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← Two articles on al-Qeda and Terrorism

Two articles on al-Qeda and Terrorism - Comments

chawinwords's Avatar Comment 1 by chawinwords

The most important sentence is in the opening: "In order to counter the process of radicalization, it is necessary to understand the attraction of the narrative or the “messages” of al-Qaeda and its inspired followers."

Consider the use of the word "narrative" and the phrase "inspired followers;" then apply those same two words and the reality the words represent to all forms of narrative (story telling) and inspired followers -- all examples.

The use of the word "inspired" as an adjective leads to the following definition:"Being of such surpassing excellence as to suggest inspiration by the gods."

Do you really think the sentence only applies to the members of al-Qaeda? Whereas, the greater portion of humankind are followers of narratives, and are inspired. Which, I think, is the opposite of critical thinking.

Mon, 26 Apr 2010 13:09:00 UTC | #463028

Fuzzy Duck's Avatar Comment 2 by Fuzzy Duck

You hit the nail on the head (for lack of a better cliche), chawinwords. It's not only appealing to feel you're part of a greater narrative and on the side of the good guys, it's also so much easier than thinking for yourself.


Kevin

Mon, 26 Apr 2010 13:19:00 UTC | #463029

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 3 by Cook@Tahiti

Adam Curtis' 'Power of Nightmares' documentary series also addressed the origins of modern radical Islam.

Mon, 26 Apr 2010 13:20:00 UTC | #463030

bethe123's Avatar Comment 4 by bethe123

Bravo, Maajid Nawaz.

Unfortunately, Lesley Stahl did not seem able to give one reason to love America when the question was put to her.
American's sometimes take for granted what they were given by birthright --US citizenship. Make no mistake, Ayaan Hirsi Ali could have answered that question immediately and with great force.

Mon, 26 Apr 2010 15:18:00 UTC | #463060

LittleFluffyClouds's Avatar Comment 5 by LittleFluffyClouds

There are big, big, problems with the 9/11 narrative. I don't know what did happen but I know the standard narrative is a lie. The relationship between the Bin Laden family and the CIA is much too close. 'Some elements knew and allowed it to happen' seems closest to the truth for me at this point.

I don't know if America has a particular interest in destroying Islam, but they may have a general interest in crushing anything that interferes with their economic self-interest and neocolonial ambitions, of which the evidence is vast and convincing. Islam may be the nail that sticks up.
And it isn't compatible with 'freedom' or 'The American Way' either, incidentally, although that doesn't stop us from being butt-buddies with Saudi Arabia, a disgusting regime.

It's America's friendship with vile dictators and its failure to act to stop genocide that really gives lie to its bullshit about freedom and other things in la-la land. American values are for America, and realpolitik is its attitude toward the rest of the world. There is a profound cynicism about international collaberation in the US state department.

Mon, 26 Apr 2010 15:41:00 UTC | #463063

chawinwords's Avatar Comment 6 by chawinwords

LittleFluffyClouds, it is quite true that the Muslim faith intends for the whole earth to be converted to Islam. Many, many mullahs and ayatollahs have so stated the intent.

But on the Christian side, there are the organized Dominionists and Reconstructionists who have the same desire and intent (well documented), to convert the whole planet to Christian Dominionism and to be ruled by Old Testament laws.

I don't know who the winner of that battle will be, but I do know that if either groups win, who the losers will be! One side cuts off the heads of non-believers, and the other side prefers a pile of stones.

Mon, 26 Apr 2010 16:08:00 UTC | #463077

Monkey Man's Avatar Comment 7 by Monkey Man

It is clear that properly debunking 9/11 conspiracy theories and other comparable mental mistakes is a service to humanity and no one should back down from it.

This guy one of many former extremists that "woke up" while in jail. The mastermind behind the "Toronto 18", Zakaria Amara, had a similar awakening apparently. They intend to devote their lives to this cause, which hopefully will be what overgrows this insane movement.

