Saturday, January 31, 2015

On Jihad Watch, yet another “Better Cop” is mentioned—a Muslim Imam from Brookly, New York, by the name of Tareq Yousef Al-Masri—who is reported to have expressed such seemingly juicy and refreshingly candid critiques as the following:

Let us admit, without lying to ourselves, that we, the Muslims, are time bombs. When I say “we, the Muslims,” I do not mean every single Muslim, but Muslims of the religious sector are time bombs. When a sinner repents, the first thing he does is make a bomb. He blows it up and kills people.

And he goes on to probe this problem of Muslims further with seemingly heartening sense:

If you have cancer, it won’t help you if I tell you that you have the flu. I must tell you that you clearly have cancer. When someone has cancer, they run a series of tests, in order to identify the cause of this cancer.

On the face of it, Imam al-Masri is, of course, entirely correct. With exquisitely searing irony, however, he is not taking his own advice—for Muhammad is the cancer; but Imam al-Masri cannot, will not admit this (unless he cuts the cord of his cultic addiction and definitively apostasizes).

And what I say above is only the most generous interpretation of an al-Masri. Again, with acute irony, precisely because of what he says, we cannot trust that he is not playing the stealth jihad role of the “Better Cop” (a rebooted updated version of the “Good Cop”—rebooted and updated precisely because it is worried that too many Kuffar are wising up to Islamic taqiyya, and so a deeper deception is required, particularly in order to infiltrate and fool the growing nucleus of a Counter-Jihad…).

That said, an al-Masri can be useful to help prod out of their dumb slumbers the pleasantly napping Useful Idiots who abound throughout the West, continuing to catch up on their Fukuyamishly bourgeois neo-Yuppie beauty sleep as they have long since settled into the comfortingly somnambulant habit of hitting the snooze button on their 90s digital alarm clock flashing, to their blissfully ignorant incomprehension, 9:11.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Taking the temperature of the Counter-Jihad, part 9

I suppose I took a bit of a break from posting continuous and promptly regular installments of my series on this matter; part 8 was nearly two weeks ago, I see.  My, how time flies when Mohammedans are wreaking mayhem in their slow but vertiginous resolve to revive their global jihad...

This time, I won't be featuring my own words, but those of another blogger, who as far as I know hasn't been writing much in years.  Apparently he was a contributor and member of an erstwhile counter-jihad group called, at one point, The 910 Group, and at another time, Vigilant Freedom

Dated in 2006 (we're talking nearly a decade ago), he penned two brief essays on their now defunct blog.  The first one is titled "Wrong War" and the second one, closely related in theme and content, is titled "Wrong Group".

Both essays sound a theme I have been reiterating and retooling every which way but loose for years -- namely, that the primary point is that Islam is at war with us and that we need to focus on the pragmatic threat this entails.  We do not need to indulge in sublimations of this threat onto extrapolations or abstractions that have the effect (whether intended or not) of reconfiguring (i.e., supposedly revealing) the problem into a "Real Problem" about something else, ultimately, than Islam.  Usually that Something Else turns out to be a West supposedly corrupted deeply by some nefarious rot and malevolent machinations that -- again -- seem to have nothing much to do with Islam.  All this seems not only fruitless, but also bristles with reckless potential.

The writer of the essays I feature today seems to get this well; and also does not veer into the opposite extreme of unduly minimizing the problem of the West (what I have called the "Problem of the Problem").  Overall, I was struck by how useful they could be for my ongoing series on taking the temperature of the Counter-Jihad.

So; here goes:

Wrong War

It's easy to fight the wrong war, the last war instead of the next one. People do it because they know how. They know how to raise the money, make the arguments, describe the enemy. The social infrastructure for the war is already in place. It's usually in power.

For example, obsessing about multiculturalism, particularly its manifestations in Europe, is one way to fight the wrong war in the current instance. Multiculturalism is not an alien implant in the west, but an enormous part of the West’s dialog about itself. It may be the source of a thousand vulnerabilities and it may be misguided in another thousand ways, but it’s still part of who we are. We have to win this war with all that baggage, in spite of it, probably because of it. When conservatives throw themselves into anti-jihad as if it were part of an ongoing culture war with the left or, worse, a cold war reminiscence, they're fighting the wrong war.

The culture war (CW) is not a bad thing. I'm actually a fairly passionate partisan on the conservative side, but it is what it is and it's not the counter jihad (CJ). The temptation to fold the CJ into the CW, which is mostly a financial temptation, will lead to failure. Gearing up the old anti-communist machine might be a great way to raise money, as is revving up the right wing on any of its favorite subjects, but conflating this conflict with the priorities of the conservative movement in general will hand the enemy a victory he has been working hard for, a divided society with its left wing exposed. We saw in 2004 what a disaster that can be. But other than opportunistically, and because we let it happen, the Jihad has not joined forces with the left, although they'd love for you to think that, and many of you do think that.

Seriously, the left is not the enemy and jihadists are not leftists. Duh. This war is not a replay of the communist threat faced by the last 2 or 3 generations. That was something internal to our civilization. There may be some similarities but the conclusions one would draw from those similarities are more likely to be misleading than helpful.

The wars of the 20th century were largely wars between western powers fighting over the spoils of the colonial era. That's a simplification, of course, and one can see in conflicts like the Vietnam and Korean wars both echoes of the 19th century and foreshadowing of the 21st. Nevertheless, in general terms the 20th century was about restructuring and repositioning among western powers. While the ideas that were fought over were important, all parties were coming from the same tradition and responding to the same history.

Have we not all read the same critique of false religion?
And they will be glad to believe our answer, for it will save them from the great anxiety and terrible agony they endure at present in making a free decision for themselves. And all will be happy, all the millions of creatures except the hundred thousand who rule over them. For only we, we who guard the mystery, shall be unhappy. There will be thousands of millions of happy babes, and a hundred thousand sufferers who have taken upon themselves the curse of the knowledge of good and evil. Peacefully they will die, peacefully they will expire in Thy name, and beyond the grave they will find nothing but death. But we shall keep the secret, and for their happiness we shall allure them with the reward of heaven and eternity.
The Grand Inquisitor, The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoevsky

This time we have an external enemy who doesn't give a damn about the future of our political tradition and whose youth, critically, do not read Dostoevsky. This one is not a fight for the soul of the west. It's something else. Obviously, a good place to start fighting it would be to figure out who the enemy is, and who it is not.

Wrong Group

There are two key strategies that have to be pursued to fight this war. One is to unite the west on common ground and the other is to harness the chaotic energies of this age to work for us instead of against us.
  1. Unite the west on common ground
  2. Harness the chaotic forces of this age
I joined The 910 Group thinking it was a perfect vehicle to go after these two objectives. Now I don't think it can accomplish either one.

On the first point, the group's members can't distinguish very well between one enemy and another. You need to be able to do that. Recent alliances tend to shore up the group's conservative credentials at a severe cost, I think, to its ability to function as a network of networks for counter jihad, which is its stated objective.
Make no mistake: this is a civil war within the heart of the West, between those who would appease Islamic tyranny and those who want to eliminate it;
As I've noted above, this is a good characterization, but of the wrong war.

