January 2, 2016

"The genius of ISIS propaganda is how skillfully it imbues the idea of jihad not only with traditional notions of honor and virility..."

"... but also a strong undercurrent of oppositional, postmodern cool. CVE [Countering Violent Extremism] practitioners can’t possibly hope to challenge the glamor, energy, and sheer badassery of violent jihad as an ideal, still less the wider emotional resonance of the warrior ethos on which it draws. But they can reasonably hope to subvert ISIS’s claim to embody that ideal.... The bigger challenge—as Alberto Fernandez, the former coordinator of the U.S. State Department’s Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications, noted when I interviewed him earlier this year—is how to create a counter-narrative that is not merely negative but boldly affirmative, offering a vision that is just as exhilarating and seductive as that of jihadists. 'The positive narrative,' he said, 'is always more powerful, especially if it involves dressing in black like a ninja, having a cool flag, being on television, and fighting for your people.' The problem for CVE is that in an ironic age in which few 'grand narratives' remain, no one—except perhaps for the jihadists and their supporters—really knows what that narrative is anymore."

From "The Challenge of Jihadi Cool/ISIS’s countercultural appeal is real. And it must be taken seriously" by Simon Cottee in The Atlantic.

At the link, an ISIS fan is quoted blogging: "The bottom line... is that the Islamic State is the classic scifi underdog battling a seemingly all powerful Evil Empire America against impossible odds—and in the very best scifi tradition—they are winning."

98 comments:

Ann Althouse said...

"can’t possibly hope to challenge the glamor, energy, and sheer badassery"? "how to create a counter-narrative that is not merely negative but boldly affirmative, offering a vision that is just as exhilarating and seductive as that of jihadists"?

Donald Trump?

EDH said...

All of this CVE bullshit is aimed at one thing: deflecting attention from the failure of the Obama policy.

ISIS is "cool" because they are winning, actually building wealth and a nation according to their own rules.

It's like "Lord of the Flies" meets Star Trek's "And the Children Shall Lead"

...The crew bring the children back to the Enterprise, where McCoy evaluates them and determines that they are suffering lacunar amnesia, unaware of what happened to their parents and unable to grieve. However, when left alone, the children summon a humanoid apparition named Gorgan. At Gorgan's direction, the eldest child, Tommy, uses mental powers to trick the crew into steering the ship towards Marcus XII while presenting illusions that make them think they are still in orbit above Triacus.

Upon reviewing troublesome expedition film recorded by Starnes, Spock, McCoy, and Kirk return to the bridge to find the children and Gorgan fully in control of the crew. Unable to break their hold on the crew, Spock observes that the children are merely possessed by Gorgan, who must be the evil embodiment of an ancient group of space-warring marauders released by Starnes's archaeological survey.

Believing they can break the hold Gorgan has on the children, Spock plays back footage showing the children happy with their parents, who are then shown to be dead. As the children realize what has happened, they break down emotionally and Gorgan's appearance begins to deteriorate. With the children's powers gone, the crew regains control and Kirk orders a course for Starbase 4 while they take care to comfort the children.


The answer with ISIS is to make them uncool by showing what they do to people and killing their followers and stacking their bodies like cordwood.

AReasonableMan said...

Just like Charlie Sheen.

Virgil Hilts said...

Obama on a girl's bike with oversized helmet rising through Martha's Vineyard?

Paco Wové said...

"CVE practitioners can’t possibly hope to challenge the glamor, energy, and sheer badassery of violent jihad as an ideal, still less the wider emotional resonance of the warrior ethos on which it draws"

Anyone who starts from this position with regards to an opponent has lost already.

"Oh yeah, you think they're cool and badass, and they think they're cool and badass, but they're not really so cool and badass!! And as soon as my mom finishes sewing nametags in my underwear, I'll prove it to you!"

MayBee said...

The problem for CVE is that in an ironic age in which few 'grand narratives' remain, no one—except perhaps for the jihadists and their supporters—really knows what that narrative is anymore."


That's true. There is a big push to not talk about how great our country is, isn't there? America is a racist country with a racist history. America created ISIS. America made a huge mistake freeing Iraq from Saddam Hussein. Those are the left-approved narratives. Who wants to fight for that? You go to fight and you end up with PTSD.

ISIS is all youth and fight and sex and freedom. It is for Islam! We can't even say that. We call the office "Countering Violent Extremism". Why not "Muslims for America!" or "Muslims for a free Mid East!"?
We don't want to sound judgey. ISIS allows full on judgment and vengeance.

Balfegor said...

If we're going to be the Evil Empire -- and to be honest, with our fleets of flying killer robots blackening the sky and our arsenal of terrifying doomsday weapons, there's not really a viable alternative narrative on offer here -- the solution is obviously that we have to go all in. We need some uniforms from Hugo Boss. There is a romance to world historical evil.

More seriously, if we want to make a romantic appeal to the Middle East, we won't do it with wan appeals to "democracy" and "freedom." Instead, we ought to be backing a counter-Caliph. Or something. But probably the best thing is to keep grinding this out, and just keep killing the adherents of ISIS with waves of flying killer robots until we destroy their will to resist. Fear will keep the local systems in line.

Bob R said...

We need to make sure we don't design a huge weapon that can be destroyed with one shot.

MayBee said...

The Obama administration's image of the American male is pajama boy. How is that not badass enough for ISIS wannabes?

AJ Lynch said...

I thought Obama said ISIS was using Gitmo as its sooper dooper recruiting tool?

Gahrie said...

the Islamic State is the classic scifi underdog battling a seemingly all powerful Evil Empire America against impossible odds

This is the problem. ISIS thinks we're evil, and is saying so. The problem is, the Western Left and elite think we are too. Not only that, the Western Left and elite cannot say that ISIS, let alone the Islamic culture, is evil.

We cannot win until we decide as a civilization that our civilization is worth fighting for, and start saying so loudly and proudly.

Balfegor said...

Re: MayBee:

That's true. There is a big push to not talk about how great our country is, isn't there? America is a racist country with a racist history. America created ISIS. America made a huge mistake freeing Iraq from Saddam Hussein. Those are the left-approved narratives. Who wants to fight for that? You go to fight and you end up with PTSD.

