June 9, 2006

Democrats and Islamo-fascists.

Thomas Friedman -- behind the TimesSelect wall -- uses the occasion of the Zarqawi obliteration to lecture Democrats about their political prospects. Don't get too smug reading Bush's poll numbers, he says:
What the polls show is largely the result of President Bush's incompetent performance in Iraq, rather than the emergence of a convincing Democratic national security message or group of candidates respected on defense....

What Zarqawi and the recently arrested group of terrorists in Canada remind us of is that, whatever you think about the Iraq war, open societies today are threatened by these utterly ruthless jihadists. Many Americans feel that. If Democrats want to really seize control of the national security issue, they must persuade the country — in its gut — that they have a convincing post-Iraq strategy to rally the world against these Islamo-totalitarians.
Do Democrats even use the expression "Islamo-totalitarians" (or "Islamo-fascist")?

ADDED: And I must say that I'm enough of a Democrat that it bothers me to use the term "Islamo-fascist." I just looked at my blog after publishing this and felt a twinge seeing the word in the title to the post. Frankly, I think it's repulsive to see the word "fascist" next to the name of a religion.

97 comments:

George said...

Ask anyone who has lived in Saudi Arabia (as I have) whether one should feel any guilt over the use a term such as "Islamofascist." Odds are they will tell you the only thing wrong with the word is that is is too hard to say easily. The prime source of the world's terrorist idelogy, Saudi Arabia (literally "Arabia of the Saud Family") is a terrifying place: If you're an African or Asian Christian and try to practice your religion, you'll fear arrest, even torture and death. If you're a Shi'ite, you'll live in fear, too. Political freedoms? Hah! Do what the
Royal Family says. Imagine if the United States were called "American of the Washington Family" and Washington's descendants were in leage with snake-handlers who banned all other religious practices and you begin to get an idea what evil looks like.

Pogo said...

Re: "Frankly, I think it's repulsive to see the word "fascist" next to the name of a religion."

I'm hoping there are Muslims who feel the same way, but so far the fascists are winning that 'debate'.

paulfrommpls said...

"Frankly, I think it's repulsive to see the word "fascist" next to the name of a religion."

Bummer.

Patrick Martin said...

But it is accurate, and far better than using the name of the religion alone as a descriptor of the terror. Which sounds "better": "Islamic terrorism" or "Islamo-fascist terrorism"?

The terrorists themselves claim to be inspired by the religion. They claim to be following its dictates. It cannot be adequately described or labelled without a reference to the religion.

brylin said...

Until there is a significant movement within Islam to oppose the terrorists, my opinion is that it is proper to use the term Islamo-fascists.

Joe said...

Islamo-fascist is accurate but unwieldy. I am tending towards using the word Jihadist (or scumbag) to describe these subhumans.
I like something Fallaci has said: fascism is not an ideology, it is a behavior.

Pogo said...

Friedman's barking up the wrong tree. pro-defense Democrats like Lieberman are far out of their mainstream, and become marginalized or (in his case) directly opposed for elections from within their own party.

The New Left, whether you date their origin to the 1930s, 40, or 50s, is not anti-war (as if anyone were really pro-war), but actively anti-West. The US can do no right, and is always on the evil side of the equation. What they want is less than clear, but dislike of the status quo is fierce enough to preclude self-defense.

The Democrats are not Quakers; that is, they do not rule out violence per se. Just defense of the US through violent means. What they suffer from, as Robert Conquest opined, "a lack of imagination". They are ideologically unable to imagine that revolutionaries can mean them harm.

So Friedman is asking Democrats to wake up. It's simply not possible.

james said...

Recall that Islam is not just a religion in the Western sense, but also a system of government. There are a number of flavors of this system of religious government, one set of which we can reasonably describe as fascist.

John said...

That's the thing with words - they mean something. And sometimes words mean things that make us uncomfortable. Our problem is we are always looking for words that make us feel better when describing bad things rather than come to grips with the fact that bad things exist. Some words, like fascist, have become so extreme because of overuse, that the person using it is viewed as extreme, but it doesn't change the condition they are trying to describe.

JohnF said...

I suppose you are entitled to find whatever you want repulsive. Can you come up with a better term to describe people who

(a) practice a certain religion,

(b) seek to impose a fascistic governmental structure, based on the teachings of that religion, on the rest of the world,

(c) state that that religion requires various atrocities (by our corrupt Western standards) to be committed in order to bring about that result, and

(d) commit those atrocities.

What term should we use for these people? Some kind of combination of "Islam" "Muslim" and "fascist" does not strike me as odd or repulsive--at least no less odd or repulsive that the people described.

TWM said...

Has anyone read Prayers for the Assassin by Robert Ferrigno? The term Islamo-fascists fits perfectly into the world he has created in this novel. As James says, Islam is both a religion and a repressive system of government, which many (though not all) Muslims wish to impose on the entire world.

The name fits, Ann, it just fits.

Oh, and if you are interested in the book, here is the website for it:

http://prayersfortheassassin.com/

Tibore said...

"Frankly, I think it's repulsive to see the word "fascist" next to the name of a religion."

Out of curiosity, professor, why? Is it because it seems to be an impingment on the religion as a whole? If so, I see what you mean, but in my case, I have been using it to distinguish between the sane, rational segments and the murderous, nihilist parts. So in short, I use the term specifically so I don't end up tarring the entire religion. When I read other blogs from Muslims in the M.E. who unreservedly express disgust and horror at the type of things Zarqawi has done, I realize that there are many, many sane non-violent Muslims who don't deserve to get put in the same category with the radical, murderous elements. Due to that, I try to watch my language to make sure any condemnations -- and due to my disgust and horror at the radical segments' actions, those condemnations can get pretty harsh -- don't end up impugning the rest of the followers. There's a segment that deserves our support, and a segment that deserves our harshest vitriol, and that's why I use the term: To distinguish between the two.

Troy said...

Kos-sacks however have no problem tying Christians with fascists on an hourly basis.

Islamo-fascist -- unwieldy as it is... is an actual case where the rhetoric perfectly describes the enemy. They are Islamic and they are fascists.

Richard Dolan said...

Ann asks: "Do Democrats even use the expression 'Islamo-totalitarians' (or 'Islamo-fascist')?"

Yes, of course. Hillary, for example. But not convincingly, not as if they (she) really think(s) the idea captured by the phrase should be a guide to American policy or action. But they use it. Most often, they use it to suggest that there is just one Islamo-fascist, Osama by name, and he would have been eliminated LONG AGO but for the incompetence of the Bushies.

