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Belmont Club

The Indefinite Man

April 9th, 2014 - 4:22 pm

The first time I saw Hirsi Ali it brought back memories of Oriana Fallaci speaking in a small room at Harvard 30 years before. Fallaci had the habit of leaning forward and jabbing at the air with a lighted cigarette to make points.  The ash of her cigarette end once grew so alarmingly long I suppressed an urge to rush up and catch it before it broke off and hit the carpet.  A half dozen others in the audience would have probably tried the same thing.  She had that effect — on me at least.  Hirsi Ali never smoked on the Sydney stage but she had the same kind of compulsive attractiveness, a quality which conjured up a line of men stretching to the back of the Sydney auditorium waiting for her autograph.

The real attractiveness of both women always lay in the projection of a kind of desperate bravery; the sort which made Fallaci a teenage guerilla in World War 2 and compelled Ali into becoming perhaps the most hated Muslim apostate in the world.  And nothing attracts so much as a damsel in danger. They both had the kind of unreasonable stubbornness, the sort of uncompromising character that in the end, proved too much for Brandeis University, at least as far as Ali was concerned. The university withdrew the honorary degree it had prepared to grant her, citing “past statements”.

Facing growing criticism, Brandeis University said Tuesday that it had reversed course and would not award an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a campaigner for women’s rights and a fierce critic of Islam, who has called the religion “a destructive, nihilistic cult of death.”

“We cannot overlook that certain of her past statements are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values,” the university said in a statement released eight days after it had announced that Ms. Hirsi Ali and four other people would be honored at its commencement on May 18.

One such “past statement” was an interview she gave with Reason Magazine in 2007 stating her views on Islam. She said of it: “once it’s defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It’s very difficult to even talk about peace now. They’re not interested in peace”.  In it there was no nuance, no hedging or ambiguity. Just an uncompromising awareness of being at war with an entity that also regarded her as a foe.

Like Oriana Fallaci, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is nothing if categorical and academic institutions are by their nature creatures of ambiguity.  They hate the definite. The one unforgivable sin in the academy is certainty; which if secretly harbored must be amply disguised in fashionable doubt; things always preferably being on the “one hand” and “the other hand”.

But there was nothing indefinite about Hirsi Ali. She flew her flag of defiance; nailed her colors to the mast; planted her banner on a hilltop. So when Ibrahim Hooper of CAIR and the Muslim student associations of Brandeis reminded the university that Ali’s views “makes Muslim students feel very uneasy” they were only stating a fact; not the fact that Islam was at war with its enemies — which it assuredly is — but only the fact that they felt uneasy in the presence of its foes.

Brandeis, no doubt wanted some of her star power to rub off on them — for universities grant degrees honoris causa for their own benefit rather than those whose prominence has taken them far beyond the need for a credential — little realizing that a certain kind of fame comes at the price of an equivalent notoriety.  When they saw the need to plant their foot in one definite camp or other they thought the better of it.

Indeed they should have stuck to honorees who’d made a career out of being elusive and minimally controversial, whose beliefs are can be clothed with plausible deniability, like previous honoris causa graduates: Madeleine Albright or Cory Booker. Or maybe Ramsey Clark or Walter Cronkite.  At a pinch they might run to Whoopi Goldberg or George Kennan.  They might even go as far as Michael Oren.

That might be the very limit.

But Hirsi Ali fell into that reproachable category of unapologetic individuals to which Curtis LeMay or William Tecumseh Sherman belong; to people of ugly directness whose views cannot be softened.  Individuals whose company at the dinner table we should regard with horror, however grateful we may be for their existence (so long as they don’t approach too closely).

LeMay once said of himself that he had a kind of B.O.  ”I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal…. Every soldier thinks something of the moral aspects of what he is doing. But all war is immoral and if you let that bother you, you’re not a good soldier.” LeMay was an S.O.B. of whom the only good thing that can be said is that he probably saved millions of lives.

It’s not what the Hirsi Alis says that bothers so much as the directness with which she says it. Most of us need a little wriggle room. We would rather belong to that part of humanity that claims has to be misled into doing unpleasant things or at least act under the impetus of anger or instinct of survival to justify acts they would otherwise not do. That’s why Shane has to wait until Wilson draws. To remain the hero. If  LeMay were Shane, he would have shot Wilson while he was drinking coffee. The ending would have been less tragic and cheaper, too. But we need the drug of emotion to claim reduced competence, that way we’re not really guilty, just caught up in events.

It is one thing to act under the impulse of the moment — it’s only human you know — but quite another to incarcerate or fight someone because of an order written down on a piece of paper, like it were a job or a requirement of patriotism.  That’s what soldiers and policeman are for. You know, the hired help. Proper people don’t do that sort of thing. And least they think of themselves as above it.  And Brandeis — like Harvard, the Ivy League and most of academia — is nothing if not a club for proper people.