It peeves me that many of our ideological brethren could be serving society in higher and higher ways so it seems an incredible investment to counter extremism and fallacy everywhere. We can all be conduits to this change, as we grow and learn from the process of reason and science.

Mon, 26 Apr 2010 16:20:00 UTC | #463083

Dr. Strangegod's Avatar Comment 8 by Dr. Strangegod

Good. We're beginning to pick apart this particular memeplex.

chawinwords and Fuzzy Duck - It seems to me that we all follow narratives of a sort, don't we? I'm all for individualism and thinking for oneself, but I think it would be a hubristic mistake for anyone to claim that they live a narrative-free life. Even if our personal story is one of refusing the dominant paradigm or the major narratives offered by our available milieu, that still makes us part of those narratives, or at least of some larger one, whether we are aware of it or not.

Mon, 26 Apr 2010 19:19:00 UTC | #463154

gruebait's Avatar Comment 9 by gruebait

I sometimes find all that analysis a bit pointless. While it's good to "know thine enemy", I can imagine how much regard a Christian fundy from Texas has for the fact that the Archbishop of Canterbury thinks biblical literalism is silly.

It's the fundy cultist I must be concerned about, not what the mainstream religionist has to say.

Mon, 26 Apr 2010 20:17:00 UTC | #463175

DamnDirtyApe's Avatar Comment 10 by DamnDirtyApe

That video filled me with hope.

That guy is awesome.

Mon, 26 Apr 2010 21:03:00 UTC | #463191

chawinwords's Avatar Comment 11 by chawinwords

Lucas, of course you are right to this extent: "whether we are aware of it or not."

Personally, it is something I guard against constantly. It is hard not be be a "joiner," but when doing so, little bells of warning should go off. Mostly, it is a product of laziness, not taking the time to check real world facts.

As I said, it's not easy. Over 40 years ago I dumped my total world view, seeking only that which is real on planet earth. But occasionally, the boat leaks some of the ocean of borrowed or propagandized opinion within. The one part I have accomplished, when faced with some charismatic speaker, huge bells start clanging right off the bat. You gotta watch out for the many spells used in the cauldron of language witchcraft by master sorcerers.

Mon, 26 Apr 2010 21:28:00 UTC | #463200

FrankStrandli's Avatar Comment 12 by FrankStrandli

Lesley Stahl's lack of awareness of pretty much every issue raised in this piece sums up the problem with the American media. There were was nothing in there particularly groundbreaking. Was her astonishment at the suggestions that malevolent forces within the American hierachy might have had a lot more to do with the 11th September attacks actually genuine, or was she just pretending for the cameras? There is so much still unknown about the attacks, so many unanswered questions and little hard evidence has ever been put forward about who was actually responsible. Surely the Pakistani students scepticism is justified. It is also understandable that they would believe the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq were attacks on Islam, given that they were perpetrated by a deranged Christian fundamentalist (understandable, but wrong.)

Tue, 27 Apr 2010 00:50:00 UTC | #463248

Fire1974's Avatar Comment 13 by Fire1974

I would say that RDF should support this guy in his efforts to combat "The Narative" and Islamic Violence, but it would have to be done covertly if at all lest his Islamic audience catch wind that he has support from atheists.

Tue, 27 Apr 2010 01:30:00 UTC | #463253

Prieten's Avatar Comment 14 by Prieten

LiitleFluffyClouds,

Thank you for that inspired narrative.

Tue, 27 Apr 2010 02:29:00 UTC | #463257

Carl Sai Baba's Avatar Comment 15 by Carl Sai Baba

We have plenty of people right here in the US and UK who believe the same dumb crap as those kids in the video.

Tue, 27 Apr 2010 05:34:00 UTC | #463270

FrankStrandli's Avatar Comment 16 by FrankStrandli

Gruebait, the "mainstream religionists" are the manure that fertilise the "fundy cults."

Once they make a decision on the way they live their life based on the word of God, Allah, Zeus or the Cookie Monster, they lose the right to criticise anybody who has made the same leap of faith but in a different direction.

