The IdjitihadTM rolls on

The HotAirians are greatly impressed with an article by two Canadian Muslims, Tarek Fatah and Raheel Raza, whom Ed Morrissey describes as “Muslim columnists,” and who appoint themselves the representatives of 1.57 billion people, in a sentence that has only the appearance of being a sentence:

The fact we Muslims know the idea behind the Ground Zero mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation to thumb our noses at the infidel.

Grammar, we don’t need no stinking grammar.  What’s important is to hit the anti-mosque funny bone.  Never mind that treating professional anti-Islamists Fatah and Raza as representative of them Muslims may be a bit like treating Noam Chomsky as a speaker for them Jews, or some dude you pulled off the street as spokesperson for them Americans.

Check out the very tasteful image that HotAir is now using for its continuing appeal to the better angels of our nature:

mega-mosque-replacement
They might want to take the time out from mega-protesting (though I fear there’s no stopping it) to read the Newsweek article interviewing two 9/11 survivors on opposite sides of the issue.  Here’s the one point on which the two agree:

And when I asked them what they had to say to the politicians on both sides who continue to use Ground Zero as a wedge or an excuse to inflame tempers, they found true common ground. Welty jumped in. “Don’t,” she said, her latent anger roaring to the surface. “Don’t go down to Ground Zero and make speeches. Don’t use family members as a backdrop for photographs. You ought to be ashamed of yourself, using people who are grieving for your own political advantage.”

“Amen, sister,” said Regenhard, clapping her hands above her head.

Heart-stabbing traitors…

James Zogby gave a good wrap-up on the Idjitihad this weekend under a clumsy title: Virulent anti-Middle East rhetoric grips the US rightMatthew Yglesias agrees with Zogby that this apparent policy shift on the right could be dangerous – in Yglesias’s words, a “moral and strategic disaster” – but focuses on our economic malaise as the underlying explanation, the reason why this is the summer the rightwing lost its mind and went full xenophobe on “Anchor babies, the Ground Zero mosque and other scapegoats.”  It’s a two-part argument:  The politicians (and bloggers) exploit the scapegoats, and the scapegoating works because people are upset or uneasy.

Makes sense to me, but I think there’s more to the phenomenon, since economic malaise is in its own way just another superficial symptom.  It is simultaneously product and cause of national unself-confidence, furthermore a sign that self-doubt is concretely justified, that there’s something we haven’t gotten right, that there’s an exception to that exceptionalism thing at work on us.  With the Republicans and conservatives in opposition, it falls to them to communicate the discomfort, at the bottom of which there is no bottom:  just illimitable existential panic.

The resultant expressions are often emotive to the point of being pathologically nonsensical, almost dreamlike:  An unbuilt 15-story-building in Manhattan intended for a location not even in sight of Ground Zero is turned into a Mega-Mosque from the future hurtling backwards through space-time right through the World Trade Center towers.

Our big social baby may just need its diapers changed.  In the meantime, I don’t expect to reason with the baby.  Its whole world is its discomfort.  You will not be able to explain that the GZM doesn’t have much to do with its real boo-boo.  The baby doesn’t even speak.  Responsible adults should try to keep delicate and dangerous objects out of its reach…

Unfortunately, that’s not always possible, because the world is an overcrowded nursery full of sharp and toxic objects, more than ever.


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106 comments on “The IdjitihadTM rolls on

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  1. When has Journalista Yglesias, been right about anything, I’ll give him the ‘anchor babies’ point, people are so frustrated with the deliberate
    ignorance of the immigration laws, but if you are going to excommunicate Fatah, then you leave only the folks who hounded
    Mark Steyn for an excerpt from a Robert Ferrigno novel

  2. the reason why this is the summer the rightwing lost its mind and went full xenophobe on “Anchor babies, the Ground Zero mosque and other scapegoats.”

    Thank you, Charles Johnson.

  3. miguel cervantes wrote:

    When has Journalista Yglesias, been right about anything,

    Do you ever actually deal with an argument directly without attacking the person making it?

    It’s not in my power to excommunicate Fatah. It is in my power to wonder whether Fatah is representative of anything more than Fatah. No “good Muslim” can afford to remain silent on this one, it seems. Let him, and Schwartz, and Jasser, and every other one speak, sensibly or not, but that doesn’t make them any more representative of anything other than themselves in their positions than anyone else.

  4. I gave my Dalton and Harvard educated paisan, some props in the next phrase, now if you’re going to call Jasser, Al Ahmed, Schwartz,
    et al, in effect ‘Effendi Toms’ because they are not authentic muslims, we’re not talking Wafa Sultan or even Ishad Manji

  5. miguel cervantes wrote:

    they are not authentic muslims

    Your phrase, not mine. I wouldn’t call Noam Chomsky an “inauthentic Jew” or the dude off the street an “inauthentic American” or MadisonConservative an “inauthentic conservative.” Whether and to what degree they may happen to represent anything, make interesting or sensible arguments, write intelligible English, etc., is open to discussion.

