Sunday, October 16, 2005

Arise, Ye Russian People

Islam is committing suicide. Our position remains the same: The world of the tillers and the toilers is separating daily from the world of the priests, the latter having no need for the surplus diggers of the past. The collective death wish of the umma meets the collective paralysis of Modernity. We might all die.

The world of Islam, in a last death rattle, is screaming for our demise as well. Modernity. the world of becoming, is stopped and terrified by the sight and sound of the The Past dying. Out of this struggle might come a new era of Human history. Or we might all slide back into the dreariness of feudal living, subsistence farming, Irrationalism, and petty terror in daily life.

Bali, Madrid, London, Luxor, Beslan, New York, Delhi, Thailand, the list is long and growing: Nalchik. Your town. You. Your family.

Russian officials have regularly dismissed rebel threats to expand the war. Yet over the past two years fighting has progressed west from Chechnya to Ingushetia and North Ossetia, where last year hundreds died in the Beslan school siege. In the past 12 months, there have been almost daily attacks in Dagestan to the east. Now, the insurgency has moved north into Kabardino-Balkaria. Chechen secessionist websites hailed what they called a successful operation by the "Kabardino-Balkaria section of the Caucasus Front," praising it as proof that the strategy introduced by the Chechen insurgency's new leader, Abdul Khalim Sadulayev, was working. The 37-year-old cleric took over after his more moderate predecessor, Aslan Maskhadov, was killed in March. Since then, the tone and tactics of the conflict have taken a firmly radical turn. Rebel leaders go beyond criticizing the West's failure to denounce Russia's brutal tactics in Chechnya; they increasingly reject Western values based, they say, on "materialism and atheism." A "discussion document" circulating among Chechen guerrillas singles out Afghanistan's Taliban regime as the most theologically consistent modern Islamic state. The Islamist cast of the Nalchik attackers suggests that Russian President Vladimir Putin now faces a growing threat from religious radicals determined to push the fight deeper into Russia.

For the guerrillas, the Nalchik raid was a savage, politically successful piece of armed propaganda. Many of the fighters seemed ready to die, and many did, though the death toll is hard to gauge as both sides distort casualty figures.

[T]he Nalchik raid has forced the Kremlin to confront the fact that it is fighting a war on more fronts than just Chechnya. Despite regular announcements of major victories there, Russian forces are merely holding their ground. Now Putin, his forces already stretched thin, will have to mount defenses in other republics as well. Nevertheless, Russian leaders hailed a victory for federal forces in Nalchik and promised to clean up the city quickly. The physical scars may well disappear soon, though Nalchik — and perhaps the North Caucasus as a whole — will never be the same.,13005,901051024-1118306,00.html

Rational people do not pick fights. Even in a fight they most often do not fight with any enthusiasm. Those who do are usually the mythical "tiny minority" of extremists. It's true of Russians as well as of Muslims. It's true of Americans and English and Latinos. It's true of Africans and Chinese and Indians. I've never seen anything other than a deep reluctance to engage in combat on the part of most people. Few people want to risk getting hurt, and also, few want to hurt others. Some will. There is a point at which some people lose their minds and go crazy with violence. They're not dangerous to anyone who isn't equally crazy. The dangerous ones are those who are clear-minded and practiced in killing. Many Muslims are. Muslims often kill what they eat, chickens and goats. Even when it's ritualized and practiced and they aren't squeamish about blood and death, they aren't a brave lot when it comes to fighting men, as a rule. And if they can view a man as a malignant farm animal, and at the same time think they're not going to suffer from the struggle but go the the Islamic whorehouse of eternity, then they become clear-minded and dangerous. Even so it's only a few of them who actually go forth and fight. It's the Muslim killer who brings home the proverbial bacon. Everyone dines, but few make the meal.

And in the case of Russians, what do they have to fight for? The hot feast of revenge? Not likely. Most people will simply hang their heads and feel ashamed that they don't have the killer instinct to follow through. The professional army don't fight worth a dime because their military life is meant to be a meal ticket, not a death warrant. Mostly docile to begin with, these soldiers aren't taking any initiative on the battle front. Some are dedicated, but most are drunk. The opposition are drunk, too: on eschatological nightmares of Islamic triumph and group solidarity. In spite of the Russians' beautiful materiel they are worthless as soldiers, for the most part, because they have little or no reason to fight. They seem to have no esprit de corps, no group identity, no reason to get hurt or die. No eschatology. They aren't particularly rational so much as cynical and defeated as men in themselves. God Vodka.

It's not the weapons and materiel: it's the men. Without the Will the man is meat. The Will is not the will of a man but the Will of Man. The Eastern Rite is so vitiated by ritual and orthopraxy it's not likely to charge anyone. The Russian Orthodox Church is bones wrapped in ceremony. It's dead hand won't raise the spirit of Russians. That fascist bitch, Mother Russia, she might. With the will to be Russian bare-foot Russians bare-handed could rule the East. Where's the Will?

By themselves men won't fight.

O, Mother Russia!

S. Prokofiev, "Alexander Nevsky Cantata"

Arise, ye Russian people,
to glorious battle, to a battle to the death:
arise, ye free people,
to defend our beloved country!
All honour to the warriors who live,
and eternal glory to those slain!
For our native home, our Russian land,
arise, ye Russian people!

In our native Russia, our great Russia,
no enemy shall remain.
Arise, to arms, native mother Russia!

The enemy shall not march through Russia,
its regiments shall not stay on Russian soul,
it will not find its way across Russia,
the enemy shall not ravage Russian fields.

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