Tue, 27 Apr 2010 05:39:00 UTC | #463271

RDfan's Avatar Comment 17 by RDfan

Comment #483975 by chawinwords

...when faced with some charismatic speaker, huge bells start clanging right off the bat. You gotta watch out for the many spells used in the cauldron of language witchcraft by master sorcerers.


I couldn't have said it better myself!

Tue, 27 Apr 2010 08:36:00 UTC | #463289

inquisador's Avatar Comment 18 by inquisador

For those who are interested in further insights into the memes and mindsets that typically motivate Islamic radicals and terrorists, the 'Al-Qaeda Reader', a kind of handbook for Muslim murderers,
translated and published by Raymond Ibrahim, is worth the price. See here:-
http://www.raymondibrahim.com/home

Tue, 27 Apr 2010 12:00:00 UTC | #463312

Dr. Strangegod's Avatar Comment 19 by Dr. Strangegod

I couldn't have said it better myself!
Yeah, well said. And we agree.

Tue, 27 Apr 2010 15:43:00 UTC | #463387

MAJORPAIN's Avatar Comment 20 by MAJORPAIN

Comment #12 - I too noticed Leslie's seeming surprise at the students' opinion of America. We have it so good in this country, especially wealthy people like Ms. Stahl, it is sometimes really easy to think the rest of the world would (should) want to live like us. It is a rough day when you go to a meeting thinking you're the good guy and you leave realizing you're the baddest motherfucker at the table.

I, too, have my doubts about 9/11. I don't think the WHOLE thing is a giant government conspiracy but there are some problems with the "narrative" that we were sold on that day and the days following. It goes against everything I believe and stand for to think that my government let 3000 of its innocent citizens die that day so we'd have justification for a war in Iraq, but what if it did? I can't answer that and because the consequences if the answer is yes are too terrible to contemplate.

A world without religion would only be a start to the end of the BS. We'd also have to get rid of national pride and ethnic pride, etc. to even begin to have a peaceful world.

Tue, 27 Apr 2010 22:32:00 UTC | #463490

mrjohnno's Avatar Comment 21 by mrjohnno

Faith reason. Some do x due to faith while others do x becasue of reason.

Wed, 28 Apr 2010 12:21:00 UTC | #463567

Luis_Cayetano's Avatar Comment 22 by Luis_Cayetano

It seems to me that the best way to fight the Narrative is to starve it of oxygen, rather than pumping it with steroids by killing and torturing Muslims, invading predominantly Muslim lands for their natural resources, supporting the apartheid state of Israel, threatening Iran with nuclear attack, ringing the Middle East with military bases, black sites and listening posts, bombing Pakistan using robot assassins, and continuing our support for corrupt, brutal, kleptocratic regimes. Was there ever a more effective recruitment tool for terrorism than pretty much everything the West has done in the Middle East and Central Asia?

Yes, yes, I KNOW someone's going to ask me "You really think that these fanatics are going to stop if we leave them alone?" That's a weasel question, because it's not the issue. Firstly, because our victims count every bit as much as al-Qaeda's victims. Secondly, because what allows al-Qaeda to RECRUIT young Muslims and to convince them that there IS a war against Islam is precisely the history and continuation of massive injustices that we carry out (crimes that, while we might find them easy to forget and downplay while we spout pieties about how great we are, are not so easy for the victims to overlook).

"If you are not supporting al-Qaeda, then you are supporting the oppressors"

Now there's a narrative to call our own. In fact, it was enunciated by GW Bush after the 9/11 attacks. It's uncanny how terrorists and "counter-terrorists" so often come to mirror one another.

Fri, 30 Apr 2010 16:02:00 UTC | #464348

Luis_Cayetano's Avatar Comment 23 by Luis_Cayetano

"Good. We're beginning to pick apart this particular memeplex."

And then hopefully one day we'll get around to picking apart and dismantling the environment which allows this memeplex to thrive. Since we already KNOW how we can starve it of its oxygen, wasting more time on "picking it apart" is something we might consider taking up in an academic seminar. I'm all for academic seminars, just as long as I keep in mind that focusing on the niceties of al-Qaeda's ideology outside of focusing on ourselves and how we have contributed to terrorism has no moral significance whatsoever.

