Thursday, April 08, 2010

Comparison of the Day

From Brett Stephens in last month's Wall Street Journal:
Pop quiz--What does more to galvanize radical anti-American sentiment in the Muslim world: (a) Israeli settlements on the West Bank; or (b) a Lady Gaga music video?

If your answer is (b) it means you probably have a grasp of the historical roots of modern jihadism. If, however, you answered (a), then congratulations: You are perfectly in synch with the new Beltway conventional wisdom, now jointly defined by Pat Buchanan and his strange bedfellows within the Obama administration.

What is that wisdom? In a March 26 column in Human Events, Mr. Buchanan put the case with his usual subtlety:

"Each new report of settlement expansion," he wrote, "each new seizure of Palestinian property, each new West Bank clash between Palestinians and Israeli troops inflames the Arab street, humiliates our Arab allies, exposes America as a weakling that cannot stand up to Israel, and imperils our troops and their mission in Afghanistan and Iraq."

Mr. Buchanan was playing off a story in the Israeli press that Vice President Joe Biden had warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "what you're doing here [in the West Bank] undermines the security of our troops." . . . If you're of the view that Israel is the root cause of everything that ails the Middle East--think of it as global warming in Hebrew form--then nothing so powerfully makes the case against the Jewish state as a flag-draped American coffin.

Now consider Lady Gaga--or, if you prefer, Madonna, Farrah Fawcett, Marilyn Monroe, Josephine Baker or any other American woman who has, at one time or another, personified what the Egyptian Islamist writer Sayyid Qutb once called "the American Temptress."

Qutb, for those unfamiliar with the name, is widely considered the intellectual godfather of al Qaeda; his 30-volume exegesis "In the Shade of the Quran" is canonical in jihadist circles. But Qutb, who spent time as a student in Colorado in the late 1940s, also decisively shaped jihadist views about the U.S.

In his 1951 essay "The America I Have Seen," Qutb gave his account of the U.S. "in the scale of human values." "I fear," he wrote, "that a balance may not exist between America's material greatness and the quality of her people." Qutb was particularly exercised by what he saw as the "primitiveness" of American values, not least in matters of sex.

"The American girl," he noted, "knows seductiveness lies in the round breasts, the full buttocks, and in the shapely thighs, sleek legs and she shows all this and does not hide it." Nor did he approve of Jazz--"this music the savage bushmen created to satisfy their primitive desires"--or of American films, or clothes, or haircuts, or food. It was all, in his eyes, equally wretched. . .

Which brings me back to the settlements. There may well be good reasons for Israel to dismantle many of them, assuming that such an act is met with reciprocal and credible Palestinian commitments to suppress terrorism and religious incitement, and accept Israel's legitimacy as a Jewish state. But to imagine that the settlements account for even a fraction of the rage that has inhabited the radical Muslim mind since the days of Qutb is fantasy: The settlements are merely the latest politically convenient cover behind which lies a universe of hatred. If the administration's aim is to appease our enemies, it will get more mileage out of banning Lady Gaga than by applying the screws on Israel. It should go without saying that it ought to do neither.
As a reminder, Al Qaeda was founded to eject the Russians from Afghanistan and non-Muslims from Saudi Arabia. To be sure, Islamic extremists are committed to the destruction of Israel. But that's consistent with broader goals--they're anti-democracy and anti-Western civ. as well. More broadly, anti-everything-not-Islam. The Taliban, remember, toppled ancient statues of a famously pacific religious figure. Sacrificing Israel won't alter that--breasts, boogie-woogie, Buddhists, bibles, etc. still "are all infidels." Lady Gaga's just as objectionable as guaranteed liberty; Muslim terrorists would eliminate both.

Even if there were a Palestinian state. And even after the Administration exorcises "Islamic extremism" and "jihad" from the thesaurus (though not from the real world, alas).

(via Dr. Sanity, who observes, "a society that tolerates someone like Lady Gaga (and even finds some or all aspects of her talent worthwhile) is far preferable to the "utopia" of acceptable misogyny envisioned by the radical Islamic extremists, whose goal is to impose their caliphate on all of us.", reader Marc)


Bob in Los Angeles said...

Lemme tell ya when Qutb goes on about round breasts and full buttocks -- well I get sprung. I can't help myself -- Sir Mix A Lot got nothing on Qutb!

suek said...

