July 16, 2009

Arguing for Uncertainty

Andrew Bostom – pal of Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller – bizarrely accuses me of being an uninformed dogmatist for publishing a "roseate view" of Iraq, even though my article in question was dedicated to quoting Iraqis and American soldiers with a gloomy view of Iraq. The Future of Iraq Part III just wasn't dogmatically down-beat enough for old Andy Bostom, I guess.

The Future of Iraq Part IV will be published here shortly. Everyone I'll quote in that piece is also pessimistic about what's likely to happen in Iraq now that American troops are withdrawing from urban areas. For more optimistic assessments, see The Future of Iraq Part I and The Future of Iraq Part II.

The reason I'm publishing competing narratives about the future of Iraq is because anything's possible and I'm no longer arrogant enough to think I have it all figured out.

James Fallows politely argues with his colleague Robert Kaplan, whom I recently interviewed here, in The Atlantic. "Arguing for uncertainty," he wrote, "or for many possible futures that will in fact be shaped by real choices by real human beings, may seem weak and unsatisfying. On the other hand: it conforms to the facts...."

Jeffrey Goldberg, also at The Atlantic, agrees. I interviewed him here recently, too. "Anyone who acts like they’ve figured out the entire Middle East doesn’t know anything," he said. "People who tell you they understand and know the answer? Demagogues. They’re either idiots or demagogues."

*I removed a gratuitous insult from this post.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at July 16, 2009 1:38 PM
Comments

I find it interesting James Fallow is arguing for uncertainty. If memory serves me correctly he published numerous articles in the Atlantic years ago about the impending doom approaching America. And so did Clarke in his frightening predictions of a hobbled America. What were Fallows' predictions in 2002, 2003, and 2004? What degree of certainty did he declare accompanied his forecasts?

I am glad to see however, that people can change their views. Perhaps a small dose of Ilya Prigogine is in order.

(P.S. same comment with Wiki link to Prigogine is probably in your spam folder) I can't be certain, however.

Posted by: maxtrue Author Profile Page at July 16, 2009 2:51 PM

I had a wonderful college professor who once told me that it's a mistake to only read people I liked. I had raised the issue because I didn't like being assigned the task of reading Marx. His point was, that by reading critics I'd learn where the flaws were in Capitalism. No system's perfect. And, learning to look for trouble, especially if you can fix it, is good.

Yes, I read your stuff! But I'm still puzzled by Iraq. More so, since in the beginning, having read Den Beste, I was very enthused. And, thought it was going to work out well. It wasn't going to be Korea, or Vietnam. It was as if the word "quagmire" got banished.

And, since we got involved in our War on Terror, two other spheres of influence have taken hold. Russia. And, China. And, they're not out to see us being successful, either. While the oil sheiks have their own agenda, as well.

Americans just saw what happened in iran. They saw a public reaction to a fraud of an election. And, we're just as helpless now, as we were in 1979, when Carter blew it!

I am most concerned at the violence that can come, ahead. Iran isn't about to lose influence it has built among the Shi'ites. Which stretches through Iraq, all the way into Lebanon. Diplomacy won't change a thing.

But even if the short run is bloody; it may yet be possible to see, just as we've seen in Iran, that the mullahs aren't really loved. That power can be the last thing you need to resort to, if you have the People on your side. On the other hand, if all you have are factions; and tribal affiliations, the Western world won't make a dent, here. Nor have we learned, yet, how to lead. We certainly don't lead other cultures to shed their ways.

Posted by: Carol_Herman Author Profile Page at July 16, 2009 7:59 PM

"two other spheres of influence have taken hold. Russia. And, China. And, they're not out to see us being successful, either."

It is not certain they will fail to eventually see the same threats to their flanks as we see to ours. Are you certain competiton will always trump cooperation?

"And, we're just as helpless now, as we were in 1979, when Carter blew it!"

Are you certain we have no more tools of leverage at our disposal that we had in 1979?

"Diplomacy won't change a thing."

Please explain why you are certain of this. Arif Jamal the leading expert of jihad in Pakistan says resolving the Kashmir conflict could go a long way in defusing the root cause of the historical support of the Taliban in Pakistan. Are you certain diplomacy played no role in the recent defeat of Hizb'Allah at the polls in Lebanon?

"We certainly don't lead other cultures to shed their ways."

I don't know why you are certain of this. Perhaps the way you formulate your assertion indicates why you see no positive results. By strengthening those qualities that lead others to invite the cooperation and influence of Liberal Democracy, we can continue to cahnage the trajectory of history.

The certainty of Marxism is not longer certain and perhaps with enough persistence and resourcefulness, so too the other absolutist dogmas of the world.

Posted by: maxtrue Author Profile Page at July 16, 2009 9:01 PM

Michael, you are always free to correct the typos....my bad.

Posted by: maxtrue Author Profile Page at July 16, 2009 9:03 PM

"We certainly don't lead other cultures to shed their ways."

That's funny (not). I thought we did exactly that in Japan and Germany?

In the end, I'll take a 10% chance of success over certain doom any day.

Posted by: gus3 Author Profile Page at July 16, 2009 9:11 PM

...A Carol_Herman above mentioned (in part) ...

"On the other hand, if all you have are factions; and tribal affiliations, the Western world won't make a dent, here."
I omitted the rest because it'll lead into another area of thought.
Boy-Oh-Boy, do I ever agree with that sentiment. I have harped here on all those centuries of tribal warfare, and the futility of our thinking that our State Department or any other US Gov't entity can change that inbred pattern.
But, I don't know where to draw the line to get us out of there as long as our job remains unfinished. It seems some new development keeps popping up out of that murky box requiring yet another appropriation. The goal posts seem to be forever inching just out of our reach. And, we get precious little help from our "allies".

Posted by: Morningside Author Profile Page at July 16, 2009 9:19 PM

From gus3...
""We certainly don't lead other cultures to shed their ways."

That's funny (not). I thought we did exactly that in Japan and Germany?"

I don't entirely agree that that's an apt comparison...Germany in 1945 already had some centuries of Western culture and had added their own contributions..the Nazi ways were a comparatively short-lived drama....Japan had long ceased to be tribal groups on islands and gradually emerged into the Kyoto era, and then into the Meiji time. The Japanese are so intensely exclusive of any others that they have remained homogeneous. Granted, the MacArthur era was traumatic and has had lasting changes..i.e. a robust democracy, but that was brought on by two atomic bombs.
On the other hand, central and western Asia have had the complication of colonialism as a yoke. What can we do in such an arena?

Posted by: Morningside Author Profile Page at July 16, 2009 9:38 PM

You know, it really isn't funny when actual card-carrying Nazis (or those who vocally support them) start making these kinds of accusations against anyone to their left... which is everyone on earth.

Just out of curiosity, is there some kind of rule that Nazis have to be skinny little guys with glasses who wear silly clothes and have ridiculous mustaches? That is the master race? And how come the female specimens seem to be totally out of their league? And one final question... shouldn't he be wearing a bow-tie to match that pocket protector?

Posted by: programmmer_craig Author Profile Page at July 16, 2009 11:43 PM

@Morningside:

Your histories are true enough, as far as they go, but they do not address the desires of each nation in question to colonize and dominate their adjacent states. In northeastern Asia, one still finds that Koreans hold a particular contempt for the Japanese; and the Chinese are in a very real sense the "great hegemon," the image of which they wish to project onto the USA.

Japan, while it still has foreign relations "issues" (of just about every degree), has made it the law of their constitution that their military is strictly for the defense of Japan. The post-9/11 world has challenged this law strongly, but the Diet and the courts were able to justify a small amount of cooperation with the Coalition of the Willing against Islamists. I'd say that's hardly the mark of a hegemon.

To see the same character in Germany, one can simply look at their treatment of Scientology. It's outlawed because the organizational power-seeking structure reeks of the National Socialists. 'Nuff said.

@programmer_craig:

Still hung up a month and a half later?

Posted by: gus3 Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 1:00 AM

Still hung up a month and a half later?

Mind if I ask WTF you are talking about there, gus?

Posted by: programmmer_craig Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 1:36 AM

I won't comment on your arrogance concerning Iraq because I never once thought you had anything figured out. But I will comment on your insults towards three people who make more difference in their reporting and passion than you ever will.

Do you really need friends/hits that bad? And would you make those remarks face to face with these people OR their supporters? I bet not.

Posted by: devildog Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 4:48 AM

In an earlier thread, I noted that Spencer and his anti-jihad clique have a certain M.O. They go on the rampage whenever a writer and/or blogger:

1. Disagrees with Spencer or a member of the anti-jihad clique
2. Says something positive about Bosnian Muslims or Albanians
3. Says something negative about Serbian nationalism
3. Says something negative about Eurofascist groups like Vlaams Belang
4. Does not worship Geert Wilders
5. Says something positive about Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs

One beloved Riverdale Rabbi was characterized by Pamela Geller (in a post titled "Riverdale Rabbi slits our throats" as a "kapo", a "sad pathetic excuse of a Jewish leader" and an "aider and abettor of Jew killers" because he said that we shouldn't blame all of Islam for a recent plot to bomb synagogues.

devildog, that is a form of reporting, and it certainly is a 'passion' of sorts, but do you really think these kind of attacks are admirable?

Spencer and co. use similar methods as other purveyors of hate and fear, like Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church (The God hates F@gs people).

Like the anti-jihad clique, Phelps and co. intimidate critics by:

1. Befriending a recognized authority, who will serve as their pit bull when needed
2. Threatening critics with libel suits and join in harassing them, often with mean-spirited personal attacks

The Westboro church has managed to intimidate the entire town of Topeka, Kansas using these methods. They also routinely harass people around the country.

One Manhattan synagogue managed to turn the tables on the Westboro church hate mongers - When they knew that the group planned to attack them, they asked supporters to pledge a dollar or more for every minute that six protesters stood near their synagogue hurling epithets and holding signs that read “God Hates F@gs” and “Jews Stole the Land.” The final haul after 50 minutes: $10,000.

In the earlier thread, I suggested that readers could donate a certain amount of money to writers who have been attacked by this clique, like Michael Totten, Charles Johnson and Bruce Bawer. Every epithet, every nasty personal attack, every harassing email sent and every threat of lawsuits that Spencer and co. issue could inspire us to encourage the work of balanced, sane reporting.

Well, in response to that comment, I got a harassing email from Spencer a few days ago. So, I'm putting $20 in MJT's tip jar.

Posted by: maryatexitzero Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 5:46 AM

Frankly I think it rude not to stick with the topic Michael has taken the time to address. I don't think he has made such efforts to create a sandbox to play in.

Several better known pundits changed their tune when confronted by both failed projections and facts that didn't fit their theories.

In short: the complexity of the object they were viewing exceeded their simplistic dialectic. It is a reflection on Chaos theory and how small initial variations can lead to huge differences in systemic outcomes, or is that too deep?

We need to find those butterflies if we seek to modulate chaos and direct a better outcome. There are many alternative futures determined by things like the ANA, diplomacy in Kashmir, the reach of VOA in Iran, the trade policies of Germany etc. These variables greatly affect the outcome. Linear thinking here does not seem to work very well and has stymied foreign policy experts for decades.

Michael is talking about a different mindset, but not one that is void of principle or sentiment. Such thinking moves from generalizations about the future, to a closer examination of how we measure the present. Of course, Michael says it better himself.

Posted by: maxtrue Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 6:50 AM

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090716123316.htm

You might find this interesting Michael

Posted by: maxtrue Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 7:01 AM

It is a reflection on Chaos theory and how small initial variations can lead to huge differences in systemic outcomes, or is that too deep?

From what I've seen, people who respond to criticism with group-organized personal attacks and threats tend not to be dealing their cards to find the sacred geometry of chance or the hidden laws of probable outcome.

They're simple fear-and-hate motivated bullies (or in the political sphere, demagogues) who demand that you agree with them or get out of their way. The logic, fluidity or insight of an argument doesn't affect them - they don't care about the rightness or wrongness of their theories, they just want to continue on their planned path. They're the ultimate linear thinkers.

The question is, how can ideological bullies be dealt with without adopting their methods?

Posted by: maryatexitzero Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 7:11 AM

Dear Michael,

Your most recent post is strange. If you want to argue with Andy, argue with Andy. But what is the point of mentioning that he is a "pal" of me and "the deranged Pamela Geller"? Do you think we have some kind of taint that will rub off on Andy by association?

In the first place, the reference to Pamela was gratuitous and ungallant, to say the least. She has nothing to do with this at all. I quoted you in a post, you responded, and then Andy jumped in -- so what does any of this have to do with Pamela? And then as evidence of her "derangement" you link to a Johnson post that says she was invited to speak in Cologne. But she didn't go to Cologne. So even if Johnson is right about the Cologne group, and I am not granting that, does it make Pamela responsible for them simply because she was invited to speak there? If I invited you to speak at an anti-jihad conference, would that make you responsible for everything I do and say forever after?

It's absurd, and insulting. Johnson's smear campaign is relentless, but in reality Pamela is about the least "deranged" person I know. She is a courageous activist who does original reporting and stands up passionately for human rights, for Israel, and for America. That's deranged? Here is her latest op-ed, in The American Thinker. Is it deranged?

http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/07/obamas_immoral_authority_1.html

Is that deranged? To note that Obama is tougher on Gitmo than on Iran?

