July 30th, 2005

Playing the racist card

In this post of mine about Peretz’s article on the attitude of the Presbyterian and Episcopalian church leaderships towards Israel and the Palestinians, I found this interesting comment from one of my many anonymous readers:

“nihilistic darlings”
“murderous ideologies”
“the most murderous people on the planet”

Just a few gems of some of the most over the top anti-Arab propaganda I’ve seen lately! I find it ironic that, in your attempt to point out Anti-Semitism, you let loose with anti-Arab vitriol.

The first two phrases are quotes from me, the second is from another commenter. In fact, I find it ironic that my post was most decidedly not an attempt to point out anti-Semitism, which makes me question whether “anonymous” even read the post itself with any care. But that’s a side issue.

I call the comment “interesting” because it demonstrates a trend I’ve noticed over and over again among the left and others who disagree with those criticizing Islamofascists: the playing of, not the race card, but the racist card. When in doubt, when all argument and all logic fails, when it’s not possible or when it’s merely difficult to attack an argument on the merits, the preferred approach is to call the writer a racist.

Is it racism to speak truth about a general trend among a group? If someone were to say, for example, that Ethiopians and Kenyans are overrespresented among distance runners–in fact, are probably the best runners, as a group, in the world–is that racist? It’s just a fact. Does it mean that all Ethiopians and Kenyans are good runners? No. Does it mean that the running propensities of Ethiopians and Kenyans are innate and hardwired? Not necessarily. It’s simply an observation borne out by facts–these groups are overrepresented among distance runners.

So it is for the Palestinians. There is a nihilistic strain among Palestinians, and in many other Arab cultures, that is quite powerful. Are nihilists overrepresented in Arab culture? Yes. Are all Arabs nihilists? Of course not. Are all nihilists Arabs? Absolutely not. But to call the Palestinians the “nihilistic darlings” of the Episcopal and Presbyterian churches is simply a statement of fact, and one that, in the original context in which I wrote it, was directed towards critiquing the leadership of those churches (not towards rank and file Episcopalians and Presbyterians, by the way–and would it be racist if it had been? Are all groups races? For that matter, are the Palestinians even a race? Of course not).

In addition, note that commenter “anonymous” is not particularly careful with his/her quotes and their interpretation. Yes indeed, I did write “nihilistic darlings” about the Palestinians whom the Church leadership favors–meaning, of course, the widespread support of Palestinians in general for the numerous nihilists among them. But here is the context for the quote “murderous ideologies”:

Although some in these particular churches have a history of fellow-traveling with other murderous ideologies such as Communism, Peretz rightly points out that…

To call such a comment “over the top anti-Arab propoganda” and “vitriol” is, quite simply, an absurdity. By “murderous ideologies” I think it’s quite clear that I am referring to terrorism and Islamofascism, not to Arabs or to Islam as a whole, and in this quote I’m especially applying the phrase to Communism. Hardly a race, and certainly not Arabs.

As for the final quote, “the most murderous people on the planet,” the actual quote is from this comment, and it goes like this:

Hoping to be spared the hatred of the most murderous peoples on the planet, they are ready to feed the Jews to the crocodile in the hopes they will be eaten last.

I’m not sure whether it’s important that the word is actually “peoples” and not “people.” But, once again, it’s simply a fact. As Samuel Huntington put it “Islam has bloody borders.”

Why deny it? Is it racist to say anything critical about a group, however true, however obvious, however important it is to know? If the “anonymouses” of the world had their way back in WWII, would we have had to have kept mum about the murderous ideology of Nazism, and its support among the German people?

How do I truly feel about Islam? Well, along with Dr. Sanity, I don’t much care one way or the other about it. I never really noticed it until recently. I only care about it when it’s used by murderers as an excuse to kill me and other innocent people, and to glory in such murders. And Arabs? They’re fine, never had a moment’s problem with them, until I realized that so many of them were celebrating and advocating the death of Americans, Israelis, Jews, and other westerners, and that there is something about the culture that seems to foster and support this sort of thing. It is simply an empirical fact, and if we ignore it or cover it up, we do so, quite literally, at our own peril.

43 Responses to “Playing the racist card”

  1. ipissed on your grandfatherand Says:

    your nuts- your argument is so idiotic- i couldn’t read it- the arguments i did glimpse at have been used 80 zillion times- why bother- kill yourself

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  3. Anonymous Says:

    “Ibn Khaldun (1332-1496) the pre-eminent Islamic medieval historian…”

    He lived for 164 years?

