November 15, 2015

"I'm struck by how Clinton went straight for the hawkish view of ISIS (they're just a bunch of nihilistic, backward people who crave power)..."

"... and passed up the opportunity to urge us to have a greater understanding of the 'root causes"' of terrorism," writes my son John, after last night's debate. Clinton was asked whether we need to "understand" ISIS:
This is a politically tricky question, but she gives a clever response: she first says it's "very difficult to put ourselves in their shoes," but then proceeds to do just that by describing ISIS's worldview as one of "nihilism," "a lust for power," and "rejection of modernity and human rights"....

Clinton sounded much like the conservative Charles Krauthammer, writing in the month after the September 11 attacks:
It turns out that the enemy does have recognizable analogues in the Western experience. He is, as President Bush averred in his address to the nation, heir to the malignant ideologies of the 20th century. In its nihilism [the same word used by Clinton], its will to power [similar to the "lust for power" mentioned by Clinton], its celebration of blood and death, its craving for the cleansing purity that comes only from eradicating life and culture, radical Islam is heir, above all, to Nazism. The destruction of the World Trade Center was meant not only to wreak terror. Like the smashing of the Bamiyan Buddhas [in Afghanistan earlier in 2001], it was meant to obliterate greatness and beauty, elegance and grace. These artifacts represented civilization embodied in stone or steel. They had to be destroyed [that would be an example of the "rejection of modernity," as Clinton put it].

56 comments:

Derp said...

Just a bunch of nihilistic people ... who crave power.

I thought she was talking about the Democrats.

Annie said...

At a speech at Georgetown University, Dec. 2014, in Washington, D.C., Hillary made the case for empathizing with America's enemies.


"This is what we call smart power," Clinton said to a small audience at Georgetown. "Using every possible tool and partner to advance peace and security. Leaving no one on the sidelines. Showing respect even for one's enemies. Trying to understand, in so far as psychologically possible, empathize with their perspective and point of view. Helping to define the problems, determine the solutions. That is what we believe in the 21st century will change -- change the prospects for peace."

The Clintons are paid very well by our enemies - Saudi Arabia, Qatar, etc. She will take the 'empathetic' route over any 'hawkishness'.

Derp said...

She was achitect of the policy of destroying stable govt in Libya and encouraged the rebels in Syria, and she gets a pass on this refugee crisis? It's good to be a Democrat!

Bay Area Guy said...

Describing murdering fanatics as "nihilists" is pure arm-chair psycho-babble.

Churchill did not describe the Nazis as "nihilists" - he evaluated their intentions, and their capabilities, and rallied support to destroy them.

Hillary does nothing of the sort.

Derp said...

Where did those refugees come from?

First, brava! This is a historic moment and you will be credited for realizing it.

When Qaddafi himself is finally removed, you should of course make a public statement before the cameras wherever you are, even in the driveway of your vacation house. You must establish yourself in the historical record at this moment.

The most important phrase is: “successful strategy.” …

This is a very big moment historically and for you. History will tell your part in it. You are vindicated.


Now look at the bold if you want to peg your irony meter:

Do not skimp on the reasons in the US interest behind the successful strategy: We prevented a humanitarian tragedy on a vast scale.

Then it gets worse:

By acting in Libya we have helped advance the cause of democracy and freedom throughout the Arab world. … We have put Assad on notice that the sands of time have run out for him as well.

So tell me again why Ben Carson is scarier than Hillary.

Derp said...

Sorry, the above is from one of Hillary's emails.


http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/06/blumenthal-email-confirms-libya-was-to-be-hillarys-crowning-accomplishment.php

Imagine if W had been involved in the above? Would it be flushed down the memory hole? But there is no media bias whatsoever.

The Drill SGT said...

It was amazing about how all three candidates refused to use Muslim or Islamic in their responses.

Having read Krauthammer, I was struck by:

EUROPE'S GREAT RELIGIOUS WARS ended in 1648. Three and a half centuries is a long time, too long for us in the West to truly believe that people still slaughter others to vindicate the faith.