These are all US-focused narratives, which are mostly beside the point -- our enemy is Islamic, and is recruiting from the Muslim world. Yes, some of them are also Americans, but American Muslims are not exactly the wellspring of international terrorist support. We need a counter-narrative that appeals to Muslims, not non-Muslims.

More generally, the notion that how we see ourselves matters to foreigners is pervasive in the US, and absolutely potty. You see it, for example, in the stupid self-congratulation we engage in regarding war crimes trials, as though to outsiders it could be some great demonstration of the glory and justice of the US legal system. In fact, to an outsider, there's no reason to believe it's anything other than "victors' justice" backed up by a pathetic show trial. And if we then lose the show trial, that just makes us look like incompetent fools. As a propaganda ploy, it seems like it's pretty much lose-lose for us. Not saying we shouldn't hold war crimes trials -- just that it's only useful as propaganda with already-friendly populations.

Bob Ellison said...

At some point, we're going to have to confront the heart of the problem. They're all written up and translated, waiting for us.

Bob Ellison said...

*it's all written up...

Michael K said...

"The positive narrative,' he said, 'is always more powerful,"

The "positive narrative" is lots of dead ISIS members. That will not happen until Obama is gone and if Hillary is not there.

David Begley said...

SciFi? America as the Evil Empire?

Who made Star Wars? It wasn't the UAE.

These Islamists are idiots and don't even know they are idiots. Don't appease and coddle them. Cut off their money, stop buying their oil and kill them.

Drago said...

EDH:"The answer with ISIS is to make them uncool by showing what they do to people and killing their followers and stacking their bodies like cordwood"

We already tried that with Western leftists in trying to show them the 100 Million in mass graves that are the inevitable result of leftist policies over the last 100 years.

All the left did and continues to do is double down.

What on Earth makes you believe that showing the truth about what these islamists are doing will make muslims and their leftist enablers decide to go in a different direction?

As one wag put it after world war II when the discussion turned to how the French should treat America based upon our efforts to free the French, the last thing one should expect for any good deed is gratitude.

Sebastian said...

@MB: "We can't even say that." Correct. You can't beat what you don't name.

@ADH: "The answer with ISIS is to make them uncool by showing what they do to people and killing their followers and stacking their bodies like cordwood." Yes and no. Violence can be cool, if framed correctly, so "showing what they do to people" won't deter. Even dying can be cool. But losing is always uncool. Stacking bodies consistently, relentlessly, mercilessly is the way to go. I despise O as much as the next person, but we have begun to do that. When it comes to killing, it helps to have a pathological narcissist in charge.

"the classic scifi underdog battling a seemingly all powerful Evil Empire America against impossible odds—and in the very best scifi tradition—they are winning." Depends on what the meaning of "winning" is. I'd say they aren't. But the obvious solution for the CVE types is to replace one grand narrative with another. Showing that the battle for Islam is "really" just another version of the battle against the big bad white Euro-American male Other who has so brutally oppressed everyone. The narrative convergence is already happening, hence Progs making common cause with Islamists. College campuses are a leading indicator: BLM, BDS, and Muslim activists beat the same drum. Won't necessarily stop the violence, though--perhaps just change the targets. I suspect some CVE types would be fine with that, those who just want to channel the violence more constructively. It's the E in CVE that bugs them, not the V. If only the Muzzies would go after the Hanns Martin Schleyers rather than the Charlie Hebdos, No Prog would ever say "I am HMS."

Fûz said...

maybe we need to undermine their badassery first.
I don't remember where I saw it, but ex-mujahideen complained that, instead of dressing in black and showing off severed heads, they had to hand out clothing, cook, move casualties, and clean toilets.

Maybe Daesh is reserving the truly badass jobs for the guys they know and trust, so they give the scut work to the latecomers, and there is always more scut work than people to do it. The latecomers discover that jihad isn't all dining on lamb and child brides etc, and involves cleaning up gobs of blood and guts.

Big Mike said...

To a Westerner the notion of using captured females as sex slaves seems thoroughly dishonorable. Even the Nazis didn't do that to the French, Dutch, and Belgian women. But whatever.

If a bunch of jihadis came down our street waving their AKs and shouting "Allahu Akbar," they might find out how potent deer rifles can be and how badass ordinary American men are (no, ARM, not you). But they won't come down our street. They'll go where people can't shoot back.

William said...

As a mass movement goes, they don't amount to much, at least in the west. I think Scientology and NAMBA have more adherents in the west. But nothing that is hostile to western bourgeoise civilization is foreign to our chattering classes. The kind of people who are militant about feminist, LGBT, and BLM causes are solidly behind CAIR and its microaggressions. Such people are, however, against random massacres at this time.

chickelit said...

Althouse teases with Donald Trump?

How about "Trumpeterian creative destruction"?

Put that in your google search engine and smoke it.

Birches said...

CVE [Countering Violent Extremism]

This is why we're losing. The think tanks and bureaucracy spend more time coming up with a cool acronym to put in all their policy papers instead of fighting back.

traditionalguy said...

The Professor has a good point. Donald Trump is appealing directly to the Scots-Irish warrior ethos that created what we call the dominant American culture. Hollywood lived off that theme in Westerns. It was the thematic spine of 1965s "How the West Was Won." And it was personified in Clint Eastwood's roles from Dirty Harry to Josey Wales.

Compare that "Never Surrender" way to the Globalists "leading from behind" curtains while others do all fighting and dying. The turning came after Saving Private Ryan lost the Oscar to Shakespeare in Love. That was the last one ever made. Then Hollywood went international and the American warrior ethos became ridiculing silly dummies that true World Elites hate with a Jealousy best seen in their guy, Barack Obama.

w

buwaya puti said...

I have a method with which anti-Daesh can be made cool -
An International Brigade operating in Kurdish territory. I know that there are already a few volunteers over there, but they aren't at all high profile.
This could be changed, if some influential people could be induced to publicly support recruitment and private funding, with recruiting rallies in universities, etc. And it should be officially international, i.e. the propaganda for it should look like a Benetton ad.
An officially unsanctioned International Brigade, but, and this is the key, a well-publicized one. It could be arranged for Euro-American-Asian kids to run off and join it, and for US-Euro Special Forces to run it behind the scenes.
Yes this is a cynical sort of a Children's crusade, but its been effective before.

tljhound said...

