Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Blowback

Glenn Reynold writing at MSNBC wonders aloud whether a public opinion tipping point has been reached in the war on terror. But it's not the tipping point you think.

With the Cartoon Wars giving way to the ports imbroglio, Jim Geraghty, blogging from Turkey, wonders if we're seeing a tipping point in Western attitudes toward Islam. Geraghty collects a lot of quotes, and writes of "my sense that in recent weeks, a large chunk of Americans just decided that they no longer have any faith in the good sense or non-hostile nature of the Muslim world. If subsequent polls find similar results, the port deal is dead."

One of the keystones of President Bush's strategy has been to distinguish very carefully between Islam, the religion of peace, the mass of whose adherents we want on our side, and extremists with whom we are really at war. Geraghty is suggesting that public opinion now sees the clash as one of a more general nature: between "us" and "them". Although no one is suggesting the West is yet at war with Islam, twelve public figures have issued a Manifesto calling "Islamism" the new totalitarian threat of our time. Atlas Shrugs has the text of the declaration which says in part:

After having overcome fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism, the world now faces a new totalitarian global threat: Islamism.

We, writers, journalists, intellectuals, call for resistance to religious totalitarianism and for the promotion of freedom, equal opportunity and secular values for all.

The recent events, which occurred after the publication of drawings of Muhammed in European newspapers, have revealed the necessity of the struggle for these universal values. This struggle will not be won by arms, but in the ideological field. It is not a clash of civilisations nor an antagonism of West and East that we are witnessing, but a global struggle that confronts democrats and theocrats.

The Manifesto has been signed by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Chahla Chafiq, Caroline Fourest, Bernard-Henri Lévy, Irshad Manji, Mehdi Mozaffari, Maryam Namazie, Taslima Nasreen, Salman Rushdie, Antoine Sfeir, Philippe Val, Ibn Warraq.

This represents a substantial -- but not a total -- departure from the strategic idea of treating Islam as a religion of peace and focusing on a narrow group of miscreants within it as the true enemy. The Manifesto shifts the definition of the enemy from a group of people to an ideology. If Jim Geraghty is right the threat to the President's original strategic focus comes not from a single party or even from the his traditional opponents on the Left, but a kind of populist mood swing engendered by a cumulative disenchantment.

Gateway Pundit points to a new ad campaign being undertaken in Poland by an organization called the "Foundation of St. Benedictus" which calls attention to ordinary men and women being killed for religious reasons all over the world by a militant Islam. They are plastering posters on Polish public transportation. Some examples are shown below.

George Shahata, thirteen years old, killed by Muslims in Egypt

Nache Achi was killed by Muslim fundamentalists in Africa.

The Cartoon Wars are not dead; they are just mutating in form at an increasing rate.

Commentary

If the Left had not been so relentlessly politically correct it might have been able to shape the debate according to its avowed (or should I say "so-called") principles. But they gave that chance up in exchange for the cheap thrill of anti-Americanism. Now even they find themselves decrying the Dubai Ports World deal because -- although they will never put it that way -- President Bush is a fool to trust these people with the gateway into America. They may even be conscious of the tightening of the logical rope around their necks even as they pull on it. But though they've hit bottom they keep digging. The New York Times has announced that it will sue the DOD to force the federal government agency to turn over classified material in connection with its NSA surveillance stories. At one level they may think this is clever, but strategically it is (in my opinion) very, very stupid.

Time will tell whether the war on terror remains within the bounds of limited confrontation with rogue elements within the "religion of peace" or whether -- due to some conceptual fault in the campaign or the persistent obstruction by the politically correct -- it morphs into a more general confrontation between belief systems and civilizations.

87 Comments:

Blogger For Freedom said...

Damn right Americans are reaching a tipping point !

One thing Americans hate is odious odium.

The back-stabbing Fifth Column of muslims throughout North America and even more in Europe, who find they can justify the increasing tempo of their brutal cousin's hate-crimes, are always ready to turn against their host countrymen, even in the case of a generous country like Denmark.

The Über-Faith is acting according to their plan, their "Project" to conquer, subjugate and destroy religious freedom and freedom in general.

One can only hope that muslim hubris, which can't help but continue to push the envelope of brutal assaults and ugly hate-crimes everywhere in the world, should awaken all of those who are still asleep and do not see the danger of this odious totalitarian cult.

2/28/2006 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger Sonspot said...

I think there is a fatigue factor in the west. Many are growing tired of trying to separate wheat from chaff when it comes to Islam.

2/28/2006 07:23:00 PM  
Blogger GB-Arg said...

The West's critical mass seems to be just about reached in having enough of Islam. Not Islamicists, not Islamofascists, but Islam. The red mask has fallen, and the face of an ideology of death is showing. The outcome is not certain, and the next stage will be bloodier than the one we're in now.

I'm betting, and hoping, the West can pull through.

2/28/2006 07:24:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I am seeing discussions on the definition of "evil", whether evil exists, and if it does, does Islam fit that definition.

In order to be considered "evil", wouldn't you have to be acting with malice aforethought? Generally, the Nazi's are considered to have been evil, because they were TRYING to obliterate a whole race of innocent people. It wasn't just a mistake that they stumbled into.