Actually, one ought to consider that prior to the most recent unpleasantness with Muslim Radicals, there was a major religious war that caused the South and the West to tangle outside the gates of Vienna in 1683...

There, King John III Sobieski led what may have been the largest Cavalry charge in history to break the Ottoman Turks...

Islamics try to use the Crusades as a cause of action, but they were an attempt to retake Christian Holy lands not conquer new lands. It also ignores the Muslim invasions of Christian Spain, France, Italy, the Balkans, and the Austro-Hungarians.

In the long view, Europe and Islam have been at war for 1400 years...

Derp said...

Hillary does nothing of the sort.

That's because she is a nihilist who cares only for power. She sees that in everybody else too, whether it is there or not.

David Begley said...

I think it is impossible to analyze or deconstruct Hillary. She is a liar of historic proportions so who can figure her out?

Michael K said...

" Europe and Islam have been at war for 1400 years..."

Yes and the European leaders have surrendered. Whether the people will follow is another matter. I suspect we will know in a year.

Gahrie said...

Muslim fanatics are as about the opposite of nihilistic as you can possibly get. They believe in the most comprehensive belief system out there.

Robert Cook said...

Why the surprise? Hillary is hawkish, very much so! Any statements by her to the contrary are lies, meant to sway liberals to vote for her. As they will, being credulous chumps.

Clyde said...

Nazism is a good analogy. We didn't need to "understand" them, we just needed to recognize their evil for what it was, and destroy them utterly. Ditto for ISIS.

Robert Cook said...

"The Clintons are paid very well by our enemies - Saudi Arabia, Qatar, etc."

Um...Saudi Arabia does fund terrorists who are our enemies--including those responsible for 9/11, (as opposed to Afghanistan, which did NOT fund or assist them)--the United States and Saudi Arabia are, officially, not enemies, but allies.

Sammy Finkelman said...

The French have a saying:

To understand everything is to forgive everything.

But it is not true, or shouldn't be true for anyone.

Of course, a lot of "understanding" is completely false.

pm317 said...

Maybe this is why Krauthammer was weak in his criticism of Hillary. He usually does not hide his hatred for Hillary but last night he was almost positive about her performance.

Fernandinande said...

Gahrie said...
Muslim fanatics are as about the opposite of nihilistic as you can possibly get.


"Nihilist" seems to be Newspeak for "Muslim".

Fair? Who's the fuckin nihilists around here, you buncha fuckin crybabies?

Kirby Olson said...

Nietzsche is the philosopher of the will to power. He celebrates it. One can't help but see it in the strange way the crazies line up Christians to lop off their heads. It's a symbolic castration, which seems to argue for their own erection of new standards that mostly consist of them legitimately raping and killing even more people, including Yazidi nubiles and Nigerian nubiles, and forcing them into "marriages," for which they seem to have an entire contempt. It's a crazed slavery-inducing religion. Our fighting them is something like us fighting the Confederacy over their slaves, and them fighting back to keep and hold slaves. Hillary has part of it. Sanders thinks it's the climate that's causing this. However, the FLN and many other Arab groups were blowing up people and things in Paris back in the 1950s. You'd think he'd have a better grasp of the history of Arab terror, since he's supposedly a Jew.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Sometimes the truth, or something that's close to the truth, or has elements of the truth, or what people to believe to be the truth, is useful for Hillary Clinton.

Clinton sounded much like the conservative Charles Krauthammer

Another word for that is plagiarism.

Now actually Hillary Clinton understands terrorists a little bit better, and they are not exactly motivated by nihilism, and the leaders and the foot soldiers have different motives. And I don't think anyone is specifically rejecting "modernity"

Sammy Finkelman said...
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Michael K said...

"the United States and Saudi Arabia are, officially, not enemies, but allies."

Yes and Hillary is running for president. One of these things is not like the other.

