August 04, 2005

Islamofascists

The Muslim Public Affairs Committee in Britain published an anti-Semitic screed by a retired U.S. Brigadier General that included a graphic image that was pulled directly from a German neo-Nazi Web site.

They replaced the graphic after they were busted, but I found a cached version of the page that still includes the neo-Nazi image.

I am not going to link to a neo-Nazi Web site. (I didn't link to the MPACUK site either.) If you want to see for yourself, follow the link to the cached page above, right-click the graphic image, and select "Properties." That will show you the image location and the url for the neo-Nazi Web site where the Muslim Public Affairs Committee found it.

I used to think that liberals in different countries all got along great while the right-wingers in each country hated each other. There is a certain logic to that, but it isn't quite right. Islamists (who are nothing if not illiberal), kooky American ex-military nuts, and German Fascists are hitting it off pretty well.

(Hat tip: Luke in the comments section at Harry's Place.)

UPDATE: The cached link no longer works. The image there has been replaced with the new one. But Harry's Place has a link to a screen grab if you want to take a look.

Also, a couple of people seem to be confused about the point of this post. I'm not pointing out how Islamists are being chummy with "the left." I'm pointing out how Islamists are being chummy with German neo-Nazis. Note the post's title.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at August 4, 2005 12:15 AM
Comments

The Left is just more honest about third-kind friends: anybody, and everybody, who is full of Bush-hate (for whatever reason), is an ally.

Oops, except pro-life Christians.

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at August 4, 2005 02:40 AM

Tom,

Islamists aren't left. The retired Brigadier General James J. David isn't left. Germnan neo-Nazis aren't left.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at August 4, 2005 02:49 AM

Sorry, Tom Grey - Liberty Dad (always nice to se you, by the way)....but the American Right had a strong tradition of supporting Jihadist...I remember the Assemblies of God church, I attended having collections for Mujahdeen and Israeli settlers...Franco of Spain found it in his best interest to stop supporting German right-wingers, during WW2...that didn't mean he stopped being a fascist.

Posted by: NeoDude at August 4, 2005 06:05 AM

I suspect our allies in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are using the same money sources to support the neo-mujahdeen in Iraq.

The cycle of life continues.

Posted by: NeoDude at August 4, 2005 06:14 AM

“Islamists aren't left. The retired Brigadier General James J. David isn't left. Germnan neo-Nazis aren't left.”

Whoa, this may not be entirely accurate. I recently visited an American Nazi website and it strongly advocated socialist economic polices. Ever visit David Duke’s blog? The differences between him and the radical leftists at Counterpunch are few and far between.

I hope that Michael Totten soon begins to seriously study economics. Visiting the blogs of Jane Galt and Arnold Kling is highly recommending. And this is one time it is best to ignore Christopher Hitchens. His ignorance on these matters is an abomination. We have a serious crisis that must not be ignored: the attacks on free trade are growing. The Democratic Party has already surrendered to the Protectionists---and even the Republicans are sometimes wishy-washy on the issue. We cannot enjoy a peaceful and economically vibrant world if the anti-free traders like Duke and the Daily Kos crowd have their way.

Posted by: David Thomson at August 4, 2005 06:33 AM

David,

The Republican party is not wishy-washy on protectionism, in many ways it is becoming more protectionist than the Democrats. This is part of the ongoing demographic switch between parties. The staunchest free traders are the Wall Street North Eastern Rockefeller Republican types who are increasingly inclined to find a home with the Democrats since the GOP decided to become the party of creationism and saving Terri Schiavo. At the same time the traditionally tariff loving Southern social conservative Democrats have all moved into the GOP. Bush's Christian base pays lip service to free markets but when push comes to shove is even more inclined to interfere than the Left. Any group that can go around proclaiming there is a Hollywood conspiracy not to make G-rated movies has very little conception of what a free market actually is.

Posted by: vanya at August 4, 2005 06:46 AM

On what Michael do you base your assertion that retired Brigadier General James J. David isn't left? Is it the same 'logic' which has it that a General Officer 'must' be Republican? 'Cause you know, it's not hard to find Democrats who would agree with everything General David wrote in that piece. And sit on the left side. Devoted NYT readers would find nothing cringeworthy in that piece. And KozKidz would rejoice that a 'sane voice' arose which had military grounding. So again, how is it that you contend General David as not of the left? Keeping in mind General Jack D. Ripper's concern about the impurity of our precious bodily fluids sprang from the mind of a civilian. I personally have encountered US military officers who hold political views to the left of your views. Do you actually know any members of our officer corps Michael?

Posted by: S at August 4, 2005 06:52 AM

The first nazis definately had roots in socialism and considered themselves so. Todays neo-nazis are definately more reactionary, but a more accurate term for all of these groups are statist. They want to the state to dictate the life of people, both morally and economically. This kind of thinking leads to a sense of seeing the state and nation as one; and anything that doesn't conform to that is greeted with hostility. Thus, both the far left and far right have historically been hostile to 'cosmopolitan' outsider groups (mostly the Jews).

Posted by: elambend at August 4, 2005 06:53 AM

Michael,

Congradulations. You've just won a prize
for using the term "anti-Semitic" for the
zillionth time in less than a year.

Seriously though, just as your thinly veiled
bigotry towards Muslims and Islam hurt
your credibility, so does your constant
use of the aforementioned term. I challenge
you to go two weeks without accusing someone
of antisemitism and also suggest you take
a look at your own phobias towards people
of other ethnicities and religions.

Posted by: bones at August 4, 2005 07:20 AM

Alright, so "bones" is here to take the position that:

A) Neo-Nazis aren't anti-Semitic; and
B) Neither is a monster with horns that is supposed to represent Jews.

And he (?) wants to talk about credibility?

Nice.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at August 4, 2005 07:26 AM

Why would this surprise anyone? Mein Kampf has been on the bestseller lists in Arab capitals for the last decade.

Naziism still has it's adherents.

Posted by: TallDave at August 4, 2005 07:44 AM

However, MPAC got the image, it is ugly and also incredibly stupid. Antisemitic imagery and nazi-muslim associations of any sort are an excellent way of encouraging Americans, and Jewish Americans in particular, to ignore the aspects of Israeli and American policy that make a peaceful settlement less likely (case in point: today's announcement of new construction in Beitar Illit).

The article itself by James David is not too bad -- typical one-sided pro-Palestinian, but he makes some good points. Putting that image next to it is a great way of getting noone but those indifferent to antisemitism to consider it.

Posted by: markus at August 4, 2005 07:51 AM

The first nazis definately had roots in socialism and considered themselves so

I dont know that you really want to make socialism the bogeyman here. For the record, Zionism, and the Israeli state they created were deeply rooted in socialism. Despite have moved somewhat away from that in the past few decades, Israel is still very "socialistic" by American standards, or by the rhetorical use of the term by the American right.

This kind of thinking leads to a sense of seeing the state and nation as one; and anything that doesn't conform to that is greeted with hostility

A fair characterization of Israel, no?

Thus, both the far left and far right have historically been hostile to 'cosmopolitan' outsider groups (mostly the Jews)

Just as the Israelis are fundamentally hostile to a one state solution. All peoples between the river and sea living in a pluralistic society with equal rights and freedom of religion. It would require abandoning the socialistic / zionistic vision of the state as the embodiment of the tribe, the very special tribe, uniquely favored by god.

Posted by: Observer at August 4, 2005 07:56 AM

Just as the Israelis are fundamentally hostile to a one state solution

Because they'd be outnumbered and therefore governed by the Arabs. It's like asking Texas to merge with Mexico.

