Saturday, November 14, 2015

ISIS and its handmaidens




     Why do these attacks occur?
     What is the point?
     To strike out at a society they hate, obviously. You have to hate a society a lot to randomly kill its members, innocent people out enjoying themselves on a mild Friday evening at a restaurant or a concert. 
     For revenge? Certainly. These groups, like bullies and aggressors everywhere, see their own suffering in crystal clarity, ignoring the suffering they inflicted on others that started the cycle in the first place. 
      But is that it? A stab at the West? Toward what end? What is suppose to happen? There is of course a larger purpose, and the purpose it to widen the rift between Western culture and the Muslim world. France is 10 percent Muslim, and those people, uncomfortable already, have to be less comfortable this morning. That is the whole idea.  The glittering attractions of Western culture, its freedoms and pleasures, spell the end for oppressive, fear-based medieval theologies. They know that and are locked in a desperate, losing battle, trying to forestall the inevitable. 
    But radical Muslims are not the only haters in the world. Americans who hate Muslims, of whom there are many, have been leaping to, for want of a better word, glory in this latest atrocity, the confirmation of all they already believe. 
     "Europe is reaping the stupidity of allowing the muslims to live in their country..." one of my readers emailed me almost immediately Friday night. "England has made the same mistake,; all of the country estates are being bought by arab money and being taken over by muslims. Germany just allowed half a million of these people into their country, and our secy of state kerry said we should take in a couple hundred thousand as well... It defies all reason, but this is what happens when the common man is kept out of the decision making in the world and its turned over to elitists politicians and far left liberal media conglomerates...."
     You get the point. It goes on, ending, "Annihilation of Isis and their cousins..."
     "And their cousins"? Who would that be? The rest of the 1.2 billion Muslims, perhaps?
     There is a symbiosis among haters, each helps the other in cooperative effort. They hold hands and a flash of recognition goes 'round the world. Heartless radical Islamic murderers commit these horrible acts and here, their servants around the world leap up and say, "Yes! Exactly! This is what I've been saying! This is what they're all about! All of them! Let's get them! Let's be just like them!"
     These attacks offer a kind of permission, a validation for the hate that is already in their hearts. They feel terror envy, and if the actual perpetrators of the evil are not available, well, here's somebody who looks quite like them, and of the same faith too. And isn't that the basic message of prejudice: These people are all the same; one is as good as another. The killers obviously believe that. And many among us, alas, believe it too.
     They're both wrong. And those who can see that have a duty. Most of us will never have the chance to strike at ISIS or defeat terrorism in a real and direct way, other than to be patriotic citizens of the United States, which is battling ISIS et al as best it can. But we will all encounter terror's cheerleaders, its handmaidens, the bigots and fearful hate mongers in our own country who leap to dance in the street over this, in their way, believing, mistakenly, that now is the time when their prejudice is back in fashion, and now is the time when they can lash out at the local mosque, and now is the time when they can condemn the refugees who are fleeing from this very terror. They think this is the moment to suspend America's liberties, to halt the inclusion that is the hallmark of Western culture—to stifle the very thing that ISIS wants stifled—when in reality it is at moments like this when we must cling to both even more tightly, because they got us this far against worse foes than this. The haters have always been with us, a fifth column behind our lines, collaborating with whomever our enemies happen to be, working in concert to undermine our precious freedoms.  Those people are everywhere, and we can and must resist the urge to join them, must hold firm and push back, as they try to carry out the wishes of the people who perpetrate the kind of madness we saw in Paris Friday night.

47 comments:

  1. Liberté, égalité, fraternité, words to live by.

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  2. Of course not all Muslims are terrorist. But notice they are called Islamic State, etc.

    Not Israeli state or Presbyterian state. Some of these refugees that are coming into the U.S. or Euro nations will have some ISIS ones in there.

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    1. And your point is? The Nazis called themselves the National Socialist Party. So, using your logic, that reflects on Bernie Sanders ... how?

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    2. Of course they weren't Socialists but again, that's comparing apples and oranges.

      The Anon at 7:45 is not the one at 8:42.

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  3. These actions are beyond reason to me, as is all radicalism in any form.

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  4. "The lamps are going out again all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our lifetime."

    British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey 1914

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    1. Yes I suppose its a stretch, a bad analogy. But for people who live in "The City of Light" and those who visit for pleasure the prospect of getting caught in a crossfire will be a hit on quality of life for a long time.

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    2. It's a fine analogy. It was wildly overstated and wrong in 1914, and it is now.

      "a hit on quality of life for a long time" Much the same way as guys shooting up schools or movie theaters in the U. S. have been a hit on quality of life here, no? But those guys weren't Muslims, were they?

