January 5, 2008

"You paint all Islamics the same way."

Ron Paul rails at Rudy Giuliani at the debate tonight. And Giuliani responds:



Now, watch Rudy's new ad:



Discuss.

74 comments:

tituswy said...

Jesus, I am fricking scared.


I guess I am voting for him.

tituswy said...

If I don't vote for him it is obvious I am going to die.

goesh said...

Busting thugs in NYC as he did as a DA does not translate into him being more adept at being able to have terrorists killed than any of the others wanting the Presidency. His role in the 9/11 crisis likewise does not translate into some unique qualification with which he can confront Islamic extremism. There is a subtle blend of fiction here that others are not able to exploit. It just doesn't seem very honorable on his part.

rcocean said...

Wow, scary Islam is on the march. A world-wide threat of huge proportions, requiring someone expert in national defense, international terrorism, global diplomacy and foreign intelligence.

Fortunately, we have an ex-Mayor of NYC available.

Verso said...

"Islamics." That's just pathetic. How can we be 7 years into the so-called "war on terror," and this guy still doesn't know how to use the word "Muslim."

Romney's misuse and abuse of the word jihad is almost as bad. Only almost because I'll grant it's a little more obscure. But if you're going to go around declaring that our big enemy is "jihadism," as Romney does regularly, you should probably at least know what jihad is.

EnigmatiCore said...

A religion, perverted.

That was part of his point in the debate, and he had it as one of the first sentences in his ad.

Good for him. He remains my first choice. Then Obama, then Thompson, then stay-at-home (unless the GOP runs Paul or the Dems run Edwards, in which case I am voting the other way, unless they are facing off against each other in which case I am going to drink heavily).

EnigmatiCore said...

Verso,

I often use the word 'jihadist' when talking about, well, jihadists.

Perchance, elucidate me on my faux pas.

Alan said...

It's obvious he's going for the LGF/Gates of Vienna vote.

Simon said...

I'm confused. Why is Ron Paul even there? I thought the network had created a fuss by limiting this forum to serious candidates (or whatever the rationale was, they shut Paul out)?

Verso said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Verso said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

I agree with the comment that Rudy's crisis experience from 9-11 does not translate to the war, esp regards going on the offense to prevent more crisis experience. Dishonarable of Rudy to use it this way.

Verso: How can we be 7 years into the so-called "war on terror," and this guy still doesn't know how to use the word "Muslim."

We really want to avoid framing the war in Christian VS Muslim terms. Radical Islam sums it up nicely for me. YMMV.

Romney's misuse and abuse of the word jihad is almost as bad as that of the jihadists.

/fixed

shimmy said...

enigmaticore:
To my ears, the ad doesn't say "a religion, perverted." It says "a people, perverted." Which is helpful.

Ron Paul could be credited with pointing out that not all Islamic movements are the same. There's a good chance he's more aware of this than the others are.

Freeman Hunt said...

I guess it depends. To me, someone well-versed in the global jihad movement discussions on the right, the ad is clearly about the global jihad movement and not Muslims in general. To the average, mostly apolitical person watching the ad on TV at home, I don't know if that ad would indicate the global jihad movement or all Muslims.

In any case, I'm tired of feeling like it's impossible to discuss the global jihad movement without prefacing every statement with Now when I talk about jihadis, I'm not talking about all Muslims, only jihadis. We don't do that when we talk about other extremist groups as far as I can tell. We don't say, "The KKK is bad, and by the KKK, I don't mean all white people." That would be stupid. Possibly even insulting.

Roost on the Moon said...

(A religion, perverted.)
"That was part of his point in the debate, and he had it as one of the first sentences in his ad."


Isn't that undercut by the over-the-top xenophobia of the ad? Listen to the background music.

Also, even if he is claiming that Islam was a fine faith until its recent perversion, he's still calling it a perverted religion.
...

Wait, I watched it again, it's "a religion betrayed, a people perverted". My point is the same though: someone who is really concerned about extremist attacks from the Muslim world wouldn't attempt to come to power by publicly appealing to anti-Muslim sentiment.

He might've said he isn't going to engage in "group blame", but watch that commercial again. Listen to the music, look again at those first 5 shots. Was that Al-Qaeda?

Revenant said...

