09 September 2006

Islam Is Advancing According To A Steady Plan: America Will Be Destroyed

So says one Suleiman al-Omar, as quoted in a chilling article by David Selbourne, author of The Losing Battle With Islam. Unfortunately, I can't find that many holes in his argument. I was especially depressed by his critique of "the low level of Western leadership, in particular in the United States." For the past five years I've hoped, despite a preponderance of evidence to the contrary, that George Bush and Co. had some kind of coherent plan, or were being advised by someone who did, or, failing that, would at least rise to the occasion in the way that apparently mediocre men sometimes do in times of great crisis. As we continue to plod through morass and quagmire to no visible end, it becomes ever more evident that this is not and will not be the case.

The closest the West has to a Churchillian figure - and that's still quite a stretch - is Tony Blair, now in the midst of being hounded from office by Britain's own gaggle of mediocrities; whatever Blair's failings, it's almost certain that whoever replaces him will have less vision, less courage, and less inclination to deal with the Islamist threat. Selbourne cites Edmund Burke, who said, "A great empire and little minds go ill together," and points out that the "little minds" include not only incompetent Presidents and military leaders, but also "hyperventilating Islamophobes as well as academic apologists for the worst that is being done in Islam’s name."

Most self-proclaimed "progressives," including most of the people I know, tend to pooh-pooh the idea of radical Islam being a serious danger to the way of life we enjoy in the Western world. I think this myopia has its origins partly in racism and partly in misplaced hostility. Racism because so many of them are unwilling or unable to believe that dark-skinned people practicing what appears to be a backward way of life could ever triumph over white secular humanism; misplaced hostility because so many of them are willing to lend at least tacit sympathy to anyone or anything that George Bush is against.

Personally, I'm less optimistic than at any time since this whole business got underway. Bush tries repeatedly to convince the public that we are engaged in a life-or-death struggle over the fundamental principles of civilisation - which I am inclined to think is true - but when continues to squander the nation's energy resources and burns through its economic capital as though we didn't have a care in the world, it makes a mockery of his rhetoric. When Hitler was gathering his forces and preparing his all-out assault on modernity and the Enlightenment, there was a similar disconnect. Let him have Europe, many Americans urged; he'll never make it across the Atlantic. Besides, he's just a funny little man with a moustache. You can't believe he'd ever be real problem to America, can you? I know, dragging Hitler into any argument is usually a cheap polemic tactic, and I'll undoubtedly be accused of just that. But nothing that's happened these past few years has made me less convinced that we're heading for very much the kind of showdown we faced in the 1930s and 40s, and that we're much less prepared for it, and even less likely to win it. My main consolation is that at my age, I'm less likely than most of you to have to live with the ultimate consequences.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

After reading that report i could think of one more fatal factor to losing a war with terrorists. Ignorance of people my age (15/16), some people in my class, school etc do not question the world and are happy to shout opinions (formed by the media, family etc)without understang them first. my best friends are of all different faiths so i learn about how their cultures affect there lives and they intern learn mine. When the london of bombings happened some people i knew only seemed to blame instead of working out what we could do next, to combat such terrorism. That is the real danger; not realising its not just government and police who have to stop terrorism but everyones responsibilty.

Anonymous said...

This article, and your whole-hearted endorsement of it, is absurd.

Any unbiased historian worth the paper his degree is printed on can tell you that European facsism / imperialism has, since the 17th century and up to this very day, been a far superior threat to world peace than Islam.

Nevermind the European genocides of Native Americans and Australian Aborigines of the 18th century, or the violent, expansionist imperialist attacks on China, India, Africa, and the Middle East of the 19th century.

For the purpose of brevity, let's quickly overview the secular white track record just in the 20th century:

1. World War I - 20,000,000 dead in the name of white, secular "humanism."

2. World War II - 60,000,000 dead in the name of white, secular "humanism."

3. The brutal Holocaust, conducted by Germans, who are white and whose ideology was secular.

4. 15,000,000-17,000,000 deaths in Russia, attributable to purges conducted by the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union was founded and operated by Russians, who are white and whose ideology was secular.

