“I hold it as a principle that the duration of peace is in direct proportion to the slaughter you inflict on the enemy.” –Gen. Mikhail Skobelev, 1881
General Mikhail Skobelev’s words above were in reference to his defeat of the walled citadel of Geok-Tepe and his army’s complete depredation of the Tekke Turkmen, “a fierce, slave-taking people…” of Central Asia. “The Emperor’s orders were explicit,” writes Karl Meyer and Shareen Brysac in their book Tournament of Shadows: “Under no circumstances was Skobelev to take a single step backwards, ‘for this would be for Europe and Asia a sign of our weakness, would inspire still greater boldness on the part of our adversaries’.”
The Russians have always been known to upstage the West in regards to dealing with enemies. There is the story of two KGB agents kidnapped by a gang of quite imprudent Islamic Liberation Organization (ILO) operatives in Beirut. The story goes that the ILO kidnappers, after hiding the hostages away, then sent a message to the Russian embassy in Beirut demanding the release of certain ILO members (if I remember correctly) at that time incarcerated by the Lebanese government of the day. Unbeknownst to the impulsive terrorists was the fact that the KGB was aware not only of where the two Russian citizens were being held captive, but also of the identities of the kidnappers. As a response to their demands the Russians sent to the safe house a box with the head of the leader of that particular ILO unit inside and the warning that if the two KGB agents were not released in a matter of hours, the next box they received would contain the heads of the kidnapper’s mothers. Needless to say, the KGB agents were released posthaste and the ILO never again harmed or threatened Soviet citizens anywhere. There are also recent accounts about the Russian Navy mercilessly dispatching Somali pirates on the high seas. As a result, Somali pirates steer clear of all vessels flying the Russian flag. The lesson is obvious: deal harshly with your enemies and they will avoid you like the plague. “An angry countenance turns away a back-biting tongue.”
My point here is about dispassionate Russian wisdom being so broadly and ultimately contrary to Western liberalism and the insane and constrictive notion that we have no choice but to lay down our weapons, suspend punitive sanctions, and propose peace initiatives to enemies whose religiously cultivated arrogance has continually induced their leaders to mock Western peace initiatives, no matter how compromising. The contradistinction between the two extremes—the wisdom of the former and the foolishness of the latter—seems to go unnoticed these days. President Obama plays nice with the Republic of Iran; Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and vying to become the next Prime Minister of Canada promises that, if elected, he will call off Canada’s participation in air strikes against ISIS targets and restore diplomatic relations with Iran. Tom Mulcair, leader of the NDP Party of Canada, promises near the same.
There seems to be an extremely imprudent, oscillating duality infecting Western political leaders these days (with the notable exception of Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper). I see traditional political parties—Liberal, NDP, and Conservative in Canada, Republican and Democrats in the United States—exhibiting harmful traits eerily similar to those that brought down the mighty Spartans long ago; a duality, as pointed out in Paul Cartledge’s historical work The Spartans, that “led inevitably to divided counsels—dynastic rivalries, succession anxieties, faction fighting.” Three paragraphs later Cartledge writes, “The adage of Lord Acton—absolute power corrupts absolutely—applied vigorously in this case.” And isn’t this so in the case of Western democracies? We have the leaders of European democracies condoning the influx of tens of thousands of Syrian refugees, many of whom leave a trail of trash and excrement (and damaged iPads) in their wake; many of whom have probably little or no interest in assimilating the traditions of their host countries; some of whom may likely turn out to be ISIS operatives. The so-called “opposition parties” applaud this gross imprudence from the other side of their respective parliament floors like a hired audience for a game show.
Compare these flabbergasted political sycophants with Putin and his answer to a question posed him by a Le Monde reporter about the war in Chechnya, “If you are a Christian, you are in danger. Even if you are an atheist, you are in danger, and if you decide to convert to Islam, this will not save you, either, because traditional Islam is inimical to the conditions and objectives set by the terrorists. If you are prepared to become a most radical Islamist and are prepared to circumcise yourself, I invite you to come to Moscow. I will recommend having the operation done in such a way that nothing will grow for you there anymore.” When another reporter suggested that Putin negotiate with Chechen terrorist leaders following the Beslan massacre, he replied, “”Why don’t you meet Osama bin Laden, invite him to Brussels or to the White House and engage in talks, ask him what he wants and give it to him so he leaves you in peace? You find it possible to set some limitations in your dealings with these bastards, so why should we talk to people who are child-killers? No one has a moral right to tell us to talk to childkillers.”
I am in no way espousing Russia’s expansionist behaviour of late. I am suggesting that the West begin dealing with our terrorist enemies in similar fashion as the Russians have been dealing with theirs. Justin Trudeau’s suggestion that the “refugee problem” would be mitigated by calling off airstrikes against ISIS is a prime example of a tendentious Leftist politician choosing the exact opposite course of action as that which mere reason would implore, regardless the injurious ingredients those choices (like allowing Syrian refugees into Canada without security restrictions) would obtrude upon what would become by then a victimized, albeit self-deceived, Canadian populace.
The “refugee problem” facing Western democracies in Europe and North America is a catastrophe that should be dealt with by Middle Eastern Islamic countries instead of Western democracies. That these Muslim refugees are seeking safe haven in an infidel-ruled Western Europe instead of the oil-rich countries of their fellow religious says everything about the finer points of Islam and those nation-states where it has long ago gained preponderance. Where is the love? The one sure way—the stratagem invoked by mere reason—to obviate this refugee crisis emanating out of Syria and beyond is the total elimination, from the air and on the ground, of ISIS and their supporters. The fact that ISIS has, by violently brutal conquest, been continually gaining new territory should be profiled by so-called “experts” not as a failure of Western military forces in halting their advance but rather a failure on the part of Middle Eastern Islamic states and their armed forces to deal with a danger that has, from the very beginning of this human tragedy, been far more approximate to their existence, both politically and religiously, than it has ever been to Western democracies.
So why are we fighting their war? And if we are forced to fight their war simply because they refuse to fight it themselves, let us be efficient and militarily laconic in disposing of this enemy. Let us acquire a “duration of peace,” its anticipated longevity measured only by the level of destruction we inflict upon this enemy of all humanity. And afterward, after we dispose of ISIS, let us hold these Islamic nations to account for turning their backs on their fellow Muslims, on a humanitarian crisis that was always theirs, not ours; that was spawned out of the bowels of the religion of Islam and the imperialism it advocates and from nowhere else. Let us point this out to them, just as they are so ever wont to point out our sins. Let us apply Skobelev’s principle to our enemies in the same way they apply Islamic jihad to us.