Listen to the music, look again at those first 5 shots. Was that Al-Qaeda?

It was Al-Qaeda's supporters.

reader_iam said...

Sometimes I wonder whether campaigns are banking on entirely different audiences for debates vs. ads, with relatively little cross-over attention being paid. Because--how else to explain this?

Nose, meet face.

peter hoh said...

I listened to the background music. Would it matter if it was religious music or not? If it's from the call to prayer, then it's a faux pas.

reader_iam said...

Or, better: face, meet nose.

hdhouse said...

I guess that sums up his domestic agenda pretty well.

I'm terribly impressed by his vision, not to mention his ability to paint with a broad brush - he's like the "magic white guy".

No one would dare call this macho man a loon.

I didn't see Bernie Kerik in any of those shots....he must be holding is trump card back.

madawaskan said...

Ya-

The ad. The people perverted line hit me as off.

But then he shows PM Bhutto in the ad and do we really think he is including her in that qualification?

Well I don't.

Do you think Rudy "profits" from 9/11?

Na I don't, and I'll own that opinion and defend it.

Let me say this-if you'll allow me-as a member of the active duty military community it feels like we are victims of our own success.

Ain't too many of you all "invested" in the war on terror, and you have the luxury of frivolity.

You can make passive aggressive statements (like you are trying out for a role in Mean Girls) about a guy who's been there for the military and campaigned and supported George Bush when it was highly costly politically.

To some of us in the military environs that mattered.

We wanted to finish it so our sons and daughters wouldn't have to return there in twenty years and fight it by even greater numbers.

It means a lot to some of us. Some of us believe in the stabilizing force of some semblance of decent treatment for women.( as if you care about our reasons)


To get to the point-Rudy might be the only guy that feels it as much as we do.

Who's invested in winning it.

Say what you will about Rudy but the guy doesn't seem phony. He says what he means-it's not too interpretive.

So-I'm going to believe the words that come directly most unedited from him-in the first video.

Does that qualify Rudy to be Commander in Chief-

You better believe it.

But do you feel it?

Na your on to living the day to day trivias that the military doesn't have the luxury.

The military community is seperate and isolated from you and to you we are invisible.

Hell the active duty bases have dwindled down to but a handful of states.

Yet somehow a guy from New York, who felt responsible for millions-a larger population than most states seems to have taken the journey with us, seems to have not forgotten, seems to see us and remember us and 9/11.

And he's not afraid to back down and forget about it just so the general populace can grow-

Comfortable.

Comfortably numb.

Roost on the Moon said...

Would it matter?...If it's from the call to prayer, then it's a faux pas.

I have no idea whether the music has religious significance. Nor (it's safe to assume) does the target audience of this ad. But, either way, its use is certainly not a faux pas. The music is being used to convey an incomprehensible "other", fully intentionally.

I just watched it again. The sudden silencing of the music when Giuliani's name appears is a crafty touch. "In a world where the next crisis is a moment away... (tympani shot/explosion) ... America needs a leader."

HoraceGumdrop said...

I suppose by "you paint all Islamics the same way," Ron Paul means that Rudy paints them all to look just like lunatic terrorists, well organized, and ready to bring an explosion to a landmark near you. Look at them there in the ad, blind to all reason, marching with religious banners. They look like a, well, an army - not a rag-tag donkey-riding militia hiding out in the caves of Tora Bora. And that music! Sounds like the stuff you hear on 24, when the terrorists are just about to unleash a cunning plan, or succeed in pulling off another unthinkable atrocity. Lots of crowds and crowded frames. Rudy certainly wants to you think there are a lot of them out there. And he handled the aftermath of 9/11 well. Like Titusway said, it seems over-the-top. I think that's because 9/11 is a fairly distant memory. I say this as a person who lived in Manhattan during it. But, if the question is, "Is Ron Paul right about Rudy on Muslims," Rudy certainly, if it's fair to judge by this ad, isn't asking you to pause for a moment, and consider the complexities of a religion that is professed by some few billion of the earth's inhabitants, spread far and wide, across distant cultures. It's telling you that they are all "perverted" by a rather scary ideology, and he will keep you safe.

rhhardin said...

It's a determination to keep after the threat, confused with questions about the goodness of peoples.