Posted by: TallDave at August 4, 2005 08:01 AM

“The Republican party is not wishy-washy on protectionism, in many ways it is becoming more protectionist than the Democrats.”

You are around five to ten years behind the times. The pro-free trade groups which surrounded Bill Clinton are history. Today’s Democratic Party is unabashedly protectionist. So much so, a free trader has zilch chance of winning that party’s presidential nomination. One should be appalled that CAFTA passed only by a mere two votes. That’s way too close for comfort.

If one takes the time to study economics they will soon grow cynical about the Republican Party’s economic mealy mouthing---and occasional outright hypocrisy. However, they will also intensely despise the Democrats. The Republicans are indeed the lesser of evils.

Posted by: David Thomson at August 4, 2005 08:01 AM

Actually, I take that back: Mexico doesn't repeatedly say Texas should be destroyed and all the Texans should be driven into the sea.

A one-state "solution" for Israel amounts to accepting genocide.

Posted by: TallDave at August 4, 2005 08:04 AM

I remember the Assemblies of God church, I attended having collections for Mujahdeen and Israeli settlers

Those wouldn't happen to be the same jihadists Jimmy Carter was supporting in their war against the Soviets would they? In the words of the Left, Carter "created" Osama.

Posted by: spaniard at August 4, 2005 08:05 AM

Congradulations. You've just won a prize
for using the term "anti-Semitic" for the
zillionth time in less than a year.

But muslims are "semites," no?

Posted by: spaniard at August 4, 2005 08:08 AM

SoCalJustice,

O.K. I'll take the bate.

A) Perhaps you need to take reading lessons.
I didn't say that nor did I imply it.

B) I really don't know what the artist's intent
was but I normally don't associate depictions
of "a monster with horns" with Jewish people
or Israelis. Do you?

Do you think that the monster might represent
Satan? Maybe the artist was implying that the
American flag represented Satan? I don't know.
Think about it.

Art class is over.

Posted by: bones at August 4, 2005 08:12 AM

However, MPAC got the image, it is ugly and also incredibly stupid.

Why? It reflects and illustrates their views nicely. It also jibes well with the fascist and nazi influence at the beginning of the Islamist and Pan-Arab movements. Communism wasn't the only nutty fad 70 years ago.

Posted by: chuck at August 4, 2005 08:12 AM

http://www.patrioticapaam.org/GenJamesDavid.htm

Apparently BG James J. David is second generation Lebanese (grandparents on both sides appear to have immigrated).

I think we see yet another example of reality-tunnel filtering (on both sides, yet again).

While the anti-semetic views of Mr. David appear repulsive to mosbunall thinking Americans, there does seem to me, some useful data within his pathetic screed.

Isreal is not an innocent civillian, trapped around evil Arab nations. Isreal has bloodied her hands on innocents just as most every other nation of the world. In the history of the Jews, they state, rather clearly, that they took Isreal by force, invasion and genocide. Those that remained, eventually came to be known as Arabs.

When Isreal was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE, those Arabs took over the land that was abandoned. They held that land until the Crusades. The Crusades, of course made all sorts of other reasons for Arabs and the West to hate each other (and of course, the Arabs hadn't been all that friendly before the crusades, check your history books). Post Crusades, the Muslims/Arabs retained control of mosbunall of the land of Isreal, until post WWII when the UN (whom ya'll love to hate) made them their own nation.

Isreal won its war of independence with terrorism., which led to the people now known as Palistinians, being chased into other countries. (Then they tried to fight back with Egypt and friends, leading to the six day war) and the foundation of the PLO, which of course led to more violence and hatred and more and more and more.

We can look behind us all we like, we can point to the evil Muslims who pillaged traders pre-Crusades, or we can point to the evil Arabs who attacked Isreal during the 6 day war. We could look at it from other historical perspectives as well... does any group of people have the right to land, simply because some genetic ancestors held the land 1900 years before? Does that give them the right to displace people who may have moved into that area since? If it does, then since the genetic ancestors of the Arabs owned that land before Joshua and Co. put them all to the sword, should they have it back?

Any argument that makes Isreal look like THE Bad Guy gets appropriately tarred anti-semite, yet any rant that makes the Isrealis look innocent, while damning the Arabs, seems acceptable.

There seems to me, no nation in this fight who can claim innocence, including Isreal.

PS - I found his essay and his 'graphics' disgusting.

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at August 4, 2005 08:14 AM

Ratatosk.

Maybe that's because the Israeli gov't isn't advocating genocide of all the Arabs.

Posted by: TallDave at August 4, 2005 08:17 AM

PS - I found his essay and his 'graphics' disgusting.

but not anti-semitic?

Posted by: spaniard at August 4, 2005 08:18 AM

Spaniard,

"But muslims are "semites," no?"

So are are you implying that Michael
is just as anti-Semitic as the next
Guy ? Hmm.... didn't think about it
like that.

Posted by: bones at August 4, 2005 08:30 AM

bones:

O.K. I'll take the bate.

First of all, it's "bait." And I wasn't baiting you anyway.

Having said that, if you're not familiar with "classic" (sad that there even is such a thing, but so be it) anti-Semitic imagery (Jews being the "spawn of Satan" and being depicted with horns), then good for you.

For the rest of us that are not ignorant of such abhorrent themes, we'll call a spade a spade.

Cheers.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at August 4, 2005 08:35 AM

TallDave,

No, they don't advocate genocide... but they certianly don't mind killing Pali's. During the 3 weeks of "calm" back in 2002, when NO Isreali lost their life because of terrorism... 43 Palestinians were killed, most of them unarmed civillians, including 9 children and two mothers. That's not counting the maiming and injuries that happened during that time. After three weeks of that, someone bombs Isreal and we're ready to damn the evil Arab again. They may not be advocating genocide... but they certianly don't seem to be advocating peace.

I rarely agree with a Pope, but the Vaticans response to Isreal, last week, I found quite appropriate.

spaniard,

Anti-Semetic?

I can say that the picture is disgusting, the article pathetic, and you are unsatisfied? Is there some magic associated with the word anti-semite?

I found the picture and post disgusting, because it appeared to me as a one sided screed, based on bigotry. I don't care if it had been written about Jews, Poles, Hutu, Serbs or Arabs.

But, perhaps one cannot simply find all racism equally disgusting, and must make 'anti-semitism' some special case?

Ratatosk

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at August 4, 2005 08:36 AM

Muslims are not necessarily "Semites." Arabs are. South Asian and East Asian Muslims, for example, are not Semites.

"Anti-semitism" as a term, however, does not apply to Arabs, even though Arabic is a Semitic language.

The origin of the term, and its common usage, specifically relates to hatred of Jews.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at August 4, 2005 08:39 AM

Israel ain't perfect. Hell, neither is the U.S.

But let's not delude ourselves into thinking Israel and the Arab states are morally equivalent.

Posted by: TallDave at August 4, 2005 08:40 AM

Rata,

Yes, but HOW were they killed? Did some Israelis decide to fire missiles into Gaza on a lark? No, of course not. That only happens going the other way.

Again, there is not moral equivalence there, any more than there was between the Soviets and the United States.

Posted by: TallDave at August 4, 2005 08:42 AM

I can say that the picture is disgusting, the article pathetic, and you are unsatisfied? Is there some magic associated with the word anti-semite?