Islamo-fascist: in the Dem lexicon, it's just a phrase useful to segue into the real theme of interest -- Bush the Incompetent. Ther is even a whiff of that in Friedman's piece (in truth, there's usually a whiff of it in most of the stuff published by the NYTimes). Never forget that IT'S ALL ABOUT BUSH and HE IS TO BLAME FOR EVERYTHING (including the weather).

The odd note in this post is that Ann still thinks of herself as a Democrat. It's odd because the Dems (and especially the Dem bloggers) definitely do not (just as they have the same trouble with Lieberman).

Daryl Herbert said...

I too am repulsed by the term "Islamo-totalitarian."

It's totally unwieldy. It looks like he wants a new way to say "Islamofascist" that doesn't carry the baggage of a term used by right-wing commenters. But he wants to say the exact same thing. But that's just too many syllables.

What's wrong with calling a spade a spade? Islamofascist is an accurate description of their group. Are you worried that it's unfair to other Muslims?

I thought the whole point of calling them "Islamofascists" was to distinguish them from the non-fascist Muslims. Obviously, not everyone gets that (see: Brylin's comment)

The terminology may not be pretty but we've been blocked from using so many other words. Can't call them "Muslim terrorists" because that's an insult to Islam. Can't call them "jihadists" or "jehadis" because Jihad can be a peaceful struggle for self-improvement, or whatnot. Can't call them towelheads or camel jockeys because interjecting racism doesn't help us any.

The leftoid media have graciously allowed us the terms "militant," "martyr," "freedom fighter," and "activist," but I'm not really satisfied with those.

Ann Althouse said...

Well, it's not odd. I've been registered as a Democrat since 1972. My problem with them is national security, which is exactly what Friedman is writing about. I dislike a lot of lefty things, however, so I don't like the left wing of the party. But I'm not attracted to the Republicans because of all the ridiculous social conservative things. Actually, I don't think Republicans politicians go around saying "Islamo-fascist" either. Bush has always been careful to show respect for Islam generally and to reach out to Muslims. So I really shouldn't associate this compunction about religion to Democrats.

Goesh said...

Jihadi works fine for me

AJ Lynch said...

Speaking of Islamo-facsists, I saw General Barry McCaffrey on TV last night and he said the American special forces have become the deadliest force in the world. Here is a quote from the former general ... "They are taking all the fun out of Jihad".

LoafingOaf said...

I like the label "islamo-fascist." They have a lot in common with the varieties of fascism that plagued Europe in the 20th century, and this variety happens to have sprung out of Islam. Seems accurate to me.

It distinguishes the terror-loving savage barbarian jihadists from the millions of normal, good Muslims without pretending that the religion isn't nevertheless currently sick and part of the problem or that the Islamo-fascists don't represent a significant portion of Muslims, Muslim mosques, Muslim "charities", Muslim governments, and Muslim relgious leaders. Still wondering when they'll clean their religion up.....

The Drill SGT said...

The mathematics of it are simple. In the context of the War on Terror:

99.9% of Muslims are not the terrorists, but

99.9% of the terrorists are Muslims.


We need terms that recognize those truths and don't try to obfuscate around the issue. Islamofascist works for me to describe the general class of Islamic terrorist.

BTW: that .1% of Muslims is still 1.5 million, so the math representation is probably right withing an order of magnitude.

Ann Althouse said...

Daryl: I too wondered if Friedman couldn't bring himself to say "Islamo-fascists" and was toning it down to "Islamo-totalitarians," which is more unwieldy. But I checked the NYT site and saw that he used "Islamo-fascism" three times last year. On October 7, 2005, he wrote: "The president's speech on terrorism yesterday was excellent. He made clear, better than ever, why winning in Iraq is so important to the wider struggle against Islamo-fascism." On October 5, he wrote: "Succeeding in this venture, to stem the drift of the Arab world toward Islamo-fascism and autocracy, is so much more important than the war critics have ever allowed." And on April 22, he wrote: "Mr. Blair took a principled position to depose Saddam and keep Britain tightly aligned with America... because he believed that the advance of freedom and the defeat of fascism -- whether Islamo-fascism or Nazi fascism -- were quintessential and indispensable ''liberal'' foreign policy goals."

ModNewt said...


99.9% of Muslims are not the terrorists

99.9% of the terrorists are Muslims.


Which terrorists?

I disagree with the whole association of the Islam religion to terrorists. I consider ETA, the IRA (before they disarmed) and the likes of Paul Hill ( the abortion doctor killer) and Eric Rudolph (Olympic Park bomber) to be terrorists in the same vein as Al Qaeda.

I doubt many of people who practice Christianity would associate themselves with the above groups. However, you'd have many people who would agree with the perspective of these groups. Many people oppose abortion, and many others think the British treatment of catholics in Northern Ireland was atrocious and that it should join the Republic of Ireland.

There is a religious element to the above groups I mention, but I would first and foremost describe them as terrorists... whatever the cause. If I described Paul Hill as a Baptist-Terrorist I suspect many Baptists would be outraged.

PatCA said...

I know what you mean, Ann. To me using Islamo-fascist is sort of like the left calling Bush Hitler. "Islamist" makes more sense to me. It's a unique word for a unique phenomenon. It's an evil enough ideology on its own and does not need the added frisson of "fascist" to make the point.

I registered Independent tho--I could not remain in that party.

Bruce Hayden said...

The problem I see with using "fascist" is that it has two somewhat different meanings. The historical meaning was that of an Italian brand of secular national socialism.

The second, more current meaning, is almost indistinguishable from totalitarianism. But that meaning is at odds with the historical meaning. Fascism was never really about totalitarianism, except, as with Naziism and Communism, that such was a temporary step in implementing the socialist system.

So, instead of a secular national socialist state, which is what Fascism and Naziism were historically mostly about, Islamo-Fascism espouses a pan-national, somewhat capitalistic, religious theocracy.

LoafingOaf said...

99.9% of Muslims are not the terrorists

What if you included those Muslims sympathetic with the terrorism? Can the percentage be so low? As you point out even small percentages of over a billion people is an awful lot of people. Put that with the fear of speaking out many Muslims probably feel and it makes it hard to get a grip on. I just don't know.

An eye-opener to me was when the largest mosque in my state (the Islamic Center of Cleveland) turned out to be run by and infested with terror-lovers. Muslims I come across in Ohio rarely seem like extremists. It's more often non-Muslim leftists who tend to sound like they have sympathies for Islamo-fassism. But I was shocked that such a seemingly respectable mosque had been taken over by a nutter (Damra is his name) and dragged it down into the sickness.

dklittl said...