Fri, 30 Apr 2010 16:22:00 UTC | #464354

Sciros's Avatar Comment 24 by Sciros

t's uncanny how terrorists and "counter-terrorists" so often come to mirror one another.
Wow what a douchebag. That whole post of yours was like a huge douche just spraying my face >_<

Your naivete, ignorance, and inability to distinguish between a progressive nation such as Israel (who is an ally not just in terms of military, but science, education, liberalism, etc.) and a desert shithole where virtually everyone would smile if they saw your "Western" corpse, aren't stunning since there's plenty of moron douchebags to go around but it sure is frustrating. Oh well :-/

Don't expect any back-and-forth from me, though. I just wanted to post that and move on to more worthwhile things.

Fri, 30 Apr 2010 16:40:00 UTC | #464357

Abdul al-Hazred's Avatar Comment 25 by Abdul al-Hazred

LittleFluffyClouds,

There are big, big, problems with the 9/11 narrative. I don't know what did happen but I know the standard narrative is a lie. The relationship between the Bin Laden family and the CIA is much too close. 'Some elements knew and allowed it to happen' seems closest to the truth for me at this point.



No doubt a ZOG conspiracy, eh? I have spent time around the Bin Laden's actually, in KSA. Most of them are quite reasonable people, many quite educated. Osama is no doubt an anomaly. And I would like to know where you get a CIA-Bin Laden Family link... conspiracy quack websites?


I don't know if America has a particular interest in destroying Islam, but they may have a general interest in crushing anything that interferes with their economic self-interest and neocolonial ambitions, of which the evidence is vast and convincing.


An emotionally satisfying comment, no doubt.

And it isn't compatible with 'freedom' or 'The American Way' either, incidentally, although that doesn't stop us from being butt-buddies with Saudi Arabia, a disgusting regime.


Yes, but a lot less disgusting than the alternative regime which would spring up in the absence of the Saudis. 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.



Right Wing Atheist,


We have plenty of people right here in the US and UK who believe the same dumb crap as those kids in the video.


Of course. And spew it forth on the internet to be found at every turn if you so wish.



Luis Cayteno,


supporting the apartheid state of Israel


By that you must mean the only country in the Middle East where women (or any Arab) can vote. The only country to give citizenship to Palestinians. 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. That is where we fucked up... Good thinking.


threatening Iran with nuclear attack


Now who exactly mentioned a NUCLEAR attack? And this is the same Iran that threatened Israel with annihilation while denying the Holocaust and declaring that Jews ran the entire world. So, WE are deluded, not those Islamic theocrats calling for the end of the world and the eternal dominance of Islam, while pursuing the most dangerous weapons known to man.


bombing Pakistan using robot assassins


Not bombing "Pakistan" but fundamentalist terrorists who have down nothing but serve the interests of Islamists in destabilizing Afghanistan. These people who promote throwing acid in the face of girls who dare to acquire education and bomb schools that educate women.


and continuing our support for corrupt, brutal, kleptocratic regimes


Unfortunate. But that sure beats the fundamentalism that is the other option. We don't live in the perfect world, we live in a world of the realities we are dealt. We are dealt a hand with a few options, the obvious ones are... support and unsavory regime or suffer Islamism.


es, yes, I KNOW someone's going to ask me "You really think that these fanatics are going to stop if we leave them alone?" That's a weasel question, because it's not the issue. Firstly, because our victims count every bit as much as al-Qaeda's victims. Secondly, because what allows al-Qaeda to RECRUIT young Muslims and to convince them that there IS a war against Islam is precisely the history and continuation of massive injustices that we carry out (crimes that, while we might find them easy to forget and downplay while we spout pieties about how great we are, are not so easy for the victims to overlook).



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.... Your pathetic ignorance of Islamic history is sad. I said it before I will say it again. 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.