  6. (1)So we need to amend the Constitution to restrict Islam from the Freedom of Religion part? And to Consecrate the 9/11 Hole to be sacred ground, defining sacred as consistent with any Religion except Islam?

    (2)And the reason the owner of this property can’t sell it the the MosqueBuilders is?

  7. They are well within their right to do it, it’s just a matter of propriety, this has been underway for seven years since the Cordoba Initiative came into being, NY will not be the beginning of the end, but the end
    of the beginning

  8. Rex Caruthers wrote:

    1)So we need to amend the Constitution to restrict Islam from the Freedom of Religion part? And to Consecrate the 9/11 Hole to be sacred ground, defining sacred as consistent with any Religion except Islam?

    A hot topic under discussion today at MadisonConservative’s internet home, in the discussion under Morrissey’s post. Nice to see MadCon’s keeping the flame of CK MacLeod-disgust alive, too, while displaying his own immensely impressive powers of observation and interpretation, of course. Kissy-kiss to my biggest fan!

  9. they are well within their right to do it.

    And the Mosquebuilders are well within their rights to challange a turndown in Court,and let it play out there.

  10. @ Rex Caruthers:
    Though the Republican gubernatorial candidate in NY has promised to use eminent domain to squelch the project, though the constitutional scholars commenting at HotAir are hard at work, and though a few others have sought government relief, anti-mosquers are not generally advocating government action. To the extent the anti-mosque forces can be taken at their word – that is, that they merely represent what they claim they represent, not what the open “rational Islamophobes” among them say – they mostly want to convince or pressure Rauf et al to back off.

  11. One would rather that happen, without any government action, if at all possible, that’s certainly Sarah’s preference, from all indications.

  12. “anti-mosquers are not generally advocating government action”

    Of course not,because they may lose, an ED action is generally unpopular with Conservatives,it may also lose in the Courts.

  13. “THEY mostly want to convince or pressure Rauf et al to back off”

    Why don’t THEY get smart and just pay him to back off! Or THEY could compete to obtain the property for THEMSELVES????

  14. @ Rex Caruthers:
    Cuz it’s not about a piece of property in Manhattan. Plus they can’t be paying jizya to the evil Muslims! Rauf might buy a nuclear bomb with it and send Hezbollah to plant it in Wasila! (Come to think of it… that might be a way to interest the left in the plan… )

  15. I don’t know what criteria one would use in deciding whether or not Chomsky is an authentic Jew, nor do I know what an authentic conservative or an authentic American is. I do feel, however, that an authentic gay-rights activist should not support Islamist opposition to Israel’s existence. Nevertheless, Queers Against Israeli Apartheid is such a group.
    http://www.jta.org/news/article/2010/08/09/2740405/gay-anti-israel-group-to-march-in-montreal

    When there used to be an American group called Queers for Palestine, they were appropriately ridiculed by being labeled “Turkeys for Thanksgiving.”

    It is important to stress the fact that the Left licks Islamic ass. One can’t understand contemporary politics without recognizing the mysterious support of the Left for Islamist extremists. For reasons nobody will ever understand, anti-Zionism has become the defining feature of the Left (not to be confused with liberals or social democrats).

    I am reminded of the fact that Hitler drove our or killed all the atomic scientists in the Axis countries, including not only Einstein, Teller, and Szilard, but also Enrico Fermi, who wasn’t even Jewish but was married to a Jew. Hitler, like all extremists, was totally selfless. Queers Against Israeli Apartheid is equally selfless.

    Does Israel practice apartheid? There are not only Palestinian Arabs who are members of the Knesset, but there even is a member of the Israeli cabinet who has announced that he would refuse to sing the Israeli national anthem. In how many countries can one get to be a member of the cabinet after announcing that one refuses to sing the national antherm?

  16. (1)So we need to amend the Constitution to restrict Islam from the Freedom of Religion part? And to Consecrate the 9/11 Hole to be sacred ground, defining sacred as consistent with any Religion except Islam?

    “No”, he said, exasperated by the endless chucking of the strawman. “We need to use our right to assemble and our right to free speech to express our views about this mosque, unafraid of being dismissed as ‘xenophobes’ by narcissists who have only condescension for opposing views.”

    He stared in amazement as the others continued to swing at thin air, with mumbled battle cries of “Islamophobe!” and “You can’t oppose something and not want it banned through government force!” Shaking his head in bewilderment, he wandered on…

  17. @ MadisonConservative:
    Okay, dude. As long as you just want to complain about building mosques and aren’t really attempting to stop the building of it, knock yourself out.