Or see this one, which cuts right against the "all Muslims are evil" smear that Johnson tries to hang on her:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/06/the_case_for_iran_fighting_for.html

Is that deranged? To hope that freedom prevails in Iran?

It's also worth noting that she doesn't agree with Andy on Iran, and I don't either.

Anyway, I didn't see what Andy wrote to you, and I doubt Pamela did either. So ultimately it is irrelevant whether we are friends with him or not. Why mention us?

We have had cordial exchanges in the past. We do disagree on some things, but if you have taken up the Johnsonian position that I am some kind of evil individual, please be aware of a few things:

Johnson routinely accuses me of "endorsing," "shilling for," "promoting," etc. the Belgian party Vlaams Belang. Actually I have nothing to do with Vlaams Belang at all. I just don't think Johnson has succeeded in proving they're fascists. But in reality, I am not working with them. He keeps insisting I am because he is trying to tar me as a racist and a fascist. But there is nothing to it -- and certainly I am not making support for them some kind of "litmus test," as Mary Madigan falsely claimed in your comments.

Your friend Kejda meanwhile has fashioned elaborate castles in the air of guilt-by-association. Reality, again, is different.

I did quote you in my post, and not favorably, and should have named you -- actually I was thinking it might avoid a war if I didn't name you. I was wrong about that. But in any case, I am ready to take what comes in that regard -- I love a good exchange of ideas, and responded to your post here:

http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/026922.php

Why did you ignore that one?

Hope you will think these things over.

As for Mary Madigan, you can see that she from the above that she is very, very wedded to these falsehoods, but that doesn't make them any truer. Bawer did not mention me in his piece, and contrary to Johnson's claims, could not have been referring to me -- because I never made VB a "litmus test," I never wrote to him about his earlier piece, and I never called Pim Fortuyn a "libertine." Madigan and Johnson apparently are sure Bawer was castigating me. In reality, he was referring -- here we are again -- to Andy Bostom. Andy and I are two different people. I am no more responsible for his opinion's than I am for Barack Obama's, or Charles Johnson's, or Mary Madigan's.

Posted by: Robert Spencer Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 7:21 AM

In short: the complexity of the object they were viewing exceeded their simplistic dialectic
--------------------------------------
Hello maxtrue."The deranged Pamela Geller" totally diluted the entire diatribe for ME.Perhaps that went over your head.

Posted by: devildog Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 7:37 AM

On the one hand, I am a known Islamophobe and I think the publicizing Spencer among others did very early on had value. I DO think there is a very real danger from socially invasive Islamism that most people overlook. I also belong to and support Mikey Weinstein's Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which is fighting the evangelization of our own military, because I am a fierce religion-in-power-o-phobe more generally.

Spencer and MRFF have nothing in common except an absolutely hysterical black-and-white tone that makes me cringe. If MRFF ever bolts its canoe to a particular political group, as Spencer has, then I'm out of there; meanwhile, MRFF is the only voice on that issue. There are many more reasonable, well-grounded jihad watchdogs than Spencer to listen to.

I do enjoy the irony of MJT being considered a liberal fool and rabid neo-con both. Welcome aboard the raft, Michael. I hereby declare you a free-thinker and befuddler of ideologues.

Posted by: AZZenny Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 7:55 AM

In "Arguing for Uncertainty", and his other interesting first-hand observations, our host here has indeed provided us - not with a sandbox, but a great big, whole stadium filled with (the great majority, anyway) eager, alert, questioning adults who're interested in reading what others are thinking along the lines of his articles. The operative word here is "thinking".
Compare with the adolescent comments on similar and parallel subjects in the Washington Post.
Thanks, MJT, for your stadium.

Posted by: Morningside Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 8:02 AM

"The complexity of the object they were viewing exceeded their simplistic dialectic. It is a reflection on Chaos theory and how small initial variations can lead to huge differences in systemic outcomes" -Mixture

Very interesting (and relevant) comment. Your reference to Ilya Prigogine caught my eye and I think there is a lot more that can be said about applying the insights of this great scientist to how we can constructively make sense of unfolding geo-political events, especially given so much uncertainty. I would be very interested to hear more about how you would suggest we apply this lens in a practical, rather than theoretical kind of way, as well as what the potential pitfalls of such an approach might be.

I'm looking forward to continue this discussion...

Posted by: BShyk Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 9:02 AM

Looks like I just discovered the pitfalls of spell-check changing Maxtrue to Mixture, my bad

Posted by: BShyk Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 9:04 AM

AZZenny: I do enjoy the irony of MJT being considered a liberal fool and rabid neo-con both

It says more about the critics than it does about me. From the point of view of a far-rightist, a neoconservative is a wooly-headed liberal or even a Trotskyist. And from the point of view of a radical leftist, a moderate Democrat is a neoconservative. Every leftist thinks The New Republic is a right-wing magazine, for instance. I used to think so when I was a leftist. But I liked the magazine anyway despite the wrong-headed label I put on it. Matt Yglesias even thinks Slate is a right-wing magazine.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 9:30 AM

Michael,
I have been following your work for a few years now, but this is the first time I am posting anything. Your style of journalism is a breath of fresh air relative to whats out there as well as a force on its own. I am reaffirmed in this believe because you consistently give voice to others whose work is on a much higher level than the disappointing and frustrating public discourse that prevails. People like Khaled Abu Tomeh who you interviewed in the past, or Asher Susser, a past professor of mine, add so much to the discussion but their voices are heard far too little. I am sorry to detract from the topic, but I just wanted to thank you for your writing and consistently connecting me to others whose work begs to be heard.

Posted by: BShyk Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 9:43 AM

Robert Spencer,

The reason I brought up you and Pamela is because hardly anyone knows who Bostom is. And I routinely get tag-teamed by you and your crowd. You all like to pounce on me at once, and you've been doing it on and off for more than a year.

If the nutjobs in Cologne did nothing but invite Pamela, why did they say she agreed to attend? If some fascistic or quasi-fascistic party did that to me, I would be extremely pissed off about it, and I wouldn't go after Charles Johnson for noting it. I'd expect to be pilloried by my colleagues for something like that, but I would take it out on the conference organizers rather than those who quite properly sounded an alarm.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 10:24 AM

BSHyk,
I am short on time at the moment, but I appreciate the comments. Although I am hardly anything near an expert on Chaos Theory (quite far from that), common sense points the way. Without getting into geopolitical forces that represent strange attractors or identifying other analogues, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see those elements that can increase the direction of a situation geometrically. The classic example would be the lack of security brought to bear in Iraq after our intial invasion. Bush let obvious butterflies loose. The warning pointed out by Ricks the adminsitration ought to have seen was the terrible Phase IV planning.

In regards to now, if Kashmir is the locus of Pakistani support of extremists, then great diplomatic force must be directed at a solution. Eventually China has a role and don’t think they aren’t counting their butterflies. The question Chinese leadership must ask is if pesticide is better than changing some of the policies that have led to the Uighers fighting the Hans. Iran is in a similar situation dealing with their perhaps mortal outbreak of butterflies. I think comments made to Michael in a thread below talks about how the military is also trying to flush out and influence butterflies in their counterinsurgency efforts. In that regard, they must do several things at once, or it all collaspes.

We can pick this up later, but given the complexity involved we can see there are numerous butterflies. From enemy speed boats that could stop shipping to the affects of Western aid not being allowed to be distributed directly to Pakistanis by Westerners. We see butterflies growing. Representatives of Fatah and Hamas are allowed to give inflammatory declarations without sufficient media coverage to make them blink. New Israeli settlements create opportunities for their enemies. Allowing Hizb'Allah to build and stock many weapon under the nose of the UN can be countered by a public willing to flush out the failure of the very mechanisms we have to enforce international mandates. I know this sounds vague, but given the fact Spencer will never find some supreme evil to kill with his rhetorical sword, a concerted effort to alter the trajectory of a thousand manifestations of militancy will go a long way in de clawing the beast. As we can see here at Michael’s house, a critical element to policy reform coming from the center, is under fire from the Left and Right. The strange attractor that generates this endless cycle of political extreme is presently America’s trillion dollar question.

I hope we can revisit this again.

I sent Michael an interest report I spotted that tries to apply some mathematics to analyzing our efforts against the Taliban. It is a step in the right direction, or at least an attempt to think outside the box of our usual forms of measurement.

Posted by: maxtrue Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 10:29 AM

Dear Michael,

“The reason I brought up you and Pamela is because hardly anyone knows who Bostom is. And I routinely get tag-teamed by you and your crowd. You all like to pounce on me at once, and you've been doing it on and off for more than a year.”

Bostom is an established author who has published to lengthy scholarly studies, one of jihad and one of Islamic antisemitism. He might have been more effectively and accurately identified by reference to those.

You “routinely” get “tag-teamed” by me and my “crowd”? Now who is being paranoid? I have made no reference to you at all at Jihad Watch in I don’t know how long, until the time I quoted you the other day. As for what others do, I have no idea, and no control. I have no “crowd,” I have never ordered anyone or asked anyone to “tag-team” you, and I have never “pounced” on you at all. I took issue with your analysis of the situation in Kosovo, and now with your analysis of the situation in Iraq. In both cases, I gave a reasoned explanation of why I differed from you. Is reasoned disagreement now “pouncing” and “tag-teaming”? With respect, that’s ridiculous.

2. “If the nutjobs in Cologne did nothing but invite Pamela, why did they say she agreed to attend? If some fascistic or quasi-fascistic party did that to me, I would be EXTREMELY pissed off about it, and I wouldn't go after Charles Johnson for noting it. I'd expect to be pilloried by my colleagues for something like that, but I would take it out on the conference organizers rather than those who quite properly sounded an alarm.”

This is what happens when you only know one part of the story. There are things that went on in regard to that conference that are not going to be made public. Charles Johnson doesn’t know them, and he filled in the gaps in what he did know, as you are doing now, by making a number of erroneous assumptions and false conclusions. The bottom line is this: the line that Johnson has pursued, that Pamela and I are sympathizing with fascists, or “enabling” fascists, is not based on a shred of actual evidence. Rather, it is all surmise, jumping to conclusions, and guilt by association.

If you think Pamela is a fascist sympathizer or fascist enabler, or a white supremacist, or that I am, I challenge you to establish it in the only way it can actually be established — by an actual quotation from her writings or mine, an actual enunciation of some fascist or racist principle. You can’t do this, and Johnson has never done it, because it cannot be done. The fact the we were invited to Cologne and declined, and that the organizers erroneously said we would be there, establishes nothing. If we are fascist sympathizers, and they are fascists, why didn’t we just go and speak there?

You owe Pamela an apology, and should take down the “deranged” reference. It would be the decent thing to do.

Posted by: Robert Spencer Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 10:43 AM

Well, I had to say this before I run out MIchael,

"Isn't it the same Michael Totten who is best friends with the islamic terrorists of the KLA, the biggest drug dealing mafia of Europe, who also specialize in sex trafficking of kidnapped women from all over Eastern Europe, kidnapping non-muslims to be slaughtered in order to sell their organs, assassinations for hire in western cities and whatever else crime they can earn money on? Funny how his name continues to appear in stories about muslims who are America's best friends." a comment from Spencer’s Jihad Watch

Michael polices his blog. Jihad Watch does little in that regard. Frankly, many of the comments are down right scary. Is that the intention? And I note that Jihad Watch is often linked with American Thinker. The comments at American Thinker are often over the top as well and rarely contested. A sure sin of minset is the lack of internal debate. Some remarks are completely unbalanced and nowhere reflective of even a fraction of what American thinkers really think. Many times, far more moderate comments I have tried to post at American Thinker are not posted. I wonder why? Perhaps because American Thinker does not like debate.

I do not see how the mixture of conservatism (including a Socon agenda) and a campaign against Jihadists in the name of national security either forms the proper alliance in the West and more specifically, America, or sends the appropriate signals to the world. Instead Jihad Watch’s message is quickly seized upon among Muslims and others and used to counter the intended affect. I question what force Jihad Watch can assemble when it seems to attract comments that harm our ability to move world opinion towards resolving conflict. All one has to do is to read the comments.

Posted by: maxtrue Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 10:56 AM

Isn't it the same Michael Totten who is best friends with the islamic terrorists of the KLA

Right. I'm "best friends" with Islamic terrorists.

That moronic idea was first peddled on the front page of none other than Robert Spencer's Web site.

I don't owe anyone in that crowd -- Spencer, Bostom, Geller, and Gorin -- an apology.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 11:17 AM

No you don't. Spencer is just jealous because you are far more well liked (as opposed to worshipped) by a far more intelligence viewer ship....LOL

Posted by: maxtrue Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 11:31 AM

Intelligent, I meant to say.... (damn spell check)

Posted by: maxtrue Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 11:33 AM

Robert Spencer,

I just don't think Johnson has succeeded in proving they're fascists.

