Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Useful Idiots

The success of the global Islamisist Jihad only partially reflects its terrorists and suicide bombers. They are aided by some reluctant seriously to debate and address the issues, and legions of apologists who--though they claim not to side with violent extremism--make Jihad seem almost acceptable. The latter sort have been especially prevalent in the current debate about the definition and uses of torture. Guardian and BBC journalist Simon Jenkins is one:
The massacres in New York, Bali, London, Madrid and Mumbai were horrible but politically insignificant. They lacked even the IRA's policy-changing programme. They were a howl of rage from a deranged fanaticism, threatening lives and property but not the security of any state. They are best treated as accidents of globalisation.
This justifies Jihad while labeling any armed response as mere jingoism. I agree with Norm Geras:
Objectify and minimize: terror to be treated as an 'accident' of globalization, as mere rage and derangement. He could equally treat torture as an accident of the war on terror or, by tracing out causal continuities, as itself an accident of globalization; he could see it as rage and derangement. But Jenkins wouldn't. He wouldn't dream of writing of the use of torture by Western governments in such terms, and rightly not.

For a section of the Western commentariat, real threats, carrying the weight of moral responsibility, only ever come from (loosely speaking) 'us'. Those attacking 'us', on the other hand, can be objectified and minimized. New York, Bali, London, Madrid and Mumbai -- Jenkins himself begins a list of infamy that could be extended -- but 'politically insignificant'. The lives taken, the bodies broken, the families bereaved -- 'politically insignificant'. So you say. It is good that not all the friends of democracy think so.
BTW, Democrat lawyer/journalist Stuart Taylor is one of better sort of friends of democracy, and his current National Journal column is a useful antidote to the view of the war from Jenkins' ear (historical pun).


Assistant Village Idiot said...

It is getting so that I am almost moved to tears by an honest Democrat these days. Good article by Taylor

Carl said...

Taylor's smart--#1 in his class at Harvard Law, great writer--and a good guy: I've met him a few times (a classmate of an old girlfriend). His articles are always thoughtful and he never assumes the conclusion. Unfortunately, he writes for a subscription-only journal, so most of his archive is unavailable.

Anonymous said...

That nice young president of Jordan on tv recently attributed ALL the problems in the middle east to the Palestinian issue, completely ignoring the impact of the Koran verbiage urging all Islamic people to murder all nonIslamic people and to lie to all nonIslamic people. Are lies and murder of nonIslamic people essential to Islam?

OBloodyHell said...

> Koran verbiage urging all Islamic people to murder all nonIslamic people and to lie to all nonIslamic people.

I believe you are correct as to the lying part but the earlier part, "to murder all nonIslamics" ignores the state of Dhimmitude, which does not call for your murder as long as you are an Xtian or Jew and knuckle under.

A subtle difference, and not one I'd settle for, but it is one, nonetheless.

Carl said...


I thought you were big on equality? Christians and Jews having to pay a poll tax isn't very subtle.