The Bear has been thinking about Islam, and its terrorism in the abstract. Coolly. What do the terrorists think they are accomplishing? What are they actually accomplishing? What does the constant drumbeat of attacks really mean?
Terrorism As Advertising
Terrorism is just a form of advertising. Or, if you prefer, agitprop. Propagande par le fait. Our age is not the first to see bombers and assassins. A violent act is guaranteed news coverage.
The Bear learned a long time ago that the best advertising was "earned media." Any lawyer can buy advertising. But make friends with your local news reporters, and you can be regularly interviewed on current legal topics. Not only is it free, but you are portrayed as an expert. Public relations is very simple. Newspapers have column inches to fill, and television news programs have time to fill. You do them a favor when you give them easy content.
Terrorism is perfect for dominating news. It is the most effective earned media ever. It is also the stupidest. One must ask: What is Islamic terrorism selling? Accomplishing? Now, the Bear thinks this is a very interesting question, and that the result is very different from the intention, and from what you probably think.
The real message of every terrorist attack is not one any sensible person would want to be associated with. Islam: a Psychopathic Death Cult for Losers. Maybe they imagine they are frightening the West. In reality, they are mostly just making people secretly loathe Muslims. Particularly since the Muslim community in America has never understood the need to aggressively distance themselves from terrorist attacks.
Islam: Culturally Protected
But the Bear has caught himself in a mistake. Events have proved that the Muslim community in America has zero incentive to aggressively distance itself from terrorist attacks. Right now, Muslims are the most culturally protected group in the country. They are smart enough to know that if they play the victim card after every attack, their status actually increases! "BACKLASH!" They have figured out American culture - not that it's hard - and, like all culturally protected groups, play it like the Wurlitzer at Busch Stadium.
Many Muslims won't assimilate. Islam is not a religion. It is a politico-religious movement that the liberal West will never get. An unknown percentage of young male Muslims are susceptible to the magical process of "radicalization" we keep hearing about. The word means no more than this: some moron with a website says how cool it is to kill people in the name of Allah, and a different moron reads it and murders some people while yammering at his god.
Islam Exists Only at the Sufferance of the West
Thinking like a Bear, he cannot help but note that Islam exists entirely at the sufferance of nuclear powers. The Bear is sure all of his readers share his pastime of drawing up imaginary target lists should they ever get ahold of the launch codes. No? Maybe it's just a Bear thing. ("They all hate us anyhow, so let's drop the big one now." - Randy Newman.) The heart of what passes for culture in Islam could be wiped out with a few dozen air bursts. If we wanted to go all the way, we could nuke the sandy Islamic places into seas of black glass, tie strips of fatback to our feet and go skating. The Bear bets Russia would join in.
Muslims are in our country only because we cannot import enough of them. They're hardly crossing the Atlantic stupidly piled onto waterborne deathtraps. We could easily throw the Big Switch and all of a sudden all the Muslims are leaving the country, instead of coming in. Afghanistan is in dire need of brains. It will never have indoor plumbing with a bunch of dope heads wandering through the fields cutting up poppy blooms and licking opium milk off their knives. Imagine what an infusion of former American Muslims would do for Afghanistan, and whatever dirt ISIS happens to occupy at the moment.
The beauty of such a noble gesture makes the Bear shed a tear.
The Bear is not advocating anything. He is just noting the realities. The fact is, it is the policy of the United States, and France, and wherever, to do nothing about Islamic terrorism. The fact is, terrorists make headlines, but they don't change anyone's life. They do not impact the country. Far more people are murdered in Chicago with no headlines at all. Our leaders have made the conscious decision that policies touching upon Muslims should not be influenced by essentially irrelevant terrorism. They want as many Muslims as possible in America, for reasons the Bear does not understand. He suspects they dream that Islam may help stamp out Christianity in the West, which appears to be the current agenda of our government. But he's not sure.
Islamic Terrorism Symptom, Not Cause
The Bear agrees. The reason there is terrorism is because the West doesn't really mind it that much.
More to the point, every Muslim on the planet could disappear overnight, and the West's problems would not be improved. That's the real takeaway. The West is run by arsonists like Pope Francis yelling "burn baby burn" as every institution burns to the ground. Muslims didn't set those fires. Terrorism is not a problem, it is a symptom of the West's death wish.
It is as much a waste of time trying to figure out what is going on in Jihad Johnny's head as Pope Francis'. They aren't the news. The news is we live in a world that actually encourages Jihad Johnny and Pope Francis. On alternate days, the Bear could write an ephemeris article on terrorism, and one on the latest stupid thing to come out of Pope Francis' mouth. And readers would probably love it, although the Bear is at a loss to understand why people are interested in dog-bites-man stories.
One day you will be watching the news on the latest terrorism act, and look out the window to notice that no one seems to have collected the trash over the last six weeks, and there is smoke marking looting and destruction in your hometown, not in those peoples' part of the big city, where that sort of thing belongs. Suddenly, terrorism and Pope Francis won't seem so important.
Terrorism has become part of the cultural weather, as the Bear recently noted. Islam could not possibly come up with a worse advertising campaign than being known as that religion that's murdering innocent people all the time. But until insurance companies see a market for individual terrorist attack insurance, it is actuarially irrelevant to us. It will never be more than random tragedies like tornadoes ripping through midwestern trailer parks.
But terrorism has an upside. Every terrorist attack brings out the true idiocy of the people with their hands on the cultural levers. President Obama. Archbishop Cupich. Pope Francis. If you have risen to the position of a cultural leader in these last decades of the West, you are a moron. The system is rigged, and anyone with any creativity or intelligence is not allowed anywhere near positions of influence in the burning Western institutions.
Terrorist attacks do two things: make us secretly loathe Muslims; and make us openly loathe our leaders. You can work out the implications of that combination for yourself.
It's a crazy world.