And that says a lot about you. I'm not a reader of LGF and never have been, but I am somebody who gets accused of being "right wing" and a "fascist" on Arab and Iranian blogs. I clicked MJT's links and read the posts on LGF, and I clicked on their links, and I looked at their evidence, and you know what? I'm pretty convinced. If you don't want Westerners to be reject hateful extremist Western ideologies, then how do you expect to convince Muslims that they should reject hateful Islamic ideologies? Or is that even your goal? I had always thought it was. If your intent is to call for a fight to the death against Islam with no possibility of compromise then your readers deserve to know that.

Posted by: programmmer_craig Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 12:17 PM

As long as Robert sits on the advisory board for the American Council for Kosovo — a front group for a radical and violent Serbian National Council for Kosovo and Metojiha, why should anyone believe a word he says? Any association with these radical Serbian Nationalist/Russian stooges is entirely discrediting in its own right.

http://www.savekosovo.org/default.asp?p=1&au=advisory

...and the list of unsavory actions and associations continues to grow...along with the obligatory convoluted excuses.

-- Counterjihad Brussels 2007 -- Speaking in front of euro-fascists -- but claims he didn't know there were fascists there.

--Facebook -- joining The Campaign for the Reconquista in Anatolia (as if the name itself didn't give away the content of the group's beliefs) --- but he claims was duped into joining this group and didn't realize what they stood for.

--Accepts invitation to speak in front of Pro-Köln euro-fascists in Cologne -- but turns down the invite once he's publicly exposed and shamed.

...and if we start listing the unsavory characters Mr Spencer pals around with, it will quickly devolve into comedy.

What a joke...

Posted by: popcontest Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 12:17 PM

Hello maxtrue."The deranged Pamela Geller" totally diluted the entire diatribe for ME.Perhaps that went over your head.

Devildog, I think referring to a Jewish woman who seems to be directly endorsing and promoting European Nazism as "deranged" is pretty accurate. I'm having trouble getting my head around that, and I'm not even Jewish. I can't even imagine what path she took to get herself to that place, but I hope she finds some clarity. I've read her blog a few times over the years and while I've always thought she was a bit extreme, I never thought she was a nut.

Posted by: programmmer_craig Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 12:22 PM

I have a friend who works with and socializes with very, very far-right Israeli politicos.

Relevant to this discussion, one or two of them, at the urging of American neocon types, were thinking of cooperating with VB on a project last year. Once she educated them -- factually -- to what VB was all about, they dropped the proposal like a molten rock. VB is clearly a fascist group, and to deny that suggests moral and intellectual obtuseness if not dishonesty.

(btw, she likes Geert Wilders, whom she met, and who also urged distance from VB, and said he is more complex than he is often portrayed but probably enjoys the narcissistic PR flash a bit too much.)

Posted by: AZZenny Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 12:38 PM

Well in all fairness, there are quite a few over the top comments on Johnson's site as well and certainly not complimentary to Islam or Muslims.
I don't know how much "policing" Johnson does but it certainly hasn't stop many downright scurrilous comments from being posted.
But I certainly don't think Johnson shares the views of some of these people...maybe he does. I don't know.
What I do know is that you can't move the goal posts back and forth based on your own tastes, likes and dislikes.
Whether its you MJT, or maxTrue or Spenser or Bostom or n'importe qui, it lessens my respect.
Arguments are arguments and fair is fair, but no kicks to the balls please. Its all downhill from there.

Posted by: JB Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 12:43 PM

I see mention in this discussion of the Belgian party Vlaams Belang (VB). Here's a personal anecdote about it. The place was Groeneplaats in Antwerp, and the time was the autumn of 1968. There had been a demonstration that Sunday in which thousands of Flemish turned out to demand "amnesty." The amnesty they demanded was for Flemish who had collaborated with the Nazis during WWII and who were still in jail. The demonstrators were of course demanding that the collaborators be released. I was away from the demonstration but was physically assaulted that day by a thug who said to his pal, "Ja, jood." No serious physical damage, but I was taken by an undercover cop who turned me over to a nurse and doctor. They patched me up. An older man in the crowd explained to me that I had been attacked "because you look like a Jew."
At that time, the Flemish extremist party was called "Volksunie" (People's Union). It has reconfigured itself a couple of times over the past 40 years but today the same party calls itself "Vlaams Belang."

Posted by: Harold Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 1:30 PM

As for what others do, I have no idea, and no control. I have no “crowd,” I have never ordered anyone or asked anyone to “tag-team” you, and I have never “pounced” on you at all. I took issue with your analysis of the situation in Kosovo, and now with your analysis of the situation in Iraq. In both cases, I gave a reasoned explanation of why I differed from you. Is reasoned disagreement now “pouncing” and “tag-teaming”? With respect, that’s ridiculous.

Robert, I have series of saved emails in which you were harassing me after I published a commentary on Solomonia titled "Nazis. I hate these guys" in May of this year. In that article, I criticized you for working Serge Trifkovic, one of the leaders of the Bosnian Serbs during the years of ethnic cleansing. I also criticized Pamela Geller for saying "the Nazis are not the problem", but otherwise, I mostly praised the work you, Pamela and Charles Johnson have done in opposing Jihad.

Also, at no point did I accuse you or Pamela of being fascists. Still, you sent me, 'Solomon' of Solomonia a series of emails calling me a 'twit', a 'character assassin', a 'libeller', a 'self-centered twit'. You sent a series of harassing emails to Sol, demanding that he publish your 'response' to my nonexistent accusations.

You also cc'd Pamela Geller and Andrew Bostom - and you made a point of forwarding any nasty comments they made about me. Pamela helped you write your 'response' on Solomonia, which also demanded apologies.

Bostom dutifully barked in the comment section.

The next day, Bruce Bawer described how he was harassed by a group of 'anti-jihadis'.

You may be able to pretend to be a respected scholar here but in my archived email folders, you're quite the mean girl. Now, you appear to be trying to blame Bostom for some of your actions.

Yes it's all ridiculous and it's as far from reasoned disagreement as it gets.

Posted by: maryatexitzero Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 1:57 PM

Folks:

See what I mean by this being no mere "sandbox"?....and, I want to edit out my "stadium" term I typed here somewhere earlier.......This is an arena filled with gladiators, rings of fire, lions, and chariots with spikes as hubcaps. tumult, fury, smoking sulfuric javelins.
Hope I've not overdone my compliments here, and I've deliberately omitted anything hinting of martyrs....I think.

...cheers, everyone.

Posted by: Morningside Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 2:06 PM

Best friends with the KLA, huh. I must not have been invited to that garden party.
A few things I have noticed:

1) MJT doesn't go to all of the trouble of publicly rebutting someone if there have not been multiple provocations. He has real work to do.
2) MJT does not care if someone disagrees with him on an opinion in a reasonable manner, in fact he loves a good debate. An ability to argue intelligently is a quality shared by most (if not all) of his friends.
3) MJT is not given to making willy-nilly personal attacks on individuals. If he flat out calls someone 'deranged' there is a good reason.
4) Since MJT actually goes to the places he writes about and bothers to get a first hand perspective on the subject, he has little time or energy to dither around the blogosphere looking for people to pick a fight with, hoping to get a little attention. Unlike some people....

Posted by: Lindsey Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 2:22 PM

Lindsey, by the way, (see above) has known me for twenty years. Unlike the KLA, which hasn't even existed for the last ten of those years, she does get invited to my garden parties.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 2:37 PM

In perhaps a good example of how people can change the course of events by affecting the initial variables, Richard Spencer appears to have removed his latest diatribe directed at Micheal from the pages of Jihad Watch. If this is true, I applaud his move as both rational and strategic. This avoids for the moment increased warfare between people who generally support the notion that radical Islam is a dangerous escalting threat to Liberal Democracy and world peace. I am sure Michael would have prefered and open apology, but some things require baby steps. in the Middle East and here in America.

If we all can't find some common ground, how are we ever going to achieve mitigating the threats before us?

"We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately" Ben Franklin

Posted by: maxtrue Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 2:57 PM

"Roseate" fits because you are apparently unaware of nearly one and one-half millennia of Islamic jihad against the non-Muslim world.

Because you are ignorant of (or unwilling to admit) this history -- and as importantly, its theological foundation in the word of Allah and the example of Muhammad as recorded in the texts of Qur'an, ahadith, and sira, Islam's "sacred" texts -- your analysis will always be limited, always unable to put interviews with "real people on the street" into their fuller historical, religious, political, and cultural contexts, always blind to "The Big Picture."

Every analogy breaks down eventually, but here's one:

It's World War II, and you're interviewing Germans "on the street." What would you find?

Some would be rabid Nazis who believe fervently that their duty is to make Europe Germany. Others would have joined the Nazis only out of fear, coercion, or convenience. Still others would be actually decent, moral human beings who oppose Hitler as a matter of conscience. A few would be risking their lives to save Jews and/or defeat Hitler.

From these hypothetical interviews, you might conclude that the majority of Germans were not devout supporters of Nazism.

Even if that were true, how would such a conclusion help in stopping Hitler? In saving Jews (and others) from Dachau and the other death camps? In informing Allied planning?

(Can you imagine FDR spending American blood and treasure trying to "win Nazi hearts and minds"? Can you conceive of him "apologizing and dialoguing in mutual respect" with Hitler?)

What you are doing is the equivalent of interviewing Germans "on the street" during World War II and drawing conclusions about what should be done to win the war from only those interactions, while ignoring the ideology motivating and sustaining the greater Nazi effort.

How can one defeat an enemy without naming it? Without knowing its history and beliefs? By denying 1400 years of clear, published statements of its motivations, tactics and goals?

The ideology of Islam as defined by Muhammad is the elephant in the room, the clothes the emperor left behind, the actual "inconvenient truth" that threatens humanity.

Islam is not a race.

Doctrines are not human beings.

Paper is not people.

However, the doctrines of Islam do motivate the global jihad, and this is why:

"the Messenger of Allah . . . would say: 'Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war. . . . When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. . . . Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them. . . . If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them . . .'" (Muslim Book 19, Number 4294).

"fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war) . . . " (Qur’an 9:5).

"Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued" (Qur'an 9:29).

"Allah's Apostle said: 'I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Apostle . . . '" (Bukhari Volume 1, Book 2, Number 24).

"It is not for any prophet to have captives until he hath made slaughter in the land. Ye desire the lure of this world and Allah desireth (for you) the Hereafter, and Allah is Mighty, Wise" (Qur'an 8:67).

"Allah’s Apostle said, 'I have been made victorious with terror'" (Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 220).

And that's just a sampling.

Spencer is fair. Charles Johnson is not. Bostom is brilliant because he's thorough and accurate. Pamela Geller tells the truth. Yes, she can be forceful, and that can be shocking to someone who doesn't see what she sees; her fervor comes from an acute understanding of the threat to the world posed by traditional, historical, Islam-the-way-Muhammad-preached-and-practiced-it Islam.

How can someone not be outraged at slavery, brutality, rape, and slaughter carried out at Allah's command and in accord with Muhammad's example for the last 1400 years and currently?

By the way, Michael, Maliki just wants our "trade and investment" and someone to sweep for mines: "You give us your money, and we give you our bombs. You have to find them first, infidels."

Posted by: Amillennialist Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 5:34 PM

I am very sorry to report that I was wrong about Spencer removing his post about Michael. I thought it more recent than the Sir Brave Ahmed post and when I looked and didn't see it, I failed to scroll down.

Again my apologies, but it would have served Spencer well to have removed it along with the hate-comments. My quote of Franklin stands and if Spencer continues his course he will also continue to alienate many who otherwise would share some of his perspective, thus damaging his crusade as much as he thinks he is helping it.

Michael, feel free to remove my incorrect news and in the future I will be more careful.

Posted by: maxtrue Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 5:52 PM

"Russia. And, China . . . It is not certain they will fail to eventually see the same threats to their flanks as we see to ours"

Uighurs. Beslan.

Russia and China are short-sighted.

"Arif Jamal the leading expert of jihad in Pakistan says resolving the Kashmir conflict could go a long way in defusing the root cause of the historical support of the Taliban in Pakistan."

Tell that to the 70 to 80 million Hindus killed by past jihad warfare.

Jamal is lying, or telling only a sliver of the truth. The "Kashmir conflict" is only one local expression -- one symptom -- of the real "root cause," the command of Allah to enslave or slaughter all who refuse the "invitation" to Islam.

Just as in "Palestine" and every other place in which Muslims have sufficient numbers to agitate for or establish shari'a, the only way in which Kashmir can be "resolved" is when the non-Muslims are converted, subjugated, or dead:

"the Messenger of Allah . . . would say: 'Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war. . . . When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. . . . Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them. . . . If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them . . .'" (Muslim Book 19, Number 4294).

"fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war) . . . " (Qur’an 9:5).

"Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued" (Qur'an 9:29).

"Allah's Apostle said: 'I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Apostle . . . '" (Bukhari Volume 1, Book 2, Number 24).

Posted by: Amillennialist Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 5:59 PM

Amillennialist: What you are doing is the equivalent of interviewing Germans "on the street" during World War II and drawing conclusions about what should be done to win the war from only those interactions, while ignoring the ideology motivating and sustaining the greater Nazi effort.

That may well have been the case a few years ago. Apparently you missed it when every insurgent militia and terrorist group in the country got its ass kicked not only by Americans but by Iraqis. Iraqis "vomited out" Al Qaeda, as Charles Krauthammer accurately put it.