That 99% of terrorists quote intrigued me, first of all because its patently untrue. But also, because I've heard the same quote made about racists and the Republican party. I guess Republican-fascists just doesn't have the same ring to it.

ignacio said...

"Jihadis" seems to do the trick in conversation for me.

stoqboy said...

LoafingOaf check this out, you won't be so surprised.http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=122105F

Meade said...

ModNewt said...

If I described Paul Hill as a Baptist-Terrorist I suspect many Baptists would be outraged.

But not nearly as many as would be outraged by "Terrorist-Baptist."

Michael Farris said...

I dislike the term Islamo-fascist (and its derivatives) because it's based on the idea of dehumanization (arguably a [necessary] part of any war) as long as you can convince people that a billion or so people are Islamo-fascists (as opposed to the vast majority of them being regular people doing the best they can under the circumstances) no one will much care what happens to them.

It's also inaccurate in that the governments closest to the classical meaning of fascist in the Arab/Muslim world tend toward the more secular.

I prefer terms like (depending on the context) theocratic Islam, political Islam, armed Islamic fundamentalism that (I think) are closer to what's the movement(s) are all about.

Political and military Islamic fundamentalism is a very real danger that I take seriously. But it needs to be discussed with clarity and not sound-bite slogans and labels.

Jacques Cuze said...

I find Islamofascists hard to say easily, and I worry that behind it is nothing more than propaganda, metonymy, taking one group of people and making them the whole.

On the other hand, I do think that Christofascist comes off the tongue too easily and we all know exactly who that refers to: the group of Christians (Republicans) aiming to reverse Roe V. Wade, aiming to scourge the country of gays, and aiming to bring christian theology as the major force in our laws and remove science from our lives and laws.

the Reverend Rich Lang of the Trinity United Methodist Church of Seattle, gave a sermon titled George Bush and the Rise of Christian Fascism in which he said "I want to flesh out the ideology of the Christian Fascism that Mr. Bush articulates. It is a form of Christianity that is the mirror opposite of what Jesus embodied. It is, indeed, the materialization of the spirit of antichrist: a perversion of Christian faith and practice...".

I think that Christofascism, the exploitation of Christists by our Republican leaders is a far bigger danger to our way of life than any so called Islamofascism. And I think that is apparent in the bigotry expressed in the above comments.

Tibore said...

PatCA, Bruce:

That does help shed some light on the objections to associating "Fascism" with the radical militant Islamicism the world is facing today. I'm not sure I 100% agree; I think Radical Militant Islamicism (anyone mind if I abbreviate it "RMI" from here on out?) comes awfully close to meeting historian Robert O. Paxton's definition of fascism:

"A form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion."

Strike "nationalist" and substitute with whatever term seems appropriate - committed "religious" militants, committed "radical Islamic" militants, etc. - and that pretty much describes RMI as we see it today.

But that's one definition. To properly acknowledge other arguments, I must admit that there are deep differences. For example there's no real sense of "Corporativismo", like in Mussolini's brand of fascism; you'd have to stretch to equate individial terrorist groups with governmentally designated Corporate bodies, like the type of national labor union envisioned in the Italian brand of Fascism, although you can draw slight, imperfect parallels out of Iran's support of groups like Hezbollah. Plus, save for the Palestinian groups, there's nothing nationalistic about many of the RMI movements out there; in fact, they're sort of the opposite in that they emphasize a unity transcending nation and governments. Above all that, there's no economic component, although many argue that the hallmark of Fascism wasn't the National Socialism embodied by Hitler and Mussolini, that it was in fact the harkening to the national mythic character that defined it.

So, I guess in the end, we just have to use what fits our opinions of them. I agree that the RMI groups out there are not Fascist in many respects, but in some gross characteristics, I feel there are undeniable similarities. Eh... you use what works, I guess.

Joe said...

"I think that Christofascism, the exploitation of Christists by our Republican leaders is a far bigger danger to our way of life than any so called Islamofascism"
If this isn't the single dumbest statement I have ever read, it is in the top two, and I cannot remember the other one. Jock, you are the king of the straw men. On what possible factual basis can you say such a thing?

Joe said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Richard Dolan said...

In today's Bleat, Lileks nails a form of rhetorical jabbing that shows up in this thread.

Lileks took a look as some of the blog commentary about Zarqawi, and wrote: "My favorite post: 'Last time I checked, he never killed anyone directly. He's not exactly a murderer, although he's responsible for a boatload of death but not as much as, say, the owner of a tobacco company.' Ignorance, qualified frown, fatuous elevation of an unrelated matter to indicate superior moral sensibilities – that boy hit ‘em all in record time."

In this thread, ModNewt says: "I disagree with the whole association of the Islam religion to terrorists. I consider ETA, the IRA (before they disarmed) and the likes of Paul Hill ( the abortion doctor killer) and Eric Rudolph (Olympic Park bomber) to be terrorists in the same vein as Al Qaeda."

It's amazing to me how many people have difficulty accepting the reality staring them in the face. Surely the first imperative is to deal with the truth, not some fairy tale of how we would like the world to be. How can anyone not notice that terrorism today is associated with radical Islam, funded by radical Islamist organizations, taught and fostered in radical mosques and madrassas, and celebrates mass murder by (among other techniques) suicidal bomb attacks in the name of holy jihad? That these features of radical Islam lead to terrorist activity by only the tinest fraction of Muslims hardly detracts from the fact that terrorism of that sort is an aspect of radical Islam -- not Roman Catholicism, the Southern Baptists, "Republicans fascists" (you just knew that would show up in this thread), or any other group. Nor should one lose sight of the fact that a somewhat larger proportion of fundamentalist Muslims sympathize with the actual terrorists, even if they themselves do not engage in terrorism.

VS Naipual, in his prescient book Among the Believers, and Bernard Lewis, in any one of a number of books, have been writing about this reality for a long time. Yet many prefer to deny what is obvious for all to see. Very, very strange. I'm not sure whether the usual explanations for such wilfull blindness -- political correctness of some sort, another ideological set of blinders, the leftovers of anti-colonialism, God knows what -- explain that phenomenon.

Richard Fagin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
reader_iam said...

I think that Christofascism, the exploitation of Christists by our Republican leaders is a far bigger danger to our way of life than any so called Islamofascism.

"Quxxothink," in a nutshell.

Palladian said...

quxxofascism

The Drill SGT said...

In defense of my 99.9% analogy, note I said: In the context of the War on Terror:

99.9% of Muslims are not the terrorists, but

99.9% of the terrorists are Muslims

Should I have said GWOT instead?

Yes the IRA, the Weathermen, and ELF and the Red Brigades, and Abortion Clinic bombers and the Unibomber and McVey were evil or crazy or both, but they don't start with whole countries, a pool of 1.5 billion possible recruits and lots of cash.

