Common Foes

For some time, I’ve been watching the fighting between Little Green Footballs and various and sundry European White Supremacist groups. It started when the Eurofascists (as Charles calls them) started fighting against the Muslim assimilation of Europe, and started looking around for allies. They found Charles Johnson and his gang of anti-jihadists, and sought to band with them.

Charles was having none of that. He told them off in no uncertain terms, and they declared him an enemy. They’re trying to paint him as an ultra-liberal and Muslim apologist (from what I understand, Charles is rather liberal apart from this one area — kind of like Joe Lieberman) and all sorts of other awful things.

This got me wondering about some things. What do you do when you find yourself opposing a very powerful and very dangerous enemy, and then discover that others are fighting them, too? The natural instinct is to cooperate against the greater threat.

But there are times when your reputed allies might be just as vile as your enemy. You have a common foe, but your motivations are vastly different and in the absence of that enemy, you two very well might be at one another’s throats.

The idealist says you never choose the lesser of two evils, you never aid evil and cooperate with evil, even at the benefit of defeating the greater evil.

The pragmatist says that you determine which is the greater threat, then cooperate with the lesser one just long enough to make certain that the greater threat is defeated. Then you go after the lesser one.

Alternately, you go after the one that is the more immediate threat, and aid the long-term one until the immediate threat has passed.

Let’s go back to my favorite analogy, World War II. In the leadup to the war, there were four great movements in the world: Imperialism (Japan), Fascism (Italy and Germany), Communism (the Soviet Union), and Democracy (The US, the UK, much of western Europe).

We can drop Imperialism from this discussion. How to act towards them became a moot point after Pearl Harbor.

At first, it looked pretty bad for Democracy. The Fascists and the Communists teamed up, and steamrollered right over most of Europe. But then the Fascists turned on the Communists, and the game was wide open again.

In the long term, Communist proved the greater evil and the greater threat. Communism killed far more people than the Fascists ever did. But at the time, it was the less immediate threat. So the Allies chose to make common cause with Stalin (possibly the greatest mass murderer in history; I believe the death toll runs well into 8 or 9 figures) and supported the Soviet Union in its fight against Nazi Germany. The Commies were our buddies, or at least our allies of convenience. The industrial power of the West sustained them and kept them in the fight long enough to bleed Germany white, and lead to its eventual destruction.

And all that good will evaporated right alongside the Third Reich. Once the Nazis were out of the picture, there was no more common foe, no common ground, to keep the West and the Soviet Union from seeing each other as enemies. It was only the presence of nuclear weapons that kept the Cold War from running hot — and even so, the seemingly endless proxy wars and skirmishes still kept the butcher’s bill appallingly high.

So, let’s look at the Eurofascists and the Jihadists. Both are despicable, loathsome groups. Both have hatred and conquest as their core ideology. And both are quite ready — if not eager — to use force to achieve their goals.

Of the two, then, which poses the more immediate threat?

I’d have to say the Jihadists. They have numerous advantages over the Eurofascists: they have numbers, they have considerably more financial resources, they have a greater willingness to resort to violence and savagery, on a far more horrific level, than the Eurofascists. They also have a greater body count, by several orders of magnitude. And they’re killing people all over the world now, while the Eurofascists are mainly concerned with simple thuggery.

In brief, the Eurofascists crack heads; the Jihadists sever them.

But do the Jihadists pose enough of an immediate threat that it would be wise to accept the Eurofascists as temporary allies of convenience? Should we encourage them to fight the greater foe, assisting them as needed, keeping them going long enough to weaken the Jihadists?

Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t.

The U.S. spent much of the Cold War finding and supporting some of the nastier dictators and thugs around the world, as long as they were sufficiently anti-Communist. We overlooked hosts of human rights violations and horrific corruption just because they were saying (and, occasionally, doing) the sorts of things we wanted against the Soviets (and, occasionally, the Chinese).

In the end, the Soviet Union fell without ever waging war against the West.

My instinct says Charles is right to reject the Eurofascists out of hand. They are some of the most loathsome, despicable, vile human beings on the face of the earth. (I might be prejudiced, though — ethnically, I am pretty solidly in the camp that they say they are fighting for. The group they say they are championing is mine, and the’re committing their heinous deeds in “my” name. I take that very personally, and the times I’ve been called such things as “race traitor” and the like are moments of pride.)

But while I do think it’s a good thing to reject any sort of alliance with the Eurofascists, I am not certain. Starting a second fight while we’re still fighting the Jihadists does not seem like the wisest move, and there’s always the concern that the Jihadists and Eurofascists might come to some sort of modus vivendi and turn on us.

It’s a very tough call. I don’t envy Charles for being put on the spot over it.

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