You are also apparently unaware of the fact that the U.S. has and has had terrific relations with Iraq's Kurds even while the rest of Iraq was on fire. And the Kurds are just as Islamic as the Arabs, though they are less strident and bigoted about their religion.

Iraq does not need to convert to Christianity or atheism (or whatever it is you're implying here) for it to be at peace with itself and the West. We have peaceful and normal relations with most Muslim countries. Even Israel has peaceful and normal relations with some Muslim countries. We weren't at war with Tunisia or Oman or Mali or Kuwait (etc) last time I checked. (I trust I don't need to give you the whole list.)

Iraq's problems have been catastrophic, and religious zealotry has been only one of its problems. If Iraq is doomed solely because it is Muslim, then every Muslim country should look like Iraq. Yet that's not the case.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 6:05 PM

JB: Well in all fairness, there are quite a few over the top comments on Johnson's site as well and certainly not complimentary to Islam or Muslims.
I don't know how much "policing" Johnson does but it certainly hasn't stop many downright scurrilous comments from being posted.

Johnson was firmly part of the Geller/Spencer crowd for years, but finally realized he was becoming known as the no. 1 anti-muslim bigot in the blogosphere.

Johnson is a scumbag and a bit of a moron, but not so much a bigot. Spencer clearly has his hate on for Islam, but at least has some balls--and brains.

Man, you really don't have much to choose from in the "anti-jihad" camp.

Posted by: Edgar Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 6:14 PM

Amillenialist, your analogy is ludicrous. Hitler wasn't governed by a religious doctrine but by HIS false interpretation of reality and history. He exploited national greivences following the defeat in WW1 and directed them towards Jews and his neighbors who he claimed either took German land or imposed unfair terms of surrender.

There is not one dictator directing more than a billion Muslims, nor do Islamic despots even have clear control of their populations as Hitler did. We see tonight not "death to Israel" but "death to Russia" and "death to China" on the streets of Tehran. Neda who many Muslims have made the poster girl of resistance was wearing a cross when she died.

What Muslim nation poses such enormous risk to the Western world as Hitler did? Do you honestly think that the US, Russia and China are no match for Iran, HIzb'Allah or Hamas? Your comparisons while couched in selective history completely ignore the historical differences between Germany and a Greater Islam. Certainly Jews would prefer the Muslim Spain they experiance to the Catholic one they were thrown out of.

Are you trying to tell us that more than 1 million Muslim Israelis embrace your literal interpretation of the Koran? And what about the Old Testament? Are you suggesting that Jews around the world accept a literal interpretation of the Old Testament? Are jews of a singular mind? Ultra Orthodox Jews are against Israel whereas some Jews are for a greater Israel.

Do you accept the literal interpretation of the New Testament? And if you do, why are you not as equal a threat to Jews as you say Muslims are? How many Muslim nations help us in our struggle with radical Islam? How many Muslims serve in our military forces and don’t you insult them by characterizing them falsely?

And what slaughter was carried out in the name of Jesus or by communist regimes? Did they not kill, rape and murder far more human beings than all killed by Muslims?

What utter nonsense you peddle under the pretense of a lecturing historian.

Again, shall I quote for you from the Bible? It is one thing to say that the literal interpretation of the Koran is used by radicals to promote jihadist thinking, but quite another in extending such thought to all of Islam thus proving to the critical "moderates" that Westerners are just as crazed as Islamic radicals. You prove to them an equivalency of ideology when the way we will eventual triumph against radicalism is not by killing a billion Muslims, but through reformation.

And your remarks on Hitler are astounding given the apparent alliance between many on your flank with neo-Nazis.

Do you believe all who do not accept Jesus Christ are going to Hell? Do you believe that woman was created from the rib of Adam? Do you believe Homosexuals sin? Do you believe Jews killed Christ? Why cannot Muslims ask this of Christians? Why cannot Muslims ask if YOU see them as heathens regardless of Jihad?

And this is the worst part. Your mindset so angers centrist Westerners like myself, you divide the consensus needed to address the real threat which is the ability of radicals to exploit the Koran in an effort to extend THEIR hegemony. In this struggle we unquestionably need the many moderate Muslims on our side.

Your thinking and declarations are counterproductive as you move from reasonable threat assessment of the spread of radicalism into extremism that denies the reality of hundreds of millions of Muslims seeking no Jihad, no death to infidels. Perhaps you should get out more and see the world. Instead you point to unquestionable Islamic militancy and then spin it to impose your simplistic dialectic on history rather than see history for what it is. How do you explain that the world has more liberty today than it did a thousand years ago? Are you really claiming that human nature does not conspire to be free?

You only make Michael's point clearer for all who come here.

I must reconsider Ben Franklin's statement. There are some who I rather not hang with.

Posted by: maxtrue Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 6:47 PM

Maxtrue to Amillennialist: Your thinking and declarations are counterproductive as you move from reasonable threat assessment of the spread of radicalism into extremism that denies the reality of hundreds of millions of Muslims seeking no Jihad, no death to infidels. Perhaps you should get out more and see the world.

Indeed.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 7:02 PM

Amilleniaist: It is far more certain that China and Russia will act towards their self preservation against radical threats than the certainty of your thinking. What evidence suggests they will not act and have not acted already?

And now you are more of an expert than Jamal? Gee, can I attend your lectures probably filled with your reciting the Koran. What does the death of Hindus at the hands of the Taliban prove in denying his claim? In fact, he says they were created for this purpose, yes?

If all you can imagine that will defuse the Kasmir conflict is death or conversion of Muslims, no wonder your talking points are so repetitive and lack resonation in the Free world.
That is probably your final solution? Ah, now I see the connection to the neo-Nazis.

Keep it up. You do understand you are one of the best recruitment tools the jihadists have.

Posted by: maxtrue Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 7:10 PM

maxtrue,

If you can't get "Richard" Spencer's name right, what does that say about the rest of your "analysis"?

Posted by: Amillennialist Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 7:19 PM

If you want deranged, here's an example, Pamela is one of the bloggers I was referencing in this post, typically I don't name folks but rather out the kookspiracy. But since you asked Robert, here's deranged:

http://noblesseoblige.org/wordpress/2009/03/01/the-yellow-peril-revealed/

Posted by: Thanos Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 7:46 PM

If you want to see the real CJ, you should check out the post of him chortling as Pamela gives the finger to Cindy Sheehan. Oh wait, you can't. He deleted it.

That sort of garbage is par for the course with guys like CJ. Then to top it off with a fresh sprinkle of xenophobe. Even though CJ has worked so hard to repaint himself as not a bigot, it's still fairly obvious he's the same old xenophobe at LGF.

With that in mind, it's somewhat curious as to why he has so many issues with Spencer, and why they had their hissy fit a while back.You'd think two guys who have a hard on for hating muslims would be all about each other.

Posted by: JohnDakota Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 8:23 PM

Basically CJ = Geller lite.

or

CJ = unread Spencer

Posted by: JohnDakota Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 8:25 PM

for all those interested in an example of CJ's 'humor' feel free to check out;

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_RMq4hPTXd_8/Rq4GjDjADZI/AAAAAAAAAA8/uASYwXlvPjU/s1600-h/finger.jpg

It's also an example of something that went down the lgf memory hold after he became very embarrassing.

CJ is high class baby!

Posted by: JohnDakota Author Profile Page at July 17, 2009 8:47 PM

Edgar and Johndakota try and represent something better. JohnDakota did CJ take that picture? They were all there with Sheehan? You seem pretty offtrack.

The LGF blog is pretty moderate as far as blogs go. Those seeing bigotry are looking at themselves.

GET A CLUE!!!!!! lol

Posted by: typesea Author Profile Page at July 18, 2009 1:43 AM

Robert Spencer: "Pamela is about the least "deranged" person I know"

You must hang out with some really diseased and psychotic people for Geller to be the 'least' deranged person you know.

Posted by: Hector Author Profile Page at July 18, 2009 2:05 AM

In response to my comment here:

What you are doing is the equivalent of interviewing Germans "on the street" during World War II and drawing conclusions about what should be done to win the war from only those interactions, while ignoring the ideology motivating and sustaining the greater Nazi effort.

Michael Totten replied:

That may well have been the case a few years ago. Apparently you missed it when every insurgent militia and terrorist group in the country got its ass kicked not only by Americans but by Iraqis. Iraqis "vomited out" Al Qaeda, as Charles Krauthammer accurately put it.

Here's my follow-up:

That's quite a non sequitur.

I was talking about your attacks on individuals for their pointing out that you are apparently unfamiliar with Islam's authoritative texts and history, and in "refutation" of that you offer . . . Muslims fighting other Muslims?

Each Iraqi who's fought with our military against foreign terrorists has done so for their own reason(s). I don't doubt some of those motives were good.

None of them, however, involve Muhammad's legendary religious tolerance.

So, are the terrorists in Iraq now, in only the last "few years," no longer Muslim?

In that case, who's doing the bombing today, Mennonites? Are the Iraqis returning to their own vomit?

Will there be more or less vomit once America is out?

Sunni and Shi'ite have been slaughtering each other -- when not enslaving and butchering non-Muslims -- since Muhammad died.

You are also apparently unaware of the fact that the U.S. has and has had terrific relations with Iraq's Kurds even while the rest of Iraq was on fire. And the Kurds are just as Islamic as the Arabs, though they are less strident and bigoted about their religion.

I don't recall mentioning the Kurds. Another non sequitur.

Is your point that not all Muslims are terrorists?

I've never said otherwise.

A variety of explanations exist for why Muslim nations refrain from attacking us directly.

One would be the large sums of taxpayer-funded jizya we send to several of those countries. Another is the fact that we are still -- despite "President" Obama's best efforts -- the only superpower in the world. To openly attack us would be suicide for that government.

(Perhaps you've noticed terrorism being carried out by small groups of "misunderstanderers of Islam" so that Muslim governments -- the Saudis, anyone? -- can maintain plausible deniability. Of course, with Obama apologizing to, dialoguing with, and releasing terrorists, no one will fear our strength for long.)

With regard to the Kurds specifically, they are by definition not as "Islamic" as "the Arabs," since they're -- in your own words -- "less strident and bigoted about their religion."

After all, Muhammad mandated, "Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him" (Bukhari Volume 9, Book 84, Number 57). You can't get more "bigoted" than that.

The Kurds' relatively greater emphasis on their ethnic identity rather than their religion is paralleled in other lands conquered by Islam, even among some Iranians (but I bet if you cite Muhammad's words or actions disapprovingly to a devout Kurd, that facade of Muslim civility will vaporize instantaneously!). Add to that their desire for a greater Kurdistan and having to contend with both Sunni and Shi'ite Arabs and "Persians," and you've gone a long way toward explaining relatively "good" relations with America.

There may even be some decent people there but again, that is in spite of Islam as defined by Muhammad, not because of it.

Iraq does not need to convert to Christianity or atheism (or whatever it is you're implying here) for it to be at peace with itself and the West. We have peaceful and normal relations with most Muslim countries. Even Israel has peaceful and normal relations with some Muslim countries. We weren't at war with Tunisia or Oman or Mali or Kuwait (etc) last time I checked. (I trust I don't need to give you the whole list.)

A few points:

1) I guess I'm not writing clearly enough. I wasn't aware I was "implying" anything.

I was stating that you are either unaware of or denying the fundamental role Muhammad's words and example play in modern Islamic terrorism, which is just one expression of the jihad commanded by Allah and carried out in fits and starts over the last 1400 years, beginning with Muhammad and continuing to this very day (nearly fourteen thousand Islamic terror attacks since 9/11 alone).

Any analysis that fails to account for this is flawed and will only hamper our efforts at self-defense. Spencer and Bostom understand Islam's history and ideology.

It would be wise for you to do so also.

2) Iraq could possibly be truly at peace with the West, but that will be in spite of Islam, not because of it. How can anyone who obeys Allah's commands to wage war against all who refuse both the "invitation" to Islam and subjugation as slaves (dhimmis) be by definition "at peace"?

That is logically and linguistically impossible.

What do you know about Turkey? It was a model moderate Muslim state, but that was because Ataturk crushed public expression of political Islam. Now that Erdogan is in charge, in which way is the country moving? Toward shari'a.

Are you aware that just a few years ago (I haven't checked lately), Mein Kampf was a best-seller there? Why is that, do you think?

Could it have anything to do with:

"Allah's Apostle said, 'The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say, "O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him"'" (Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 177).

". . . We were (sitting) in the mosque when the Messenger of Allah . . . came to us and said: (Let us) go to the Jews. We went out with him until we came to them. The Messenger of Allah . . . stood up and called out to them (saying): O ye assembly of Jews, accept Islam (and) you will be safe.

[. . .]

"he killed their men, and distributed their women, children and properties among the Muslims, except that some of them had joined the Messenger of Allah . . . who granted them security. They embraced Islam. The Messenger of Allah . . . turned out all the Jews of Medlina. Banu Qainuqa' (the tribe of 'Abdullah b. Salim) and the Jews of Banu Haritha and every other Jew who was in Medina.

[. . .]