Sciros,


Israel (who is an ally not just in terms of military, but science, education, liberalism, etc.) and a desert shithole where virtually everyone would smile if they saw your "Western" corpse, aren't stunning since there's plenty of moron douchebags to go around but it sure is frustrating. Oh well :-/



Israel is leading the world in all kinds of development, scientific and otherwise. More books are translated into Hebrew every year (7 million Israelis) than are translated into Arabic in 10 years (400 million Arabs). 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.

Luis has never been to Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza. And probably never did any significant study of the region or the people and ideologies involved. His immature and ill informed view of the region is typical of people who enjoy the emotional high of describing the situation as fundamentally inverted, where civilized people are in fact the problem and the savages are in fact the just cause.

Sat, 01 May 2010 03:08:00 UTC | #464459

Styrer-'s Avatar Comment 26 by Styrer-

I'm not sure who this Abdul-Al-Hardon guy is, but I very much welcome his clear thinking on this topic amid a sea of otherwise stinkingly putrid ignorance (Sciros magnificently excepted) on the topic heading this thread.

Though I suspect that he is a ladyboy in disguise, with a taste for donkey genitalia, I look forward to his future comments. Sorely needed here.

Sean Tyrer

Sat, 01 May 2010 04:37:00 UTC | #464464

Luis_Cayetano's Avatar 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

Abdul al-Hazred's Avatar Comment 28 by Abdul al-Hazred

Luis,


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?


By looking at its opposition, and who wishes to topple it. Have you ever been to Saudi Arabia? Ever done much reading on the topic? I don't support the US's support of Uzbekistan, I merely said there are situations where lesser evils have to be tolerated, and I said KSA was one such place.



Maybe our sympathy should start to gravitate towards them rather than, say, the Iraqis they slaughter.



You only mouth support for Iraqis because the raison d'etre for your whining happens to be the United States. Where were your whimpers when George Galloway (another of the leftist whingers) was complimenting Saddam and profiting from the Oil for Food scandal? It is sickening to watch people suddenly start to give a shit about human suffering only when it serves their intellectual games.


it were axiomatic that "lesser evil" translates into whatever Western leaders judge it to be.


You just made that up, I never said that. I gave ONE example, and you extrapolate that nonsense. Get a grip.


I'm sorry, I didn't know that horror towards a state's actions was contingent upon it not being a democracy.


Democracies tend to be a lot LESS horrible.


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).



Oh here we go... Your sympathy for the Palestinians. Of course you and your ilk love the Palestinians, but not really. As King Hussein of Jordan killed 20,000.... silence. When the Jordanians and Egyptians denied their self determination... silence. When Egypt fires on their refugees... silence. When Israel endures 8000 rocket attacks and goes on to kill 1400 Palestinians (over 800 of them militants) then you squeak. You don't love the Palestinians, you don't really care, this is all part of the mental masturbation that comes with anti-Zionism.

Did you stand up and protest when Sri Lanka murdered 20,000 Tamils? Do you REALLY care about human suffering, or only when it stirs your intellectual curiosity?

Apartheid? Not really. But if you would take the time to visit the settlements you would see the command the high ground. If Israel leaves these would be platforms to target Tel Aviv and the entirety of the coastal area of Israel with rockets. So why would Israel ceded this territory to a group that would once again attempt to carry out the genocide of the Israelis as it has done over and over again?


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.



This bit of blood libel is bellow contempt.

It is odd (and completely ignorant) that you think Islamist violence against Jews is a "response". May I suggest Ibn Warraq's "A History of Islamic Anti-Semitism". As for security, I suggest you spend some serious time in the Middle East, and see what security is all about.


"Destabilise" simply translates into "frustrating American designs".



Not quite. The Pakistani government (and this should color your view about the situations) has long been interested in seeing Afghanistan be a religious state... because they do not want it to be a Pashtun state which would spread Pashtun nationalism to Pakistan and in turn destabilize Pakistan. Unfortunately it seems the lesser of two evils has back fired for the Pakistanis. The ISI has long supported the Taliban, and now the chickens are coming home to roost and the Pakistanis think it is drone strikes that are the cause. I believe it should be left up to military commanders on the ground. If they are against the strikes then so be it.