I was referring to our post 9/11 efforts WRT Islamic Terror.

Meade said...

Where the zarqawi IS that little quxxofascist?

ChrisO said...

I realize it's swimming against the tide, but it gets pretty tiring seeing the otherwise intelligent dialogue on this board interrupted by posts like Pogo's and Richard Dolan's. These ridiculous accountings of what "Dems really believe" are completely unsupported by facts, and are generally a rehashing of tired old stereotypes and Republican talking points. Yeah, yeah, the left thinks America's the only evil country in the world, everything's America's fault, all they want us to do is lose, they care more about the terrorists than our country, etc. etc. And when they can't get around the fact that a Democrat said something that might disrupt the sterotypes, they resort to the claim that the Democrats aren't saying it "convincingly". The New York Times, for example, reported Zaqari's death in a pretty straightforward manner, but of course every right wing blog talked about how "sad" they people at the Times were, or how you could "tell" that they hated saying anything positive about the US.

So Pogo, to get specific, when you say "The Democrats are not Quakers; that is, they do not rule out violence per se. Just defense of the US through violent means," can you please specify all those Democrats who criticized the invasion of Afghanistan? You know, the one that was in response to an actual attack on the US. Or the many Democrats who have changed their tunes, and are critical of the invasion of Afghanistan now. Your cheap slanders are just a waste of electrons. If you insisting on posting these poli sci lectures, perhaps you could stick to a topic you know something about, whatever that may be.

ModNewt said...

Richard Dolan said...

How can anyone not notice that terrorism today is associated with radical Islam, funded by radical Islamist organizations, taught and fostered in radical mosques and madrassas, and celebrates mass murder by (among other techniques) suicidal bomb attacks in the name of holy jihad?

What is your point? You're "reality" or "truth" associates all madrassas and mosques with radical terrorists. Mine does not.

Christian Identity "churches" teach that whites are the true chosen people of God, that Jews are the descendants of Satan and that people of color do not possess souls. It reviles homosexuality and opposes abortion as a Jewish plot to reduce the white population.

The KKK is a radical Protestant group.

The fact that terrorists touting islam are more prominent says nothing to me about that religion. Mainstream mosques, madrassas and musliums in general oppose these radicals, their teachings and their tactics, just as mainstream baptists oppose Eric Rudolph. And just because you are unfamiliar with groups such as the Lord's Resistance Army (which uses the Christian Bible to justify its actions which include killing and mutilations of innocent civilians) doesn't mean that terrorism isn't associated with "any other group".

And sympathizing with a group is not the same as being part of it. Many American citizens support the goals of the IRA for some donated money to the IRA. If you listen to talk radio at all, many callers would argue in favor of Eric Rudolph. Signs on the roads in the south wished him god speed.

I'll concede that there may be more terrorists out there using Islam for their reasoning. I'm just saying I don't think they are acting as good muslims and when people in general associate terrorists with Islam, all muslims are tarnished.

pst314 said...

"Fascism is a radical authoritarian political philosophy that combines elements of corporatism, totalitarianism, extreme nationalism, militarism, anti-communism and anti-liberalism."

If you study the Koran and the Sunna, you can make a good case that they prescribe totalitarianism (a tyrannical and draconian enforcement of rules governing every aspect of life), extreme nationalism (hatred of and intolerance for non-Muslims), militarism (conquest and subjugation until all the world is Muslim), and anti-liberalism (democracy, secular government, freedom of speech, and religious tolerance are "blasphemy"). And of course there is the fuehrer-princip, as embodied in the veneration of the bandit thug Mohammed as "the perfect man".

Seven Machos said...

We were admonished some time ago by our host to keep copy and paste jobs to a minimum. I've never been a long copy-and-paster but please forgive this instance. This talk by Bernard Leiws is important; it goes to the heart of why we should or shouldn't say "Islamo-fascism"; and the original article is 22 pages long.

http://pewforum.org/events/index.php?EventID=107

"Let me begin with the name, which has been given — not by me — to our discussion today: the West and Islam, sometimes also Islam and the West, depending on your perspective. You will surely be struck by a certain asymmetry in this formulation. On the one side, a compass point; on the other, a religion...

In talking of the Christian world, in English — and, I suppose, in all the other languages of the Christian world — we use two terms: Christianity and Christendom...If we say Christendom, we mean the entire civilization that grew up under the aegis of that religion, but also contains many elements that are not part of that religion, many elements that are even hostile to that religion.

Let me give one simple example. No one could seriously assert that Hitler and the Nazis came out of Christianity. No one could seriously dispute that they came out of Christendom. In talking of Islam, we use the same word in both senses, and this gives rise to considerable confusion and misunderstanding. There are many things that are described as part of Islam, which are indeed part of Islam, if we take the word as the equivalent of Christendom, but are very much not part of Islam — are even alien or hostile to Islam — if we take the word Islam as the equivalent of Christianity. I think this is a very important point, which one should bear in mind.

The late Marshall Hodgson, of the University of Chicago, in discussing this issue, suggested that we use the word Islamdom to describe the civilization. A good idea, but it didn't catch on, probably because it's so difficult to pronounce."

Joe said...

The day that Christians fly airplanes into office buildings and behead innocents on videotape, I will worry about them. Until then, let's focus on the real enemy.

Seven Machos said...

ChrisO: Get serious. I googled "left opposed afghanistan" and in three seconds had this article:

http://www.nationalreview.com/york/york200508180920.asp

There are hundreds more. The fact is, many on the left did oppose the war in Afghanistan. I do see how you can be a little frustrated when someone says the ENTIRE left did something that, clearly, only a minority moonbat faction did. But them's the breaks sometimes and I certainly see the right painted in broad strokes very often.

Noumenon said...

"I think that Christofascism... is a far bigger danger to our way of life than any so called Islamofascism"

I'm not quxxxo, but if I had to answer on what possible basis he might say such a thing, I'd say it was because Christians have much more potential influence over our society and coercive military force.

For example, I could paraphrase Joe and say "The day that Islamists possess thousands of nuclear-tipped missiles, a conquering army in Christian territory and are able to tap into any American's phone conversation, I will worry about them. Until then, let's focus on the real enemy."

I'm not sure what part of this I don't really believe. I think it's a mix of whether Christians are dangerous and whether they really have any influence on our government.

ModNewt said...

Joe said...

The day that Christians fly airplanes into office buildings and behead innocents on videotape, I will worry about them. Until then, let's focus on the real enemy.

Dang... you make the rules. I guess driving trucks into the Murrow Building doesn't count. And, yes, McVeigh used christiantity as part of his defense. Man can people be myopic.