Given that as a criteria, it seems to me that the Danish imam's who decided the cartoons weren't causing enough of a ruckus, and went on a tour of the Middle East to show them to other imam's and mullah's to try to stir up more outrage -- that seems to me to fit the criteria of malice aforethought.

And *then*, when you add the fact that they took three fake cartoons with them that they had dummied up just for the purpose and which hadn't even been published ... then THAT is Evil.

Those imams and what they did is evil, and any -ism that they are spouting must necessarily also be evil.

You see further malice in the resulting riots and threats and hurled incriminations. And whether we want to attribute that malice to the governments who encouraged the rioting, or to the idiots in the streets who allowed themselves to be manipulated is really not terribly important. From a tipping-point perspective, suffice it to say, the whole kit & caboodle of them appear to be evil.

2/28/2006 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger Dublin Saab said...

Imagine a large family in a small town. The family has one bad apple who is always breaking the law and causing problems for the other residents of the town. While the bad apple is creating havoc the other members of the family choose to ignore the actions of the bad apple saying that their family is a good family. The town council constantly makes excuses for the bad apple, while the local paper attack the Sheriff for trying to arrest the bad apple on “tempted up charges”.

Now while the analogy may not be perfect the question is; how long until the towns folk start to hate everyone in the family and attempt a lynching?

It could very well be that the actions of the NTY and fellow travelers will, in the end, give the west a “shoot them all and let God short them out” attitude that the hawks on the right could never have installed on their own.

2/28/2006 07:33:00 PM  
Blogger Cornelius said...

Dublin,

I think that analogy is a bit off. Rather imagine a family whose creed is one of superiority and submission. Now imagine that some of the family members take that creed to the extreme while most are rather moderate about it. Either way the creed still exists. And that's the problem.

I came to the conclusion a while ago that Islam is an inherently anti-American idea, and as such would leave a bad taste in most American's mouths. It espouses inequality, arrogance, and violence along with its ideas of compassion and justice( but only if your Muslim! ).

Glenn may focus on the actions of Muslims, but Americans, as slow as we are, always dig to what drives people, and the only logical conclusion is Islam.

2/28/2006 07:44:00 PM  
Blogger Logical Son said...

sonspot said:
"Many are growing tired of trying to separate wheat from chaff when it comes to Islam. "

To paraphrase Clara Peller: "Where's the wheat?"

Looks like Michael Totten has found some in Kurdistan, but there seems to be precious little anywhere else.

2/28/2006 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

If the Dems (and Suzie Collins) keep the "Port" issue in it's present phoney form on the table until the elections, are VOTERS so gullible as to believe we would be safer handing our security to the
Party of Sitzpicklers?
If talk Radio, Blogs, and some media keep getting the facts out, I think not.

2/28/2006 07:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Correction:
"Party of Sitzpinklers"

2/28/2006 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger snowonpine said...

If a minority of those in Islam are terrorists but the majority in Islam helps them, hides and finances them and makes no real protest about their terrorism, then the silent majority are just as guilty as the terrorists themselves and Islam as a whole is, indeed, the enemy.

2/28/2006 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger orlandoslug said...

If we mistakenly demand secularism, instead of freedom of religion, we will only deepen the chasm.
We need to show a little finesse; instruct, not insult.
If progressive minded moslems are starting to come out of the woodwork then we have reached the tipping point we've been striving for...we need to stay the course; no need to change a winning game plan in the second half.

2/28/2006 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger For Freedom said...

Damn right, Americans are reaching a tipping point!!

And if you want to learn more about Islam from a historical perspective, read this guy:

Bruce Thornton's recent article at Victor Hanson's website

And if you want to read more about what the Muslim Brotherhood has in store for all you non-muslims, read this guy:

The Cartoon Jihad

All of this stuff is so odious, smelly and vile, you just want to wash it off. It makes you want to never learn history.

2/28/2006 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger Soldier's Dad said...

There needs to be a fundamental discussion in Europe and the US about what values we hold dear.

This is a natural progression. Radical Islam has been probing for years. Just as the radical left has been probing.

I put up with my youthful neighbors all night parties for a long time. It just wasn't worth the confrontation. Since I declared war...he has decided that he doesn't enjoy Bing Crosby at 3 AM and we should be more respectful of each other.

Islam is no different.

2/28/2006 08:06:00 PM  
Blogger Dublin Saab said...

Cornelius,

Yes, that is a good point to add. I failed to mention their belief that it's God's will they take the whole town over.

2/28/2006 08:17:00 PM  
Blogger orlandoslug said...

I think we'll be successful if we stick to freedom of religion and separation of church & state...the Iranian cityzens know that as truth and once we flip them, the rest will fall into place...

2/28/2006 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger TigerHawk said...

This idea that we are at war with an ideology is crucial to victory in the wider war. The astonishing thing is how long it has taken analysts to come to this idea.

I have, however, recently read two books that examine the significance of ideology, Mary Habeck's Knowing the Enemy: Jihadist Ideology and the War on Terror, and The Next Attack by Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon. Habeck's is an intellectual history, tracing the roots of jihadi ideology back more than 300 years. Benjamin and Simon focus on recent jihadi writings. Both agree that it is essential that we -- and more importantly Arabs and Muslims -- discredit the jihadi ideology (as I proposed in some detail in the linked post above). Interestingly, they propose very different recommendations about the best way to go about this. The two books in tandem therefore beg the central question: how do we discredit an ideology?