    The Constitution protects the opinions of Know-Nothings, gumps and everybody else.

    Just don’t shake that head with excessive vigor. That won’t help you to find your way out of the bewilderness.

  18. Okay, dude. As long as you just want to complain about building mosques

    Not mosques. This mosque, built here, with that name, with that opening date.

  19. “You can’t oppose something and not want it banned through government force!”

    Of Course you can,I opposed the Vietnam War,and a lot of Non-Governmental Force opposed that War along side of me.

  20. @ George Jochnowitz:
    Excluding “liberals” and “social democrats” from your definition of the left seems to narrow your scope substantially: to the far left, which would tend to be an internationalist left, many of whose members have been subjected to vicious repression if not complete extirpation in the fundamentalist-ruled nations.

    Those on the far left who have supported radical Islamists have tended to do so, to whatever extent they’ve done so, as vehicles of anti-imperialism: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Those who supported Palestinian militants tended to support them as a 3rd world national liberation movement.

    As for gay activists, you seem to believe that people who form associations must be precluded from speaking out on on issues not directly related to their reasons for association. To the contrary, they are as free in a group to offer opinions, for however much or little they’re worth, on anything they care to offer an opinion about, as they would be as individuals. In addition, a gay activist may make the determination that oppression of religious or ethnic minorities, or other vulnerable groups affects all vulnerable groups. This is a classic position of solidarity movements, and for a long time a basis of political organizing among Jewish groups in particular.

    Gay activists may also make the calculation that, precisely because Israel represents a more progressive state than many others, it gives social progressivism a bad name when it also oppresses or otherwise unjustly treats Palestinians. They may argue that tension and conflict between Israel and the rest of the Arab and Islamic world tends to empower anti-modern fundamentalism, making life harder for gays and for social reformers generally.

    Your argument seems to rest further on the presumption that gay activists should automatically support the policies of countries in which gay rights are respected. That would include numerous countries that are markedly more sympathetic to the Palestinians and Israeli Arabs than, say, the bloggers at Contentions think is wise. So, obviously, that’s not a basis for making a judgment.

    You also seem to believe that someone cannot criticize Israeli policy without in effect calling for the destruction of Israel or siding with Israel’s enemies in all respects. That would mean that the entire Israeli opposition at any given time is calling for the destruction of Israel. That’s obviously if not an absurdity, a very poor basis for democratic politics and civil society. One can support a different Israeli policy or have a different vision for the Israeli future without being guilty of supporting war on Israel.

    I’m not sure what you’re licking, but I think you might want to think about where it’s been.

  21. It’s a catch 22 isn’t it, if you are a decent country, you can savaged in every international and academic forum, whereas truly vile regimes
    get a pass, to a degree. You can have the eye popping contradiction
    of the likes of Galloway, who supports Sharia law, but opposes the US
    because it has a death penalty, and didn’t abide by the idiocy of Kyoto

  22. @ CK MacLeod:

    Liberals and social democrats are pro-democracy. “Leftist” is a broad and confusing word, and so I want to be clear about referring to those who are either Marxists or who retain the Marxist habit of thinking of democracy as inferior to a perfect system where everyone will think alike, as Marx predicted would happen in the final stage of communism.

    Israel has never had a moment’s peace. For a country surrounded by an Arab world that outnumbers it overwhelmingly and for a country that includes an Arab minority of one-sixth its population, it has been open to its Arab citizens in an unprecedented way. Calling Israel an apartheid state is not only slanderous but is delegitimizing its existence.

    Gay-rights organizations have the right to take any position they wish on any issue. When they take a position rejecting the existence of a country that has annual gay-pride parades and that has always had homosexuals in its army and siding instead with nations that execute people suspected of homosexuality, they are not just taking a position on any old subject. They are saying that those who kill homosexuals are more worthy of their support than a beleaguered country that respects both its homosexuals and its Arabs. They are not simply criticizing Israel’s policies.

    Gay-rights activists are not necessarily leftists. But their support of ferociously anti-gay countries and homophobic political movements while slandering Israel is an indication of their loyalty to the Islamic-ass-licking left in favor of the very cause that they were created to support.

  23. George Jochnowitz wrote:

    Calling Israel an apartheid state is not only slanderous but is delegitimizing its existence.

    Why should that be so? No one – except for a tiny handful of pan-African extremists – criticizing the authentic apartheid state of South Africa was calling for South Africa to cease to exist. And where did “gay rights activists” support “ferociously anti-gay countries” and “homophobic political movements”? It all comes down again to your notion that it’s impossible to criticize Israel without supporting Iran or other fundamentalist states.

