The Requisite Unmasking And Trivialization Of Hirsi Ali
Few entrants in the contest to decide who shall make policy for the defense of the West are as iconic as Hirsi Ali. (More on her is available here and here.) Former Muslim, victim of that faith and tribal brutality, and authoritative reporter on the Islamic mentality, she has the courage to insist that Liberty must prevail over Islam. Accordingly, she is a target of Western proponents of cultural suicide — the multiculturalists and appeasers.
But how to attack her? Her facts are irrefutable, and her experiences give her credibility that cannot be countered by ideological casuistry. Still, the effort must be made, and surely no more suitable base from which to conduct the assault can be found than The New Yorker, the Bicoastal Elite’s equivalent of National Socialism’s Voelkischer Beobachter.
The tactics of the attack are predictable: first, establish Hirsi Ali’s bona fides. Lead the reader gently into feeling sympathy for the woman; explain that she has been wounded. Then portray her as tough, relentless, astoundingly articulate, and lethally clever. Finally, when she has been given her due as if she were an invulnerable Amazon, reveal and exhibit her weaknesses. She then stands discredited as a fanatic, a zealot whose blind hatred springs from a sensitive nature that was abused — and now knows neither reason nor perspective. Like Whittaker Chambers, she is a malformed personality who is thoroughly convinced that nothing about her enemies is good, and that all means are necessarily justifiable when one does battle with the devil.
The result of this revelation of the heroine’s excesses will be proof of the wisdom of multiculturalism. The West can engage Islam, moderate the faith’s few extreme elements with calm blandishments and economic incentives, and acculturate millions of Muslims. Violence is the result of capitalist exploitation of alien cultures, and once the predation is suspended, the hurt and anger it has produced on the Arab street will subside. Moderate voices will be heard throughout Araby and other Islamic states. Peace begets peace.
Whether sophistry as culturally treasonous as this can ever be forgiven is the question. But first one must see how grave the transgressions are; read the New Yorker piece, therefore. It’s long, devious and treacherous, with many well-camouflaged traps for the impatient reader, but then you know what to expect.
Still it would be best to illustrate with examples the illogic awaiting you, lest you grow incautious on your journey through Mirkwood. Here are some quotes followed by commentaries that may be helpful. Fare well, Pilgrims.
First, consider this interesting characterization of the current most violent enemies of Western Civilization:
…a Muslim with a political subjectivity shaped by decades of imperial conquest, humiliation, and postcolonial failure does not share the world view of a liberal from Brooklyn.
Indeed he does not, but this prejudicial sentence suggests the Muslim is crippled only by his history with the West. His dyspeptic view of politics is the result of trauma inflicted on him by your culture; no mention is made of the injunctions in the Koran and hadith that demand his active hostility to unbelievers, whether they happen to be imperialists, colonialists, or just capitalists. The author suggests that the failure of Islamic nations is due to external causes, rather than to a natural consequence of the bellicose nature of Islam’s holy texts. Even though Mohammed damns those who disagree with him in endless, tiresome passages that soon anesthetize the reader to the phony prophet’s all-consuming hate, none of that hellish world-view is mentioned as skewing the sentiments of the failed, incompetent, humiliated Muslim. Everything is the West’s fault. The USA has inherited the human wreckage created by European imperialists.
The assumption of blame is an essential feature of the Bicoastal Elite’s understanding of history. The West is reaping the whirlwind, suffering the blowback of karma. Islam plays virtually no role in the genesis of the current crisis.
Now turn to a few specific examples of dishonest rhetoric that seem reasonable — until one pauses and considers their logic, as well as what they imply and do not say.
Many more young women are killed in India for failing to bring sufficient dowry than perish in “honor killings” across the Muslim world. Such social pathologies no more reveal the barbaric core of Hinduism or Islam than domestic violence in Europe and America defines the moral essence of Christianity or the Enlightenment.
No one claims that Christianity justifies domestic violence, not even the wife-beaters, but it is clear that Islam is cited by the “honor” murderers as allowing their cruelty. They are wrong, but not by much — the commandments in the Koran and hadith that unequivocally mandate murder are numerous. Just being a Buddhist is a capital offense, for example (Koran 2: 190). The setting itself, the Leitmotiv of Islam, is bloody, and that taints the value system of many Muslim communities. Islam has many scriptural endorsements of all levels of violence; focus on those, and the picture becomes sharp.
After nearly a decade, the Bush Administration’s global war on terror…seems a fiasco.
To the multiculturalists, of course it seems a fiasco. To the rational West, it seems there have been no more World Trade Center catastrophes, in spite of Al Qaeda’s frantic attempts to get nuclear weapons. The choice is simple: either the West defends itself or it does not. How is a failure to take the struggle to the worst people on the face of the Earth somehow an effective strategy?
