Breaking News: After 30 years, Lou Dobbs resigned tonight, effective immediately.
Last night I was on the The Lou Dobbs Show on CNN to talk about whether the Fort Hood massacre was or was not a terrorist attack. I’ve been writing about this very subject rather steadily right here. I was “facing off” on CNN with someone who writes poppycock about “Islamophobia” for The Nation. What greater joy could there be? And I was flying the colors of Pajamas Media, which is how I was identified. (I was, of course, also identified as a professor, author, etc.) Dobbs was a gracious and seasoned host, and his producers were impressively organized and very friendly. The makeup artist was a genius. I’d go back daily just for her.
As it turned out, Dobbs wanted to take The Nation guy on as much as I did, and he did so quite effectively. He made my job a bit easier. John Nichols was effectively neutralized. Once I distinguished between radical, jihadic Islamism, and Muslims in general, including the Muslim and ex-Muslim feminists and reformers with whom I work—Nichols had no Straw Woman to oppose. Of course, some of my esteemed colleagues and commenters at this very blog site wanted me to denounce all of Islam, every Muslim—but I did not do so. I will deal with this very subject in a future column.
I have been around television studios for the last 40 years. I was on the David Frost Show (yes, the same Frost who interviewed Nixon!) and on Donohue when he was still in Dayton, Ohio. Over the years, I’ve done all the major network programs many times including The Today Show, Good Morning America, Merv Griffen, Geraldo, Oprah, Sally Jessie, the Mac-Neil-Lehrer Report, and C-SPAN.
I was on The O’Reilly Factor even though I’m not young or blonde. And yes, he was very kind to me.
I’ve been on CNN many times. In January of 1986, I remember sitting with the entire CNN staff in Washington, D.C., as the shuttle Challenger blew up before our stunned eyes. In 2003, when Judy Woodruff bravely interviewed me about anti-Semitism, two of the cameramen came out from behind their cameras to shake my hand. This was truly a first.
Trust me: This is unusual. And last night, as I was leaving CNN’s very spiffy headquarters in NYC, a tall and handsome CNN man stopped me and said: “You spoke very well. Thank you.” The guest who followed me said, “I agree with you.”
Folks: I am talking about CNN, not FOX. I think, maybe, perhaps, possibly, my God, if not now when, that things might be beginning to change. (The realist in me is scoffing; the optimist has her fingers crossed).
Jamie Glazov at NewsRealBlog thought I “scored big.” Thanks, Jamie. And for me? It’s just another day in my life.
Had there been time enough, here’s what I wanted to say.
Phyllis Chesler’s Talking Points
First, I want to offer my deep condolences to the families of all those murdered and wounded in the jihadic attack on Ft Hood.
Westerners, Americans, even the American President are afraid to name or blame the attacker
At the Ft. Hood Memorial, President Obama did not use the words “jihad,” “terrorism,” “Islamism,” or “Islamic terrorism.” He said that the fact that these soldiers were killed on home soil is “incomprehensible.” He referred to a “time of war” but failed to name what the war might be and who might be fighting it. Radical jihadic Islamism was given a free pass today by the President of the United States. I know, I know: It was a memorial service, not a political rally or a military pow-wow. Perhaps his mild and sober mien was comfort enough for the soldiers and their families. And yet, as Obama busily appeases and flatters the Muslim world, I have been waiting to hear our President talk about Islamist terrorism, jihadic terrorism, for a long while now and have grown quite impatient.
Why Ft. Hood was a calculated act of terrorism
Major Hasan committed a terrorist act on American soil on an American Army base. Whether he acted alone or not is irrelevant. Based on his own prior words and deeds, Hasan is a radical jihadist. He chose to attend the same mosque that two of the 9/11 hijackers attended. He followed the same radical imam, Anwar al Aulaki, both at the mosque and, more recently, on the internet. He tried to make contact with Al Qaeda. But most important, for years, Hasan ranted, jihadic style, against infidels, against Americans, against the American Army; he planned his mass murder carefully, gave away his possessions, etc. He shouted the Islamist battle cry “Allahu Akbar” before or as he was shooting and wounding unarmed soldiers and civilians where they felt safe, at home, on their own army base. By definition, he “terrified” the unarmed soldiers present and wounded and murdered them too.
In classic jihadic style, upon awakening in his hospital bed, even though he is sedated, Major Hasan asked to speak to a lawyer.
True, this may be a new model of terrorism: A single sleeper cell, a home-grown one at that–but one empowered by jihadic ideas that he is not reluctant to share with everyone.
Major Hasan’s act of terrorism is not an issue of mental illness
Major Hasan did not commit an act of terrorism because he is “mentally ill,” but because he is a radical jihadist or an Islamist. Also, Hasan did not do this because he is a Muslim.