    As a matter of fact, it is indeed quite possible to question the fundamental legitimacy of Israel – either conceptually or with reference to the justice of the process by which the state was established – completely without reference to the politics of any other country, on pure internationalist/universalist grounds. I don’t advocate that position as realistic, but I can recognize its internal consistency.

    The other day, we saw you making unfounded statements about the “silence” of the left on honor killings, homophobia, and other issues. Have you even bothered to look at what this specific group or these specific groups say for themselves on these issues? What other groups on left say about them?

  24. To Goerge:
    “Ben-Gurion recognized the strong attachment of Palestinian Arabs to the land but hoped that this would be overcome in time. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Jewish Congress, wrote that in a conversation about “the Arab problem” in 1956, Ben-Gurion stated: “Why should the Arabs make peace? If I was an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country … There has been anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that? They may perhaps forget in one or two generations’ time, but for the moment there is no chance. So it is simple: we have to stay strong and maintain a powerful army.”[2] Goldman criticized Ben-Gurion for what he viewed as Ben-Gurion’s confrontational approach to the Arab world. Goldman wrote that “Ben-Gurion is the man principally responsible for the anti-Arab policy, because it was he who moulded the thinking of generations of Israelis.”[2]
    The view that Ben-Gurion’s assessment of Arab feelings led him to emphasize the need to build up Jewish military strength is supported by Simha Flapan, who quoted Ben-Gurion as stating in 1938: “I believe in our power, in our power which will grow, and if it will grow agreement will come…”[
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Ben-Gurion

  25. Come to think of it, though I don’t know anything about the particular gay group, they and other leftists may very well see themselves as forcing the broader pro-Palestinian movement to take on a more left-progressive/social justice rather than merely anti-Israeli/anti-Semitic character. In other words, Islamists are forced either to acknowledge and accept gays or lose allies.

  26. Considering the Bedouin arab role in the ’29, and ’36-39 risings, the subsequent affiliation of Haj Amin Husseini with Hitler, the gang up in ’47, where would Ben Gurion get such a crazy notion. The left strategy from around ’69, where young Fischer was just postulating to the oil
    embargo imposed in ’73, to the Soviet introduced ‘Zionist is Racism’
    resolution, is of a piece, as that Kirkpatrick piece in Commentary in ’89
    outlined

  27. @ CK MacLeod:
    There are no Islamists who have accepted gays as loose allies.

    Calling the Union of South Africa an apartheid state was indeed calling for an end to its existence, and that is precisely what happened. The country was replaced by the Republic of South Africa.

    There are feminists and gay activists who are not leftists. Although leftists are nominally pro-gay and pro-feminist, no leftist group accepts Israel’s existence.

    As for leftist countries, North Korea sent its pilots to fight against Israel in 1967 and 1973. North Korea and Venezuela are the two countries in the world that are most closely allied with Iran. Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela do not share a border with israel. They are utterly unaware of the fact that they have no quarrel with Israel; they simply consider it their enemy. They certainly have never done anything to help the Palestinians.

    @ Rex Caruthers:
    As you show, both Ben-Gurion and Goldman, in different ways, were aware of and sensitive to the plight of the Palestinians. Israel’s founders accepted the idea of a Palestinian state in 1947. They did so again in 1967 when they accepted Resolution 242. They did so again at Taba in 2001. They did so again when they unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005, thus creating an independent Palestinian mini-state.

  28. “where would Ben Gurion get such a crazy notion.”

    “— in 1956, Ben-Gurion stated: “Why should the Arabs make peace? If I was an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country”

    You missed the point,MC,I believe,the point being that BG could identify/empathise with his enemy,yet,still stick to his guns. He understood the difference between “Demonizing” your opposition,and respecting them,without yielding. This is a lost art in contemporary politics.

  29. Was that ever confirmed by the Foreign Ministry or the Prime Minister’s office, or is that like the oft made, claim by Abbas, ‘that God told Bush to invade Iraq” Abbas who’s dissertation at Moscow U, practiced this early version of Holocaust minimization if not denial

  30. CK MacLeod wrote:

    In other words, Islamists are forced either to acknowledge and accept gays or lose allies.

    you’re not serious.

    you know good and well that squadrons of gay activist Marxists were sent to fly combat missions against the Israelis by the Iranian Khomeini in the 67 war.
    their precisely coordinated and double tightly-knit formations would have wrecked havoc on the IDF had not the French stepped in and sent the Israelis the LePage’s Glue Guns.

  31. George Jochnowitz wrote:

    @ CK MacLeod:
    There are no Islamists who have accepted gays as loose allies.

    I didn’t actually make any statement or conjecture about Islamists [actually] accepting gays as allies[*] – though I’m fairly sure that Islamists or those associated with Islamists have marched together with gays in American and European cities. In any event, there is a difference between the broad Palestinian solidarity movement, to which I did refer, and Islamism.