LMAO! You write a long post on how attacks on JOOOS aren't necessarily anti-semitic, and then close that post with a one-liner caveat about how you find such attacks "disgusting." Beautiful.

That website wasn't attacking "Israeli policy"-- it attacks JOOOOS. That's why they borrow from Nazi websites. doi!!! Or was Hitler merely anti-Likud?

If you prefer to split hairs and call it "racism" rather than anti-semitism, my only question would be: WHY?

Posted by: spaniard at August 4, 2005 08:44 AM

Ratatosk writes:

Is there some magic associated with the word anti-semite?

No. Where did spaniard say that there was?

But, perhaps one cannot simply find all racism equally disgusting, and must make 'anti-semitism' some special case?

What are you talking about? So you think that when there is racism against Jews, people should not be able to point that out because there is also racism against other people too?

It's not a "special case" to talk about anti-semitism when there is anti-semitism on exhibit.

How should we talk about this?

Something like: "Yeah, it's horrible that MPAC (UK) would use Nazi imagery. It's really, really bad. But you know what? There is other discrimination going on too."

I guess I just don't understand (which is often the case with your posts) what you are trying to do or say.

Anti-semitism being a "special case?" This is a post about anti-semitism.

Just odd.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at August 4, 2005 08:44 AM

Left and Right are Grandfalloons

Posted by: charons_oar at August 4, 2005 09:08 AM

SoCal and Spaniard,

I purposly chose not to use the specific word anti-semite, specifically because of this reason.

One should be able to read my post and with the slightest bit of reading comprehension realize that I considered the post racist and directed at the Jews... since racism against Jews would be the defination of Anti-Semite, then I should not have to state the magic word. It's implicit in the post.

However, for people that like to use labels for damning, I find that they're never satisfied for someone to share their opinion, unless they repeat the magic marketing term... be it Terrorist, Anti-Semite, Islamofascist, Islamic nihilist etc etc ad nauseum.

The word is not the thing it describes. The marketspeak/blogspeak word of the day, should be unnecessary, if the intent can be divined from the content of the post.

Demanding the magic term anti-semite seems petty and well, pathetic to me.

You write a long post on how attacks on JOOOS aren't necessarily anti-semitic, and then close that post with a one-liner caveat about how you find such attacks "disgusting."

I wrote a post on the complicated nature of the situation. I wrote a post pointing out that while this man's screed was pathetic, his reality tunnel did have some truth (ie the Jews aren't any more or less innocent of maintaining the violence in the Pali conflict). I said nothing about "Jooos" and find your attempt to place a racial slur in my mouth disgusting and uncalled for. How dare you.

I found THIS attack and THIS picture disusting, just as I find all racial judgements, slurs and stereotypes disgusting. I don't hold racisim against the Jews as any different than racism against any other ethnic group.

"If you prefer to split hairs and call it "racism" rather than anti-semitism, my only question would be: WHY?"

Err, because it is Racism. Do you have a 3rd grade education? Racisim is racisim, anti-semitism is a word that means racisim against the jews. If the post is about the jews and I call the post racist, disgusting, pathetic, then one should be able to surmise that, indeed I am against anti-semitism, just as I am against any other form of the same disease.

The word is not the idea.

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at August 4, 2005 09:13 AM

You write: Demanding the magic term anti-semite seems petty and well, pathetic to me.

After writing, One should be able to read my post and with the slightest bit of reading comprehension realize that I considered the post racist and directed at the Jews.

Sorry. If you could get us a Squirrel-Human dictionary, it might help the rest of us out.

It's easier to write the word "Anti-semitism" than it is to write "racism against Jews" or "hatred of Jews."

There is no magic other than expediency.

And to think that it lessens the meaning of the word anti-semitism or is "pathetic" to say that when there is anti-semitism, using the word anti-semitism to describe it, or that people are "demanding" the use of the term - well - I guess that's fine amongst the Squirrels - who are the rest of us to judge what your people do?

But yeah, a Squrrel-Human dictionary would help, because you're not making much sense.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at August 4, 2005 09:18 AM

I think the posts above make clear the morass the we enter when people engage in this endless stuggle to climb the greased pole of moral superiority. Perhaps it is a legacy of our civil rights movement, a real struggle against racism, but during which the term "racist" tended to be thrown around wantonly. Everyone wants the smug satifaction of being able to label their oppponent as a moral deviant, a racist, of one form or another.

We see that today, overwhelmingly, by the supporters of Israel who, almost reflexivly, use "anti-semite" to tar anyone who is critical of Israeli policy. It is pure demagougery. Even opponents of zionism, the whole project to establish a jewish state are not necessarily anti-semitic. One does not have to hate jews in order to condemn the notion of a "chosen" people claiming a god-given right to gather from around the world, settle on other peoples land, and set up a government that reflects their world view, instead of going there to live in peace and equality with the native peoples, forming government structures with them on a basis of equality.

Zionism is ethnic identity politics at its purest. Unlike the American paradigm, in which immigrants from around the world can come here and have a political status the same as anyone else, the whole point of Zionism is that one tribe is special, and that the government shall be the expression of that tribal identity. Some natives, so long as their numbers dont come close to being a majority, can remain, if they accept their status of living in a state defined as the cultural embodiment of someone elses culture. Everyone else must leave.

It is rather remarkable that so many Americans, who have such different values, are so supportive of this.

Posted by: Observer at August 4, 2005 09:23 AM

Ratatosk,

There seems to me, no nation in this fight who can claim innocence, including Isreal.

Seems to me that you have a rather "above it all" attitude. This is fitting for a God, or perhaps a squirrel, but sometimes I wonder what you actually believe in.

By-the-by, your history, both ancient and modern, is oversimplified. The Arabs, for instance, conquered Palestine in 638 CE. The population at the time was mixed Jewish and Christian, the Jews and Samaritans together constituting the majority. Islam became the majority religion soon after through settlement and conversion, mostly the latter, while Arabic displaced Aramaic as the dominant lanquage...

Posted by: chuck at August 4, 2005 09:24 AM

SoCal,

"There is no magic other than expediency."

So the only reason anyone says (or is expected to say) 'anti-semite' has to do with expediency?

Then why did anyone mind when I didn't mention it explicity? The data is there in the post, but since I didn't use the most expedient word... my motives were questioned? Hrmm, that sounds a bit like labeling to me.

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at August 4, 2005 09:25 AM

"Seems to me that you have a rather "above it all" attitude. This is fitting for a God, or perhaps a squirrel, but sometimes I wonder what you actually believe in."

Actually, I try to have an objective view, as opposed to a subjective view. This tends to be difficult, since we all appear to allow subjectiveity influence our objectivity. But, I try.

As for what I believe in... well, do you really want to know?

Posted by: at August 4, 2005 09:29 AM

Chuck,

Yes, my history was rather simplified. This is a blog, not a history class. (Though sometimes I think large portions of the blogsphere could do with some remedial classes).

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at August 4, 2005 09:30 AM

It's not the only reason, but it certainly is a reason.

It's amazing to me that you would have a problem with calling Hitler or his followers (or anyone who hates Jews) "antisemites."

Not in a good way, but amazed nonetheless.

I really don't understand why it is such a problem for you.

But hey, to each their own - even squirrels.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at August 4, 2005 09:31 AM

Err, because it is Racism. Do you have a 3rd grade education?

Tosk,

Love the ad hominem. But, err, what "race" do Arabs hate when they attack Jews? is it semites? is it the jooooish race? Please educate this simple country bumpkin.

Racisim is racisim, anti-semitism is a word that means racisim against the jews.

