Series: us v is

The Egyptian Exception and the Other Islamic State

The alternative resolution or the other Islamic state, the one that avoids the tyrant’s despair – or, put more politically-philosophically, allows for a liberal-Islamic assimilation that would also be integrative or unitary rather than irrecuperably conflictual – would appear to rely on modes of idealization of religion that would evolve simultaneously and bi-conditionally, or, as Fadel or Fadel’s Khaldun puts it, “organically.” Their current impermissibility is a reflection of the same problem.

Posted in Anismism, Featured, Liberalism v Islamism as a Syncretic Problem, On Liberal Democracy in Relation to Islamism, Political Philosophy, Religion, The Exception Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Fact, Value, and the Destruction of Daesh

Not very long ago, “Islamic state” might have referred to a Western stereotype of “Mohammadean” passivity and fatalism. Today, while the West sometimes seems to have been overtaken by the condition or some version of it, the phrase now stands

Posted in Neo-Imperialism, War Tagged with: , , ,

Essential Threat

In light of the ritualized sacrifice of a single man, on the altar of what we cannot help but believe – no possible justification – the many may be revealed to us as allies, as “with us,” perhaps first symbolically, but now also practically. Put simply, Foley’s death marks if it does not itself restore American re-engagement on behalf of those we had all but abandoned in the region.

Posted in Featured, Neo-Imperialism, The Exception, War Tagged with: , , ,

IS/ISIS/ISIL/QSIS/Daesh-related links 2014.8.20-9

…plus a few observations as tweeted. I’m sure I missed a few good pieces (possibly while I was busy yesterday, for instance). Please feel free to link anything interesting or useful in the comments.

Posted in International Relations, Neo-Imperialism, Twitterei, War Tagged with: , , , , , ,

13 Tweets Instead of a Syria Strategy

IN THE SHADOW OF INSTEAD RT @rmslim: By far this is one of z best, if not z best analysis, of unfolding devepts in the Arab region penned by Yezid Sayigh http://t.co/zMW7oGUsKZ 09:52:10, 2014-08-29 #prt among most interesting aspects the

Posted in International Relations, War Tagged with: ,

“no uplifting realist”

Leon Wieseltier, in “Obama Was Wrong[:] The Era of Humanitarian Intervention Is Not Over”: Barack Obama believed that he could preside over the end of humanitarian intervention, which he called simply war. He was momentously wrong… History, whose course he

Posted in Neo-Imperialism, notes, Political Philosophy, War Tagged with: , ,

Eve of Containment

Summary: A year ago, Americans were being asked to kill non-enemies because it was abstractly right; now are being asked to kill enemies at war with us.

Posted in Neo-Imperialism, notes, War Tagged with: , , ,

Collateral Casualty of the War against War

Carl Schmitt might have been amused by the criticism John Kerry has received for declining to characterize operations against ISIS as “war”: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday would not say the United States is at war with

Posted in Political Philosophy, War Tagged with: , ,

Chastising Their Insolence

It is hard to imagine a world in which acts like the murders of James Foley and Steven Sotloff simply as Americans, in connection with an American decision to rescue others from imminent annihilation, did not produce among Americans a demand for punishment as both practical and moral necessity. Yet there is a tendency even among many would-be supporters of President Obama, or of his plans to “degrade and ultimately destroy” “the group known as ISIL,” to diminish and disdain politically aggravated homicides as actual and compelling bases for a specifically American reaction.

Posted in Featured, The Exception, US History, War Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Fighting “The Islamic State”

Referring to the group simply as “IS” quietly constitutes the enemy as “the Islamic State,” and reinforces perception of the struggle as anti-Islamic for some, for others as significantly a different thing: anti-Islamist.

Posted in Anismism, Neo-Imperialism, Political Philosophy, War Tagged with: , , , ,

IS or ISIL or ISIS or Daesh as “existential” threat

My comment today at “Ordinary Times” (first in more than a year): You think you want to live in a world where the murder of Americans as Americans, or politically, could be broadcast to all, in connection with the rescue

Posted in Neo-Imperialism, Political Philosophy, War Tagged with: , , ,

Failure of the US-Syrian Rebel Alliance Is Two-Sided

To make war on Assad in the absence of a democratically validated decision for war and in the absence of an international legal justification for war would further undermine foundational American premises. Achieving both would not be impossible, but the Heaven and Earth-moving effort is not something that the United States of America or its President is presently likely to attempt on behalf of the united friends of Al Qaeda.

Posted in Featured, Neo-Imperialism, War Tagged with: , ,

What’s So Funny about Degradation and Ultimate Destruction?