Were 2/26 (first WTC attack, ‘93), 9/11, 10/12 (Bali, ‘02), 3/11 (Madrid, ‘04) 7/7, (London, ‘05) or 11/25 (Mumbai, ‘08) all due to “mentally ill” men? No. A radical totalitarian ideology, one committed to jihad against the infidel and the subordination of women, dissenters, and homosexuals is responsible for all these acts of terrorism against innocent civilians. To date, there have been more than 14,000 Islamist attacks against civilians since 9/11. (Last night, I apparently said more than 4,000 attacks; that was a mistake).
It is Crucial that we learn the lesson of Fort Hood
We had all better learn this, beginning with the U.S. Army. The army must become free of political correctness; otherwise, there will be more Ft. Hoods, more single-cell operatives. There is a difference between “jumping to conclusions” and making a rational, reasoned judgment based on fact and experience. The Army should mandate the reporting of jihadic or Islamist statements by its soldiers. No one should be penalized for making such reports.
Islamophobia is a fake concept; there is no anti-Muslim backlash
Fake phrases and fake concepts like “Islamophobia” gave Major Hasan all the cover he needed. Even soldiers and other psychiatrists in the American Army were afraid of reporting Hasan’s Islamist (not Islamic) rants lest they be seen as “racists” or as “Islamophobic,” lest they be written up, demoted, even dishonorably discharged.
The politically correct concept of “Islamophobia” was as much behind the trigger as Major Hasan was.
Americans have been propagandized: The Islamophobia narrative as propaganda
Islamists are very clever and have launched a successful campaign to treat a totalitarian and apartheid system as a persecuted race, as a victim. The terrorist jihadist is always the victim. There is no anti-Muslim backlash. Hell no! The fact that Major Hasan was not ejected from the army because his colleagues feared death by lawsuit/loss of their careers is perfect proof of that.
The term “Islamophobia” is a deliberate attempt to combine criticism of a belief system with hatred of a people because of the color of their skin. Thus “Islamophobia” is wrongfully allied with the real horrors of racism.
“Islamophobia” is a nonsense term. A “phobia” is an “irrational fear.” “Claustrophobia” is irrational because enclosed spaces do not tend to kill you. But given the permanent intifada against Israel; a high level of Muslim-on-Muslim crime, including terrorism and honor killings; a fearfully mounting death toll; and the realities of Islamic (not Islamist) gender and religious apartheid, we actually have many reasons to be fearful of some – certainly not all – aspects of Islam. Women, gay men and Jews have particular reason to be fearful. As do civilian commuters in major European cities, tourists in Asia and Africa, and American soldiers on military bases.
It’s not “phobic” to be worried about Islam/Islamism. It is eminently rational, given that since 9/11, there have been more than 14,000 jihadic attacks against civilians around the world. This does not include battlefront statistics.
Do not demonize the truth teller, deal with the issues
But to think that the answer to any criticism of Islam or Muslims is to demonize its critics and to indulge in exaggerated self-pity is to make the world more dangerous for us all.
America is fighting back in a war that radical, jihadic Islamists have declared against Israel and the West, especially against America. The Islamists have managed to persuade western leftists, academics, politicians, and the media that America and Israel are waging a war on Islam. It’s what Osama bin Laden thinks.
Brainwashed People believe that the attacker is really the victim
The jihadist is always the victim. Men have been forced into becoming terrorists, forced to hijack planes and fly them into the World Trade Center, forced to shoot down soldiers at Ft. Hood or blow up civilians, both Muslims and infidels, in Israel and all across the Middle East because the jihadist’s land was being “occupied” by infidels or because they were being forced to fight an American war against other Muslims. (By the way, Muslim-on-Muslim crime, including terrorist crime, is the real, hidden story here). Finally, the jihadist is always the victim because, poor guy, he is “mentally ill” and needs our help and understanding.
We must differentiate between Islam and Islamism, between Muslims and radical jihadists
I know and work with Muslim feminists, Muslim dissidents, both religious and secular, and with former Muslims who have converted out. I am not “Islamophobic” about them. They are not jihadists—they are anti-jihadists and anti-Islamists. They value western freedom and tolerance and fear the profound intolerance of the fundamentalist Islamic world.
Dangerous to tolerate haters and terrorists
We must not tolerate haters. Islamists hate infidels, Jews, Zionists, Christians, Americans, and Westerners. Islamists hate women, beginning with their own. Fundamentalist Islamists support suicide/homicide bombers. They glorify violent jihad in order to subdue the infidel as well as the fearful Muslim masses. Islamists dream of a caliphate that will dominate the world.
I would like to acknowledge my assistant, Nathan Bloom, who assisted me in preparing for this “Face Off.”