Then why heartfelt disagreement about using the term "anti-semite"? They mean the same thing. Or is it, as you say, because the word is used for "damning"? (your word). Interesting. And what do you suppose the term "racist" is used for? flattery?

Why the hairsplitting Tosk?

Posted by: spaniard at August 4, 2005 09:33 AM

SoCal,

I don't have a problem calling Hitler antisemite. Hitler was antisemetic, just like neo-nazis and skinheads and the KKK. There are lots of anti-semetic people. There are anti-semetic political parties and anti-semetic religions.

However, to focus on a sting of letters, on this bolg and others, as opposed to the content of the post... was the very reason I didn't use the term anti-semite. I knew that if I didn't put those 10 little letters in my post (even though I was condeming the article) people would question my motives.

Anti-semite is a word that can be used to describe the article, just as racist is a word that can be used to describe the article. The only difference, to me, seems the import that sombunall people place on racism against jews as opposed to any other.

Racisim is the disease, if racism goes, so goes anti-semitism. If racisim stays, so stays anti-semitism.

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at August 4, 2005 09:39 AM

Spaniard,

Sorry for the ad-hom.

I split hairs specifically because I knew sombunall people here would take exception to the fact that damning racisim isn't enough for them... one must damn anti-semitism specifically. If you don't see the linguistic folly there, then I can't explain it to you.

I recommend you go read up on General Semantics.

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at August 4, 2005 09:43 AM

Ratatosk,

As for what I believe in... well, do you really want to know?

Actually, yes. I don't expect a detailed exposition in 100 words or less, but perhaps a quick stab at explaining where you stand, as opposed to how you see things, would help folks understand where you are coming from.

Posted by: chuck at August 4, 2005 09:43 AM

Ratatosk:

The only difference, to me, seems the import that sombunall people place on racism against jews as opposed to any other.

I guess I just do not see how that is happening here. And I don't see how the word "antisemitism" alone is indicative of that phenomenon happening.

Did someone say that hatred against Jews is worse than hatred against Squirrel-people, or any other type of people?

I'm not sure where or why these distinctions were made, or even if they were, but to me, anyway, Nazi racism against Jews war worse than some other types of racism because they killed millions of people over it. That doesn't make anti-semitism a "magic" word.

Racism is racism is racism, but racism that turns genocidal (Nazi against Jews, Turkish against Armenian, Hutus against Tutsis, Sudanese Arabs against Darfuris, etc...) is worse than types of racism that don't end up genocidal - which are bad in their own right.

If that distinction upsets you, I apologize.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at August 4, 2005 09:53 AM

Zionism is Marxist socialist -- the only real experiment in taking kids away from their parents and raising them collectively in a Kibbutz. But socialism is still an economic failure.

Chuck noted Rata's 7th Cent. mistakes, I'm more interested in Zionism and the movement of Jews back to Palestine in the 1890s, their peaceful buying up of cheap, unproductive land under the Ottoman Turks, the transfer to French and British control after WW I, the forbidding of more Jewish settlement, but allowance of more Arabs -- as the Zionist Jews began recreating civilization there.

I don't think the declaration of Jewish Independence was fully just -- there were death squad murders on both sides. But not all Arabs ran; those that stayed are now living in Israel. Those that ran, supported by Nasser's dream of a Pan-Arab Power, expected to kill all the Jews.

That's why, in the 1948-1967 years when Arabs controlled "Palestine", the Arabs did NOT allow the creation of a second state.

The "Jewishness" of the Jewish State doesn't strike me as fully in accord with free feligion -- but in comparing human rights, free speech, and free religion in Israel with its neighbors ... there's no comparison!

The Arabs hate Israel because it shows how weak the Arabs are -- but they are not taking the steps to become economically stronger. Totally the Arab leaders' fault.

It's the Left which has painted National Socialists as something other than Leftist. Hitler hated priests and murdered thousands of them -- even ordering at one point to pick up the Pope (the officers convinced him not to stick with that order).

Islamists aren't left. They ARE statists, and they are anti-Bush. Just like G. Galloway, British MP, former Labor now "Reform" Leftist. I agree that they are not Liberal -- but I claim that, today, the PC-thought police micro-managing HUGE gov't Left is not Liberal; and, in particular, the Left is more like the Islamists than they are like liberals.

[James Earl Jones breathing; hooo, Michael, you know this to be true, hooo, join the Left and together w/ the Islamists the Great Satan sole superpower can be toppled! hooo.]
[how to write that hands on mouth breathing sound?]

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at August 4, 2005 10:00 AM

Demanding the magic term anti-semite seems petty and well, pathetic to me.

And frankly, so is your obession with trying to redefine the "magic term". Discrimination and hate is more than just a definition, it's something you feel in your soul. If you need to define it before you can feel it, you may as well stop wasting your time.

Posted by: MisterPundit at August 4, 2005 10:15 AM

Chuck,

Since you asked so nicely, I'll try to give you the best answer that I can.

1. I think that mosbunall people appear heavily imprinted throughout their life, beginning with birth. These imprints seem to include biases, prejudices, belief systems etc. all of which act as filters within the brain.

2. I think that we all live in Reality ®. Reality appears made up of millions and millions (perhaps billions) of bits of data which bombard our senses. As we recieve this data, our brain automatically filters, based on our imprints. Data that fits with the imprint, gets assesed and adds support to the existing belief. Data that doesn't fit the imprint, get jettisoned in many cases, or warped to fit our reality tunnel.

3. While there exists a non-subjective Reality, none of us seem to live in it. We each appear to live in our own reality (r^n), which is some subset of R as determined by our reality-tunnel.

4. Whatever reality-tunnel we have, there appears strong support for the idea that we will find whatever data we need to fit our reality tunnel.

5. The only way to exit our own reality tunnel is to force our brain to make different imprints, so that it can accept different data feeds. This has most often been accomplished through a shock to the system. I think 9/11 was such a shcok to mosbunall Americans. However, it appears that for many, the new imprint was either a strong appeasement imprint or a strong anti-arab imprint. Those with the appeasement imprint, find all sorts of data to back up their reality tunnel that GWB is a Nazi and is fighting for Oil, while Karl Rove spouts CIA names like he was singing John Jacob Jinglehimer Schmidt. Meanwhile, the other side misses any data that might indicate that GWB is less than completely upright, or that Karl Rove may have comitted treason... Instead, they find anti-semitism everywhere. They find treason on the lips of anyone who isn't with them. They have moidified their data set just as often as the other side.

(WMD WMD WMD, err Liberation Liberation Liberation.)

It is my opinion that neither side has nearly enough data to claim the high ground here, neither side appears able to realize that they may be biased. So I come here to be the Ratatosk (Norse myth, check it out). I do this same sort of thing to liberals, conservatives, pagans, christians and athiests. They are all consumed with Dogma, the idea that what they KNOW is TRUE.

There have been some, from here and there and elxzewhere who have emailed me and said that a post made them think, or made them realizes something they didn't see before.

That's why I post.

Well, that and a little chaos now and then ;-)

As for what I believe... I don't know, but I do like what RAW said recently in Maybe Logic.

"The only thing I believe is that the Universe is more complex than I will ever understand."

I like that.

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at August 4, 2005 10:16 AM

Hey folks, let bring some clarity to our terminology.

Racism is not the same thing as hatred. Antisemitism is not necessarily racism. It may be equally vile and disgusting, but it is a different phenomonon.