  4. terryt Says:

    This reminds me of a statement I read a while back made by a woman who’s husband (and about 20 other people) was gunned down by an angry killer named Colin Ferguson, while riding home from work on the LIRR. She said, “Colin Ferguson didn’t kill my husband. A gun did.”

    uh-huh. OK.

    I agree with PaCa who hates the enemy, islamofascism. The true demons are those who preach hatred and jihad to impressionable young and some not-so-young men. I hate those men and everything they stand for.

  5. sunguh5307 Says:

    I think this is great. People actually discussing the contradictions of politics and reality. Especially the recent dilemna of reconciling modernity and racism. It’s amazing how people think you can’t criticize anybody who isn’t like you. I guess that’s because we’re all alike and equal…

    I feel blessed to be here at this time of such change. It’s a rediscovery- some think we’ve entered a ‘modern world’, in contrast to the nasty and savage world of say, Hobbes, but are discovering that it’s not so modern. We have to make judgments and stand for principles. Some are doing that, some aren’t.

    Thanks again-

    pmclassic.blogspot.com

  6. neo-neocon Says:

    To the anonymous who posted at 7:38 AM (and, by the way, it would really help if all these anonymousses–anonymi? anonymae? Latin scholars, please assist!– would simply click on “other” and choose a name, already):

    The reason it’s important to debate charges of racism and the like is that these charges deflect energy from the fight against Islamofascism by making it hard for people to tell the truth about that “murderous ideology” and to combat it.

    To the original anonymous–I agree that you didn’t write the word “racism.” But I was using your post, with its charge of anti-Arab vitriol and anti-Arab propaganda towards those who are stating a simple and obvious truth, because it demonstrated a general trend I’ve seen on the left. What is a charge of anti-Arabism if not a charge of being against a certain ethnic group, if not technically a race? I agree, though, as I said, that in your case, it was not a charge of racism per se.

    But the point still holds. If you read my original post, the one about Peretz’s article and the one towards which your original comment was directed, I was speaking exclusively of Palestinians, not Arabs at all. So it’s “interesting” that you generalized to Arabs, the better to accuse me of ethnicism, prejudice, anti-culturism, “anti-Arab vitriol,” whatever.

    In addition, I was not pointing out anti-Semitism, I was doing the opposite.

    The majority of Palestinians, as many commenters here have pointed out, are behind suicide bombing and would fervently like Israel to disappear and all the evil Jews to die. The best evidence is that this is not a minority opinion, it’s a majority opinion. I do not think there is a culture on the face of the earth today more devoted to rage, death, destruction, and yes–racism and prejudice, including despising blacks, and promoting the most virulent form of anti-Semitism on the face of the earth today–than the Palestinians at this point. They are not even ashamed or covert about the anti-Semitism part of it; they glorify in it and celebrate it.

    So, every time I or someone else mentions this, do I need to put in a sort of legal disclaimer that says, “Of course there is some minority percentage of Palestinians who don’t feel this way? Who are mostly silent and powerless, and afraid to speak? Who in fact would be killed if they voiced this opinion?”

    No doubt the same was true of the Germans, too, in WWII. But when a certain ethos and belief system is the dominant one in a culture, I don’t feel we need to make that disclaimer every time. Those who keep requiring that we do so, in my opinion, are deflecting the issue and closing their eyes to the sad and painful truth about this particular group of people at this point in time.

  7. Goesh Says:

    As PatCa just pointed out, Italy has banned the burqah. Maybe the West, Europe in particular, needs to start enforcing child welfare Law in which teenage girls are married off and have no say in the matter….??? It would seem to be a form of sexual abuse in my opinion. Isn’t it noteworthy that liberal feminists are so quiet on such matters? The silence is a reverse form of racism – enabling it by refusing to confront it.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Somehow in all of this discourse we seem to lose sight of the truth. The truth is that Islamofascism is deadly and must be stopped or else God alone knows what the result will be! There are racists and fanatics in every nation and culture in the world. So what is new? We can debate racism until the cows come home, but we have to address the violence NOW!!

  9. roman Says:

    stephen… Thank you.

  10. PatCA Says:

    I hate my enemy. My enemy now is Islamic terrorism. Does that make me, and the several people here who agree with me, racist? No.