Uniting the west on common ground doesn't mean that left and right have to agree on much, certainly not strategy. What it does mean, and I can't think of a simpler way to say it, is that the adults need to be in charge on this one.

On the second point, the group has abandoned most of its original open source ideas. Indeed, there is now clear hierarchy, with more and less privileged classes, staff and subgroup designations, a chain of command. Among the privileges of staff, the most visible and touted perk in fact, is the ability to delete and edit other people's posts in the forum. That's not a good foundation for an open source culture and because of it, the 910 group will not be able to harness the energies of the most creative people. They'll have to make do with groupies.

The group is likely to successfully raise its profile, raise money and produce a lot of stuff, some of it perhaps useful. They'll never run out of willing participants. But there's no longer any reason to expect great things from them. If you're one of those participants, try to keep in mind that your compliance is what they have to sell. They will be able to raise funds precisely to the extent that they can pitch a story about a coherent network of people, working as one, etc. That's not to say they won't pitch the open source idea to raise money, particularly to people who don't really know what it means, but they'll never live up to it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The MSM both sucks and blows

The entire MMM (Mainstream Media Machine) both sucks and blows, in a complex manner both efficiently doing its job (of sweeping the Islamic problem under the carpet) and at the same time of ineptly failing to do what it’s supposed to do (informing the public of important matters of sociopolitical moment).

Unlike the Gates of Vienna Circle and the Counter-Jihad Softies, however, I don’t think the Mainstream (of which the MMM is one, albeit major, component) is being deployed in terms of some kind of willfully concerted, knowingly seditious motivation (i.e., some kind of conspiracy); but I rather err on the side of diagnosing and analyzing it in terms of a complex ineptitude characterized by a paradoxical combination of relative intelligence and axiomatic ignorance — what I have termed in an older essay here ” Quantum Ignorance”.

That whole essay really needs to be read carefully to do justice to its analysis & argument, but a pithy nugget from it may be in this context of limited help to clarify:

"While it may be possible that a sheer quantity of data [about the problem of Islam] presented to people in the thrall of Quantum Ignorance could, by the mere mass itself, provoke a quantum leap to budge them out of the Box of their QI, it seems very unlikely; for we are not fighting fire with fire: we tend, rather, to be fighting quality with quantity. For, that is the precise meaning of Quantum Ignorance: it has made the quantum leap from a quantitatively based ignorance into a higher, qualitative ignorance fortified by a paradigm that resists all attempts at a quantitative argument."

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

When Hollywood got it right (for a change)

Apropos of this report from MEMRI (via Jihad Watch), about a hideously pompous Saudi cleric who, in response to the Charlie Hebdo massacre, had a recent explosive bowel movement in public (i.e., a fatwa), said:

The sword is more truthful than the book. Its cutting edge separates sincerity from jest. It is the whiteness of the blade, rather than the blackness of the book’s ink, that dismisses any uncertainty or doubt. When they faced death… This is the language these Jewish and Christian infidels understand. This is the only language they understand.”

At first, I thought of writing a learned and detailed analysis.  But then my memory banks kicked in, and I recalled fondly that famous scene from an old movie; perhaps the most cogent response to that grotesque clown (i.e., that mainstream Muslim) quoted above.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

"If you can't fix it with a hammer, it ain't worth fixin'..."

"I seem to be the only one in the Counter-Jihad who considers PC MC to be logical. Dead wrong, irrational and well nigh treasonous — but still logical. As long as most in the Counter-Jihad fail to appreciate the full logic of the PC MC paradigm, and insist on demonizing it, they will be continuing to take a hammer to a problem that requires a Phillips screwdriver."

When I wrote the above as part of a comment at Jihad Watch, a tried and true Jihad Watch veteran, and Counter-Jihad Softy, (one "Wellington" about whom I have written a few times here) responded:

I submit that arguing for mass deportation of Muslims from a nation like America is an attempt to take a sledgehammer, and not just an ordinary hammer, to the problem which Muslims pose in Western nations. And yet you flatter yourself by arguing for no metaphorical hammer at all but rather for a metaphorical Phillips screwdriver approach. 

To which, wearily, I replied:

"Two different Problems: the Problem of Islam, and the Problem of the West’s myopia. Ironically, and oddly, the Counter-Jihad Softies insist on taking the oppositely wrong tools to each—to the latter, a hammer (“those damned Leftist Elites!”); to the former, a sophisticated array of fine-tuned calibrated screwdrivers supposedly predicated upon a complex taxonomy of Muslims, as though Mohammedan Taqiyya + the dangers their dangerous ones pose don’t render any taxonomies recklessly, dangerously useless (unless deployed with ruthlessly Realislamik skill which, needless to say, would be dubiously entrusted to the Counter-Jihad Softies)."

At the time, I noticed how another subcategory of the Counter-Jihadist—the False Counter-Jihad Toughie—leapt over deportation, didn't even bother to mention it, passes Go and goes straight to all-out violent war inside the West—a position no better than the JW Softy who cannot brook deportation measures.  Sometimes the False Counter-Jihad Toughie actually responds by saying that deportation is "not good enough" for the problem, or is "unrealistic"—an incoherent mix, as can be seen.  Deportation may well be "not good enough", but at this juncture it's worthwhile to pursue it as a long-term goal.  At that point in the discussion, the False Counter-Jihad Toughie (and the Counter Jihad Softy) usually responds with the anxious reflex spasm that we don't have a "long term"—we are in an emergency and the sky is falling NOW!!! and we won't last even a few years given current trends (trends interpreted through their hyperventilated perspective, that is). 

I’ve explained many times how the PC MC paradigm is logical. By the way, I distinguish between logical and rational: an obsessive-compulsive neurotic, for example, can logically organize his day by checking exactly 337 times every day whether he turned his stove off (plus a hundred other things), being quite logical in doing so, but not rational. The PC MC logic is predicated upon an anxious need to prevent a criticism of the Tiny Minority of Extremists from expanding to target all Muslims. Where it becomes irrational is in its suppression of any information that leads to an alarmed appraisal of the systemic and metastasizing problem of Muslims, fearing that such an appraisal would open the floodgates to going down the slippery slope toward rounding up vast numbers of innocent Muslims, putting them in camps, and genociding them. (This irrational anxiety is additionally augmented by the PC MC hot button of White Guilt, since they tend to see Muslims as a Brown People—i.e., as an Ethnic People (or as a wonderful diversity, mosaic, tapestry, stir-fry, paella of Ethnic Peoples).)

This anxious need I’ve found many times amongst Jihad Watch commenters, incidentally; though they obscure it (usually unwittingly) with lots of tough talk and braggadocio against Islam; so the difference between the JW Softies and the PC MCs is only one of degree, not of kind.