The Nazi's and Imperial Japanese had glamor, energy, badassery and a warrior ethos in spades, and snazzier uniforms. They won the opening rounds handily but we haven't heard a cross word from either since they were soundly thrashed. Not bombed around the edges with deference to civilians, not reasoned with but only after praising their religion and culture. They gave up only when they couldn't stand the pain any longer.

Ann Althouse said...

"How the West Was Won" = Meade's favorite movie (and the only movie he names if asked to list all his favorite movies).

traditionalguy said...

How the West Was Won = Jimmy Stewart. He was the only then Hollywood Star who actually decided to fight in The War. He came by that honestly, being a Scots-Irish Presbyterian, like The Donald.

MayBee said...

These are all US-focused narratives, which are mostly beside the point -- our enemy is Islamic,

But this is about a US-based group setting out to Counter Violent Extremism and wondering why they can't create a product that works. The US-focused narratives are a starting point for that.

mccullough said...

This is what Islam mostly is. Its a violent ideology. They only thing harder than getting them to convert to Christianity is getting them to adopt and follow a nonviolent form of Islam. This is mostly a Muslim on Muslim problem in Muslim countries. It's only a problem in the West because they allowed Muslim immigration. Fortunately the US still has time to learn from western Europe's egregious mistakes in allowing a critical mass of Muslims into their countries.

YoungHegelian said...

...when I interviewed him earlier this year—is how to create a counter-narrative that is not merely negative but boldly affirmative, offering a vision that is just as exhilarating and seductive as that of jihadists.

And will this counter-narrative vision feature an afterlife in eternal paradise with 72 virgins?

I started moving to the right after 9/11, not because I wanted to go out & start murdering little brown people in large numbers, but because I knew that if there's one thing the modern secular left has absolutely no understanding of, it's apocalyptic spirituality. It simply doesn't believe it's for real. The Left always adopts some bullshit false-consciousness explanation like poverty, their government doesn't sweet talk the sorry little fucks enough, patriarchal propaganda, etc.

The Left possess absolutely no understanding of how an ideology/faith that orders one's life in this world to purported eternal bliss in the next can give someone's life what the Left's secular state cannot offer: meaning & purpose. Meaning & purpose that a young man will not only kill for, he'll gladly die for it, too.

Conservative Christians, of course, understand this spirituality all too well. Their much politically milder version vaccinates them against the excesses of the Islamic version. But, the search for a world with intrinsic meaning is not just Christian. It's an animating principle of the Counter-Enlightenment as well, such as in this example.

Fabi said...

Gahrie nails it at 9:22. Well said.

n.n said...

Globalists "leading from behind"

Abortion rites to keep women employed as taxable commodities for redistributive change and womb banks for normalization of dysfunctional orientations.

Sacrificing women in combat in order to secure globalists' solar and windmill farms.

Feminist ideology to defeat social cohesion, evolutionary fitness, and defeat Mother Nature and nature's matriarchy.

Anti-native domestic and foreign policies, and other terrorist enabling actions.

Trillion dollar liberal fiscal policies to devalue capital and labor.

Institutional discrimination of politically unfavorable orientations and behaviors under the quasi-religion pro-choice doctrine.

Class diversity schemes to propagate racial, gender, etc. discrimination.

And the Dodo Dynasty has lapped it up in exchange for a few trinkets and drags from puff the hallucinatory dragon.

cubanbob said...

Trying to cure the stupid of their stupidity is simply stupid. Best to just kill them. Who cares if they hate us as long as they fear us and behave themselves.

n.n said...

The genius of liberal propaganda is how skillfully it imbues the idea of war not only with traditional notions of honor and virility...

Recruiting women into the war on families, men, babies, Mother Nature, etc. was easy with an appeal to ego and greed following the establishment of superior classes and redistributive change, respectively. The Islamic Caliphate is envious of progressive methods used to convince women and men to voluntarily abort and cannibalize millions of wholly innocent human lives, including their own Posterity, under abortion rites and family planning.

MaxedOutMama said...

The obvious answer is to stop worrying about propaganda and start worrying about inflicting very serious losses of territory, men and material on the Islamic Empire of Snuff Flicks.

Despite the BS factor in the article, the reality is that first one must have a certain mindset to find ISIS appealing, and a certain acceptance of Islamic doctrine. And part of that doctrine is that the fighter under Allah's rules is given victory by Allah. So the most serious anti-propaganda fuel required is DEFEAT of ISIS.

If ISIS just keeps losing, then its theological claims are largely discredited. On the other side, it is far less inviting to go join it.

Note that most young people would not find it inviting to go live and fight in an hardcore theocracy which murders people in startlingly inventive ways for money. Most people do in fact react in revulsion to this. And that is the BS factor in the article.

Unattorney said...

Why will no one stand up for the rights of Muslims to convert to another religion without being killed? Most so-called moderate Muslims will quickly reveal the inherent cruelty of their religion if asked directly about apostasy laws.

Jupiter said...

Big Mike said...
"To a Westerner the notion of using captured females as sex slaves seems thoroughly dishonorable."

I saw a photo the other day, of a grinning, bearded sack of shit with a microphone, clutching a weeping girl to his side. She appeared to be about 12 years old. He was auctioning her off.

I think we should look upon ISIS as a golden opportunity to eliminate a whole generation's worth of genetic dysfunction that we would otherwise need to house in prisons for decades. Kill them all, let Allah sort them out in Hell.

Michael K said...

The masculine segment of the US population is increasingly limited to dysfunctional subsets like Hispanics and blacks. They need a nucleus of thoughtful people but the white subset is dying out and the other two are trapped in hellish schools.

Trump is the last gasp of the white warrior class.

Mac McConnell said...

Instead of reasoning with these primitives we should make fun of them while employing total war. We should constantly remind them what losers they are. We should remind them that every modern invention made and invented in the West they employ is proof of their failure and backwardness of their ideology and civilization. Every time they use toilet paper, pick up keys to a vehicle, use a gun, turn on a light switch, pump oil they should be reminded they are losers. They have not produced or invented anything useful because of their backward Islam. Islam the religion of losers. Stoke up Voice of America and the B-52s.

