Battered-West Syndrome

Sorry to bang on, post after post, on the same topic, but the Paris attacks continue to reverberate.

Our e-pal and occasional commenter David Duff, with whom we see eye to eye about most things, has posted at his excellent blog an essay by one Qanta Ahmed, a self-described “opinion-maker” who is what Western multiculturalists wish all Muslims could be: calm, intelligent, attractive, atriculate, moderate, politically secular, and given to the view that Muslims of the other kind — the ones, that is, who have in recent decades made most of the civilized world begin privately to reflect upon how very, very much pleasanter a place this world would be if Islam didn’t exist at all — are “no true Scotsmen“.

This sort of thing is absolute catnip to bien-pensant universalists who are starting to feel, as Mort Sahl once put it, “like a Christian Scientist with a toothache” (or, perhaps, like the zoologist who realizes the tranquilizing dart is beginning to wear off before he’s finished trussing the rhinoceros). No doubt Dr. Ahmed’s item will be making the rounds, to show those of us who see in the expansion of Islam into the West a dire existential threat just what the moral high ground looks like.

(I have a feeling we’ll be hearing more from the winsome Qanta Ahmed. She seems to be getting her brand off the ground quite nicely, and no doubt she will find an eager audience. Muslims who denounce any aspect of Islam always get our attention: in the words of Dr. Johnson, “you are surprised to find it done at all”.)

To be sure, it’s nice to see Muslims speaking out in this way, and Dr. Ahmed does make some very good points, mostly about Western spinelessness. More power to her! May her sect prevail. As I remarked over at David’s blog, though, one could hardly blame the West for preferring that they settle it amongst themselves, in their own homelands, and get back to us when it’s all sorted out.

I must add: as laudable as Dr. Ahmed’s aims may be, there is no reason for any sensible person to suppose that her faction will prevail; it certainly isn’t a sure enough bet to gamble a civilization on. At this point such protestations begin to feel a bit like:

“Baby, baby, look at me: you know I love you, sugar, only you, and I just can’t live without you — I don’t know what gets into me sometimes — you just made me so doggone mad, that’s all — but I promise I’ll never, ever, ever hit you again. Now come over here and give me a kiss…”

Meanwhile, in an overwhelming projection of “soft power” guaranteed to strike fear into the hearts of our allies, Messrs. Obama and Kerry have responded to the latest outbreak of Islamist violence by sending wizened folksinger James Taylor to offer the battered French nation a little good-old-fashioned Sixties-style koombayah. Not exactly Operation Overlord, admittedly — but the old grey mare, she ain’t what she used to be. It’s going to have to do.

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35 Comments

  1. Musey says

    The problem is, Malcolm, that we all have a different view of the moral high ground, and unfortunately, a lot of Muslim fundamentalists are so sure that they are right that they’ll do anything in the name of their religion, and feel good doing it. I think that is why this is different from other conflicts which were going on in the context of historical, earthly grievances. This lot have the prophet on their side and their devotion is unlike anything that we can comprehend. It’s great that this lady will stand up and state the obvious, and she’s brave for doing it. I hope she is still alive next week. Also,I stand by my belief that the vast majority of Muslims don’t want any part of these atrocities. However, those same moderate Muslims have an unwavering faith, the like of which is rare in the Christian community.

    I work with the most delightful Muslim man, much more polite and thoughtful than most! After all the outcry and panic that happened in Sydney a short while ago we were chatting and he told me: “I know you think that Jesus is God but you’re wrong, you know”. Which is funny because I don’t have a religious bone in my body, but I do think he was trying to let me in on his secret, spread the word so to speak. He wasn’t being insulting, he was being kind and that is scary. I think he wanted to save me.

    Have you ever seen these guys during Ramadan? They will deprive themselves of food and water all day long. There is absolutely no chance of them cheating and having a little sip of water on a savagely hot day. They believe in something and we don’t, at least not to the same extent, and they know that.

    Posted January 18, 2015 at 12:16 am | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    It’s hard not to see that sort of discipline and cohesion as conferring an adaptive advantage in the long run, even if we have James Taylor.

    Posted January 18, 2015 at 12:52 am | Permalink
  3. JK says

    Have you ever seen these guys during Ranger/SEAL Quals? They will deprive themselves of food and water all day long. There is absolutely no chance of them cheating and having a little sip of water on a savagely hot day. They believe in something and We don’t, at least not to the same extent, and we know that.