And Hirsi Ali is rather too cut-and-dried, too lacking in nuance to be a really proper person. In a way you could argue Brandeis did the right thing by withdrawing the honorary degree.  Ayaan Hirsi Ali, love her or hate her, was far too definite an article for the academy to embrace. Now if universities could only bring themselves to admit that half their Orientalist faculty are no proper sorts of gentlemen either, just hypocrites actually on the other side then there would be some rough balance.

But the ideologues in the academy know the form. They can keep up appearances which in the end is really what makes them acceptable.  In defense of universities, somebody has to provide a home for hypocrisy, if only to serve as a Holodeck of civility, however feigned.  For illusion itself serves a purpose; and we need to believe that it is possible to stay above the fray even if it is not; that if we surround ourselves with enough ivy and manicured grounds the hatreds of men can fade away into the soft evening shadows amid the Bach and Vivaldi.  We believe it, lest we despair.

The 2000 movie Memento, which explores our need to make sense of the world in terms that do not condemn us, the protagonist Leonard Shelby, who has a medical condition that makes him forget everything but what he did in the last few hours, tries to find out who is and what he is doing. At the end of the movie he is asked by another character if his memory loss is not really a subconscious effort to forget who he really is; an attempt to create the illusion of discovery so that he can deny what he knows;  to maintain the “sense of purpose … a romantic quest” imparts. “Do I lie to myself to be happy? In your case, Teddy…yes, I will.”  How else can we make it to tomorrow, if we don’t lie to ourselves?

Hirsi Ali and Brandeis want to define themselves in different ways. In Hirsi Ali’s case, her goal is clear. Brandeis on the other hand, has tried to be definitely indefinite; as little offensive and controversial as possible. But as Hirsi Ali points out in her response to the withdrawal of the honorary degree, by trying not to take sides Brandeis has taken sides anyway.

When Brandeis approached me with the offer of an honorary degree, I accepted partly because of the institution’s distinguished history; it was founded in 1948, in the wake of World War II and the Holocaust, as a co-educational, nonsectarian university at a time when many American universities still imposed rigid admission quotas on Jewish students. I assumed that Brandeis intended to honor me for my work as a defender of the rights of women against abuses that are often religious in origin. For over a decade, I have spoken out against such practices as female genital mutilation, so-called ‘honor killings,’ and applications of Sharia Law that justify such forms of domestic abuse as wife beating or child beating. Part of my work has been to question the role of Islam in legitimizing such abhorrent practices. So I was not surprised when my usual critics, notably the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), protested against my being honored in this way.

Now Brandeis is in the unenviable position of appearing subservient to CAIR, since left to themselves, Brandeis would have given Hirsi Ali the degree. But at CAIR’s behest — or someone’s — they had a sudden change of heart. They make not think they are CAIR’s flunkeys but that is what the optics suggest. Maybe the lesson here — as Mozilla might have learned — is to know your own mind and stick to your guns. An institution with no mind of its own will soon find people telling it what to do.


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Top Rated Comments   
Brandeis' Core Value is "take the money." People take at face value self identified Jewish institutions and then add a set of preconceptions based on that.

In New York we will soon have the Israel Day parade sponsored by the United Jewish Appeal and the American Jewish Committee. These are two old mainstream organizations that have raised millions of dollars over many decades from the Jewish community. Their present leadership have endorsed and advanced the Boycott Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement targeting Israel. Organizations that support BDS, such as J Street, have been invited to participate in the parade.

There is a tension between the need for certainty in the face of corruption and the need for doubt in the face of complexity. Without certainty there are no standards to be held to. Without doubt there is no need to inquire test and innovate.

We need both
"Hier stehe ich, ich kann nicht anders."
and
"I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken."

Those whose vision of purity admits of no imperfections, and therefor of no mercy of change can only rejoice at the death of their near rivals, as Luther did of Zwingli's, even over those of their avowed enemies. The Irish should be grateful that they only had a Congregational Calvinist to deal with.

The universities are now far down the path of pursuing money at the expense of free thought. Eisenhower was concerned by the effects of big government on academia. He was right but by considering the simple interests of the National Security State of his time the problem did not consider the future vulnerabilities stages involved. The universities became addicted to big projects and sponsorships, not only from government engineering and science but then also from Area Studies in the Social Sciences and Humanities. That inflated budgets and costs and bloated administration at the expense of teaching. It reduced the dependence on students and cut the bonds between faculty and the public as alumni, parents, and students. The hunt for money to keep feeding the swollen system made the universities open to influence from private foundations and foreign governments. Those interests then had a mechanism to penetrate first the universities and then the government administration and other segments of society. That is the Gramscian March.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
It only seems fair to contextualize Brandeis Universities wobbling on celebrating Miss Ali. Sure she is an accomplished woman of color but social-economic factors have long ruled the university system. Back in the day gentlemen came from families with money and standing. As part of the Lefts dutiful impoverishment of America these families are no longer the stock that they seek but they are still bound to money.

