What Happens After We Finally Call it a War?

Nicolaus Fest is a German lawyer and freelance journalist. The following op-ed was published on his website. JLH, who translated the piece for Gates of Vienna, includes this note:

On his webpage, the author makes a short note of something he found on the internet: “Of all the varieties of Islam, the most common one seems to be the one that has nothing to do with Islam.”

The translated essay:

Brussels — What to Do?

By Nicolaus Fest
March 24, 2016

Let us begin with a bit of irreverence: Brussels is boring — at least its reactions. They have the effect of Groundhog Day — an infinite loop of sameness. Facebookers background their profile photos with the flag of the stricken land. The “je suis” proclamation is made. The Brandenburg Gate, the Empire State Building and the Eiffel Tower light up in the appropriate national colors, and some cartoon character somewhere is weeping about the assaulted city — this time it’s Tintin. Editorials and statements are just as predictable: Absolute security is impossible; This was an attack on the open society; Fanatics do not speak for Islam; In a globalized world we must become accustomed to global terrorism. And naturally there is no dearth of warnings that we must not “politically misuse” the attacks — must stay calm. As if dozens of dead were no reason to get excited. In contrast to the superficial speeches about solidarity, in fact, such advice reveals more than anything else a lack of solidarity and empathy. What some may call a “cool head” is actually the “cold heart” of a land that has thus far been spared these attacks.

Yet this “cool” which masquerades as civilization, just like the ritualization of acquiescence, is nothing but a sign of weakness. All the formulas of conciliation are in essence variations on self-abnegation. Do not act. Despite repeated new attacks, do not mention the enemy by name. No, instead, entrench yourself behind the “now more than ever” avowals to “keep on keeping on”, which will usually last until the cancellation of the next international soccer match. It’s how to gloss over political inactivity. “Keeping on” is not an option.

The attacks will not stop, and they will reach Germany. They will become more ferocious. So the question arises: How long does the West intend to do nothing about those who are attacking it over and over again? Is Germany expected to accept 500 dead per year as the price of tolerance and the welcoming culture? Or 5,000, or ten times that many victims?

And thus the commentaries reveal a strange contradiction. All the leaders and commentators in the Western world are unanimous: The attacks in Brussels, like those in New York, London, Madrid, Paris, Copenhagen, etc., are “declarations of war against the West”. And yet the dominant advice is still to stay calm? This situation is not devoid of humor. Until recently, at least, declarations of war marked an end of equanimity. Even the stoic English did not go to their five o’clock tea, when Hitler forced them into war. Whoever says “declaration of war” also says: From this moment on, life will be different; from this moment on, this is a different country!

What else, besides a “declaration of war”, besides the use of military materiel against civilians, must happen, before the political system protects us? Do we really need an attack with nuclear or chemical materials to recognize the threat? Must the Petersdom (cathedral) be lying in ash and rubble, must the works of Dürer, van Gogh or Michelangelo be destroyed for the West to wake up? Anyone who just points at the rule of law is not prepared to learn anything from the attacks. Certainly the constitutional state is a fundamental of the West — but this is about the constitutional state at war. That makes a difference.

Anyone who understands the attacks as a declaration of war should address three things. First, the restriction of constitutional guarantees. Constitutionality is always procedural security, that is, justice as such is not guaranteed, but the probability that, in the progress through possibly several instances, justice will be served in the end. Constitutionally, in a “state of defense”, there can be such restrictions of guaranteed rights. In a state of war, this possibility must definitely be taken into consideration. Specifically that means radical restriction of the ability to ward off deportation, a suspension of the right to asylum, surveillance made easier, tough residence requirements, curfews for potentially dangerous persons.

Second, pressure on the milieu of sympathizers by hard measures against those connected closely or distantly. For instance, the Israelis regularly demolish the houses of the families of assassins. It would be conceivable here, in the case of attacks, to close mosques and organizations and levy heavy financial damages on the Muslim community. Splintering of clan groupings and radical groups by assignment to widely scattered residential locations. There could be discussion of whether children of terrorists and hate preachers should be left in their care. What should become clear is that every attack will have extremely negative results for the entire Muslim community. This would at last initiate the long overdue intra-Muslim discussion and put pressure on the hitherto inactive Muslim organizations.

