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Thread: Liberal politics = Islamic hate?

  1. #26

    Default Re: Liberal politics = Islamic hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by able
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    If any of you (putnam?) believe for one second that faithfull muslims are thinking as described then you are so far out of contact with reality that it's scary.
    I lived among muslims for seven years. That doesn't mean I knew one at work or I took a class with a muslim. That means there was me and my wife and our children... and everyone else for 300 miles in every direction was a muslim. I have drunk 10,000 cups of tea with muslims, sitting crosslegged on their floors. I have sweat and bled on muslim soil. I've got dozens of muslim friends who knew I was a Christian and still liked my and my family because we had a lot in common and because they saw that I was there to serve them and not to take anything away from them. So, yeah, I think I know what faithful muslims think.

    Do they dislike America flexing its military muscle? Certainly they do. Neither I not D'Souza deny that.

    But there is something else. Muslims do care about their culture, and they do resent the trash that comes from the West. If you deny this, then let your own words come back at you.

    The reason muslims blame America and not Sweden or other European country is two-fold. First, the ordinary muslim isn't very sophisticated about geography. I heard someone once describe my Dutch colleague as "an American from Golandia (Holland)." American is the common word they use now to mean what feringi used to mean: foreigner -- which comes from franj or frank which is what they called all westerners during the Crusades.

    The second reason is that a plurality of the trash does come from the US. I sat in one man's house and when he pointed to his TV and asked why American women paraded topless in front of men, I answered that it was a German fashion show -- not American. But the next thing on the TV was Baywatch, so I had to admit that the thing he disliked happens also in America.
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

  2. #27

    Default Re: Liberal politics = Islamic hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by displaced Knick
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    Muslims talk about our decadent society but if we didn't have such a military presence in the region and supported Israel for decades they wouldn't care if we opened every public sporting event by having an orgy.
    How do you know this?
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

  3. #28

    Default Re: Liberal politics = Islamic hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by able
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    did I just say ingnorant?
    Delusional would probably be a better description.

    Trying to force "our" culture on the Middle East?
    Golly, able. It seems that you just want to fight. Did not several nations of Europe (England excepted) oppose the use of capital punishment aginst Saddam Hussein, even demanding that his trial take place in the Hague where the death sentence could not occur?

    I think this question gets a simple 'yes.'

    And was this not in opposition to what the Iraqis themselves (Baathists excepted) wanted?

    Again, 'yes'

    Quote Originally Posted by able
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    To name OBL as a "spokesman" for muslims anywhere in the world is an insult to 1/7 billion muslims around the world.

    Osama bin Ladin is a spokesman for radical Islam, and that is plain fact.


    Quote Originally Posted by able
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    ignorance is bliss.
    Come and look at my cd collection before you call me ignorant. I'll bet I've got more bouzouki music, more Rai music and more klezmer music than you! Obviously England is the source of a whole lotta great music. But continental Europe's pop music is a different story.
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

  4. #29

    Default Re: Liberal politics = Islamic hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    Here's one: Senator Robert Byrd. Follow the link above for the quote. It is a long read, but D'Souza gives several examples of liberals calling either the president, his administration or conservatives "the enemy" or word of equal meaning. And if you don't believe D'Souza, the citations are embedded so you can follow them to the original source.

    I read most of it, looking for (likely) out-of-context quotes as opposed to dialogue. I didn't see "The Enemy" come up once, with the possible exception of nutjob Cindy Sheehan. One other thing I noticed is the stance taken by the speaker. Liberal speakers seem to take on the role of the victim or the oppressed, which is something I'm not really seeing from conservatives. I'm not sure what that entails, but there's a stark contrast there.

  5. #30
    Grumpy Old Man (PD host) able's Avatar
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    Default Re: Liberal politics = Islamic hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    Golly, able. It seems that you just want to fight. Did not several nations of Europe (England excepted) oppose the use of capital punishment aginst Saddam Hussein, even demanding that his trial take place in the Hague where the death sentence could not occur?

    I think this question gets a simple 'yes.'

    And was this not in opposition to what the Iraqis themselves (Baathists excepted) wanted?

    Again, 'yes'




    Osama bin Ladin is a spokesman for radical Islam, and that is plain fact.
    With your bending answer on the first part, your denial of seeing what is in front of you in the second part and your outright nonsense in the final part has made you a non-entity in this entire discussion.