Richard Dolan said...

Modnewt says: "What is your point? You're "reality" or "truth" associates all madrassas and mosques with radical terrorists. Mine does not."

In a sense, the only response is to observe that Modnewt is an excellent exemplar of Lileks' point. Contrary to Modnewt, most people understand instinctively that reality isn't like fashion, nor is it governed by the maxim de gustibus non disputandum est. Instead, it's the same for all of us. Instead, all you have to do is open your eyes and look. And no one claims that "all madrassas and mosques" are associated with "radical terrorists." The claim is that the terrorists we are concerned about -- the 9/11 crowd, the "shoe bomber," the London bombers, the gang that attacked the WTC the first time, the recent gang arrested in Canada, etc., etc. -- found their suicidal mission alog with each other in those places.

But these points are so clear that I don't think modnewt missed them. It's just another aspect of reality that he pretends not to see.

Joe said...

Christians are allowed to have political influence in our society, like anyone else. There is NO credible threat that they will attempt to create a theocratic fascist society here by force. For jihadists, the worldwide caliphate is the goal. Get real.

Seven Machos said...

ModNewt -- The rationale of Tim McVeigh has never been suitably explained as far as I'm concerned. It fits well into thr rubric of not everything from Christendom being Christian and not everything from Islamdom being Islam, though.

"Radical religious tyrants of Islamdom." How about that?

Joe said...

Modnewt, is McVeigh the only thing you can come up with to support the idiotic claim that Christians are a bigger threat than al-qaeda? Talk about myopic.

Seven Machos said...

I am with Joe here. A does something and B does something. We have a war against B. You can't say, "well, look at A, what about A?" A isn't the point in terms of our fight with B. This is particularly true in light of the fact that A is dead and we killed him for the same reason we now have a war with B.

What IS your point, Mod?

ModNewt said...

Joe said...

Modnewt, is McVeigh the only thing you can come up with to support the idiotic claim that Christians are a bigger threat than al-qaeda? Talk about myopic.

Straw man. I never said that. I'm all for fighting the terrorist and for fighting the idea that they claim they are muslim. I claim they are not. I claim Tim McVeigh was not Christian. Yes, I think Al Qaeda is a huge threat and we ought to fight them (though I don't think we're doing a good job).

You, Richard Dolan, et al. claim Islam is the problem. I do not.

ModNewt said...

What IS your point, Mod?

My point is that lots and lots of people support violence and are violent using religion to support their reason. They have for thousands of years.

When the victims of this violence say, well then I hate "that" religion, in some ways they concede the point to the terrorist.

I'm also pointing out that they don't concede the point to terrorists who use Judeo-Christian religions as their reasons for terror. I don't hear anyone saying here or in other discussions, "I hate christo-terrorsits" or "christo-facists." I suspect because it doesn't suit them; they are themselves probably christian.

Catholics all the time disassociate themselves from the Crusades. Why shouldn't well intentioned Muslims be allowed to disassociate themselves from Al Qaeda terrorists?

Craig Ranapia said...

Ann wrote:
Frankly, I think it's repulsive to see the word "fascist" next to the name of a religion.

Frankly, I think it's repulsive when fascists casually conflate any religion (and, yes, I sure think there are Christo-fascists out there too) with their own hate and desire for control. Who do you think are the silent majority who suffer and die at the hands of Islamo-fascists, and their all-too willing enablers in the west - Muslims. Muslim women. Gay and lesbian Muslims. Muslim artists, writers, intellectuals and politicians who don't toe the ultra-fundamentalist line.

To be honest, Ann, I think Western academics who get queasy about calling a spade a spade are being remarkably self-indulgent.

Joe said...

Everyone here has been very careful to point out that the enemy is the radical element of Islam, not Islam as a whole. You are making up the strawmen in this argument. McVeigh doesn't fly - where is his movement? - so you bring up the Crusades? Yeah, you and bin Laden rely on the Crusades.

Seven Machos said...

Mod -- I don't think there is a lot of substantive disagreement here, just over semantics. None of the above posters hates Muslims. In 1943, do you think the average American hated Werner, the kindly butcher in Munich, and his family?

The problem is that there is a political movement made up of completely of Muslims intent on destroying us and right now killing our soldiers. You have to use some shorthand to get your point across. Words ARE shorthand.

Now, some quibbles: the Crusades was a defensive war. Anyone who has actually read about them knows this. The Turks were at the gates of Vienna only about 100 years before our Constitution was written.

Also, fascism is a word that stems from the West. Islamdom could never have fascism until it has a real inudstrial revolution. Fascism and socialism are pretty much identical. Mussolini was, after all, first and foremost a socialist.

Ann Althouse said...

Craig: "Frankly, I think it's repulsive when fascists casually conflate any religion (and, yes, I sure think there are Christo-fascists out there too) with their own hate and desire for control."

People have been using religion for domination and political power since they day they thought it up. It's not so much that they conflate religion and power. The challenge is to disaggregate them:

"My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight..."

Noumenon said...

I think it should be "Islamidom," not "Islamdom." By my halidom, forsooth.

I guess driving trucks into the Murrow Building doesn't count.

Well that's the thing, I'm not worried about Christian terrorism or some clash of internal American cultures. That bombing barely appeared on my radar screen as a college student when it happened and I never thought of it as more than an isolated incident. If that was my attitude toward al-Qaeda, and I was about twenty times more frightened of Christianity than I am (my father is a pastor, so I know better), I too, like quxxxo, could be more worried about Christofascists.

TWM said...

Every time someone tries to equate Christian fundamentalism (so-called Christofascists)in the form of even the worst (Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson) with Islamo-fascism (Fanatics who cut off heads, beat women, and kill, not keep from marrying each other, homosexuals) I swear my eyes just glaze over.

I really do wonder what color the sky is on their planet.

ModNewt said...

Seven Machos said...

Mod -- I don't think there is a lot of substantive disagreement here, just over semantics. None of the above posters hates Muslims. In 1943, do you think the average American hated Werner, the kindly butcher in Munich, and his family?

I can't speak to "Werner" but I think when referencing 1943 you leave out the obvious Japanese internment camps. It's that mentality that I think I'm arguing against; lumping people together.

Few people argue the Crusades were a noble cause. I've studied them... went to catholic school for a decade. The Pope granted indulgence for cryin' out loud so ruthless crusaders could rape and murder civilians.

Palladian said...

"I really do wonder what color the sky is on their planet."

Cloudy.

Seven Machos said...

