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← Two articles on al-Qeda and Terrorism

Luis_Cayetano's Avatar Jump to comment 27 by Luis_Cayetano

Sciros said: "Wow what a douchebag. That whole post of yours was like a huge douche just spraying my face"

Note that you didn't provide a single argument in your mindless diatribe. It's impossible to address much of anything you said because your post was completely vacuous.

Abdul al-Hazred said: "Yes, but a lot less disgusting than the alternative regime which would spring up in the absence of the Saudis."

A "lot less"? By what criteria? That it wouldn't be pro-American, perhaps? What about a disgusting regime like the one in Uzbekistan, which enjoys friendly relations with the United States but isn't any better than the Taliban? Did it become "more disgusting" when relations with Washington were strained a few years ago? Is it now more progressive because the United States has snuggled up to it again? In our Orwellian world, though, the Saudi royal family becomes a guardian of freedom and decency, simply by virtue of being close to the US. Any thug and torturer can become a member of the "Free World" simply by hopping on board the War on Terror bandwagon. The War on Terror, so-called, has done more to destroy democracy and civil society than al-Qaeda could ever hope to. That takes real talent.

"While you live in the world of ideal situations where everyone gets to eat candy and giggle, policy makers live in a world of realities where they have to weigh the situation of lesser evils."

Maybe our sympathy should start to gravitate towards them rather than, say, the Iraqis they slaughter. What in any other regime we would immediately recognise as malevolent and cynical power politics, gives way in our case to a deep appreciation for the context and the hard choices to be made by men in power. You conveniently left out the part as to how "lesser evil" is judged, as though it were axiomatic that "lesser evil" translates into whatever Western leaders judge it to be.

"By that you must mean the only country in the Middle East where women (or any Arab) can vote."

I'm sorry, I didn't know that horror towards a state's actions was contingent upon it not being a democracy. To anyone who hasn't completely lost his senses, this innovation must seem utterly ludicrous.

That, as well as everything else you said, doesn't negate the apartheid nature of Israel's occupation of Palestine. Furthermore, given that Israel's atrocities are underwritten by the West, WE have a responsibility to withdraw our support for them (or don't we?), rather than droning on about how democratic and wonderful the country is (and thereby acting as cheerleaders for state violence).

"You are one of those sick people who would rather the Levant be run by the backwards faith known as Islam (Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad), as opposed to a secular society of Jews run democratically."

No, I wouldn't "rather" anything, other than extending to Palestinians the same human rights that Jews have. Of course, demanding that Palestinians also be allowed to have dignity and security is interpreted by someone whose thinking pivots on totalitarian reflexes to mean that I root for Islamism (by those lights, people who lost their families during the Holocaust and today warn and rally against the morally corrosive effects of the occupation must also be rooting for Islamism. Go figure). Israel can have security, by stopping its American-backed rejectionism and thievery. It's simple: when you steal other people's resources, block their food and medicine, snipe at their farmers, bulldoze their homes, impose collective punishment, break children's limbs, kidnap and torture people, reduce their territory to Bantustans criss-crossed with road-blocks and fences so that other people can move in, expect an ugly response.

"Not bombing "Pakistan" but fundamentalist terrorists who have down nothing but serve the interests of Islamists in destabilizing Afghanistan."

Sorry, I got it right the first time. Pakistan. The targets are indeed fundamentalist terrorists (defined as such because they are against the American occupation of their country, whether or not they are engaged in killing civilians), but the heavy "collateral damage" is doing a great deal to push people into the arms of these terrorists. Even the Pakistani army has begged the Obama administration to stop these attacks because it is turning the population against them. Heck, General McChrystal has at least tacitly conceded that drone attacks are doing more harm than good to the US effort, and has publicly placed greater emphasis on ground operations. We should also understand what you mean by "destabilise", given that the term is used in an operative, rather than literal, sense. "Destabilise" simply translates into "frustrating American designs".

"These people who promote throwing acid in the face of girls who dare to acquire education and bomb schools that educate women."

A weasel sentence par excellence. Throwing acid into women's faces was the invention of a Washington favourite during the anti-Soviet war. Secondly, the Taliban has no monopoly on anti-woman thuggery.

"Now who exactly mentioned a NUCLEAR attack?"

Obama, when he said that "all options are on the table". All options means war. And his recent nuclear posture review excluded Iran and North Korea, a clear signal to the regime in Tehran. Furthermore, Iran has nuclear weapons pointed at it. If these conditions were replicated towards the United States, you would have absolutely no trouble citing a nuclear threat. Indeed, you cite a nuclear threat to Israel emanating from a state that is not even known to have them, and has publicly condemned nuclear weapons as "against God".

"And this is the same Iran that threatened Israel with annihilation"

A fabrication, as I've mentioned earlier. Iran threatened no such thing.

"So, WE are deluded, not those Islamic theocrats calling for the end of the world and the eternal dominance of Islam,"

No, you both are. The existence of delusions on one "side" doesn't preclude the other side having delusions.

"while pursuing the most dangerous weapons known to man."