    They are obviously your extremist views and it must be just as obvious I don't sunscribe to them, in fact I see little support for your ideas here.
    So Long And Thanks For All The Fish.

    If you've done 6 impossible things today?
    Then why not have Breakfast at Milliways!


  6. #31
    Cheeseburger in Paradise Los Angeles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Liberal politics = Islamic hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    3Ball, as you so often do, you undercut your meaning with rhetorical flourish. You start listing things that conservatives frown on, give two reasonable examples, then you go on to name a third one that is wrong: Conservatives in this country do not frown on religious freedom.




    No, the argument is that if we strove for more common ground with Islamic moderates they wouldn't hate us so much.

    Big difference.
    Since when did Islamic nations provide a social template that was worth even the thought of common ground?

    Sorry, America is greater than Iran. So the author doesn't like it when performance artists use the c word. Big ****ing deal. If he is so bothered by the effort it would take to change the channel, I'm sure he can get some west bank property pretty cheap in his supposed cultural utopia.
    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

    “If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning.” - Catherine Aird

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    Default Re: Liberal politics = Islamic hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mile Square View Post
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    I don't believe in bias in the media.
    Just the mere fact that the media is made up of human beings should be enough fact that every story you read has biasness in it.

    You can debate til you're blue in the face if it's liberal or conservative, it really doesn't matter, but you've got to be completely irrational to think that it doesn't contain one or the other.

    With that said, CNN was widely known as the Clinton News Network while he was in office and it wasn't just a catchy phrase. There was a definate reasoning.

  8. #33
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    Default Re: Liberal politics = Islamic hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by able View Post
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    With your bending answer on the first part, your denial of seeing what is in front of you in the second part and your outright nonsense in the final part has made you a non-entity in this entire discussion.

    They are obviously your extremist views and it must be just as obvious I don't sunscribe to them, in fact I see little support for your ideas here.
    Ah, able, hypocrisy writ large, and from a PD Administrator no less. Its clear you haven't re-read your own sticky note, regarding the need for courtesy and avoiding insulting posts. Or if you have read that sticky, you have-- once again -- ignored it. You frequently insult other posters, as you have done with Putnam here (Hey Putnam, how do you like being called an "extremist" by able? And do you think being accused of "bending your answer," of your inability to see what is before you, and "your outright nonsense" is praise from him? Me neither, but rest assured that some of us find your posts enlightening and well thought out, and we consider you the farthest thing from a non-entity.)

    So, able, I guess its safe to assume you are not going to give yourself a warning, or maybe ban yourself for 30 days? Or will you simply follow your normal course of locking down the thread because you don't like the discussion or the sentiments of some posters with whom you disagree?

  9. #34
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    Default Re: Liberal politics = Islamic hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles View Post
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    I couldn't possibly be more clear or economical.

    Let's start with the title of the book:

    THE ENEMY AT HOME:
    THE CULTURAL LEFT AND ITS RESPONSIBILITY FOR 9/11

    You want any American to take that piece of **** title seriously???

    Let's go back to sarcasm.
    Good point LA. Conservatives need to cut that stuff out. Now I'm signing off for the night, so I can get back to my bed time reading, Al Franken's "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right."

  10. #35
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    Default Re: Liberal politics = Islamic hate?

    What?
    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

    “If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning.” - Catherine Aird

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    Default Re: Liberal politics = Islamic hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles View Post
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    Yes, it's been part of hte conservative values playbook to "combine" enemies for quite some time - see for yourselves:
    Originally Posted by Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf, Chapter 2 section 4
    ...[A] number of essentially different enemies must always be regarded as one, in such a way that in the opinion of the mass of one's own adherents the war is being waged against one enemy alone. This strengthens the belief in one's own cause and increases one's bitterness against the attacker...
    LA, this whole discussion is very entertaining. I know "conservative" is a flexible, useful insult to factions you don't like or agree with. However, as a matter of historical accuracy, Adolf Hitler, and the Nazi Party (National Socialist German Workers Party), were not "conservatives."

    LA, you must remember not to mix up the rules of name-calling: You get to call us Right Wingers, Conservatives, Wing-nuts, religious fanatics, etc. We get to call you Lefties, Liberals, Socialists, pagans, etc. The Nazi Party which Hitler headed was socialist, not on our side of the aisle.