The threat is that modern weapons are too effective for them to fall into the hands of nutballs.

The strategy is relies on a fact : to work major damage, the nutball group needs to be bigger than a certain size X, just because of the need for finances, materials, and organization.

But the bigger a group is, the easier it is to detect, owing to betrayals and footprint.

So the strategy is to pursue and harass such groups to keep them from growing larger than that critical size X.

So long as the detectability size is smaller than the major damage size, it works.

This appears to work, so far. It relies eventually on no state becoming such a group, and on every state, through arm-twisting or threats, be made to harass such groups as well.

This has nothing to do with the goodness of people, but with the dangers of modern weapons, as to its motivation.

Giuliani shows the determination that Bush has, to keep at it.

On the other side is the NYT and other non-comprehenders.

cokaygne said...

My candidate du jour is Obama, but I'm, also a little partial to McCain and Rudy and Hillary. The point of the ad is to remind people that the thing that really matters in one's choice of president is the candidate's perception of the world out there and his or her willingness and committment to deal with it. They can talk all they want to about healthcare and illegal immigration and "taxing the rich" and "saving the middle class", but a couple of airliners flown into packed office buildings makes all that talk seem like twaddle.

So, Rudy says Islamic fascism is a serious threat and he ought to know. He'll tame them the way he tamed NYC's criminals, whether Wall Street insiders or turnstile jumpers.

Obama offers his biography as a way to rob al Qaeda of its youthful recruits by saying, "Look, how can you hate this country where someone who looks like you and has a middle name so familiar to you can become president.

Hillary touts her experience by insuating that she was in the oval office when her husband bravely bombed pharma factories in Sudan and goat skin tents in Afghanistan. No one dares bring up the uncomfortable truth that the only woman likely to have been in the office in those moments was giving him head, and that was someone near his daughter's age.

McCain sets the right tone. No one knows better than he the thuggery abroad in the world; but the response has to be measured and effective. besides his biography, McCain's greatest qualification is that his strategy is working in Iraq. Sadly, the MSM are ignoring this.

rhhardin said...

McCain's greatest qualification is that his strategy is working in Iraq.

It's not obvious that that's what worked. It relies on what went before, in particular for the population to get really tired of being blown up by shitheads.

At that point, enter and hold makes sense. The population no longer thinks of you as the target.

So ``McCain's strategy'' probably would not have worked earlier, just the opposite.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Obama offers his biography as a way to rob al Qaeda of its youthful recruits by saying, "Look, how can you hate this country where someone who looks like you and has a middle name so familiar to you can become president.

Pretty easily, I would think; al-Qaeda's original stock in trade, after all, was hating Saudi Arabia.

EnigmatiCore said...

Shimmy-- I apologize. It said a people perverted, and a religion betrayed.

So while your correction was correct, it was also a difference without distinction. My point was unaffected. His add clearly is talking about those who have turned Islam into something evil.

George said...

This morning's must reads...

"I now think al-Qaeda can be marching on Islamabad in two to four years," the then-living Benazir Bhutto told Gail "Passages" Sheehy in the Parade Magazine cover story out today.

"Within Pakistan, the struggle for supremacy [is] between those Pakistani Islamists who want to gain power democratically and those who want to abolish democracy altogether could well tear the country apart" concludes an apparently well-reported NYT article by a Pakistan-based writer on the interrelationships between the Taliban and Pakistan's Islamic parties: Next-gen Taliban

"Raids by American troops would prompt a powerful popular backlash against Mr. Musharraf and the United States," says the front page story in the Times regarding plans for US covert ops in Pakistan.

Looks like we might see an Islamic revolution in Pakistan...

krylovite said...

In a world where the next crisis is a moment away, America needs a leader who's ready.

Since Giuliani and NYC were not prepared for the crisis on 9/11, what is there about Giuliani's last failure to properly prepare that uniquely recommends him as a "leader who's ready?"

hdhouse said...

I'm still looking for Bernie Kerick......golly, there has got to be a pony in there somewhere.

Gedaliya said...

It's Bernie Kerik hdhouse, not "Kerick."

If you're going to beat a dead horse, at least find a way to spell his name right.

rastajenk said...