Hillary is an enemy of anyone who has not paid her off. See Exxon for the latest example.

Sammy Finkelman said...

@Robert Cook.

It gets worse. Qatar, home and sponser of al Jazeera and Hamas, is also an ally.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Sanders thinks it's the climate that's causing this.

Specifically, Sanders said:

"In fact, climate change is directly related to the growth of terrorism. And if we do not get our act together and listen to what the scientists say you’re gonna see countries all over the world – this is what the C.I.A. says…

And in fact, that is what the CIA - and the Defense Department and President Obama - said earlier this year.

The Republicans did force the CIA to shut down its climate change research group.
According to the Puffington Host, Al Gore started it all when he was Vice President.

The State Department is also involved.

Here's how climate change is supposed to have been responsible for the rise of ISIS:

There was a drought in Syria that began in late 2006 and lasted for three years (droughts, of course, are caused by carbon dioxide - anything bad about the weather is caused by carbon dioxide, while good things are entirely natural.) As a result, 1.5 million Syrians moved closer to or into the cities. These new people began protesting and rebelled against Assad starting in March, 2011. If not for the drought, the whole thing never would have gotten started, or at least it madde it more probable.

Here's a Scientific American article that says the same thing:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-change-hastened-the-syrian-war/

- previous message at 12:27 edited and deleted.

Michael K said...

"a drought in Syria"

He also thinks that "water wars" are the source of terrorism but the Israelis who are far downstream from Syria and who have been the party subjected to Syrian water war, are now exporting water having provided all they need from the most advanced desalination system in the world.

The Arab states decided to deprive Israel of 35% of the National Water Carrier capacity, by a diversion of the Jordan River headwaters (both the Hasbani and the Banias) to the Yarmouk River. The scheme was only marginally feasible, as it was technically difficult and expensive.

A major escalation took place in 1964 when Israel declared it would regard such a project as an infringement on its sovereign rights.[6] [7]

In 1965, there were 3 notable border clashes, starting with Syrian shootings of Israeli farmers and army patrols, followed by Israeli tanks and artillery destroying the Arab heavy earth moving machines that were used for the diversion plan


Arabs are always staring wars they lose. You would think they would eventually learn.

Sebastian said...

"Europe and Islam have been at war for 1400 years"

One side is still fighting. Partly by stealth. Merkel heads the fifth column.

As others have noted, Islamism is pretty much the opposite of "nihilism." Nihilist jihadis is an oxymoron.

Sure, ISIS is a "death cult" and enjoys causing death, but it's death with a purpose.

The Drill SGT said...

Arabs are always staring wars they lose. You would think they would eventually learn

"Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory."
- Sun Tzu

John Althouse Cohen said...

Why the surprise? Hillary is hawkish, very much so!

I didn't say I was surprised or question whether she's "hawkish." But in a Democratic primary, at a time when much of the public is war-weary, it can be interesting to observe how the hawkish candidate talks about the issue. The question about understanding terrorists could have presented an opportunity for her to appeal to the liberal base, but instead she seemed to draw inspiration from what I found to be a very insightful article by a conservative commentator in 2001. I thought that was worth pointing out.

traditionalguy said...
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traditionalguy said...

But the reason she tacts that way is to run a wide detour around the plain truth that the ISIL Army is not insane. Far from it, they have been that way since Mohammed invented his cunning Monotheistic War Relgion to rape and pillage the Mediterranean world.


They do it for the murder lust thrill and immense rewards from allah of loot and blonde women captives.

The Drill SGT said...

From Claire Berlinski, in Paris:

There are good reasons to be afraid; but I don’t have it in me. I am all for being pitiless on this nation’s enemies. Kill them all, and do not dither. Do it soon, and do it right.

Smilin' Jack said...

Donny: Are these the Nazis, Walter?
Walter Sobchak: No, Donny, these men are nihilists, there's nothing to be afraid of.
Nihilist: Ve don't care. Ve still vant ze money, Lebowski, or ve fuck you ups.


