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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another

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A dialogue

Josephus: Enough! You know who is behind the murders. You know the world they have created. You know the centers of the hatred. Act!

ben Levi: We are acting. Carefully, precisely. Without more collateral damage than we can avoid.

Josephus: Are you insane? Collateral damage is the key. Precision be damned. These people will never love you which means you have one alternative: fear. Fear for their children, fear for themselves. Fear for their Holy places. Begin with the rock.

ben Levi: The rock?

Josephus: Yes, the rock. This one.

ben Levi: And what?

Josephus: Point a cruise missle at it and fire.

ben Levi [shocked]: During the pilgrimage?

Josephus: Absolutely...

ben Levi: No. That would be, if not genocide then strategically idiotic. What we need to do is ensure that the men who cirlce the rock no longer can hurt us.

Josephus: What, build a wall around them??

ben Levi: It works in Gaza.

Josephus: Until it doesn't. Take out the Haj and you have beaten the Muslims before they've started.

ben Levi: Destroy the Grand Mosque and you have made a billion enemies for a thousand years.

Josephus: Destroy the founding myth and the Muslims will crumple like a Kleenex.

ben Levi: Have you ever heard of proportionate response?

Josephus: Not in Rome...never. Touch a Roman and we sent a Legion to make sure that you never, ever, ever, even thought about doing it again. Men, women, children. Dead. And it worked. Well.

ben Levi: Until it didn't. You couldn't quite manage killing every Goth and Visagoth could you?

Josephus: No. But, by then the Empire had decayed. We relied on our auxiliaries. Our generals cared more for public esteem than for the honour of Rome. Our people did not join the legions; instead they wanted the bread they did not earn.

ben Levi: You see, Israel, even if she wanted to, cannot take Cairo. Even with her arms she must restrain herself. So what can we do?

Josephus: For Rome the answer would be simple: reduce a few cities and take hostages for the rest. Honourable hostages but hostages none the less.

ben Levi: Against good conduct.

Josephus: For good conduct. For ensuring that none of their subjects attack Rome.

ben Levi: And if they do?

Josephus: You kill the hostages of course...painfully.

ben Levi: We cannot do that Josephus. At best we can imprison them.

Josephus: Oh, you can't. Well, more accurately, you can't yet. One bomb, one filthy bit of nuclear waste killing a hundred thousand people and leaving a city unihabitable...You'd be surprised what you can do.

ben Levi: I suspect you'd be astonished with what we cannot do. Abu Garib, Gitmo - our own people will not countance even the most basic of interrogation methods.

Josephus: For the moment. Five snipers circling five cities will put an end to that. Leave aside a shopping mall bombing or, more likely, biologicals in an out of the way place.

ben Levi: Should it?

Josephus: It must. To win, short of turning the Islamic world into glass, you have to have intelligence and that intelligence is won by the wide boys; men who do not take no for an answer.

ben Levi: But a wall, a lock down on immigration, a law against incitement, the ability to deport the jihadis.

Josephus: Grand. Do it. But when the first big bomb goes off be reay to have people almost as angry at their goverment as they are at the men who set the bomb.

ben Levi: but that is just not who we are.

Josephus: No, but that is who the jihadis demand you become.