In addition to destroying innumerable lives, it (the “war on terror”) has helped an initially small band of fanatics multiply and mutate (Al Qaeda in Iraq, the Pakistani Taliban) in new locations (Waziristan, Connecticut).
If the author is correct, then no opposition to Islamist violence can succeed. Recall that without the very active help of Muslims, the USA would never have been able to bring peace to Iraq. It is possible and practical to fight murderous tyrants and win, even if they are Muslims.
Next, ask a vital question: What evidence is there that if the USA walks away from the battlefields, Al Qaeda and its allies will shrink in size? Yes, it seems clear that when the USA fought the Nazis, that drove Hitler to build more weapons with slave labor and expand military conscription. Now does that mean that the Allies should have refused to fight WWII? Clearly not; the absurdities of not fighting are clear.
The trend of the discourse could lead one to ask whether there might be any reason to believe that pacifism in the face of Islamist pressure will protect the West. It’s an insane concept, for “…pacifism is ultimately nothing more than a willingness to die, and to let others die, at the pleasure of the world’s thugs.” (Harris, The End of Faith) As a British columnist has said, “They won’t leave us alone, whatever we do.” (TLB Nr. 124) The bloody borders of Islam are a result of the religion’s holy scriptures, and that is where this discussion should be focused. Recall as well that the events of September 11, 2001 took place when the USA was not engaged militarily with Islamist fanatics.
“Nomad” is unlikely to earn Hirsi Ali many Muslim admirers. Neither will her recent support for the proposed French ban on face veils and the Swiss referendum outlawing minarets.
Why the above passage was written is a puzzle….
In denouncing Islam unreservedly, she has claimed a precedent in Voltaire — though the eighteenth-century scourge of the Catholic Church might have been perplexed by her proposal that Muslims embrace the “Christianity of love and tolerance.”
Aha! The author of this failed refutation of Hirsi Ali’s thesis has found a weak point! He is delighted that Hirsi and old Francois-Marie do not agree on simply everything, because now he can mock Hirsi for having quoted the old Frenchman at all. That’s like telling a physicist that if he teaches Newton’s laws of motion, he will be scolded because Newton was a strong believer in astrology. Which he was.
In another respect, however, the invocation of Voltaire is more apt than Hirsi Ali seems to realize. Voltaire despised the faith and identity of Europe’s religious minority: the Jews, who, he declared, “are, all of them, born with raging fanaticism in their hearts,” who had “surpassed all nations in impertinent fables, in bad conduct and in barbarism,” and who “deserve to be punished.”
And that’s how the New Yorker author drives his point home. Well, it seems that if your physician tells you to lose weight and you later discover you have been advised by a drug addict with an MD degree, that reflects on you, or invalidates the advice he gave you, or something. How relevant should the full biography of a quoted authority be? Jesus cursed a fig tree and allowed Peter to carry a sword — so does that count against Christians today? How relevant is Martin Luther’s virulent Jew-hatred to modern Lutherans?
In truth, what the New Yorker author has to say here is sheer propaganda that is illustrative of nothing at all about Hirsi Ali. He has distracted his readers by dragging in irrelevant facts in order to make Hirsi look stupid and unlettered. That tells the astute reader that the critique of Hirsi is weak in the knees and head.
Voltaire’s denunciations remind us that the Enlightenment was a much more complex and multifaceted phenomenon than the dawn of reason and freedom that Hirsi Ali evokes.
There it is, Pilgrims, in black and white: Hirsi is an ignorant upstart, presuming to tell us all about the Enlightenment when she does not understand how complex it was. Well, she understood Voltaire’s quote well enough to use it, and what more, pray tell, needed to be said?
Many followed Voltaire in viewing the Jews as backward, an Oriental abscess in the heart of Europe. Hirsi Ali, recording her horror of ghettoized Muslim life in Whitechapel, seems unaware of the similarly contemptuous accounts of Jewish refugees who made the East End of London their home after fleeing the pogroms.
And if she is unaware of the full complexities of the Enlightenment (which complexities make it not as good as everybody thinks, evidently) and of the history of her old neighborhood, who can possibly forgive her — or take her seriously when she tells the world that the Enlightenment beats the daylights out of its Islamic counterpart, which literally does not exist?
It seems that the New Yorker propagandist is trying to tell us that the Enlightenment was not such a big deal. He should look again. Where it has made a difference, the laws and the values are infinitely better than they are in those places that have not been molded by it. Name an intellectual and political and philosophical and scientific revolution in human history that was as wide-ranging and as beneficial as that brief period when great strides were taken and the West became truly Western.