Third, extinguishing terrorist cells through use of special forces or the military. Germans, too, will have to learn asymmetric warfare and commit themselves to the guerrilla operations already long in use by the Americans, the British or the Israelis. This includes the extra-legal killing of actual or potential terrorists and, possibly — as is sometimes the case in execution by drone — of innocent passersby. These killings are the price of survival. That is, there is no way to avoid the suspension of the constitutional state, and with that comes a paradox. To defend the constitutional state, it must be partly given up. That is what actually stands behind the unwieldy wording “in case of defense”.

35 thoughts on “What Happens After We Finally Call it a War?


  2. Only now are they talking about measures such as these.

    What good are words when their politicians are the ones (still in power) who sold them down the river?

    When water cannons are depoyed against the people who *dare* to mount a feeble protest and there is no *real* popular howl what does anyone expect except more of the same?

    Europe is done. It has imported it’s own executioners for decades now.

    Feeble attempts to bail out the boat with a thimble…this sort of essay will, once again, fall on deaf ears.

    Or be called neo-Nazi and cow the rest of the emasculated population into silence.

    Or else more water cannons for you, you soccer hooligans.

    • “Only now are they talking about measures such as these.” Not that long ago ‘they’ weren’t even talking about it. Silence, talking, action…

  3. The Left always screams that suspension of constitutional norms makes us “like them”, forgetting that the West did precisely that in WWII, and then, because of the goodness and civilized nature of the West, reinstated thise norms after total victory. Defending oneself “for the duration” does not make us “like them”, lije they who are eternally at war.

    • This is a long-overdue article. A declaration of war will end the need for arrests and trials, and early releases “for humanitarian reasons”.

      One thought that keeps going through my mind – and you have indicated it in your comment – is who on earth do we believe we are impressing by demonstrating how civilized, how moral, we are? I can assure the fools on the Left and other hand-wringers, that the enemy – the same enemy that just killed over 65 people celebrating Easter in a park in Pakistan – are not in the least impressed by our sense of superior morality. Instead they are overjoyed that no army will march in and do to their own families what they did to these folks in the park. None.

      • Here’s the thing, the Left IS the enemy. Muslims are just the muscle they imported because they’re too wimpy to do the dirty work themselves – and the Muslims are all to happy to oblige.

        Destroying Islam (which is easy – simply tell the truth about the archeology that debunks it) will not result in victory. Exposing and destroying Statist Collectivism (as was done to one of its branches, National Socialism) is the only way there can be permanent peace. I wish it were not this way, but it is.

        nb: The archeological evidence against Islam is irrefutable. Every counter-jihadi should know it:
        “An Historical Critique Of Islam’s Beginnings”

        “Did Mohammed Exist?” (short answer: NO! not in the way Islam portrays)

    • Hello, Paul. You say that the West (e.g., the U.S. government) suspended constitutional norms during WWII. Please give an example or two, citing which provisions of the (U.S.) Constitution were violated.

      • Look it up yourself. But, it’s irrelevant. If we don’t suspend it somewhat ourselves and take care of the moslem problem, moslems will suspend it totally for us and there will be no constitution to go back to.

      • As an example, perhaps the internment of Japanese Americans? I’m not sure about the Constitution but it certainly deprived them of liberty and probably their pursuit of happiness.

        • As far as I am aware, the constitution only applies to citizens naturally born and naturalized (those who have taken an oath of allegiance.

          By definition, devout Muslims must have taken that oath dishonestly thus their citizenship is annulled.

          It is thus unconstitutional not to defend citizens from Muslims who keep the koran and its advocation of terminal violence towards the non-believer and his/her freedom of religion.