      Very powerful and well-stated column. I'd just note, though, that our track record in the land of the free when it comes to the threat of a "fifth column" is not very inspiring. Japanese-American internment camps, prejudice against German-Americans during WWI and WWII, for starters.

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    3. How about how the Japanese treated westerners and Asians in WWII, not even mentioning Pearl Harbor. Let's talk about Bataan and how POW's were treated in POW camps.

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    4. Uh, that was wrong and terrible. Did it logically indicate that loyal Japanese-American citizens should be imprisoned in California because of it?

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    5. No, but hindsight is 20/20. During that crisis it was thought that they were a danger or loyal to the emperor. I wonder if the modern Japanese feel guilty for what their ancestors did to others at the time.

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    6. It was a shameful episode, partly motivated by greed and racism. Many of the internees lost their property to white Americans. We didn't intern Germans or Italians. And only a handful of the many Japanese living in Hawaii. I later came to know two of the families and they were as American as I am, with no ties to Japan.

      And you do know I assume that the 4442nd Regimental Combat Team, which fought in Italy and southern France and was made up entirely of Nisei was the most decorated unit for its size and length of service in the history of the U.S. Army.

      Tom Evans

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    7. An enigma at such an age, respectfully. Most are more conservative by that time. Were you by any chance a hippy or draft card burner, Mr? If you were an adult from a time before that then it really is perplexing.

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  5. This makes about as much sense as hating a Starbucks coffee cup. The trouble with extreme haters is they're never satisfied. Even if they could eradicate everything anti to their obscene interpretation of their beliefs, it wouldn't be enough. They'll turn on each other like 17th century Puritans (or Republicans).

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  6. Neil-you said it with such clarity!. They WANT us to hate-and if we succumb and decide to do so-that is how they win. Ill never forget a taxi driver a couple if days after 9/11, whose family had been here for years, and who was now afraid and almost in tears describing how he and his family were suddenly being treated so badly.

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  7. Neil-you said it with such clarity!. They WANT us to hate-and if we succumb and decide to do so-that is how they win. Ill never forget a taxi driver a couple if days after 9/11, whose family had been here for years, and who was now afraid and almost in tears describing how he and his family were suddenly being treated so badly.

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  8. That some people will glory in the tragedy as confirmation of their own poorly focused hatred is a keen insight. On the local level it may lead to abuse of innocent Moslems, but, also. on the level of government it empowers politicians of the "ready, fire, aim" school to push for rash and counterproductive actions. My old political science professor Hans Morgenthau wrote early in the Vietnam War, of which he was a critic, "the desire to 'do something' pervades top levels of government and often overpowers common sense advice that insists U.S. ability to shape events might be negligible. The yen for action sometimes leads to bold actions as therapy."

    Morgenthau was a leader of the "realist" school of international politics and, although it sounds cold, would probably regard recent events as opportunities to encourage the French and Russians to assume more of the heavy lifting in dealing with ISIS militarily

    Tom Evans.

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    1. Groups like ISIS don't want western interference in their neck of the woods. As long as that happens we will be targets in the west. It's not just about their not liking our society. Makes one wonder if isolationism is the key... even if that wasn't a good idea in the 1920's and 30's. To say nothing of the same soldiers having to serve more than one tour. Get a draft reinstated and watch how some will protest for full withdrawal of our forces from those hellholes. If only the Oil Barons, Gov't leaders, arms makers and Industrialists and their offspring would be the ones to fight.

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  9. Thanks, Neil. Lots of us are still in shock out here, and you're already articulating out "next step" in feelings. Let's stop the hate in all forms of bigotry. We can and will do this. That said, my heart goes out to the victims in France . . . the victims of hatred everywhere.

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    1. "pretty to think so" as some say...good phrase

      Does anyone really thing our lofty ideals, candles or some think prayers alone will stop groups like ISIS and turn them into loving folk? I laugh myself silly at some of the drivel on FB of slogans of how love will stop all and lets love these folks and all will be well. Let's walk on eggshells for them. They take advantage of that soft soap...Maybe Putin can handle them better than we can and let's hope the French aren't all talk in their claims to be ruthless. That's where PC gets in the way and is used against us. The terrorists must really think we are a soft touch. Perhaps the ones that are jailed will ask for special halal meals. Bacon anyone?

      You gotta love extreme liberal, guilt, especially from those that live in nice, safe place. I don't care for fundamentalists but one can say more against them here then dare mention the M word. Oh I know-soon the blog master will come and say that someone is playing hurt martyr.

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    2. And what a crock about everyone putting up these red/white & blue fb banners. After all they are not just France's colors but ours and Great Britains. Like all the hoopla after Charlie Hebdo. And then what? Was the terror problem solved or laying candles and flowers. We and much of the west are stupid, sitting ducks. Now lets continue to tout our high minded intellectualism and humanitarianism.