Yes, the Enlightenment has its enemies. Chief among them is Islam. Other enemies are revisionists who literally do not know how they have benefitted from what they sneer at as less than perfect.
Of course the above discussion of examples taken from the New Yorker piece can not refute the entire article. The author moves on to discuss other aspects of the larger picture, and you may find the discussion interesting, so by all means read it all.
The article becomes more complex and begs more questions as it proceeds. The maze of hidden assumptions and innuendo may set the reader on a madding search for essentials that retreat as soon as they appear: “What is he actually saying here?” Smothered by peripheral issues, confused by bad logic and undefined terms, one can be forgiven for surrendering to the torrent of judgments and sloganeering passed off as wise commentary.
How to respond? How even to recognize the vacuity of the clever twists and turns that have obscured the fundamentals? Is it, for example, necessary to defend Western Civilization, or is it safe to lapse into somnolence, ignoring the assault — or excusing it as just deserts?
Simply to ask such questions grants the author of the New Yorker article a propaganda victory. The first legitimate issue is whether the mindset of the Bicoastal Elite can meet the challenges of the time, and the first obligation of the rational observer is to avoid the snares of deceptive rhetoric. Stand by your fundamental values and understand what they imply.
Arthur Koestler: “Destiny’s challenge to man is always couched in simple and direct language, without relative clauses, and requires an answer in equally simple terms.”
Islam is a hoax and a death cult. It is the blood enemy of the West. The Koran and the hadith are candid. Hirsi Ali has a just cause. Those who try to confuse the world about Hirsi’s ethical insights are mischievous at best and evil at worst.
The complexities of history do not nullify the simple principles by which men should live. When the propagandists of the Bicoastal Elite try to blind you to straightforward truths, do ask yourself what in the world their motives must be.
A Failure To Understand The Obvious
Cripes, it’s in the New York Times! Headline: “To avoid voter rage, Democrats skip town halls.” Even the Gray Lady now sees the handwriting on the wall; things must be pretty advanced. Quotes from the article: “…many Democrats heeded the advice of party leaders and tried to avoid unscripted question-and-answer sessions. …a fast-growing trend: the telephone town meeting, where chances are remote that a testy exchange will wind up on YouTube.”
Thus begins a stunningly shallow analysis. In order to see how that limp effort could result, one must back up and consider the environment in which it was begun.
Remember, please, that the principles of authoritarian governance include these three imperatives: first, propaganda must be coupled with effective censorship, which need not be total (the truth can remain available, but must be treated as the outmoded, already refuted, recidivist nagging of demented anti-social chronic complainers). Second, the visibility of popular discontent with the ruling elite must be kept very low. Finally, the safe news media must report with every appearance of objectivity.
While pondering those bankrupt rules for anti-democrats, consider another quote from the NYT article. A traumatized Congressman whines: “At town halls, there was a group of people who were there to disrupt, purely politically driven, not there because they wanted to get answers or discuss the issues.”
If this newsletter could talk to this fellow, he would hear something very like this response to his complaint:
Well, it’s no wonder your constituents did not come to ask questions or discuss things. They got answers from Congress long ago. You may think they should be content with what their betters told them, but they don’t see it that way.
Consequently, those angry voters were in your town hall meetings not to discuss anything with you, Congressman — they were there to tell you to represent your constituents for a change. And as for their being “purely politically driven,” they came in large numbers because they knew you would never believe they were important if they just sent two or three people to give you the message. That’s how politics works, isn’t it?
Now: do you want to reduce the political element in your job so you can do your work without having to defer to the majority? Are you or aren’t you a democrat? When you voted for Obamacare, you knew the majority of the people — fifty-nine percent at the time, some sixty-three percent now — were opposed to the legislation, so you don’t appear to be terribly principled, now do you?
Well. It’s articles like this piece in the NY Times that provide just a hint of the deep, roiling anger of the electorate — and do that without understanding it at all.
The Congressman quoted above stars in an unintentional self-parody, but that fact slips past the NYT. A politician, attacking others for having the effrontery to participate in politics? Well, perhaps expressing anger and simply denouncing one’s representative as a rascal is beyond the pale; if so, then the paper should say that plainly. Make it clear that a caste system is in effect, and that the ruled are to mind their manners.
That is not the only blindness of the news media. They simply cannot grasp the origin and significance of the change in the national mood. Instead of seeing it as provoked by the Bicoastal Elite’s haughty contempt for fundamental cultural and national values, the newspapers report stupidly on the hiss-and-spit aspects of the confrontation. It’s as if the fury of a large segment of the public were just there, inexplicably hindering the work of the chosen few.