  12. #37
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    Default Re: Liberal politics = Islamic hate?

    National Socialism has nothing to do with the socialism you are referring to.
    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

    “If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning.” - Catherine Aird

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    Default Re: Liberal politics = Islamic hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles View Post
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    What?
    Oops, I need to be more direct. I thought you were judging a book by its title. Indeed you were, hence the joke on Franken's book.

  14. #39
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    Default Re: Liberal politics = Islamic hate?

    Batboy, read the initiating article and the entire thread before you start throwing grenades in my direction.
    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

    “If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning.” - Catherine Aird

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    Default Re: Liberal politics = Islamic hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles View Post
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    National Socialism has nothing to do with the socialism you are referring to.
    Adolph Hitler had nothing to do with the conservativism you were referring to.

    For you to criticize "combining enemies" as a purely conservative technique is wrong, as we could debate with lots of examples, including that of a few Democrat governors of bygone days. But for you to list Hitler as an example of conservatives using that technique is false and insulting, and your response that Hitler's brand of socialism was different is not only arguably wrong -- but I won't argue with you on that point -- but a slur on conservatives. Which is what you intended in the first place, correct?

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    Default Re: Liberal politics = Islamic hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles View Post
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    Batboy, read the initiating article and the entire thread before you start throwing grenades in my direction.
    I did, of course. Exposing your bogus statements and gratuitous insults is not throwing grenades.

  17. #42
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    Default Re: Liberal politics = Islamic hate?

    Forget it.

    All the ameful leaps in logic and inflammatory stuff in that book introduction and you want to defend it like it's draped in some sort of magical truth nectar that heals child leukemia.

    Talking to you is like talking to a refrigerator. Open the door, the light turns on, close the door the light turns off. You saw that it was critical of hated liberals and that was enough.

    Yessiree - YOU LOVED IT !!!

    And rather than address anyone else in the thread, here you are, coming after me. That chip on your shoulder will give you scoliosis if you don't get over it soon.
    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

    “If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning.” - Catherine Aird

  18. #43

    Default Re: Liberal politics = Islamic hate?

    That's a bad comparison, I think. Al Franken is a satirist. The title of the book is obvious satire, although I'm sure the book is full of liberal viewpoints and cutting remarks about conservatives. This conservative author has never been known as a comedian, and I've never seen his name on the credits of Saturday Night Live. His title is 100% serious, whereas I'd put Franken's title as 30% serious. Therein lies the difference.

  19. #44
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    Default Re: Liberal politics = Islamic hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bat Boy View Post
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    Adolph Hitler had nothing to do with the conservativism you were referring to.

    For you to criticize "combining enemies" as a purely conservative technique is wrong, as we could debate with lots of examples, including that of a few Democrat governors of bygone days. But for you to list Hitler as an example of conservatives using that technique is false and insulting, and your response that Hitler's brand of socialism was different is not only arguably wrong -- but I won't argue with you on that point -- but a slur on conservatives. Which is what you intended in the first place, correct?
    Socialism - Liberalism - Moderate - Conservativism - Fascism (including National Socialism)

    I'm using the standard linear left/right political model. on this model, you can see that Conservatism is closer to Fascist than Liberal. Whereas, you tried to say that the Socialism, (on one far end) is the same as the most notorious Fascist regime, (on the other far end).
    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

    “If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning.” - Catherine Aird

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    Default Re: Liberal politics = Islamic hate?

    Some interesting comments in this thread. Most muddied by personal comments firing from multiple directions. Reminds me why I've considered removing this board altogether.

  21. #46

    Default Re: Liberal politics = Islamic hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    Some interesting comments in this thread. Most muddied by personal comments firing from multiple directions. Reminds me why I've considered removing this board altogether.
    Why can't we have a meaningful discussion on these boards without people resorting to mudslinging, or at the bare minimum, condescending attitudes?

    I really think our boards are a microcosm of the country right now. I'm a young guy, but never in my life have people been more at each other's throats over the liberal vs. conservative issue, and personally, I find the whole thing disgusting.

  22. #47
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    Default Re: Liberal politics = Islamic hate?

    Hicks and Eindar.

    I know I'm one of the posters you are referring to. I'm sorry.