The good news is that we have done it before -- ultimately, victory on the Cold War derived from the collapse of the credibility of communism as an ideology. The bad news, obviously, is that it took an awfully long time to win that victory.

2/28/2006 08:20:00 PM  
Blogger rich said...

The manifesto may be consistent with Bush's religion of peace/Islamofacist distinction if political Islam is equivalent to Islamofascism.

The intent of the manifesto may be to rally religious Islam to oppose political Islam.

The signers of the manifesto are brave indeed. I hope that they will suceed in their endeavor.

2/28/2006 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

tigerhawk 8:20,
More good news:
All we had for the Cold War were the MSM and a few isolated token conservative word-warriors.
And Eastern Europe instead of being beneath the wheel, is ahead of the pack, judging by Poland.

2/28/2006 08:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"The signers of the manifesto are brave indeed."
---
Amen

2/28/2006 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Vice President's Remarks at the 46th Annual American Legion Conference:

In April of 2003, during the campaign to liberate Iraq, a task force led by Sergeant Paul Ray Smith came under surprise attack in Baghdad by a company-sized force of Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard. Under constant enemy fire, with his unit pinned down and a number of men wounded, Sergeant Smith climbed onto a damaged armored vehicle and manned a 50-caliber machine gun -- all the while in a completely exposed position.

Sergeant Smith remained in that spot, subjecting himself to greater danger than the Army or the country could ever ask, firing incessantly at the enemy until he took a fatal round to the head. After the firefight, the Army concluded that this one soldier had personally killed as many as 50 of the Republican Guard, and saved the lives of more than 100 other Americans.

Vice President's Remarks

2/28/2006 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

I'm proud to stand in solidarity with these brave people. It's time we stand up to being held hostage by Islam and we are tired of the so-called 'moderate' Muslims not standing up to the radicals.

This is a wonderful step towards stopping all this insanity!

2/28/2006 08:55:00 PM  
Blogger rhhardin said...

W.F.Buckley still gets off a good line every couple of months (October 2005)

``The moment has not come, but it is around the corner, when non-Muslims will reasonably demand to have evidence that the Muslim faith can operate within boundaries in which Christians and Jews (and many non-believers) live and work without unconstitutional distraction.''

http://www.nationalreview.com/buckley/wfb200510211621.asp

2/28/2006 09:38:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

It is heartening to see the intelligentsia begin to catch up to the common sense of the military establishment--which has known an attack when it sees one, from the get-go.

As far as the NYTimes suit against the DoD, I don't know about you, but I'm getting seriously concerned about this paper's siding with an extremely dangerous enemy.

2/28/2006 09:45:00 PM  
Blogger gdude said...

orlandoslug said...
"If we mistakenly demand secularism, instead of freedom of religion, we will only deepen the chasm."

This is the crux of the issue for the West. Our own liberal Elites would have us give up all religion in the name of Applied Science and Democracy (i.e, there is no God, only matter in motion; ergo, all religion is false). The end of this thinking is Society without Borders (multi-culti . . . the U.N.) In this, they are convergent with Islam, which also seeks a One (Islamic) World governance. At worst, let's hope the West is awakened by the smelling salt of the terrorist element of Islam enough to fight for it's own continued existence. At best, maybe we can actually experience our own re-direction from the materialist trajectory the West is on.

I wonder if this is what it felt like in Europe in the early part of the last century. Sure does feel like there are much darker days ahead.

2/28/2006 09:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/28/2006 09:55:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

I agree with rich's assessment that the Manifesto is consistent with Bush's distinction of the radical Elite Fascist Islam.

It appears that upper scale "clerics" and Islamic Financiers/Politicians have formed a totalitarian control mechanism. They support each other.

These upscale Financiers and "clerics" are sending some poor smuck to explode in a market place while protecting their own children. And, if they feel generous they will pass a few dollars to the poor family of the suicide bomber. Make no mistake, they would never let their kids strap on a bomb vest.

I think there is a very ugly financial aspect to this Islamofascism. I suspect that a lot of upscale Islamic "clerics" and Financiers are intoxicated with their vast oil wealth. This causes them to act without any restraint - like some puffed-up belligerent bully. Their intoxication with wealth insulates them from rational actions and pain. Further, their ability to control the MSM gives them strength.

The best way to sober them up is to shut of money spigot (barring an all out World War). Turning off the money faucet will not be easy given the West's need for light sweet crude oil - but it can be done.

Bush has proposed steps to become less energy dependent of the Middle East. I think it a good first step but much more needs to be done. I think it will turn into an economic war.

The real problem is time. Do we have the time?

If not, then it will probably require both economic war and military war. I would think the best scenario would the starving them till they collapse like the USSR. The worst case scenario would be all out military war. Now, it might be some combination of the two.

2/28/2006 09:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

re:
"The common sense of the military:"
Evidently when it comes to secret clearances, "don't ask, don't tell" becomes Do Tell for the purposes of security, although no doubt flaunting public displays so popular these days are not smiled upon.
Upshot being that if you tell the truth, they figure it is not a security issue as was being in the closet.
Problem Solved.
...and I'd bet my life that the average gay in the closet 40 years ago was healthier than the exhibitionists and gender bender Nazis of today.

2/28/2006 09:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Would that our "Civil" Society was half as civil.

2/28/2006 09:58:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"seriously concerned about this paper's siding with an extremely dangerous enemy."
---
Actually, they're siding with all our enemies and all future enemies, since our security measures are outed for all to see.

2/28/2006 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

Being realistic about Islam is important, but realize we have friends and allies fighting and dying in Islamic countries across the world to defeat Al Qaeda. We must respect and honor these allies.
I have met them in Afghanistan, Al Qaeda is a dead issue there. Afghans have made a choice and came down on our side of the future showing their ink stained hands to prove it. The true issues there are drugs and corruption, not Al Qaeda.
Wahabi extremism and Saudi money have set a course of confrontation that is driven by Saudi and Wahabi political needs. Other countries and societies have different needs and histories. Beware of lumping them all together.
All in all we have done well, even though our own left is constantly undermining our efforts and denegrating our allies.
Think clearly and honor our friends and allies and we will win this war.

2/28/2006 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger gdude said...

rob said...
"Other countries and societies have different needs and histories. Beware of lumping them all together."

Exactly. So let's be clear that we're okay with them having their territory -- over there. It's okay for us to reject Islam in the West.

2/28/2006 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

How to discredit an ideology? I think if we could discredit the Tranzis, Islam will have to retreat. The Tranzis aren't even a weak wall; they're a wide-open gate.

2/28/2006 10:25:00 PM  
Blogger geoffgo said...

The new feminist bumper sticker:

Islam - Free your slaves!

/not

2/28/2006 10:31:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

...we have friends and allies fighting and dying in Islamic countries across the world to defeat Al Qaeda.

An issue for me is I do not see "friends and allies" among Muslims in our own country who call themselves Americans, too. What I *do* see is CAIR and all the different campus Muslim youth societies doing their damndest to trample freedom of speech, to demonize Israel, and to browbeat the rest of us into submission with wild tales of arrests and torture of innocents among us.

Oh, and I also see -- still -- lots and lots of "charitable" Muslim giving filtering its way across the ocean to buy dynamite belts and backpacks for suicide jihadists.

And it may make me a bad American and racist, but I refuse to "respect and honor" that among American Muslims who are enjoying our lifestyle because some Muslims in Afghanistan are fighting for a better life *there*.

2/28/2006 10:36:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Buddy,

Concerning the NYT suit, I'm with you. Demanding the names of the people being tapped - mindboggling.

2/28/2006 10:36:00 PM  
Blogger geoffgo said...

Well, it seems the Islamists have a head start; they have tens of millions of potential activists/ agents/rabblerousers in the West, and we have very few on the ground in the Islamic countries.

What havoc will they be called upon to wreak, when we take action against Iran? Carbeques are not an "offing offense" in the West, yet.

2/28/2006 10:37:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

They're playing with fire, Sam. As wretchard was saying, the danger of "Weimarization" is real, and the behavior of NYTimes and a few other Tranzi power-centers are the weimarizers (to coin a word) -- discrediting the government and the war-effort with twists, half-truths, manipulations and outright fraud, agitating and hardening a rapidly-growing factionalism, and generally riding roughshod over our history and institutions.

2/28/2006 10:54:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Walter Duranty did enormous damage to global human rights shilling the USSR from his NYTimes perch, and the paper was no more apologetic or even admitting of error then than it will ever be now, for fueling and heartening the jihad against the West.

Even Stanley Kubrick (in "Dr Strangelove") had his Russian ambassador tell the president, in the war-room in the last moments before the end of the world, that the USSR had developed the Doomsday Bomb due to reports in the NYTimes that the USA already had one. Which it didn't.

Nobody was farther left than Kubrick, but even he knew that lying could be the death of us all.

2/28/2006 11:10:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

No one DEMANDS that we investigate the life, teachings and institutions created by The Glory of God, Baha'u'llah!

But when we DO, we find such an adherence to reality, such commitment to truth, such every-day living out of "Let deeds, not words be your adorning," and we see such selfless devotion and continued sacrificial giving by Baha'is throughout history and around the world, that the contrast with Islam is diametric!

The light shining off The Faith of Light isn't some trumped up hype, it stands the glare of historic scrutiny!

Islam is dead, transformed by the One promised by Islamic traditions and prophecies; Christian and Jewish and Buddhist and Hindu prophecies: The Lord of Host, the Glory of God.

2/28/2006 11:17:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

The magic runes are writ in gold
To bring the balance back
The dark lord rides in force tonight
And time will tell us all


/not Tolkien, but close enough.

2/28/2006 11:21:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Karradine, your writing as always is lovely, and your CV--lately reporting while working in the medical tents in the dead zone in the first days after the tsunami, give you great personal authority. But you have yet to tell the story of this prophet, or demi-god, or god, or why the religion is illegal in some parts of Islam, or who this being was (is?), or why his teachings are different than the other prophets. So, what gives, where's the link to "Baha'u'llah for Dummies"?