Mod -- If we ever end up in a serious war with a country full of Muslims, we will have internment camps once again. You may be quite sad about that, but it's true. The fact that many Muslims have not been beaten and lynched in this country since Sept. 11 is a testament to our respect for law and order, our morality, our ability NOT to lump together, and our general awesomeness.

Try walking through Riyadh in a pair of shorts and a Prince t-shirt. See if you don't get lumped.

I'm not saying that the Crusades were a noble cause. I'm saying they were a defensive manuever against an encroaching entity.

ModNewt said...

Noumenon said...
Well that's the thing, I'm not worried about Christian terrorism or some clash of internal American cultures.

What a complete dodge and yet another straw man argument. Just to make sure everyone isn't confused: I do not think that there are nearly as many terrorists/despots/etc using christianity as are using islam for their reasoning.

I'm just saying that nobody called McVeigh/Rudolph/Hill "Christo-nutters" or whatever you want to call them. People thought they were nutters first and foremost who twisted religion to their cause. They are no differet from al-qaeda even if poorly organized, less efficient, and less motivated towards suicide.

btw, if the bombing of the Federal Building wasn't on your "radar", the sky in your world must have been rainbow colored due to too many 'shrooms.

Craig Ranapia said...

Ann;

Fair point, but the best way to start 'disaggregate' religion and politics is to look ultra-fundamentalists in the eye and call them out without euphemism or dissembling. People like you and me are never going to be part of an Islamic Reformation - that's not our fight, and it will probably still be raging long after we're dead. But we can aid 'moderate Islam' strugging to take back their faith and their communities, by telling them that we're not looking the other way, or cloaking the people who brutally repress them in polite euphemisms because CAIR might say something mean about us.

Seven Machos said...

But Mod, they are different. McVeigh wasn't religious. Rudolph and Hill are single-issue terrorists. The Muslims behind the attacks against U.S. interests want to establish a global caliphate based on a religion and they want a radical version of Islam to extent throughout the world.

The closest recent Western equivalent is not McVeigh or Rudolph or Hill, it's Lenin or Hitler.

The fact that you keep bringing up these 10-cent American kooks demonstrates either (a) that have no sense or understanding of the threat we face or (b) that you simply want to score cool-lefty-kid irony points againt what you perceive as "the right." Or both.

Henry said...

I'm late to the party, but doesn't Christofascism sound like the dictate to wrap the country in burlap? Maybe that's just me.

ModNewt said...

Seven Machos said...
If we ever end up in a serious war with a country full of Muslims, we will have internment camps once again... The fact that many Muslims have not been beaten and lynched in this country since Sept. 11 is a testament to our respect for law...

I agree with your second statement. I think we, as citizens of the USA, have been very restrained in our treatment of Muslims I and have been generally proud to be an American (our government hasn't always behaved so well - Guantanamo). I'm not sure how that fits with your first statement which basically claims we're not so 'awesome' since you claim we'd start building internment camps again (I don't think we would).

I also noticed that you say that I'd be sorry if we started interning Muslims (white ones too?). Would you?

Seven Machos said...

If we got to a point where we in a serious war endangering national survival, I would not be sorry for rounding up anyone who threatened our survival. And if it's hard to tell who is threatening and who is not, you simply must generalize.

I am an unashamed Jacksonian warmonger.

I really hope that the USA never reaches that political point. I am confident that we won't in this fight -- we don't even have a draft -- so the question is academic.

Ann Althouse said...

Craig Ranapia said..."Fair point, but the best way to start 'disaggregate' religion and politics is to look ultra-fundamentalists in the eye and call them out without euphemism or dissembling."

More importantly, moderate Muslims should feel motivated to wrest their religion out of the hands of the people who are making it look ugly. I think the real extremists are immune to hearing us call them fascists. I think they think they are really excellent believers, strong enough to do everything for their religion.

Seven Machos said...

And one more thing -- but that every war prison could be one-tenth -- one-one-thousdandth -- of what Guantanamo has been in terms of human rights.

I would venture to say that Guantanamo has been the best place for prisoners of war in the history of humanity. And still the left bitches and drones on.

ModNewt said...

But Mod, they are different. McVeigh wasn't religious. Rudolph and Hill are single-issue terrorists.

McVeigh had clear ties to the Christian Identity "church" and had many religious motivations. Read the federal prosecutions documents. Your right that he, Rudolph and Hill, were kooks without a following. That's irrelevent to the point though, so I wont debate it.

And who would I be trying to impress with "cool" lefty points. I guess you're slowly resorting to ad hominim attack since you can't refute my points.

Sorry I can't reply anymore. Gotta go to one of my "cool" lefty hang-outs so I can score some more points and pick up chicks.

Seven Machos said...

When you have to put the word "church" in "quotation marks," can you really call the thing to which you refer a "religion"?

I think I spoke pretty directly to your arguments.

Have fun out there.

twwren said...

I think "Islamo-Democracy" is more descriptive of the Iran Theocracy.

knoxgirl said...

meade, "jacques" is quxxo. Can't you tell, he pretty much just copies-and-pastes the same comment ad nauseum...

Noumenon said...

What a complete dodge and yet another straw man argument.

I am kind of confused about how I got to this point. I guess you quoted my "I'll be worried about Christians when..." and you said "I guess the Murrow building doesn't count" and I thought you were saying, "Isn't that enough, shouldn't you be worried?" So I said, "Nope."

I think my radar in college was pretty much mainstream American radar. I read Newsweek sometimes and I was aware of the Columbine shootings and I thought voting for Bush or Gore was pretty much the same thing. Now I am a political junkie and I would probably see five different angles on Oklahoma City on all different blogs, but back then it was just no big deal.

Pogo said...

Re: "...otherwise intelligent dialogue on this board interrupted by posts like Pogo's and Richard Dolan's. These ridiculous accountings of what "Dems really believe" are completely unsupported by facts... etc., etc.

Sorry, Chris, but it's the truth.
Read Witness (Chambers), Radical Son (Horowitz), Soliah (Hendry), The Secret World of American Communism and Venona : Decoding Soviet Espionage in America (Haynes), The Dragons of Expectation: Reality and Delusion in the Course of History (Conquest), Political Pilgrims: Travels of Western Intellectuals to the Soviet Union, China and Cuba, 1928-1978 (Hollander), The Venona Secrets: Exposing America's Cold War Traitors (Romersteinor), or Useful idiots (Charen), to name a few.

But I have been posting long enough to know that you don't want and won't listen to 'evidence", nor agree what you'd accept as proof. I don't write to try to convince you. That would be futile.

dave said...

a few quick responses:

"I'm not saying that the Crusades were a noble cause. I'm saying they were a defensive manuever against an encroaching entity."
that must be how it feels for the Islamofascists, though our onslaughts are more cultural than military (at least, they used to be).