One wing of the Counter-Jihad through its rhetoric promotes the idea of a "civil war" as the inevitable course in this regard. Technically speaking, a "civil war" would not involve Muslims (except the Muslims who might be among the Western armies, national guards, police, and intelligence -- and, unfortunately, most Western nations have already disastrously assimilated a few into these (and other) sociopolitical institutions). Technically speaking, a "civil war" would involve two camps of Westerner, perhaps in several different Western nations. On one side would be the PC MC Establishment (which I see no signs to indicate it does not include millions of Ordinary People in addition to dastardly "Elites"), whose self-righteous starry-eyed motivation would be to defend the poor, innocent Muslims, that "vast majority" who are "not extremists" but who are (pace George Bush) "decent moms and pops like the rest of us" including (pace Ben Affleck), a billion “who wanna go to school, have some sandwiches”, as well as all the various nice Muslims in the West which most of us are acquainted with, such as (pace Jihad Watch commenter “Neil Jennison” who has insisted earnestly more than once that he is not PC MC at all) one  “Paul”, a nice friendly Muslim Neil know—among the Muslims (his sneer quotes not mine) “I have met “Muslims” who are Muslims in name only. Nice people”—“who ran the curry house on Spittal Hill in Sheffield” (and about whom Neil added “was a decent enough bloke as far as I could tell” (i.e., as far as his—our collective—revolver would be likely to shoot a blank into the heads of our men, women and children, rather than a bullet).

On the other side of this Civil War that may—or may not—(despite what the Mad Max Wing of the Counter-Jihad insists) happen, would be those Westerners who are anti-Islam, likely accompanied by a rag-tag motley number of “Real Problemers” (conspiracy theory loons who think that Islam is not the “real problem” but rather our “real enemy” is a dastardly cabal of “Elites” who may or may not include Jews, Illuminati, Masons—we know the drill).

Even if this colossal catastrophe did devolve, there is the other problem—that the side against Islam would be minuscule in numbers in comparison with the Mainstream forces arrayed against them, and would not have the resources of armies, national guards, police forces, and intelligence services (other than the few among those institutions who would be part of the minority Counter-Jihad). And this is not even factoring in that a certain number among those in the Counter-Jihad may well not want to join such a disastrous adventure.

My problem with this somewhat feverish, hyperventilated scenario is the profound lack, and loss, of trust in the greatness of the West it implies, and the strange alienation from the West that seems to underlie it. For one thing, if the West is that rotten, why fight to save it? (Hence, the “Mad Max Paradox”—a tiny Saved Remnant will fight the mainstream forces, then hunker down during the ensuing apocalyptic chaos (meanwhile fending off mutant midgets and one-eyed bald guys roaming around with howitzer cannons shotgunning their gutted out convertibles), and hopefully the few male Islamophobes (and Conspiracy Nuts) among them will find hot babes in the Wasteland to repopulate a civilization.(Maple syrup spigot of SARC off with a wintry and vehement squeak.)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Good Mo/Bad Mo

Taking a break from my ongoing multi-part series "Taking the temperature of the Counter-Jihad", I note an unusually important posting on Jihad Watch (not that any posting there isn't important on many levels; but some pierce through to rise above the rest) -- this one concerning the O.I.C.

What is the O.I.C., some readers may ask? Well, that's part of the problem, that most in the West still don't know this most crucial part of the disastrously unfolding problem of Islam.

It stands for "Organization of Islamic Cooperation". It is the official international representative body representing all 56 Muslim nations and all Muslim Ulemas (the Ulema is the religious body of clerics of each Muslim nation or region (there are Ulemas in the West as well) who determine what are Islamic laws and teaching in fidelity to Islamic orthodoxy.

I.e., all this sly talk of how "diverse" Islam is which we hear from Islamopologists and their Useful Idiots in the West -- alleging a wondrous diversity making it supposedly impossible for us to pin down any unity about Islam (such that we may be able to criticize it, if not subject it to the condemnation it so richly deserves) -- is demonstrably false: the O.I.C. and the bodies of Ulemas in fact constitute the pragmatic, concrete unity of the Muslim world. I.e., it's not really a moving target of a turgid pool of elusive eels we can't get our hands on.

And where does this unified representative of the Muslim World stand? It has often behaved in a sly manner, apparently playing a Good Cop/Bad Cop game.

Robert Spencer articulates this well in light of a recent policy recommendation by the O.I.C. in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre-cum-commando operation:

If anything shows the falsity of the mainstream narrative about Islam and jihad, it’s this. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation is the world’s largest Islamic world body, and the largest voting bloc at the United Nations. If the Barack Obama/David Cameron/John Kerry/Theresa May narrative about Islam were true, the OIC would be denouncing the murders of the [Charlie Hebdo] cartoonists and developing programs to teach Muslims why the freedom of speech is so important and why the death penalty for blasphemy must be discarded. Instead, we get this this.

The OIC and the Charlie Hebdo jihad murderers are playing a game of Good Cop/Bad Cop that we have seen Islamic supremacists play before: on the one hand there are the murders, and on the other hand there are calls for legal restrictions on criticism of Islam, presented as a means to foster community cohesion and harmony. And behind those calls, there is always the subtle threat of more violence if the restrictions are not implemented.

The whole logic of the Good Cop/Bad Cop tactic is that, in order for it to work, the dupe which the two of them are separately engaging has to be naive enough to think the two "Cops" are NOT in fact working in collusion with each other.

Which is what the entire Western Mainstream seems to believe about the "Islamist extremists" vis-à-vis the supposedly non-"extremist" mainstream Muslims. And the Western Mainstream continues to indulge this rosy picture in great part because it continues to ignore stories like the above -- and there have been thousands of stories like this of various kinds, each one representing a "dot" which, all told, taken together, requires only a "mental pencil" to connect (as Hugh Fitzgerald put it).  The entire West seems to lack that simple mental pencil.

Further Viewing:

Stephen Coughlin on the importance of the O.I.C. (and on the staggering ignorance of the O.I.C. among our representatives & public servants who are tasked with the obligation to protect our society -- full video here).

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Taking the temperature of the Counter-Jihad, part 8
Well, so far as I've been penning these installments in this multi-part series, I've been more concerned than usual to try to be brief and avoid indulging in analytical complexity as I am perhaps too often guilty of doing on this blog; after all, each post thus far has been about a page or less if it were printed out.  Surely, that's not asking too much of my reader.  However, I may well break that unspoken rule with this particular installment, as I begin to delve into aspects of this problem that may be too complex to do justice to with artificially terse and pithy posts.

First off, the short answer to the question I broached in the last two installments -- can I imagine a workable compromise with the Counter-Jihad Softies? -- is Yes.

But there's a Big But (bigger than the mile-wide butts of the houris of Islamic Paradise).  The compromise I would agree to would pertain to what is already underway now anyway: a de facto collaboration in the general direction away from the Mainstream toward the paradigm shift the West is by painstakingly glacial increments turning its U.S.S. Titanic toward as it nevertheless continues to barrel merrily toward the iceberg of Islamic Jihad whose masses of tips & icicles it continues to ignore.  Were the Counter-Jihad an actual Anti-Islam Movement with cachet and organization, and with a more substantive toehold (let alone foothold) in the Mainstream -- which means it would perforce have to have developed an actual platform -- then the dissonance between the Softies and the Holistics would magnify and likely force some kind of a confrontation.