Lady GAGA, eh.

So...what what their excuse in 1683?

Greg said...

Wow, I wish people could put themselves into another's place in order to gain a true prespective on the world. Why is state sponsered terrorism with planes, tanks, and artillary okay but not suicide bombers. Stop blaming one side for all the problems. If your land, job, and future were being taken away from you, you too would would be fighting back. I think the palestinians might have been better off with a Gandhi type movement to appease the international world. But do you honestly think Israel wouldn't just take them to the cleaners?

OBloodyHell said...

Gee, Greg, since the "land taken from them" wasn't theirs to begin with, it was stolen, re-stolen, and stolen again going back for centuries, if not millenia, at what point, exactly, do you figure the ownership is going to manage to be "settled"?

There's no question that the land in question belonged to the Israelis at one point -- that's one of the few "deeds" which history has left any reference to.

And with that granted (something pretty much no one in either Arabia or Libtardia is actually willing to acknowledge at all, as you yourself serve to show it) it becomes clear that Israel DOES have a right to exist in that region. Israel would happily acknowledge the right of those who live in so-called Palestine (a "state" invented less than 30 years before by the Brits, who had no more or less business giving it away than they did giving any of it away to Israel in 1948). Further, when they did partition "Palestine" as they did, it was in utter violation of promises that the state of Israel would be created AT THE TIME (i.e., post-WWI, with the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, whose land it was prior to that). The only reason that they finally granted Israel the land it had been promised years before, following WWII was in response to guilt over the Holocaust.

Israel has, EVER SINCE that point, been attempting to get along with its neighbors, who continually spit in their faces and do virtually every single possible thing to destroy any and all good that might come their way.

Example: As a result of the decades of Israeli supervision, the Gaza strip had become a fairly wealthy and productive area, with a great deal of promise for its residents. Now that it's been given back to the control of the Palestinians, it has become just as much of a GIGANTIC FRIGGIN' BASKETCASE as the rest of the areas given to the Palestinians.

The idea that the Palestinians are NOT at fault here -- ENTIRELY -- is your error.

Time and again the Israelis have done things they had no particular call to do, with the futile hopes that maybe THIS time, their opponents will see reason and sense and each time, the Palestinians have destroyed any chance at peace and progress in the area.

I guarantee you that, had the Palestinians had ANY inclination towards actual PEACE that any problems in that region would not be between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

The ones who need to "put themselves in someone else's shoes" is not the Israelis, Greg. And you and those like you need to get your damned murderous thug-enabling heads out of your collective rectal orifices.

...But you weren't here to actually argue your case, were you?

You just dropped in to supply us all with a day's supply of libtard parrot droppings... right?

suek said...

"Fatimid Caliph al-Hakim orders the destruction of all Jewish and Christian places of worship."

(from that site. Note the date...1012.)

Wonder what their excuse was some 1000 years ago???

suek said...

And in line with OBH's comment...

What would happen if magically all of the Palestinian's weapons just disappeared?

There would be peace. (although, like jail inmates, there's virtually no way to eliminate all possibilities for weaponry of some sort or another)

What would happen if just as magically, all Jew's weapons disappeared???

There would be a massive slaughter of Jews.

That about covers it.

By the way, come the Palestinians haven't been given asylum in any of the arab countries that border them? Why are there barriers to their entry to Egypt??

Greg said...


It appears you took out the standard Israel-defense playbook to respond to any criticsm of Israel. I am surprised you didn't throw out the standard "Jew-Hater, Antisemite" words to increase the emotional response (you managed to throw in "Holocaust" and murderous thug-enabling of course).

Israel has a right to deal with terrorist acts and the attacks that occurred up through the 1960s. I wouldn't hold that against anyone. HOWEVER, the story isn't at all as simple as you convey. The Jews lost their land to the Romans a long time ago. Other people settled there and raised families for generations. In our "modern times," countries supposed to be more enlightened and shouldn't be annexing other people's land for themselves. According to your reasoning, the USA should cede all of the land back to the Indians, California back to Mexico etc. so please give up on that line of reasoning.

I don't deny Israel the right to exist, but I don't think Israel has the right to take Palestinian land and rule them with an iron fist. That is the core issue, one that people like yourself won't acknowledge much less effectively defend.

