Monday, December 14, 2015


Michael L.

isis2The western-left refuses to stand up to the cruel bullies of political Islam.

In doing so, the Left has abandoned women in the Muslim-Middle East, gay people in the Muslim-Middle East, all non-Muslims in that part of the world, as well as freedom of speech even in Europe.  As a direct consequence, as I have argued ad nauseum, they have flushed adherence to the ideal of universal human rights directly down the toilet.

In this way, the progressive-left has abandoned its very reason to be because it has abandoned the heart of its movement in favor of the multicultural ideal.

When I think of the joyous escapades of our friends in the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) - such as, for example, burying Yazidis alive in mass graves or using young non-Muslim prepubescent girls as sexual slaves or the mass chopping off of "infidel" heads or the destruction of ancient antiquities, such as we recently saw in Palmyra - one word comes immediately to mind:


The thing about the western-left, in general, and the American-left, as well, is that it recognizes no such category of human being - beyond Republicans, Evangelical Christians, or conservatives - as an enemy.  They may actively and loudly despise people such as former president George W. Bush, but they can live with the Muslim Brotherhood or Islamic Jihad or Boko Haram.  This is because they tend to have little, or no, sense of ethical proportionality.  Sure, Boko Haram might kidnap hundreds of young girls for the purpose of raping them and selling them into sexual slavery but, aghghg!, George W. Bush is a Texas Republican!

The Left knows who their real enemy is and it is definitely neither Boko Haram, nor the Islamic State.

I understand, of course, that the concept of "enemy" is not a pretty one.  When a people or a nation have an enemy then their leadership is obligated to defeat that enemy.  This requires a willingness to stand up, put oneself forward, and actually do whatever is necessary to win the war.  People on the Left, however, have no such inclination unless they are spitting hatred at the likes of Dick Cheney or that heinous Zionist, Benjamin Netanyahu.

The rise of political Islam represents the single most significant geopolitical event since the downfall of the Soviet Union.  The crazed and vicious denizens of organizations like ISIS or Hamas despise essential western values such as the equality of women, freedom of speech or, even, freedom of thought, and they are perfectly happy to use the most horrendous forms of violence to prove it.

And, needless to say, political Islam is the most violently anti-Semitic political movement that we have seen in the world since the Nazis were pulling gold out of Jewish teeth.  This makes them unequivocally my enemy and they should be the acknowledged enemy of anyone who believes in western-liberal values... which the Left no longer does, if it ever did.

There are at least two important reasons why the progressive-left finds it difficult to acknowledge groups like ISIS as an enemy.  The first is because the United States is a powerful, largely white country, and people "of color" in the Middle East are considered underdogs and the natural instinct is to protect the underdog even, apparently, if the underdog is burning people alive in cages.

The second reason is because most progressives blame the West for the rise of political Islam due to unjust material factors imposed by Europe for centuries and by the United States since early in the twentieth.  That is, they believe that western and American imperialism destabilized traditional societies, subjecting them to war and poverty, thereby encouraging a rational hatred of the West.

There is only one major problem with this analysis.  It infantilizes Arabs in an exceedingly bigoted and prejudicial manner and it fails to acknowledge the linkage between strongly held religious beliefs and behavior.  ISIS, whatever else it may be, is a religious-political movement drenched in the Salafist form of Islam.  When they say that they wish to carry out the violent Jihad for the purpose of establishing the Caliphate, they mean it.  When they say that head-chopping is the pleasure of Allah and that if they die in Jihad they will go to paradise, they mean that, as well.

They act on their beliefs and those belief are not due to the fact that sometimes Jewish people build housing for themselves beyond the Green Line.  Their beliefs are grounded in their religious faith and the primary sources of that faith are the Qur'an and the hadiths.

Drop Sam Harris a line.

He will have a few words.


  1. Their beliefs are grounded in their religious faith and the primary sources of that faith are the Qur'an and the hadiths.

    Partly. Only partly.
    But to leave out the fact that this entire part of the world has marinated itself in political conspiracy theories about Jews for the best part of a century, and has projected the blame for everything that is perceived to be wrong with their own societies onto the West is to massively over-simplify things.
    Add to that, that they have been not only unchallenged on these things but heavily endorsed by the Western Left, and the mix is utterly toxic. If the "root cause" is always the West/Jews etc, and that is echoed by "the West", then what else can anyone expect? And so it will continue that everything else - including what Sam Harris says - is relegated to being meaningless as an explanation for anything.
    We "know" the explanation - it's us. Finito. The end.

    1. But to leave out the fact that this entire part of the world has marinated itself in political conspiracy theories about Jews for the best part of a century, and has projected the blame for everything that is perceived to be wrong with their own societies onto the West is to massively over-simplify things.

      Certainly, but I did no such thing. Political conspiracy theories about Jews are part-and-parcel of the very same Koranically-based bigotry against us that has been passed down, generation upon generation, for 1,400 years.

      You are correct, however, that I did not emphasize, say, Ruth Wisse's very important thesis that anti-Semitism also serves political functions.

      Of course, in Islam there is no distinction between the two.

      Look, I do not want to argue that the religious basis of the jihad is its only basis or cause, but the tendency has been in the other direction. Among academics, journalists, and politicians the tendency has been to look for socio-economic causes, rather than listening to what the jihadis say about themselves.

      What the jihadis say - and perhaps we should listen to them - is that their attacks, whether in Israel or in Paris, are theocratically grounded. It is no coincidence that the whenever a Palestinian-Arab stabber gets shot in the attempt he is referred to as a "martyr."