If not a self actualized African women then the progeny of eastern oil money and its embedded payload must be swallowed like sugar coated cyanide. That is one count but the second is that the religion of peace is actually a religion of murder and thuggery so the threat against the campus is part of the package. It is an unequal relationship, the putative Christian gentry are invested in global warming and Lacrosse and the Muslims are invested in oil and brigandtry. If one were to weigh the social and economic values of the admixtures one would find that the influence of money and murder outperform the platitudes of a flaccid belief in self and a vapid belief in an earth goddess, at least a moon god beats it with steel in this case.

Brandeis is little more than a grand brothel with an aging staff of arthritic whores. In such an establishment no one is awarded with a plaque on the wall for john of the month.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
W: The one unforgivable sin in the academy is certainty; which if secretly harbored must be amply disguised in fashionable doubt; things always preferably being on the “one hand” and “the other hand”.

Not sure about that, W. I was recently functionally expelled from an academic forum for the unforgiveable sin of politely expressing doubt about the scientific basis for Anthropogenic Global Warming. If certainty is an unforgiveable sin, then most of the current crop of academics are proud sinners.

What about R.A. Fisher, the genius who put statistical distributions on a firm mathematical foundation? In the 1960s, he was ostracized by the academic community for asserting -- correctly -- that the correlation between smoking and cancer did not prove causation.

Academia since the Second World War has been a fortress for those who are very definite in their support for whatever Politically Correct error happens to be fashionable today.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (109)
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This is old news and no-one should be surprised at cowardice in high places. The West had the opportunity decades ago to shut down Jihad Islam (or at least deliver it a blow) in the Salman Rushdie affair. Every newspaper in Europe America and Latin America should have printed the first chapter of 'Satanic Verses' after Ayatollah Khomeini issued his fatwa. That would have slowed them down a bit.

What rankles is the fake or preemptive piety of Brandeis administrators. Next week they will gladly welcome some CAIR-approved representative of the Palestinians who will advocate the murder of Jews world-wide. Or they will welcome a fashionable anti-Christian atheist speaker. They don't care about the feelings of their Jewish or Christian students. Like all the powers of the West--civic, religious, politcal, academic--they are afraid of the violent extremist wing of Jihad Islam who Aayan Hirsi warns about. Undoubtedly there is a money angle as well. Some big donor simply said 'No' to Hirsi Ali. Cowardice will be the template until the next big thing. Then we'll see.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
MH370 update

It seems that one problem with the early misplacement of the search boxes may have been due to having space scientists trying to do navigation.

Their software is based on great circles, because an orbiting object is held by the force of gravity centered at the center of the earth and therefore follows a great circle. The aircraft was not so constrained and could have been following a constant heading, (e.g. a rhumb line). Now that this problem has been sorted out, the authorities can use the intersection of the ping rings from the Inmarsat satellite and the Doppler calculations to refine the search boxes.

There is good reason to believe the sonar pings they have heard are an indication that they are quite close to the final resting place of MH370.

We seem to be close to finding a tiny needle in a huge haystack.

Keep your fingers crossed!
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
One follower of the ROP less than friendly:

Van Gogh was murdered by Mohammed Bouyeri as he was cycling to work on 2 November 2004 at about 9 o'clock in the morning.

The killer shot van Gogh eight times with an HS2000 handgun. Initially from his bicycle, Bouyeri fired several bullets at Van Gogh, who was hit, as were two bystanders. Wounded, Van Gogh ran to the other side of the road and fell to the ground on the cycle lane.

According to eyewitnesses, Van Gogh's last words were: "Mercy, mercy! We can talk about it, can't we?"
Bouyeri then walked up to Van Gogh, who was still lying down, and calmly shot him several more times at close range.
Bouyeri then cut Van Gogh’s throat, and tried to decapitate him with a large knife, after which he stabbed the knife deep into Van Gogh's chest, reaching his spinal cord. He then attached a note to the body with a smaller knife.