If I find the time, I will finish and publish a more developed piece on America’s stance toward the Islamic State, partly in response to a post on by Adam Elkus and Nick Prime that, in the process of proposing

Posted in Neo-Imperialism, notes, War Tagged with: , , ,

us v is (What’s So Funny… 2)

…you do seem, at least, to be endlessly rationalizing U.S. imperial overreach, as if it were some sort of grand strategy upholding universal “liberal democracy”, where I tend to see incoherence, disintegration and devolution, on the part of grossly incompetent,

Posted in Neo-Imperialism, notes, Political Philosophy, War Tagged with: , , ,

Wanted: Casus Belli (for the US, against the Assad Regime)

Blog version of Storify post:

Posted in War Tagged with: ,

replying to a comment on comments – part 2 (us v is)

(continuing reply to jch’s comment, with same proviso as before) 4 – Current Events or: Hegemony, What Is It/Good For? Now to current events, as we return to the original point of my intervention under the Quiggan post. jch says:

Posted in History, Neo-Imperialism, notes, Political Philosophy, War Tagged with: , , ,

Islamic Statism and Historical Necessity

Shadi Hamid begins his essay on “The Roots of the Islamic State’s Appeal” by noting first the tendency of political scientists, including himself, to see “religion, ideology, and identity” as “products of a given set of material factors.” In the

Posted in History, notes, On Liberal Democracy in Relation to Islamism, Religion, War Tagged with: , , ,

Melhem’s Compulsions (the two-sided failure in Syria contd.)

In an article published today in Al-Arabiya, Hisham Melhem devotes his main attention to the idea that the Middle East is becoming “less Arab” in a way that helps to explain a commensurate adaptation of U.S. policy. [T]he U.S. sees

Posted in International Relations Tagged with: , , ,

Noted & Quoted

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President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago and proposed an ambitious political strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition across former Soviet republics.

The allegations, if true, would appear to contradict assertions by the Trump administration and Manafort himself that he never worked for Russian interests.

Manafort proposed in a confidential strategy plan as early as June 2005 that he would influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and the former Soviet republics, even as US-Russia relations under Republican President George W. Bush grew worse.

Manafort pitched the plans to Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, a close Putin ally with whom Manafort eventually signed a $10 million (£8 million) annual contract beginning in 2006, according to interviews with several people familiar with payments to Manafort and business records obtained by the AP.

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The texts, posted on a darknet website run by a hacktivist collective, appear to show Manafort’s family fretting about the ethics, safety and consequences of his work for Yanukovych. And they reveal that Manafort’s two daughters regarded their father’s emergence as a key player on Trump’s presidential campaign with a mixture of pride and embarrassment.

In one exchange, daughter Jessica Manafort writes “Im not a trump supporter but i am still proud of dad tho. He is the best at what he does.” Her sister Andrea Manafort responded by referring to their father’s relationship with Trump as “The most dangerous friendship in America,” while in another exchange she called them “a perfect pair” of “power-hungry egomaniacs,” and asserted “the only reason my dad is doing this campaign is for sport. He likes the challenge. It's like an egomaniac's chess game. There's no money motivation.”

By contrast, the Manafort daughters and their mother seemed much more unsettled about Paul Manafort’s work as a political consultant for Yanukovych’s Russia-backed Party of Regions, which is a subject of renewed interest among investigators probing possible links between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

In one March 2015 exchange that appears to be between the two sisters, Andrea Manafort seems to suggest that their father bore some responsibility for the deaths of protesters at the hands of police loyal to Yanukovych during a monthslong uprising that started in late 2013.

“Don't fool yourself,” Andrea Manafort wrote. “That money we have is blood money.”

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If there's anything mitigating the bad news for the White House here, it is that Comey may have also sent subtle signals that the matters under investigation are not principally about the personal conduct of Trump himself. While this is speculation, I do not believe that if Comey had, say, validated large swaths of the Steele dossier or found significant Trump-Russia financial entanglements of a compromising variety, he would have said even as much as he said today. I also don't think he would have announced the scope of the investigation as about the relationship "between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government" or "coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts"; these words suggest one step of removal from investigating the President himself. If the latter were the case, I suspect Comey wouldn't have used words suggestive of the Flynn-Manafort-Page cabal.

But that's reading a lot into a relatively small number of tea leaves. What is clear is that this was a very bad day for the President. In it, we learned that there is an open-ended Russia investigation with no timetable for completion, one that's going hang over Trump's head for a long time, and one to which the FBI director is entirely committed.

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@CK_MacLeod

State of the Discussion

bob
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Comments this threadCommenter Archive
+ Yeah, I read C's comments as trying to do a variety of things at the same time, having the effect of making interpretation more difficult. Any [. . .]
Benjamin Wittes: How to Read What Comey Said Today – Lawfare
bob
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Comments this threadCommenter Archive
+ Sure, so why do they have "work Phones" they take home? Even if they don't have fate of the world responsibilities, who they work [. . .]
Isenstadt and Vogel: Paranoia seizes Trump’s White House – POLITICO

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