  4. It’s too late for small measures. Magic 8 ball says the EU will get its military, will censor communications and outlaw all centers of worship. ??

  5. As a Law student I should be obliged to defend the Constitutional State and Constitutional Guarantees… however in the case of the “West” such things will have to be suspended if we want to survive… it’s either suspend now and risk a Hitler or a Stalin, but also have a chance at restoring said guarantees, or lose them forever…

    • This is what the Left want you to accept.

      No, there is no need to suspend Constitutional guarantees. Merely enforce the laws you have. Islam is not a personal faith, it is a totalitarian, theocratic political ideology – so is not protected under the US 1st Amendment, but does fall afoul of the laws against sedition.

      Do not accept a dictatorship. Enforce the laws you already have !

      • Honestly, I believe that might have been true before 2010/14 , but I’d say that it’s too late, at least for France and Belgium and likely for Germany and Sweden …

        Also, what the left says, is that the choice is socialism or “fascism” to which I say no, the choice (in some western european nations) is between sacrificing our constitutional guarantees in the name of survival (risking a dictatorship that is more likely and more powerful with every day this continues, but won’t last for longer than any previous one), or let Islam overrun western civilisation, and then fight a 500-year reconquista from the Elbe and The Balkans

  6. The sedition that is currently practiced by most Western media during current military campaigns would have seen them hanged during WW2, for enemy espionage.

  7. Those subjects that arose during the demonstrations of sympathy are just idiots. There are Pegida but only imbeciles anarchists who will end up tarnishing the image of the true patriots orderly. Have you ever seen wearing black in said patriotic demonstration? Where the colors of the national flag? Raise clenched fists as anarchists socialists? Or extend your palms with Nazis? Interrupting a manifestation of condolence blaring? Oh really! If one takes seriously what those black anarchists did is as stupid as them.

  8. Whether we call it a war or not, it is a war just waiting for us to wake up to the reality of it.

    • Until open border anarchists are arrested, feminazis are exposed for what they truly are, rainbow peace flags and candlelight vigils denounced as maudling nonsense and people becoming bold enough to treat being denounced as being extreme right wing, islamaphobic, or Nazi with a pinch of salt nothing will change! The third world illiterates are so emboldened and will keep coming until they are repulsed with the only thing they understand, greater violence inflicted upon them, than they can inflict upon others themselves.

  9. So long Chief Jihadist Angela Merkel is free and at large- the war against Islam cannot be won

  10. “What should become clear is that every attack will have extremely negative results for the entire Muslim community. This would at last initiate the long overdue intra-Muslim discussion and put pressure on the hitherto inactive Muslim organizations.”

    Don’t hold your breath remember they “love death more than they love life”

    The only solution is the most practical, stop all Muslim immigration and deport the ones(the ones that they can) already in Europe. I find difficult to believe that they will begin to behave properly when they are put under pressure to do so, I think it will give them even more reason to kill, they will feel “discriminated against” and their leftist enablers will no doubt propagate that myth.

    The Israelis are already implementing this approach and they are basically in low intensity war with its Muslim population, the civilian populations of Europe need to become more aggressive in repudiating the islamization of the continent plain and simple..

    I leave it up to the imagination of the reader of what I mean by “aggressive”..

  11. Given that, in Ann Coulter’s words, ‘Muslim’ is a description of the suspect, the criminalisation of Islam as such has to be considered.

  12. Europe has long persuaded itself that it is not the target of Islamic terrorism.
    This is more or less what European leaders truly think of the situation:

    “Those pesky Jews who are not willing to surrender their country to the Palestinians?
    Those annoying Americans who keep a military presence worldwide?
    THEY deserve to be blown to bits.
    But WE? WE???
    We Europeans are better than them. We are moral and enlightened people and therefore we DESERVE to live in peace.
    If Islamic terrorists are detonating themselves in the streets of our cities, it must be some kind of a MISTAKE. Undoubtedly they were only targeting Jews or Americans, and innocent Europeans got killed by accident.
    Therefore the only reasonable course of action is to lecture Israel once more about “the occupation”, and to criticize the American involvement in the middle east. anything other than that would be less-than-enlightened, and shall not be allowed”.