    Once upon a time, we learned to view aspects of other cultures–aspects that were benign, like clothing, music, and spirituality–as equal to ours. Fine and dandy. But the Morally Superior Corps took it so far that we now cannot even acknowledge institutionalized woman hating, jew hating, glorification of suicide bombers (even in America) as evil!

    London has announced they will profile suspects on ethnicity, among other things. Italy has banned the burqa. Yes, some innocent people will be offended or detained but the only other choice is societal suicide.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    neo,

    To clarify, I never used the word “racist.” Instead, I said “anti-Arab propaganda,” and “anti-Arab vitriol.”

    prettyold,

    I’m under no illusion that Germany was filled with “good Germans” during the Third Reich. I simply wanted to make the point that if you only emphasize the worst of a culture you mischaracterize the culture as a whole and those individuals who inhabit it. I’ve met plenty of good individual in more than a few cultures. Met some not so nice ones too.

    neuroconservative,

    I think it’s important to distinguish between a culture as a whole and a particular political movement of a particular time. The KKK is a movement that has been both hot and cold in terms of popularity in white southern culture (and not just the South). Yes, Hamas and Islamic Jihad are hot at the moment among Palestinians, but I wouldn’t condemn the whole culture for that. I also don’t think Serbian culture is completely evil, despite what went on in that part of the world in the ‘90s.

    kalroy,

    I would disagree with characterizing the Arabs as completely homogeneous. Granted, they are more homogeneous than we are. In my own limited experience, I found some differences among Egyptians, Jordanians and Palestinians. This really struck me when I spent time with Christian Arab families in Bethlehem, and Coptic Egyptians in Middle Egypt.

    Lastly, I would ask everyone to look again at the original post. The word “Islomafacist” is never mentioned. Instead the focus is on “Palestinians” and “the Palestinian Cause.” I actually don’t necessarily disagree with the assertion neo makes about certain Christian churches supporting Palestinians for their own anti-Semetic purposes. I just think the characterization of Palestinians in the post and in several of the comments which followed, and which appear in this stand, come off as anti-Arab propaganda. I like to think of myself as having “played the propaganda card.”

  12. neo-neocon Says:

    Stephen: Thanks for the apology.

  13. David Thomson Says:

    “My question is: Can we work out a compromise resolution of these seemingly diametrically opposed views? Or is this impossible and there can only be a winner and a loser — i.e., either we do smart profiling or we do checks willy-nilly.”

    In that case, we are talking about a zero sum situation. King must be the loser. His position is silly and must be categorically rejected. It is similar to trying to seek a compromise position on the law of gravity. Are you willing to jump out of an airplane with half a parachute?

  14. m.g. Says:

    David,

    Sorry for not being clear in my previous comment: “Is there a middle ground here? Can we acknowledge the facts and act accordingly while at the same time honoring the sensibilities of those who have been maligned historically? Or is this a zero-sum game?”

    I was referring expressly to the Krauthammer and King columns re the NYC subway security checks. Krauthammer pounded away at the facts about who the terrorists are and the groups they come from; King, as an African American, recoiled from these facts.

    My question is: Can we work out a compromise resolution of these seemingly diametrically opposed views? Or is this impossible and there can only be a winner and a loser — i.e., either we do smart profiling or we do checks willy-nilly.

  15. terryt Says:

    Thanks, Judith, for the link to info about Israel.
    And thank you for pointing out the misuse of the word racism.

  16. Judith Says:

    terryt: yes to everything in your post.

    More here.

  17. Judith Says:

    It’s also not racism because the Palestinians are not a race. They are a sub-ethnic group with a particular culture, which they can decide to change.

    As long as they are protected from the consequenses of their behavior by – among other things – fellow travellers screaming “racism!”, they don’t have much incentive to change.

    “How many other cultures are you aware of that abundantly rewards suicide bombers? etc.”

    Speaking of which, even the SF Chronicle is finally beginning to be dismayed by Palestinian culture.

  18. David Thomson Says:

    “Can we acknowledge the facts and act accordingly while at the same time honoring the sensibilities of those who have been maligned historically?”

    What do you mean by this “maligned historically” stuff? Have you really tried to think this through? Are you perhaps saying that Jews have every right to start blowing things up and murdering their past oppressors? What about the Irish or the French? What group of people has not been discriminated against? I doubt very much if there is anyone on this planet who cannot in some way claim historical victimization. Yup, I can see it now:

    “My name is John Kerry and a lot of American citizens maligned my wealthy New Englander brahmin background. How dare anyone ridicule my wind surfing. Is it my fault that I’ve always had servants to wait on me hand and foot? The majority of the voters clearly discriminated against me. So much so, that I was denied the opportunity of becoming president of the United States. I am therefore calling for Jihad and will blow myself up in the middle of the floor in the senate building.”

