Religion of Peace

Since 9/11, there has been a steady drone of voices from the Left asking “why do they hate us?”, and supplying, lest we might be tempted to assign any blame whatsoever to our enemies, a litany of reasons why U.S. influence in the world is toxic and malevolent. They assume that jihadist assaults on the West are purely reactive; that if we had only somehow been nicer, our virulent Islamist foes would instead view us with benign indifference. The truth, however, is that fundamentalist Islam is not, and has never been, a passive agency in the world, but has always had a clear and proactive agenda: the creation of a worldwide Ummah, to be achieved by the elimination of infidels, through conversion or slaughter.

Horace Jeffery Hodges, the Gypsy Scholar, has just written an incisive post on this topic, with a number of illuminating links. Required reading.

  1. No, it’s not for the reason this wag suggests.


  1. Well, it depends on who “the Left” is. There will always be angry bloggers who will spew rubbish, just as there will always be people who think the Earth is flat. When I worked for the company which produced People’s Court, there was a survey at the time which indicated that 26% of the American people thought that Judge Wapner was on the Supreme Court. To paraphrase your bud H. L. Mencken, nobody ever went broke underestimating the political savvy of the American people.

    However, if you define the left as responsible voices — whether Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, the editorial page of the New York Times, or whomever else you choose — then I don’t think you will find anyone who thinks that Islamic terrorists are blameless, poor, misunderstood souls. You are essentially repeating Karl Rove’s assertion that Republicans answer terrorists with manly assertiveness while Democrats offer them “tea and sympathy.” It is an untrue statement because it sets up a straw man that does not exist.

    As for whether American foreign policy is “toxic and malevolent:” you cannot deny that there have been many instances of toxicity and malevolence, from supporting dictators to overthrowing regimes to destabilizing the Middle East to unleashing Britney Spears on the world. This is not to say that it is always toxic and malevolent — but to pretend that we are capable of nothing except benevolence just ain’t so.

    Posted October 1, 2007 at 5:44 pm | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    Hi Peter,

    Fair enough, perhaps I should have said “far Left”. But this is hardly a straw man; I know plenty of people who have made exactly the sort of comments I am talking about. Park Slope and Wellfleet (and, I should imagine, San Francisco as well) are chockablock with such “straw men”. I wish I were just making it up. Go read some of the comments at the Daily Kos.

    And I certainly wasn’t suggesting that we had never unleashed anything toxic on the world. Destabilizing the Middle East may well turn out to have been a benevolent act, but you are quite right about Britney Spears. I don’t blame them if they hate us for that.

    Posted October 1, 2007 at 5:52 pm | Permalink
  3. If you enjoy being outraged by idiocy, then the Daily Kos is the gift that keeps on giving. (As is and the rest of right and left wing sites, where vitriol trumps ratiocination every day of the week).

    While you may very well know people who think that these fifty states are the source of the world’s evil — I don’t, but I have no doubt they exist — nonetheless my guess is that they are far fewer than they appear, as their decibel level and the sheer outrageousness of their beliefs make them appear much more numerous than they really are.

    Posted October 1, 2007 at 7:40 pm | Permalink
  4. I neglected to say thanks, so I’ll say it now. Thanks, Malcolm.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

    Posted October 4, 2007 at 6:14 am | Permalink
  5. Malcolm says

    Hi Jeffery,

    Thanks to you, for that excellent post.

    Posted October 4, 2007 at 10:40 am | Permalink
  6. Malcolm says

    Peter, I’m not kidding — go to a dinner party on the Upper West Side, in Park Slope, in the Village, or in Wellfleet (and, I have no doubt, in Brookline, or Lenox, or Topanga Canyon, or any of a number of other places), and you won’t have to wait long.

    You can hardly go out to buy milk in my neighborhood without seeing a Che Guevara T-shirt or two.

    Posted October 4, 2007 at 10:46 am | Permalink

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *