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Willful Ignorance Then and Now
The Roots of Islamofascism run deep.
Know Our Enemy
by Rod Dreher
03:58 PM CDT on Sunday, August 27, 2006
The pious life and martyr's death of Sayyid Qutb, and the legacy the Islamic theologian left behind, extend a powerful challenge to the West. Until we provide an answer to him and his followers, we can't hope to prevail in the war of ideas with Islamic extremists. And most of us have no idea who this man even was. Sayyid Qutb (pronounced KUH-tuhb) has been called "the philosopher of Islamic terror." He rose from humble origins in rural Egypt to become an influential theologian and leading light of Egypt's fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood movement. He advocated global Islamic rule imposed by the sword.Via Rocco DiPippo at The Autonomist.
The Egyptian dictator Gamal Abdel Nasser ordered him hanged for treason Aug. 29, 1966.
Yet, his ideas have spread like a prairie fire over the parched landscape of Islam's last generation. As writer Paul Berman observed, Qutb was "the intellectual hero of every one of the groups that eventually went into al-Qaeda."
. . .
What is to be done? Lenin famously asked about Czarist Russia. Qutb's answer to the same question about the West was, in part, "Milestones," a Leninist-style tract advocating worldwide Islamic revolution.
In this thin volume, Qutb argues that the Islamic nation must overthrow modernity if it wishes to continue to exist. Only Islam, with its divinely given law regulating all aspects of daily life, is capable of rightly ordering the soul and body, and of being most true to God-given human nature. He believed the West, whether or not it realized it, was engaged in a fight to the death against Islam. Though the conflict had military, economic and cultural aspects, for Qutb, this was essentially a religious war.
"Milestones" calls for the subjugation of all non-Islamic peoples, the total crushing of all non-Islamic institutions and entities, and the universal imposition of harsh sharia law. Reading "Milestones" as a guide to the mentality of jihadists is a bone-chilling exercise (even more so when you consider that Muslim teens participating in a 2004 quiz competition at the Dallas Central Mosque were assigned "Milestones" as part of their contest reading).
His is the voice of the genocidal utopian, an apocalyptic idealist who – like Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and Mao – will stop at nothing to create an earthly paradise on the bones of the Crusaders, Zionists, moderate Muslims and sundry infidels.
A common refrain from the Coalition of the Unwilling is that US arrogance upset the jihadis and neocon aggression made the problem worse. In other words the jihadis are not attacking, they are counter-attacking. They are acting only in self-defense and thus are not to blame.
Nice try. The logic is familiar because it is also used by those who support a vigorous defense of civilization against the jihadis. The distinction of course is that the silly infidels arguing in favor of the jihadis are, generally speaking, spectacularly ignorant of the ideology they defend or even the basics of its history.
The way they fit Sayyid Qutb into their worldview is to ignore him.
Confederate Yankee points out a similar Shia-flavored situation:
To admit that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad means precisely what he says, and has said time and again, is to admit to larger dangers that neither the press nor the Democratic party they overwhelming support can admit. To admit to the truth—to show what Iran and its leader represent as a threat to the world—is to shatter a carefully crafted illusion they have formulated that most of the problems of the world originate at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
When faced with revealing a truth that would create cognitive dissonance, the media has made the subconscious decision to simply excise, and then ignore, the facts that undercut their "larger truth." They’d rather risk lives than admit the possibility that President Bush's concerns about a nuclear-armed Iran are precisely on target.
They aren't scared about the possibility of millions of people dying. That are far more fearful that the President is right, and that the world they've created for themselves is all too wrong.
Chavez, Ahmadinejad, and the 36 Stratagems
A month ago in a review of Militant Tricks I dropped a reference to something that deserves more attention:
The 36 Stratagems stands out among the military classics of ancient China for its emphasis on deception as a military art; most other military classics are about battlefield tactics. Unlike many books of its genre, The 36 Stratagems focuses on the use of deception, subterfuge or hidden tactics to achieve military objectives. Hence its title, Secret Art of War: The 36 Stratagems.Lesser known but more to the point than its sister work Sun Tzu's Art of War both Chinese texts are a distillation of lessons learned during a millenium of warfare. Required reading for any modern student of strategy and tactics.
The 36 stratagems are grouped into six sets; the first three are designed for use when one holds the advantage, and the second three when one is at a disadvantage. The categorisation, however, was never meant to be rigid. On the contrary, several millennia of practising and refining battle tactics have taught the Chinese strategists that the highest principle of all was flexibility.
Nevertheless, it may be argued that many of the stratagems are no longer applicable in today's hi-tech world where technological superiority and sheer firepower would outweigh other factors.
That is not true. There are still many military operations today that uses variations of the 36 Stratagems. There has also been cases of the stratagems being used in the business world. As said above, the highest principle of all is flexibility.
One of several traits the Chicom, Nork, Islamo, and Caribbean tinpots share is a talent for unscrupulous deeds. Deception and subterfuge. They lie, they cheat. Some wage proxy wars, fund terrorist attacks, toy with missles and nukes to blackmail neighbors. They sign treaties they have no intention of abiding. They mouth words of peace and democracy to disguise their polar opposite aims.
Here is some of what Hugo Chavez had to say to the UN today (via Drudge):
"Representatives of the governments of the world, good morning to all of you. First of all, I would like to invite you, very respectfully, to those who have not read this book, to read it. Noam Chomsky, one of the most prestigious American and world intellectuals, Noam Chomsky, and this is one of his most recent books, 'Hegemony or Survival: The Imperialist Strategy of the United States.'" [Holds up book, waves it in front of General Assembly.]Well done Noam. You and Cindy Sheehan and Danny Glover and Harry Belfonte have befriended a real live dictator.
"It's an excellent book to help us understand what has been happening in the world throughout the 20th century, and what's happening now, and the greatest threat looming over our planet. The hegemonic pretensions of the American empire are placing at risk the very survival of the human species. We continue to warn you about this danger and we appeal to the people of the United States and the world to halt this threat, which is like a sword hanging over our heads. I had considered reading from this book, but, for the sake of time," [flips through the pages, which are numerous] "I will just leave it as a recommendation.
It reads easily, it is a very good book, I'm sure Madame [President] you are familiar with it. It appears in English, in Russian, in Arabic, in German. I think that the first people who should read this book are our brothers and sisters in the United States, because their threat is right in their own house. The devil is right at home. The devil, the devil himself, is right in the house.Hmmm. That kind of Devil talk would make the militant secularist moonbats bay for days if it came out of Bush's mouth. Hugo? Crickets.
"And the devil came here yesterday. Yesterday the devil came here. Right here." [crosses himself]
"And it smells of sulfur still today."
Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, from this rostrum, the president of the United States, the gentleman to whom I refer as the devil, came here, talking as if he owned the world. Truly. As the owner of the world.Yes, call that psychiatrist. For yourself Hugo. It could be reality inversion or simple transference. Chirac Syndrome perhaps, the drive to unite countries in opposition to the US. Hugo's manifestation is a tad déclassé.
I think we could call a psychiatrist to analyze yesterday's statement made by the president of the United States. As the spokesman of imperialism, he came to share his nostrums, to try to preserve the current pattern of domination, exploitation and pillage of the peoples of the world.
An Alfred Hitchcock movie could use it as a scenario. I would even propose a title: "The Devil's Recipe."These taunts were well-received at the UN. The would-be Dictator of the World however not only lacks the gumption to smoke Osama out of Tora Bora, he can't even muster the cojones to snatch Chavez and Ahmadinejad when they serve themselves up on a silver platter. A true student of the 36 Stratagems would have seized the opportunity to decapitate his enemies:
As Chomsky says here, clearly and in depth, the American empire is doing all it can to consolidate its system of domination. And we cannot allow them to do that. We cannot allow world dictatorship to be consolidated.
To catch rebels, nab their leader firstThe Axis of Evil certainly knows the stratagems. With the UN they're pursuing this one:
Destroy the enemy crack forces and capture their chief, and the enemy will collapse. His situation will be as desperate as a sea dragon fighting on land.
Host and guest reversedNot long from now I fear civilization will look back with deep regret at our missed opportunity.
Whenever there is a chance, enter into the decision-making body of your ally and extend your influence skilfully step by step. Eventually, put it under your control.
Via LGF:Chomsky says "I'm not dead yet..."
Proving that he was still up for a lively debate, Mr. Chomsky then went on to talk about income inequality in Latin America, the history of the United Nations, Iraq, Iran, Fidel Castro and, finally, the man who so fervently admires him, Mr. Chávez.So the feelings are mutal between Chomsky and Chavez. Where is the debate?
“I have been quite interested in his policies,” Mr. Chomsky said. “Personally, I think many of them are quite constructive.” Most important, he said, Mr. Chávez seems to have the overwhelming support of the people in his country. “He has gone through six closely supervised elections,” he said.
Chavez attracts Moonbat Heroes like moths to flame. Or jihadis to OBL.
You may question how much the CBS television show The Unit blurs the line between reality and fantasy, but there is great value in its exploration of the kind of difficult situations the jihadis already have or will soon confront us with.
The show follows the members of an elite US counter-terrorist unit and their families, with each episode weaving several family/military, home/overseas subplots together. Last night's episode titled "Change of Station" (2nd season premiere) involved a most relevant subplot.
Pakistan/Afghan border, Taliban country. Martyrs self-infected with smallpox have boarded a bus, on their way to an airport, from which they will depart for a dozen major cities.
This is not mentioned in the Yahoo summary. The ramifications of such an attack -- a smallpox pandemic wreaking worldwide death and chaos -- are not explored even in the episode, but anyone reading the news should realize it is not a far-fetched scenario. Either the writer or the broadcaster probably thought it best not to drive home the point.
Well those of us who do read the news and do think about it can't ignore such threats. We have some homework to do. Imagine yourself in charge as such a scenario unfolds. You have been told such the plan is in play. You know what the attackers will do and when they will do it.
Do you take them out or let them move unhindered until they commit a crime?
If you take them out, where? When they land in the US? Before they leave Pakistan? Before they get off the bus?
How many innocent people do you suppose Howard Zinn would allow to be "indiscriminantly" killed in order to prevent an "indiscriminantly" concocted smallpox outbreak that would cost millions of other innocent lives?
Suppose we could literally bomb a single bus and know we'd kill only attackers, all with explicit suicidal/homicidal intent. Would killing them be ok? Would it be justified to question the motives of those who wouldn't take the obvious path toward saving lives and minimizing suffering?
How many pacifists might be roused from their Copperheaded foot-dragging and conspiracy theories by the realization that they are making the suffering worse by emboldening our enemy and lengthening the conflict? How many actually intend to undermine our side, for whatever twisted reason?
Civilization has hard choices to make. We need sensible, reasonable, fair-minded people to make those decisions. We don't need partisans who can't stop tantruming because they or their party aren't in power.
39 letters, unless you subtract 2 for the transliterated umlauts. It means the augmentation of a law that regulates the fight against terrorism. Can you imagine the German legislature, which is larger and more unwieldy than Congress, enunciating such a word about a hundred times a day while debating it in the Bundestag?
In any event, on the positive side they are starting to deal with the problem of terrorism, hopefully, heralding the day when the free world will stand united against Islamofascism.
RIP Oriana Fallaci
Fallaci understood the Left and Islam, and what they have in common.
From The Force of Reason, p215:
The Left is a Church. And not a Church similar to the Church which came out of Christianity, thus open to free-will. A Church similar to Islam. Like Islam it considers itself sanctified by a God who is the custodian of the Truth. Like Islam it never acknowledges its faults and its errors, it considers itself infallible and never apologizes. Like Islam it demands a world at its own image, a society built on the verses of its Prophet. Like Islam it enslaves its own followers. It intimidates them, it makes them feel stupid even when they are intelligent. Like Islam it does not accept different opinions and if you think differently it despises you. It denigrates you, it punishes you. Like Islam, in short, it is illiberal. Autocratic, totalitarian, even when it plays the game of democracy. For Christsake, isn't it revealing that ninety-five percent of the Western people converted to Islam come from the Left or the red-black Extreme Left?
Like Islam, finally, the Left is anti-West. And the cause why it is anti-West can be summarized with a passage of The Road to Serfdom: one of the important essays left to us by Friedrich Hayek, the Autrian economist who in the Thirties flew from Vienna and took refuge in England.
«It is not only the principles of Adam Smith and Hume and Locke and Milton which are being abandoned. It is also the bedrock of the civilization developed by the Greeks and the Romans and Christianity. Meaning, the western civilization. What is being relinquished is not only the liberalism of the 18th and 19th centuries, that is the liberalism which completed the civilization» it says. «It is the individualism which, thanks to Erasmus of Rotterdam and Montaigne and Cicero and Tacitus and Pericles and Thucydides, the western cvilization has inherited. In other words, the concept itself of individualism which through the teachings imparted to us by the philosophers of classical antiquity then of Christianity then of Renaissance then of the Enlightenment have made us what we are. Socialism is based on collectivism. Collectivism denies individualism. And anyone who denies individualism denies western civilization».
WTC Brought Down by Neocons
A consensus on the fall of the twin towers has emerged from the ivory tower.
Fury as academics claim 9/11 was 'inside job'
by JAYA NARAIN
Last updated at 15:47pm on 6th September 2006
The 9/11 terrorist attack on America which left almost 3,000 people dead was an "inside job", according to a group of leading academics.For a bunch of bright professor types their website makes it awful hard to discover what they think really happened.
Around 75 top professors and leading scientists believe the attacks were puppeteered by war mongers in the White House to justify the invasion and the occupation of oil-rich Arab countries.
. . .
Professor Steven Jones, who lectures in physics at the Brigham Young University in Utah, says the official version of events is the biggest and most evil cover up in history.
He has joined the 9/11 Scholars for Truth whose membership includes up to 75 leading scientists and experts from universities across the US.
Prof Jones said: "We don't believe that 19 hijackers and a few others in a cave in Afghanistan pulled this off acting alone.
They criticize many facts in the various reports and opinions of others, especially the official government explanation. The logic is reminiscent of Johnny Cochran's OJ defense. Here's what James H. Fetzer says in a page titled Why Doubt 9/11?:
As the founder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth, I would observe that our members, building on prior research by earlier students of 9/11, have established more than a dozen disproofs of the official government account, the truth of any one of which is enough to show that the government's account--in one or another of its guises--cannot possibly be correct.Basically the Scholars do not believe the WTC towers should have come down after suffering the damage they did on 9/11. Since they actually did come down there must have been help in the way of prepositioned explosives, which just so happened to be in the vicinity of the impacts. Someone must have planted those explosives, and for some reason braved raging inferno for tens of minutes after impact before detonating them.
The official NIST version, that the structure was well engineered but ultimately could not withstand the combined effects of the impact and sustained fire, is somehow harder for them to believe.
For Steven Jones it turns out PNAC is the key. In his mind neocon Jooooos and their stooge goyim run everything, or are trying to. They knew 9/11 was going to happen, just like that Joooo FDR knew about Pearl Harbor.
They let it happen to galvanize the country.
So they can seize power.
And conquer the world.
What PNAC actually says sounds reasonable to me.
UPDATE: Jones on paid leave. Free time to promote his conspiracy theories. Oddly enough this article doesn't mention PNAC.
United in Defeatism
Rummy speaks for me too.
US Senate Debates Iraq War, Democrat Call for Rumsfeld Resignation
By Dan Robinson, 07 September 2006
Lawmakers in the Senate have been holding a lengthy debate on the war in Iraq, with majority Republicans supporting President Bush, and Democrats calling for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. VOA's Dan Robinson reports from Capitol Hill where members of Congress also reacted to President Bush's latest remarks on terrorism and the issue of the treatment of terrorist suspects.Congress fiddles as the country burns. They can't unite behind our interests and troops overseas. They won't secure the goddamn border. And the leftists impeach people like Rumsfeld who lead us, and lead us especially well considering the revolutionary changes on unprecedented scales we're experienced especially since the internet lifted the lid.
Opposition Democrats had no illusions that they would get a vote on their resolution calling for the resignation of the man President Bush has relied upon at the Pentagon to manage the war in Iraq.
Their non-binding measure stated that the president's policy of staying the course in Iraq has made the United States less secure, reduced the readiness of the U.S. military, and burdened Americans with more than 300-billion dollars in additional debt.
Since it was not directly relevant to a defense spending bill the Senate is considering, the resolution was certain to be struck down, never even advancing to a vote.
Responses by other Republicans to Democrat calls for Secretary Rumsfeld's departure were summed up by South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham. "They [Democrats] are very united in defeatism, in their negatives attacks on the president, and in the process encouraging terrorists all around the world. Sending the signal that America is frustrated and ready to quit. America is not ready to quit," he said.Emphasis mine.
Imagine that quote coming out of Cronkite/Rather/Couric's mouth. The internet is a big part of the revolution. Information can no longer be so easily bottled up. On the upside the liberal, left-friendly worldview of elite city dwellers no longer has a monopoly on news or opinion. Anybody clever and creative enough can become rich and famous. On the downside the jihadi get free PR and free secure communication. Anybody depraved enough can look up TATP and go Al Qaeda on their infidel neighbors.
Moonbat Hero: Howard Zinn
There is something important to be learned from the arguments of leftists: that their standards, being inevitably indiscriminate, ensure their logic is contorted, their moralizing hypocritical, and their aims hopelessly obfuscated.
In an editorial titled War is not a solution for terrorism Howard Zinn confirms these inconvenient truths once again.