Van Gogh died on the spot. The two knives were left implanted. The note was addressed and contained a death threat to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who was subsequently forced to go into hiding, threatened Western countries and Jews and also referred to the ideologies of the Egyptian organization Takfir wal-Hijra."
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Associated Press or Asphalt Potatoe (He! He!): "So I looked up dar la Harb as requested and the first line at wiki says:"

Oh dear! I was thinking that AP almost had a point until he committed that awful blunder. Don't you know, AP, that most of the stuff on WikiPedia is written by pimply-faced youths regurgitating the expensive nonsense fed to them at their Politics, Philosophy, & Environmentalism (He! He!) classes at Oxford. If they are really good at playing back the nonsense without letting their thought processes interfer, they might even get a First. Maybe you know some of them, AP?

So are young men from the West fighting a war to save the clitorises of Muslim girls? Obviously not. Yes, Barry Soetero is murdering human beings of various nationalities (including American) in various places around the world, but it is not war.

One of the things that Leftist Fascists have done is to debase language -- so that nowdays a woman can be "raped" without having any of her clothes removed. War is hell, as an American once remarked, back in the days before metrosexuals had been invented. The innocents standing around one of Barry's drone attacks may consider what happened to them to be hell, but it is not. The Allied bombing of Dresden -- now that was hell. But the only reason that people like AP can hang around making snide remarks on the internet today is because Dresden happened.

So AP is right -- we are not at war; not with Islam, not with anything. But it is a gut-cinch certainty that someday soon, thanks to Barry and the rest of the corrupt supra-national Fascists, that we shall be. And the coming wars will be worse than anything seen before, simply because there are so many people like AP who will not know what to do when the power goes out, the faucet stops flowing, and the grocery store is empty.
20 weeks ago
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So, dude, what is an acceptable politically correct Belmont Club source? Little Green Footballs? American Thinker?
20 weeks ago
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Try them and think for yourself
20 weeks ago
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I'm borrowing a post from one Minta at Neo-Neocon's place. Res ipsa loquitur.

"I am reminded of a professor at Virgnia Tech during the shooting there. His name was Liviu Librescu, and he saved lives at Virginia Tech. During that day, I saw the reports of the shooting, and was deeply impressed by Librescu, who had been sent to a Nazi labor camp as a child and then lived under the USSR, before he was allowed to emigrate to Israel, and then invited to Virginia Tech to teach.

“Professor Librescu heard the shots and closed his classroom door. He instructed students to go out the window. Several students urged Librescu to come along, but he held the door shut as [the un-named monster] tried to enter. [The un-named monster] then shot through the door four times, killing the professor. The gunman entered the room and killed one student; the rest had escaped through the second-story window.”

Also, see Daniel Greenfield’s Sultan Knish blog, where he wrote:

“. . . Virginia Tech Professor Liviu Librescu blocked the door with his own body so that his students could escape through the windows. The 76 year old man held the gunman back long enough to allow all but two of his students to reach safety. And then he died on the same classroom floor his feet had paced energetically for so many years.

“One escaping student, in a letter sent to Professor Librescu’s wife, writes of looking back at the professor through the other side of the window from the ledge. ‘I saw your husband still standing there. He was holding the door closed and looking over his shoulder to make sure everybody else was safe. It was the bravest thing I have ever seen and I will always remember his courage.’”

"I always think of Librescu at times like this. He deserves to be remembered and thought about.

"In 2007, a few days after the shooting, when I found out about his background, and how much he had faced in his life, I [Minta] wrote a poem about him.

"Liviu Librescu (1930-2007)
By Minta Marie Morze

He wrote of his life a Melody,
The notes and rhythms set to golden themes
Within his heart.
With him, the Melody was pure—and,
In this, his final act,
It sounded forth that all might hear.
It matters not the measure now of Wealth or Fame—
Criteria the world itself so often claims—
His Melody was made of finer Stuff than this.
Upon a slate that bore the mark of all his hours;
Lit by the flame that burned within his soul
He wrote in silence deep,
Each note and tempo sign bespeaking of his worth
In measurements created there by God.

A Giant lived among us.
He recognized the Evil that had come
And set his height and breadth and depth
Against the door

And held."
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wow, I'll have to get it.
You shouldn't be so modest!

http://www.amazon.com/To-Truckees-Trail-Celia-Hayes/dp/0934955883
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sorry, see "Formerly Sgt Mom" at bottom of thread.
20 weeks ago
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The largest contribution to Corruption by Republicans, and some "Conservatives" was Enthusiastic Approval of Eric Holder as Attorney General.

Cowardly, Racist, Corrupt punk.


(Yeah, I know: "Don't go there, Buddy"


Video: Holder Claims Argument With Louie Gohmert is Due to Racism Against Administration.

Holder's CV: Marc Rich Pardon, refusal to prosecute club wielding Punk Panthers intimidating voters.