Michael said...

Mac McConnell:

Correct. You could provide the ME with the tools, the raw materials and an instruction book and they could not build a bicycle in a hundred years. They could have one assembled by migrant workers but would not know how to do it themselves.

Paco Wové said...

n.n, I realize that you have made it your purpose in life to link every possible subject in the Universe to your pet obsession, but you might want to consider that 1) it's deeply, truly boring, and 2) people will, over time, start to ignore you completely and even add you to their handy blog comment kill files, as I am doing with you now.

You have become the gold standard in comment tedium. And that's with some fierce competition.

Wayworn Wanderer said...

They aren't winning. We are losing, thanks to that pussy in the White House.

David said...

" (Bint Emergent has not disclosed her identity, or gender, but bint is an honorific Arabic word for girl or daughter; like umm—mother in Arabic—bint features prominently in the Twitter display names of female ISIS sympathizers.)"

Bint is also British slang for bitch or whore.

Take your pick.

narciso said...

what is left out of the minitrue minute,


http://therightscoop.com/media-gleefully-reporting-al-shabab-video-with-trump-ignores-hillary-and-black-lives-matter-are-in-it-too/

Quaestor said...

If coolness is the strength of ISIS then we're nearly home free. Simon Cottee must be either some kind of ultra-meta-humor dude, or the least cool guy on Planet Earth (writing for The Atlantic implies the latter) because there's nothing more ephemeral than cool. You're cool today, and uncool tomorrow. Just yesterday I was surfing Youtube and came across the pilot for a post-Star Trek Gene Roddenberry sci-fi called Genesis II. All that 70's mustachioed peacenik post-apocalyptic crap made me more uncomfortable than I can describe. It's embarrassing just to remember the 70's, let alone knowing the worst of its tropes are encapsulated and preserved digitally forever. Does anyone anywhere own anything made of polyester double-knit? And it doesn't matter if the coolness authorizes psychotic violence, the history of cool proves even that must pass, and more quickly than anyone can guess. Being an Aryan übermensch was really cool for years and years, in fact the coolest übermensch of them all predicted a thousand year of Aryan cool, and then suddenly after 8 May 1945 the cool evaporated like dry ice in Death Valley at noon... even leisure suits took longer than that to memory hole.

Michael K said...

"Stoke up Voice of America and the B-52s."

Yes but does the will still exist in this poorly educated and demasculinized society ? It certainly doesn't in Britain. They are more interested in drunken orgies in the streets.

I wonder.

Quaestor said...

Stoke up Voice of America and the B-52s.

There's a reason the Israelis design and build their own tanks, their own fighter planes, and their own small arms. And ISIS, stomping around in their laughable rags brandishing AK-47s that they can't even repair let alone replicate? It's said ISIS captured some warplanes from Syria and Iraq, and they're training pilots to man them... Jesus H. Christ... that'll be funny. Even the Russians will have a field day with those goobers.

Thomas Friedman, someone whose writing I generally avoid, summed it best with this observation: Israel manufactures computer chips. Gaza struggles to manufacture potato chips.

J. Farmer said...

@Gahrie:

"We cannot win until we decide as a civilization that our civilization is worth fighting for, and start saying so loudly and proudly.

How, precisely, does ISIS threaten our "civilization?"

Birkel said...

If only there hadn't been a political movement to remove concepts like honor from the public square here in America. Traditions must be broken like so many eggs if the Omelet of Progressivism is to choke the life from these United States.

Hold yourselves blameless, Leftists.

Quaestor said...

Speaking of Minitrue, it seems that Insoc's ministerium has been unusually successful in Iraq.

Mr al-Maliki, who was prime minister of Iraq between 2006 and 2014, said in a statement that his countrymen "strongly condemn these detestable sectarian practices and affirm that the crime of executing Sheikh al-Nimr will topple the Saudi regime as the crime of executing the martyr al-Sadr did to Saddam," referencing the death of another prominent cleric in Iraq in 1980.

First there were no WMDs in Iraq, now we learn there was no American invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein. Next we'll be told Oceania has never been at war with East Asia.

Rusty said...

J. Farmer said...
@Gahrie:

"We cannot win until we decide as a civilization that our civilization is worth fighting for, and start saying so loudly and proudly.

How, precisely, does ISIS threaten our "civilization?"

By sending large groups of fighters into Europe and the US. The US via Mexico.

You put civilization in quotes. What do you think our "civilization" consists of.

buwaya puti said...

The Israelis do make their own tanks, but they gave up making their own combat aircraft because it was uneconomical. They were making licensed copies of French Mirages, and they did design and prototype an excellent aircraft, the Lavi, but it was too costly, considered unnecessary at the end of the cold war, and foreign partners to share costs never materialized.

BTW, Egypt did in fact make their own jet fighter at one time, as well as many other weapons and major modifications of weapons. Much of this they gave up on as the Soviet stuff was cheaper. They have and will again assemble M1A1 tanks in a coproduction deal. So Egypt at least is not hopeless at this sort of thing.

n.n said...

Paco Wové:

You're right. Concepts like human rights, scientific constrain, and personal integrity are out of fashion. Perhaps the next generation will rediscover their purpose, and will at least attempt to reach positions that are internally, externally, and mutually consistent.

Unfortunately, a large minority of people in liberal societies, and Islamic societies, are only capable of enjoying and exploiting the achievement of their ancestors. Enjoy it while it lasts. I suppose.

The paradox of civilization can be observed in the regression suffered by ancient cultures including Islam and the revival of primitive cults including pro-choice or unprincipled hedonists.

Quaestor said...

Traditions must be broken like so many eggs if the Omelet of Progressivism is to choke the life from these United States.

I agree with the sentiment, but that's the drollest metaphor mash I've read in a while, almost as over-extended as this one.

J. Farmer said...

@Rusty:

"By sending large groups of fighters into Europe and the US. The US via Mexico."

Ah, so ISIS will somehow get "large groups" (whatever that is) into the United States via the southern border and then do what? Shoot up the place? Take over small towns from the locals? Call me a naive, but I don't consider this a civilizational threat level of planning.

"You put civilization in quotes. What do you think our 'civilization' consists of."

