#War

Terrorists and Hawks together again…

As Rex noted in an e-mail, we again see conservative hawks and radical Islamists on the same side of an issue.  They both want a war with Iran. Bruce Riedel – “Al Qaeda Plans for War With Israel” – channels

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Conservatives vs Islam – reply to Oceanaris

oceanaris – author of a blog post strongly, even uncharitably criticized in our thread discussion – began his rebuttal via comment as follows: perhaps if one considers the repeated victory chants of hundreds of thousands of Muslims in Cairo or

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Dialogue with John: Sacred Texts/Tests

John asks: If one is not actively trying to convert the other, professing good and evil, pushing revelation, is one having a political conversation? and can politics ever approximate an ideally-disinterested academic discussion, with its ways of mixing disinterested commentary

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Islamophobia = Islamism (Replies to John)

John asks (all further blockquotes will be from the linked comment): [W]hy make the claim that [the Islamophobes’] approach is useless or dangerous…? By now I’ve written fairly extensively on what I think is wrong with an Islamophobic approach, and

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Cost of Islamophobia 3 – Islamism and Modernity

John asked for me to address the following point: [N]otwithstanding all the sects and interpretations of Islam that evolved in the agrarian age, all the relatively peaceful local practises mediated by saints, shrines, and the pragmatic needs of Islamic societies,

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The Cost of Islamophobia 2: The Goo Goo Genocidaires Vs The Lying Hatemongers

Walter Russell Mead was one of the two writers I quoted with respect and approval in yesterday’s “The Cost of Islamophobia” post, as I believed his analysis of Turkey’s  predicament supported the insistence on distinctions between different types of political,

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In the general direction of Mecca…

At Contentions, John Podhoretz highlights one aspect of a Wall Street Journal op-ed by Dorothy Rabinowitz:  “[T]the genuine innovation of Barack Obama’s presidency,” he summarizes, “is that it has imported much of its sense of the United States and its

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…and take all our separate planets with us

If you’re going to declare someone else to be insane, your diagnosis will be easier to credit if it’s not couched in absurdities.  Here’s the conclusion of Gabriel Schoenfeld’s post today at The Weekly Standard blog: The outpouring  of condemnation from

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Imam McCarthy’s newest fatwa

At NRO/The Corner, reliable anti-Islamist Andy McCarthy calls for opposition to Cordoba House today, recalling the protests that he believes helped stop plans to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Manhattan. That dissent was enough to forestall the trial, but it

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In my own name only…

Why this building, there? Leaving aside some melodrama – “insane,” “looming horror,” “surrender” – that question sums up the reaction to Cordoba House, a.k.a. “The Ground Zero Mosque,” a project of the the Cordoba Initiative (CI) that last week added

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From the Featured Archives

Noted & Quoted

TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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