Interesting that you bring up the Gaza strip. How do you expect them to be successful when Israel limits food, medicine, and energy. Most pro-Israel policy arguments like the ones you profess are hollow because they are based on a superficial evaluation that does not examine underlying issues and the subtle and sometimes obvious actions Israel takes to control and weaken the Palestinians.

Your argument in regard to the Israel/Palestinian problem follows a classic propaganda strategy where the truth is unimportant, only Machiavellian justification of your actions.

There are many stories of the atrocities Israel has comitted so stop pretending that they are guiltless. I also consider the Palestinian rocket attacks and terrorist acts to be unacceptable, conseqently showing that I can see both sides of a situation unlike yourself. I tend to feel more sympathy for the underdogs and in this case the Palestinians are defintely the underdogs ( a major part of the problem, I believe, is that Israelies also view them as not much more than dogs).

I rarely comment on blogs but sometimes I feel an overwhelming compulsion to give a response to what I consider is a totally biased and unfair argument. There are always two sides to a disagreement, and to ignore the crimes against humanity that Israel has followed at times is disingenuous. The US has been sheltered (propaganda) from the reality of what is going on in Israel. There is a lot of discussion and debate amongst the Israelis about the best way to handle the Palestinian problem, but somehow the US public only sees the viewpoints simlar to yours.


Greg said...


Please, I have read that line about weapons so many times. Here is a hint; repetition works for propaganda, it doesn't make a weak argument any stronger. Israel wants all of the land and control over all of the people and they will do whatever it takes to accomplish there goals, period. A Zionist would say that is exactly right. A humanitarian would say that there is an issue with that goal. Who is right? Throwing out one liners that have no factual base doesn't answer the question. The moral and ethical issues around this question are much deeper than the neocons and zionists pretend.

I admit I don't have an ideal answer for the problem based on the hate and animosity that have been built up over there. But there is no way that current the Zionist/Neocon agenda is moral or ethical. Try to persuade me with a real argument instead of these empty phrases that are continually regurgitaed.

suek said...

Repetition doesn't change the fact that it's true.

Did you check out that Wikipedia link? The date on that was 1012 AD - you know - one thousand years ago. And the muslims were killing Jews and Christians even then. What is your excuse for them back then??

greg said...

I am looking at the morality and humanity of what people choose to do now. What happened 1000 years ago does not justify bad behavior today. There is rarely justification to do bad things to other people. I still have not heard any good justification from you.

suek said...

So...the fact that muslims 1000 years ago were intent on killing Jews and Christians has no bearing on the fact that muslims today are intent on killing Jews and Christians??

I don't suppose you lend any credence to the statement of "First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people" either??

suek said...

>>But do you honestly think Israel wouldn't just take them to the cleaners?>>


OBloodyHell said...

> I am surprised you didn't throw out the standard "Jew-Hater, Antisemite" words to increase the emotional response (you managed to throw in "Holocaust" and murderous thug-enabling of course).

Look, you nit, don't cast meanings into words that aren't there, and have no relevance to the argument. The arguments weren't emotional, they are completely valid and/or relevant descriptions.

To argue that the Holocaust itself is "off limits" because it has emotional connotations is very convenient for your claims, and, more critically, is ludicrous on the surface -- to claim it WASN'T a part of the reasons for why the Allies finally created the Jewish State which they had PROMISED them during the FIRST World War and then RENEGED on when they broke up the Ottoman Empire is patently false, and if you claim otherwise you're either ignorant or disingenuous. Which is it? Or do you retract that claim?

The term "murderous-thug enabling" isn't emotional, it's an entirely accurate description of your actions ("you"==liberals in general in this case, not "you" personally) combined with theirs.

If the Israelis kill anyone while responding to rocket attacks at civilian targets from Palestine, it's cause for a massive international incident... against the Israelis. This is DESPITE the fact that the Palestinians DELIBERATELY place their rocket batteries right in the middle of civilians.

The Palestinians, Arabs in general, and Islam in particular need to give up on violence as a first-option means to an end and join the rest of the civilized nations in making it a last-resort choice. The powers of modern science are too great to allow fighting and force to be the answer chosen readily. WWI showed that, and if there had been any question about it, then WWII drove it home.