  19. terryt Says:

    re the above comment on Slavery:
    In this equation is also the retrograde thinking when it comes to women in Arab countries.
    Male supremecy: Sickening. Stunted. Sad.

    (but that’s not to assume that some women probably don’t own and mistreat slaves!)

  20. terryt Says:

    I’m not very clear on the history of Israel and I could be completely wrong, but isn’t the occupation of parts of Palestine a result of wars fought (’67 Six day war & the Yom Kippur war in ’73) that were instigated by Arab nations against Israel,itself a UN created country never recognozed by arab nations? Whenever I hear about the poor Palestinians, I wonder why they are always portrayed as victims of Israel and rarely as the pawn of other arab nations.

  21. Promethea Says:

    So much of what passes for “thinking” among many people these days is repeating the same ideas over and over. The anonymous person who thinks he/she is being very warmhearted and kind has not studied the situation. (A trip to Israel and the Occupied Territories is step one, but doesn’t make for expertise.)

    Hence, you, Neo, are the racist because you don’t see “both sides.” Oddly enough, this is exactly what makes my longtime friendship with several Episcopalians more and more iffy. They use their ignorance to claim the moral high ground and imply that I’m blinded by my personal attachment to the issues.

    They also think Karl Rove is a monster–no discussions possible there.

    They also think Bush is a tool of the “oil interests”–no discussions possible there.

    They also think the war in Iraq is wrong because war is wrong–no discussions possible there.

    They live in the realm of received ideas. Nothing is discussible except maybe some recently published novel.

  22. Anonymous Says:

    Considering Islam, and ‘Arabia’ in general, were and continue to be history’s most notorious slave owners and traders, it is difficult to believe Islam is anything but racists.
    http://www.christianaction.org.za/articles_ca/2004-4-TheScourgeofSlavery.htm

    “While the European involvement in the Trans Atlanic slave trade to the Americas lasted for just over three centuries, the Arab involvement in the slave trade has lasted fourteen centuries, and in some parts of the Muslim world is still continuing to this day.”

    “Ibn Khaldun (1332-1496) the pre-eminent Islamic medieval historian and social thinker wrote: ‘The Negro nations are as a rule submissive to slavery, because they have attributes that are quite similar to dumb animals’.”

    Thank God Jesus came along and spread his message of love.

  23. terryt Says:

    Several months ago, during a heated email conversation with an Italian friend, I emailed her an article by Michael Ledeen re the murder in Holland of Mr. Van Gogh, the filmmaker. In it, Ledeen pointed out the FACT of the dual British education/citizenship of both Van Goghs murderer and of Daniel Pearl’s killer.
    My leftist friend called Ledeen a racist. It took a while for me to grasp her twisted logic: that Mr. Ledeen is a racist for merely pointing out a FACT. This distortion merely fed into her anti-Iraq war, anti-Bush slant, anti-American slant. The shocking brutality of both these crimes was in her opinion, awful, criminal, but the focus of her anger and the real villians are people like Mr. Ledeen and the neocons.
    An accusation of racism is a powerfully ugly one and is thrown around too carelessly by emotionalists like my former friend.
    I

  24. knoxgirl Says:

    Anonymous:

    “Equating southern white culture with the KKK is the same as characterizing Palestinian culture with Islamic Jihad or Hamas.”

    I *very much* hold southern white culture accountable for the wrongs perpetrated against blacks before the civil rights movement! It’s true, only a tiny minority of southern whites ever actually harmed or lynched a black person. But the sad reality was, their culture did not particularly condemn those sorts of actions, and often went out of its way to excuse the people who perpetrated them. Certainly there weren’t many convictions of white people who had committed a crime against a black!

    I think that racism has improved tremendously since the civil rights movement. But I don’t think pre-civil rights white southern culture should be excused any more than the culture among Palestinians that resists utter condemnation and legal prosecution of terrorists.

  25. m.g. Says:

    Neo, this (once again) terrific post reminds me of two recent Washington Post op-ed columns, one by Charles Krauthammer and the other by Colbert King. This past Friday, Krauthammer wrote, Give Grandma a Pass, wherein he extolled the virtues of profiling with regard to security checks on the NY subway system. On Saturday, King took mighty offense with this notion in his column You Can’t Fight Terrorism with Racism.