It’s no wonder that this failure to comprehend the obvious has led many in the media and on the sinister end of the political spectrum to trace the voters’ anger to racism. Unable to fathom the etiology of the phenomenon that threatens to upend Congress, the fools in the press and the ruling elite resuscitate a vile stereotype that both “explains” and stigmatizes.
Seldom in US history has the public been so badly served by media and government; perhaps the only episode that rivals this egregious abuse of power was the Spanish-American War.
This Guy Is Upset
And maybe you should be, too:
I’m still waiting for journalists or insiders to reveal, those who care enough and have the integrity to know and report, about the “explosive question” to find out exactly what the Obama administration told Israel “through multiple channels, many times” before the raid on the ships about being restrained, as the US State Department spokesman admitted to the Washington Post, and what exactly those in the Netanyahu administration did about it, that may have contributed to the snafu at sea.
There’s shame deserved in Washington and Jerusalem for expecting thanks or constructive results for self-hobbling. Make the facts public. If citizens of Israel are expected to die in defense of their country, or be killed for just being in Israel, and if the US is expected to be useful for peace instead of a useful tool for enemies of the US and Israel, we all deserve to know, now.
Related links: here are fundamental thoughts on the existence of Israel and the world’s feelings about that. — Can Israel survive a second Obama term? And, look who the lefties are in bed with. — Here are some recent editorial cartoons from the Islamic media. — RememberingRachel Corrie. — Says a weblogger: “I am not the first to observe that Jews are the canaries in the coal mine when it comes to the preservation of Western civilization.” Said “civilization” has a nasty element that never quite got civilized. — The “humanitarian” ships and the Israelis: this commentary, which includes valuable links, expresses truths and wisdom at least as well as TLB can. Don’t skip it. — For a good roundup of the overall situation, read this.
Oh! Another bit of reality that Obama and apologists can try to ignore: “Iran Revolutionary Guards ready to escort Gaza ships.”
And then there’s Turkey. Unfortunately. In fact Turkey is proving the folly of the typical “progressive” assumption that talking with the Muslims will necessarily moderate their misbehavior. Some Muslims will probably not damn the overture. Islam as such is not to be reasoned with, however — root and branch, it’s an insane faith, preposterous in its simplest and most benign assumptions. — More on Turkey here and then over here.
A Weblogger Who Deserves To Be Heard
Reprinting this in its entirety is not an endorsement. But do read it and consider the horrid possibility that its logic may be inescapable. It’s from this weblog.
In 1973, Nixon and Kissinger used South Vietnam as a tool to widen the split between China and the Soviet Union. In 2010, Islamists, Iran and other Muslim states use the Obama administration as a tool to split the US from Israel.
Most of us who are still aghast at the Democrat controlled US Congress dooming South Vietnam to fall by cutting off promised arms and air support necessary to its survival also criticized Nixon and Kissinger for walking into the duplicitous trap of the Peace Accords of 1973. The North Vietnamese rulers had a long, documented history of promising one thing while doing another.
However, Nixon and Kissinger had a bigger game afoot, to reduce tensions with China for our purpose of widening its rift from the Soviet Union, which added pressure on the Soviet Union.
In effect, South Vietnam was a tool to what they had good reasons to believe was a bigger, more important end. Surely, neither Nixon nor Kissinger expected Nixon’s Watergate downfall and the left Democrats to sweep to Congressional power.
There’s a difference now.
Obama and Clinton may be thinking they are using Israel as a tool to cuddle up to long and continually intransigent Arab states. But they are actually tools themselves of those who seek nothing else than the downfall of Israel and the retreat of the US from confronting their clear goals of dominating the Middle East and, via its oil, Europe.
Obama and Clinton don’t deny the ongoing efforts of Iran in going nuclear or sending men and arms to those attacking US, Iraqi and Afghan troops, to Syria, Lebanon and Gaza. They just avoid the necessary countermeasures and march forward in repeatedly proven delusions of Iran changing its spots and of kumbaya as a replacement for reality.
Nixon and Kissinger had a world view realistically based on US interests furthering a world order of surer peace. Obama and Clinton, fully consciously or not, have a world view based on US interests being a barrier to a world order of peace, that ignores or excuses or refuses to confront the reality of foes’ unrelenting hate of the US and the West, encouraged by Obamanesque fecklessness.
A magazine that knows more about rock music than anything else tries again to tell everybody about politics. This is one of those articlesthat the reader can hardly judge: who knows whether half of it is true? Well, wherever the facts might lead the reader if they were available, it still appears that this is indeed the worst Congress in a very long time — probably ever. Yes, corruption. And NO, the GOP is not the Good Guys Who Lost.