Published on Saturday, September 2, 2006 by the Boston Globe.To characterize the war waged by the US in Iraq and Israel against Hizballah in Lebanon as "inevitably indiscriminate" you could be ignorant of history and how these recent wars differ substantially from precedent, or you could simply be ignoring it. Zinn served in war as a B-17 bombardier so he should understand something not only of war but of what "indiscriminate" means. Are we to believe that when he dropped bombs he tried to hit facilities used by the enemy to wage war, thus shortening the war and saving lives, or should we adopt his argument and assume he dropped his bombs indiscriminantly?
THERE IS SOMETHING important to be learned from the recent experience of the United States and Israel in the Middle East: that massive military attacks, inevitably indiscriminate, are not only morally reprehensible, but useless in achieving the stated aims of those who carry them out.
The United States, in three years of war, which began with shock-and-awe bombardment and goes on with day-to-day violence and chaos, has been an utter failure in its claimed objective of bringing democracy and stability to Iraq. The Israeli invasion and bombing of Lebanon has not brought security to Israel; indeed it has increased the number of its enemies, whether in Hezbollah or Hamas or among Arabs who belong to neither of those groups.
Like most Allied bombing during and since WWII the "shock-and-awe bombardment" to which Zinn refers targetted primarily military and government sites. How is this indiscriminate? The most notable difference over time has been the increasing precision achieved at great expense with the aim of reducing accidental death and destruction inflicted on the innocent. So what is Zinn's standard? Does he apply it to all who fight, or only the US and Israel? If violence and suffering are morally reprehensible then anything that decreases them is morally good, and anything that increases them is morally bad. No?
If Zinn thinks Israeli leaflets are "indiscriminant" then what word does he use to describe the rockets Hizballah and HAMAS deliberately fire in the hope of killing random civilians? Does he not realize that the jihadis use violence as a tool, that they use civilization's own media to propagandize and intimidate those with pacifist tendencies? Why in the world doesn't he get righteously indignant about the jihadis?
The US Congress' casus belli against Iraq were many, and they belie any claim that the goal in Iraq was first and foremost to spread democracy. The goal was to topple Saddam, and that mission was indeed accomplished. After that why shouldn't the Iraqis try democracy, and why shouldn't we help them? Does Zinn realize the Iraqi (and Afghani) people purpled their fingers even under the threat of violence and death? Will Zinn acknowledge that the threats come from the jihadis, and not from the armies of civilization? If he can describe the constitution and democratically elected government in Iraq (and Afghanistan) today as "utter failure" one can only wonder what words he would use if the US withdrew and the jihadis came to power. Would Zinn call that a "super duper failure", or maybe "utter success"? I'd rather not find out.
Zinn seems to believe that civilized armies are responsible for all the violence, zipping around dropping bombs whereever they think there might be a terrorist. He does so by willfully ignoring the very strict constraints those armies operate under. Consult for example the US military's rules of engagement. We expect our soldiers to be lawyers and policemen as well as warriors. It is in fact the Baathists and jihadis (with a large amount of help from Iran and Syria) who deliberately cause death and destruction in Iraq. They initiate it because they benefit from the chaos and intimidation it creates. They assassinate anyone who is too secular, detonate bombs in crowds of civilians, and saw the heads off any infidel or friend of infidels they can get their bloody hands on. And neither one of those hands is ever tied behind their backs by world opinion, the UN, or the quaint notions of the Geneva Convention.
It also seems safe to assume Zinn knows nothing of the violence and suffering under Saddam or how it compares to the casualty rate now.
The history of wars fought since the end of World War II reveals the futility of large-scale violence. The United States and the Soviet Union, despite their enormous firepower, were unable to defeat resistance movements in small, weak nations -- the United States in Vietnam, the Soviet Union in Afghanistan -- and were forced to withdraw.This appears to be an example of what leftists like to call "cherrypicking". At the same time it modestly overlooks the role leftist undermining can play in achieving defeat.
Even the ``victories" of great military powers turn out to be elusive. Presumably, after attacking and invading Afghanistan, the president was able to declare that the Taliban were defeated. But more than four years later, Afghanistan is rife with violence, and the Taliban are active in much of the country.
England's exploitation of the US was ended by large-scale violence. As was slavery. As were the totalitarian aspirations of Germany, Italy, and Japan a century later. Too bad Zinn cleverly excludes these by date. He then overlooks the fact that the Cold War was "fought" entirely under the umbrella of Mutually Assured Destruction, a strategy used by both sides. Thus we know empirically that the threat of large-scale retaliatory violence can actually deter violence. At least when both sides prefer to avoid violence.
The book Militant Tricks makes a solid case that the jihadis purposely goad the US military into using its preferred tactic of overwhelming firepower, hoping for spillover. That doesn't mean every use of force is a ruse, or does spillover, and at any rate the book's suggested solution is not pacifism, it is light infantry applying force more selectively.