That strikes me as a cheap shot. What was The City in general and the Mayor in particular supposed to be more ready for? Three thousand people died, many thousand more terribly affected for the rest of their lives...staggering numbers. But the toll could easily have been in the tens of thousands, and wasn't. Woulda coulda shoulda's about radio frequencies and first respondent activity sound rather hollow to me.

krylovite said...

That strikes me as a cheap shot.

Sure, looking at Giuliani's record and comparing it to his sales pitch is totally unfair. My bad.

Harsh Pencil said...

madawaskan hit this thing head on. The ad simply says "I, Rudy, unlike the other Republican candidates, and unlike all of the Democratic candidates and most of the non-military American people, do not have my head in the sand."

I don't think it will work because at this point in time, most Americans do indeed have their heads in the sand. They like it that way. Less tiring.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Excellent advert. One Churchill might have run, had it been possible in his era. In the '30s we were nearly ignorant of the Bushido corruption of Shinto -- perhaps the best recent analogy to jihadism -- but we were not unawares of what Hitler and his crew were about.

The Giuliani clip is hauntingly reminiscent of '30s newsreels, as (I'm sure) it was intended to be.

My 90-year-old mother, who agitated for military preparation against Hitler all through her college years, says that Giuliani is the only one who gets it, and points out that he has just as much (though different) relevant experience as did Churchill.

As she has said for years, experience does not define leadership, but it can surely reinforce it.

The same left-leaning media who refused to run clips of people jumping from the Towers (because it was too "inflammatory") have also, consistently, refused to run abundant available video demonstrating who, and what, the enemy is.

Middle Class Guy said...

Rudy can't win in the end. Too much baggage, so he can say what he wants. Who would even take Ron Paul seriously?

What is disturbing is all of the fussing about what to call Moslems and Moslem terrorists. Is it really that important?

Gedaliya said...

Rudy can't win in the end.

Sure he can. His main challenge is to get the nomination. If he does -- a big if -- he'll be very competitive, especially in the big blue states like California, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan and even Illinois.

George said...

MC Guy--

Whether the word is transliterated into English as "Muslim" or "Moslem" is important, as the pronunciation "Moslem" [mawz-lim] sounds to Arabic speakers similar to a Arabic word which means "evil oppressor" or "poison."

A "Muslim" is one who believes in/obeys/submits to the will of Allah; it comes from the same trilateral root [s-l-m] as the word "Islam;" "Moslem" has a different spelling in Arabic. For more, here and here. You'll notice that these sources give different analyses. Now, excuse me, I must go worship Ibn Maryam, in'shallah.

hdhouse said...

ohhh gedaliya...i forgot...frankly i think he has a new name..

#87265348

much more suitable don't ya' think? he can call Rudy during speeches but it will be collect.

Brad V said...

Perhaps Giuliani will voluntarily open his next ad with a little girl counting as she picks petals off a daisy.

ron st.amant said...

rhhardin writes:

So the strategy is to pursue and harass such groups to keep them from growing larger than that critical size X...Giuliani shows the determination that Bush has, to keep at it.


But where is the evidence that such strategy, as pursued by the Bush administration (or for that matter specifics Guliani has elaborated) has worked, or will work? Especially when one considers that we now have an even larger threat, a growing destabilization of nation (Pakistan) that we KNOW has WMD, instead of the ones we think may be pursuing them).

Determination alone, devoid of a real stategy, is meaningless.

The problem with much of the current mid-East policy is that it treats Islam, and Arab nations, as monolithic. They are not, even at their most basic level, the same- see the fact that most Americans don't understand that Iran is not an Arab country.

The 'us versus them' rhetoric is nice, it makes you feel good, but it doesn't really solve the problem. Nor is it even a step to solving the problem, unless there is tangible signs that choosing 'us' is ultimately of greater benefit.

This is where Truman had it right at the dawn of the Cold War.

Had we simply said choose us or the Soviets, many might have chosen the Soviets because circumstances made the immediate benefit of that choice seemingly apparent.

But what the US did was promote themselves in philosophical AND material ways to induce and cajole.

The mistake that many on the far right make, is that such discussion is an effort to sway our enemies. That's how someone can say anything else is 'uncomprehending' the problem. But such stategy is not aimed at our 'enemies' it is aimed at our friends, to ease their minds, and those who, like many post-war Europeans, were sitting on the fence, wondering which life will ultimately be more beneficial for themselves.