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    3. But you forgot to let us know: Is the Anonymous at 3:57 the same Anonymous at 3:50?

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    4. 3:01 is definitely different.

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    5. "That's where PC gets in the way and is used against us." Leaving the rest of it aside, "Love your enemies" is not and has never been PC. It's a radical idea. Which is part of why it has so infrequently actually been practiced in this supposedly Christian nation.

      LOL, Sandy!

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    6. And you think Jesus meant let yourself get blown up???? that's not quite just the other cheek is it

      And since when did you become a bible quote guy?

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    7. TE-The Germans and Italians in AMerica in WWII weren't the threats that the terrorists are now or that the Japanese were then on our shores or our territory.

      Now WWI was different and Germans were picked on here and words changed.

      Heck even the Brit. monarchs wanted to change their name.

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  10. Oh Steinberg, you fail to realize that these mad bombers and shooters lack any care other than themselves. Whether it's the white devils, Amerikkka-spewing race-baiters, or tribalist women-haters/users, these sheeple were born to obey and destroy.

    Go visit the elementary schools in Iraq and Syria. I am sure they are practicing times tables and studying plant life. Not. They are jealous throw-backs to the days of Vandals, Khan, and Hitler's Germany. Thank God, Allah, and the four Cardinal directions for the Atlantic Ocean.

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    1. Speaking strictly for myself, Anonymous 3:01, it matters not what the mad bombers and shooters care about. I think it's futile to concern ourselves with what they believe in, since we all have our own opinions on such matters and have no way of controlling what they may or may not be learning in school and planning. We can, though, try to be better than they are and not fill ourselves with hate. Forgive me if that sounds naive.

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  11. The old “don’t give in to the terrorists or they win” cliche. That’s all you got right now? Hack.
    Seen any conservative “handmaidens” dancing in the streets about this yet? Still waiting for one of these posts on a current event or social issue where you don’t set up the right wing nut job straw man so you can knock it down.
    Geez, write another book already. I will pen the NYT review, pan it, then you can get all butt hurt and whiny again. That is at least funny stuff to read.

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    1. Cant rationalize with suicide loving terrorists anymore than one could with the kamikaze back in the day.

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    2. You must not get out much.

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    3. Sorry to disappoint but just returned from a brief trip, Bitter. And that's a disappointing response from you, usually I like your posts. If someone doesn't agree with your point of view, doesn't mean they don't get out much or read a lot.

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    4. Never mind, Scribe, you were talking to someone else.

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  12. We have a young family member in Paris right now. Fortunately, he and his girlfriend are fine. I think we have to recognize that this radical Islam movement is not rational. It is evil. We don't see pure evil in our daily lives so we can't believe it's possible. It is. Unfortunately, I believe we have a US leadership who'd rather try to finnesse it than meet it head on. You can't reason with fanatics. I think these attacks are going to get worse. God bless us all.

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  13. evil or insane, irrational killers?
    true about not reasoning with fanatics

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  14. The moral universe implied by this column i.e., making terrorists morally equivalent to haters, is breathtakingly absurd and dangerous. It cheapens and trivializes the important conversation that really is necessary.

    First off we must name the Evil that is. The scourge of political correctness and its self appointed enforcers, the language police, make this unnecessarily difficult for too many of us. We must call a spade a shovel. We can't change what we don't first acknowledge (h/t Dr. Phil for the last two sentences).

    The terror in Paris was wrought by a violent and virulent strain of Islam; one the values death as much as Westerners value life. Even if only 5% of all Muslims are supporters of this ideology (stats I've heard give a higher %), that's over 50 million people!

    What to do is always the question. This is without question a clash of civilizations. This is about confronting and defeating today's equivalent of the Nazism of my parents' generation. Hopefully world leadership will find a way to do what must be done just as world leaders did 70+ years ago with many countries and their people united behind folks like my dad and many other women and men around the globe. God help us all.

    Jordan

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  15. ISIS is an Islamic organization in the same sense that the Westboro Baptist Church and the Ku Klux Klan are Christian organizations.

    "Stats I've heard" is not a very reliable basis for your figure. This article suggests a much lower figure: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Security-Watch/terrorism-security/2015/0113/How-many-Muslim-extremists-are-there-Just-the-facts-please

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    1. Not to suggest that ISIS is not an evil and dangerous force.

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  17. Your comparison of the results of ISIS' perversion of Islam to the results of the KKK's and Westboro's perversion of Christianity displays a moral compass that is equally perverse.

    Re your link to stats, above I wrote of the % of all Muslims that are SUPPORTERS of Jihadi Islam. Your link speaks of the number of Islamic terrorists. Apples and oranges.

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  18. Actually, it speaks of the number "at risk for becoming radicals." Those are the ones to be concerned about, in addition those who are currently terrorists.

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  19. Well said, Eashtov.

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