So "your" continued encouragement of their violent rhetoric is clearly enabling behavior for what is inarguably a band of murderous thugs, whose only goal is to not just eliminate Israel but to kill each and every Jew they can get their unrestricted hands on. That's NOT hyperbole. It's an openly stated intent across a wide swath of territory where Islam holds sway -- in the political, military, and diplomatic realms, in all circles high and low, on the national level, the social level, and the individual level.

Children are raised from early childhood to the notion that martyrdom to violence is a religious and social duty. Mothers dress their pre-walking children up in combat fatigues and surround them with toy weapons and bandoleers of bullets. Elementary-school-aged children get to watch "documentaries" about how the eeeeevil monkey Jews (and yes, they ARE taught that sort of dehumanizing ethnic slur from grades school) are behind every social evil and failure in their wide array of nations -- somehow, the tiny nation of Israel, combined with the few millions of the Jews in America and the rest of the world manage to suppress and render null all the "positive" efforts of a billion Muslims around the world.

"You" and other liberals ENABLE the practitioners of Islam to direct their anger, caused by their own incompetence and inability to improve and adapt their social structures, against a wholly unrelated entity as the true cause of their problems, instead of making them face up to the fact that the reason the vast majority of Islam is a complete basket case is because of their own failings.


OBloodyHell said...


I could argue this more completely but it's much easier to let a psychological professional discuss it, as she has AT LENGTH in the course of the last 5+ years, Dr Sanity:

The first and second of those are particularly pertinent.

She has far more but those are enough to advance the argument adequately.

OBloodyHell said...

> I don't deny Israel the right to exist

... yet you have no issue with the fact that there is not a single significant individual in Palestinian politics who DOESN'T do this.

This is where the claim of "enablement" makes itself tellingly clear.

If any individual around you said something as extreme as "Just kill the bastard Muslims! Every last one of them!" you'd jump all over said buffoon, and rightly so. How many times have you written decrying the statements made -- regularly by Muslims -- that All jews should be killed? Frankly, if you DID do so you wouldn't have time to write anything else.

But you could REALLY amaze me by pointing to comments in a half-dozen different forum threads around the internet where you took some Islamic speaker of note to task for making antiSemitic slurs and/or claims that were known antisemitic lies in a public forum. Because I'd make a small wager that you've never done anything of the sort. By all means, prove me wrong. Until then you're an "enabler". Because as long as you don't stomp on such expressions as utterly unacceptable behavior, they are going to continue doing exactly that, and far worse.


As is THIS

Another commentary on this by the good Doctor

And in case you had any question about the child-teaching-hate thing, here's an old article about one case of it. It would not be hard to find many, many more examples. Like this one Or this one Before Johnson started pandering to the Left, he had a vast array of articles documenting the lunatic behavior of Palestinians

Tell you what -- is a picture worth a thousand words?

> I don't think Israel has the right to take Palestinian land and rule them with an iron fist.

How is ISRAEL ruling the people living in the Palestinian controlled territories "with an iron fist"? I am sure that Israel would happily either IGNORE the people of Palestine or treat with them as a nation of equals, but the Palestinians have no interest in that idea, or at least continue repeatedly to support leaders who categorically reject any "Can't we all just get along?" entreaties by Israel.

OBloodyHell said...

> How do you expect them to be successful when Israel limits food, medicine, and energy.

HOW? Israel expresses NO CLAIM to that territory, inflicts no authority over them. The Palestinians are free to do whatever they choose, to live however they choose, to do whatever they choose. That area was a friggin' miracle when it WAS under Israeli rule -- it was one of the few areas in the middle east where the Islamic "common" people were productive and, if not rich, at least on their way towards that direction. Once it was placed entirely under the control of the Palestinians, all the infrastructure which the Israelis had built went to shit, and all the manufacturing and other capabilities they'd developed were converted to military functions or used as a firebase for same, lending to the inevitable destruction of them in the process of Israel acting in self-defense.

I officially call "Shenanigans" -- define exactly what events you refer to, and, more critically, WHAT YOUR SOURCE IS.

> There are many stories of the atrocities Israel has comitted so stop pretending that they are guiltless.

Yeah, right. Like THIS ONE? Or maybe it was This one you were thinking of??