    Although leftists are nominally pro-gay and pro-feminist, no leftist group accepts Israel’s existence.

    What basis do you have for this statement – other than some fanciful definition of “leftist” or of “accept”? You would seem to be referring to groups so far to the left that they wouldn’t even be able to serve in the Knesset, for instance. They would be to the “left” of the Soviet Union under Stalin, which recognized the State of Israel within 3 days of its declaration of independence. They would be to the left of all of the leftist governments that maintain diplomatic relations with Israel, and that claim to support a 2-state solution.

    North Korea is a tiny mostly insignificant country that represents very little to anyone except itself and its immediate neighbors – though I’m not even sure it has a policy on Israel’s right to exist. Iran is, to say the least, not of the left. Even Hugo Chavez, for all of his virulent rhetoric, has claimed to support Israel’s right to exist.

    [*I meant to characterize the theoretical self-justification of far left social justice groups for participating in solidarity movements, not to offer an opinion as to how good a self-justification it was.]

  32. Yes it’s a small country, with a million man army, aiding the Syrians in their nuclear program, which the Israelis had to take out in 2007, proliferating missile and other designs to the Iranians, harmless really.

  33. @ miguel cervantes:
    Yes, hundred of millions of people worldwide tune their magic headgear every morning to the North Korean Instructional frequency, and get their marching orders.

    No one cares what North Korea thinks about anything – and that’s what the question relates to – not the actual or potential significance of NorK missile or other technologies.

  34. @ miguel cervantes: Most of the missiles are from Russia, sold to Syria and financed by Iran. The longer-range ones are Iranian.
    North Korea isn’t motivated by hatred for israel in any of its actions in the ME, it’s just a gang of impoverished people that’ll hustle after hard currency any way it can.

  35. You tell ’em, CK. As you’ve said before, sharia is coming and whitey had best get used to it.

    Don’t worry about the possibility of a backlash. I’m sure all the whiteys are as treasonous and as cowardly–both physically and morally–as you are.

    Because, of course, if we weren’t, things might get ugly. And us’ns knows our place, massuh. Sho’ ’nuff wouldn’t want Massah Hussein and Massah CK gettin’ mad at us.

    Because, you know, being cowards and all, we would never dream of using violence to get our way.

    Don’t worry. You’ll learn to trust us.

    Just like we’ve learned to trust you.

  36. It’s impoverished because it’s run by a psychotic camarilla, which cares not for the welfare of the people, If they had the solar collector
    out of that ridiculous Bond film they would use ir

  37. @ Ken:

    you have to boil the blood before inbibing it, Ken. them outhose rats are none too clean.

    might be best you stick to traditional geeking though. the old ways are the best

  38. @ miguel cervantes: you might wanna remind me about how good most of the average people were living in Berlin just before the Commies took over or in Russia or in Cuba.

    I don’t recall too many places turning Communist where the standard of living was real high immediately prior.

  39. True, the contrast between East and West Germany, over a forty year period, North and South Korea, really this argument clinic has got to stop Mr, Anchovy, Albatross

  40. @ miguel cervantes: I don’t want to speak up for an obscene form of government, but the difference between East Germany and West has a lot to do with development money being poured into the West while the East’s remaining assets were stripped for plunder and the area left to languish.

  41. Well then don’t, an uncle of mine died in the Florida straights because
    he had no interest in becoming a New Socialist Man, another did serve
    honorably in Vietnam, yet another relative fought at the Bay of Pigs
    and was detained for more then a year in one of the “Walking Comas”
    rehabilitation facilities

  42. I remember a dozen years ago, when Salon was the new hip thing how Boehlert, was downplaying the acts of Islamic extremism and Jeff Stein was doing similarly for one of the reports that called for, actually more surveying of Islamist activists, With a dozen plots in the city, tied to sectarian activism, wouldn’t one be more circumspect now, specially when this fellow is ringing all sorts of bells and whistles, In retrospect we see the Danish cartoon controversy was spiked by the efforts of the Danish Brotherhood leader, Abu Laban, submitting a certain extraset of illustrations to run in Arab capitals, Executing someone because there film displeases you, Van Gogh, hounding someone out of the country
    because they told certain politically incorrect truths’ (Hirsi Ali)

  43. @ miguel cervantes:
    This is why you’re on the Idjitihad idditihad: You simply react ideologically to his statements, as you’re supposed to, without actually confronting them. You’ve already presumed that anyone who discusses events from any perspective other than the approved one is “on the other side.” How dare he suggest that there are any motivations or explanations for terrorism other than pure, subhuman evil! To suggest that Islamists are human beings or that Muslims might have a “case” against the West: Sheer heresy! They are bad and must be punished and all right thinking Americans think that and nothing else!