I.e., it is precisely the state of relative lack of organization (and its corollary clout) which facilitates a sort of false sense of unity now; a sort of "we have to set our differences aside and work together" philosophy.  This is all well and good as things stand, but once the rubber is getting closer to meeting the tarmac, we're going to have to start getting serious (i.e., less abstract and more concretely pragmatic).  The day of reckoning -- crystallized by the question, "What do we do about the problem?" -- cannot be put off forever.  I only fear that if the Softies continue to hold sway (and their sway is held by virtue of the relative passivity of the likely Majority of Comfortably Incoherent, Passive-Aggressively Don't-Rock-the-Boat Counter-Jihadists), they will continue to steer the Movement (and, as time goes along, to steer a West more and more coming around to rousing itself from its ridiculous Rip Van Winkle Nap as, in the interest of its Fukuyamishly airhead beauty sleep and rose-colored dreams thereof, it continues hitting the snooze alarm on its 90s digital alarm clock flashing 9:11) on a course inexorably dependent on letting Muslims dictate the direction of our response.

On one level, this would be fine, since that has been my position all along -- viz., that it is our intelligent attention to the Mohammedan data that should define our policy, not some hypothetical abstract model of what Must Be the Case tangential to, if not blithely irrespective of, the data on the ground.  I.e., we need to err on the side of a casuistic approach, while we judiciously veer away from an inductively speculative template (and I unpacked this perspective in an essay here from about two years ago, Is Islam an "existential threat"?).

However, if the Softies continue to hold sway, what is likely to unfold & devolve from there is an incoherent combination of casuism (responding to the data) and paradigm-driven reaction (forcing the data to conform to the abstract model).  The likely result of this kind of approach would be to reinforce the West's neurotically immature De Nile -- much like the person who keeps putting off the medical exam that may reveal he has cancer, hoping that by pretending there's no problem, it'll just go away on its own.  And what this will likely entail is to ensure that the inevitable -- Deportation of Muslims from the West -- will be costlier, messier, and bloodier than it needs to be.

Given this, would I continue to compromise and work with the Counter-Jihad Softies as the protracted, metastasizing Train Wreck of our near future continues to unravel?

Do I have a choice?  (And the answer to that is in your hands, dear reader, not mine...)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Taking the temperature of the Counter-Jihad, part 7

So far, each installment of this series has alluded to the immediately preceding part in order to link up with an unfolding, overarching analysis of the problem.  This time, then, instead of referencing part 6, I reach back to an observation I made in part 4:

Before the Counter-Jihad can forge its platform, then, it has to get straight what the problem of Islam is, exactly, and what it advises its West to do about it.  And before that can happen, as I have said in the previous installments of this topic, its members need to have a Conversation about this.

We can't lose sight of this crucial piece of the puzzle as we forge ahead pursuing a "Conversation".  We have to agree on what is, exactly, the nature of the problem we are grappling with.  If we have widely divergent definitions of the problem, any subsequent discussions we have will be, as the saying goes, "talking past each other" (or, to pull out another cliché, we "won't be on the same page").

So what is the problem, exactly?  Most of the Counter-Jihad folks would hasten to agree it's not a "Tiny Minority of Extremists" (just as they would hasten to agree that the term "Moderate Muslim" is worthy only of bitterly caustic derision).  But what are they offering in its place?  Well, unfortunately, the answer to this question seems to depend on the Counter-Jihad person one is talking to at the moment.  Many in the Counter-Jihad may seem to be talking in robustly no-nonsense terms about the problem; but when one examines their locutions more closely, one sees to one's dismay that they are effectively putting forth something roughly the same as the "Tiny Minority of Extremists" -- with merely a larger Minority in mind.  I.e., the only difference between them and a Daniel Pipes (or, worse yet, a George Bush) is the numbers:  a slightly (or somewhat) larger Minority of Extremists is the problem.  Not "Tiny", perhaps, but still a Minority.

This, along with a fastidious disinclination to condemn Muslims in any way that does not anxiously and simultaneously protect vast swaths of Muslims from our condemnation, characterizes what I have called the "Counter-Jihad Softy" (what I have analyzed as the "asymptotic" perspective, contrasted with the "holistic" point of view that sees Islam and all Muslims as the problem). 

So the question at this juncture of my multi-part meditation here is: Can I conceive of a way to come to some kind of compromise with the Counter-Jihad Softy, given that I define the problem in a significantly (if not radically) different way?

I'm still chewing on it...

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Taking the temperature of the Counter-Jihad, part 6

In part 5, I mentioned the rifts that exist in the Counter-Jihad.  Some of these rifts may not be that serious; but one in particular does strike me as important enough to give us pause -- the rift, that is, between those who are tough on Islam, and those who seem to be tough on Islam but who really have a soft, chewy, nougaty core beneath their apparently no-nonsense toughness.

In light of this, I posed the question:

Can a Compromise be developed between these two camps?

Part of the problem of a compromise is that the definition and characterization of what constitutes the two camps is not an exact science, but is subject to a degree of relative, subjective impression & opinion.  Of course, I have pretty definite notions of that definition and characterization, as anyone who has read some of my essays here will know; but at least I'm open to the fact that my conception will be in some respects disputed, and some form of hashing out and compromise will be inevitable.  (Some people, I have noticed, seem to think that if you have definite principles & positions, you are then incapable of compromise.)

So, the definition of a "Softy" is not necessarily set in stone; and, in addition (and closely related to that), there may well be quite a few varieties of "Softness" in this regard -- and sometimes the differences do matter.  Particularly, one expects, in the terms of the goal of a compromise.

One way I can approach this is to turn the question on myself:  Can I imagine coming to a compromise with the dreaded Counter-Jihad Softy?  And what would such a compromise look like?

Let me chew on that a while...

Friday, January 09, 2015

Hesperado was down for a few hours

Hope it didn't inconvenience my 17.5 readers...

Taking the temperature of the Counter-Jihad, part 5
In part 4, I wrote:

Coming up in part 5:  If the differences among Counter-Jihad members are unavoidable, would a Compromise among them be possible?  What would such a Compromise look like? 

I wrote that in a context of having adverted to "fault lines" of disagreement within the Counter-Jihad.  One particular fault line that has come to frustrate (if not exasperate) me more and more has been the one distinguishing the "Softies" from those who counsel a more robust diagnosis of the problem (viz., for starters, it's not just "Islam but not Muslims" -- it's both Islam and Muslims).  This reflects perhaps a more serious rift than do most fault lines.  The latest Mohammedan atrocity in France only underscores the exigency (and the exasperation) all the more, one would think.

Can a Compromise be developed between these two camps? 

I don't know; they haven't shown any willingness as yet to engage in a reasonable and mature conversation about it.  If only some of the supposedly more reasonable Counter-Jihad folks (such as Jihad Watch regulars Mirren, Wellington, wildjew, dumbledoresarmy, and others) would step in and chide their fellow Softies (such as Jihad Watch regulars Angemon, Phillip Jihadski, mortimer, Jay Boo, and Salah), using their peer pressure to motivate them to stop being such asses, we could begin to get serious about a most deadly-serious problem.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Taking the temperature of the Counter-Jihad, part 4
In part 3, I referred to a "Conversation" which the Counter-Jihad needs to have, before it can become the optimal sociopolitical movement its members desire it to be.  This Conversation, I said, needs to take place in order to hammer out a coherent platform for the movement.

I then wondered if this Conversation would "go on forever, with internal bickering that never resolves itself?"