The US soundly defeated the Taliban in Afghanistan. The problem is that the Taliban are based in Pakistan, and from there they keep Afghanistan "rife with violence". As with Iraq Zinn again implies absurdly that this is all the fault of the US. As if the US military is murdering civilians as a matter of course, and the Taliban is trying to build roads.
The US withdrawal from Vietnam and Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan were "forced" by the their own public opinion more than any other factor. What he euphemistically calls "resistance movements" were but sock puppets for the larger actors in the Cold War. These sock puppets did not win. At any rate Zinn does not mention that in both cases pacifists got what the withdrawals they wanted. And of course he does not mention the bloodbaths that followed.
Beyond the futility of armed force, and ultimately more important, is the fact that war in our time inevitably results in the indiscriminate killing of large numbers of people. To put it more bluntly, war is terrorism. That is why a ``war on terrorism" is a contradiction in terms. Wars waged by nations, whether by the United States or Israel, are a hundred times more deadly for innocent people than the attacks by terrorists, vicious as they are.Zinn asserts war is terrorism, and that war (and thus also terrorism) inevitably results in indiscriminate killing.
First, I do not abide his conflation of war and terrorism. Words have established meanings that you cannot ignore or change just for the sake of your argument. Second, the claim that war and terrorism are indiscriminant is patently false. Warriors and terrorists both choose their targets, ie. they do discriminate.
War, at least in contemporary Western form, primarily concerns forming an officially sanctioned and uniformed force under orders to engage and destroy the forces (uniformed or not) of hostile powers, constrained by primarily Western conventions of lawful warfare. Civilians are killed in war, sometimes even deliberately, but most usually by those who resort to terrorist tactics. It is specifically not the aim of civilized militaries and is not necessarily the result. Why else does civilization waste so much energy concocting rules of war, and prosecuting those who violate them?
Terrorism, jihadi style, especially prefers attacks "deadly for innocent people". The jihadis are generally unpredictable but patient, carefully selecting and planning their attacks. Right under the noses of the civilization's media they use civilization's internet to spread hate and lies with virtually no controversy or coverage. The same nations adhering to the rules of war can't imprison or even listen to what this enemy is saying without being taken to task by the same media that is deaf dumb and blind to the premeditated depredations of the jihadis.
So the jihadis don't have a media revealing and debating the propriety of their every move. Their armies are irregular, operating without open sovereign sponsership, uniforms, or even much supervision. And it has so far been a fruitful strategy for them. For one it allows them to fly under the radar and escape the detection of Zinn and other pacifists. But these substantial differences are exactly why it is ridiculous to insist that war and terrorism are one and the same. Terrorists ignore and flagrantly violate the laws of war. They often murder civilians, which is of course the central distinction. Terrorists do not follow the rules, do not punish murderers. When Zinn reduces deaths caused by either war or terrorism to simple "killing" he's waving a magic wand that would just as easily abolish any difference between manslaughter and murder.
Sadly Zinn and his fellow travelers do not recognize that the primary enemy in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and many other places are jihadis - not a random collection of unrelated "terrorists". His knowledge of history does not appear to include any understanding of the length or relative cost of the jihad Islam has waged for nearly 1400 years, or that long before "nations" existed Muslim armies swept out of Arabia - without the excuse of colonialism, the Crusades, Abu Graib, or Gitmo - and crushed the most advanced civilizations of the day. The jihadis eventually killed and subjugated people from Spain to India. And within the past decades they've reawakened and resumed the jihad. Does he count how deadly this has been for innocent people, or is blaming all this on civilization's armies too?
The repeated excuse, given by both Pentagon spokespersons and Israeli officials, for dropping bombs where ordinary people live is that terrorists hide among civilians. Therefore the killing of innocent people (in Iraq, in Lebanon) is called accidental, whereas the deaths caused by terrorists (on 9/11, by Hezbollah rockets) are deliberate.OK. That's more than enough. Let's finish with just a bit more thought than Mr. Zinn seems able to muster.
This is a false distinction, quickly refuted with a bit of thought. If a bomb is deliberately dropped on a house or a vehicle on the grounds that a ``suspected terrorist" is inside (note the frequent use of the word suspected as evidence of the uncertainty surrounding targets), the resulting deaths of women and children may not be intentional. But neither are they accidental. The proper description is ``inevitable."
So if an action will inevitably kill innocent people, it is as immoral as a deliberate attack on civilians. And when you consider that the number of innocent people dying inevitably in ``accidental" events has been far, far greater than all the deaths deliberately caused by terrorists, one must reject war as a solution for terrorism.