Racism is the belief that one group (usually ones own) is a higher form of hmanity than some other group. Hitler with his master race. Slaveholders of all types with regard to their slaves, ususally. It is the belief in some existential superiority of one group over another.

One need not be hateful even if one is a racist. There is no requirement to hate your slave - some slaveholders were downright paternalistic, even kind, within the confines of the system (just dont try to run away though!). One can claim a specialness for ones group and look down at the rest of humanity with pity. This is quite possible in racism.

Hatred is another matter. Some racists hate. Many people who hate other groups are not racist. When some blacks express a hatred of white people, they rarely place that within a theory of blacks being a superior race to whites. It is hatred, equally disgusting, but not particularly racist.

Hitler was a racist and a hater. Many Arabs hate Israelis - they might say jews in general, since most of their acquaintence with jews are as israelis. But they dont necessarily buy into a racial superiority meme. If they do, then they are racist as well as haters. But most hate the israelis because they seem them as foreign invaders and oppressors.

Likewise with many western critics of israel. Some few might have notions of the existential inferiority of the jews - they be racist. But most have issue with Israeli policy - some even to the point of hatred, but it is not necessarily racist.

Observer made some valid points about everyone seeming to want to argue from the moral high ground. Lets focus more on the light, rather than the heat.

Posted by: IP at August 4, 2005 10:18 AM

Rat,
DOn't know why you are ignoring the special place that anti-Jewishism has held in the general category of racism for hundreds of years. It is not just generic racism. There have been numerous nations/ethnic groups/religions that have made the annihilation, or at best, complete subjugation, of the Jews major points of their political philosophies and goals. The same can not be said of any other group that I am aware of. And when ALL the Arabic nations, and a great majority of ALL Arabs hate the Jews, and applaud when they are killed, and pray for the destruction of their state, then I think that Jewish racist views of Arabs are not only likely, they are the appropriate, logical, intelligent, necessary-for-survival thing to do.

Posted by: exhelodrvr at August 4, 2005 10:20 AM

Ratatosk,

sounds rather religious and a bit passive: you are but a chip tossed on a vast and incomprehesible sea of events and it is your job to note the sea's vastness, contradictions, and the frailty of man.

IP,

But they dont necessarily buy into a racial superiority meme.

But it is the case that some arab Islamists do buy into it. Who, after all, did God send the last prophet to? Their assumption of innate superiority accounted for much of their unpopularity among the native Afghans.

Posted by: chuck at August 4, 2005 11:12 AM

But it is the case that some arab Islamists do buy into it. Who, after all, did God send the last prophet to

The jews of course. No wait, the christians. No wait, the muslims. No wait, the baha'i. No, wait, the mormons. Gee, I can't keep up with this stuff.

Posted by: IP at August 4, 2005 11:18 AM

IP,

Gee, I can't keep up with this stuff.

Evidently not.

Posted by: chuck at August 4, 2005 11:22 AM

Chuck,

Religious? How so? (Maybe metaphysical.. but I'm not sure thats the same thing)

vast and incomprehesible sea of events and it is your job to note the sea's vastness, contradictions, and the frailty of man.

Incomprehensible? Not necessarily... if one steps outside the bounds set by their belief system, even for a short time... it appears that mosbunall of those people find things much less incomprehensible.

My job, is to hopefully remind people that we're in a vas sea. not just some simplistic kidde pool. Shouting antio-semite (and expecting everyone else to shout the same) seems simplistic to me. It seems to miss the big picture.

If you're at all interested I'd like to challegne you to an experiment, which (having given it to others) seems to reliably modify the 'incomprehensible' for sombunall people.

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at August 4, 2005 11:23 AM

Let me finish the point, Chuck.

If the muslims are to be considered racist for their belief that they are special because the last prophet spoke to them and gave them their belief set, then the same charge can be brought against all those other groups that make essentially the same claim.
Somehow I suspect you are not willing to go there, are you?

Posted by: IP at August 4, 2005 11:24 AM

IP,

Good points.

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at August 4, 2005 11:26 AM

Bones is banned.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at August 4, 2005 11:33 AM

IP,

Somehow I suspect you are not willing to go there, are you?

Why not? I just pointed out that some Islamists are racist. Seems to me you are avoiding the point and trying the old ad hominem tu quoque.

Posted by: chuck at August 4, 2005 11:46 AM

Bones: Congradulations. You've just won a prize
for using the term "anti-Semitic" for the
zillionth time in less than a year.

For the record, I used the word exactly three times in the past year. (I have software that keeps track of such things.) Some people sure are touchy about this.

and also suggest you take
a look at your own phobias towards people
of other ethnicities and religions.

Read this dispatch of mine from Lebanon and then kindly fuck off.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at August 4, 2005 11:48 AM

Why not? I just pointed out that some Islamists are racist.

So Chuck, you would agree also that some Christians are racist, some Buddhists are racist, some Jews are racist, some Wiccans are racist, some Thelemics are racist, some insert whatever subgroup you'd like are racist?

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at August 4, 2005 11:49 AM

Ratatosk,

So Chuck, you would agree also that some Christians are racist, some Buddhists are racist, some Jews are racist, some Wiccans are racist, some Thelemics are racist, some insert whatever subgroup you'd like are racist?

Of course. And your point is?

Posted by: chuck at August 4, 2005 11:53 AM

Of course. And your point is?

Err, that I agree... IP seemed to question your exclusivity, I was trying to put the matter to rest. I didn't mean it as an attack.

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at August 4, 2005 11:57 AM

MJT,

"For the record, I used the word exactly three times in the past year."

Dude, don't justify yourself to a troll. People that read your site (or use the archives) can tell that you don't rant about anti-semite this or anti-semite that. This isn't Roger Simon's site ;-)

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at August 4, 2005 11:59 AM

And as if we didn't have enough problems:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4746591.stm

At least Isreal is calling it terrorism as well.

"It seems like Jewish terror against Arabs," police spokesman Avi Zelba told Reuters news agency.

Well Done! Now if we can get Arab and Islamic leaders to state things as plainly after any Arab terror against insert anyone on the planet here.

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at August 4, 2005 12:03 PM

spaniard: But muslims are "semites," no?

Huh? Including the ones in Pakistan and Indonesia?

spaniard: You write a long post on how attacks on JOOOS aren't necessarily anti-semitic,...

Why do you spell "Jews" that way? Did Rat spell it that way? Or is that how you imagine he says it? If the latter, are you under the impression that this isn't an ad hominem attack?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at August 4, 2005 12:09 PM

Sometimes, when there is dry kindling, straw and now water in sight... thw wise man may choose not to light a match.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4744989.stm

Sometimes, I wonder if sombunall political groups intentionally piss off others to maintain the conflict and I mean that for either side, not as an anti-semetic comment.

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at August 4, 2005 12:10 PM

Sometimes, I wonder if sombunall political groups intentionally piss off others to maintain the conflict and I mean that for either side, not as an anti-semetic comment.

If you define your politics as that which you are not, then pushing against the other side is all you have. Without the conflict, there is no self-definition.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at August 4, 2005 12:15 PM

Tosk: Dude, don't justify yourself to a troll.

I did it for the sake of anyone else who bothered to read this far down. My response, I think, revealed just how far out he really is - and also why I banned him.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at August 4, 2005 12:27 PM

Sometimes, I wonder if sombunall political groups intentionally piss off others to maintain the conflict

Occasionally folks just get caught up in the current of events. I have sometimes wondered when we will see the first Jewish suicide bomber. And then there is the Jewish version of manifest destiny. Israeli politics must be one hell of a balancing act.