This to me is the problem with the Bush/Guliani 'stategy'...it only concerns itself with crisis mode...it doesn't seek long-term solutions to legitimate problems. It's neither pre, nor post-9/11 thinking...it's merely 9/11 thinking.

Patm said...

Fun commentary aside, this book is pretty amazing:

Faith, Reason, and the War Against Jihadism: A Call to Action

The author reminds us that the enemy is comfortable with supernatural thinking, and that can't be ignored.

Verso said...

We really want to avoid framing the war in Christian VS Muslim terms. Radical Islam sums it up nicely for me.

I understand that, but Ron Paul used the word "Islamics" when the word he was looking for was "Muslim." Uneducated people refer to Muslims as "Islamic," but that's incorrect usage. Islamic can be used to describe things (e.g., Islamic art) but should not be used to describe people.

I suppose that many conservatives, upon hearing this, will only redouble their determination to refer to Muslims as Islamics: offending Muslims seems to be the real motive for many (not all) conservatives.

As far as "jihad," it is a misapplication and misuse of the term to use it to refer to violence or warfare. Again, conservatives insist on this usage either out of ignorance or a deliberate desire to offend Muslims. If you actually know any Muslims, talk to them and ask them to tell you what "jihad" really means. If it matters to you at all what other human beings think and feel, and if treating people with respect matters to you at all, you won't abuse them and their religion by misappropriating their terminology in the service of the conservative political agenda.

Joan said...

As far as "jihad," it is a misapplication and misuse of the term to use it to refer to violence or warfare. Again, conservatives insist on this usage either out of ignorance or a deliberate desire to offend Muslims.

Why can't we just take Islamic Jihad at face value? Why do we have to invest any kind of effort into understanding what "jihad" really means when the term has been co-opted (if we're to believe you) by violent groups engaging in terrorist tactics? If jihad is supposed to be a spiritual journey/struggle, why isn't the greater Islamic world jumping all over Islamic Jihad for, well, perverting their religion?

Don't blame conservatives for associating "jihad" with terrorism; we didn't start it, and it's not up to us to stop it. If Muslims don't like it, it is within their power to stop it.

Verso said...

Don't blame conservatives for associating "jihad" with terrorism; we didn't start it, and it's not up to us to stop it. If Muslims don't like it, it is within their power to stop it.

Oh, it's that simple, is it? Then let's start with you. What would the majority of Muslims have to do to persuade you to stop misusing the term in a way that offends them? You say it is within their power to stop you from using the term inappropriately. Please be specific.

As far as extremist groups that also misuse the word "jihad," that doesn't justify anything. Certain Christian groups use the word "values" to describe a far-right political agenda, but no one really believes that "values" exclusively refers to that agenda.

Verso said...

Why do we have to invest any kind of effort into understanding what "jihad" really means when the term has been co-opted (if we're to believe you) by violent groups engaging in terrorist tactics?

By the way, I never said the term had been co-opted by by violent groups. I said that the term is consistently used inappropriately by conservatives. Muslims aren't the ones who are confused; conseratives are. Muslims continue to use the word correctly; conservatives don't even know what the word means.

Freeman Hunt said...

As far as "jihad," it is a misapplication and misuse of the term to use it to refer to violence or warfare.

That isn't true. It means (sort of) struggling for the faith, and while non-extremists interpret that to mean struggling within oneself (for example, against temptation), it can also refer to violence and warfare for the sake Islam. There are plenty of examples of it being used this way in the Qu'ran.

Nichevo said...

Blogger Verso said...

Don't blame conservatives for associating "jihad" with terrorism; we didn't start it, and it's not up to us to stop it. If Muslims don't like it, it is within their power to stop it.

Oh, it's that simple, is it? Then let's start with you. What would the majority of Muslims have to do to persuade you to stop misusing the term in a way that offends them? You say it is within their power to stop you from using the term inappropriately. Please be specific.


--Granting your premise, arguendo: How about they deal with the problem so we don't have to? How about lynching terrorists and terrorist sympathizers? That would be nice. Or at least kicking their asses. Refusing to contribute? Harsh language? Any kind of resistance at all?