    Able said it better than me. "The Enemy Within" is lifted directly from the Nazi Party. It's purpose was to defeat political enemies and create unquestioned and unilateral power.

    Are able and I the only ones that see this?

    This book introduction makes me angry, ashamed and frankly terrified at the thought that nobody has a sense of its mirror to fairly recent history.

    Sure, I said a couple of insulting things but there are bigger things going on here.
    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

    “If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning.” - Catherine Aird

  23. #48

    Default Re: Liberal politics = Islamic hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles View Post
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    Hicks and Eindar.

    I know I'm one of the posters you are referring to. I'm sorry.

    Able said it better than me. "The Enemy Within" is lifted directly from the Nazi Party. It's purpose was to defeat political enemies and create unquestioned and unilateral power.

    Are able and I the only ones that see this?

    This book introduction makes me angry, ashamed and frankly terrified at the thought that nobody has a sense of its mirror to fairly recent history.

    Sure, I said a couple of insulting things but there are bigger things going on here.
    Oh, I think if you go back and read any of my posts, I think you'll find that I was the first person here to say, in print, that the conservative approach is eerily similar to how the Nazi party came to power in Germany. But, here on PD at least, where the focus should be on the Pacers, with politics being an afterthought, we can at least agree to disagree and hopefully each go our own way once things reach a point where people are belittled based on their views.

  24. #49
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    Default Re: Liberal politics = Islamic hate?

    I'm just not very good at the Socratic method. I seem to be incapable of leading people into choosing a path. I just say - "this is the correct path." Sometimes it comes out "This is the correct path, idiot." I know that last version goes too far. I really am sorry.

    Sometimes individuals NEED to be taken to task for thier viewpoints.

    Sometimes condescension is warranted.

    I'm going to let my posts stand for now, but will delete them if an admin requests that I do, and I will do so without complaint.
    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

    “If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning.” - Catherine Aird

  25. #50
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    Default Re: Liberal politics = Islamic hate?

    I'm not going to quote it all (you can follow Putnam's link) but I'm surprised at some of the bombs thrown back and forth in light of my further reading of the piece in question. At first I read what Putnam quoted and thought I understood the point. But there was much more to be gleaned at the linked website.

    So I wonder how many here actually took the time to read the piece in it's entirety? Or how many read the initial paragraph (or title) and flew off the handle without taking it in the context of the whole article?

    There are IMHO some points worthy of discussion. I may not agree with everything in it but there are certainly points I agree with. I'm going to quote more of the text below altho there is so much more to be read at the site that even this doesn't do things justice.

    Now, onto another point. The eliticism and hypocracy of the liberal argument really turns me off. It seems like anything goes as long as it's the more liberal point of view. But the conservative point of view is allowed to be ridiculed and shouted down. It's only when the conservative tries to defend him/herself that we see the axe fall.

    And I certainly agree with Bat Boy that we saw some hypocracy from a mod in this thread. What's good for the goose should be good for the gander.
    ....Unless this is the "Liberal Politics Forum" where it's encouraged that only liberal issues can be discussed and never challenged. I sincerely hope that is not the case.

    I don't really have a problem with some heated discussion IF it is allowed BOTH ways. But if it isn't going to be allowed one way, it shouldn't be allowed the other either. And certainly we don't need hypocracy from a Mod.

    -Bball "But what do I know?"


    by Dinesh D'Souza
    http://www.dineshdsouza.com/books/enemy-intro.html
    Further, the cultural left has routinely affirmed the most vicious prejudices about American foreign policy held by radical factions in the Muslim world, and then it has emboldened those factions to attack the United States with the firm conviction that ?America deserves it? and that they can do so with relative impunity
    The early statements by the Bush administration reflected this unified belligerence. The terrorists are stateless outlaws. They are not Muslims. They are apostates to Islam. True Muslims must denounce them. They are fanatics. They are lunatics. They are suicidal maniacs who don?t care about their lives. These themes were echoed across the political spectrum. Now, with reflection and more information, we can see that these statements are false. Specifically, the terrorists were not stateless outlaws. The Al Qaeda training camps were supported by the Taliban government in Afghanistan. As their diaries showed, the terrorists were deeply pious Muslims. Traditional Muslims were reluctant to denounce them as apostates to Islam because they were not apostates to Islam. Nor were they lunatics or even suicidal in the conventional sense. By definition a suicide is someone who doesn?t want to live. The terrorists wanted to live, but they were willing to die for a cause that they deemed higher. Not that they loved their life less, but they hated America more.