Posted by: chuck at August 4, 2005 12:35 PM

Chuck,

"Israeli politics must be one hell of a balancing act."

Yep, it seems to happen anytime religion and politics get mixed, be it Jewish, Islamic or Christian.

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at August 4, 2005 12:39 PM

Tosk,

how bout in India.

Posted by: spaniard at August 4, 2005 01:54 PM

Observer,
My point was that nazis, the originals, were not truly of the right, nor were they reactionary. I do have a problem with much of socialism. Yes, I know perfectly well the utopian/socialist history of Israel, it was just not germain to the argument I was making.
I'll also grant that I have a problem with states based upon a 'nation' such as Israel (or Germany for that matter). However, for you to so flippantly suggest a pluralistic state in Palestine is to be intellectually disengenuous, given that a fair number of Arabs in Palestine don't want a pluralistic state, they want all Jews to leave (or die, or both). Further, you ignore the fact that Israel's status as a Jewish state didn't prevent it from being the only place in the Middle East where Arabs had the right to vote in free elections for the past 40 years. Israel has its problems; the state, that is the government, is everywhere and corruption is incredibly rampant but this is as much a product of its socialist past as well as being under a constant state of seige since its inception.

Furthermore, it still remains true, socialist/utopianist/Islamist movements fear a percieved cosmopolitan/Jewish threat to their order (Gypsies come in second, in Europe anyway); and that much of what we consider the extreme right has its roots in the leftist/futurist thought. The reason these groups, though seemingly disparate, come together in thought is because the see people as groups, not individuals. Thus, someone saying, say, I may be German/Proletarian/Muslim, but I'm also a Jew, threatens the power of the German State to become all encompanssing. The Jews remain the constant bur because for so long they lived among other societies, yet also maintained a partially separate identity.

Posted by: Elambend at August 4, 2005 02:05 PM

Yeah, Hindus too.

Parts of religion are the root of so many problems. Not of course, the ethical rules for how to treat other members of the in-group (although those are often a problem in themselves), but the claims that so many religions make to existential specialness for their group - which seamlessly seems to lead to the acceptance of a whole different ethic for members of outgroups. We humans have a past deeply rooted in tribalism, and the conservative nature of religion insures that these traditions persist into the present.

But I'm just a liberal internationalist at heart I guess....about as good as one can do without becoming a squirrel!

Posted by: IP at August 4, 2005 02:10 PM

IP, what do you call hatred based on race? If it isn't racism (and I can see that point) I would argue that it is more than simple hatred. I can hate my neighbor who might happen to be black and that doesn't make me a racist. But what if I hate all black people either because that is the way I was raised or because my neighbor is a real jerk? Surely that is different than just hating a single person.

If that isn't racism and it is more than hatred, what is it? Additionaly, if I act on my hate and start killing black people, wouldn't that be different as well?

Posted by: Court at August 4, 2005 02:11 PM

Rata, religion is always mixed with making laws, because the law specifies what punishment should be used, by the state, against what "wrong" behavior.

Science does not, and can not, determine right and wrong, good and evil. For most people in the world for most of history, their religion tells them.

Those without religion usually follow along with the majority, and often mock the seeming contradictions of the religious. But it quickly becomes obvious, as soon as two powerful non-religious personalities start disagreeing on what is right or wrong, that the absence of a standard results in moral relativism -- which a good sophist (perhaps like yourself?) can use to argue against almost anything.

Michael, if the Left, due to BDS or hate-America or whatever, is supporting the Islamists, doesn't that mean the Islamists ARE Left, or allies? Your saying "No" is totally unconvincing.

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at August 4, 2005 02:28 PM

IP,

We humans have a past deeply rooted in tribalism, and the conservative nature of religion insures that these traditions persist into the present.

So, do you think these human traits are curable through social advances? My own take is that they are more deeply engrained than that and show up in different guise in "progressive" movements also. What do you make of the traditional Liberal position that Republicans are stupid, for instance. Do you think Bush is stupid? Do you think he is a war monger and a tool of the corporations?

But I'm just a liberal internationalist at heart I guess....

Gosh, that's terrible. I'm sorry, I didn't know.

Posted by: chuck at August 4, 2005 02:30 PM

IP,

I hereby promote you to the rank of Pope of Discordia (which is equal footing with squirrels). This makes you infallable and allows you to excommunicate all the other Discordian Popes.

Spaniard,

What of India? I didn't list every possible religion, I was simply giving a subset as examples.

It has become the opinon of this squirrel, that religion creates beliefs. These beliefs tend to lead to unquestioned dogma. And dogma, appears to be the root of mosbunall conflicts (religious dogma, or political dogma).

People don't tend to question dogma... how many religious people on this blog, question the dogma of their faith?

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at August 4, 2005 02:38 PM

Chuck,

So, do you think these human traits are curable through social advances?

Absolutely, it seems to me, that I've begun curing my own problems with dogma. I am familiar with many others who appear to be doing the same.

My own take is that they are more deeply engrained than that and show up in different guise in "progressive" movements also. What do you make of the traditional Liberal position that Republicans are stupid, for instance. Do you think Bush is stupid? Do you think he is a war monger and a tool of the corporations?

Of course, Liberals aren't any less infected by Dogma, they just fail to see that politics tends to act like religion in many ways.

As I said, I have some experiments that might surprise you, if you're interested.

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at August 4, 2005 02:45 PM

Tom: Michael, if the Left, due to BDS or hate-America or whatever, is supporting the Islamists, doesn't that mean the Islamists ARE Left, or allies?

No.

Islamists are radical far-right. There is nothing even remotely liberal or leftist about them.

This post isn't about the left at all. Not everyone on the left is your enemy or your opponent. And not everyone on the right is your friend and ally.

There are enemies to the left, and there are enemies to the right. Everyone who isn't on the absolute fringe needs to recognize this.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at August 4, 2005 02:47 PM

Tom Grey,

I agree that science can't define morals, or good and bad. Hell, I'm not sure that science does much more than use complexity to fake yet another religion. Anti-religious people, often tend to look to science as a cureall. They say that religious people must rely on made up information for their faith... but so many forget that the underlying assumptions of science and mathmatics are also made up.

(People forget that 'fudge factor' and Approximations of the First/Second/Third and Fourth Kinds are often key to any scientific theory.)

However, I don't think that religion and morals go hand in hand. Some of the worst atrocities in history have been in the name of religion and some of the most revolutionary ideas in liberalism came from people who threw religion out of their lives.

I personally think that any religion may be beneficial, but only as long as the adherents of that religion, remember that they have no more evidence of insert deity here than Scientologists have of Xenu.

Posted by: at August 4, 2005 02:55 PM

Michael, if the Left, due to BDS or hate-America or whatever, is supporting the Islamists, doesn't that mean the Islamists ARE Left, or allies?

Just because some on the left are opposing the war in Iraq because we feared that the Bush administration was incompetent and would fuck it up, that doesn't mean that they support Islamic extremism. The fact that there is more support on the left than the right for gay marriage would give most people a clue that the majority of leftists (excluding complete nutjobs) don't support or sympathize Jihadist fundamentalists who would gladly maim, imprison, torture, or kill those who would endorse such an institution.

Some of us were even pissed off about Western support for Jihadists in Afghanistan when they were still popular with the right wing.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at August 4, 2005 02:59 PM

Chuck,
Intellegence or stupidity are words that are used with different or imprecise meanings, and so discussions using them are invitations to misunderstanding.