    Then again; We

    http://www.duffelblog.com/2015/01/ranger-school-replaced-by-9-week-long-online-game/

    Posted January 18, 2015 at 3:48 am | Permalink
  4. JK says

    http://www.duffelblog.com/2015/01/boko-haram/

    Posted January 18, 2015 at 3:57 am | Permalink
  5. Whitewall says

    This subject needs to be “banged on” about as things will not improve on their own. The subject needs to banged on, especially while there is no American leadership coming from the White House. James Taylor’s fine 6 string is a limp response.

    Posted January 18, 2015 at 9:09 am | Permalink
  6. Malcolm says

    Let me say also, Musey, that you are getting dangerously close to neoreactionary thought here.

    Welcome!

    Posted January 18, 2015 at 1:20 pm | Permalink
  7. Malcolm says

    JK, the Broker Ham piece you linked to is brilliant.

    Posted January 18, 2015 at 1:21 pm | Permalink
  8. Troy says

    I don’t have a dog in this fight, but Ali has the better claim over the legacy of Big Mo, than Aisha. Ali being the Big’s Mo’s cousin and son in law and all that. Whereas Aisha was just a young, petulent, barren asshole.

    And it is hard more me to believe something as Jerry Springer as that early is the etiology of a pathology of one of the largest religious schisms ever.

    Meanwhile, in an overwhelming projection of “soft power” guaranteed to strike fear into the hearts of our allies, Messrs. Obama and Kerry have responded to the latest outbreak of Islamist violence by sending wizened folksinger James Taylor to offer the battered French nation a little good-old-fashioned Sixties-style koombayah.

    That’s pretty funny. I thought this was a joke. So I googled and… my god, we sent James %$^#%$ Taylor as our representative to a serious massacre. This should be in a Wayne’s World movie, not reality. That is crazy. That’s, like, ‘did someone spike my coffee with some acid’ crazy.

    Posted January 18, 2015 at 11:02 pm | Permalink
  9. Malcolm says

    Yes. It’s really, truly, are-you-fucking-kidding-me, batshit, terrifyingly, invasion-of-the-pod-people crazy.

    And it actually happened. Our President and Secretary of State actually did this. This is what a formerly virile and incomparably mighty nation looks like in the late stages of senile dementia. This is the United States of America in a diaper, smearing poop on the walls.

    Sweet mother of Jesus.

    Posted January 19, 2015 at 12:42 am | Permalink
  10. Whitewall says

    “we sent James %$^#%$ Taylor as our representative to a serious massacre?” Rest assured however that Sec. Kerry used perfect French throughout.

    Posted January 19, 2015 at 8:48 am | Permalink
  11. There are some situations where explicit use of the f-bomb can be avoided. Here’s one:

    Posted January 19, 2015 at 6:56 pm | Permalink
  12. There are some situations where explicit use of the F-bomb can be avoided. Here’s one:

    Fruck the Fench taylors (and their fashion, too).

    Posted January 19, 2015 at 7:13 pm | Permalink
  13. I don’t know how that echo got there.

    Posted January 19, 2015 at 7:16 pm | Permalink
  14. Whitewall says

    Well Henry, Mr. Kerry could have done worse–he could have brought the Eagles along and they could sing “Get Over It”. But that would have been tasteless.

    Posted January 19, 2015 at 8:32 pm | Permalink
  15. WW,

    How about if they sang “Lyin’ Eyes”, and slightly modified the last phrase to:

    “You’re still the same old c*nt you used to be.”

    Posted January 19, 2015 at 9:45 pm | Permalink
  16. Whitewall says

    Henry, you are a bad boy:)

    Posted January 19, 2015 at 11:08 pm | Permalink
  17. That’s what she said.

    Posted January 20, 2015 at 1:10 am | Permalink
  18. Malcolm says

    Do forgive me for that intemperate outburst. It all suddenly got the better of me, somehow.

    I’m quite myself again now.

    Posted January 20, 2015 at 1:35 am | Permalink
  19. Musey says

    Don’t hold back, Malcolm. You made me laugh, and anyway, what is wrong with saying what you think, in no uncertain terms? It makes people sit up and take notice.

    Posted January 20, 2015 at 3:13 am | Permalink
  20. Whitewall says

    Yes, what Musey said.

    Posted January 20, 2015 at 8:25 am | Permalink
  21. Essential Eugenia says

    What Whitehall said.