    Is there a middle ground here? Can we acknowledge the facts and act accordingly while at the same time honoring the sensibilities of those who have been maligned historically? Or is this a zero-sum game?

  26. Paul Says:

    I feel sorry for the innocent victims in the war on terror Arab and non-Arab alike. However, that does not mean that we should not vigorously fight these Islamofascists who preach this perverted brand of Islam that is decidedly un islamic! We cannot feed the crocodile in the hope that it will not eat us !

  27. David Thomson Says:

    “Please cease feeling sorry for the Palestinians.”

    I need to change the above to:

    The Palestinians are largely undeserving of our sympathy.

  28. David Thomson Says:

    “The KKK does not command the support of a plurality or majority of southerners.”

    Absolutely correct. The KKK is a marginalized organization which is utterly incapable of earning one percent of the vote in even the most red neck of southern states. This is definitely not the case with the Palestinian anti-Semites. It is indeed very fair to describe them as the preeminent cultural influence of the Arabs living within the area. How can anyone ignore the fact that Hamas and the PLO dominated the recent election results? Lastly, how does one explain away the incredibly high sales figures of the The Protocols of the Elders of Zion? Please cease feeling sorry for the Palestinians. Most of their troubles are of their own doing. They have nobody to blame but themselves.

  29. Anonymous Says:

    Stephen,

    Thank you for your appology. I very much know how rare that is these days, and even if I don’t know what you appologized for, I still find something very manly about a person cabable of offering an appology. I hope that if find myself in a position where I said something I should not have said, that I too will find the strength of character to appologize.

    Emmunah

  30. Kalroy Says:

    “That characterization is hostile to a very diverse American population, and the same could be said for comments which characterize Arabs/ Palestinians with equally stereotypical imagery.”

    Except for one thing. The Arabs are a very homogenous people and culture. They have the same language and the same basic culture whether they are found in Arab Palastine, Jordan or Saudi Arabia. Americans, however, are an incredibly diverse people, and whereas Arabs (like the French or the Welsh, or the Finns) can have generalizations that DO describe a majority of those populations, Americans cannot be so generalized.

    It is ridiculous (though incredibly common) to characterize New Yorkers as being similar to Texans or Hawaiians or Chocktaw from Broken Bow Oklahoma. Certainly most people in the world are hideously ignorant of American culture, but that’s understandable because American culture is so diverse that not even native born Americans can truly be familliar with American culture.

    ” Equating southern white culture with the KKK is the same as characterizing Palestinian culture with Islamic Jihad or Hamas. “

    No, it is not. A majority of white southerners do NOT support the goals of the KKK. A few years ago the University in Nablus did a poll of Palestinians and a majority supported the goals of Hamas. A majority characterized terrorism as any violence against muslims (even suicide bombers). A majority believed that killing non-muslim non-combatants was NOT terrorism.

    So no, whereas characterizing southern white folk as supporting the KKK would be ignorant (though not unexpected considering how ignorant the “world” is regarding American culture) as it turns out saying that a large number of Palastinian Arabs (or even a majority) support terrorism and/or terrorists and/or terrorist organizations is an accurate characterization.

    Do all Palastinians support terrorism? No, of course not. A few have formed groups with Israeli Jews trying to bring peace. I know one contractor had worked for years with an American Jew to build decent housing for poor Arabs. Both sacrificed much in the way of time and money to help poor Arabs in Palastine. Though the American sacrificed the most when he was murdered by a small group of Arabs. Not because he was an American, or because he worked so hard to help poor Arabs. They killed him because he was a Jew.

    Kalroy

  31. neuroconservative Says:

    To “Anonymous”:

    First off, as has already been noted, the original comments referred to Islamofascists, not Arabs in general or even Arabs living in the West Bank (“Palestinians”) in particular.

    That said, I find your statement that “Equating southern white culture with the KKK is the same as characterizing Palestinian culture with Islamic Jihad or Hamas” to be completely off the mark. The KKK does not command the support of a plurality or majority of southerners. The KKK does not broadcast minstrel shows and lynchings on state-run TV. You make it sound as if Hamas et al. represent a tiny minority of the worst elements of Palestinian society. In today’s world, that degree of naivete is deadly.