It's a good (albeit frustrating) question, because there does seem to be a lack of unity within the Counter-Jihad.  On one level, there may seem to be an ostensible unity, insofar as one can go into any large comments thread at Jihad Watch or Gates of Vienna or any number of other venues (alas, there was a time, aeons ago, when the Little Green Footballs blog provided a relatively healthy forum for airing out feelings, thoughts and opinions on this matter, before that blog was strangely hijacked by brains-devouring Leftards), and one can see superficial unanimity as everyone goes for the easy jugular of lambasting Islam itself and the easily identifiable Extremists when a particular news story provides the easily identifiable red blood of a jihadist story du jour.  When, however, more complex issues are raised -- including the increasingly exigent question of what do we do about this problem -- that unanimity begins to show cracks, if not important fault lines. 

The fault lines tend to break down in terms of how tough (or how soft) the Counter-Jihadist shows himself to be.  There seems to be a spectrum of degrees or gradations in this regard, from those who are virtually indistinguishable from the George Bush line (i.e., Mainstream PC MC which recognizes only the TMOE meme -- that a Tiny Minority of Extremists is the only problem); to those who pretend to be tougher than this but end up parroting essentially the same logic (the Daniel Pipes / Nicolai Sennels contingent); to those who seem even more robust but who at odd moments show signs of PC MC reflexes; and so forth.  The truly anti-Islam position I have frankly rarely found in the Counter-Jihad; its apparent appearance invariably seems to be tempered by something (whether lurking PC MC concerns like an anxiety about being too "racist", or whether a conspiracy-theory flirtation with the "Real Problem" beyond, or behind, the problem of Islam; or any n umber of other ways people have found ingeniously to go into yoga pretzel contortions avoiding the holistic position that boldly stands on a condemnation of Islam and all Muslims).

Before the Counter-Jihad can forge its platform, then, it has to get straight what the problem of Islam is, exactly, and what it advises its West to do about it.  And before that can happen, as I have said in the previous installments of this topic, its members need to have a Conversation about this.

Coming up in part 5:  If the differences among Counter-Jihad members are unavoidable, would a Compromise among them be possible?  What would such a Compromise look like?

Monday, January 05, 2015

Taking the temperature of the Counter-Jihad, part 3

My multi-part essay I'm working on here represents a slow, bite-sized exploration of a subject matter in my mind so complicated it looms as a formidably tedious task. 

In part 2, I wrote:

"Still, the Counter-Jihad has to do something.  It has to cultivate itself as a nucleus of an ongoing hopeful transformation of the West.  Right?"

What do I mean a "transformation" of the West?  Of course, I mean a change in the paradigm of PC MC that has become a dominant and prevalent fashion throughout the mainstream West.  I don't mean some kind of general transformation of everything in the West. (Indeed, some in the Counter-Jihad do talk that way, about a general transformation; but that seems to me to be an unnecessary, counter-productive distraction from the primary exigency of protecting our societies from Muslims.)

Before the Counter-Jihad can do that, however, it needs to develop a coherent platform.  And in order to do that it needs to have a Conversation among its members.

Would that Conversation go on forever, with internal bickering that never resolves itself?  That of course would be most unfortunate.  There certainly do seem to be deep differences of opinion one can detect these past few years, from the disagreements (sometimes petty, sometimes more mature but still serious) among the rank-and-file civilians, all the way up to the apparent fights amongst its unofficial leadership (cloaked as those fights seem to be behind the closed doors of the "Gentlemen's Club" about which I've written in the past).

At any rate, it's worth a try.  And the best vehicle for such a Conversation would be some sort of online chat room that has voice capability -- a kind of international electronic town hall meeting.

Taking the temperature of the Counter-Jihad, part 2

In part 1, I spoke of "an impatience with the Counter-Jihad, because, of course, the Counter-Jihad is obviously not doing enough".

Obviously, the Counter-Jihad can't be fully blamed for this, since its relative impotence is largely due to the massive fact that its surrounding society -- politicians, news media, academe, popular culture, and too many ordinary people -- is being remiss in its obligation to be supportive in this most urgent matter.

Still, the Counter-Jihad has to do something.  It has to cultivate itself as a nucleus of an ongoing hopeful transformation of the West.  Right?

If the answer is yes (as it should be), then what?  Doesn't the movement have an obligation of its own to at least try to be the best it can be, as it tries to develop something that will be useful, given the two problems -- of Islam, and of Western myopia to Islam?

Of course, I say yes to this question.  But how do we get there if we seem to disagree on basic issues revolving around this?

Hence my call for a "summit meeting".  The movement desperately needs a general conversation, on the Internet, to hash all these things out.


Saturday, January 03, 2015

Taking the temperature of the Counter-Jihad -- Part 1

It may be presumptuous of me to say, but I sense a general rumbling of discontent and anxiety in the Counter-Jihad.  I've sensed it for quite some time.  Not merely with regard to the Usual Suspects -- Islam and the "Leftist" Mainstream -- but with regard to the Counter-Jihad itself.

I sense an underlying impatience and rudderlessness.  You know: okay, we've been talking about this problem of Islam for years; now, what do we do about it?  That kind of thing. 

Over the years, we have seen various momentary outbursts in various parts of the West expressing some measure of defiance -- the latest being the PEGIDA phenomenon in Europe.  Still, there continues to be a sense that this is simply not enough.  A sense that something needs to be done more than has been done thus far (duh).

I.e., the Counter-Jihad is understandably impatient with the slug's pace of glacial non-progress of their own West; and this naturally translates to an impatience with the Counter-Jihad, because, of course, the Counter-Jihad is obviously not doing enough (hence my previous paragraph).

This sense of impatience and inadequacy needs to be talked out, thrashed out, amongst the various rag-tag members of this ... "Counter-Jihad".  I can just feel it.  We really need to find a way to get together and have something like a summit meeting.

Now, if only there were some kind of an international community able to communicate with some new electronic medium... hmmmm.... what could that be...?

To be continued...

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Pepper Archives 5: The imaginary Maginot Line

Another day in my continuing series of taking some of my old comments out of the old Jihad Watch archives going back ten years to 2005, shaking off the dust, spiffing them up if they need it, and putting them up here.

On one thread Hugh brought up the Benes Decrees (a sociopolitical process of mass deportations of Germans which the briefly free and democratic Czechoslovakia implemented in the brief window of time immediately following WW2 it enjoyed between being subjugated by two totalitarianisms), someone wondered why we were bringing up dusty old decades when we are supposed to be discussing a present danger:

“How did we get onto WWII anyway? Aren’t we supposed to be worried about the threat of islam, not the crimes of people who are long dead…?”

To which I responded:

For good or ill (sometimes one, sometimes the other) European politics is still, over 50 years after the end of WWII, deeply weighed down by, as Mike Savage puts it, waiting vigilantly and anxiously for that “imaginary Maginot Line”.

I.e., the anxious concern that we never succumb again to what led to Hitler has become an institutionalized and cultural habit in Europe, leading now to a paradoxical effect: in order to avoid “repeating Hitler”, they tend now to identify what is labeled as “Islamophobia” as being that frightening threat of a new Fascism — while at the same time giving outrageous free passes to the most virulent expressions of that type of Fascism today — emanating from the Islamic nebula.

