your killers and honor their rites above your own. It is a much harder thing to clean out a soul than to raid a compound. But it does no good to do one without the other. So long as the little Bin Laden goes on living inside the mind of Western civilization, than the war cannot be won.
From NY to Jerusalem , Daniel Greenfield Covers the Stories Behind the News. Daniel Greenfield is a blogger, author and columnists covering international affairs, the rising threat of terrorism and the growing problems of socialism. His daily blog can be viewed at Sultan Knish.