Maybe even some communications by the well heeled, e.g. that Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal who tried to buy $10m of what you give out for free, namely itsourfaultitis, and was spurned by Giuliani (on whose name be praise) in the wake of 9/11.

Let him instead buy $10m of ads explaining that it's not jihad, it's hirabah, that they are not martyrs, they are criminals, or whatever, and are doing the wrong thing. Show fatwas by clerics denouncing such acts. Just Say No To Car-Bombs. Whatever.

As far as extremist groups that also misuse the word "jihad," that doesn't justify anything. Certain Christian groups use the word "values" to describe a far-right political agenda, but no one really believes that "values" exclusively refers to that agenda.


You are a really low fellow, do you know that? There are numerous substantive arguments to be made against this point but I don't have all day to gut your red herrings.


3:09 PM
Blogger Verso said...

Why do we have to invest any kind of effort into understanding what "jihad" really means when the term has been co-opted (if we're to believe you) by violent groups engaging in terrorist tactics?



By the way, I never said the term had been co-opted by by violent groups.




--No that's what Joan said, you seem to be missing this point.


I said that the term is consistently used inappropriately by conservatives. Muslims aren't the ones who are confused; conseratives are. Muslims continue to use the word correctly; conservatives don't even know what the word means.


It's really a giggle, by the way, to see you stereotyping "conservatives" in PRECISELY the same way you protest that conservatives are stereotyping "Muslims" (in this case, as ignorant of the meaning(s) of "jihad").

Why not try one of those nuance pills you're trying to push on everybody else, Doc?

Richard Fagin said...

Whoever gets the top job next November better be ready and willing to push the button to vaporize Tehran, Riyadh and Damascus. When those bloodthirsty savages with laundry on their heads manage to snag one of Pakistan's loose nukes they'll set it off in Times Square. Gotta kill as many Jews as possible, you know.

Who, tell me, will be willing to push that button?

No one but Rudy even had the gonads to deal with freaking squeegee men and turnstile jumpers for chrissakes. I'm not too sure even he'd push the button.

Verso said...

Verso said: As far as "jihad," it is a misapplication and misuse of the term to use it to refer to violence or warfare.

To which freeman hunt responded: That isn't true. It means (sort of) struggling for the faith, and while non-extremists interpret that to mean struggling within oneself (for example, against temptation), it can also refer to violence and warfare for the sake Islam. There are plenty of examples of it being used this way in the Qu'ran.

My apologies — you are correct. That's what I meant. I should have said it is a misapplication and misuse of the term to use it as a synonym for violence or warfare, the way Romney does.

I'm glad you acknowledge that the term is not synonymous with violence, and can refer to such things as
"struggling within oneself (for example, against temptation)."

Take the word "values." This is the word Republicans use to describe a far-right agenda. If you opposed the Republican agenda, you would never say you oppose values.

Likewise, some Muslim fanatics use the word "jihad" to describe their agenda, but that doesn't mean jihad IS warfare, and you should not say you oppose "jihad." That would be ignorant. That's all I was saying. There is nothing controversial about any of this, although I do acknowledge that many conservatives like to annoy Muslims and will be happy to misuse the language to achieve that result.

Verso said...

Nichevo said: Blogger Verso

I'm not a blogger.



you give out for free, namely itsourfaultitis

Please point out where I did that. If you can't, please admit you just made it up on the spot.



Granting your premise, arguendo: How about they deal with the problem so we don't have to? How about lynching terrorists and terrorist sympathizers? That would be nice. Or at least kicking their asses. Refusing to contribute? Harsh language? Any kind of resistance at all?

This is how people like you spread the blame from those who bear responsibility to those who do not. In your mind, it's OK to condemn all Muslims because they can be divided into two camps: Those who commit atrocities, and those who are silent in the face of them.

It doesn't matter to you at all that Muslims are horrified by Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, and have condemned him and his kind in the most explicit terms possible.

You've reached a point now where you have decided it is the fault of moderate Muslims if you abuse the language and improperly use the word "jihad."



You are a really low fellow, do you know that? There are numerous substantive arguments to be made against this point but I don't have all day to gut your red herrings.

OK, I understand, you're too busy to defend your "substantive arguments," but at least you have time to insult me.