"It has been narrated by 'Umar b. al-Khattib that he heard the Messenger of Allah . . . say: I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslim" (Muslim Book 19, Number 4363-4366)"?

3) If you knew of Muhammad's practice -- which is exemplary for Muslims because Allah called him a "beautiful pattern of conduct for those who want to please" him -- you would know that when the Camp of Islam is weak, it seeks time to build or regain its strength (you see this in the truces for which Hamas calls whenever Israel finally gets serious about defending itself).

When strong enough, Muhammad violated his treaties and attacked his enemies ("enemies" because they would not submit to his "religion").

Iraq's problems have been catastrophic, and religious zealotry has been only one of its problems. If Iraq is doomed solely because it is Muslim, then every Muslim country should look like Iraq. Yet that's not the case

This is simplistic and inaccurate.

Iraq may be doomed for a variety of reasons; the main one is that once under the rule of Allah, always under the rule of Allah. Secular rule must be abolished.

You have two main threats to Iraq's viability. One is that those forces seeking to subjugate the country to full-blown shari'a (you are aware that shari'a is part of the Iraqi constitution, right?) will use any means necessary -- including terrorist bombings, kidnappings, and assassinations -- to accomplish this goal.

The second major threat is the conflict between Sunni and Shi'ite. Ahmadinejad's been courting Maliki. Considering Iraq's Shi'ite majority and Iran's nearing completion on its own nukes, it can't be long before the majority Sunni nations (or their agents) enter into more overt efforts against their historic rivals. Perhaps you've heard recently of Saudi Arabia's tacit consent for Israel's use of its airspace to take out the Iranian program.

What's happened to Iraq's Jews and Christians? Have you interviewed any of those people "on the street"? Probably not, since Iraq's ancient Jewish population has been largely driven out of the country and its Christians are routinely threatened, intimidated, and murdered. Their numbers are dwindling rapidly.

Why is that, do you think?

I hope that Iraq can become a nation truly free from Islam. You see in Iran among those protesting for an Islamic tyrant of their own choosing -- whatever the outcome was in that election, the theocrats were going to stay in power -- people protesting for real Liberty.

I'd like that for all Muslim lands and all Muslims. Whether it's a conversion to Christianity (the best outcome), Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, animism, the cult of Artemis, I don't care -- as long as anyone believes their god commands them to "fight . . . until all religion is for Allah" (Qur'an 8), there can be no peace.

The only lasting "peace" Islam recognizes is that which arises when the competition is in either hijab, chains, or the grave.

And you're still conflating Allah's commands and Muhammad's example with individual Muslims.

Doctrine is not necessarily practice. Texts are not human beings. Paper is not people.

The command of Allah and the words and deeds of Muhammad are not individual Muslims.

Posted by: Amillennialist Author Profile Page at July 18, 2009 2:33 AM

You must hang out with some really diseased and psychotic people for Geller to be the 'least deranged person you know.'
--------------------------------------------
Hector: Do you know Ms.Geller personally and in the flesh? Spent time with her and even if so, are you a full fledged licensed psychiatrist?
If the answer to that is no. Which I surely believe it is, then you are just a cheap devoid of character shell, riding on the bandwagon of someone who wouldn't spit on your ass if it was on fire.

Posted by: devildog Author Profile Page at July 18, 2009 5:32 AM

#Robert Spencer

I don’t understand your part in the controversy with Charles Johnson. Charles cited correctly from the website of the pro-Cologne movement, that you and Pamela Geller would be speakers at the 2009 anti-Islam congress and the announcement is still available from their website:
Original:
Die beiden amerikanischen Islamkritiker Pamela Geller und Robert Spencer werden derzeit massiv unter Druck gesetzt und haben deshalb mit Bedauern ihre schriftlichen Zusagen von letzter Woche zurückgenommen, freilich nicht ohne pro Köln und den Anti-Islamisierungskongreß weiterhin offensiv zu verteidigen.
Translation:
The two American Islam critics Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer are currently under hard pressure and have therefore – with regret (!) – canceled their written (!) acceptance from last week, admittedly not without furthermore offensive defending pro-Cologne and the anti-Islam congress.
Source:
(go to: “26. April 2009“ – „Update“)

http://www.pro-koeln-online.de/archiv2009.htm

Under “24. April 2009” you will find the announcement of your acceptance and how proud pro-Cologne is that you will speak at their congress.

http://www.pro-koeln-online.de/artikel09/240409_spencer.htm

So, if their announcements are true, who is the liar?

If their announcements are not true so

a) Why do you defend instead of denounce them?

b) Why do you call Charles Johnson names and go after him if they are the liars and Charles has only written about what they have proudly announced?

c) Why haven´t you written a posting on your website that the organizers of the anti-Islam congress “pro-Cologne” are blatant liars who ruin your reputation if this were not true?

d) Why haven´t you asked them (if it is not true that you have accepted the invitation to speak at the congress) to show the “written acceptance” on their website and if they couldn`t to ask them to remove your name from their website?

When in 2008 pro-Cologne untruly announced Jean Marie Le Pen (Filip de Winter of the Vlaams Belang calls him his close paternal friend and his role model) as a speaker at the first anti-Islam congress, Le Pen did not go after the media (e.g. “Der Spiegel online”) or the bloggers which have published the announcement from the pro-Cologne website but he called the pro-Cologne organizers liars and right-wing extremists and said that he want nothing have to do with them and their congress.*) So, even a fascist like Le Pen was able to address the correct source of the lie. Why can’t you (if it was a lie at all)?

Your rational reaction of Charles` posting should have been: thank you, Charles, for the advice I’ll do everything to correct this, I want nothing have to do with them.

  • Btw.: two month later Le Pen didn’t have any problem to sit down with them (and members of the VB, the Austrian FPOE, the German fascist NPD and other European fascist parties respectively right-wing-extremists) at the table and to discuss with them the future concerted actions for the election of the European Parliament.

Mr. Spencer, you can fool yourself when you say “Charles didn’t proof that the VB is a fascist party” but you can’t fool others.

Posted by: zuckerlilly Author Profile Page at July 18, 2009 6:02 AM

Man, you really don't have much to choose from in the "anti-jihad" camp.

Charles Johnson is more of an anti-fascist than a member of the 'anti jihad' camp.

That's what I wrote about in the "Nazis, I hate those guys" post that enraged Spencer, Geller and Bostom. I was writing about the idea that some right of center bloggers thought that Islam was the problem, and others (the anti-fascists) believed that a political and military organization of folks seeking ethnic cleansing and lebensraum was the problem.

Most people don't understand anti fascists, who are basically anti-authoritarian and anti-stasist. Anti fascists dislike Noam Chomsky AND Glenn Beck. They oppose Islamism and all other forms of violent (and nonviolent) political activism that promote ethnic 'purity' and ethnic cleansing. And, worst of all, we don't believe that the enemy of our enemy is our friend. When the left and the right tolerate and make excuses for the extremists in their midst, they're not empowering themselves, they do great harm to their parties, because it will appear that they all agree with the fringe.

Unfortunately, the more I learn about populist political activism, the more I see that people join with a 'cause' so that they can have someone to hate. (and so that they can join a group that legitimizes and encourages that hate).

Spencer, Geller and Bostom, like the Daily Kos, CAIR, Vlaams Belang, Operation Rescue and other extremist groups fulfill that need. It's not really clear what moderates can do about these groups, but we certainly shouldn't support them or let them push us around.

Posted by: maryatexitzero Author Profile Page at July 18, 2009 7:18 AM

Amellennialist, perhaps my typo means it isn't very important to me. Appreciate I spell your name correctly. And if spelling forms the basis of your rebuttal, then so be it. Were I to spell Richard Spencer correctly, would that shut you up? Now let’s see you reciprocate and retract your claims.

You know, I love how some play with facts. Anti-jihadists often claim that Islam has killed 270 million people. Among the dead, they claim 120 Africans died at the hands of jihadists. This is based on five blacks dying for every one delivered into slavery. 11 million were sent to the New Word by their count which means 50 million deaths were created by Christian importation of slaves to the Americas which is five time the number Hitler murdered. But still, some would rather call this Islamic murder and wash their Christian hands of it.

Despite the 80 million Hindus Islam that may have murdered in the past 1400 years, India holds peace talks with Pakistan rather than contemplate the murder or conversion of Muslims in Kashmir. Nor do they threaten the murder or conversion of the many millions of Muslims that are Indian citizens. If Muslims and Hindus can live together in relative peace in India, perhaps there is a solution short of genocide. Don’t you think?

Your complete denial of the hundreds of Muslims that live in peace and have direct commerce with the West does not go unnoticed by the rational. And I emphasis the word rational. Your certainty concerning Russian and Chinese apathy to any Islamic threat to their nation is unfounded.

Given the more than 100 million deaths attributed to the scourge of communism, I wonder why you don't advocate the conversion of death of a billion Chinese.

But let me guess, you'll start quoting the Koran again.

As I said, you should get out more often.

Posted by: maxtrue Author Profile Page at July 18, 2009 7:19 AM

"Your complete denial of the hundreds of millions of Muslims that live in peace and have direct commerce with the West does not go unnoticed by the rational."

just so you don't get side-tracked by another typo rather than deal with reason.

Posted by: maxtrue Author Profile Page at July 18, 2009 7:25 AM

Okay,Amellennialist, I'll stop torturing you.....Robert Spencer....Bob Spencer...Willie Spencer. Feel better now?

Now let's see you retract your claims

Posted by: maxtrue Author Profile Page at July 18, 2009 7:34 AM

Anti fascists dislike Noam Chomsky AND Glenn Beck. They oppose Islamism and all other forms of violent (and nonviolent) political activism that promote ethnic 'purity' and ethnic cleansing. And, worst of all, we don't believe that the enemy of our enemy is our friend. When the left and the right tolerate and make excuses for the extremists in their midst, they're not empowering themselves, they do great harm to their parties, because it will appear that they all agree with the fringe.

Thank you for that, Maryatexitzero -- I had all but given up trying to explain how I can hold 'positions' that seem logically and morally consistent to me, but that somehow defy the ability of most of the people who enter these discussions to grasp, or tolerate. I'd started redefining myself as just being anti-ideology, where ideology is Ideas as if People Don't Matter.

Posted by: AZZenny Author Profile Page at July 18, 2009 10:09 AM

Amillenialist: Each Iraqi who's fought with our military against foreign terrorists has done so for their own reason(s). I don't doubt some of those motives were good. None of them, however, involve Muhammad's legendary religious tolerance.

So what? Iraqis are not robots programmed with the Koran as their software. They are human beings. Most Muslims have never even read the Koran. During the Anbar Awakening, the mosques in Fallujah and Ramadi shifted from anti-American to pro-American. I don't care what the Koran says, I care what the mosques say. (But I do know what the Koran says.)

Any analysis that fails to account for [Mohammad's words] is flawed and will only hamper our efforts at self-defense.

Bullshit on stilts. David Petraeus cleaned up Iraq (at least temporarily) without including one word from Mohammad in his counterinsurgency manual. You may think you know plenty about the Islamic religion, but you don't know much about contemporary military history or strategy.

I hope that Iraq can become a nation truly free from Islam.

Lots of them would like us to convert to Islam. Neither is going to happen.

If your "analysis" were correct, we would be at war with Kuwait.

I'm more than a little tired of arguing with people like you.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at July 18, 2009 11:06 AM

BSHyk,
Moving past the diversion of the deranged and returning to the question of uncertainty, let me add a few thought in response to your question.

In a link above, a mathematical analysis is applied to our efforts to root out the Taliban butterfly. At best, it appears our attempts can reach a point of stability where the chaos the Taliban wish to spread is stalemated, but not eliminated. In another post, I provide the link Spencer linked at Jihad Watch originally posted by FAS discussing the use of microchips to provide drones with targeting. AQ is quite upset about this tactic and vows to kill all the spies and traitors who have used them to tag their asses. This technology provides even better response times to clip the winds of these nasty butterflies, but again, to a point. A counter productive affect would be the unintended consequence of too much collateral damage. In another link provided by Herschel Smith, he explains how the military is evolving strategies to contain the chaos and network-centric warfare could also be added to this evolution of tactics. All of this points to strategies dealing with the chaos of terrorism.

On another level we have the problem of organizational development of pro-Democracy and Reform groups in the face of chaos, such as the reform movement in Iran. This certainly is an organization on the edge. In such cases, current theory stresses such organization must adapt to chaos. Communications systems, internet etc. are powerful tools. Perhaps Nokia could atone for their sins and together the West could provide a way to counter the attempts by the regime to control communications. In fact, technology is an asset we see deployed in both counterterrorism and organizational development to either contain chaos or function in the face of it.

Last, as in the case of Kashmir, the failure to enforce UN mandates, efforts to stop terror flows of money and arms, we see certain root situations that feed the chaos. Some of these are venerable to collective efforts despite our failures to date. Soft power, media and people like Michael and many others can eventually have some affect motivating and informing public attention until it sufficiently demands action by leadership.

Of course this is simplistic, but I for a good reason. I think ordinary people, myself included can grasp the idea of how putting out the fire of chaos at the source and providing tools for those moderates battling the extreme when put it in these terms. It makes senses on an intuitive level, despite the difficulty most people have in understanding how a butterfly in China can cause a thunder storm over LA.