I would not be sorry for rounding up anyone who threatened our survival. And if it's hard to tell who is threatening and who is not, you simply must generalize.
my problem here is that for the United States, "survival" means much more than victory in battle, but also implies the successful defense of the principles of liberty. so internment camps or the suspension of habeas corpus (Civil War) are small defeats, or at the very least collateral damage to our guiding principles and the special requirements of American "victory."

and, I've seen this statement pop up here once or twice before and it always irks me:
Fascism and socialism are pretty much identical. Mussolini was, after all, first and foremost a socialist.
Not even close.
Fascism:Socialism as Islamofascism:Islam.

dave said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ATMX said...

Actually the reason why Democrats shouldn't expect to be able to take advantage of Bush's poll numbers is because a significant portion of the drop is due to conservative disaffection over illegal immigration. And Democrat's won't do anything that would make that portion of the electorate happy.

Team Adre said...

I'm sorry to tell you that Islamo-fascism and Islamo-totalitarianism are both completly inaccurate and extremely wrong. And that for many reasons.

1) Islamism, meaning to use Islam as the political ideology, is only bounded to radicalism. Moderate Muslims don't call for Islamic states, which is a state strictly ruled by the sharia.

2) Fascism and totalitarianism are terms that are definitely tied to a very specific context. There are three characteristics to totalitarianism (and fascism, since it's just subcategory): 1. a charismatic leader 2. a police state that crushes any rebellion and promotes a state propaganda 3. the promotion of a superior race.
From what I know and I'm pretty sure to be right on that point, only police state could fit in all the cases that can be studied regarding Islamic states.

3) Totalitarianism is absolutely against religion. Staline and Hitler succeeded in wiping out all possible faiths. Mussolini failed, because he was originally close to the Catholic Church, and that's why his totalitarianism was the least successful of all. Islamists find their legitimacy and all their ideology on the religion.

Jihadists work perfectly in the case of Islamist terrorists. Those people are neo-fondamentalists that want to spread out a pure Islam (they can also be referred as salafists.) The difference with other neo-fondamentalists is that they use violence to do so. 'Jihad' means Holy war. This is the only possible term that should be used to refer to Islamist terrorists. "Islamist" does not mean "Muslim", the ideologies are completly different. Muslims are faithful and peaceful people; Islamist are faithful and aggressive people.
Therefore terms like 'Islamo-fascists' are non-senses and enormous mistakes that only mislead people instead of telling the truth, and I'm really worried about all those amalgams people so quickly and thoughtlessly do.

Jay said...

Just a couple of comments from muslim friends and acquaintances.

On 9/11 a muslim friend received many calls from back home inquiring about his safety here. He also received many calls from his Christian and Jewish friends here on the same subject. He then remarked that where he came from, if a Christian group had done what the 9/11 murderers did here, the muslims would hunt down and kill every Christian they could lay their hands on, but the people here are different.

One view of Islam's ideal is that of all the people living in harmony under the law. Apropos of this, the Saudi managerial elite, all educated in the USA have a saying to wit," America has Islam, but no muslims. Arabia has muslims but no Islam."

Johnny Nucleo said...

Didn't Christopher Hitchens come up with the word, or is that apocryphal? I think it's a cool word - cool as in stylish - but it's not really accurate. The ideology of the enemy is more akin to bolshevism than fascism. (This is Niall Ferguson's take. I happen to agree with him.) But Islamofascism is the word. It's been settled. If it had not been settled, I would nominate Global Totalitarian Jihadism. It's clunky but precise. Why the Global? Well, really, if it were local, would any of us give a shit?

ChrisO said...

Seven Machos:

Your comment was far from enlightening. Linking to a right wing site that is clearly skewing the facts is hardly persuasive. Then claiming that it's OK to cite some fringe views and attribute them to the entire left because "them's the breaks sometimes and I certainly see the right painted in broad strokes very often" is specious. And to get specific, Byron York's article talks about people who wrote a petition asking Bush "to use, wherever possible, international judicial institutions and international human rights law to bring to justice those responsible for the attacks, rather than the instruments of war, violence or destruction." Geez, "use restraint wherever possible." What hateful, anti-American speech. And then York interviews three nameless people at a rally in Birmingham, Alabama who say they opposed the war in Afghanistan. Oh, that's right, I remember when we elected them spokespersons for the Democratic party.

As reminder, the quote I objected to said that Democrats rule out defense of the US through violent means. I don't care how many broad brushes you use. There aren't enough in th world to reconcile that statement with York's article. And finiding quotes from Ward Churchill or Kos commenters doesn't fit the bill, either.

And Pogo, sorry if I don't take the time to read seven books in order to help you make your point. Your comment was pretty straightforward. I would think you'd be able to defend it without resorting to the old "do your own research" line, especially when that research involves reading books by right wing propagandists like Mona Charen and David Horowitz. And are you honestly going to try and claim that books about Alger Hiss or Venona are going to support your contention that Democrats never want to use violence to defend the country? A laundry list of books with no cites to specific passages is pretty weak.

ChrisO said...

And Seven Machos, I Googled "left opposed afghanistan" and found nowhere near the results you did. Of course there were hundred of responses; there are hundred of responses to every Google search. But interestingly, virtually the only responses that specifically addressed the left opposing the invasion of Afghanistan (keeping in mind that Pogo was referencing "Democrats," not "the left") were from right wing blogs talking about how the left opposed the war in Afghanistan, with no supporting evidence. And by page two, the results were just bringing up random references to "Afghanistan" and the word "left." Not very rigorous research on your part.

Pogo said...

Chris,
The research is far too extensive to cite on a blog in any other fashion. You decline to read the books, and dismiss some authors out of hand as 'propagandists' ( a convenient feint). Much as I would expect.

There is no proof you'd accept, so no further will be offered.The books I cited discuss the anti-Western stance and activities of the New Left in the US. Whether you believe it or not is immaterial. Their work has stood scrutiny. You and I are just posting on a blog, aren't we?

reader_iam said...

When deeds speak, words are nothing. ~African Proverb

Noumenon said...

Obviously no one is going to agree to read seven books that you recommend with no more explanation than a comma.

Pogo said...

Re: "Obviously no one is going to agree to read seven books that you recommend with no more explanation than a comma."

I put out books that have been around for years, some since the 1950s. But the left hasn't yet read them (well, except the few who slogged through them for book reviews, followed by a stiff drink and handwashing). Instead, it blithely dismisses their research as "propaganda". Certainly Chris was unaware of books that have been around for years (save for Conquest's, but he has covered similar ground going back to the 1980s) [...no link because no one really cares about this fact, so why waste my time?].