Fast and Furious, ...we could go on.

http://nation.foxnews.com/2014/04/09/video-eric-holder-claims-argument-louie-gohmert-case-racism-against-administration
20 weeks ago
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Holder: "Don't go there, buddy."

"What? Don't go to the contempt?"

"That's right."

"Well, I haven't seen any evidence that you care like you say you do."
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'll be rude.

I think the pejorative "Buddy" is just as much an example of contempt as the failure to produce requested documents.

The proper term would be "Congressman" or even "Mr", but "Buddy" is demeaning and diminutive.

"I've worked hard for this title, General." - Senator Boxer (Dumb-CA)

That's the difference between someone with character and self-confidence, and someone depending upon a 'title' for their self-image. Pathetic.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Eichification of Condi Rice by Racist, Sexist Liberals:

Liberal Fascists Try to Drive Condi Rice from Dropbox Board

Despite blatantly stating that "this is not an issue of partisanship," several political events are noted by the site as reasons why Rice should not be on the board of a file locker like Dropbox. Clearly outlined are her roles and quotes from the buildup to the Iraq war, aggravated by death counts.

Also laid out as proof of her unsuitability for the role on the initiative's website are her involvement in the creation of the Bush administration torture program, support for warrantless wiretaps, and her role on the board of directors at Chevron prior to her tenure with the Bush administration. Possibly relevant to Dropbox is her support and approval of wireless wiretaps and presumed approval of the NSA monitoring programs she helped create, but as a director she would have no role in day-to-day operations.

Also see "Unsk" below.
http://www.electronista.com/articles/14/04/10/website.cites.her.roles.in.iraq.industry.as.alleged.proof.of.unethical.behaviors/
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
“once it’s defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful." Hirsi Ali

Can a “a destructive, nihilistic cult of death.” mutate into something peaceful once it's defeated? Only if Muslims are willing to declare that Mohammad was either deluded or a liar. His most basic claim is that he is NOT the Qur'an's author. That he, an illiterate... miraculously took dictation from the archangel Gabriel, who visited him repeatedly and dictated the Qur'an to Mohammad.

Can mere man correct and revise Allah's very words? Not and retain Islam's most basic theological underpinnings... Hirsi Ali's bravery and honesty is of the very highest standard but even 'saints' can be in denial.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Muhammad invented Islam around 622 AD. It was probably an accident but Islam as a "Religion of the Sword" was well adapted to take down Christianity's dominance in Asia Minor and North Africa.

A religion as successful as Islam is not simply "going away" because a few courageous people pointed out the obvious that the Quran is nothing more than nonsense gobbledygook.

My guess is that islam's mode of death would follow along the lines of Wretchard's Three Conjectures, i.e.

1) First, Islamic fascists will over-reach and succeed in nuking a few major cities, e.g. Tel Aviv, Paris, New York, etc. Casualties are in the millions.
2) An immediate counter-strike burns down the country that originated the Islamic nuclear weapons, e.g. Pakistan, Iran, etc. Casualties are in the tens of millions.
3) The leaders of the developed world have a meeting and devise a systematic strategy to cleanse the world of Islam as an organized religion.
4) Key Islamic religious sites are burned down, Mecca and Medina would top this list. Mosques through out the world would be burned down and Moslem populations expelled or required to convert. Essentially a replay of the Spanish Reconquista would be played out over the entire planet.

This would be a very difficult time to be a Jew because they would get caught in the cross fire. Also, the moral validity of Christianity would take a major hit.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, your item 1) is credible. Not so your items 2)-4); these would require a revolution to rid the West of the current holders of power.

"the moral validity of Christianity would take a major hit"
"Onward Christian Soldiers." Retaliation along the lines of your 2)-4) would not be representative of Christianity, especially in the now-secular West.
20 weeks ago
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“Also, the moral validity of Christianity would take a major hit.”

Only if Christians were the ones doing it. What if it were Communists destroying Islam root and branch? What if it were Buddhists destroying Islam root and branch? What if it were Bolivian sun worshipers destroying Islam root and branch? Christians aren't the only ones antagonized by Islam...
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
It depends on the country hit. If it is Tel Aviv or Paris, yeah there will be immediate retaliation. If it is Tel Aviv, I would hope step 3 is skipped and 2 and four are combined. Under 50 warheads/bombs and the surviving followers of Islam will be wandering the desert or jungles. At least until it sinks in that Mecca is gone, and the omnipotent-by-definition Allah has placed them in a position where their dangly bits are waving in the radioactive wind. They then may have a retention problem.

If they hit the United States, they will get one free shot, because Obama will not strike back. His refusal may start the dance here in this country, but surely a second attack will cause a retaliation under whoever is in control. However, if we are hit, no European country will strike Islam. Israel may decide that they are next, and strike for their own reasons.