I put it in quotes because I was quoting the word from a previous commenter. I don't believe that ISIS threatens our civilization. They're a nightmare for the people who have the misfortune of living there, but they are no significant danger to us.

Quaestor said...

Egypt did in fact make their own jet fighter at one time

If you're referring to the HA-300, the comparison to the Lavi is a bit of a stretch considering that both the airframe and the engine were designed by foreigners, Willy Messerschmitt and Ferdinand Bradner respectively, while the Lavi airframe, its avionics and weapon suite were all indigenous Israeli designs.

Michael K said...

"How, precisely, does ISIS threaten our "civilization?"

I think they are not as dangerous as lefties like you are. You are running through a field of haystacks with a torch alite, You will be amazed when the flames engulf you.

Gahrie said...

How, precisely, does ISIS threaten our "civilization?"

You do realize that ISIS is just the latest skirmish in a war that Islam has been waging against Christianity and Western Civilization since 711 A.D. right?

The Crusades were merely an attempt to hold what the Christians still owned, and to try and recapture some of what Islam had conquered.

Islam talks openly about invading and infiltrating western society through the refugees. Majorities of Muslims in every country support the imposition of Sharia law. Sharia law in incompatible with Western Civilization.

Do I think Islam will win and destroy our civilization? Ultimately no...I have faith that we will eventually defend our civilization. But because of our weakness over the last fifty years, the solution is going to be a lot more violent and bloody than it should, and I fear for what it will do to us as a people.

wildswan said...

Guys, Guys ...

This is simple. Send Caitlyn to recruit. Show Hillary reviewing troops. Offer gender reassignment to any ISIS defector. Showcase our civilization and we will win. What's the problem?

PS. We have as many Special Ops guys as there are ISIS fighters and they are better trained but Obama is messing them up. That won't end if Hillary is elected because messing the soldiers about and betraying and insulting them is in the leftist genetic heritage.

Quaestor said...

J. Farmer wrote: How, precisely, does ISIS threaten our "civilization?"

Anyone who puts civilization within invert commas deserves to be ignored.

Birkel said...

How exactly did those German barbarians threaten Roman "civilization", J. Farmer?

Drago said...

J Farmer: "How, precisely, does ISIS threaten our "civilization?"

First off, it's not just ISIS as anyone with 2 brain cells to rub together will inform you.

This brand of Islamism is quite broad and enjoys quite a bit of support. This brand of islamist extremism is being practiced across the globe and, critically important, supports the establishment of an actual physical state government well beyond what Al Qaeda and it's particular offshoots support. This involves all aspects of what a physical state would provide: courts, education, utilities, Sharia Institutes, law enforcement/policing, development of natural resources, etc. Off course, a formal military structure and recruitment organizations as well.

They have proven themselves capable enough in light, "mobile" infantry tactics with proven ability in specialized tactics. Most notably the Dhabiha (slaughterers), whose sole mission is to follow closely on the heels of their advancing forces to carry out mass execution/massacres of enemies of IS in an organized
fashion, often in conjunction with media/IO elements.

Or, what garage mahal would call "courageously" cutting the heads off of women and sexually enslaving children.

ISIS has also come into possession of soviet-made (What Robert Cook would call "peoples") Air Defense systems in Syria and Iraq.

Further, their willingness to sacrifice themselves means that they are willing to sustain the pace and intensity of combat even against impossible odds, potentially making any battles where allied or western forces find themselves equally outfitted in weaponry problematic.

They have also been very active in pirating and repurposing popular video games in support of their global recruiting outreach programs. I found this very interesting.

They have moved to create their own currency and maintain significant global financial resources.

The ISIS and ISIS-like social media activities have been termed "sophisticated" by our security agencies (assuming obambi hasn't ordered them to hush up about it). It is thru this social media arm that ISIS and it's like-minded amigos have been encouraging the "lone-wolf" and "known-wolf" attacks in the West: Their campaign is called "Behead Them In Their Own Homes".

Some of the affiliated groups in the greater Middle East include:
•Jordan: the “Sons of the Call for Tawhid and Jihad”
•Sudan: the “Al-Attasam bel-Ketab wa al-Sunna”
•Pakistan: the “Tehreek-e-Khalifat”
•Yemen: the “al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula”
•Nigeria: the “Boko Haram”
•Egypt: the “Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis”
•Libya: the “Al-Batar Brigade”
•Philippines: the “Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom
Fighters” and the “Abu Sayyaf Group”
•Gaza: the “Al Dalwa Al-Islamia”
•Syria: factions of the Free Syrian Army have broken away and joined IS
•Somalia: factions of “al-Shaabab” have broken away and pledged to ISIS.

But, you know, whatever. Let's just keep "fighting" with both hands tied behind our backs, let a few million MORE of these types into the country, give a s***-ton more cash to Iran, open the doors to greater Soviet..er Russian influence in the Middle East, etc and see how it goes baby!

Above all, never, ever, allow anyone to tell you that islamists are committing terrorist acts! Why, that kind of talk simply breeds "ugliness" and is in fact a "microaggression".

grackle said...

The problem for CVE is that in an ironic age in which few 'grand narratives' remain, no one—except perhaps for the jihadists and their supporters—really knows what that narrative is anymore.

Talk about irony!

“CVE” is really the author’s euphemism for Western civilization – which is up against a tenacious, ruthless and patient foe.

The irony comes in because since the end of WW2, the West – meaning the intellectuals, philosophers, artists, all of academia, journalists, Leftwing groups of many different types in the West - have done their level best to tear down the West’s “grand narrative.” That narrative was about freedom, openness, inquiry and opportunity.

And the Atlantic and the author have played and are playing their small part in this self-destructive play, apparently unaware of the larger irony. Of course many young people of the West look outward for inspiration; how could they do otherwise after generations of Leftwing spin?

To me the future doesn’t look good for the West. The only superiority the West possesses over the jihad/caliphate/Moslem empire is that our weapons are technologically more advanced. Sometime in the future, perhaps sooner than could be imagined, some sort of parity will be achieved in that department. Trying to imagine what will happen after that depresses me so I rarely dwell on it.

Freder Frederson said...