It's really a giggle, by the way, to see you stereotyping "conservatives" in PRECISELY the same way you protest that conservatives are stereotyping "Muslims" (in this case, as ignorant of the meaning(s) of "jihad").

You are correct: I should have qualified the noun in some way, perhaps by saying "many conservatives." Incidentally, there are a lot of non-conservatives who don't know the correct usage of the word "jihad." But most people are not ideologically or emotionally committed to the wrong definition. Many conservatives will insist on using the term in an inaccurate and offensive manner even after they have been corrected. They do it because they like to poke Muslims in the eye. Much of the right-wing blogosphere thrives on this kind of abuse of Muslims.

HoraceGumdrop said...

How about this? "I'm having a big jihad as to whether I want Italian for dinner or Thai."

When I hear "jihad" I think of car-bombs, dynamite strapped below the belt, flag burning - the sort of things that go along with the particular brand of terrorism Islamic radicals practice. But that's because I speak English, and to typical English speakers, jihad means Al Qaeda, Bin Ladin, people with beards, flowing robes, who apparently say god willing a lot.

Now apparently, in Arabic, the word doesn't mean that at all. It's got several meanings, some of them violent, some of them not, but, definitely, as it might be used in a 1500 year old book (If you think that Quran is not a JUST book, but divinely inspired, I do not mean any offense), it can't possibly conjure up the modern-day images of the word when spoken by Americans in 2008. I doubt that Mohamed and his followers did 9/11 type suicide attacks and that they shouted at their TVs after a few minutes of Fox News.

The proper meaning of a word is the one that will give the clearest sense to those to whom it is spoken in a sentence. But, if a word is known to give offense, it is best to avoid it altogether. I think we should just banish jihad from the lexicon. That's our modern manners for you.

Simon said...

Verso said...
"Nichevo said: Blogger Verso[?] I'm not a blogger. "

Actually, in a way you are - in some browsers, that little "B" logo to the left of a user's display name shows up as the word "blogger." So for example, my comment will appear (to me and presumably to Nichevo) as "blogger Simon", etc.

By the way, on the matter at hand, does anyone else find there to be something absurd that Paul - who rejects the civil war and the civil rights act - wants to lecture someone about cultural sensitivity?

Verso said...

Simon -- I didn't know that. Thank you for the explanation.

Simon said...

Sure - it's just a weird little glitch. At work I see the "B" logo; at home I see the word "blogger."

Joan said...

Nichevo, thanks for expanding on the ideas I mentioned. You understood exactly what I was getting at.

Verso, you keep repeating this: many conservatives like to annoy Muslims and will be happy to misuse the language to achieve that result.
Really, many? I believe that there are a fringe lunatics in any movement, and bad behavior in any group, but to characterize a significant portion of the conservative movement as Muslim-baiters is a new one on me. Can you tell me where you get this idea? Similarly, you mentioned that a lot of the right wing blogosphere was fueled on such anti-Muslim sentiment (paraphrasing, there), could you provide links to these pillars of the right wing-o-sphere that are so objectionable?

BTW, if you're going to bring up Michael Savage, let me nip that in the bud by saying he's not a conservative.

Verso said...

Simon,
I thought maybe he thought I was a blogger because there are three blogs attached to my profile. I occasionally feel the need to tell people that those actually aren't my blogs. I have no idea where they came from. They appeared when I migrated my account to Blogger 2.0 a while back.

Kirk Parker said...

madawaskan,

Everything you say makes sense, but isn't Thompson just as serious about the WOT as Guliani?

ron st.amant,

What on earth makes you think we aren't doing these other things? Even in Iraq itself, your claim makes no sense: otherwise wouldn't Bagdhad and (especially) Fallujah be reduced to piles of rubble by now if it were?

And as for long-term thinking, I'm quite prepared for us to have a military presence in Iraq (and/or elsewhere in the ME) for decades. How about you?

Kirk Parker said...

Verso,

"What would the majority of Muslims have to do to persuade you to stop misusing the term in a way that offends them?"

That's easy: kill* the extremists in their midst. Next question?

----------------------------------
*Yes, of course, if they have some magical pacifist way to render the self-proclaimed jihadis powerless without actually killing them, I'm perfectly fine with that, too.