Depending on the "leaders of the developed world" to come to a conclusion on anything but enhancing their own graft and power is a forlorn hope.

Subotai Bahadur
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
You are wrong, my friend. A nuclear strike on US soil would spur Obama to an immediate counter strike. He would have to, to maintain any political viability.

Obama would immediately, and quite thoroughly strike Israel. Problem solved, peace abounds! Time to hit the links ...

(If Israel wasn't possible, I suppose he would consider Great Britain an adequate secondary target.)
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Lovely! Made me laugh.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ah, but how does one know whether the words of the Quran are an accurate transcription? Belief in the Quran requires more than faith in Allah; it requires a belief that the scribes who wrote down the Quran accurately wrote down the words of Allah. There are earlier versions of the Quran than the present one, but they are kept under lock and key.

One should not presume that the Quran is central to Islam. It might not be. The Muslim identity may transcend its origin.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Richard Fernandez wrote:

"not the fact that Islam was at war with its enemies — which it assuredly is — "

Really!? I guess you mean in the narrow sense, as in the tautology you set up, "Islam is at war with its enemies" which assumes that if you have an enemy then you are at war with them. Right? Or do you mean that all 1 billion muslims are at war with US?
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
And how would Muslims consider it if the Infidels insisted upon treating them as the Muslims treat the infidels as is commanded by the Koran? Pay the Muslim tax? Have anybody who is not a Muslim who converts to it subject to death as a punishment?

No, the very asymmetry of the precepts of Islam demonstrate a vileness that no other religion can match,
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Was every German in WWII at war with America? Of course not but the Nazi's ideology most definitely was at war with our way of life, with the principles under which we lived. So too with Islam. Islam is an expansionist totalitarian ideology disguised within a facade of religion. "By their fruits shall ye know them"

"There are three classes of people: those who see, those who see once they are shown & those who will not see." Leonardo da Vinci
20 weeks ago
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Asphalt Potatoes are not persuaded by logic or facts.

Think Neutered Tuber.
20 weeks ago
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To paraphrase Ibn Warraq, there is the Islam of the Quran and Hadith, the Islam of the Ummah, and the Islam of the Ulema.

Is the Islam of the Quran and Hadith at war against non-Muslims? Yes.
Is the Islam of the Ummah at war against non-Muslims? No.
Is the Islam of the Ulema at war against non-Muslims? Maybe.

Most Muslims just want to lead their lives in peace, but there is a faction of retarded Muslims who see it as their sacred duty to murder non-Muslims or force non-Muslims to pay into their extortion racket. The problem we face is not that most Muslims are against us – they aren't. It's that Muslims are reluctant to fight against other Muslims, and this means that Islam's retarded factions get coddled by other Muslims. Worse, some of Islam's least enlightened factions control Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The notion of “one billion Muslims” acting as an organic whole is Islamo-Fascist nonsense.
20 weeks ago
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I agreed with you until your last sentence.......
20 weeks ago
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Aw, heck now, it's not all that difficult.

Let's just define "us" and "them". "Us" are the folks getting their heads cut off. "Them" are the Muslims cutting off heads, and the MILLIONS of other Muslims who shout joyfully "allahu akba" every time they do it.

You simply count the number of Muslim heads cut off by non-Muslims and number of joyfully cheering non-Muslims, against the former figure, and you'll have your answer. Yes, all 1 Billion Muslims are FULLY in play.

Math makes judgments like this easy, and certainly validates Wretchard's comment.

Or, you can simply pull your head out of your .....
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
In your view, OldSalt, all Muslims are our enemy, right? Is it perfectly ok to kill the Muslim family that lives in your neighborhood or should one be in uniform before it is ok to kill them? Should we give the finger to freedom of religion and raze all Mosques to the ground? I'm curious as to your view - do I have it right?
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Asphalt Potatoe… the shallow, uninformed and borderline asinine comment(s) point to your obvious ODD. Anyone that really cared about the subject of Mohammedism would read up on historical Mohammedism and current Moslem history before making statements such as yours.
A severely uninformed statement such as this “all Muslims are our enemy, right? Is it perfectly ok to kill the Muslim family that lives in your neighborhood or should one be in uniform before it is ok to kill them?” Points to your obvious one sidedness and total lack of any Information other than from the American Main Stream Media! (You are the LIV we all talk about) If you even bothered to care you would know that this statement by you “perfectly ok to kill the (Substitute Christian for Muslim) Christian family that lives in your neighborhood” IS A DAILY FACT in Moslem countries! You have no clue do you! I firmly believe in freedom of speech even by idiots so continue your comments!
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
CAIR troll? Or hysterical ninny?