Instead of reasoning with these primitives we should make fun of them while employing total war.
Do you even know what total war involves? I guess you are willing to see 90+% marginal income tax rates, government control of production, rationing, universal conscription, etc.

What a freaking moron.

Freder Frederson said...

Trump is the last gasp of the white warrior class.

Yeah, Trump is one hell of a warrior. Like most in his class (including our former president and his dad's VP), he managed to avoid service in Vietnam. I guess he figured, "let the losers die instead of me".

Sam's Hideout said...

The failure of imagination is immense.

In the West, you can fly planes to the 100,000 feet, or glide 20 feet above the surface in a wingsuit, dive a submersible a mile down to the bottom of the deep ocean or swim among the corals with SCUBA gear. You can paint a water lily on the Seine or scream grunge in Seattle. You could be working to cure Ebola or breeding a new variety of pest-resistant wheat. You could examine 40,000 year old cave paintings in the desert or experience the bright lights and teaming masses at Shibuya Crossing. You could join the Légion Étrangère and plan how to kill everyone you meet or teach children algebra in Mozambique with the Peace Corps.

J. Farmer said...

@Michael:

"I think they are not as dangerous as lefties like you are. You are running through a field of haystacks with a torch alite, You will be amazed when the flames engulf you."

So you don't actually have an answer, but that won't stop you from making some stupid, meaningless swipe at "lefties." Ah, Michael, you couldn't be more predictably boring if you had your own AM channel.

@Gahrie:

"You do realize that ISIS is just the latest skirmish in a war that Islam has been waging against Christianity and Western Civilization since 711 A.D. right?"

Even if what you say here is true, it is no reason to believe that ISIS threatens our civilization. And you yourself don't believe that. ISIS cannot even conquer Iraq, so I don't see them conquering the United States anytime soon.

@Quaestor:

"Anyone who puts civilization within invert commas deserves to be ignored."

The word is in quotes because I was quoting someone.

@Drago:

"Let's just keep "fighting" with both hands tied behind our backs, let a few million MORE of these types into the country, give a s***-ton more cash to Iran, open the doors to greater Soviet..er Russian influence in the Middle East, etc and see how it goes baby!"

You could actually solve most of this problem by just sealing up the borders. Easy fix, and I'd be for it. We don't need to nation-build some fractured up pieces of Iraq and Syria that we helped to blow up in the first place. Another easy solution: get out of the middle east. Our two biggest so called allies in the region, Israel and Saudi Arabia, also happen to cause us the most headache in the region. Trying to maintain a hegemonic position in the middle east is a stupid, pointless waste of time.

Big Mike said...

Even if what you say here is true, it is no reason to believe that ISIS threatens our civilization. And you yourself don't believe that. ISIS cannot even conquer Iraq, so I don't see them conquering the United States anytime soon.

No, but I can picture some of the crazy ISIS types attacking soft targets in the US -- meaning ordinary Americans peacefully going about their daily lives not dreaming that someone nearby plans to shorten those lives -- and I am in favor of doing whatever it take to stop that from happening if possible. And I don't see how to stop that without killing a large enough number of these bastard offspring from the mating of a bitch dog with boar hog in their home areas that they feel dissuaded from even thinking about it.

Henry said...

Daniel Boorstin described this problem in The Image many many moons ago. In his framing, the U.S. advertises appliances while the Soviet Union propagandizes about revolution. And yet, the superior propagandists fell.

It's a compelling thesis -- that extremists always sieze the narrative -- and yet the shopkeepers prevail.

Michael K said...

"Do you even know what total war involves? I guess you are willing to see 90+% marginal income tax rates, government control of production, rationing, universal conscription, etc.

What a freaking moron."

Yes, those morons are not surprised when the lefty's first response is "Raise Taxes !"

"So you don't actually have an answer, but that won't stop you from making some stupid, meaningless swipe at "lefties." Ah, Michael, you couldn't be more predictably boring if you had your own AM channel."

Yes, you lefties always know better. First you put "Civilization" in quotes as if you haven't a fucking clue.

You will be the first one thrown off the buildings if you manage to lose the war for us.

Personally, I have my AR 15 and my Colt 1911 and I learned how to use them in basic training. When did you say you served in the military again ?

If you did not sound stupid, you would not make a sound at all. Please use the transexual bathroom on the way out. Thank you.

bing bret said...

Similar train of thought, though better articulated:

https://aeon.co/essays/why-isis-has-the-potential-to-be-a-world-altering-revolution

Gahrie said...

J. Farmer will be denying the Islamic threat even as they saw through his jugular.

BN said...

"We don't need to nation-build some fractured up pieces of [Japan]."

I have an interesting comment but first I'm going to drive my Prius to go pick up some take-out sushi. Hold on a minute.

Ok, I'm back. Yer right. Despite what the Romans, Chinese, Brits, Arabs, ,Americans, Russians, etc., did all over the world throughout history, no culture has ever been or can ever be transformed.

It's about will, not ways.

Robert Cook said...

"'How the West Was Won'= Meade's favorite movie (and the only movie he names if asked to list all his favorite movies)."

When that movie came out, it was first shown in reserved seating Cinerama theaters, and it wasn't available in all cities on that first run. My dad got tickets for the theater in St. Louis that was showing it--the closest city to our town, (Evansville, Indiana) where it was playing--and we made a brief vacation of it. We drove to St. Louis, got a hotel, stayed a couple of days, went to the planetarium and saw the movie. I was seven years old at the time. I'd say it was one of my dad's three favorite movies, his other two being THE QUIET MAN and GUNGA DIN.

Robert Cook said...

"Trump is the last gasp of the white warrior class."

Oh my god.

I never knew the word "warrior" meant "over-privileged, lying, narcissitic blowhard."

Robert Cook said...

"ISIS has also come into possession of soviet-made (What Robert Cook would call "peoples") Air Defense systems in Syria and Iraq."

No, I wouldn't.

Mac McConnell said...

Freder Frederson, who's the freaking moron? Me or the guy confusing WWII with total war in the Levant + Iraq?

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...


Pretty sure ISIS propaganda is ineffective against anything higher than an average IQ.