"The Big Lebowski"

Smilin' Jack said...

Walter Sobchak: Nihilists! Fuck me. I mean, say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos.

Real American said...

except Krauthammer actually believes what he says.

eric said...

Blogger John Althouse Cohen said...
Why the surprise? Hillary is hawkish, very much so!

I didn't say I was surprised or question whether she's "hawkish." But in a Democratic primary, at a time when much of the public is war-weary, it can be interesting to observe how the hawkish candidate talks about the issue. The question about understanding terrorists could have presented an opportunity for her to appeal to the liberal base, but instead she seemed to draw inspiration from what I found to be a very insightful article by a conservative commentator in 2001. I thought that was worth pointing out.


Do you pretend to be a moderate like your mother does? Because tripe like this will out you as a Democrat shill.

Let me give you just one very good reason why Hillary sounds absolutely nothing like any Conservative in this country, including Charles Krauthammer, from his article that you quoted:

its celebration of blood and death, its craving for the cleansing purity that comes only from eradicating life and culture, radical Islam is heir, above all, to Nazism.

Wait, what? Radical Islam? What the hell is that?

Remember, Hillary refused to call it that. Instead, she wants to use the word Jihadist, even though Jihad means a Muslim person. But you don't hear the word Islam in Jihad, so, she prefers to use that.

Conservatives aren't afraid to call it what it is.

Now, claim to be a moderate, please, and not a Democrat shill.

jr565 said...

actually they are not nihilists. NIhilists believe in nothing. These guys believe in something very specific.. THere ideology may ultimately be nihilistic in execution, but they are not coming from a nihiist viewpoint.

rcocean said...
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rcocean said...

What are the root causes? And how soon can we cure the "root causes" assuming we can. Usually when someone says "we need to address the root cause" what they really mean is "I don't care about the problem" or "I'd rather live with the problem then solve it"

The "We need to address the root cause of crime" was the Liberals Mantra in the 60s and 70s. It was their way of not addressing the exploding crime rate.

rcocean said...

Why be surprised that Hillary is demagoging the issue? That was Bill and Hillary's MO during Clinton's Arkansas and POTUS elections. You tell the boobs what they want to hear, and then after the election you do what you want. "Oh, I said that? Oh, that was just campaign rhetoric. Haha."

campy said...

"You tell the boobs what they want to hear, and then after the election you do what you want.

See also: Obama on gay marriage.

Bobby said...

Gahrie,

"Muslim fanatics are as about the opposite of nihilistic as you can possibly get. They believe in the most comprehensive belief system out there."

Yeah, I don't understand this Islamists=nihilist linkage either, but I'm quite positive that I don't understand nihilism as well as Krauthammer does. It may very well make perfect sense and I just don't have the depth of knowledge in order to fully appreciate it.

John,

"But in a Democratic primary, at a time when much of the public is war-weary, it can be interesting to observe how the hawkish candidate talks about the issue."

But is the public really war-weary? I'm not so sure about that. I heard that- a lot- from 2006 to 2009, and my feeling back then was: 'what are you all so weary about? You're not doing anything but watching it on the news!' This isn't to say that I don't think all Americans don't bear a cost for our foreign policy or that the national debt isn't something that all Americans care about at least passively (even those who don't pay any taxes probably sense intuitively that war spending crowds out transfer payments into their pockets), but that the actual weight was being lifted by a very, very small percentage of the population (less than 1%, and that's generous), so how could people really be "weary" about it? That President Obama surged troops into Afghanistan- twice!-, (so far) hasn't done anything to close Guantanamo's Camp X-Ray, and has executed exponentially more drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere than President Bush ever did, and none of these have ever been met with any significant (or even insignificant) resistance from Democrats suggests to me that the "war-weariness" was just a campaign issue used by the Democrats to win votes. I know that's cynical, and I'm sure they regret backing their President the way Republicans would go on to regret Bush's prescription drug benefit giveaway, but the reality is that- for Democrats- "war-weariness" appears to be applied selectively only when the other side is in power, similar to Republicans claiming the deficit as such a problem only when there's a Democrat in the White House.