    Vote them out already!

  13. War? You can call it “Fred” for all the difference it will make to the Political elite. Before anything can be achieved, they must be removed from office.

    • That *is* what the Swedish call it!

      (For those too lazy to use Google Translate, ‘fred’ is the Swedish word for peace.)

  14. The three recommendations mentioned in the essay will not cut it. The flaw is that they proscribe ongoing extreme measures in order to control the savages and minimize the damage they do. This is not a solution. Islam is incompatible with the West and the only rationAl solution is separation of Islamic people from western society.
    That means deportation of Muslims back to their countries of origin.

  15. I think it will take many more of these ‘terror attacks’ to wake people up to reality!!

  16. Marxist Govts throughout Europe declared war on their own citizens a long time ago, for undisclosed reasons. 3rd world immigrants, human WMDs, are their weapon of choice. They thought that the immigrants would be easy to control; they were deluded. Like Frankenstein, the monster they created is out of control and threatens to destroy us all.

  17. One thing that should be done immediately: the West must stop all support to any sort of Syrian opposition and support Bashar Assad instead. If not militarily, at least, morally and financially. More assistance should be given to displaced persons and other war victims inside Syria. This might help stem the flow of refugees. More assistance should be given to Syrian refugees inside Jordan and Lebanon.

    The West must also support all the remaining secular regimes in Muslim countries and forget about “democratic oppositions” there. There can be no democracy in an Islamic country, so let us cooperate with secular kings and dictators.

    The West must officially recognise and denounce the current genocide of Christians, Yezidis and other religious minorities by Islamists. Non-Muslim refugees inside Western countries should be separated and protected from Muslim ones.

    The West should stop its idiotic anti-Russian campaign and begin to cooperate with Russia in fighting Islamic terrorism. They should also try to enhance cooperation in this field with China, India and every country suffering from Islamic terrorism.

    This, of course, will not undo the harm done by the West in Iraq, Libya and other countries. But this might help.

    • Precisely.

      Merkel is maddening because she duplicitously says “European values” require these “asylum seekers” to be welcomed. NEVER does she address sealing the Turkish border, ceasing the attacks on Assad, cooperating with him, or dealing with DPs more efficiently where they are. There are secure areas in Syria where they can be cared for.

      No. The ONLY solution is to keep borders open, bribe Erdogan, set up massive immigration to Europe of Turks, accelerate admission of Turkey to the EU, attack Assad, and bring millions of savages to Europe.

      It’s what she doesn’t mention that makes her so dishonest.

  18. Nicolaus Fest: “…Do we really need an attack with nuclear or chemical materials to recognize the threat? Must the Petersdom (cathedral) be lying in ash and rubble, must the works of Dürer, van Gogh or Michelangelo be destroyed for the West to wake up?”

    Answer: Yes, something like that, something that causes uprising, that causes the people to take the law into their own hands – demos critos.

    NF says further: “…Third, extinguishing terrorist cells through use of special forces or the military. Germans, too, will have to learn asymmetric warfare …”

    This statement is somewhat perplexing. The German army is at it for years. Much to the dismay of the German establishment. They are practicing insurgency and counterinsurgency warfare for years. Even neglecting parts of the conventional warfare requirements. Gearing up for essentially such war in Germany, though, proclaiming it’s for overseas. Equipment is acquired for such activity, training is geared towards its implementation. Neglecting other areas. Establishment proclaimed it to be a waste of money and resources – the continued regardless. Fortunately.

    The so called ‘Afghanistan Connection’, see here (in German):
    and also:

  19. Like many of us the enlightened, I am sick and repulsed by the ‘teddy bears’, candles, flowers, hand wringing and the lame lip service from academia, the MSM, the political class, and the religious leaders calling for calm and ‘understanding’. If we acted like this 75 yrs. ago we would all be speaking German or Japanese.

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