J. Farmer said...

@Big Mike:

"No, but I can picture some of the crazy ISIS types attacking soft targets in the US -- meaning ordinary Americans peacefully going about their daily lives not dreaming that someone nearby plans to shorten those lives -- and I am in favor"

This already happens in the US every year. In any given year, dozens if not hundreds of people die in mass shootings somewhere. They are senseless, tragic deaths, but they do not threaten our civilization.

@Gahrie:

"J. Farmer will be denying the Islamic threat even as they saw through his jugular."

No, I put the threat in perspective and live my life accordingly. It must be tiring to live your life in a state of perpetual panic. You do realize that there are a number of degrees between no threat and civilizational threat, right?

@Michael K:

"Yes, you lefties always know better. First you put "Civilization" in quotes as if you haven't a fucking clue."

First, I'm not on the left, but since that seems to be the only arrow in your quiver, feel free to keep plucking away. Second, and I am now repeating myself, I put the word civilization in quotes because I was....wait for it...quoting someone. If you go back and read my original comment, you will see that I was responding to another commenter's assertion that our civilization was at threat. I think that's a vast overreaction. And when I ask how ISIS threatens our civilization, instead of having an actual point of view, you wade in and spew your same childish vitriol.

"Personally, I have my AR 15 and my Colt 1911 and I learned how to use them in basic training. When did you say you served in the military again ?

I never served in the military. So what? If I was an active service member making the same argument, would you agree with it then? This is tomfoolery on your part.

"If you did not sound stupid, you would not make a sound at all. Please use the transexual bathroom on the way out. Thank you."

Stay classy, Mike. Your children must be so proud. You really do challenge the stereotype that fat bald men are jolly.




traditionalguy said...

Warriors are not a class. They are ordinary men who have learned a stubborn attitude that Never Surrenders. Many are dumb enough to stand and die so that an enemy who attacks us to kill us dies himself. It is a way of getting in revenge first. But enemy identification is very important in the leader. The latest such leader we were blessed with was a Captain Harry S. Truman.

The problem is finding a leader not infected with New England Quaker pacifism who wants to make peace at any price, like the current Secy of State John F Kerry so gloriously does.

Gahrie said...

No, I put the threat in perspective and live my life accordingly. It must be tiring to live your life in a state of perpetual panic. You do realize that there are a number of degrees between no threat and civilizational threat, right?

There were a lot of German Jews who thought just like you in 1939.

I have finally figured out why the Lefties refuse to believe Muslims when they proclaim their intentions to destroy our civilization. They know that they (the Lefties) are constantly lying about their intentions, so they just assume everyone else is also.

J. Farmer said...

@Gahrie:

"There were a lot of German Jews who thought just like you in 1939."

Yes, I know, it's always 1939, always Munich; someone's always Hitler, someone else is Chamberlain, and someone else is Churchill. Interventionists should really stop and ask themselves why they are forced to incessantly go back 75 years for their cliched metaphors.

"I have finally figured out why the Lefties refuse to believe Muslims when they proclaim their intentions to destroy our civilization."

Intentions don't really matter in the equation. It's means. I do not doubt that there are people who would like to destroy our civilization. I just don't think they have the slightest bit of chance at succeeding. We have more than enough resources and ability to protect ourselves from this threat, which is a very small threat. We've been fighting wars in the middle east nonstop for 15 years, and the result has been a string of failed states and geopolitical disasters. But obviously the answer is even more war.

Robert Cook said...

"...I can picture some of the crazy ISIS types attacking soft targets in the US -- meaning ordinary Americans peacefully going about their daily lives not dreaming that someone nearby plans to shorten those lives -- and I am in favor of doing whatever it take to stop that from happening if possible."

Americans who are fated to die by gunshot are more likely to be killed by fellow Americans who have simply gone berserk than they are to be killed by jihadi terrorists. Are you in favor of doing whatever it takes to stop these ongoing (and quickly forgotten) American mass murderers?

"And I don't see how to stop that without killing a large enough number of these bastard offspring from the mating of a bitch dog with boar hog in their home areas that they feel dissuaded from even thinking about it."

I don't know why you think further inflaming resentment and hatred toward the USA by continuing or increasing our ongoing slaughter in the Middle East will stop those who want to do us harm. Look at how inflamed and murder-minded Americans become as a result of any offenses--however slight--enacted against us. Look at the Hatfield and McCoy feud. Do you think killing people cows their survivors...or do you think, human nature being what it is, the survivors of those we kill will more likely be inspired to wish or do us harm in return? We are not killing well-identified soldiers on a battlefield, we are killing people by remote bombing in communities where many non-terrorists live and work. We are killing as many (or more) non-terrorists--innocents--than we are terrorists. We often don't even really know who we're killing.

WE are greatly furthering anti-American hatred, and consequently, the numbers of those who take up arms against us. We are the greatest terrorist recruiter there is.

Rusty said...

. I don't believe that ISIS threatens our civilization.


Reason compels me to think that they do. They already inspired two people from San Bernardino to commit mass murder.

Rusty said...

. I don't believe that ISIS threatens our civilization.


Reason compels me to think that they do. They already inspired two people from San Bernardino to commit mass murder.

J. Farmer said...

@Rusty:

"Reason compels me to think that they do. They already inspired two people from San Bernardino to commit mass murder."

Dozens of people are killed in mass shooting incidents in this country. After the horrific killings at Sandy Hook Elementary, weren't conservative voices rightly cautioning against emotionally-laden legislative overreaction? And look at your own words. "Inspired." Even if ISIS was completely obliterated, how would that stop American-born Muslims from becoming "inspired" and wanting to go on a mass shooting spree?

I am still waiting to hear how a group that cannot conquer Iraq or Syria and that got beat out of Lebanon in about 5 days threatens our civilization....

Rusty said...

J. Farmer said...
@Rusty:

"Reason compels me to think that they do. They already inspired two people from San Bernardino to commit mass murder."

Dozens of people are killed in mass shooting incidents in this country. After the horrific killings at Sandy Hook Elementary, weren't conservative voices rightly cautioning against emotionally-laden legislative overreaction? And look at your own words. "Inspired." Even if ISIS was completely obliterated, how would that stop American-born Muslims from becoming "inspired" and wanting to go on a mass shooting spree?

Has absolutely nothing to do with Islamic terrorism in this country.