Posted by: maxtrue Author Profile Page at July 18, 2009 8:48 PM

Following the links cited above, it appears to me that Mr. Bostom and Mr. Spencer cite scholarly facts and specifics to support their positions, and Mr. Totten resorts to ad hominem attacks, ("the deranged Pamela Geller") innuendo, ("pal Robert Spencer",") in response. After the fact he removes the "gratuitous insult" aimed at Geller (and blatantly ignores Robert Spencer's query questioning why he ever felt the need to drag her into this dustup in the first place) but leaves in place the concluding paragraph referring to "idiot or demagogue" which is directed again at his intellectual better (Boston and Spencer) for good measure.

Mr. Totten: reading Spencer and Bostom does much to clarify events and trends in the Middle East and beyond. They also lay bare the reasons Muslims wage Jihad across the spectrum and across the globe, whether they reside in the swath of Arab Islam or as far afield as Lodi California, China, or the Philippines. They Hebe done yeoman's work to help Westerners to comprehend the inimical Muslim mindset. On the other hand, while your articles (which I have read for quite some time), help readers to a granular comprehension of SOME of the facts on the ground, I fear that you contribute very little to the larger understanding of Jihad and its implications for the world.

I also must say that your complete failure to respond directly to Mr Spencer's bill of particulars in the thread above is, in a word, a disgrace.

Posted by: jsla Author Profile Page at July 19, 2009 5:25 AM

jsla - I read Spencer's work, and your name rang a bell for some reason. I think you need to answer a few questions.

Here are few of your comments from Robert Spencer's "Jihad Watch"

Even some of the naivest Westerners are beginning to notice -- no matter how much they'd prefer to look away, with all the hatred spewing forth from Islam, with all the misbehavior of all those misunderstanders, one must begin to ask some questions which go against their preconceived dogma about how the world is. One question that must be asked: Why are Muslims so determined to exterminate us from the planet? ...

Posted by: jsla [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 21, 2008 1:42 PM

If you believe that all Muslims want to exterminate us from the planet, what do you think our response to all Muslims should be?

Most Muslims are [an easy guy to read] when they're talking among friends. It's only when they're addressing the rest of the world that it gets so befuddling. They're very frank about their intentions. They are very proud of their intentions. They BELIEVE in their intentions. The intend to carry out their intentions. Here in America they are found discussing and dreaming of our overthrow -- of our destruction -- of our capitulation -- of our annihilation -- The problem is -- it's so hard to imagine that throngs of insane hate filled verminous Muslims really pose any threat. I always disliked those Iranian mass demonstrations chanting "Death Death Death to America" but never really took it too seriously -- somewhere between building one falling and building two -- I had a change of heart...I believe them. I believe them. I believe them. What will it take for the rest of the world to believe what they freely proudly promise...? They mean every hate filled word.

Posted by: jsla [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 26, 2006 9:26 PM

Do you believe the Iranian demonstrators when they demand democracy and 'death to the turbans' now?

And among us are the conspirators who think the enemy of my enemy is my friend, the apologists for fascism and failure, the dreamers of false dreams, the self-loathing traitors to the West -- they are enemies. They, along with the true understanders of Islam -- the Bin Ladens and the Ahmadinijads and the King Abdullahs -- and all those who abet them and further Islam in and perpetuate the poisoning of humanity -- they are mortal enemies who must be dealt with in the harshest manner possible. They are murderers of civilizations. They are murderers of hope and progress and humanity. Their crimes surpass all previous crimes.

Posted by: jsla [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 26, 2006 10:04 PM

From your statement They, along with the true understanders of Islam -- the Bin Ladens and the Ahmadinijads and the King Abdullahs -- and all those who abet them and further Islam in and perpetuate the poisoning of humanity -- they are mortal enemies who must be dealt with in the harshest manner possible., it's clear that you also believe that those "who abet them and further Islam in the poisoning of humanity" are also mortal (?) enemies?

Who, exactly, do you define as an abettor and/or poisoner, and what do you plan to do about them?

Posted by: maryatexitzero Author Profile Page at July 19, 2009 6:03 AM

Sorry, Michel

Your argument is flawed:

"So what? Iraqis are not robots programmed with the Koran as their software. They are human beings. Most Muslims have never even read the Koran. During the Anbar Awakening, the mosques in Fallujah and Ramadi shifted from anti-American to pro-American. I don't care what the Koran says, I care what the mosques say. (But I do know what the Koran says.)"

"Iraqis are not robots...", true, but they are not free either. There is not much they can refute in the said "program". And a discussion between
a free and unfree person does not have to be robotic, but is never FREE. If they want to promote one minimalistic democracy step, they have to quote some verse or hadith or mention ALi etc.

People like Robert Spencer or Andrew Bostom are not free enough to move and speak around USA without caring heavily for their own safety. They are not free at all to visit universities and other places in ME. In the West this is clearly a beginning of an ethnic cleansing. The West is no more what it used to be. For free speech you pay suddenly a heavy price.

Every journalist like you has to choose "freely" between their fate and the fate of a person which recognizes all the implications of speaking freely and questioning islam publically and a person which does not enter this mine field. You are already part of this totalitarian game.

I lived in a totalitarian society and I have a nose for such conforming attitudes. All the top ME "specialists" like Fisk, Sholl-Latour, Lewis, Esposito etc. perfectly know that and play the dishonest game of pretending everything is more or less OK.

The pradox is we are still free to criticise various parties or groups in the West, but not so much in ME or from ME (in the West).

The paradox is that on various levels those less sympathic parties or groups you mentioned in Europe defend suddenly their constituitional rights or directly their constituitions, while mainstream parties keep quite.

Spencer or Bostom would love to be invited for a speech in German CDU, CSU, SPD, Greens for ex. Those cowards have no space for them. They leave however lot of space for various totalitarian islamic organizations in their very midst or media, academia etc.

Is this behaviour not "fascist"? What is the difference between an aggressive totalitarian type and a coward bowing to the same? The coward or a corrupt person is 100% part of the totalitarian equation.

By not addressing those issues the mainstream parties (to the loathing of their own populace, their own voters) leave a valuable democratic space to anyone ready to pick the opportunity.

Those are many different groups. Many different agendas may be hidden behind their words and attitudes, but on the whole they tackle something very real and quite evil.

This mess is created by MS parties, MSM and islamic groups/states. We should be adamant in blaming them first.

Posted by: Czechmade Author Profile Page at July 19, 2009 6:46 AM

Thank you for that, Maryatexitzero -- I had all but given up trying to explain how I can hold 'positions' that seem logically and morally consistent to me, but that somehow defy the ability of most of the people who enter these discussions to grasp, or tolerate. I'd started redefining myself as just being anti-ideology, where ideology is Ideas as if People Don't Matter.

Anti-ideology, where ideology is Ideas as if People Don't Matter sounds like a better definition than anti-fascist, because any mention of the loaded term 'fascism' usually leads to a lot of political/historical argument.

Anti-demagogue might also work -

Posted by: maryatexitzero Author Profile Page at July 19, 2009 7:47 AM

Every journalist like you has to choose "freely" between their fate and the fate of a person which recognizes all the implications of speaking freely and questioning islam publically and a person which does not enter this mine field. You are already part of this totalitarian game.

If a journalist and/or blogger believes that

1. Islam is simply a recruiting tool for terrorists. The terrorist war against most of humanity is motivated by the same standard goals that motivate most totalitarian/authoritarian movements - a need to gain power, money and territory. The Islamist championing of Muslims, like the promises of the "dictatorship of the proletariat" is just a smokescreen used to distract the easily distracted.

2. Terrorism, like piracy in the 16th century, is currently an essential tool of statecraft. Larger nations and some small ones fight their wars through the indirect manipulation of terrorist proxies. Most of these nations do this because they believe that this is 'safer' than risking the threat of open war between nuclear armed nations. This, more than anything written in the Koran, is responsible for legitimizing and empowering terrorist states and organizations.

If someone believes this, are they still required, by your definition of 'freedom' to use their freedom of speech to prattle endlessly about the Koran and the Muslims who (supposedly) mindlessly follow it?

If we don't condemn all of Islam and fully support everything that Robert Spencer and Andrew Bostom say, are we, under your definition of 'freedom' part of a totalitarian game?

Posted by: maryatexitzero Author Profile Page at July 19, 2009 8:53 AM

Wow, jsla is a real piece of work. Thanks, Mary, for exposing this person.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at July 19, 2009 10:01 AM

If I called for either the conversion or death of Muslims as a solution to the evils of Islam, I would worry about my safety when traveling in the Middle East. I had such a wonderful brunch this morning on 57th St in Manhattan at Istanbul Cafe. And no one poisoned my food. Fancy that.

And yet, blind to this obvious fact, people who advocate such solutions dare to call more rational thinkers flawed. It is quite funny were it not so damaging to real efforts towards any reformation of radical Islamic ideology.

Yes, Michael, it does get boring beating one's head against the wall.

Posted by: maxtrue Author Profile Page at July 19, 2009 10:07 AM

maryatexitzero,

the problem is, they do not say much. They point out to the sources. A job any ex-muslim educated in islam can do as well.

"all of Islam" is very minimalistic - just words and acts of a soi-disant prophet. A biography converted into a law, world order and behaviour model.

"prattle endlessly" is your freedom of speech as well as theirs. No need to pay in lack of personal safety. You clearly managed to support indirectly a totalitarian approach.

"follow mindlessly" - they can omit this or that for a while, but never refute it.

Strange that a classical Westerner (you) can support non-freedom like this. Losing freedom is much more easy that getting/restauring freedom.
Have you ever thought of the way out (of non-freedom)?

There are much deeper implications of losing freedom than those indicated by Spencer or Bostom.

"Anything written in Quran" is the daily bread of those living in the muslim society. There is hardly any speech or even a novel which does not take those elements as justification for being made. The scale can vary however and we are again free to discuss it.

Those we call extremists are anxious not to say anything not based strictly on "holy" quotes. That is why our good muslims have to be so quite about it. A strange game.

I can fully respect those parts of a muslim psyche untouched by all this. But not those parts suffused by the same.

The Western self delusion clearly consists in the simple fact that the modern Westerner expects much lower standards from muslims than from his own people. He feels good, tolerant etc.

In the light of these "tolerant Westerners" Spencer or Bostom appear suddenly like extremes.
Disturbing elements.

Certainly we can disagree with them on some minor points, but noone can (or is able to) replace their work done. It would lend a lot credibility to those working on the ground in ME - if they were able to harmonize their work meaningfully with Spencers or Bostoms correct assumptions and discoveries. I can see the hardships. But those are meaningful.

In thirties and fifties some Europeans were totally free to abandone their freedoms. It was their proud decision. Many others had to cope with it for years or decades with much less pride involved. So if you like to give up some of your freedoms, make sure we are not part of your project.

Posted by: Czechmade Author Profile Page at July 19, 2009 10:14 AM

Czechmade,

I appreciate that you grew up with totalitarianism and are more sensitive to it than most of us. But accusing me and Mary of totalitarian tendencies because we don't agree with Robert Spencer and Andrew Bostom is itself totalitarian-minded. And that's especially rich considering Spencer defends Vlaams Belang, a European party with a totalitarian pedigree.

I don't think Spencer or Bostom or anyone else should have to fear for their safety in order to write or say what they wish. That does not mean I am obligated to agree with what they write and say.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at July 19, 2009 10:28 AM

Question from maryatexitzero:If you believe that all Muslims want to exterminate us from the planet, what do you think our response to all Muslims should be?

A. For the record, I never have said that ALL Muslims "want to exterminate us from the planet", only those who follow the dictates of Islamic doctrine and take it seriously. They believer they have a responsibility to spread Islam until Islam rules over all. They ascribe to the belief that Islam is supreme to all other religions and political systems, and that even violence and terrorism is divinely sanctioned to bring about Islam's dominance of humanity. Do you deny this?

Question from maryatexitzero:Do you believe the Iranian demonstrators when they demand democracy and 'death to the turbans' now?

I really don't know what to think. I am certain that the Iranians have had their fill of the Mullocracy and yearn to see something change. The nature of that change is murky at best. They've adopted the classic Jihad battle cry "Allahuakbar" as their rallying point -- they've assumed the color green -- the color of Islamic purity, for their badge. We're assured by credulous Western reporters and Islamic "analysts" that the Jihad battle cry is really a form of "mockery" of the mullahs -- we're assured the green badge is a sign of democratic yearning -- perhaps they are -- perhaps they aren't. We simply can't know as outsiders. But this popular Western interpretation requires a somewhat convoluted interpretation of verious Islamic symbology, perhaps to comfort naive Westerners, or to perpetuate a narative which runs counter to reality but serves a dogmatic agenda.

A much simpler explanation would suggest that the Iranians yearn to throw off the yoke of oppression, and fantasize, not about Western "democracy" or secular human rights guarantees, but rather yearn to get back to some purer form of Islam. That still allows for the suggestion that they believe the Mullahs have somehow perverted Islam to their own ends, but also allows (what to me is a far more plausible explanation) that the Iranians will simply re-assert the Islamic Revolution and begin the clock ticking again on another 3 decade slide into barbarism. In any event, history sadly shows that these movements towards Islamic "purity" within Islam inevitably lead to the exact kind of oppression, terror, and violence, and mayhem that these benighted people are rebelling against.