Civilization hires police to deter and deal with those who would harm innocent people. In the pursuit of this task it is "inevitable" that the police also accidentally kill innocent people. Should we not then have police? The military's job is tougher because they work often outside civilization's borders, fighting people who don't play by civilization's rules. Shall we then simply ignore those would harm innocent people but hide outside civilization's borders?
Zinn treats words and numbers like putty. He envies the power of logic and apes its language, but fails to follow the rules from which its power derives. He does not apply his criticisms fairly, and certainly not to himself. Such mendacity is the mark of either a charlatan or a fool and has earned him undying infamy as a moonbat hero.
Of Traitors and Fascists
While everyone seems to know that fascism is a bad thing, it's clear not enough people know what it actually means. And while everyone knows Islam is a religion, not enough people know that it dictates the social and political aspects of a Muslim's life as well as the spiritual. To judge whether the phrase "Islamic fascist" is a fair label you need to understand more about Islam than is generally taught or discussed in the secularized West, except maybe in prison, and you need to know something of the history of fascism even though we've been taught the ideology was extinguished 60 years ago.
On the left there is much indignation. Long before they transformed the meaning of "lie", "torture", "gulag", "domestic spying", "patriot", and "redeploy" leftists had already redefined "fascist". For them a fascist is anyone who favors law and order over unbridled hedonistic debauchery. Bush and Rumsfeld for instance.
That is Keith Olbermann's point:
Earlier Americans always found their way to the light and we can too. The confusion is about whether this Secretary of Defense and this administration are in fact now accomplishing what they claim the terrorists seek: the destruction of our freedoms.... This country faces a new type of fascism indeed.Poor Olby. His freedom to broadcast a hateful and conspiratorial message every day is being impinged how? The video is surreal.
This Berkeley linguist would prefer to call them Islamo-creeps. They can't be fascists. First of all because there are a few flavors that don't agree precisely on the methods or urgency with which to pursue jihad. Second because the left had already sucked the meaning out of the word fascist back in the 60s. The linguist seems not to appreciate how different the German, Italian, and Japanese flavors of fascism were:
But like "terror," and "evil" before it, "Islamic fascism" has the effect of reducing a complex story to a simple fable. It effaces the differences among ex-Baathists, Al Qaeda and Shiite mullahs; Chechens and Kashmiris; Hezbollah, Hamas and British-born Asians allegedly making bombs in a London suburb. Yes, there are millions of people in the Muslim world who wish the U.S. ill, and some of them are pretty creepy about it. But that doesn't mean they're all of a single mind and purpose, or that a blow against any one of them is a blow against the others.There's that leftist bugaboo again - it's all so complicated. Notions like good, evil, right, wrong - these exist only in the minds of neocons and their fables. The left is trying as hard as they can to tolerate and embrace their exploited and confused Middle Eastern brothers. After all they might help topple the evil Bushitler someday! Whoops. Did I say evil? I meant dumb and greedy. The world is far too complex to make judgements about good and evil...but we can call political foes dumb greedy lying fascists all day long.
Before turning to saner sources let's indulge in just one last opinion from the left. Yes it's getting repetitive but you can always count on t r u t h o u t to reveal the leftist position in pure form:
Since, Mr. Bush, you have chosen to put the issue of fascism before the public, it begs a broader dialog on fascism's role in our lives today. I accept the challenge to enter that dialog. Frankly Mr. Bush, many Americans refer to you as a fascist. There really isn't any other way to state that than bluntly. Blowing up an airliner full of passengers is barbaric and completely unacceptable, regardless of the objectives of those involved, but it really doesn't fit the definition of fascism.Get a load of that tone. I wonder if he writes for Olby? The word arrogant comes to mind but that might only be because I've been reading too much leftist literature. They love the word arrogant. It's pretty clear they're just projecting. Anyway, yes, let's have a dialog about fascism. Let's start with that definition. In what ways does it describe the situation in the US? There are two major parties and many smaller ones. Opposition is loud, abusive, and unhindered. The economy is not centralized, despite the best efforts of leftists. And the US has inflicted its nationalism, racism, and militarism on whom exactly?
From Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language:
FASCISM: A system of government characterized by rigid one party dictatorship, forcible suppression of opposition, private economic enterprise under centralized governmental control, belligerent nationalism, racism and militarism, etc.
That's really the heart of the matter now isn't it, Mr. Bush. One might wonder if you are troubled by by the specter of fascism in your inner thoughts when you cast the accusation wildly into the public discourse.