I am still waiting to hear how a group that cannot conquer Iraq or Syria and that got beat out of Lebanon in about 5 days threatens our civilization...


I can give the example of a movement that had no political base at all and eventually changed an empire, they were called christians. But insted lets look at the example being presented to us today in Europe. Despite what you might wish the muslim "refugees" are already changing European culture.(indeed. In england there are some parts of the country that are governed by sharia law thereby changing englands hundreds of years of "civilization") The "refugees are a direct result of ISIS actions in the middle east and indeed may contain ISIS agent. So no. You can't logically assert that ISIS poses no threat to our "civilization". Our "civilization" being the laws and customs that we have lived under for the last 230 some odd years.

Robert Cook said...

"Despite what you might wish the muslim 'refugees' are already changing European culture.(indeed. In england there are some parts of the country that are governed by sharia law...)."

This is completely untrue.

J. Farmer said...

@Rusty:

"Has absolutely nothing to do with Islamic terrorism in this country."

You cited the San Bernardino killings. That was Islamic-inspired killing in this country.

"Despite what you might wish the muslim "refugees" are already changing European culture."

Europe is a whole other story. Europe is a disaster for a whole lot of reasons; mass immigration from North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia is just one of them. But Europe is not the United States. We are far more secure than Europe. Tightening our borders would be the greatest contributor to long-term security. We are blessed with two huge strategic gifts called the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. This is why talk of a civilizational threat is such histrionic nonsense.

What 230-year-old laws and customs are we at risk of losing at the hands of ISIS? ISIS has no ability to project military force against us. That they have to rely on random nut jobs becoming "inspired" to show up at work the next day and shoot up the place is not a sign of ISIS' strength. It is a display of how pathetically weak it is.

We have no reason to maintain a hegemonic presence in the middle east. It is a stupid waste of time and resources. We have more than enough naval power to ensure our interests in the energy resources of the region. This idiotic, 19th-century style attempt at nation-building should be jettisoned. Let the Iraqis and the Syrians worry about ISIS. It is pathetic for a continental superpower to be wasting its time worrying about two-bit third-world revolutionaries like ISIS.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Balfegor said...

More seriously, if we want to make a romantic appeal to the Middle East, we won't do it with wan appeals to "democracy" and "freedom." Instead, we ought to be backing a counter-Caliph

I think that King Abdullah II of Joprdan is kind of afraid to take that step. But if Iran overthrows the Saudi monarchy...there may be no choice.

Robert Cook said...

"It is pathetic for a continental superpower to be wasting its time worrying about two-bit third-world revolutionaries like ISIS."

It's worse than pathetic, but it serves our government's purposes: by keeping the naive, the un- and misinformed, and the easily frightened in a state of chronic medium-grade panic that Muslim hordes will imminently breach our borders north, south, east and west--just as they were led to believe Saddam Hussein was on the verge of destroying us with his nonexistent WMD--and will commence a rampage of nation-wide beheadings and suicide bombings until, ahem, "they have conquered us," the government can claim every justification--with the people's eager surrender--to maintain their global (not to mention domestic) surveillance programs, their global military reach, the continuing militarization of our domestic police forces, and the continuing transfer of the people's treasure into their own black budgets, (not to mention into the pockets and overseas bank accounts of the corporate entities--and their heads--profiting mightily from our perpetual--if unjustified--and criminal wars).

Gahrie said...

It's worse than pathetic, but it serves our government's purposes: by keeping the naive, the un- and misinformed, and the easily frightened in a state of chronic medium-grade panic

Travel to Minneapolis, and talk to the people and authorities there about what happens when a critical mass of Muslims occurs. The time to address the problem of Islam is before Islam becomes too big a problem to address.

And remember, Squealer and his ilk spent the 60 years of the Cold War telling us their commie friends weren't a threat to us either.

Gahrie said...

Interventionists should really stop and ask themselves why they are forced to incessantly go back 75 years for their cliched metaphors.

That's easy...we intervened and prevented the rise of the threats, until Obama gifted us with ISIS.

Gahrie said...

I do not doubt that there are people who would like to destroy our civilization. I just don't think they have the slightest bit of chance at succeeding.

The problem is, they do, and they have been trying to do so for 1,300 years, and show no inclination to stop anytime soon. What's worse, they are literally willing to die trying.

We have more than enough resources and ability to protect ourselves from this threat,

I agree. The question is do we have the will?


which is a very small threat.

I prefer to address threats when they are small.

We've been fighting wars in the middle east nonstop for 15 years, and the result has been a string of failed states and geopolitical disasters.

We've been fighting against Islamic aggression for 1,300 years. The current conflict began in 1979.

But obviously the answer is even more war.

We have held out the hand of peace, the Muslims chose war. Our response is elf defense.

Rusty said...

Farmer.
You're fundamentally misunderstanding the situation. ISIS has invaded Europe. Europen culture and therefore it's historical understanding of its own civilization is changing. Changing to accomodate an Islamic precesnce that threatens to overwhelm it. Europeans are resisting the incursion.
This has nothing what soever to do with aircraft carriers and militarys. It is a cultural war. I'm surprised you're not seeing it. Or you're purposefully ignoring it.

Comrade Bob.
Where was it in England? Reading? Thousands of underage girls systematically raped for years and the authorities did nothing about it. You have , then, defacto Sharia law. But don't try and convince me there isn't. Tell it to those girls.

J. Farmer said...

@Rusty:

"This has nothing what soever to do with aircraft carriers and militarys. It is a cultural war. I'm surprised you're not seeing it. Or you're purposefully ignoring it."

Muslims are about 6% of the European population. They're about 3% of the US population. Yes, there are issues in certain large European cities like Amsterdam, Paris, and London. But these are not civilization that are at threat of being "overwhelmed." As far as the refugee crisis, it is the result of armed conflict that the US is supporting and carrying out. If the US acted even more aggressively militarily, the result would be even more refugees.

I stand by my original assertion. The threat the US faces from Islamic terrorism is a relatively small one, and the US does not increase its safety and security by fighting wars in the middle east that destabilize states and exacerbate the terrorist problem.

Birkel said...

The threat faced by Muslims because of Islamic Extremism is quite large, J. Farmer.

That is the fact that Leftists like you ignore.