      The real point, I think, is that we cannot allow people like Barack Obama to sweep the Islamic basis of jihadis or Islamists under the rug... as they have attempted to do so up until at least this moment.

      Y'know, I just finished reading Ayaan Hirsi Ali's Heretic and it dovetails nicely with Sam Harris' work.

    2. Sure. But it's really important to understand that anti-Semitism is just one small part of it. It's so much more complicated than that. And so much more complicated than just looking at what scriptures say.

      Read Bernard Lewis's " What went wrong?"
      It's probably the best researched book examining what has led to the situation the world finds itself in now.
      It's should be read by anyone with an interest in this subject, and anyone who wants to understand where we are and how we got here.

    3. Y'know, Kate, I have not read that one, but you may be pleased to know that my Amazon order has just been placed.

      If it comes in time then I may bring it with me back East as reading material for the plane.

      As for anti-Semitism being one small part of it, I suppose it depends upon what you mean by "it."

      If you mean the rise of political Islam then I agree with you 100 percent.

      Anti-Semitism may be hard-coded into Islamic doctrine and traditions, but it is only one element of the larger system.

      If we are talking about the negative effects of political Islam on others, I have always emphasized that it is not just about the Jews, but also about women and gay people and non-Muslims, in general, and freedom of speech, freedom of thought, and so forth.

      It is a clash between Islamic fundamentalism and everything that is not Islamic. In fact, that is probably as a good a definition of "Jihad" as any. In the current context, it is a clash between Islamic fundamentalism and the western liberal tradition as derived from people like John Locke and Thomas Jefferson.

      If we want to talk about the driving forces behind Jihadism then we must emphasize the religion, itself, because Jihadism is fundamentally a religious movement, but since there is no separation of mosque and state within Islam, it is also a political movement.

      If we want to talk about why Arab and Muslim state governments promote anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism, then we fall back on Wisse and emphasize the manner in which anti-Semitism functions as a political tool.

      What do you think?

    4. I would agree with a lot of what you say.
      And I think Ruth Wisse is excellent on discussing anti-Semitism and its political functions.

      I absolutely agree that political Islam is discriminatory about all sorts of groups and minorities. The first group being Muslims who are deemed to be the "wrong" kind of Muslim. We are abandoning all those people by our endlessly ludicrous - and dangerous - posturing. It's extraordinary.

      I'm really pleased that you've ordered the Bernard Lewis. I hope it gets to you in time for in-flight reading.
      He's probably the best scholar of Islam and the Arab world that we have had in the West. It's such a fascinating book because it goes into the complexities of history. And because it deals with more than socio-economic effects.
      It looks, hugely importantly, at the psychological impact on whole cultures of a really extraordinary reversal of fortune. I think, in a sense, one of the most significant things we are dealing with is a culture that is suffering from a sense of "humiliation." Not because of Western imperialism, I hasten to add, but just- literally - humiliation.
      It is so important to realize that the mediaeval Islamic civilization was way more sophisticated and creative than its counterparts in the West. It was streets ahead of Christian Europe in science and technology etc. Europe was comparatively backward. The changes in fortunes could not have been more unexpected.
      It's fascinating.
      Lewis's scholarship explains a very great deal.

      I remember reading that the emotion that most often plays a part in propelling people to take their own lives is, actually, humiliation. It is more difficult for human beings to deal with humiliation than most other forms of pain. It's a really remarkably interesting insight into who we are.

      I'd love to know what you think of the book when you've read it!

    5. Just wanted to clarify that I in no way meant that people who become suicide bombers etc are acting out of humiliation. They are, as they tell us, acting out of a belief that they will go to paradise. And are wholly culpable for their actions.
      Just wanted to be very clear on that.
      What I was trying to say was, that if humiliation can be so desperately painful for an individual human being, then imagine the potential impact of a perceived sense of humiliation on an entire culture if it chooses to interpret history in a particular way. Hope that's clear.

    6. Could it possibly be the humiliation of the defeated imperialist? His sacred books promise him sovereignty over the earth (in god's name) and demand the subjugation of all nonbelievers to a godly political system. His history is replete with empires that conquered and humiliated the unbeliever, from Central Europe to Central Africa. He was the humiliator, the unbeliever the humiliated. Yet his present status is that of one who no longer conquers, who no longer boasts a universal civilization with a civilizing mission, who has been defeated and has seen his imperialist preeminence supplanted by that of another, rival, unbelieving civilization. It's the anti-imperialism of the haughty former imperialist, the anti-colonialism of the ardent former colonizer.

    7. Well, look at you.

      Interesting cat.

      I hope you hang around, Agamemnon

  2. Sorry, I don't have the link, but the stuff reported in the latest interview with John Kerry re his views and the leaks from the administration are just appalling. What they are building up to is seriously concerning. And probably more important than anything else.

    1. Actually, here is link:

      And link to other appalling story re Obama administration:

      Hideous behaviour.

  3. Progressives compare Trump to Hitler. Trump said mean things. Hitler on the other hand....well, you know. I don't get it.

    1. Many (not all) of today's Hitlerites like Trump. See Stormfront and National Vanguard for verification.

      Also, Trump's not in power yet. So your comparison will be even more meaningful if/when he takes office.

    2. Jeff,
      On a completely different note( for the sake of humour, much needed ) have you ever looked at the youtube Ali. G interview with Chomsky? It's the famous British comedian Sacha Baron-Cohen who does a brilliant job of playing a character who " deliberately" misunderstands things to wind people up. It's only about 3/4 minutes long. And it's rather amusing. Always good to get a laugh out of Chomsky.

  4. OT A federal judge ruled today that the US government must explain the bizarrely restrictive terms of Jon Pollard's parole