    Once the initial shock subsided, so did the national unity it had produced. Soon a heated debate broke out in America about the meaning of 9/11 and the ongoing ?war against terrorism,? a debate that quickly broke down into partisan camps: the left versus the right, the liberals versus the conservatives, Blue America versus Red America. In a moment of genuine indignation, left-wing activist Michael Moore conveyed how large a chasm separates the two Americas. Reacting to 9/11, Moore posted the following message on his website. ?Many families have been devastated tonight. This is just not right. They did not deserve to die. If someone did this to get back to Bush then they did so by killing thousands of people who DID NOT VOTE for him! Boston, New York, D.C., and the planes? destination of California?these were places that voted AGAINST Bush!?[i] Moore?s eruption, read with hindsight, seems slightly comic. It?s hard to imagine Bin Laden and his associates distinguishing between Bush supporters and Bush opponents for the purpose of launching attacks. The most striking aspect of Moore?s statement, however, is its implication that Al Qaeda hit the wrong target. According to Moore, they should have hit Red America, not Blue America! However objectionable this may seem to many Americans, Moore?s statement is important because of the connection it instinctively makes between two apparently disparate events: a) the 9/11 attacks, and b) the internal divide between Red America and Blue America. I believe that the significance of this divide for understanding 9/11 and the ?war against terrorism? has not been adequately appreciated.

    On the other side of the spectrum, the fundamentalist preacher Jerry Falwell confirmed in equally strong terms his perception of the political divide, even while invoking God?s wrath on the sinners in Blue America. ?The Lord has protected us so wonderfully these past 225 years,? Falwell said. He worried that something ?has caused God to lift the veil of protection which has allowed no one to attack America on our soil.? Falwell did not shrink from specifying, ?The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America, I point the finger in their face and say: You helped this happen.?[ii] Unlike Moore, Falwell was fiercely denounced for his comments, and he promptly apologized for them.

    These words are not insightful in the theological sense that Falwell intended. I cannot make sense of Falwell?s suggestion that God used 9/11 to punish America for its sins. If God was aiming for the abortionists and the feminists and the homosexuals, it seems He mostly killed stockbrokers and soldiers and janitors (some of whom may have been homosexual, but few of whom probably had second jobs as abortionists.) The real issue raised by Falwell?s comments is entirely secular. What impact did the abortionists, the feminists, the homosexual activists and the secularists have on the Islamic radicals who conspired to blow up the World Trade Center and the Pentagon? Unfortunately this crucial question got buried, and virtually no one has raised it publicly.

    Why is it so maddeningly difficult, even years after the fact, to make sense of 9/11? One reason is that the very terms used by both sides in the debate are misleading. Consider the very name of the war America is fighting: a War Against Terrorism. But America is no more fighting a ?war against terrorism? than during World War II it was fighting a ?war against kamikazism.? No, during World War II the United States was fighting the armies of Imperial Japan. Kamikazism was simply the tactic or strategy used by the enemy. In the same vein, America today is not fighting against ?terrorism.? There are terrorist groups all over the world: the IRA in Northern Ireland, the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, the Maoist rebels in Nepal, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and the Shining Path guerillas in Peru. Is America at war with all these groups? Of course not. The war is against a virulent species of Islamic radicalism. Terrorism is merely the weapon of choice used by the enemy to intimidate and kill us. In this sense Bin Laden is not so much a terrorist as he is anreligious ideologue who has chosen terrorism as the most effective way to achieve his goals.

    It?s time go back to the drawing board, and the logical place to start is the debate over 9/11. On the left, scholars like Edward Said, Richard Falk and Noam Chomsky have argued that 9/11 was the result of Islamic anger over American foreign policy. In this view, echoed by politicians like Ted Kennedy and liberal magazines like The American Prospect, the radical Muslims don?t hate us because of who we are, they hate us because of what we?ve done to them. As leftist commentators never tire of pointing out, the West has a long history of colonialism and imperialism. Even today, they say, America one-sidedly supports Israel and props up dictatorial regimes (notably Pakistan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia) in the Muslim world. The left-wing view can be summed up this way: they are justifiably furious at us because we are the bad guys.