Just off the top of my head, I think there is some meaning to a categorization of thought along vertical and horizontal dimensions. At the extremes, one can be an "idiot savant", someone who has extraordinary intellegence in a narrow discipline, and no ability to think outside that domain. Or one could be capable of seeing all manner of interesting connections between various lines of thought, but lack the ability to progress very far down any one of them. Both extremes, and the vast majority of us who are not extreme one way or the other - but have tendencies in one direction, are valuable in a well-rounded society.

Generalizations about "republicans" are obviously pretty meaningless. Bush, it seems to me, is someone who has perfectly adequate intellegence in a domain that is probably as wide as the average person, but as the president, has a need for greater breadth of thought. Yes, I have considered him at times, on certain issues, to be a complete moron. In a democracy, especially one as diverse as America, a political leader should have the ability to transcend the limitations of the subculture from which he/she emerges. I dont think Bush is very good at that. Just to take one minor issue (which I dont really consider minor), any person with his level of education and position who thinks that creationism should be taught in biology classes is a moron, at least in that regard.

Do I think he is a war-monger? In the grand scheme of things, given history's examples of war mongers, then no, he is not a war monger. Given only the context of our current political spectrum, then he certainly is someone who I think has an incredibly weak grasp of the range of tools available to a global leader, and has a reflex to look to military solutions before they need be applied.

And yes, he is a tool of corporations. Modern republicanism accepts the "supply-side" approach to the economy, which is that the greater good is achieved by government doing all it can to further aid the already wealthy, with the expectation that benefits to the rest of society will trickle down. I dont think they would deny that.

Do I think that tribalism can be overcome? Yes, most certainly. It is a long process. The history of America is an example of that process playing out. The modern history of Europe is another example. I agree with you that it has very deep roots. Humans have been evolving as a separate species for nearly eight million years. 99.9% of that evolution occured before the rise of agriculture, so the hunter/gatherer/tribal nature of human societies is very very deep.

I do not completely dismiss the value of tradition, but in large measure, it is something to be overcome.

Posted by: IP at August 4, 2005 03:02 PM

The easiest way to debunk the "Zionism is racism" claim is to look at how many Arabs live in Israel today. Then look at how many Jews live in Arab countries.

Posted by: TallDave at August 4, 2005 03:05 PM

many forget that the underlying assumptions of science and mathmatics are also made up

I dont know who you mean by "many". It is not forgotten by scientists. The issue is not whether ones assumptions are made up or not. Everything humans do is made up. What distinguishes science from religion, or other forms of thought, is that the made-up assumptions are considered prime targets for testing and refutation. And a willingness to abandon those assumptions in the face of contrary evidence.

Posted by: IP at August 4, 2005 03:10 PM

Gee thanks Tosk (was getting kinda tired of "IP").
Does it come with any acorns?

Posted by: Pope of Discordia at August 4, 2005 03:19 PM

Ratatosk,

Absolutely, it seems to me, that I've begun curing my own problems with dogma. I am familiar with many others who appear to be doing the same.

Is this a new dogma? Is it a good thing? I mean the second question seriously.

DPU,

Some of us were even pissed off about Western support for Jihadists in Afghanistan when they were still popular with the right wing.

So, you think the USSR was a better deal? You do know that they intervened in a domestic war, right? Was the carpet bombing of Herat justified? Did Tadjikistan, Khazakhstan, Uzbeckistan, and Turkistan benefit from Soviet rule? How would you rate their current state of social and economic advancement?

Posted by: chuck at August 4, 2005 03:21 PM

Islamists are radical far-right. There is nothing even remotely liberal or leftist about them.

They kill people who disagree. Quite a bit like Pol Pot's Leftist communists. Big state, one dogma, all must follow the "true belief" of Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, Kim il Song; Ayatollah Khomeini.

Not liberal. But Leftist. Use Hate to justify control and conformity.

I used to think that liberals in different countries all got along great while the right-wingers in each country hated each other

If your post wasn't about Leftist hate being pretty similar to right-wing hate, what was it about?

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at August 4, 2005 03:31 PM

So, you think the USSR was a better deal?

Ah, the old "Soviets are worse" card. Boy, that takes me back.

When it comes down to it, I'm not sure if I'd prefer being publically tortured and then exeucted by the Taliban, or languishing in a Soviet prison. Oh wait, no I'm not, I'd take prison.

And as it turns out, who made a successful attack on American soil, the Soviets, or the Jihadists? Who would you say was a bigger threat? At least the Soviets could be counted on to respect MAD. If the Jihadist loons that infest the Pakistani military and intelligence service get their hands on the Pakistani nukes ten minutes after they assassinate Musharraf, I'd be thinking we'll all be looking back on the Soviets with fond memories.

Anyhoo, it's all beside the point. What I was saying was that the left has been shouting out about Jihadists and their abysmal attitude to human rights for some time now, and it's irksome to see a few who have only recently noticed the phenomena doing a bunch of self-righteous finger-pointing.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at August 4, 2005 03:38 PM

Tom Grey - They kill people who disagree...Not liberal. But Leftist. Use Hate to justify control and conformity.

I'll bet that Pinochet is going to be surprised by the news that he's a leftist. Hopefully he'll then beat himself to death.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at August 4, 2005 03:42 PM

DPU,

Anyhoo, it's all beside the point. What I was saying was that the left has been shouting out about Jihadists and their abysmal attitude to human rights for some time now

What I find irksome is that so many on the left are now on the other side. Strange, how easily these deeply held convictions change with the wafting political breezes.

Oh wait, no I'm not, I'd take prison.

Really, so would I, but that wasn't always one of the choices, you know. Personally, I think the Soviets screwed up the whole region big time. Before the Soviet inspired coup, Afghanistan was not doing all that badly, all things considered. It would have been better if they had just kept their fingers out of the pot.

I think that in general you give far too much credit to the Soviets. Everything they touched pretty much turned to shit, including their own homeland. Perhaps you will explain to me in what way they benefitted mankind?

Posted by: chuck at August 4, 2005 03:51 PM

DPU, I recall Leftist protests against the Shah of Iran. Starting in 1979 with the end of the Shah, when did folk on the Left start complaining about Jihadists?

Wasn't it, oh, right about the time the US started helping them against their invading commie neighbors? Was the Left really complaining about jihad, or just against fighting commies?

You make a fine point about the Pakistani fanatics.

I don't hear the Left calling for military based regime change in Sudan, or in Zimbabwe. How many have to die before the Left thinks a military response is called for?

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at August 4, 2005 03:53 PM

I think that in general you give far too much credit to the Soviets.

Point to a single instance where I've given ANY credit to the Soviets. In that they could be counted on to respect MAD? If so, that's pretty faint credit, and certainly couldn't be described as "far too much credit."

C'mon now. I was involved with the occupation of an Aeroflot office to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. I don't think that's giving them credit, do you?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at August 4, 2005 03:58 PM

Tom: If your post wasn't about Leftist hate being pretty similar to right-wing hate, what was it about?

Not everything is about the left! Not every bad guy in the world is a leftist. I wasn't thinking of the left at all when I wrote that post.

What is the post about? It is about the fact that Islamists are pulling crap off German Neo-Nazi Web sites, which is just one more reason they deserve to be called what I called them in the title of my post: "Islamofascists."

Killing people who don't agree with you doesn't make you a leftist all by itself, Tom. Lenin was a leftist. Pol Pot was a leftist. Franco wasn't. Neither is Mullah Omar.