Verso said...

Joan,
It's interesting that you refer to "the conservative movement."

The kind of Muslim-baiting I am talking about can be found all over the place. On forums, on right wing blogs, in comments on blogs like this one, on talk radio -- even the Republican presidential candidates. If you recall, this conversation started with an observation about Mitt's deliberate abuse of the term "jihad" in a way that is offensive to Muslims. Certainly Romeny is aware by now that this is offensive to Muslims; apparently he just doesn't care. There is more profit for him in denigrating an entire class of people than in treat them with the respect that human beings are entitled to. And that's what makes demogoguery dangerous.

Visit some of the right wing blogs: LFG, Ace of Space, Riehlworld, Pam Atlas, Rottweiler, Malkin, Debbie Schlussel, and many, many others. Visit any of those blogs and start following the links. Listen to Mark Steyn, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, or Glenn Beck.

BTW, I used the word "many" instead of "most." I also think there is a difference between rank and file conservatives and the elite conservatives (such as the aforementioned). Among the rank and file, I think there is a bit less of the deliberate Muslim baiting == at least here in relatively non-racist Michigan. I've lived in the South, but not since 9/11, and I know there was much more open racism there than there is here. It would not surprise me if anti-Muslim hatred is as widespread in the south as anti-black racism.

****

LOL: Right now on Fox News, Dick Morris is accusing Hillary Clinton of being a racist and using racist attacks on Barack Obama. It's funny how Morris can always recall some poll Bill Clinton asked him to do that serves his current agenda perfectly. Funny he didn't save any documentation for any of his books. I honestly don't know why people believe anything they hear on that network.

Verso said...

Kirk Parker,
Well, you win the award for honesty. At least you make no bones about your willingness to offend and insult all Muslims until your conditions are met. Thank you for not running away from your true self.

The Exalted said...

The same left-leaning media who refused to run clips of people jumping from the Towers (because it was too "inflammatory")

you really should return to your nuthouse..

Paul Zrimsek said...

Same poster, same post:

There is more profit for him in denigrating an entire class of people than in treat them with the respect that human beings are entitled to.

It would not surprise me if anti-Muslim hatred is as widespread in the south as anti-black racism.

Verso said...

LOL, are you going to deny that racism is widespread in the South? Have you ever been in the South?

Verso said...

Heck, do you even know what the South is?

Paul Zrimsek said...

Sure. It's a place filled with an entire class of people who can be denigrated instead of treated with the respect that human beings are entitled to.

Verso said...

It's not denigrating an entire class to point out the attitudes and beliefs held by many in a reigion.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Then quit your whining about the fucking jihadists already.

Verso said...

Why are you so angry?

Verso said...

You seem to believe that people in the south are entitled to a falsified description of the character of the region. This isn't parallel in any respect to people who don't understand the definition of the word "jihad," or, worse, people who deliberately misuse the word for whatever strange reason.

Why do you misuse the word?

Richard Fagin said...

Verso, you need to go find a copy of Lewis Grizzard's "Shoot Low, Boys, They're Ridin' Shetland Ponies."

Grizzard mentioned a cab ride in a frozen cold city up north where the driver was from Mississippi. The driver said he wanted to go back to Mississippi, because, at least in the south they "put up signs saying 'no niggers allowed'" while up north white people "pretend to be your friend" but when it comes to the nut-cutting, you know what side they're on, and it's not yours.

Having grown up in Massachusetts and having lived in Louisian and Texas for the last 30 years, I agree with the cabbie's characterization. Sure there's racism, but at least here it's out in the open, what little of it there really is.

Verso said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Verso said...

That's an interesting story, Richard. Thank you for sharing it. In fact, I'd love to hear you elaborate on it. As for me, I have lived in Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan, but my experience is different. In my experience, Cincinnati is the worst; racism is open and rampant. It sometimes feels like virtually every white person is a racist. The Metro Detroit area is just the opposite: racism is very uncommon. It has always been considered an exceptional event to encounter someone who openly expresses racist attitudes. Kentucky is somewhere in between. Please don't take this to mean that I dispute your experiences or characterizations of Massachusetts, Texas, or Louisiana. I've never lived in any of those places and no reason to doubt what you say.