It’s kind of a Catch-22 Paradox: the more a person warns about the threat of Islam, the more that person becomes labeled as the real threat.

And that paradox is so air-tight with so many people, nothing short of a few major cataclysms, perhaps, will shake them of it. Or worse, nothing short of seeing Arabic horsemen taking charge of the village square and rounding up people to imprison, shoot and behead in order to initiate the dawning of a new Caliphate.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Pepper Archives 4: Knowing our Left from our Right...

Some typical examples of my thought process in 2005 (when in Jihad Watch comments I called myself "Dr. Pepper" in my continuing series of revisiting those archives), as I was grappling with the problem of the nature of PC MC, may be found in this comments thread as I respond to various remarks by others.  Not that what I say there I now found objectionable, per se; it's only that my accent on Leftism as the source of PC MC seems a bit too pointed, and conveys the misleading impression that non-Leftists (who abound throughout the West, if they are not likely the majority) regularly lapse into their PC MC tics, spasms & reflexes out of some reason other than that they sincerely and willingly go along with its givens in this regard -- as though they were sheeps duped (if not forced) by some amorphous (or dastardly) influences.

And then, I note in a nearby comments thread, I can turn around and write this:

[Michael] Savage tirelessly emphasizes the screamingly obvious fact that Leftism (Savage calls it “Liberalism”, but I forgive his semantics) is the major problem crippling our self-defense against Islam. Here on “our side”, Messrs. Hugh and Robert (and the majority of posters here) are consistently fastidiously chary about blaming Leftism (and in fact have turned “it’s not a Left/Right problem” into a noble bromide).

-- and then subsequently add:

This Leftist “hijacking” of culture is so extensive, it infects conservatives and the “right wing” to an unprecedented degree.

(Or, in yet another comments thread, this:

The idea that Bush, and Christian Fundamentalists & Evangelicals, and Christians in general, and Jews, are more dangerous to the world than Islams is — this idea has had a long, rich and enormous cultural matrix to evolve into fruition from. This idea didn’t just pop out of the blue sky the day Bush took the oath of office. The ground has been laid for decades for such an idea to have the dominance it has now — and that sociopolitico-cultural ground that nourishes that idea, and its flip-side of tender sensitivity to Islam, is mostly the fault of the Left, who created PC and continue to water it and feed it daily.)

Which was (I now see) decidedly a bit too much.  Though I do show signs of getting warm again (hence my general characterization of myself as "grappling" with the analytical problem):

The missing ingredient here is the cultural sea change that has occurred in the past 50-odd years, whereby even conservative and right-leaning businessmen and politicians have become infected by the amorphous cultural atmosphere of PC Leftism, which holds three non-negotiable Givens about Islam:

1) Islam is a great world religion of peace

2) terrorism by Muslims represents a tiny minority of extremists who are trying to hijack that religion of peace

3) all substantive criticism of Islam qua Islam is “Islamophobic” and must not be entertained or supported in the public marketplace of ideas (let alone in the halls of policy-making or in the chambers of intelligence meetings).

Then, however, I had to add:

Notice Spencer’s comment: “that the struggle against jihad terror and the supremacist imperative is not a conservative or liberal issue, and that both should join it.”

Once again, Spencer conflates the “is” with the “should”. Of course, we all agree that our current self-defense against Islam should not be a left-right issue; but that should not blind us to the fact that it currently is one, and has been one for several decades. 

To which my nearly 2015 self says, looking fondly on his younger, 2005 self:  "Well, yes and no..."  For, as I have documented and analyzed a few times since that time, as dismayingly PC MC as the Right has shown itself to be in this regard, they do show some signs of being to some degree better than those on the Left.

Nevertheless, I did follow up that above remark with the following, once again showing that I was struggling for the perspective I came to clarify in later years:

Furthermore, Spencer and Hugh (and a few others here) obtusely ignore the more complex sociological issue here: we are not talking about “liberals” and “conservatives” as bodies of people subscribing to clear party platforms. We are talking about a sociocultural process, whereby our culture has become infected by Leftism over the past 50-odd years. This sociocultural process has resulted in the curious phenomenon of conservatives & those on the Right buying into the PC package, which includes the three Givens I listed above.

And, even better, in a subsequent response to one Cornelius (who insisted on demonizing certain right-wing businessmen who deal in the various geopolitical economics of Saudi and UAE oil):

American oil men wouldn’t do those things in collusion with Nazis or the KKK or the Symbionese Liberation Army. The fact they do it with Muslims shows not that they are knowingly colluding with evil people; but rather that they are unknowingly colluding with them. And their lack of knowledge is not merely a simple ignorance of data that, once supplied by accidentally reading Jihad Watch, would cause the scales to fall from their eyes. No, their lack of knowledge is more than mere deficiency of information; it is part of a sociocultural sea change in psychology and sociology that needs more than the simple communication of data to wake them up.

And, when Cornelius obtusely persisted in assuming that these Right-Wing Anglo-Saxon Globalist Businessmen were ultimately motivated by one of Hugh Fitzgerald's Esdujula Elves (viz., Cupidity), I followed up with:

The crucial explanatory factor here then is not the bottom line (even though the bottom line is important), since the crucial explanatory factor would have to be a factor under all circumstances: the crucial explanatory factor is the ignorance of how bad one’s business partners are, the ignorance of (Islamic) ideology; and again, that ignorance is not in our current cultural condition merely a deficiency of data. It is the state of being massively infected by a parallel ideology — PC Leftism.

Speaking of Hugh, he had to weigh in at that juncture -- with, speaking of the devil, that particular Esdrujula Elf, Cupidity, as a viable explanation for those aforementioned Businessmen.  To which I responded:

With Realpolitik (and its corollary, realistic economics), there has always been a certain amount of dealing with bad people, since the assumption is that nobody’s perfect and that in the real world, one makes deals with lesser evils. Knowing that Saudis are the types you wouldn’t want your daughter meeting is hardly remarkable, considering how many ordinarily bad wolves exist in the world; and that knowledge is hardly knowledge of the profound malevolence of Islam and the dire threat it poses to the West, and to the World.

Obviously, no American businessman worth his salt (and we are not talking about the ones not worth their salt and we are assuming that the majority of them are decent, intelligent, ethical, patriotic types) would do business with, for example, Hitler in 1944, let alone continue to renew business contracts with him year in and year out (hypothetically imagining that WWII lasted long after 1945).
We here in our tiny subcommunity Jihad Watch know that Islam is as bad as (if not in certain ways worse than) Hitler’s Germany. Obviously then, something besides mere cupidity and stupidity motivates these American businessmen to continue to deal with Muslims:

1) not mere cupidity, because otherwise they would have collaborated with Hitler in 1944 if it would have fed their cupidity — and we know they wouldn’t have.

2) not stupidity, because the information is already extant and prevalent, and businessmen and politicians are intelligent.

It’s not a matter of lack of information, or some mysterious obstruction to the information getting to the eyes and ears of these people. It’s a matter of a massive, sociocultural filter of all information, changing the nature of that information before it gets received.