    The word that deserves our most careful attention in the previous sentence is ?we.? When the left says ?we? it doesn?t mean ?we.? The left?s ?we? is not intended as self-incrimination. This is why the conservative complaint about ?liberal guilt? is so beside the point. Liberals do not consider themselves guilty in the slightest. When a leftist politician or blogger bemoans ?how we overthrew Mossadegh in Iran? or expresses outrage at ?what we did at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib,? the speaker does not mean ?what I and other people like me did.? In formulations like this, ?we? really means ?you.? The apparent confession is really a disguised form of accusation. The liberal?s point is that Bush is guilty, conservatives are guilty, America is guilty. Specifically, the liberal is saying to the conservative, ?Your America is responsible for this. Your America is greedy, selfish, imperialist. Your America extols the principles of democracy and human rights, but in practice backs savage dictators for the purpose of maintaining American access to Middle Eastern oil.? Thus without saying so directly, the left holds the right and its conduct of American foreign policy responsible for 9/11.

    On the social and cultural front, the American left clearly does not approve of the way of life in Muslim countries, partly those under the sway of Islamic fundamentalism. It is common to see left-wingers walking around with clothes featuring the swashbuckling visage of Che Guevara, but you will never see liberals and leftists wearing T-shirts displaying the raven?s stare of the Ayatollah Khomeini. Indeed, the left detests the social conservatism that is the hallmark of the whole swath of cultures stretching from the Middle East to China. Those cultures are viewed by many Western liberals as backward, hierarchical, patriarchal, and deeply oppressive. And of these cultures none seem to be more reactionary than Islamic culture. Indeed the regimes supported by the Islamic fundamentalists are undoubtedly the most illiberal in the modern world. In Iran, for example, the ruling regime routinely imprisons its critics who are dubbed ?enemies of Islam.? Public floggings have been used to make an example of women found guilty of fornication. Homosexuality is harshly punished in fundamentalist regimes. The Taliban, for instance, had a range of penalties. As one Taliban leader explained, ?One group of scholars believes you should take these people to the top of the highest building in the city, and hurl them to their deaths. The other recommends that you dig a pit near a wall somewhere, put these people into it, and then topple the wall so they are buried alive.

    Even so, it is rare to see the illiberal practices of Muslim cultures aggressively denounced by American or European liberals. There are a few notable exceptions, such as Christopher Hitchens and Paul Berman. But in general liberals seem to condemn illiberal regimes only when they are allied with the United States. Nor do liberals seem eager to support American efforts to overthrow hostile, illiberal regimes. Berman, who supported Bush?s invasion of Iraq, counts ?maybe fifteen or twenty? liberals who shared his position on this issue.[iv] If the case of Iraq is any indication, most liberals actively oppose American efforts to use military power to install regimes that are more pro-American and pro-Western and embody a more liberal set of values, such as self-government, minority rights, and religious tolerance. Indeed the central thrust of the left?s foreign policy is to prevent America from forcibly replacing illiberal regimes with more liberal ones. This is a genuine mystery.

    Liberal resistance to American foreign policy cannot be explained as a consequence of pacifism or even a reluctance to use force. With the exception of a few fringe figures, the cultural left is not pacifist. Its elected representatives?the Clintons, Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer?frequently support the use of American force. For instance, President Clinton ordered systematic bombings in Bosnia and Kosovo during his terms in office. Clinton?s airstrikes were warmly endorsed in speeches by liberal Democrats such as Boxer, Paul Wellstone, David Bonior and Carl Levin. Cultural liberals routinely call for America to intervene, by force if necessary, in places like Haiti and Rwanda. So liberals are not in principle opposed to ?regime change? or to American intervention.

    How, then, can we explain the mystery of liberal opposition to American foreign policy acting to secure liberal principles abroad? Superficially, the left?s position can be explained by its attachment to multiculturalism. In other words, liberal antagonism toward the beliefs and mores of traditional cultures is moderated by its conviction, ?Who are we to judge these cultures?? This concept of withholding judgment is a product of multiculturalism and cultural relativism, both of which are based on the theory that there are no universal standards to judge other cultures. Our standards apply only to us.
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, that’s teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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