  44. @ miguel cervantes:
    Good job thinking what you’re supposed to, and what makes everyone else who thinks just like you do feel justified: All that matters are losses, hurt feelings, and offense on “our” side. And that’s what makes us better than “them”: The fact that we are, and everyone we care about says so!

  45. If it wasn’t for the religious authority he brings to the subject, it would be unexceptional in American academia, Robert Jensen for one, said
    as much, as did another Columbia professor who vowed a million Mogadishus. For a Columbia trained physicist, he does seem to speaking ‘ex cathedra’ to say the least, and seems to be ‘River Kwaiing
    the bridge of understandinf

  46. MC/”— another did serve
    honorably in Vietnam”

    I never met a combat soldier,WHO WAS DRAFTED, who didn’t serve honorably in Vietnam,who also didn’t believe that the War was the biggest Cluster F–K in history.

  47. @ miguel cervantes:
    What does “religious authority” have to do with anything? Rauf presents a view that, shockingly, acknowledges that the West/U.S. are not the only injured parties in the world, and that U.S. as global superpower plays a disproportionate role in setting global conditions, and sets itself up to be perceived that way. Millions if not billions of people see the world system, to the extent they’re aware of it as such, as something that harms them, and they see the world system as being led by the U.S. Why is this anything but a statement of the obvious, and why does Rauf or anyone else need to apologize for uttering it while moving onto matters that may actually require an above-room temperature IQ to discuss?

  48. I’ve known folks like that, my Philly friend who served in the air force, others who differ, but now that Iraq is the new Vietnam, or is it Afghanistan, I can’t keep these quagmires straight

  49. Degenova, that was the Columbia prof I was thinking of, the fact that the battle of Mogadishu wasn’t such a defeat seems to have escaped
    him

  50. miguel cervantes wrote:
    I’ve known folks like that, my Philly friend who served in the air force, others who differ, but now that Iraq is the new Vietnam, or is it Afghanistan, I can’t keep these quagmires straight

    Sure,but there’s no Draft now,please imagine if Citizens from 2003 forward had been drafted for the Wars on Terrors,CAN YOU IMAGINE IT?

  51. There would have been some turbulence, re the ’63 draft riots, then
    again look at the full on freak out we had without it

  52. And just in case in never occured to you O Lovers of exceptional America,an All Professional Army is a tool of an Imperial power,the “Citizen” Army is the most effective counterforce/check and balance/ to that arm of Imperial Power,that’s why the Conservative Hawks/Neocons,are against the reestablishment of an Amateur army. The Draftees put upward pressure on the Professional Cadre to perform,the all Professional Pawns/Combat Soldiers don’t have that leverage,because they chose to be there,the Career Professionals don’t say much or they get MaCchrystaled. In Vietnam,if a Company/Field Officer was incompetent,that Officer might not be around for long. In the case of WW2,the upward pressure of the Draftees,along with the maturity of the General Staff,won a complicated war in 4 years, The WOT,is still a SNAFU,both in Iraq&Afghanistan,after 8 years. Long Live The Republic,Boo to the Empire.

  53. @ Rex Caruthers:
    Your view of the draft is conceptually flawed, and the proof is in the pudding: A society that builds conscript armies and sends them off to war is a society that puts its own collective concept decisively ahead of the needs and rights of the individual. The lives of conscript armies have been squandered in huge numbers, with the often ardent support and anyway massive objective participation of the populace. The all-volunteer force, by contrast, with its idea of the “professional soldier” and “army of one,” demands constant justification for every jot, tiddle, and quiver of force – the individual’s sacrifice needs to be justified in encylopedic detail, film at 11:00. We treat the losses of a relative handful of our professional soldiers with all of the solemnity and seriousness that in WW2 we accorded the losses of a whole divisions. That says nothing of the attitudes of the Russians and Germans with their conscript armies, on any given afternoon of 1944-5 spending the lives of more soldiers than we have lost in all of our fighting since Vietnam. Or the mass battles of WW1 and drawn out trench warfare: 1 million casualties in a single battle; a single day’s random “wastage” also exceeding the losses we’ve been willing to sustain in the entirety of our so-called wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    A return to conscription certainly wouldn’t be preparation for greater restraint in use of force, and there’s little in history to suggest that it would imply greater wisdom in choosing battles. It would be preparation for a return to mass casualty warfare on the basis of a regressive social-political concept, probably accompanying the definitive reversal and possible end of the American project at least in America.

  54. miguel cervantes wrote:
    There would have been SOME TURBULANCE(LOL), re the ’63* draft riots, then
    again look at the full on freak out we had without it.

    It was nothing at all compared to 1966-1975.