Friday, December 26, 2014

The Pepper Archives 3: Plus ça change...
Continuing my series on resurrecting my old comments from Jihad Watch from when I went by the handle of "Dr. Pepper", today's sample (expatiating upon the terrorism du jour back then -- the Theo Van Gogh slaughter, the London Tube bombings, the Madrid train bombings...) from nearly a decade ago is rather depressing, as it reminds us that nothing much seems to have changed in the intervening years; if, indeed, it is not getting worse.  

And when I say "it" I refer not only to Islam, but more poignantly & piquantly to the PC MC that continues to dominate the mainstream of the West -- the PC MC that remains the #1 reason why the West continues to be chin-deep in the yellow-brown waters of De Nile (while burying its collective head in the sand along the banks) about this metastasizing danger.

Without further ado, I post that comment from yesteryear:

The terrorist attacks seem to be having the opposite effect that one would rationally assume they would have: instead of galvanizing the politicians, academics, and media pundits to investigate Islam itself as a possible source of terrorism, the terrorist attacks are actually causing a reverse situation: with each new attack, our politicians, academics, and media pundits

1) become MORE “sensitive” to Muslims

2) try to build MORE “bridges of understanding” with the “religion of peace”

3) become MORE influenced by Muslim advocacy groups whose suspect motives and records they fail to investigate

4) anxiously try to help prevent “backlash” against Muslims

5) articulate criticisms of people who dare to wonder if Islam itself nourishes these attacks

6) label critics of Islam as “racists” and “Islamophobes”

7) help to put institutional and legal apparatus into place which will further faciliate Muslims to engage in al taqiyya and further hinder the critics of Islam (e.g., “religious hate” laws).

Whether this paradoxical effect of continued terrorist attacks is part of a clever plot by Jihadists, or whether it simply reflects the dhimmi stupidity of our culture and Jihadists are wising up to its enormous utility to their overarching cause of Jihad (of which terrorism is just one tool), it doesn’t seem to matter.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Pepper Archives: 2

In my introduction to this little (temporary) series, I noted that, in my comments on Jihad Watch going back to 2005 under the nickname "Dr. Pepper", while I was rather fixated on "Leftism" being the explanation for the Western myopia to the problem of Islam, there were indications of my eventual evolution out of that rather restricted paradigm.  The following is an example of how I was already moving beyond it:

Optimism is fine, as long as it is founded on a realistic appraisal of the problem being faced.

In considering the problem of Western blindness to the problem of Islam, our optimism will actually be counter-productive (or ineffectual at best) if we persist in thinking that

a) there is a majority in the West on our side

b) the blind Westerners would quickly come to our side if they could just be given enough data about the problem of Islam

c) the Western blindness is only a problem of elites in powerful positions (the usual suspect—Politicians, Media, and Academics) and not a far deeper and broader sociological/cultural problem affecting (and infecting) hundreds of millions of ordinary people

d) the Western blindness is primarily a problem of corruption and greed in the highest levels (the elites again, this time adding in Corporate Greed to the list of Usual Suspects), rather than primarily a problem of ideology (for without a deformation in ideology there would be little receptivity to pecuniary seductions)

[Already, I see was anticipating my critique of Hugh Fitzgerald's "Esdrujula Elves"]

e) the Americans are superior to, and somehow less blind than, the Europeans: there might be a handsome swathe of Heartland Americans who have a sociocultural inoculation against PC idiocy, but the last election splitting America into a 50/50 red/blue nation shows at least 50% who would insist Islam is not the problem; and I think a considerable proportion among the remaining 50% would, sadly, parrot that. (And this 50/50 split doesn’t count the millions in America who are more or less apolitically apathetic and/or marginal kooks who, collectively, tend when prodded to lean to the Left and think America, and the West in general, is rotten to the core.)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Pepper Archives

I've had so many different nicknames at Jihad Watch comments threads over the years that I'd forgotten them all.  The reason for the different nicknames wasn't just for the spice of life of variety, but because each new nickname along the way was born of the necessity of creating a new account because the last one was banned by Robert Spencer (and/or one of his henchmen -- or henchwoman, the former Marisol; about whom, incidentally, I had a particularly unfortunate episode of banning back in 2010 which I documented in a few Hesperado essays (that was, coincidentally, the only time on Jihad Watch when my nickname was "Hesperado"), including this one, Banned again from Jihad Watch comments: O the humanity (of Muslims)!). Since then, I found my way back to Jihad Watch comments under subsequent, new nicknames ("LemonLime" and nowadays (fingers crossed...) "voegelinian").

At any rate, recently I stumbled on perhaps one of my first nicknames, going back to 2005, which must be close to the time I first started commenting there (perhaps I started as early as 2004).  At that time, the moniker I chose was "Dr. Pepper".  I'm glad in retrospect I chose that seemingly flippant nickname, because it makes it that much easier to Google and find the Google page of many (if not all) of my former comments under it.  Re-reading a few of those, I was struck (if I may toot my own horn here) by how cogent and informative many of my comments were.  So I got the bright idea to re-print many of them over the next week; hopefully every day until the new year.

So far in my re-reading, I note to my own amusement my former hobbyhorse against "Leftists".  I too (along with most, it seems, in the Counter-Jihad) back then thought the only problem with the West vis-à-vis the problem of Islam had to be "Leftism" -- though I do notice in those old comments written by my former Dr. Pepper self signs of my incipient learning curve to a more subtle analysis of the problem.  One reason why I went through that strange process -- called changing my mind -- was that over time, I kept noticing the data of Conservatives & Centrists (as well as that under-appreciated sociopolitical demographic, the Comfortably Apolitical) showing too many indications of parroting the same PC MC bullshit about Islam which the Leftists traffic 24/7.  As I said, I have noticed little signs that even back then, I was progressing along a train of thought that would eventually free me from the relatively simplistic notion that "Leftism" exhaustively explains the problem of Western myopia -- a train of thought that eventually led me (on this blog copiously, as well as elsewhere on the Internet, including Jihad Watch comments) to refine my symbolism of PC MC (Politically Correct Multi-Culturalism) as a viable term in political science in this regard.

So now, without further ado, I re-print a comment I wrote about a decade ago on Jihad Watch comments -- this one in response to a typically anxious comment by a Jihad Watch Softy (one "Cornelius") to the effect that the French Presidential Candidate (Jean-Marie) Le Pen was unacceptably "anti-semitic" and therefore he should not be supported even given his relatively robust anti-Islam sentiments.  I began by noting that a link Cornelius gave to substantiate his misgivings was inadequate, and then I proceeded to articulate an analytical report (the link I gave back then no longer leads directly to it) by a perhaps more reputable source on Le Pen, a Haaretz Daily interview of him:

From this Haaretz Daily interview (which I link at the bottom) with Le Pen, I see nothing wrong with his views (except somewhat, see my following two paragraphs); and he does not come across as a person trying to deceive — indeed, his candor and bluntness are what have gotten him in trouble in our PC-hairtrigger times.

From this interview and Le Pen’s response noted here, I do agree this particular response seems disingenuous:

When asked to elaborate about this “detail” in 1997, Le Pen explained: “If you take a thousand-page book about World War II, the concentration camps would take up two pages and the gas chambers would take up 10 to 15 lines. That’s what I call a detail.”