Question from maryatexitzero:Who, exactly, do you define as an abettor and/or poisoner, and what do you plan to do about them?

A. Juan Cole is an abettor. Edward Said is a poisoner. Noam Chomsky is an abettor and a poisoner. John Esposito too. I plan to write and write and write. I plan to explain and explain and explain. I plan to warn and warn and warn. I am convinced that many, and perhaps most people in the West will continue to adhere to comforting distortions, projections, and delusions about the menace which Islam poses until facts and reality intrude their ugly heads. Many of them don't have the time or inclination to delve into the briar patch of Islam to learn what that doctrine has in store for the world. They have been ill-served by a myriad of apologists and obfuscators. The connivance of abettors who distort and whitewash Islam have all but guaranteed that much worse is in store for the West courtesy of the Muslims. Once a nuke or dirty bomb goes off in a Western city and the Muslim horde is seen again to cheer and name the perpetrator "top hero", I fervently hope the rest of us will wake up and take the threat seriously. Sadly, perhaps another attack will still not be enough -- after all -- 9/11 failed to wake most up to the gathering storm.

Posted by: jsla Author Profile Page at July 19, 2009 10:34 AM

jsla: verminous Muslims...Muslim horde

I'm tired of this crap already. You will dial it down or you will go somewhere else.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at July 19, 2009 10:40 AM

"Wow, jsla is a real piece of work. Thanks, Mary, for exposing this person." - Michael Totten.

Only last night I'd posted that in response to counterarguments "Mr. Totten resorts to ad hominem attacks [and] innuendo ... in response." Couldn't possibly have been better timed.

Posted by: jsla Author Profile Page at July 19, 2009 10:44 AM

jsla,

I don't expect you to last long around here, but at least I (so far) haven't thrown you out. And you did get a warning. Bostom is just quietly deleting comments over at his place.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at July 19, 2009 10:53 AM

Michael -- I'm serious when I say this: I don't know how else to think of or refer to the millions upon millions of Muslims who cheered Bin Laden's 9/11, handed out candy, ululated, and danced in the streets. How do you think of them? How do you refer to them.

It truly seems to me that you wish to blame the messengers. Elsewhere at this site you recently stated: "The Middle East is a hard place for idealists, especially for the Western liberal variety. My feelings of optimism for the region have been ground down over time like rocks under slow-moving glacial ice."

and then this:

"...Optimists, for the most part, parachute in for a brief time and leave. I hate it. It depresses me. But that’s how it is.

Some writers and analysts are slightly less gloomy, and I frequently ask them to cheer me up and hope their relative optimism isn’t fantasy. "

I don't claim to have figured out the Byzantine complexities of the ME (sad simile), but understanding the Islamic impulse of Jihad, and the systematic way that Islamic societies work to subvert those civilizations with which they are contiguous goes a long way to boiling the mess down to an understandable kernel. You seem determined to cling to your Western sensibilities and "liberal" notions at the expense of a realistic comprehension of the big picture which surrounds you.

Again -- this approach lends granularity to you reporting, but I feel it utterly fails to do much to capture the larger (and much more important) significance of the global trends. Meeting friendly locals and sitting down for tea doesn't in any way negate the larger Islamic impulses which suffuse the culture of degradation, oppression, backwardness, and barbarity which have become the sine qua non of Islamic "civilization". I suppose you'll find that characterization offensive as well. It's not my fault. I simply am an observer who sees the forest and not the trees.

Posted by: jsla Author Profile Page at July 19, 2009 11:14 AM

jsla: I don't know how else to think of
or refer to the millions upon millions of Muslims who cheered Bin Laden's 9/11, handed out candy, ululated, and danced in the streets.

How do the millions of Iraqis who vomited out Al Qaeda figure into your analysis?

Here's an excerpt of a piece I wrote from Ramadi, Iraq, a few years ago.

---

“[Al Qaeda] announced the Islamic State of Iraq in a parade downtown on October 15, 2006,” said Captain McGee. “This was their response to Sahawa al Anbar. They were threatened by the tribal movement so they accelerated their attacks against tribal leaders. They ramped up the murder and intimidation. It was basically a hostile fascist takeover of the city."

Sheikh Jassim’s experience was typical.

“Jassim was pissed off because American artillery fire was landing in his area,” Colonel Holmes said. “But he wasn’t pissed off at us. He was pissed off at Al Qaeda because he knew they always shot first and we were just shooting back.”

“He said he would prevent Al Qaeda from firing mortars from his area if we would help him,” Lieutenant Hightower said. “Al Qaeda said they would mess him up if he got in their way. He called their bluff and they seriously fucked him up. They launched a massive attack on his area. All hell broke loose. They set houses on fire. They dragged people through the streets behind pickup trucks. A kid from his area went into town and Al Qaeda kidnapped him, tortured him, and delivered his head to the outpost in a box. The dead kid was only sixteen years old. The Iraqis then sent out even nine year old kids to act as neighborhood watchmen. They painted their faces and everything.”

“Sheikh Jassim came to us after that,” Colonel Holmes told me, “and said I need your help.”

“One night,” Lieutenant Markham said, “after several young people were beheaded by Al Qaeda, the mosques in the city went crazy. The imams screamed jihad from the loudspeakers. We went to the roof of the outpost and braced for a major assault. Our interpreter joined us. Hold on, he said. They aren’t screaming jihad against us. They are screaming jihad against the insurgents."

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at July 19, 2009 11:26 AM

I read that article when you wrote it.

The fact that the US was clever enough to co-opt Sunnis away from al Qaeda in no way alters the underlying Islamic doctrine which animates al Qaeda. Are you so naive to think that those same Sunnis (who, before their co-option helped form the coterie of terror foot soldiers, and intelligence eyes and ears of Al Qaeda in Iraq) will never again resort to the terror tactics and Sharia oppression that served them so well in ruling Iraq?

The so-called "Sunni Awakening" was a notable victory in an important but mere battle in a much larger looming war. I suspect it was also a Pyrrhic Victory in the sense that it was extremely costly, and the core Islamic doctrines were never directly challenged. They never are in the "War on Terror". Only the tactics are challenged. Rest assured, huge sums of money were required. Nefarious deals were made. Such is the way a certain cynical type of war is waged. It worked for Byzantium ... for a time.

I'm sure you have met some perfectly charming Muslims. In 1939 I'm sure you also would have met some perfectly charming Nazis. More accurately, you have met (or would have met) people who don't necessarily subscribe to the entire menu of a supremacist world doctrine. The fact the unobservant Muslim or the unobservant Nazi exists has no bearing whatsoever on the core principles of their respective ideologies.

And until those Islamic doctrines which cause all of the backwardness, barbarity, oppression, and terrorism in the Islamic world are challenged -- backwardness, barbarity, oppression, and terrorism will continue.

Posted by: jsla Author Profile Page at July 19, 2009 12:29 PM

jsla: The fact the unobservant Muslim or the unobservant Nazi exists has no bearing whatsoever on the core principles of their respective ideologies.

Do you have any idea how unhinged this sounds? The Islamic world, in all its variety, is not a Nazi empire or anything like it. You fit in much better at Jihad Watch than you do here, and I suggest you take your comments there instead. I have work to do and am not going to waste my time trying to talk some sense or moderation into you.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at July 19, 2009 1:25 PM

Michael,

There is no specific merit in my spending some decades under a totalitarian rule. I might be wrong as well.

I have no problem fighting Vlams Belang as soon as I find them wrong. But reducing Spencer or Bostom to a Vlams Belang issue is not good.

For all of us it is rather difficult to discover what might be the wrongs done to the Vlams through Vallons or muslims.

The Belgian politics has been obviously neglecting the interests of a Belgian commoner for decades. I would not be too quick in discarding them as such.

It is always wise to leave the issue open and dig more into the details. If we find the correct code, we can repair the whole issue in US Spencer/Bostom circles, in Vlams circles or even some muslim circles to our full satisfaction.

But keep in mind that in propre islamic circles we are all subhumans for ever. There is no way to avoid this ugly picture - courtesy of evil "prophet" mohammad.

Posted by: Czechmade Author Profile Page at July 19, 2009 1:52 PM

Yeah right - I must must be "unhinged" because I reject your naive idealistic fantasy based outlook on Islam.

Keep asking those writers to cheer you up -- keep hoping their "optimism isn't a fantasy". We'll see how well that works out for you, okay?

Posted by: jsla Author Profile Page at July 19, 2009 2:16 PM

jsla: Yeah right - I must must be "unhinged" because I reject your naive idealistic fantasy based outlook on Islam.

I do not write about Islam. I write about the Middle East, which is vastly more complicated than Islam alone. In addition, Islam, and the 1.3 billion Muslims in the world, are more complex by far than what was set down 1300 years ago in Arabia.

If you think you've got it all figured out, that's terrific. You've read Jihad Watch and the Koran, so you don't need to read anything else. Bully for you.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at July 19, 2009 2:33 PM

"unhinged" refers to your "solution" and the denial of even a conservative observation of the world "as it is".

Is that clear enough?

Michael, this reminds me of Bruno's confusion over humus and Hamas.

Posted by: maxtrue Author Profile Page at July 19, 2009 3:31 PM

"I do not write about Islam. I write about the Middle East, which is vastly more complicated than Islam alone. In addition, Islam, and the 1.3 billion Muslims in the world, are more complex by far than what was set down 1300 years ago in Arabia."

Yes - it is more complex in as much as some of them made a humble effort to counter the nefarious effects of "islam". Then point it out. Do not feel shy.

For ex. you find Iranians believing the shia variety of islam was introduced originally to counter the nefarious effects of islam itself.

The Iranians on the whole preserved their sound mind for centuries in spite of forcefully imported "islam". We should be able to recognize that and support them.

The "soft power" of Iran is non-islamic in its origine and involves a large area including originally also Central Asia, majority of Iraq and even Turkey.

Anticipate much deeper changes in the region than anything defined by Iranian variety of islam.

ME is a similar non-sense on the whole as the modern Western concept of "Eastern Europe".

Some school boys - teenagers unable to look further in the past than Stalin/Hitler political map. Amazing and boring. The West today is a dangerous idiot.

Imagine that those school concepts are losing their validity right now. Keep sleeping or wake up.

Posted by: Czechmade Author Profile Page at July 19, 2009 5:26 PM

Okay. Obama's been in office seven months. He campaigned by blaming Bush. And, then? He arrives in the White House. He picks up The Bush Family doctrine of appeasing the Saud's. And, nobody even whispers "how strange is that?"

So, when Obama got sworn into office; and, yes, as an aside, I noticed John Roberts who is supposed to be a legal eagle, misrepresented the oath ... I wrote it off as a "case of nerves."

But what's this with Obama's direction? Is it possible, if you're going to lie to the American people you can get away with a whopper by just picking up Robert Gates, and the rest of the James Baker's "team book?" And, go all out?

Tell me, you're not surprised.

How come we're still on Dubya's page?

What's going to happen ahead?

Since I've been pleased to read Michael Totten. And, yes, he shined a light on Iraq I had not seen. I had not seen ANY light at the end of the tunnel.

But it is there.

That Maliki had problems with Bush? Sure. He had problems with the Saud's. Meanwhile, what has America learned? For instance, why do we now have a captured American soldier? No American general touches base with Israeli generals, to discuss what arabs can do? And, how to take steps to prevent kidnappings? That's just one question. I still have many.

But I also think we're coming to understand what Israelis, for the most part, understand. You can only get so far using English. And, using military resources. Other than that? The world's full of pirates. And, the Chinese and Russians, too. For some reason believe that if the USA is hurt, they're gaining "butterflies."

Where I always thought, when "chaos theory" kicked in, the butterflies were in my stomach. And, I was quite nauseous.

None of us have a crystal ball. At least we're free to talk.

Posted by: Carol_Herman Author Profile Page at July 19, 2009 6:50 PM

Maxtrue observes:

your analogy is ludicrous. Hitler wasn't governed by a religious doctrine but by HIS false interpretation of reality and history. He exploited national greivences following the defeat in WW1 and directed them towards Jews and his neighbors who he claimed either took German land or imposed unfair terms of surrender.

Muhammad was governed -- or rather, governed others -- by "HIS false interpretation of reality and history." He exploited Man's vilest impulses and directed them at Jews, Christians, the rest of the non-Muslim world, apostates, women, and little girls.

What do you know about the "religious" doctrines of Islam?

Are you going to plead, "But I have a Muslim dentist, and he's a real nice guy"? Or, as Hugh Hewitt told Brad Thor recently, "I did a special on so-and-so and interviewed typically-good-natured-erudite-and-charming-moderate-Muslim-what's-his-name? and he asked, 'When are you going to give us our due?'" implying that you can define Islam by its apostates.

By what was Hitler governed? What did he seek to accomplish? Who were his allies in that effort?

Hitler sought total domination, the eradication of the Jews, and it was Hitler's mufti, not Hitlers' Pope.