As you can see, Islam is a media-hyped threat. It is barely a spec on the radar screen compared to the long and violent history of European radicalism.

Larry Livermore said...

Thanks for your comments, Noam.

Anonymous said...

Why not answer substantively instead of just rolling your eyes?

Are these not serious issues?

Larry Livermore said...

Because it's not a substantive question. It's just the usual, "Let's turn this into a racial issue" nonsense so beloved of the far left, who are so desperate for any kind of leverage that they'll make alliances with totalitarian movements that would and will gladly exterminate them given the opportunity. Stalin made this mistake with Hitler, and today's leftists seem determined to repeat the mistake by trying to turn Islamofascists and jihadists into some kind of anti-imperialist freedom fighters.

Obviously I'm not unaware of atrocities committed within and by western societies, or I wouldn't have made what some might call the too-glib link between Nazism and Islamofascism. But I think you're unaware of the racism permeating your assumption that a) western societies have a monopoly on mass murder; and b) Asian and Middle Eastern people are somehow not capable of posing as serious a threat to the world as Europeans are.

The skin colour or religion of the people behind a totalitarian threat to humankind is irrelevant. When Hitler was gathering his forces, people similarly dismissed him as "a media-hyped threat" and 55 million people subsequently died of apathy.

Lastly, you say with regard to the list of European atrocities, "Are these not serious issues?" Well, no, they're not. They were serious issues, but the World Wars I and II are over, Nazism and Communism have been defeated. It is only your racial and/or political obsession blinding you to the fact that radical Islam (not Islam as a whole, but bear in mind that committed Nazis were only ever a small percentage of the German people) is every bit as dangerous as past totalitarian movements, and with its pathological anti-Semitism, its monomaniacal quest for power, and unstinting aggressiveness, not in essence very different from them.

Anonymous said...

Let us not be politically correct. Bias on the basis of race, religion, and national origin is definitely an issue here.

When you use the phrase "white secular humanism," are you not referring to race

When you use dismissive and inflammatory term like "jihadis" to describe any Middle Eastern group or individual who has legitimate grievances against imperialism, are you not making an offensive and bigotted remark regarding an entire culture and religion?

Which brings me to your question. Are Middle Eastern guerilla groups (not "Islamic" because many of them are secular) anti-imperialist heros or are they simply barberous, irrational "Jihadis?"

The answer is that the real guerilla groups, with real memberships, like those which defend their people from Israeli attacks (e.g., Lebanon's Hezbollah) ARE ANTI-IMPERIALIST FREEDOM FIGHTERS. Indeed.

Phoney guerilla groups, such as those which attack commuter stations in Europe, and such as those who park cars packed with explosives in crowded cities and churches in Iraq which kill everybody but American troops (e.g. Al Qaeda), are constructs of Western intelligence services. (If you think this is not possible, read more history.)

Nobody credible in the Middle East, including all of its governments, supports Al Qaeda, because they are universally regarded as agents of British or Israeli intelligence whose purpose is to utterly discredit any form of Muslim resistance to imperialism.

On the other hand, practically everyone one in the Middle East, including Lebanese Christians, supports Hezbollah, because they are regarded as a heroic anti-imperialist guerilla group.

In the West, the level of ignorance about the Middle East is very high, even among the educated elite. When you lump in all Middle Eastern groups and individuals who oppose Western interference and exploitation of their reason as "Islamofascists," you not only miss the point about who the enemy is, but you also succeed in offending people who are your friends.

Larry Livermore said...

But you see, I didn't "lump in all Middle Eastern groups," any more than I would accuse all Germans of being Nazis. However, once the Nazis gained control of Germany (with the active and/or passive complicity of many but certainly nowhere near all Germans), it was no longer possible to make such fine distinctions. It was necessary to make war upon Germany, with the result that many perfectly innocent people suffered and died.