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.


Islam has mastered anti-woman thuggery. And yes the US supported the Taliban in its effort to evict the Russians. So what? They are Islamist assholes and now we have to deal with them, what should we do? You simply complain and complain, never do I hear a solution just vague malodorous whiffs of ill advised conjecture.


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


No it isn't. I cited numerous comments from Im-a-dinner-jacket that said just that. Not only that Iran supports two organizations (Hezbollah and Hamas) that declare as their reason for existence the destruction of Israel. What message should we take from that? Your lies and deceit on behalf of the Iranian regime are shocking. And not only that, Iran supports Hezbollah the leader of which (Hassan NasrAllah) said that he hopes "every Jew gathers in Israel so it would be easier to eliminate them from earth". So I suggest you stop smoking whatever it is that you are smoking and get a reality check.


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


That is true, one does not preclude the other. But the eschatalogical rantings of Shi'a fundamentalists should certainly at least alarm you? Pursuing weapons of mass destruction combined with public (in front of the UN General Assembly) supplications for the end of time and the victory of Islam makes the hair on my neck stand up.


because your religion of state worship demands it


I don't worship the state. I see it as the best available means to ensure the maximum amount of rights and security at this point. If you have a better solution I would love to hear it.


A false dichotomy. Firstly, it isn't for the West to decide how other people should live.


Agreed.

Secondly, supporting these vile regimes actually INCREASES the threat of Islamism


The greatest leaps forward in Islamism came in the absence of foreign intervention. Please save this self flagellating nonsense for someone else.


Irrelevant. Its CRIMES are at issue here



Not irrelevant. Israel is a valued ally of civilized countries. You know nothing of what a "crime" is in the region. A crime is going soft on security and letting your citizens die.


How about instead focusing on how the Soviet Union lead the world in aspects of space travel? Sound reasonable? Yeah, I thought not.


No that is relevant. The USSR did make great advances, it's scientists would have made those advances elsewhere had they been allowed to escape the USSR.


By the sounds of it, neither have you.



I lived there. It is worth at least a visit. You hear about these horrible and dehumanizing checkpoints and then you see them and it's a big let down, you hope to see pointed nosed Jews eating Palestinian babies, but alas it is akin to a shitty airport security line.


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.



You are an idealist, and when it comes to dealing with the real world it seems that idealism is fucking useless. But I would agree with you here that the US has a lot to answer for. I am rather more appalled at its tolerance of thieves at the upper echelons of the economy (more to worry about when you start screwing your own people). But yes there is certainly no doubt that the US made some real time calculation that turned out to be foolish and cost a lot of people their lives. Some of these are being recognized and fixed, some are not, and all are out in the open for discussion. So I don't know where you think I am shielding America from culpability. I am simply saying that it isn't such a perfect world and that all decisions have consequences, many of them negative.

Sat, 01 May 2010 15:23:00 UTC | #464584

Abdul al-Hazred's Avatar Comment 29 by Abdul al-Hazred

Luis,



You're yet to provide a single example, though


It is incredible that you don't think Iran wants Israel "expunged from the page of time" (to quote the lunatics exact words), when they support two organizations dedicated TO EXACTLY THAT. I mean I am a bit confused as to whether your ignorance is willing or not.


and has publicly condemned nuclear weapons as "against God"



You are truly ridiculous. Are you now shilling for Iran, you trust their obfuscations?

Sat, 01 May 2010 15:30:00 UTC | #464586

Styrer-'s Avatar Comment 30 by Styrer-

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

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


Abdul seems to have some patience for educating you out of your bullshit. This comment of yours, though, takes you into the realm of the outright liar, where surely all patience must end.

Two seconds on Google results in this:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/03/AR2006080300629.html

Shame on you.

Sean Tyrer

Sat, 01 May 2010 17:24:00 UTC | #464635