Both, maybe?
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just curious as to how you guys conceive of being "at war with Islam" and what it actually means.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
The short version is that per actual history, their own dogma, traditions, and liturgy, Islam is perpetually at war with all that is not Islam, they are allowed to slack off only when they cannot win, and they have a long history of not surpressing their most radical, violent, crazy elements as most societies do, because the radical jihadi can always point to the Koran, demand support, and then tends to attack any purported Muslim who fails to support them.

What this means for the Muslim family down the street in America is problematic. There are many cases of "sudden jihad syndrome" where seemingly innocent Muslims suddenly get religion and go off. More worrisome yet is that they would support more serious foreign projects like 9/11. We've put up a lot of internal security to prevent this, and I for one am pretty pissed at all the TSA nonsense, much less the NSA nonsense, that is motivated mostly by the issues of Islam against the US.

Are we doing what we should, what we can, and is it enough? No easy answers on any of that.

Short version is always, "Islam is at war with us, so what do we do about it?" Just laughing it off isn't enough.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Islam is perpetually at war with all that is not Islam" Yes, like Catholicism is perpetually at odds with sin.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
It sounds to me like you have no idea. Look up dar al-Harb.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
No, you're not just curious. You're badgering us by pretending there's only a narrow literal meaning of "at war with Islam" and not a fairly wide band of idiomatic meaning that's amply evident in the context of Wretchard's posting and the many replies which follow it.

Don't be such an anti-Semantic.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wretchard goes so far as to bring in Curtis Lemay and the morality involved in such acts while maintaining how it is obvious Islam is at war with "its enemies" and you tout a "wide band of idiomatic meaning". The band you describe appears to be so wide as to be meaningless.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
You are appallingly ignorant about the history of islam.

Good luck with that.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Your pleading fails to state a valid, actionable cause of action and has been answered by demurrer. We have no burden to provide the relief you have requested. Carry on henceforth with your own private take on what's been presented by the others who have posted.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
So, are for female genital mutilation? And if so, do you agree with Hadith?
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
He will, or he will not be here, Mr Potato Head sees no other options.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
uddy, I have a life outside of posting here and as Anonymouse pointed out a few days ago a lack of rebuttal doesn't mean your point stands.

I am happy to see a little bit of discussion here as opposed to folk simply climbing on a soap box pontificating in hope of getting enough likes to rise to the exalted status of Top Rated Comment.

No Rojo, I am not in favor of genital mutilation nor am I in favor of how Jewish orthodox sects treat women or their other odd religious practices. Nor do I condemn all Judaism for the practices of their fundamentalist sects.

So I looked up dar la Harb as requested and the first line at wiki says:

"The idea of geographical divisions along religious lines i.e. the dur is neither mentioned in the Qur'an nor in the sayings of the Prophet (called Hadith),"

And good old Charles White suggests that since Christians get killed in the middle east it is ok to kill Muslims in the US. Silly!

The facts are pretty simple. There are about a billion Muslims on the planet and as BC Alexis said "Most Muslims just want to lead their lives in peace..." It is therefore wrong to say we are "at war with Islam".

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20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
"No Rojo, I am not in favor of genital mutilation nor am I in favor of how Jewish orthodox sects treat women or their other odd religious practices. Nor do I condemn all Judaism for the practices of their fundamentalist sects."

Glad to hear that. The orthodox sects are an interesting bunch, special class status in Israel. Aside from the fact that they dress funny, by my standards, and are the epitome of the term religious zealots, they are, thankfully separatists as opposed to the stated intentions of Islamic extremists to convert the world to Islam through submission. That is through religious conversion or by the sword if it comes to it. No, by golly, I'll take the separatist every time and choose not to join thier club. Forced submission to anything makes me grumpy. That is what the idea of religious freedom is all about.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
We are not at war with Islam. We are at war against terrorism. Or now, against man-caused disasters. It's all semantics designed to avoid being "Islamophobic.," which is what you seem to think many commenters here are. But you have avoided saying it straight up. You also want to believe that the beliefs of Islam are as tolerant as Christianity. Based on what? The Inquisition? Something that happened before the Reformation of Christianity? The history of Christianity since the 30 Years War has been one of increasing tolerance. Maybe not enough to suit you, but at least they're not proclaiming death to all non-Christians in the churches these days.

The teachings and actions of fundamentalist Islam (death or conversion to all infidels, cultural misogyny, martyrdom through jihad, continual war against all infidels, etc.) are hostile to Western values. Certainly they can not coexist with Western values within sovereign boundaries. Something that many European countries with sizeable Muslim populations are now learning. Their Muslim populations are demanding to live only under Sharia law, which legalizes all the practices I mentioned above. Those practices are designed to attack and dismantle the infidel culture.