Another fabrication with not a shred of evidence to back it up. But let's suppose it's correct. What realisation would that lead us to? Total and utter hypocrisy emanating from Washington. The US is the only country ever to have used nuclear weapons against civilians; it tolerates Israel's ACTUAL rather than hypothetical arsenal (while also proclaiming that "no one is above the rules"); that it is Israel, rather than Iran, which is itching for a fight (this led Norman Finkelstein to state, with some justification, that Israel has become a lunatic state); and most ironically of all, Iran is a country with some experience in weapons of mass destruction: namely, being at the receiving end of them when Saddam Hussein was being provided with the know-how and equipment to manufacture and deploy chemical and biological weapons during the Iran-Iraq war (he became the avatar of Satan after he invaded Kuwait and behaved in a manner that suited the West just fine when that violence was being directed at communists and Iranians, but which were intolerable during the occupation of this oil-rich oligarchy). No doubt, this is another case of choosing "the lesser of two evils". The problem is that, for you, it will always be necessarily the case - because your religion of state worship demands it - that whoever the West supports, and whatever they do, will always reflect the lesser of two evils. I wish I could live in a world where my moral culpability (or rather, lack of it) was so clear cut. I guess that's one of the perks of sucking up to a powerful state: you abdicate the responsibility to think (oddly, the very dynamic that we lament when considering the religious mind).

"We are dealt a hand with a few options, the obvious ones are... support and unsavory regime or suffer Islamism."

A false dichotomy. Firstly, it isn't for the West to decide how other people should live. Secondly, supporting these vile regimes actually INCREASES the threat of Islamism, in case you haven't noticed. Obama has stated he will close the concentration camp in Guantanamo Bay because it is a recruiting tool for terrorists. Does he imagine, then, that the American footprint in the Middle Wast and Central Asia isn't also a recruiting tool (in fact, the preeminent recruiting tool)?

"Yeah I guess you are right, Islamic fundamentalism started with US intervention... not Muhammad and the Qur'an, not Ibn Taymiyya, not Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Wahhab, not Shah Waliullah Dihlavi, not Usman Dan Fodio"

Interesting how nowhere did I even imply that to be the case. I've been talking about the continuation of Islamic fundamentalism and the forces that give it succour, which you seem intent on trivialising as though the words of a fundamentalist theologian are more salient than the devastation suffered by populations in giving those words meaning and sustenance.

"Blaming the US for Islamic fundamentalism is like blaming David Beckham for the US Civil War.... it takes a total ignorance of history... a willing ignorance."

This is akin to the question "do you still beat your wife?" The US is to blame for perpetuating Islamic fundamentalism, not "for it", which isn't the same thing. What's more, David Beckham doesn't have torture centres and depleted uranium scattered throughout the United States. Your analogy is a pathetic joke not worthy of further comment, though it does provide interesting insights into the commissar mentality.

"Israel is leading the world in all kinds of development, scientific and otherwise."

Irrelevant. Its CRIMES are at issue here. I recall your comments about "communists running amuck". How about instead focusing on how the Soviet Union lead the world in aspects of space travel? Sound reasonable? Yeah, I thought not.

"More books are translated into Hebrew every year (7 million Israelis) than are translated into Arabic in 10 years (400 million Arabs)."

Your shilling for Israel is degenerating into an open dad-wank, and an exceedingly embarrassing one at that.

"Israel continues to develop high tech solutions relevant around the world, and Islamic states continue to develop new ways to disfigure women who dare to acquire education."

Actually, Iran is quite advanced in biotechnology and medicine. Your slur is nothing but a desperate attempt to obfuscate on behalf of your favoured state. I doubt that even most Zionist mandarins stoop to this level of slavish fawning.

"Luis has never been to Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza."

By the sounds of it, neither have you.

"And probably never did any significant study of the region or the people and ideologies involved."

For all that, it's you, not me, who has to deflect every point by a) engaging in verbal gymnastics to justify Western and Israeli state terrorism and criminality, and b) going off on tangents about how wonderful Israel is. One would think that someone who implores others to "study the region or the people and ideologies involved" might be able to avoid doing that, but apparently not.

"His immature and ill informed view of the region"

You're yet to provide a single example, though I won't hold my breath, since to you a mature and well informed view apparently means believing fabrications about Iranian nuclear weapons and ignoring the actual history of the region as it pertains to American involvement.

"where civilized people are in fact the problem and the savages are in fact the just cause"

Maybe I'm an idealist, but I tend to think that civilised people don't back torturers, they don't spray populated areas with white phosphorous, and they don't lay siege to cities with depleted uranium munitions that lead to a huge spike in deformed babies. They don't invade other peoples' countries, fund brutal occupations, train and arm death squads, or kidnap people and hold them in gulags. Furthermore, civilised people don't downplay their own responsibilities by erecting an edifice of pieties to shield themselves from culpability.

Perhaps you're thinking of someone else, though? I'd love to hear about them.

Sat, 01 May 2010 11:04:00 UTC | #464513