  32. contratimes Says:

    Dear Neo-neo,

    I often describe the Episcopal Church as little more than Unitarianism with a fetish for vestments. Forgive the un-PC swipe, but I am an Episcopalian, and I see the secularization of that church and its Anglican progenitors every day.

    As you know, the Unitarian-Universalist societies have long stood against Israel, supporting the Palestinians without fail. Part of UU support of Palestine seems to me a sort of gross distension of Christ’s “turning the other cheek”: if Israel CHANGES, if it just turns its cheek (radically), peace will come (in this, religious leftists are more proselytizing of Jews than evangelicals). Moreover, I have this silly idea that liberalism holds a sort of romantic view of ‘the underdog’, transforming an intelligent cheering for the little guy into a hooligan-like rush toward protecting the “underdog at all costs.”

    It is my belief, however, that Israel is the underdog. So I think, in this case, that the liberal left is cheering for the wrong team.

    Regardless of my viscerally-forged cogitations on the matter, the Unitarian spirit pervades Anglicanism/Episcopalianism. In fact, not long ago I read a report that the Unitarian Church in England so lacks members, it is thinking of closing the doors on many English UU parishes. Why? Because, according to the English UU head, there no longer exists any meaningful distinction between the UUs and the mainstream Protestant churches in the UK. The UU Church has been rendered superfluous by the secularized Anglican churches.

    As for anti-Semitism, it takes many forms. There is perhaps no more dangerous one than that which appears benevolent, but is not. Adopting the “anti-apartheid”-motif, and imbibing in a sort of nostalgic protest reminiscent of South Africa divestment strategies by the West, the religious left has, I am sorry to say, truly insulted Israel, and has blamed Abel for Cain (or Toto for the Wicked Witch). The religious left is little more than the bright side of darkness.

    Contratimes

    PS. You’ve got a great blog.

  33. Myron Says:

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  34. prettyold Says:

    Isn’t it amazing that none of the Germans in Germany at the time of the Nazis ,were Nazis? Was there really a massive Good German underground,fighting Hitler ,that the world has never heard of? Did the Good Germans flee to England and fight on the Allied side? Or did all those Good Germans just turn their heads aside and look the other way,so they could later say, “WE Know Nothink”?

  35. Anonymous Says:

    david thompson,

    You can take the worst of any culture and characterize it as freakish and destructive, but go to the West Bank and talk to people. I’m not talking about the bizarre, extreme things you read about. Mark Twain said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”

    When I went to Israel all of my friends were worried that I was going to be blown up on a bus because that was the freakish thing they had heard, but I was much more likely to be hit by a bus than blown up on one. When I traveled through Jordan and Egypt (alone, I might add), I was never treated poorly because “they” all hate Americans. People were generally kind and welcoming. You are mis-characterizing an entire culture and people based on those elements of the culture which are most condemning.

    I lived in the American south for five years and know it pretty well. I’ve never felt sorry for people who pledge allegiance to the KKK, but then not all white people in the south do so. Equating southern white culture with the KKK is the same as characterizing Palestinian culture with Islamic Jihad or Hamas. Regarding those blond haired, blue eyed Germans, my mother, grandmother, grandfather, etc. were some of those Germans during the Nazi time. They were not Nazis, didn’t like Nazi’s, and I’ve never liked it when people assume all Germans were Nazis or supported the Nazis. Yes, white people get mis-characterized too.

    You can’t flush an entire culture down with it’s worst characteristics. What we really should be criticizing, it seems to me, is extremism in it’s worse forms, from wherever it might spring.

  36. David Thomson Says:

    “The discussion threw out the word Palestinian as if that meant terrorist, extremists, Islamofacist, nihilist.”

    I gladly plead guilty to your accusation. It is obvious that you ignore the polling data that clearly shows the moral bankruptcy of a huge number of Palestinians, if not the outright majority. One cannot logically ignore their widespread nihilism. How many other cultures are you aware of that abundantly rewards suicide bombers? When is the last time you ran across parents who teach their own small children to blow themselves up? Some even give these little tots toy suicide bomb belts to play with. These people are sick SOBs of the lowest caliber. It is very fair to compare them to Germans during the Nazi period. Most assuredly you would not be so indulgent if they were blue eyed and blond haired. Their so-called racial characteristics indeed prevent you from facing reality. Red neck citizens of Louisiana, for instance, would not be cut any slack.