    *Wrong Year

  55. CK. Your argument against the Draft forgets one Historical Fact that is so far,an American Thing. If we Draft Soldiers for non- critical,undeclared wars,which fail to be percieved as essential to American Survival,the “Citizens” will protest against those “Unnecessary”Wars in full force,that becomes the Counter Weight against the Empire.

  56. Well for most of the US’s history there wee many undeclared skirmishes, where the non conscript military were involved, the Phillipine Insurrection, which arose out of the Spanish American WAr was the most notable

  57. miguel cervantes wrote:
    Well for most of the US’s history there wee many undeclared skirmishes

    Well the Vietnam skirmish with its draftees hit the Mass Media with a vengance,we’re not going backwards to the simpleminded days of the War in the Phillipines EVER.

  58. It’s not a draft that you want, it’s a return to some concept of democratic army suitable for self-defense of the homeland (no empire). Unfortunately, or anyway unavoidably, the economies of scale of the advanced industrial/post-industrial state mean that, while you and your neighbor are undergoing weekend militia training, the wealthy and powerful are equipping their full-time professional warriors who can kill you and your militia (assuming you’re dumb enough to show up for battle) at ratios of 1,000 or higher without limit to 1. I say “without limit” because modern technology has busted the bank: We have the power to hold the fate of the entire world hostage.

    Professional high-tech armies beat conscript armies at generally lower, but still very impressive kill ratios. You can, however, make your own society impossible for anyone to govern – that’s the equalizer, but it comes at the cost of also making your own society an extremely unpleasant environment to live in, if livable at all.

    The perception of “essential to survival” can be manufactured, all the more easily in a society that has submitted (for our perspective regressed) to the self-understanding required for a conscript army. The state becomes defined as the absolute state superior to the people, and anything that threatens that status become a threat to the survival of the state. Conscript army is the objective contradiction of “citizen”: It’s defined by the general sacrifice of full rights of “free citizen in civil society.”

    I’m not sure whether we’ve passed beyond the stage when embracing such a contradiction also equated with a realization of higher freedom through the state, but I believe the transition or return to such a stage is only conceivable amidst massive, wrenching displacement of our way of life as we know it.

  59. One of the interesting aspects of parusing Howard Zinn’s oevre, is to note the very strong resistance to dissent pre World War 2, there was of course the American Patriotic League in WW !, but other analogues
    in previous wars

    I don’t see it as that anomalous because we’ve been here before, under different circumstances, Heinlein projected a similar world with
    Starship Troopers, although Haldeman’s Forever WAr, probably capture
    what it might entail in the future

  60. CK/” but I believe the transition or return to such a stage is only conceivable amidst massive, wrenching displacement of our way of life as we know it.”

    Above is the definition of when We Could Declare War,below that we could keep a very small professional Army for Housekeeping,but if it becomes larger than Granada,then we need to see if our society is going to go to war,we need to Declare that,Constitution style,and then,via the Draft process,see if It’s going to happen.

  61. Conscription is not really within the constitutional purview, it is more in the nature of permanent standing armies that the Founders detested
    because they had read of Rome and Greece, and descent into warlordism. The Civil War, World War One, Two, Korea, Vietnam, those
    are atypical events

  62. and descent into warlordism.

    The Founders were constantly frightened,correctly so. However,Warlordism is what we have today,American Style,The Warlords recently have been the NeoCons,and The Chicken Hawks delegating the job of Chief Warlord to the President without pesky Congress involved. Same with the Persian Gulf War joke. In Vietnam days,the Warlords were the Cold Warriors/SkullBonesers. There were fewer ChickenHawks back then,but LBJ was a bigger than life CH.
    My point is that if we’re going to go to war,we need to feel the pain,big time,that’s where Conscription comes in,so that we can make an intelligent decision if the benefits of the War will outweigh the pain. In Vietnam,with a Conscripted Army,we,as a nation,finally,said,NO.it’s not worth it. Today,with the WOT,we as a nation,with a Professional Army,have said,yes.it’s worth it. My opinion,is that if we had had conscripts since 2003,we would already have withdrawn from the NE.

  63. You are confused at a fundamental level, when Randolph Bourne, said
    ‘war was the health of the state’ he meant such things as conscription which was only around in a relatively brief interval in the Republic.

  64. Well remember they had read Gibbon and probably Thucydides, and you can’t forget Franklin’s admonition when asked about what kind of nation we would; ‘a republic if you can keep it” I think they were quiet

  65. Fuster wrote:

    Not sure that the FFs were worried about Roman practices

    Gladiatorial games, public bathing, obscene graffiti, and sleeping around?

    The FFs had read not only Thucydides and Gibbon, but a whole bunch of other chaps, and were, indeed, very concerned about a standing armed force becoming the true power in any land.