Or perhaps were you referring to the now classic Al-Dura case?? Or how about the faked ambulance-rocket attack?

Would those be the "stories of atrocities" you'd be thinking of?

In actuality: are the Israelis "guiltless"? No, I'm sure that they HAVE done things wrong at times. They are humans. And when someone has been frothing at the mouth, attempting to destroy you and those you hold dear for over a half a century, I think the patience of a saint would be tried, to say nothing about the patience of the average person. It's not a question of "have the Israelis ever screwed up and done something wrong?" It's "how the hell have they NOT decided to really, really open up a can of whoop-ass and turn ALL their barbarian neighbors into radioactive stone-age barbarians?"

That's not written to excuse any such events. But I do consider the occasional rare event to be a human slip, and not an national indictment. It says more than amply enough about their opposition when you realize that, on the OTHER side the rare event that's hard to find is the one showing a Muslim displaying rational sense in their analysis of Israel's presence in the ME...

OBloodyHell said...

> HOWEVER, the story isn't at all as simple as you convey. The Jews lost their land to the Romans a long time ago.

I'm saying that the line of reasoning YOU used leads to that, Greg. **I** don't agree with it at all. Why does Israel's claim disappear but the local residents of the 1930s does not? Why does the claim of the residents of Palestine (many of whom WERE the very same Israelis you whine about) have merit, but NOT that of, say, the Amerinds, only 30-50 years older...? Your view offers no rationally consistent dividing line, which delineates a "continuation of a civil war or a national 'theft'" from an independent nation with its own will.

Right or wrong -- it's A DONE THING. Such events need a sort of "statute of limitations". You might have been able to argue for the correction you are in favor of within a certain length of time, sure. But for Israel and the very short-lived "Palestine", that ship long since sailed. It's time to move the f*** on.

My own argument along those lines is that the dividing line would be ca. 20-30 years -- once you've had an entire generation raised to adulthood which doesn't have the same history as those in the "mother country", then it's too late to "fix" it via anything other than political consensus, because now it's an entirely new, independent nation, and its peoples have a different heart. That is the only JUST way to correct such a wrong, if it is or was one -- by showing the connection to the mother nation that remains is stronger than the desire to be independent.

This is also why Saddam had no right to demand the "return" of Kuwait (formerly Iraqi territory) by force, rather than getting a consensus from the peoples of Kuwait. It had just been too long to treat it as a separation by force. Too many of those who lived there no longer perceived themselves as Iraqis, or even "former Iraqis", but simply as Kuwaitis. It is wrong to use force to change that view.

> Your argument in regard to the Israel/Palestinian problem follows a classic propaganda strategy where the truth is unimportant, only Machiavellian justification of your actions.

Your claims have not one iota of factual justification, so I believe the proper response is "Hey! Did you know you're black? No question about that!" When you link to anything reliably factual in support of your claims, I'll be happy to refute your claims with valid counter-arguments.

In summary, if you're going to take on someone regarding Israel, you need to pick somewhere else -- your BS mindless repetition of idiot talking points utterly unbolstered by any kind of actual factual justifications won't fly here.

OBloodyHell said...

> but somehow the US public only sees the viewpoints simlar to yours.

Whose existence you claim but fail, utterly, to provide any factual basis for...

Does everyone reading this know Greg still sleeps in the same bed with his mother?

And that he watches his brother and sister have sex all the time?

Sometimes Obama even joins in in a threesome!

See? Easy to make ridiculously absurd claims when no proof is required.

It's almost as easy when those who are responsible for vetting the facts to be sure that the claimed interpretation is correct are not held to any standard, either.

In my observation, the former is all too often the case when it comes to "Israeli atrocities" -- and the latter is almost always true even in the exceptions.

Greg said...

I didn't intend to be a troll, but I realize that most Neocons will never bend from their point of view no matter what arguments are made against them. By the way, I am not a "liberal," I am actually rather conservative. I view things like this from the perspective of good versus evil. In this case both sides are choosing the evil approach. People like yourself are blind to objectivity and because there are so many like you, the world will likely end in tatters. If you really want to learn the truth, I would challenge you to live for awhile with the Palestinians to see what their lives are like. Then maybe your eyes would be opened.

In the end, God will judge and then we will all know for sure. All else is mere speculation.