However, his statements about Israel show that he cannot be an anti-Semite in the most important sense today:

Interviewer: Can you understand the complaints in Israel about the “hypocritical” European reaction?

Le Pen: “Certainly. After all, I got a similar reaction during the war in Algeria, when I served in General Massu’s 10th division. We were called upon to fight the terrorism of the FLN (the Algerian nationalist movement that fought against French colonialism). The intelligentsia at home criticized our actions. It’s very easy to criticize from the armchair in the living room. I completely understand the State of Israel, which is seeking to defend its citizens.”

Interviewer: Do you condone the Israeli action against the Iraqi nuclear reactor?

Le Pen: “Yes, of course. That was an act of prevention. True, it doesn’t conform to international law, but in such a situation, there is no need to use it.”

Again, Le Pen: “The Israeli government says that it is a victim of terrorist activity, but this activity is less visible than the military strikes. I belonged to the 10th paratroop division that was ordered to destroy the terror in Algiers. This was after a series of terror attacks against civilians in public centers. The division did wipe out terror, and it didn’t do this by being gentle with the terrorists. A war on terror is a brutal thing.”

This Haaretz Daily interview has many other revealing things about Le Pen — none of which offend, and all of which endear:

Le Pen was asked of his opinion on a variety of things:

The French Revolution – “A bloody calamity for the French people. This revolution spawned two dreadful bastards: Nazism and communism.”

The skullcap – “The skullcap that Catholic priests wear? I don’t have anything against the skullcap. It’s a personal choice.”

The Muslim veil – “It protects us from ugly women.”

The Dreyfus Affair – “Dreyfus was exonerated and that concluded the affair. We should remember that among those who sided with Dreyfus at the time were people from the right, and that some from the left were among his opponents.”

Collaborators with Hitler – “France was an occupied country. There were two kinds of collaborators: those who were forced by the Nazis to collaborate and those who viewed Hitler as the realization of anti-communist socialism. The latter were almost all leftists, by the way.”

What is your definition of torture?

Le Pen: “I don’t know. I would define it as `a series of violent acts that cause physical injury to individuals, actions that destroy the personality and leave traces.’ Police and military interrogations do not fit this definition of torture. What’s surprising is that the people who fought against torture here are the communists. And the communists are the ones who used to practice systematic mass torture in their own countries. The suffering caused by the terrorists is the real torture. The struggle against terrorists sometimes requires secrecy and it has its own rules. The enemy must not be allowed the advantage that permits him to plant bombs when and where he wants. In this struggle, everyone must carry his own burden.”

Le Pen was asked about fascist elements alleged to have been in his party, the National Front:

Le Pen: “In [my party, the National Front], there was no mention of fascism or national-socialism. In my speeches, I always condemned communism, national-socialism and fascism. Incidentally, I define all of them as leftist movements that were spawned by the French Revolution. The only reason that our movement was pegged with the extremist label is because of our loyalty to the principle of `French Algeria’ and our opposition to the policy of separation from Algeria, which De Gaulle instituted.”

Do you agree with Jacques Chirac’s 1995 statement about France’s responsibility for the crimes of the Vichy government?

Le Pen: “No. France was not responsible for this criminal policy. France was an occupied country, a country that surrendered and was left without the right to choose. Therefore, to be fair, you cannot say that it was a willing partner in this policy. On this I agree with De Gaulle [who viewed France as a `resistance country’ – A.P.], and with practically all the French leaders aside from Jacques Chirac. I am sure that he made this statement for electoral reasons. It was a showy move designed to win sympathy in certain circles.”

Which circles?

Le Pen: “In this case, Jewish circles. In a successful book that was published recently [“L’homme qui ne s’aimait pas” – “The Man Who Didn’t Love Himself”], Eric Zemmour, a journalist from Le Figaro, quotes President Chirac as saying after his declaration of French responsibility for Vichy crimes: `I hope the Jews will stop pestering me from now on.'”

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Strategy of Sidération

A new book by Alexandre Del Valle, the French terrorism analyst and self-styled "geopolitologue", titled Syrian Chaos: Springtime Arabs and Minorities confronting Islamism, in its blurb has an interesting (though not necessarily new) idea.  In reading through this, the seasoned reader may try, as did I, to suppress his profound dyspepsia at such ridiculous terms as "radical Islamism", in order to glean the useful parts.  (From what I can gather, Del Valle is roughly on the Daniel Pipes end of the asymptotic spectrum, so one must have one's table salt handy when reading him.)

"A lucid and flexible description of the totalitarian menace represented by "jihadism 2.0", this new book by Alexandre Del Valle written with the Syrian Christian intellectual Randa Kassis was published [in November]...

"As a specialist of disinformation and radical Islamism, Del Valle [and Randa Kassis] ... explains that:

...the double aim of Daish (Islamic State) and of Islamo-terrorists in general is not above all to kill just for the sake of killing -- which would be once again to misunderstand the laws of terrorism -- but rather [it is calculated] to provoke a generalized "Stockholm syndrome" among both the Arab and Western societies, [thus] psychologically terrorized.  The objective of the psychopaths of the Islamic State and their Caliph, "Ibrahim" (aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi), is also to arouse at the same time a morbid fascination in the heart of an active minority of human beings who are naturally fascinated by barbarism..."

The blurb goes on to describe how this terrorism is a kind of "strategy of  sidération" -- a useful French word difficult to translate with just one English word; which may be rendered as "a state of shock, disarray and paralysis" -- deployed with clever sophistication by the ISIS Muslims through social media; even to the point where the mere communication of the horrors of this terrorism seems to suffice to cow some of the villages and areas they conquer without having to use much physical military force.

And, of course, more subtly, the ongoing propaganda communication of the sidération to the wider Western world (in the ongoing implicit context of already successful -- as well as numerous luckily aborted -- terror attacks in the West by their co-religionists) has tended to induce the generalized Stockholm syndrome and PTSD that reinforces and results in the Western myopia, whitewashing of, and deference to, the Islam that is the main context and engine of this terrorism which we in the Counter-Jihad know all to well.  (It may be needless to add to the literate reader who has been autodidactically matriculating along the learning curve that this strategy is a worldwide and Western phenomenon, not merely limited to its obvious spearpoints of ISIS and Al Qaeda; and this is one of the many problems with Del Valle's unfortunate cacophemistic truncation of the problem to "radical Islamism").

It also should be added, to supplement Del Valle's analysis with Bill Warner's interesting idea, that what this strategy of sidération does -- in eliciting Stockholm syndrome and PTSD (and from there, irrational deference) -- reflects not merely a current dynamic, but also, and importantly, serves to revive a perennial sidération which Muslims have been provoking for centuries by their relentless terror attacks against the West (both large, as frank military assaults, and smaller, as razzias, or the medieval version of the terror attack).  As Bill Warner has noted, the millennial, protracted and diverse onslaught against the West which lasted for approximately the thousand years from the 7th century to the 17th century (marked by the last time -- 1683 against Vienna -- when Muslims were able to mount a major military assault) induced in the Western psyche and Western culture a kind of generalized PTSD about Islam; which goes a long way to explain the curious, and curiously widespread, whitewashing of Islam in Western pop culture, sociopolitical culture, and academe.

Further Reading:

Western Amnesia and Islamnesia

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