Laslo Spatula said...

First they came for the Jews who vote Democrat, and I did nothing.

Then they came for the Uppity College Professors, and I did nothing.

Then they came for the Uppity College Kids, and I did nothing.

Then they came for the Pro-Abortion Feminists, and I did nothing.

Then they came for the Texans and the like who carry firearms.

And then the Problem was solved.


I am Laslo.

MaxedOutMama said...

I think this sort of apocalyptic sect is nihilistic in that its goal - its desired endpoint - is no human achievement, but the day of Wrath and Judgement.

If your goal is the end of the world as we know it, you are a nihilist.

Coupe said...

From Claire Berlinski, in Paris: ...Kill them all, and do not dither. Do it soon, and do it right.

I just got an erection...

Sammy Finkelman said...

Here is someone who is interested in understanding members of ISIS:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/15/terrorists-isis

He understands them like, I suspect, he understood the IRA, which could be close to nihilism actually - he says what inspires them is not the Qur’an or religious teachings but a thrilling cause that promises glory and esteem - that is, the game.

I am not sure if he not contradicting himself. He also said they are on a moral mission to change the world and sees it as radical Arab Sunni revivalism.

DanTheMan said...

>>much of the public is war-weary

We're not tired of war. We're tired of losing.

Sammy Finkelman said...

One important point - all the people doing this are, almost to a man, what in Judaism is called a Ba'al Teshuva and in Christianity "born again"

They are all "born again Muslims" or converts. You read that over and over and over again.

Derp said...

If your goal is the end of the world as we know it, you are a nihilist.

No, not even close. If your goal is the end of the world, maybe, but not if your goal is to switch out this world for a different one. They are Utopians, if I were king, all Utopians would be shot.

narciso said...

ah the fair claire, behave yourself lazlo:

http://www.berlinski.com/novel/author.htm

she's written about spies, her first novel, and the moslem situation in Europe,

Drago said...

Coupe: ""From Claire Berlinski, in Paris: ...Kill them all, and do not dither. Do it soon, and do it right."

I just got an erection..."

Lets hope that, in your case, your "condition" will not pose a significant degrading factor in your agility in battle.

Derp said...

As opposed to Afghanistan, which did NOT fund or assist them - Robert Cook

I guess that offering bin Laden sanctuary and state protection for Al Qaeda training camps while he planned 9-11 doesn't count as "assistance." I guess that is why Robert Cook is so smart and I am so stupid, I would have guessed it was assistance. But I would have been wrong, I see now.

SociallyExtinct said...

As an avowed nihilist, I took great offense.

Jason said...

Claire Berlinski? Her cats finally let her out of her bedroom?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/10924753/Woman-live-tweets-being-trapped-in-her-bedroom-by-her-cats.html

SukieTawdry said...

ISIS's "worldview" is one of a worldwide caliphate. I'd hardly describe that as nihilism. They take their authority from the Koran. Regardless of whether Hillary wants to say the word, they're Islamists.

Derp said...

As an avowed nihilist, I took great offense

I used to be a nihilist, but now I don't even believe in that anymore.

damikesc said...

After the debate, I cannot imagine taking any of the Dems seriously on this issue. And it is a big problem for them because this is a large issue and their President seeks to import more of that nonsense here.

mikee said...

Having always understood Bill & Hill to be "nihilistic, backwards people who craved power," i.e., progressive liberals, I guess she is indeed able to understand ISIS.

That she understands them says nothing about her ability to defeat them, which was so obviously lacking during her tenure as Secretary of State that she should stop her candidacy in shame now.

But being a lying, corrupt, power-hungry progressive means you never admit to errors, even when they are so damn obvious. So she has that going for her, which is nice.