These books will go unread by the left forever. That they document repeated attempts by the American left to destroy the US government is simply uninteresting to them, and to you. (For Pete's sake, Sen. Kerry, while still supposedly in the military, himself sat in a meeting that discussed assassinating a US Senator.)

Chris asked for proof, but doesn't really want any. I daresay he wouldn't admit to any item of historical fact as sufficient proof that the left has a history of anti-West and anti-US activity. A history that does not reject violence qua violence, but only when employed by the US government.

So there is little point to offer any more than a book title followed by a comma Chris. He'd scroll through and dismiss whatever was written down. Why bother with invincible ignorance?

Noumenon said...

(For Pete's sake, Sen. Kerry, while still supposedly in the military, himself sat in a meeting that discussed assassinating a US Senator.)

One claim like this is enough to make someone possibly read a book. It was enough to make me go to Wikipedia (though I tried Snopes first). But you gotta say what interesting thesis is going to come out of it before people read it.

Pogo said...

Witness (and others): Alger Hiss, a U.S. State Department official involved in the Yalta conference and the early United Nations, was a Soviet spy. Hotly contested at the time, this fact was later proven by details released by the Venona Project. There were in fact many US government officials spying for the Soviets.

In the 1960s, the Weathermen, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), Black Panthers, and SLA, among other leftist radical groups, actively sought the overhtrow of the US government. All three organizations used violent means (bombings, armed robbberies, murder) to this end.

n 1971, Le Duc Tho (an original founder of the Communist Party of Indochina) and Madame Binh joined the North Vietnamese Communist delegation to the Paris Peace talks. John Kerry, still in the US military, has acknowledged that he "talked privately with a leading communist representative" there (likely LDT), that is, while a US soldier, he met with our enemies.

Leftists aren't anti-violence, just anti-US. Friedman is asking the left to become Truman or Kennedy Democrats, when the party now belongs to ideas that arose during the 1960s, which reject such an approach. It's just not possible, I argue.

Pogo said...

N.B. "Leftist" is NOT synonymous with "Democrat".

ChrisO said...

Pogo

Maybe you could get over yourself a little bit. It's clear that you consider yourself just a bit more educated than most, but I don't recall ever saying I was unaware of any of those books. I frankly think the Alger Hiss story is a bit out of date for making a point about today's Democrats (remember, we were talking about Democrats.) I've read enough of Mona Charen's and David Horowitz's columns to recognize that they have no credibility with me, so why would I read their books? I've had some interest in reading about Venona, it's just down the list behind a lot of other books I'll probably never get to read.

The comment was that the Democrats don't believe in protecting the US through violence. In support of that point, you say that SDS wanted to overthrow the government. With that inability to focus on the topic at hand, why would I ever take any or your reading recommendations?

The inability to actually marshal arguments on your own and present them in a coherent fashion, without just insisting that your opponents read a 60 year old book, is actually not considered the sign of an intellectual, try as you might to portray yourself as one. SevenMachos referenced Byron York's article; I read the article, then posted my thoughts on why it didn't support his point. I didn't suggest he read Robert Watson's biography of George McGovern. You don't have to agree with my argument, but I think you'll find it's a much more efficient method for exchanging ideas than simply presenting reading lists, and then claiming I won't read the books because I don't want to know the truth. Weak.

Pogo said...

Re: "...it's a much more efficient method for exchanging ideas than simply presenting reading lists, and then claiming I won't read the books because I don't want to know the truth. Weak."

I see. I suppose it is too much bother to read about anti-US activity by leftists from the 1930s through the 1990s.

Notwithstanding the fact that the whole "McCarthyist" attack is based on a falsehood, the forgotten 1960s radical left attempts at actual (not metaphorical) revolution, and the more recent shift to gradualism towards a social-democratic sort of socialism. It's of no interest to Chris because it lacks a quick link, and a snarky retort isn't possible.

As I said, there's no point posting with facts, because you'll never agree that they suggest what in fact they do. So why bother trying to convince Chris? because he finds arguments without links weak? Becauase he'd have to read books he'll never read? Because he thinks Horowitz and Charen lacks credibility (and fails to prove that, I note)? Meh. That is precisely my argument: the left cannot see the truth at all. It's categorically unable to do so. So friedman is wrong.

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."
Winston Churchill

Team Adre said...

Pogo said: "Leftists aren't anti-violence, just anti-US."
Yes, nobody claimed they were angels that just did some sit-ins and teach-ins. It would be untrue. By the way, in your argument, SDS is inaccurate, they have never been involved in robberies, murders, or such things.
However, I should disagree with the fact that they are anti-US. They were against values and claims the US government had at that time - exactly like the SDS nowadays. Does that mean they were/are anti-US? No, it merely means they disagree with politicians that rule/d the country.
Do all the books that you advise to read accurate? No. They are as inaccurate as Leftist books could be. Why? Because their thesis are so biased and full of despise for the other side that it could not be fully trusted.
Is it problematic that Leftist don't read right-wing books? No. The most important is that both sides could read more mainstream books with thesis that are usually too politically correct, but at least give you the best insight of the story. Then, you can choose to read Leftist books and/or right-wing ones. By the way, right-wing people could be demonished the same way you do with Leftists. I really doubt a lot of your authors ever read not-so-underground incredible writers such as Chomsky and Zinn. They may know their ideas, as much as Leftists know right-wing ideas.

Therefore, when you say "the left cannot see the truth at all. It's categorically unable to do so," you are as wrong as Leftists who would say 'right-wing conservatives cannot see the truth at all.' This is as simple as that. The truth depends on what you think. You can debate on it, but you can't unilaterally and sharply say some people are wrong, because their arguments don't fit with mine. People should be open to debate, able to accept criticisms, able to say that they're wrong too, or just that the other side has a good point. If it's not possible, there's no point in such debates.

Pogo said...

You knowledge of the SDS is incorrect.

read more here
"Those who no longer believed in the slow-moving, participatory democratic process that SDS advocated chose to branch out to radical and violent protests that bordered on terrorism. Four major events occurred in 1968 that slowly led to the culmination of the massive urban riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago."

SDSer Bernadine Dohrn stated, ‘I consider myself a revolutionary communist.’ and "She strongly advocated violence, believing it to be the only possible course of action against such a violent and repressive government. ...The Chicago convention turned into the revolution that SDS advocated, and once all hell broke loose, they organized into guerilla groups as they took the massive police attacks to the streets of Chicago."

The remainder of your post either counsels ignorance or know-nothingism. Both are without serious value, and do not merit review.