For someone who wants to be oh so tolerant, like you claim to be, this provides a problem. Do you want to tolerate the advocacy of your own death? Well, do you?
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Lordy, take a look at your logic and string of conflations Neptun. You start with "We are not at war with Islam" and end with "Do you want to tolerate the advocacy of your own death?"

That is a pretty shaky straw man you've built based, primarily, on the mistaken notion that fundamentalist Islam constitutes Islam. It doesn't. It is a small subset.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Lordy, lordy, take a look at your inability to comprehend simple English. You didn't get my explanation that the official position is that we are not at war with Islam, but instead, at war with terror or man-caused disasters. Spineless semantics by our government to avoid being called Islamophobes.

It doesn't matter how small the fundamentalist Islamic group is. If the "moderates" don't deal with them, or at least disown them, then they are complicit in letting them carry out their barbaric activities.

Why is it that Muslim populations in Europe refuse to integrate, refuse to accept the laws and customs of their new homes, and ceaselessly prey on infidel women? Why are they trouble everywhere they go? The reason is because of the tenets of Islam.

When I see a moderate Muslim like Zhudi Jasser get attacked by CAIR and other so-called moderate Muslim organizations, I know that most Muslims are not ready or willing to reform their beliefs. Until they cast out the fundamentals or deal with them themselves, I cannot look at the Islam as a whole being anything but a problem and a danger to infidels.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
You are oblivious.

That "small subset" has gone from an irrelevant fraction of the islamic population decades ago- controlling nothing- to now ruling over many millions, with nuclear weapons. It doesn't matter if most of the people aren't interested in jihad or fundamentalism, because their wishes simply don't matter.

A while ago I saw pictures taken in Iran during the 1950s, including one of a woman wearing a bikini. Now in Iran a woman wearing a bikini would be arrested or beaten. When the mullahs took over in 1979 they murdered vast numbers who weren't muslim enough for their taste. Now, they are developing nuclear weapons, and openly stating that they intend to use them against the US and Israel.

That's reality. It doesn't go away because you don't want to acknowledge it, alas.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree the Persian Mullahs are a conservative and authoritarian bunch but they are very different from the Wahhabi sunni nut bars. I would guess that the fundamentalist numbers have not grown significantly in the past decades but rather they have been brought to your attention. In any case that supports my contention that 'Islam' is not a monolithic group that we are at war with.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
You don't seem to have noticed my point.

Again, islamic fundamentalists have gone from being essentially irrelevant and ignored everywhere- even in muslim countries- to controlling the lives of hundreds of millions of people. It doesn't even matter if their numbers haven't grown significantly, as you appear to believe. Their power and influence has vastly expanded, which is what matters to us.

It seems to me you are twisting yourself into knots to avoid noticing reality. Monolithic or not, muslims have endless trouble co-existing with non-muslims and even muslims who they don't believe are sufficiently devout. The Iranians mullahs have killed enormously numbers of their own citizens for that reason, and are developing nukes knowing that their planned use may result in their own obliteration. The Saudis are spending vast sums spreading wahhabi insanity, resulting radicalization essentially everywhere. In Nigeria, Christians are getting murdered by mobs, as they are in Egypt, Syria, etc.

I could go on. But the point is that muslims simply don't get along with non-muslims, period- and it has gotten much worse over my lifetime.

Why, exactly, is this situation not best explained as "we are at war with islam?"
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Fair enough. Using those terms there are no monolithic blocks just statistical probabilities. The kind used in the extreme to validate global warming.

Your assertions are in accordance with the Bush doctrine. Ironic that.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
I would like to add that you are correct to state that our sensitivities have been raised to the worst aspects of Islam, precisely what Bin Laden had in mind. But it has also raised tge specter of Islamic fundamentalism and events in the MENA theater snd Syria indicate that fundamentalism is on the rise.

So do we meet fundamentalist Islam where it appears to be now or at some point in the future where it is likely to be like a moving target? The political military is renown for preparing for past wars. They have been accused of not connecting the dots. So us arm chair generals squint our eyes and do not see dots but a curve that can be reasonably extrapolated to a future position.

To us, 911 was like Pearl Harbor. We tell ourselves never again. And when we see the trends, history in the process of repeating itself, we feel like standing astride history and shouting: STOP.

That said, is Islam our enemy? Well it would make more sense to not identify 1 billion people as such, but really, are they our friends?
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Finally, Asphalt Potato? Now that's a head scratcher. Random moniker or is there some etymology you'd care to share?
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Deduction from his postings would indicate that he does not have a solid grasp upon definitions of words and their usage.

I would suggest he try the nom de guere of Rubber melon or maybe even Concrete Noggin...
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
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