Hoover Commission in session
It is easy to be nostalgic about a world that had a sense of chivalry; even during cold war and risk of nuclear annihilation. The saying ‘honor among thieves’ was reflective of an attitude that even mafia, crooks, spies and politicians respected some lines and boundaries. It varied by culture and level of social maturity but it did exist nonetheless. Then came Milton Friedman, Reagan, Thatcher and Neocons (originally known as ultra conservatives, moral majority...) and peace dividend after collapse of soviets and… In all fairness, the idea of doing away with fair play got its impetus long before that in early 50’s by Eisenhower assigned Hoover commission in the context (excuse) of soviets and cold war; but it has been a slippery slope that is only getting more slippery:
“It is now clear that we are facing an impacable enemy whose avowed objective is world domination by whatever means and at whatever cost. There are no rules in such a game. Hitherto acceptable norms of human conduct do not apply. If the United States is to survive, long-standing American concepts of ‘fair play’ must be reconsidered.”
One need not be a history buff or politically savvy to appreciate the impact of this recommendation on American political attitude and social conduct and by the virtue of its dominance that of the world. As the saying goes if pishnamaz starts farting in the mosque the followers will sh*$ all over the place.
Just look at older movies and compare the attitudes and conduct even in nasty gangster movies. The lead gangster would kill his foe but it was with a bullet to head or heart or cement shoes and often let the victim's cronies walk away after they begged or only one of them got shot. Now they get murdered in strange and twisted ways and with exotic weapons, then cut into pieces and fed to sharks in lighted pool in the middle of a party. And more often than not you cannot tell who is the good guy and who is the thug. It may be movies but it does reflect a fundamental shift in attitude and value of life. Life does imitate art.
It was that Hoover Commission led shift in attitude and conduct that lead to a slew of events around the world that fundamentally shifted view of good and heroic America post WWII; slowly but surely. From Arbens to Mossadegh to Peron, Allende and Saddam….to founding of Islamic schools all over Moslem countries starting in Rabat and extending to Pakistan and Saudi to Mojahedin and AlQuaeda and Abu Ghuraib and … of course, cream of the crop Islamist regime in Iran by betraying the best friend of the West and the region in Shah. Just when you thought U.S. foreign policy has learned a thing or two we get a nuclear deal and their new superstar comes center stage; Brand new Toyota SUV riding, HumV and AKA47 flashing, Facebooking and tweeting ISIS. By comparison they make the rapist republic and SA and Al Quaeda look like pussy cats but there is no mistaking that this is their bastard child.
Paris massacre is generally portrayed as some kind of an ugly surprise; but if anything can be said for sure is that we are going to have a lot more of this in more places and more often before ISIS et al graduate to dirty bombs and biological and nuclear weapons.
That ISIS has absolutely no morality, humanity, sense of fair play or show any mercy even to other ruthless murdering cowards should not be a surprise. The next logical step in supporting brutal Saudis, then Mojahedin, then Islamic regime in Iran and the cluster in Iraq, Syria and other parts of Middle East is ISIS because “Hitherto acceptable norms of human conduct do not apply.”