2/28/2006 11:35:00 PM  
Blogger For Freedom said...

Anyone who recently watched TV interviews or discussions that included the muslim apologists, most recently on the subject of the Danish cartoon satire, is struck by the following observation:

The muslims invited by the media to these talking-head sessions will endlessly spew forth one illogical rant after another. They are superficially brilliant in their ability to generate vacuous non-sequiturs and spin around the mental mulberry bush like out-of-control washing machines.

Their command of English is not so impressive as their ability to generate words strung together without true meaning, but which fit together always as a jigsaw puzzle the one thing which they always need to repeat: excuses, excuses, excuses.

Whenever these Fifth Column muslims are confronted with the brutal, undeniable hate-crimes of Islamists, they will make every effort to weasel out and deflect the discussion ... and the mainstream media often allows them to get away with it.

Under the stare of the TV cameras, the heavy-hitting questions are rarely asked of our Fifth Column muslim apologists, but they should be - and if they were, the answers would be revealing - questions such as:

Where does your loyalty reside? - is it the Nation that you have adopted, that has sheltered you? that you live in? or is it an alien movement, with foreign leaders, under cover of religion?

Can a Buddhist Temple, a Christian Church, a Jewish Synagogue or a Hindu Temple be built in Mecca?

Why should others be tolerant of a religion whose ultimate goal is the domination of others and the establishment of intolerance or submission for the others?

More piercing questions to be asked.

2/28/2006 11:43:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Scratch that post, Karridine, there's plenty here.

I was confusing Bahai with Zoroastrianism--the "fire-eaters" that Saddam made so much fun of.

2/28/2006 11:48:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

FF, re your post:

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt, 1907

2/28/2006 11:54:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Beginning to think that things will need to get much worse before they ever get better. This problem is so big that it can't big fixed until even the most clueless can't deny there's one.

Invading Germany in 1938 makes sense in hindsight, but it also would have provoked a conflict that may or may not been won, invited Soviet encroachment of Eastern Europe, and any number of alternate endings we cannot conceive of.

With only half of the Allied populations awake to the threat, and even less willing to deal with it, it might have been an disaster, even considering the later bloodshed. We could have lost. Western Europe could have faced a victorious Soviet Union absent the steel forged by World War II.

I think the biggest sin of Operation Iraqi Freedom was that it came too soon. Visionaries can be destructive if they come too far ahead of their time. The question today is whether the train has now jumped too far from the tracks, or whether it can eventually be put back on course after the eventual earthquake comes. I worry that our perception of the threat [limited as it was] only set the groundwork for blaming the next big attack on America.

2/28/2006 11:56:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Bin Laden, by the book:

Book-length profiles of al-Qaida include:

— “Through Our Enemies’ Eyes” (Potomac Books) by former CIA bin Laden unit chief Michael Scheuer (writing as Anonymous) and Peter Bergen’s “Holy War Inc.” (Touchstone).

— Bruce Hoffman’s “Inside Terrorism” (Columbia University Press) is still probably the best general treatment of terrorism.

— “The War for Muslim Minds: Islam and the West” (Harvard University Press), by Gilles Kepel, offers a leading European scholar’s perspective on the evolving shape of jihadism.

— The first part of “The Age of Sacred Terror” (Random House) by Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon traces the ideological roots and modern evolution of Sunni jihadism.

— “The Muslim World After 9/11,” a new volume from Rand, is a useful compendium on how changed perspectives after that event have affected many issues throughout the Muslim world.

Bin Laden

2/28/2006 11:57:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Except for the vast amount of evidence that nothing really matters to the infected but their disease. Beginning with OBL's (1996?) lengthy, detailed nazi-toned grand declaration of war upon us.

3/01/2006 12:00:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"The good news is that we have done it before -- ultimately, victory on the Cold War derived from the collapse of the credibility of communism as an ideology. The bad news, obviously, is that it took an awfully long time to win that victory."

The other bad news is that the discredit of Communism [at least as an open, concert ideology] took the actual imposition of Communism, and so spectacular a failure that even the worst apologists were often left breathless.

Had Communism never been instituted in so many countries, and failed so bloodily and spectacularly, we'd still be fighting the ideology openly.

A number of people have suggested a hands off approach to the situation, let them deal with their own consequences. Secular-pan Arabism discredited itself, Khomeini's fundamentalism discredited itself in Iran, perhaps the answer is letting Pakistan and Saudi Arabia stew in the misery that came about through their own action and inaction. In the meantime, cut off immigration from the Muslim world, and seize the oil fields if necessary.

3/01/2006 12:03:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Removing the oil curse would pull Islam up out of Hell. Would take some doing to allocate fairly, but the justification is there, if the staus quo is plunging the world into terminal wars. Self-preservation is a human right, if there is a human right.

3/01/2006 12:07:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"Visionaries can be destructive if they come too far ahead of their time.

It can also have unfortunate consequences for said visionaries. The Pythagorean who discovered irrational numbers was taken into the middle of a nearby lake in a boat and drowned.

3/01/2006 12:10:00 AM  
Blogger J. Peden said...

By virtue of the MSM backing down in the face of threats made in the name of Islam against its free speech/press function and duty to inform, on the justification that it does not want to offend the Islamic Religion, isn't it also saying that Islam itself is the mortal enemy of all freedom? [As well as surrendering its role?]