Here's your buddy Muhammad's desire for total domination:

"Say to the Unbelievers, if (now) they desist (from Unbelief), their past would be forgiven them; but if they persist, the punishment of those before them is already (a matter of warning for them). And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism: i.e. worshipping others besides Allah) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah Alone (in the whole of the world). But if they cease (worshipping others besides Allah), then certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what they do" (Qur'an 8:38; ayah 39 from Noble Qur'an).

Here's his desire to eradicate the Jews:

"Allah's Apostle said, 'The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say, "O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him"'" (Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 177).

". . . We were (sitting) in the mosque when the Messenger of Allah . . . came to us and said: (Let us) go to the Jews. We went out with him until we came to them. The Messenger of Allah . . . stood up and called out to them (saying): O ye assembly of Jews, accept Islam (and) you will be safe.

[. . .]

"he killed their men, and distributed their women, children and properties among the Muslims, except that some of them had joined the Messenger of Allah . . . who granted them security. They embraced Islam. The Messenger of Allah . . . turned out all the Jews of Medlina. Banu Qainuqa' (the tribe of 'Abdullah b. Salim) and the Jews of Banu Haritha and every other Jew who was in Medina.

[. . .]

"It has been narrated by 'Umar b. al-Khattib that he heard the Messenger of Allah . . . say: I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslim" (Muslim Book 19, Number 4363-4366)."

Maxtrue continues:

There is not one dictator directing more than a billion Muslims, nor do Islamic despots even have clear control of their populations as Hitler did. We see tonight not "death to Israel" but "death to Russia" and "death to China" on the streets of Tehran. Neda who many Muslims have made the poster girl of resistance was wearing a cross when she died.

Muhammad and his allah "direct [potentially] more than a billion Muslims."

What do they command? Nothing less than slavery and death for those who refuse the "invitation" to Islam:

"the Messenger of Allah . . . would say: 'Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war. . . . When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. . . . Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them. . . . If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them . . .'" (Muslim Book 19, Number 4294).

"fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war) . . . " (Qur’an 9:5).

"Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued" (Qur'an 9:29).

"Allah's Apostle said: 'I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Apostle . . . '" (Bukhari Volume 1, Book 2, Number 24).

And those people protesting in Iran do so with various goals in mind. Many of them protest against the Islamic rule that you (apparently unknowingly) defend here.

With regard to Neda Soltani, were you aware that media had removed the cross from photos of her?

Why is that, I wonder?

Max adds:

What Muslim nation poses such enormous risk to the Western world as Hitler did?

9/11.

7/7.

3/11.

Mumbai, repeatedly.

Constantinople, 1453.

Gates of Vienna, 1683.

The Battle of Tours, 732.

Iran with a nuke.

Jihadists gain control of Pakistan's nukes.

Threat? What threat?

Who's killed more American civilians, Hitler or Muhammad?

Muslims obeying Allah's commands and his prophet's example to wage war against "those who disbelieve" took more American civilian lives in one morning than Hitler could in four years.

And that Tuesday was only one morning's work.

Devout Muslims emulating Muhammad's example have carried out nearly 14,000 terrorist attacks since 9/11 alone.

Do you honestly think that the US, Russia and China are no match for Iran, HIzb'Allah or Hamas? Your comparisons while couched in selective history completely ignore the historical differences between Germany and a Greater Islam. Certainly Jews would prefer the Muslim Spain they experiance to the Catholic one they were thrown out of.

Such a conclusion shows your ignorance of dhimma and what Jews endured under your "Islamic Golden Age."

You've been propagandized, Max, and you don't even know it.

Here's what one of those lucky Jews had to say about legendary (literally) Islamic tolerance in glorious Al-Andalus:

“Remember, my coreligionists, that on account of the vast number of our sins, God has hurled us in the midst of this people, the Arabs [Muslims], who have persecuted us severely, and passed baneful and discriminatory legislation against us … Never did a nation molest, degrade, debase, and hate us as much as they….”

-Maimonides, victim of Islam in conquered Spain

Here begins the flood of Max's logical fallacies:

Are you trying to tell us that more than 1 million Muslim Israelis embrace your literal interpretation of the Koran?

And what about the Old Testament? Are you suggesting that Jews around the world accept a literal interpretation of the Old Testament? Are jews of a singular mind? Ultra Orthodox Jews are against Israel whereas some Jews are for a greater Israel.

A straw man and red herring: I've never mentioned what "1 million Muslim Israelis embrace" nor what "Jews around the world accept."

Argumentum ad hominem: It's not "my literal interpretation" of Islam's "sacred" texts that matter. It's how Muslims have interpreted them traditionally, which is, literally, the way Muhammad intended.

Where have I claimed that anyone is of a "singular mind"?

I focus on the Source and Sustenance of nearly one and one-half millennia of global jihad, which is the word of Allah and the example of Muhammad. When I mention individual Muslims from history or current events it is to illustrate Muslim obedience to those dictates and emulation of that example.

And you can't analyze Islam as you would analyze Judaism, for they are directed by diametrically-opposed moral standards.

Max continues with a stunningly ignorant -- and false -- moral equivalence:

Do you accept the literal interpretation of the New Testament? And if you do, why are you not as equal a threat to Jews as you say Muslims are?

Perhaps because Jesus commanded, "Love your neighbor as yourself" (every person is my "neighbor"), "Treat others the way you want to be treated," and, "Love your enemies."

On the other hand, Allah says:

"Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued" (Qur'an 9:29).

So, it's not me saying "Muslims are a threat to Jews" . . . it's Muhammad.

Here comes utter cluelessness, bad logic, and an outright lie:

How many Muslim nations help us in our struggle with radical Islam? How many Muslims serve in our military forces and don’t you insult them by characterizing them falsely?

Where have I "characterized falsely" Muslims in our military?

Paper is not people. Texts are not human beings.

You're lying. Retract it.

Which Muslim nations actually "help" us? Saudi Arabia, whose royals fund "radical" Islam here and abroad and supported the 9/11 attack? Pakistan, which takes our money gleefully while falling to shari'a? Iraq, whose prime minister celebrated our departure as a "victory"?

Some friends you've got there, Max.

Here's a false tu quoque:

And what slaughter was carried out in the name of Jesus or by communist regimes? Did they not kill, rape and murder far more human beings than all killed by Muslims?

Speaking of "peddling nonsense under the pretense of a lecturing historian"!

No Christian ever murdered, raped, or enslaved in obedience to Christ's commands, only in violation of them, proving themselves criminals.

Communism has slaughtered scores of millions, but only in the last century.

On the other hand, in obedience to Allah's command and in emulation of Muhammad's example, Islam has been enslaving, raping, and butchering non-Muslims, apostates, women, and little girls for nearly one and one-half millennia.

Here's another false moral equivalence from Max:

Again, shall I quote for you from the Bible?

Please do.

I guarantee you'll find no command from Christ (or Moses) to enslave, rape, or slaughter those who refuse the "invitation" to Christianity (or Judaism).

It is one thing to say that the literal interpretation of the Koran is used by radicals to promote jihadist thinking, but quite another in extending such thought to all of Islam thus proving to the critical "moderates" that Westerners are just as crazed as Islamic radicals.

Where have I tried to "extend such thought to all of Islam"? The texts say what they say. Muhammad did what he did. His followers conquered, enslaved, raped, brutalized, and butchered whomever they could. Do you know nothing of the spread of Islam?

Talk to the more than ninety-percent of official Islam which upholds offensive jihad against non-Muslims to make the world Islam.

More historical illiteracy from Max:

You prove to them an equivalency of ideology when the way we will eventual triumph against radicalism is not by killing a billion Muslims, but through reformation.

How are you going to "reform a billion Muslims"?

What are you waiting for? You'd better get started!

Quoting their own texts does not "prove an equivalency of ideology."

Neither did I say, "kill a billion Muslims." Do you lie habitually?

If you're referring to the European "Reformation," that was a return to obedience (more or less, depending on the confession) to the Biblical texts.

You are seeing a comparable Islamic "reformation" in those Muslims who seek to obey Allah's commands to convert, subjugate and humiliate, or slaughter the non-Muslim world.

And what do you do with the fact that in the Islam Mr. Obama demands we respect, no major school of Sunni jurisprudence (nor Shi'ite) rejects offensive warfare against the non-Muslim world?

Another ad hominem, this time in the form of guilt-by-association:

And your remarks on Hitler are astounding given the apparent alliance between many on your flank with neo-Nazis.

You have no apparent moral reservations about committing libel.

At least you imply (accidentally!) that I despise Hitler.

You're lying again. Retract it, if you have any integrity.

My comments about Hitler are "astounding" only to the ignorant and the malicious, for I hate tyranny from wherever it comes, whether from a twentieth-century psychotic anti-Semite, or a seventh-century one.

A silly non sequitur from Max:

Do you believe all who do not accept Jesus Christ are going to Hell? Do you believe that woman was created from the rib of Adam? Do you believe Homosexuals sin? Do you believe Jews killed Christ? Why cannot Muslims ask this of Christians? Why cannot Muslims ask if YOU see them as heathens regardless of Jihad?

I am happy to address everyone's theological questions, since I desire all people to trust in Christ for their salvation.

For the purposes of this discussion, I am concerned less about what Muslims wonder is going on in my head than what they believe their god and prophet require them to do with my head.

You do realize Muhammad commanded beheading non-Muslims for as little as "mischief," right?

And this is the worst part. Your mindset so angers centrist Westerners like myself, you divide the consensus needed to address the real threat which is the ability of radicals to exploit the Koran in an effort to extend THEIR hegemony. In this struggle we unquestionably need the many moderate Muslims on our side.

Yes, fairy tales are much more effective in winning wars.

Which "mindset," telling the truth? If that's so, then you've got bigger problems than the ramblings of a "lecturing nonsense peddler."

Your ignorance of Islamic doctrine and historical practice retards our efforts at self-defense, for you accept unquestioningly the existence of "many moderate Muslims on our side."

Let's suppose for the sake of argument that your numbers are correct ("many") and that they truly are "on our side." How do those "many" moderates convince their coreligionists-in-doubt that theirs is the "true" Islam when the "radicals" can point to what Muhammad actually said and did?

If the texts say, "demand the jizya . . . subdue . . . kill . . . until all religion is for Allah," then how are the radicals "exploiting" Qur'an? Aren't they just reading it?

Your thinking and declarations are counterproductive as you move from reasonable threat assessment of the spread of radicalism into extremism that denies the reality of hundreds of millions of Muslims seeking no Jihad, no death to infidels.

They're not my declarations, they're Allah and Muhammad's.

You are confusing what Muhammad said and did for what Muslims say and do.

Are you unable to make that simple distinction?

How does confusing the underlying ideology of jihad for those who do not adhere to it help us?

Here comes another tired ad hominem. It seems as though Max is reading from Islamic Apologetics for Dhimmis:

Perhaps you should get out more and see the world. Instead you point to unquestionable Islamic militancy and then spin it to impose your simplistic dialectic on history rather than see history for what it is. How do you explain that the world has more liberty today than it did a thousand years ago? Are you really claiming that human nature does not conspire to be free?

Anyone who can read will see that I've not "pointed to unquestionable Islamic militancy," but the words and works of Muhammad and his allah.

You're not calling Muhammad an "unquestionable Islamic militant," are you?

What are you, some kind of Islamophobe?

Or perhaps you're just unable to admit what your lyin' eyes are telling you when you read those texts.

As for human liberty? It is true that people want freedom for themselves.

Their neighbors? Not so much.

More often than not, they desire power over their fellows. Even in Ancient Greece, only some men were free.

The Liberty that the world enjoys today is the direct result of the teachings of Christ as embodied in the Declaration of Independence and of the courage and self-sacrifice of the American soldier, Marine, sailor, and airman.

Our Founding Fathers were nearly all orthodox Christians; even Thomas Jefferson -- often brought up as a contrary example -- confessed that he preferred Christ's teachings to all others.

He stated:

"The Christian religion, when divested of the rags in which they [the clergy] have enveloped it, and brought to the original purity and simplicity of it's benevolent institutor, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and the freest expansion of the human mind."
-Thomas Jefferson to Moses Robinson, 1801.

Posted by: Amillennialist Author Profile Page at July 26, 2009 4:51 AM

If you'd like to continue this discussion, you'll find me at my 'blog.

Regards,

Amillennialist

Posted by: Amillennialist Author Profile Page at July 26, 2009 3:49 PM
Post a comment









Remember personal info?




Winner, The 2008 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Read my blog on Kindle



blogads-blog-button.png


Recommended Reading




Warning: include(): http:// wrapper is disabled in the server configuration by allow_url_include=0 in /home/mjt001/public_html/archives/2009/07/arguing-for-unc.php on line 1764

Warning: include(http://michaeltotten.com/mt_essays.php): failed to open stream: no suitable wrapper could be found in /home/mjt001/public_html/archives/2009/07/arguing-for-unc.php on line 1764

Warning: include(): Failed opening 'http://michaeltotten.com/mt_essays.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php') in /home/mjt001/public_html/archives/2009/07/arguing-for-unc.php on line 1764