Newsweek, the sexist propaganda rag.
Holder. Bigotry. Injustice. “One by one, the new administration is methodically forcing out anyone who dares to disagree with its radical agenda.” Another principled professional leaves the Department of Justice. What crimes might the New Black Panther Party commit that would rate federal prosecution? How broad and deep is this gang’s de facto immunity?
Maybe you should try to see this film. But only if you have children, grandchildren, or a concern about where Western Civilization is headed. In any event, click on the link for background information — please.
Yes, the press still loves Obama, even as the journalists realize that the public is not happy about the BP oil spill. So one might ask whether the really important issues are still agreed upon by The One and his lap dogs. Such as US policy toward Israel. Why not ask a journalist who is widely regarded as the dean of the US press? Sure. She’s Helen Thomas, and she has a reserved seat at all presidential news conferences and meetings with the White House press secretary. She is Number One. Her advice to the Jews in the Middle East: “Get the hell out of Palestine.” — What? That comes as a shock to you? Where have you been for the last year? You certainly have not been reading this newsletter!
The final word on Helen the Hebrew-Hating Harridan goes to Mark Steyn, which is only appropriate.
Meanwhile, there’s still Iran to consider. It seems the CIA let things get away, because the protests came to exactly what the mullahs wanted: nothing.
Here’s a career report on a guy who has made a small lateral move. He’s still in the same outfit, just in another department. Not that he would put it that way, you understand.
OK, now pay attention: you make it illegal for the public to have firearms, and everybody will be safer. And it can be proved. Look at the facts! …Well, no, not those facts…that is, er, you see, you have to be careful which facts you consult. There are a lot of NRA types out there who will lie to you. So talk to the FBI, they have things straight. …Unh, no, forget that. Don’t confuse yourself with facts….
Make your teenager watch all forty-three minutes and ten seconds of this video. It may make a dent in his cocksure stupidity. If you watch it, of course you will be amused and entertained and informed.
The CO2 comes from airplanes and industrial plants and power generating stations, and it heats the air and the planet warms up and the glaciers melt and the sea level rises and the South Pacific islands drown. True? Not at all; not even close. Here’s the real story of “the vanishing islands.”
Border security is a decades-old disgrace, and the probability is that nothing sufficient will be done by the federal government to change that. Yet it is of vital concern because in all likelihood, the next major attack on the USA carried out by Al Qaeda or its allies will be conducted by people who have entered the US across the porous southern border.
Just a note: The Drudge Report has linked to a page on the Debka website. Big mistake.
The private sector has virtually gone on strike, according to some observers. Why? “Almost everything Congress has done in recent months has made private businesses less inclined to hire new workers.” Hopeandchange!
The Cloward-Piven strategy was mentioned just once in this newsletter, in Nr. 107 (then called The Penguin Post). It’s come up again, and it’s still interesting, if speculative. Well, Cloward and Piven are real enough, and their idea is real, but the question is whether Obama has adopted the strategy these two academics proposed. A quote from this commentary: “If you think the Gulf oil spill spells trouble for Obama, you’re just not looking at as big a picture as he’s looking at, and you just don’t realize how much trouble we’re all in.” Click on the link for the full story.
Very clever, those Israelis; they have come up with an impenetrable shield. Now the Russians and the Chinese will be trying to develop an irresistible force.
In the last Lynx Bulletin, you read the item about the FTC’s proposal to save newspapers and coincidentally weaken weblogging. Of courseyou did, wink, wink. Well, here’s a follow-up article with additional information on the subject.
An interesting and oh-so-modern development in military intelligence.
You have read about this possible and precedented catastrophe already, right here in TLB. It appears that somebody at NASA has been obtaining copies of this newsletter, for now the feds have gotten into the conversation. That’s encouraging, because the world could use some help. You see, if in fact if the sun behaves as it always does — unpredictably — we could be hit by a Carrington event. That would at the very least plunge Western Civilization into late Neolithic stasis.
Homicidal daydreams on the left. Dream on, Utopians…. Reminder: Lee Oswald was a leftist, and race had nothing to do with it.
China: too many males and not enough females. This newsletter has commented on this disturbing fact before. Read it this time. Here. It’s important.
Politics is part logic, part emotion. Obama, with his hopeandchange and other brainless mantras that attempt to appeal to emotion, can’t hold a candle to things like this (which would doubtless fail to send a thrill up Chris Matthews’s leg). Yes, and the words of the seldom-heard fourth verse do have great relevance these days….