Dumb move.

3/01/2006 12:22:00 AM  
Blogger sam said...

I think the biggest sin of Operation Iraqi Freedom was that it came too soon.

14 resolutions? Saddam giving financial aid to suicide bombers? The eventual lifting of sanctions that would've allowed Saddam to re-arm? An assassination attempt on a president? By 'too soon' are you advocating wait until we get hit again?

No, if anything it came too late. This should've been taken care of in '91. Before AQ grew in popularity and while it's power-base was relatively small. Any attack on America will be blamed on America. As crazy as that sounds. You're damned if you do and damned if you don't. But still, we're going to win this thing. It's just going to be a little tought than if it was done in '91.

3/01/2006 12:22:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Cutler,

It's not a matter of vision, or reason. It's a matter of will. Will is not dependent on logic. It makes its own logic.

3/01/2006 12:27:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Will is not dependent on logic. It makes its own logic. As does lack of will.

3/01/2006 12:36:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

gdude, 9:52
I share your concerns. I’ve noticed things headed in that direction.

***********************************
Fear and Hatred, the two brothers of death and chaos,
must be controlled. Kept in check with reason, logic, facts and Truth.

No good can come from attacking Islam and totally alienating one billion people. Islam must be reformed from the inside out. We should encourage that reformation, or at the very least show them that there is a way out.

Western cultures would do well to retreat from their hell-bent rush into the decadence of secular hedonism with its attendant array of justifying 'isms.' These proclivities are offensive to more than just Muslims.

Is either one going to happen? Not if we keep going the way we are now.

3/01/2006 12:37:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Whit, we may through with God, but God may not be through with us.

3/01/2006 12:41:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Bud,

Perhaps we should offer his priests back to him as burt offering. A token of appreciation.

3/01/2006 12:49:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

I think the biggest sin of Operation Iraqi Freedom was that it came too soon.

"14 resolutions? Saddam giving financial aid to suicide bombers? The eventual lifting of sanctions that would've allowed Saddam to re-arm? An assassination attempt on a president? By 'too soon' are you advocating wait until we get hit again?

No, if anything it came too late. This should've been taken care of in '91. Before AQ grew in popularity and while it's power-base was relatively small. Any attack on America will be blamed on America. As crazy as that sounds. You're damned if you do and damned if you don't. But still, we're going to win this thing. It's just going to be a little tought than if it was done in '91."


UN resolutions might as well be toilet paper so far as I'm concerned. No, scratch that - toilet paper is intrinsically useful, UN resolutions less so, even hurtful.

The removal of Saddam Hussein was an end of Operation Iraqi Freedom, but not the only end. If so, we'd have left, to the pleasure of Desert Rat. No, it wasn't even the most important end, that was the implementation of something better - for that was the posited potential solution to millions of fanatically anti-American Muslims and their vehicle to get at us.

Now, if it all works out, I'll be ecstatic. But if it doesn't, then I suspect that will have required of everything, more will, luck, indigenous human capital (there's only so much we can do), more material, and more sacrifice. And I don't think we're not there yet, if post-modern America and Europe can get there.

3/01/2006 12:52:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/01/2006 12:53:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/01/2006 12:54:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/01/2006 12:55:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Sorry for the above, my ISP messed up:

"Now, if it all works out, I'll be ecstatic. But if it doesn't, then I suspect that will have required more of everything, more will, luck, indigenous human capital (there's only so much we can do), more material, and more sacrifice. And I don't think there yet, if post-modern America and Europe can still get there."

3/01/2006 12:56:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Mika, please, no schisms in the JudaoChristian front, at least until we have turned back the Moors.

3/01/2006 01:00:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Bud,

You know I'm an equal opportunity hater. When I say "priests" I don't mean that to relate exclusively to Christianity. I include the Dali Lamas and the Lubavichers and all the rest of them in there as well.

3/01/2006 01:11:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Brownsville, Texas, down at the southern tip where the Rio Grande empties into the Gulf of Mexico, has a sister city on the other side of the river, in Old Mexico, named Matamoros. In English, "Kill Moors". The Spaniards who founded the city were veterans of the Moor wars, and apparently had strong opinions. Against such as that, though, is Homer himself, who in his seminal work of western literature, The Ilead, is sympathetic to the Trojans, even making Hector the most dutiful and least headstrong of the warriors on both sides. The Trojans were considered by the Persian invaders of pre-hellenic Greece to've been the Persian ancestors--while Homer's Greeks were considered by Alexander to've been HIS ancestors.

Point, this is THE ancient war between the civilizations. Not that it shouldn't be contained if possible, but that the recorded history of civilization dates far back into the Bronze Age, and begins with this very war.

3/01/2006 01:21:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

In a way, Islam was designed to fight this war. The Bedouins already had our schema--JudaoChristianity--in hand.

Mika, I knew what you meant, but to many Protestants, only Catholics have priests (you'll pick up the nuances once you settle into Philly). Philly cheesesteak, mmm, boy!

3/01/2006 01:31:00 AM  
Blogger sam said...