  66. and were, indeed, very concerned about a standing armed force becoming the true power in any land.

    What is the true power in our land?

  67. Well I was sticking to the classics, you could add Polybius and Plutarch, And Cato and Cicero, I don’t think an army this size could really that level of a danger, but a conscripted one very well might

  68. @ miguel cervantes:

    Thank you for linking to a stupid piece of crap. If it was any worse, I might have had a chuckle from it, but it was merely annoying. What kind of idiot could read that and take it seriously?

  69. @ fuster:
    I’ll have you know that that’s nowhere near the stupidest or crappiest stupid piece of crap that miguel could have linked from that very same blog by the very same author, or for that matter from the opinion page he quotes. How else are we supposed to keep track of the latest outrageous outrage if narc doesn’t continually link them here?

    Am reflecting upon how important it is to me to keep track of stupid pieces of crappy outrage.

  70. @ CK MacLeod:
    That’s maybe the second or third thing from McCarthy that I’ve (half-way) read, and it’s no wonder that every single one of the convictions that US Attorney Guiliani’s staff won at trial was overturned.

  71. He’s one of the main symptoms and main explanations for the decline of NR and the conservative movement generally. Andrew C McCarthy is a main “intellectual leader” of the new populist-conservatism ca. 2010.

  72. THe linked piece by Bernard, doesn’t mention any of the controversial comments the good Imam has made,either in Cairo, Kuala Lampur or NY, that might make us doubt his sincerity, it’s like when the whole Black Panther issue with Justice arose, Schieffer didn’t know about it.

    Most of Guiliani’s top people made it to his administration, so much for that adhominem against McCarthy. As he explains in Willful Blindness, his experience in prosecuting Sheikh Rahman was an eye opening experience. Burlingame’s research is born out time and time
    again,sadly

  73. doesn’t mention any of the controversial comments

    Those would be the ones where he revealed that there’s no such thing as Mother Goose and water is wet?

  74. No, the comments about ‘religious dialog’ to Al Ahram, the colloquoy with Bradley on 60 minutes, the podcast out of Malaysia, the op ed
    in the Straights Times, the endorsement of the IHH flotilla, the tie
    to Perdana and Malathir

  75. @ miguel cervantes:
    You mean all of the stuff that you’ve proven yourself incapable of discussing rationally and honestly? The stuff you like to work together in your exercises in guilt by association, often built on false claims? That you’ve never apologized for?

  76. RE; Guiliani’s staff, he wasn’t there;

    From 1993 through 1996, while an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, he led the prosecution against the jihad organization of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, in which a dozen Islamic militants were convicted of conducting a war of urban terrorism against the United States that included the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a plot to bomb New York City landmarks. Mr. McCarthy also made major contributions to the prosecutions of the bombers of the United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the Millennium plot attack Los Angeles International Airport.

    Following the September 11 attacks, Mr. McCarthy supervised the U.S. Attorney’s Anti-Terrorism Command Post in New York City, coordinating investigative and preventive efforts with numerous federal and state law enforcement and intelligence agencies. From 1999 through 2003, he was the Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District’s satellite office, responsible for federal law enforcement in six counties north of New York City.

  77. Oh I was reminded of the Op Ed Rauf wrote endorsing Rowan Williams support of Sharia courts, referenced by Bawer. It puts his moderation
    into some doubt. Then again they can always be counted to run with
    the latest slur against the Tea Party that’s the important thing

  78. @ miguel cervantes:
    As if there’s the slightest chance that you’d be able to discuss Rowan Williams and Sharia courts from some other than neo-McCarthyite perspective. Not taking that bait.

    There’s that “they” again.

  79. What is the positive aspects of Sharia courts, they are not at all like rabinnical courts in NY or even Israel as that fellow in the NI suggests.

    The left has made a bif deal about reconstructionism, and its supposed
    hold on the right, but about a real ideological current with real life
    inplications, crickets

  80. @ miguel cervantes:
    Reconstructionism? A big deal?

    Like I said, I’m not going to take that bait with you. You tell us all why we need to be afraid, deeply afraid of the Sharia menace, and I’ll stand up for you when Imam Rauf and Daisy Khan come with their scimitars to cut off your head for stealing a clue.

  81. @ CK MacLeod:

    “The stuff you like to work together in your exercises in guilt by association, often built on false claims? That you’ve never apologized for?”

    Rudeness is acceptable when it serves a purpose that cannot be served otherwise. Unnecessary rudeness is unacceptable.

  82. @ George Jochnowitz:
    I don’t understand what you’re saying. Are you accusing me of being rude? Do you know what I was referring to?

    @ fuster:
    Hah! As if you weren’t – until your recent mellowing – a devotee of purposeful rudosity.

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