It's similarly not always easy to distinguish between Islamofascists who would impose by force a barbarous regime on all and sundry, and ordinary Muslims who for sometimes understandable reasons may have a grievance against Israel or America or the West in general. However, it is my hope that we are still early enough in this struggle that the real villains can be picked off and eliminated (just as Hitler and his Nazi movement could have been stopped with relative ease at a much earlier date) without having to wage all-out war against whole nations and societies.

Some might argue that we are already seeing that kind of war, but they would be guilty of enormous hyperbole. If this were a war on the level of World War II, it would be a simple matter to obliterate any and all Islamic countries and install new governments there, as was successfully done to Japan and Germany. It is precisely because the Americans have been unwilling to engage in all-out war and have tried (admittedly often unsuccessfully) to distinguish between combatants and civilians that their wars have gone so badly. You will note that the jihadis (and I don't see what's "dismissive or inflammatory about using the term that they themselves use) rarely show even that much restraint.

Ultimately, I don't know if your eagerness to defend or even champion a totalitarian movement under which - should it be successful - neither you nor I would be allowed to have his discussion - stems from your being Muslim yourself, or, judging from such dated rhetoric as "heroic anti-imperialist," from being a diehard leftist who still can't reconcile himself to the fact that communism and socialism failed big time, and is desperately casting about for anything resembling a "revolution" to support. The alacrity with which old lefties have defended if not quite embraced Islamofascism would be startling if the Marxist left hadn't already revealed itself time and again as being fundamentally totalitarian in its own right.

Anonymous said...

You claim that you are not "lumping together" all Middle Eastern groups and individuals who oppose Anglo-Israeli imperialism in the region as "jihadis" or "Islamofascists."

If this is so, please tell me your views on Hezbollah and Hamas.

They are both democratically elected political parties in their respective countries, and have armed defense forces which legitimately engage Israel's defense forces tit for tat in attacking soldiers, infrastructure, and civilians of the other side.

If anything, Hezbollah's record of avoiding civilian casualties, as evidenced by the recent 30 Day War, is far better than that of the IDF.

So tell me, are Hezbollah "Islamofascists" or are they legitimate freedom fighters?

Larry Livermore said...

Neither.

Actually, when Hamas won the election, I thought it might be a positive development in terms of peace in the region because a less corrupt regime with clearly-stated (albeit unrealistically militant) aims might be better placed to negotiate, just as only an unreconstructed hawk like Ariel Sharon was able to persuade the Israeli people that it was time to begin relinquishing territory in the pursuit of peace.

Sadly, this has not proved to be the case. Hamas appears to be even worse than Fatah in terms of governing; it can't police its own territory, and has no apparent means of sustaining itself apart from the international begging bowl.

Granted, this is in part due to the blockade-like conditions imposed by Israel, but Israel's reluctance to relax its grip is understandable, since every concession, every overture on its part has been met with increased terrorism, and Hamas (or Hezbollah) promise only more of the same.

Yes, for those who sympathise with the Palestinian cause, both Hamas and Hezbollah might seem almost heroic, but the cold, hard truth of it is that they have brought nothing but misery and devastation on their own long-suffering people.

I wouldn't brand either group as "Islamofascist," though I don't doubt that among their membership there are some of that persuasion. But neither are they in any danger of being mistaken as a force for democracy or freedom.

Wesley said...

anonymous -- do you then feel that acts of violence for political ends are ipso facto justifiable (cf. Galloway) and acts of violence for religious/ideological ends are not?

I agree with you that Hezbollah/Hamas are radically different things than Al Qaeda, which may well be at its core an Anglo-American intelligence fiction. But Islamofascism as an ideological system exists even without being given a name and figurehead. And it cannot be so easily separated from political movements, which is what makes Iran's current government so problematic, and by that I'm not trying to link Iran and Al Qaeda, but merely to say that while asserting a nation's right to nuclear power is, as you say, an anti-imperialist, political statement (and one which prima facie I support), other policies of Iran's chief minister of culture, like the movement toward enforcing laws against non-Islamic clothing, are ideological and Islamofascist.

It seems to me that many in the West who call themselves leftists are unwilling to accept that anti-imperialism and fascism can and do coexist. Not only that, they use one another. It's the same conceit that led to a refusal of the left to believe that communism and fascism could coexist and not interbreed.

