More Derb-featism

Daniel S. writes:

While it is hardly new or noteworthy, John Derbyshire continues with his usual defeatism and essential advocacy of surrender to liberalism:

It’s the Muslims, stupid: Why are we pussyfooting around here? This is a problem of Muslim terrorists. Profile Muslims like crazy. Better yet, don’t let them fly on planes in our airspace.

I’m not unsympathetic to this argument. It has clearly been a mistake for Western nations to allow large-scale settlement of foreign Muslims in our countries. Muslims have, after all, 57 countries of their own to roam around in—enough to suit any taste or need, I would have thought. After 9/11 it would have been entirely reasonable of the U.S.A. to bar any further entry to citizens of Muslim countries and to ask those currently here to leave.

So far so good. But he continues:

Unfortunately this doesn’t meet the case, as I have pointed out previously in this space. And in the longer view, the kind of insane malignancy that today we associate exclusively with Muslim extremists can show up elsewhere. The anarchist movement that plagued the Western world 100 years ago and numbered a U.S. president among its victims was a similar phenomenon. For all we know the Muslim menace might have subsided twenty years from now and the anarchist movement re-energized itself, or some unthought-of new lunatic cult come up. Nor is insane malignancy necessarily cultic. It can be an entirely private affair.

So we can ignore the Islamic jihad because maybe, a few decades from now it will disappear and be replaced by evil, white anarchists? Does Derbyshire really expect to be taken seriously? Has this man entirely lost it? He sounds like a liberal confronted with Islamic terrorism and throwing out the name Timothy McVeigh. The jihad against the West has been around for 1,400 years and will remain has long as there are pious Muslims around ready to carry out the will of Allah. So why does Derbyshire shrug it off and instead conjure up some international terrorist plot led by anarchists or a future version of Jim Jones in order to minimize the actual threat coming from Islam?

Also, what would a Derbyshire article be without his citing the exception to the rule in order to dismiss it:

The Israeli solution: El Al, Israel’s national carrier, conducts skillful quick-fire interviews of passengers meeting certain profiles. Why not just do what they do?

Setting aside the fact that the sky would fall and the oceans boil if we were to do any kind of passenger profiling, there are matters of scale. El Al has 40 aircraft. The U.S.A.’s four largest carriers alone have over 2,000 planes between them.

Nor is El Al’s screening infallible. Richard Reid again: Apparently he talked his way through it as a sort of jihadi final exam.

So, because a Muslim radical (though one with no explosives at the time) got through El Al, we should ignore Israeli profiling policies altogether?

Then there is the delicate matter of employee standards. Possibly our Transportation Security Administration employs the kind of ingenious, quick-witted, superb verbalizers that the El Al interrogators must surely be. I’ve never met such a one, though, and I’ve racked up some frequent-flyer miles. On a word-association test with “TSA employee,” I don’t think many of us would respond with “verbal agility” or “mind like a steel trap.” This is federal employment, and—see above—it probably has to be. Federal employment has its own logic, which does not, in the TSA or anywhere, correspond very closely to the real world’s requirements. Oh, you’ve noticed that?

The hiring of low-intelligence employees to work in sensitive areas is indeed a detriment to rational profiling. The solution would be to abolish the TSA, and hire private contractors the utilize well trained and qualified individuals. Instead Derbyshire simply surrenders to the situation as is. He continues:

So what the heck do we do here? Just what we are doing, I suppose. And then some terrorist slips through anyway and we suffer what, in the morbid argot of air traffic controllers, is I believe known as “an aluminum shower.” And then some.

Derbyshire’s solution? Just give up and live with deranged liberal insecurity regime. Just learn to love Big Brother.

Off with the shirt, kid. Spread your legs wider, ma’am. If Evelyn Waugh were still among us he’d be enjoying the spectacle mightily.

Oh, and its all a joke. Derbyshire is not a conservative, but a defeatist, a Derb-featist if you like. He is not a defender of Western civilization by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I am tempted to classify him as a dhimmi.

LA replies:

What drives Derbyshire is adolescent rebellion and vandalism against the idea that there is truth, and that truth matters. He wants to get back at the people who say that there is truth, and that truth matters. He wants to puncture that authority, which he personally resents. He is a complete nihilist, who can only be himself if there is no truth and no authority.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 08, 2010 12:14 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):