The fact that some leftists (like George Galloway) make alliances with Islamists just goes to show how incredibly stupid they are. Then again, as many already know, the far-left and the far-right have key things in common and always have.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at August 4, 2005 03:59 PM

People don't tend to question dogma... how many religious people on this blog, question the dogma of their faith?

Tosk,

then that would make Liberalism some kind of religion?

Posted by: spaniard at August 4, 2005 04:06 PM

DPU, I recall Leftist protests against the Shah of Iran. Starting in 1979 with the end of the Shah, when did folk on the Left start complaining about Jihadists?

How old are you, Tom? Savak, the Shah's secret police, made Hussein's secret police look like a mincing schoolboy. They were sawing off the limbs of children to get their parents to talk. You don't think that US support for a tyrant like that should be protested?

The fact that he was propped up for so long by Carter resulted in the fundamentalist Shia radicals becoming a vanguard, and eventually taking power. If Pahlavi had been eased out in exchange for a moderate democratic movement, the whole Middle East would look different now.

Wasn't it, oh, right about the time the US started helping them against their invading commie neighbors? Was the Left really complaining about jihad, or just against fighting commies?

Oh, please. The US was helping out both sides quite nicely. Or are you forgetting the Iran-Contra affair?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at August 4, 2005 04:08 PM

DPU,

I was involved with the occupation of an Aeroflot office to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Well then, don't accuse me of using the "Soviets are bad argument", they were bad. It is worth reviewing early events in Afghanistan just to see how back and forth they were. Short History.

However, along the same lines, I have sometimes wondered if Russia would have been better off if they had surrendered to the Nazis. They lost about 27 million people during WWII. When combined with Stalin's depredations on the population these losses may have pretty much blighted the long term prospects of the nation. So think of this as the "maybe the Nazis would have been better for Russia" idea to complement your "maybe Russia would have been better for the Afghans" one.

Posted by: chuck at August 4, 2005 04:33 PM

The leftist support of the anti-Shah forces (and their eventual betrayal and persecution by the Mullahs) is very instructive. The Shah's regime was very reactionary/rightest, as well as corrupt. Many on the left in Iran who believed in greater liberty eventually came to support an Islamist creed as one that would end the repression and, importantly, clean up the corruption. Unfortunately for them the exact opposite happened.

Fast forward to now. Many Arabs (and some other Muslims) see the repressive and corrupt governments they have (and sometimes their support by us, the so-called democrats [in their eyes]) and they start to think that surely the pious Islamist can establish a pure government, free of corruption and repression. Its a movement for change that is headed by thugs who recognize the power such movements can provide them.

This is why we cannot simply fight Al Qeida and its sypathyzers, but must also provide an alternative: liberty. Which, by the way, is neither leftist nor rightist.

Posted by: ElamBend at August 4, 2005 04:41 PM

DPU,

Why can't you suppose that the Shah was better for Iran than the Mullahs? There was more economic development, there were lots of students overseas, several hundred where I went to school, there was a left faction, and most of all, the Shah could be eased out without tons of bloodshed. Care to explain further how Carter was responsible for Khomeini when even the Iranian left supported him?

Posted by: chuck at August 4, 2005 04:44 PM

The shah wasn't great, but people tend to forget neither were Chiang Kai-Shek and Augusto Pinochet. Today Taiwan and Chile are free democracies, largely because those autocrats stepped down, partly due to US pressure but mostly because people were waking up to the possibilities of freedom and consensual gov't.

Posted by: TallDave at August 4, 2005 05:07 PM

Excuse me, Chiang did not step down, though he did accede to a democratic constitution.

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Someone should have saved the cached page that includes the neo-Nazi image because I think Google re-crawled the page with the new image.

Posted by: michael at August 4, 2005 05:45 PM

I have sometimes wondered if Russia would have been better off if they had surrendered to the Nazis.

Stop wondering. Hiltler planned on simply exterminating them to make room for German settlers. Similarily, while the Soviets were a living hell on their client states in Eastern Europe, Hitler had planned on enslaving, and then exterminating, their populations to create Lebensraum.

Again, no fan of Stalin or the USSR here, but both the Russian people and the Eastern Europeans did better under them than they would have under the Nazis.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at August 4, 2005 08:52 PM

Tom: The shah wasn't great, but people tend to forget neither were Chiang Kai-Shek and Augusto Pinochet.

Hmm. Replace the words "The shah" with "Saddam Hussein", and how that reads.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at August 4, 2005 08:54 PM

Again, no fan of Stalin or the USSR here, but both the Russian people and the Eastern Europeans did better under them than they would have under the Nazis.

Well, I think the Nazis would still have lost the war. Victory would have cost Britain and the US far more, true, but we would have won anyway. And who is to say the Germans would not have tired of slaughter: slaves are more useful than bodies. A bunch of Helots would have served German goals just as well.

This is all hypothetical, so we will never know. I do wonder if we would have used the bomb on Berlin, though.

Posted by: chuck at August 4, 2005 09:10 PM

Well, I think the Nazis would still have lost the war.

With the US development of nukes, maybe. But if so much of the German military tied up (or rather surrounded, defeated, and killed) on the Eastern Front by a fearful Red Army, I think that the western front was pretty much an afterthought in the minds of the German military leadership. The western allies were scared enough of a Soviet takeover of all of Europe that they burned Dresden to the ground to illustrate to Stalin what US and British airpower was capable of, and that he better slow down.

Nukes may have made a difference, but probably just to stop the Soviets from crossing the English Channel.

All in a what-if speculatory way, of course.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at August 4, 2005 09:44 PM

Double,
Stalin didn't "slow down". DOn't know where you got that. The Red Army was exhausted by the time they got to Berlin. It was the U.S. and Brits who slowed down, since they already knew what the post-war territorial divisions were going to be.

Posted by: exhelodrvr at August 4, 2005 10:18 PM

Markus:

"However, MPAC got the image, it is ugly and also incredibly stupid. Antisemitic imagery and nazi-muslim associations of any sort are an excellent way of encouraging Americans, and Jewish Americans in particular, to ignore the aspects of Israeli and American policy that make a peaceful settlement less likely (case in point: today's announcement of new construction in Beitar Illit)."

Markus' primary objection to Arab antisemitism is apparently that he fears it is not politically effective. This is unsurprising coming from someone so antisemitic himself that he compared Israel to Nazi Germany and so dishonest that he wouldn't own up to it. He almost invariably blames Jews and Israel for the strife in the Mideast, while ignoring aspects of Arab and Palestinian policy that make a peaceful settlement less likely (case in point: their decades-long campaign of murderous terrorism against Israeli civilians).

Posted by: Gary Rosen at August 5, 2005 01:10 AM

Spaniard,

then that would make Liberalism some kind of religion?

At the very least I would say that any political view/system/party/theory has the potential to become a religion (depending on how tightly one defines religion). I would more likely say that any religion, or any political view/system/party/theory (or scientific, or philosophical for that matter) has a strong potential to act as a dogma for mosbunall of its adherents.

I do think that dogma (like most everything) ultimately depends on the individual though (see I am a libretarian). I have met Christians, Muslims, Democrats and Republicans who appear very dogmatic to me. At the same time, I've met some people in those same groups which appear much less dogmatic, and some, appear, to me, as not being dogmatic at all.

Perhaps we all take a turn at playing the Cosmic Schmuck, from time to time. I still catch myself accepting a dogmatic stance on something and have to exorcise it.

Tosk

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