@ John:
Please don't apologize for taking your time to respond. I'm grateful for all stubbornly thoughtful resistance, and I'm not in any way committed to the infinitely unrolling toilet paper quality of blogging. I'm all in favor of the re-animation of seemingly dead posts or discussions - even from whole days or weeks in the past (imagine, something written weeks ago still being of interest to someone!).

This exchange has given me the idea of making a point of re-visiting and reviewing ancient posts/discussions.

As for the (anti-)Islamism discussion in particular, I'll be thinking over a reply to your above comment. I'm also not through reacting to initial reaction to the first Cost of Islamophobia post, which was itself a kind of reaction to a series of posts. And I'm anticipating one or more book reviews addressing aspects of this topic that I find most interesting.

narciso wrote:

You know better than that ,CK, otherwise the Bush administration wouldn’t have been in such bad odor, even before September 2008.

The Bush Administration was not a "political movement." The mechanism I described functions as I stated. It's not the only mechanism that affects a movement's or politician's popularity, which is not the same thing as legitimacy.

Now what you mean is any attack by the right, has to be pitch perfect, even to those who have every intention of distorting both
the action and the intent.

I guess what you mean is that the right should just say anything and assume it will serve a good purpose because the right is right.

Similarly Hezbollah fired from populated
areas, in violation of the laws of war, and they get a pass. Hamas
blows up pizza parlors and synagogues, high value targets all, and
they get a pass, because they have a noble objective

Who distributes this "pass," can I bring along a guest, and does it include drinks?

narciso wrote:

Now are we to consider Hezbollah legitimate, why, what is the logic of that. Just like Hamas, it’s objectives are not to clean the streets, feed the people, collect taxes, the goal is spelled out in the charter

So now the question is "legitimacy"? If you objective is to "de-legitimize" Hezbollah, you might want to consider new tactics. Cuz the ones everyone has been trying seem to have had the opposite effect - up to the day before yesterday anyway. False or weakly founded, exaggerated attacks tend to strengthen a political movement's claims to legitimacy.

narciso wrote:

Hezbollah is an extension of the Iranian Pasdaran network, how many Jews you think they would allow to live, considering their statements.

According to most of their actual and official statements, they would leave Jews as Jews unharmed - as opposed to whoever resisted the imposition of Islamist hegemony. This isn't an absolute defense of Hezbollah. It's simply a more strongly supported description of their political agenda. Likewise, though Hezbollah may be dependent on Iranian support, it would never have achieved its current status in Lebanon merely as an "extension" of another state's security apparatus. By all evidence, Hezbollah commands the active support and loyalty of a very substantial and highly motivated portion of the Lebanese population, according, rightly or wrongly, to calculation of local interests. Pretending otherwise is to base a policy on wishful thinking, and to make the cardinal error of underestimating your enemy.

If Hezbollah was simply a genocidalist organization operated as a front for another nation's foreign policy, it would be much easier to dislodge and defeat. You don't win battles by fighting the enemy you wish was on the other side, rather than the enemy that really is on the other side.

narciso wrote:

You’ve said Hamas, Hezbollah et al, isn’t a terrorist group,

Where did I say that? Both groups employ terrorist tactics - and terrorists. I understand why someone like Rauf refrains from applying the collective characterizations - wasn't it to Hamas, though? I don't recall his being asked to characterize Hezbollah. I did raise questions as to whether Hezbollah is a genocidalist organization. The only evidence for that accusation turns out to be systematically fabricated or based on extrapolation.

Rauf, and, in a clumsier way the Obamites, want to allow for the positive re-definition of identities wherever they are contestable. It's the rhetorical equivalent of giving your enemy an escape route - or a path to honorable surrender - rather than requiring a war of total annihilation (at the highest cost to yourselves and to those caught in the middle).

narciso wrote:

I get it we cannot point out any manifestation of radical Islam, because that is prejorative of all of Islam, and we can’t point to them

How you extract that from anything I've written makes me wonder who and what you've been hanging around with.