    “When I was in the West Bank, I couldn’t help thinking occupation sucks and the Palestinians are really getting screwed.”

    Israel is only concerned with defending itself and not per se “occupying” the territories. The Palestinians are responsible for their own predicament. It is only their despicable anti-Semitism that prevents them from becoming more affluent. They have nobody but themselves to blame. Moreover, when is the last time you felt sorry about the difficulties of those pledging allegiance to the Ku Klux Klan? Why then should you feel any differently about the Palestinian culture of death?

  37. Anonymous Says:

    My problem with the original post was that very little context was provided. I’ve got no problem fighting extremism in the Muslim/Arab world (or any world), but when I go back and read the original post and the comments that followed it, there was very little distinction being drawn between extremists in the Arab/ Palestinian world, and Arabs/ Palestinians in general. The discussion threw out the word Palestinian as if that meant terrorist, extremists, Islamofacist, nihilist. When I wrote the comment I thought to myself, I bet they rebuke me for playing the racist card; sure enough I got what I expected.

    Look, I visited Israel and the West Bank back in 2002. When I was in Israel I was filled with admiration for their resilience on that little slice of land surrounded by hostile neighbors. When I was in the West Bank, I couldn’t help thinking occupation sucks and the Palestinians are really getting screwed. Those experiences told be to not generalize based on what I read about a country, culture or population.

    Now do I think anyone who criticizes a culture is automatically a racist? No. Having seen more than a few parts of the world, I’ve got plenty of criticism for all sorts of phenomena in all sorts of cultures. But context and language are important. Here’s a good example. Whenever I travel abroad and meet Europeans, so many are astounded that I am not an obese, ignorant, fundamentalist Christian, who lives in a big house in the suburbs, drives a gas-guzzling SUV and shops at Walmart– a stereotype that drives a lot of Anti-American feelings in Europe. That characterization is hostile to a very diverse American population, and the same could be said for comments which characterize Arabs/ Palestinians with equally stereotypical imagery. As I was reading the post and the comments, I kept wondering if this is what letters from the American frontier sounded like when describing the “savages” they encountered. I was just hoping we’ve moved beyond all that.

  38. camojack Says:

    I note (with a modicum of delight) that there are no anonymous comments (thus far) on this thread.

    I’ve commented here previously on the lack of courage of one’s convictions implicit in posting anonymously.

    I mean, how hard is it to type in a name (any name) as an identity?

    Typically, I ignore anonymous posts, and don’t even allow them on my blog

  39. David Thomson Says:

    I have long argued (and often frustratingly so) that it is very unfortunate that that the Arabs do not possess blue eyes and blond hair. Our politically correct leftists are incapable of criticizing “people of color.” To be blunt, they are to be considered victims and never perpetrators of evil. The very idea that nonwhites may be guilty of horrible misdeeds must be categorically rejected as somehow inherently racist. This is one of the few absolutist dogmas held by our generally relativist left wing culture.

  40. urthshu Says:

    If the “anonymouses” of the world had their way back in WWII, would we have had to have kept mum about the murderous ideology of Nazism, and its support among the German people?

    Actually, according to the principle being advanced, this should be amended to read “the German race.”

    Brrr….

  41. meander Says:

    I have been slowly working my way through this http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/article_details.php?id=6992
    I can’t remember where I picked it up as alink…please forgive me if it was from you, Neo. Anyway, it is a disturbing yet illuminating look into the mind of a jihad type muslim and sheds some light on the lack of national loyalty many second generation (in Britain, France, ect.) muslims feel towards the countries into which they’ve been born. It also helps explain why they are so receptive to the disciplined message of extremist Islam. Well, I’m going to resume reading it now (it’s very long and I needed a break) but I thought it was worth passing on.

  42. fred Says:

    “If the ‘anonymouses’ of the world had their way back in WWII, would we have had to have kept mum about the murderous ideology of Nazism, and its support among the German people?” Exactly.

  43. Stephen Says:

    Hello,

    I’m going to do something virtually unknown on comments boards. I’m going to apologize.

    I really appreciated your story about boy soldiers in Afghanistan. You showed that you really do understand that pain and suffering are not solely the domain of women.

    I’m sorry that I misrepresented you.

    I continue to read your weblog. Politics is not exactly my domain. Perhaps, you’ll come over and read mine.

    My wife’s most important teaching was that men count, too. I hope that you will read what she had to say. Myrna was an extraordinarly wise and spiritual woman.

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About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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