You know, the most optimistic part of this whole thing that I can't get out of my head is that some of those heroes fighting this fight - the young, noble, tough, fearless, and compassionate men and women - will be our future leaders.

America is in good hands.

3/01/2006 01:56:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Buddy 1:21 AM,
I see no reason for bringing up the Simpsons again in that comment simply because you got praise for such commentary before.

3/01/2006 04:19:00 AM  
Blogger GB-Arg said...

ledger said... I think there is a very ugly financial aspect to this Islamofascism. I suspect that a lot of upscale Islamic "clerics" and Financiers are intoxicated with their vast oil wealth. This causes them to act without any restraint - like some puffed-up belligerent bully. Their intoxication with wealth insulates them from rational actions and pain. Further, their ability to control the MSM gives them strength.

Hmmm . . . did Lurch Kerry and Swimmer Kennedy spring to your mind at these words?

3/01/2006 04:21:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The posts 12:41 AM thru 12:52 AM are some of the most poorly proofread I have ever had the displeasure of reading.

Please show some Self-Respect, even if you have to put on an act.

3/01/2006 04:24:00 AM  
Blogger Alexandra said...

TigerHawk et al

One of my commenters is a Professor of Islamic Medieval History who provided me with a fascinating essay on the roots and traditions of Jihad.

Once we understand the background of this core Islamic doctrine, there is no turning back. As the blogosphere reaches more and more readers, I sincerely believe that we are all, bloggers, commenters and readers alike, contributing to the pushback against the agenda driven MSM.

All Things Beautiful TrackBack The Manifesto Against The New Islamic Totalitarianism:

3/01/2006 04:30:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

buddy:
Interesting about Matamoros. I used to 'walk accross' and go to a little place called the Drive-In.

This is a clash of civilizations and perhaps something more. The ideologies that have evolved through the filters of time are still at odds.

It is, however, at least in the democratic West, still a personal choice as to which ideology we decide to adopt.

I'm afraid many on the left are succumbing to an ideology submissive to the fear of Islam rather than the fear of God.

3/01/2006 06:01:00 AM  
Blogger dchamil said...

If you keep out nine good Muslims and one bad Muslim, you have kept out one bad Muslim!

3/01/2006 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger Wanda said...

Going back to Geraghty's comments and Wretchard's followup, I think that if this shift in Western opinion is happening (and I think it is) much more than just the ports deal is dead. President Bush is in imminent danger of finding himself left behind by the American people, and he doesn't seem to realize it. He could soon be in the same position as the leaders and spokesmen of the EU - a font of noble-sounding platitudes and maxims that nobody pays attention to anymore. Meanwhile, he will have lost his ability to sway his own people's hearts and minds, because he invested everything in the cause of winning the enemy's hearts and minds. All the emphasis has been on persuading Muslims to change; how was it possible that nobody thought that WE might change too? That never entered into the calculations; it always seemed to be a given that the West would be eternally patient, open, and willing to woo the reluctant Muslim world. But while President Bush has been anxiously hovering over his delicate Islamic plant, watching for any promising little green shoot that might repay all his efforts, behind him his own garden has changed into a dangerous, bristling jungle. When he finally turns around, he won't know where he is anymore.

3/01/2006 06:58:00 AM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

This topic resonates with me. I cannot help my gradual turn towards a hatred and revulsion of Islam. I didn't start out that way; I thought Islam was peaceful and had been hijacked by evil, just like President Bush contends.

Now I am in the same boat as my grandmother, who would not buy any Japanese product or even ride in a Japanese made car. She was revolted by anyone with Asian features. When I see someone in Muslim garb I am not just disturbed; I feel like gagging.

This is what war does to you. I have no anger towards Japanese and I hope my grandkids have no enmity towards Muslims. After we turn Mecca into glass and make them bow their heads to us in absolute submission, that is...

3/01/2006 07:25:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Wanda, wow--imagery is startling--

3/01/2006 07:53:00 AM  
Blogger Bigger Diggler said...

"No good can come from attacking Islam and totally alienating one billion people."

Totally Alienating them, I agree, if you attack them hoping for a half-measured DMZ, perpetual UN Peacekeeper fraud/freakshow as the outcome. However, attacking Islam with the specific intent of killing one billion of them seems a more robust, permanent solution to the problem, especially if it leads to the permanent tossing of Islam onto the ashheap of history.

3/01/2006 08:06:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

The only thing that will stop this process is if the majority of Muslims start acting like they care. So far there is no indication that they will; so either they really don't care, or they are too scared. I lean towards the former, as I think that they have been brainwashed to hate the west. And that has been aided by the left in the west. Perhaps if the left wakes up, and starts being honest, it will help the average Muslims to see the truth. But I doubt it.

3/01/2006 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

President Bush is still, for the most part, handling this correctly. If he were to come out and say "Islam is the enemy." he would immediately lose cooperation from a number of very important sources.

3/01/2006 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"The only thing that will stop this process is if the majority of Muslims start acting like they care. So far there is no indication that they will; so either they really don't care, or they are too scared. I lean towards the former, as I think that they have been brainwashed to hate the west. And that has been aided by the left in the west. Perhaps if the left wakes up, and starts being honest, it will help the average Muslims to see the truth. But I doubt it."

