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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The most painful aspect of this has been to watch people I previously considered thoughtful and principled conservatives give themselves over to a species of illiberal politics from which I once thought they were immune.

In his 1953 masterpiece, “The Captive Mind,” the Polish poet and dissident Czeslaw Milosz analyzed the psychological and intellectual pathways through which some of his former colleagues in Poland’s post-war Communist regime allowed themselves to be converted into ardent Stalinists. In none of the cases that Milosz analyzed was coercion the main reason for the conversion.
They wanted to believe. They were willing to adapt. They thought they could do more good from the inside. They convinced themselves that their former principles didn’t fit with the march of history, or that to hold fast to one’s beliefs was a sign of priggishness and pig-headedness. They felt that to reject the new order of things was to relegate themselves to irrelevance and oblivion. They mocked their former friends who refused to join the new order as morally vain reactionaries. They convinced themselves that, brutal and capricious as Stalinism might be, it couldn’t possibly be worse than the exploitative capitalism of the West.

I fear we are witnessing a similar process unfold among many conservative intellectuals on the right.

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The precarious feeling of uncertainty will nonetheless persist, at least until U.S. authority, in Europe or anywhere else, is seriously challenged. And there are signs that a challenge is coming. In the past few days, the Russian government has recognized passports from the phony “republics” that Russian-armed, Russian-controlled “separatists” have created in eastern Ukraine — perhaps, as one Russian official suggested, as a prelude to granting them Russian passports or even annexing the territories outright. Russian planes repeatedly buzzed a U.S. destroyer on patrol in the Black Sea. Most ominously, Russia has reportedly deployed a new generation of cruise missiles, a move that violates existing arms treaties and could make it easier for Russian bombs to reach European capitals.

There is no reason to think that these small “tests” will not be repeated. And if any one of them explodes into something worse, then talk of “shared values” will not help. Nor will repeated reassurances from Cabinet members. At some point, the enforced ambiguity will fall away, it will not be possible to disguise reality with “Swedish incidents” and we will learn what the president actually believes. I just hope that we are all prepared.

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Our partners in the international order we created - some of whom we conquered to make it possible - are now seeking to defend it from us. Let's say that again, Defend it from us. How do we now as loyal Americans look at the warnings of the French and the Germans, as well as the British and our other erstwhile allies' warnings? This is a complicated question which different people, depending on their professions and governmental responsibilities and personal dispositions, must answer in different ways. But we cannot ignore the fact that the American experiment is now in a kind of exile - taken refuge elsewhere - and the executive power of the American state now under a kind of, hopefully temporary, occupation.

We face a comparable dynamic at home. I have been thinking for weeks that the central challenge and reality of the Trump Era is what do you do as an institutionalist when the central institutions of the state have been taken over, albeit democratically, by what amount to pirates, people who want to destroy them? To put it another way, do the institutions and norms which Trump and his gang are trying to destroy become shackles and obstacles in the way of those trying to defend them? There['re] no easy answers to these questions.

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@CK_MacLeod

State of the Discussion

bob
Ignored
Comments this threadCommenter Archive
+ I dunno, I think a lot of people looked at the TPers not as patriotic Americans but as bat shit crazy. Their difficulty in [. . .]
On Emulating the TP vs Trump’s GOP
CK MacLeod
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Comments this threadCommenter Archive
+ They will still have to cope with a version of the same conflict at every stage and level. Sooner or later, or constantly, any political [. . .]
On Emulating the TP vs Trump’s GOP
bob
Ignored
Comments this threadCommenter Archive
+ Sure, that's a fair characterization of the discussion outlined in the tweets. My point is that the information we have about "the left" is [. . .]
On Emulating the TP vs Trump’s GOP

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