What would the people of Iraq say about fascism if asked? But then they haven't been asked, have they - they've been liberated, of course. What would our founding fathers say about detention without due process, without end? Electronic surveillance of all Americans, without regard for the law? What is democracy if the citizens have no confidence in the integrity of their elections? Our military hurls five-hundred pound bombs all day and all night. They land on whom they land on. It is not an isolated act of madness, it is a coordinated act of state. All the while private corporations profit wildly.
Fascism, Mr. Bush, is not your strongest card. You should change the subject again.
Like most thoughtful inhabitants of civilization I'm not sure fascist is quite the right word for the Islamos, but I'm pretty damn sure it applies better to them than it does to the Bush administration.
Having dealt with that childish nonsense let's now turn to more serious opinions. For example Michelle Malkin thinks the qualifier is misleading:
I stopped using the terms "Islamic fascist" and "Islamofascism" a while ago, though, because they obscure rather than clarify. The views held by the Muslim jihadis who want to destroy us are not marginal views held only by a minority of "Islamic fascists."I concur, but the Washington Times makes a good case, especially if you remember that Islam subsumes politics:
Fascism is a chauvinistic political philosophy that exalts a group over the individual -- usually a race or nation, but in this case the adherents of a religion. Fascism also espouses centralized autocratic rule by that group in suppression of others. It usually advocates severe economic and social regimentation and the total or near-total subordination of the individual to the political leadership. This accurately describes the philosophies of Hitler, Mussolini, the leaders of Imperial Japan and other fascistic regimes through history. It also describes Thursday's terrorists.I disagree with that last sentence. The Muslims who are at war with civilization are not motivated by a misunderstanding or twisting of Islam, they are motivated by its most fundamental tenets: the ideology of jihad and the imposition of sharia and Islam itself on the entire world. That these tenets can be traced all the way back to Mohammed and that they are deeply held by millions of fanatics only makes the threat to civilization that much more severe.
It very accurately describes the philosophy of al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas and many other stripes of Islamism around the world. All the elements are present. The ideology is chauvinistic, regarding non-Muslims as a lesser breed of expendable or contemptible dhimmis and infidels. It favors autocracy and severe social and economic restrictions, as did the Taliban. It demands the total subordination of the individual to the group -- sometimes manifesting in murderously suicidal deaths like the fiery destruction Britain's would-be bombers sought. This is not mainstream Islam, of course. It is a corruption of the faith.
Daniel Pipes notes his trouble settling on a phrase:
The use of Islamic fascists should be seen as part of a decades-long search for the right term to name a form of Islam that is recognizably political, extreme, and often violent. I have already confessed in that I am on my fifth term (having previously used neo-orthodox, fundamentalist, and militant, and now using radical and Islamist). While Islamic fascists beats terrorists, let’s hope that a better consensus term soon emerges. My vote is for Islamists.The difficulty Pipes and others are having is bringing themselve to say precisely what I just said.
If Islam is all about peace and tolerance then why is everyone afraid to criticize it? Hmmm, I wonder. Does it have anything to do with bombs and sawing off heads? Literal Islamophobia? Leftists never tire in their vituperation of Christians, Bush, Neocons, Israel, rednecks, corporations - and they never seem to suffer any recriminations for it. To them Freedom of Speech means tolerating the disclosure of any national secret the New York Times sees fit to print, but when it comes to tolerating a few Mohammed cartoons, well then it's time to toss freedom out the window in favor of a sudden respect for decency and religion.
For the final say I refer you to just one of many examples coming straight from the proverbial horse's mouth:
FN: And this sums up your vision of Jihad today? Is this the sum of your own approach to Islam and the problems affecting Muslims?Oops. Does this radical know the infidels are listening? Does it matter?
ABB: This is the Islamic view of things. We must never compromise, relent, give up, submit to our kafir enemies. We must always keep to the Islamic path, jihad in the name of Shariah, and never be apologetic.
So I agree that we must never be apologetic about being called 'radicals' today. Even during the time of the Prophet his enemies called him a madman! So being called a 'radical' is not as bad! We should not apologise for this, or compromise in our jihad. Today they call us ‘radicals’, tomorrow they will call us something else. These obstacles will always be there, because the kafirs fear us when we get stronger.
Remember that jihad is what brought Islam to power and built our community. There can be no Islam without jihad. Why, even if you want to build a Capitalist or Communist state you need to have a jihad; a jihad for capitalism or a jihad for communism. So why cant Muslims engage in a jihad for Islam and Shariah?