This is true, to be sure. However, there's also something to be said that the fault also lies on our side. The Japanese people cared, they just openly sided with their government and current conditions. They were also just as brainwashed. Didn't stop us from imposing our values at gunpoint. We didn't set up elections, and hope that they followed our example; we ran it ourselves until they got the idea that we weren't allowing anything else.

3/01/2006 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger Clyde said...

I've read Jim Geraghty's comments on his blog about a possible "tipping point" against Islam among Americans. I don't think we've really reached it yet, although everything we see from most Muslims of late seems to be pushing Americans away from them in revulsion. As much as we'd like to believe that Muslims are really just like us, way down deep, and just want to be free and make money and give their kids a better life, what we see on television from Muslims is intolerance of free speech and other religions, hatred and violence. Perhaps we are just getting a skewed picture from the MSM, but it's a picture that most Americans do seem to be getting.

The result is that when something like the current Dubai Ports World ports imbroglio occurs, the knee-jerk reaction is "Is he crazy?! Bush wants us to trust our port security to a bunch of Arabs who may or may not want to kill us all?!" And of course, that's not how it really is at all, but that's the way the MSM plays it, and that's what most Americans would hear even if the Grima Wormtongues of the MSM weren't hissing it into their ears.

Right now, it's just a generalized distrust of things Muslim and Arab. If there's another major terrorist attack in this country, however, it could become something far more potent. This is especially true if some crazy Muslim sets off a nuke in an American city, killing tens or hundreds of thousands. If something like that happens, all bets are off, and most Americans will simply say, "Islam delenda est." The first casualties outside of the blast zone would be multiculturalism and political correctness. Let's hope that doesn't occur, for the sake of the world's Muslims, because there would certainly be a lot fewer of them after that. Americans can be ruthless and relentless when wounded. Ask the Japanese.

3/01/2006 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger Joshua said...

The first casualties outside of the blast zone would be multiculturalism and political correctness.

Indeed, I have a sneaking suspicion that once the tipping point is reached, our own hard leftists, including the MSM and academics, will be in an even bigger world of hurt than Muslims, or even the Islamic supremacists themselves. Today the Left cries "McCarthyism" merely for being marginalized and ridiculed. After the tipping point, methinks they'll become branded as outright traitors and start to suffer consequences that would have made Joe McCarthy himself blush.

3/01/2006 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

We can only hope. It would be so righteous if all these 'feel-good on-the-cheap' sunzabitches finally had to own up to the crap they've smeared all over our little blue globe.

3/01/2006 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger dueler88 said...

the GWOT has always been about ideology - it's just that it's much easier for the rank-and-file of both sides to focus the conflict down to simple concepts centered around ethnicity. the United Arab Emirates shouldn't theoretically cause much concern, because they appear to be "arab" before they are "muslim," let alone "islamist." but our preconceptions are difficult to cast aside. you'd think that the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights could wipe away ethnic hatred, but caucasians are still crazed zionists, and "a-rabs" are still crazed islamists. besides, it's easier to target people in your rifle sights when their skin color is different than yours.

the historical track record of similar ideological conflicts does not bode well for a peaceful resolution to the current conflict: redcoats, damn yankees and yanks, rebs, injuns, krauts, japs. now we have sand ranchers and the Great Satan. the two ideologies are too well-entrenched to attempt compromise - either you can determine the meaning of your own existence, or you submit to the will of Allah. the question that will need to be answered is this: can one be allowed to choose *not* to submit to the will of Allah?

dueler88
http://mysandmen.blogspot.com/

3/01/2006 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

It's not our jobs to distinguish between the good muslims and the bad muslims. It's the job of the good muslims to do so. If they don't choose to do so, how can it be our job? We aren't really competent to do that job anyway.

GWB's statements up til now can be paraphrased as "any muslim is a good muslim, unless proven otherwise." Once the tipping point is reached it becomes the opposite "any muslim is a bad muslim, until proven otherwise."

I always figured that GWB's strategy up til now was an opening gambit; "religion of peace, convert them to democracy, blah, blah, blah." We should try to make that work as long as possible to give them every chance and because the alternative is unpleasant. If that doesn't work we move to plan B, aka the third conjecture?

3/01/2006 09:08:00 PM  
Blogger Xanthippas said...

I'm so tired of the "clash of civilizations" talk. What civilizations? On one side you have the powerful west. On the other you have the mostly powerless East. There's no "clash" when we dominate the world and their only response is terrorism that only riles us up. And it makes no sense to group them so anyway; Islam and Christianity are far too diverse to be in total conflict. If anything, we moderates in the west have more common with moderates of Islam then we do with fanatics of either side.

3/03/2006 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Stogie said...

Whether Muslims are violent or moderate, Islam is itself violent, totalitarian and incompatible with peace or freedom. Moderate Muslims are those who do not know what their own faith requires (e.g. violent jihad, deceit,etc). I think moderates are a small minority. The great majority of Muslims know very well what their religion teaches, and provide moral and financial support to their more violent brethren, as is required by the Qur'an.

Islam is a religion, not of peace, but of mass murder, rape, slavery, oppression and unfathomable evil. Let us fight against it with all we have in us!

3/06/2006 05:22:00 PM  

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