The important part of Islamofascism to be reckoned with is the fascism, not the Islam. And (to get back to the original article) we non-fascists are in a bit of a bind if our chief representatives are the decidedly fascist-fetishistic neo-Cons.

Anonymous said...

Larry,

Answer the question, are Hezbollah terrorists or not?

By the way, you've got one thing totally backwards. Hezbollah did not brought suffering onto the Lebanese people - Israel did, by invading Lebanon in 1982, occupying it until 2000, and by again murdering Lebanese civilians in cold blood and reducing the nation to rubble in 2006.

The Lebanese, who know slightly more about the reality of Lebanon than you do, almost universally regard Hezbollah as Lebanon's savior.

That is why 87 percent of Lebanese support Hezbollah's fight with Israel. Despite the fact that Hezbollah is a Shi'a organization, 80 percent of Lebanese Christians supported Hezbollah along with 80 percent of Druze and 89 percent of Sunnis.

Anonymous said...

Wesley,

The entire term "Islamofascist" is a bigotted, jingoistic construct of the English-language press. It is intended to convey a notion of moral equivilency between Muslims and Nazis. The very use of the term is an insult to those who perished at the hands of real fascism.

The real fascists - i.e., the European ones - conducted unprovoked attacks on other countries. They engaged in systematic mass murder of millions of people for no reason other than their ethnic or religious background.

By no stretch can anyone compare the actions of any Muslim government to these atrocities. To do so is simply bigotted propaganda.

You mention Iran. Its government has invaded no country. Its government has not started any wars. There are no minorities in Iran being murdered, imprisoned, or sent to labor camps.

If any government in the Middle East is fascist, it is Israel. Israel has attacked all of its neighbors at one time or other. Israel is a racist regime which literally regards its own people as "Chosen people" of God. It has murdered tens of thousands of innocent civilians in cold blood.

Larry Livermore said...

It always comes down to the Jews, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

Is mentioning Israel in a negative light "verbal jihad," Larry?

Dr. Frank said...

I'd recognize that je ne sais quoi anywhere, Anonymous. Aryamehr University, right? Aw, ya big lug...

Anonymous said...

I missed you too.

When are you going to quit promoting the book and help Larry battle Islamofasists again?

Wesley said...

Arya--Do you like the term "Islamic fascists" better? I agree that "Islamofascist" is jingoistic, but I certainly did not mean it to sound bigoted. I'm just as happy saying Israelofascist if that's what you're on about.

I'm talking about religiously driven political authoritarianism. You're right to say that Israel (the state) falls into that category.

I don't have a problem with religions that hold that their followers are the chosen ones, which most religions do, more or less (hey, it's a good recruiting tactic). Whenever this starts impinging on the natural rights of individuals, though, that's a problem. Islamic authoritarianism is one face of this problem, Jewish authoritarianism another. I'm not sure we should assess the threat level based purely on body count statistics, but I don't have a bone to pick with your general assessment.

Anonymous said...

Wesley,

It's not the term per se that is the problem, its the misapplication of the term.

The English-language media is using the term "Islamofascist" as a catch-all to describe virtually any Muslim group or individual which opposes Western imperialism. This includes Hezbollah and Iran - even the secular Syrian government! Hezbollah and Iran and are not fascist, and Syria's government is not even Islamic!

Meanwhile, nobody in the Western mainstream is calling Israel fascist at all - they call Israel a "democracy." To add insult to injury, they go on to call Israel "the Middle East's only democracy."

Both claims are false. Israel is not a democracy. It is a colonial apartheid state exactly like South Africa. With a touch of Jewish theocracy thrown in for good measure. In Israel - and you will never ever hear this on CNN - Rabbinical religious courts are state courts and the religious judiciary are paid by the state!

As for Israel being the "only" democracy in the Middle East, this is also a false claim: Turkey, Lebanon, Armenia, and Azerbaijan - even the Palestinian authority - exist as democratically elected governments governments.