    A lovely goodmorning to you, Musey. A curtsey to Miss Liberty Belle and to all the other of you dear ladies sitting quietly while the gentlemen gather for brandy and cigars.

    I believe I speak for many of our fair sex when I say that when provoked it must be a great temptation to use strong language and, dear Malcolm, we ladies take no offense.

    The ladies will recall, dear gentlemen of Man Chat, that not long after Miss Eliza Doolittle learned how in Hertford, Hereford, and Hampshire hurricanes hardly ever happen, she attended Royal Ascot. There, you may remember, Miss Eliza Doolittle claimed the rain in Spain stayed mainly on the plain. Then, swept up in the excitement of the moment and passionately urging the horses on toward the finish line, Miss Eliza Doolittle reverted to her mother tongue.

    Some were shocked, others were charmed.

    Yet, whether speaking the queen’s English or a guttersnipe’s Cockney, Miss Eliza Doolittle always was, oh my, one fair lady.

    So enough with the grand palaver!

    Even when speaking as a pauper, Malcolm remains a prince among men.

    Posted January 20, 2015 at 9:20 am | Permalink
  22. Whitewall says

    Essential Eugenia, you do have a way with words! I like it! When Miss Doolittle reverted to “her mother tongue” in my part of the USA, bystanders would have remarked “bless her heart”!

    Posted January 20, 2015 at 10:11 am | Permalink
  23. Just a (very) minor quibble:

    “The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain.”

    :)

    Posted January 20, 2015 at 2:25 pm | Permalink
  24. Essential Eugenia says

    Henry, The Big Henry – hello! – you big flirt.

    By George, I’ve got it, I think I’ve got it!

    You are so correct. The rain in Spain stays mainly IN the plain.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1scR7kqLaSE

    My dear Whitewall, please accept my apology for misspelling your name, and I do thank you kindly for your kind words.

    Adieu, Gentlemen, adieu.

    Posted January 20, 2015 at 3:38 pm | Permalink
  25. Musey says

    Oh, how very polite we have all become thanks, in no small part, to “Essential Eugenia”. You have been sitting very quietly, unlike me who sometimes refuses to retire to the sitting room, preferring instead to stay behind smoking and drinking with the men. Do feel free to stay and chat as well, because sometimes it gets lonely and these brutish fellows gang up on me!

    And may I be nosy and ask if you are English? That would be my guess.

    Henry, thanks for your invitation. (That will get the gossips going.) When I have something worthwhile to say I will indeed take you up on it, although exchanging ideas with physicists/professors is way above my pay grade.

    Posted January 21, 2015 at 1:06 am | Permalink
  26. Whitewall says

    Essential Eugenia, no problem on the misspell. It often happens.

    Musey, I have always enjoyed the company of women. In fact, there are times when it is needed.

    Posted January 21, 2015 at 8:25 am | Permalink
  27. JK says

    Whitewall? Best exercise some caution where Essential Eugenia chooses to enter a fray, “cunning” is a trait applicable.

    Of course EE, to ol’ JK’s mind cunning, in your case is delightfully becoming you understand. Er, you do understand doncha?

    I placed this link below but as this post seems to be the more recently active, y’all’l not mind me double-posting?

    http://20committee.com/2015/01/21/the-west-islam-and-the-last-stand-of-the-weird/

    Posted January 21, 2015 at 1:41 pm | Permalink
  28. Essential Eugenia says

    Appropriate decorum sometimes requires a lady not understand a gentleman’s meaning too perfectly, so please allow me a moment to reflect.

    Whitewall suggests Eugenia is a cunning linguist and JK cautions Whitewall, suggesting Eugenia is a cunning . . .

    So, yes, I believe I must say I understand you right as rain, JK – but of course!

    Naturally you are using the word cunning in its North American sense of delightfully attractive and quaint, as in, “Isn’t Eugenia cunning in her parasol and white kid gloves?”

    Whatever other meaning could a lady possibly take?

    Musey, my dear, Man Chat can be a brutal slug fest to the death, with a rapacious intellectual hooliganism run amok. If we women behaved toward one another as these louts do, our friendship circles would be ruptured vertically and sideways for three generations, and then who amongst us would knit the bandages so necessary to those wounded in the culture wars?

    I venture into Man Chat now only to give you a sisterly squeeze, Musey, to assure you of another woman’s presence, to twirl my parasol and to give the gentlemen a glimpse of ankle while I refill their snifters and light their cigars.

    You are charming, Musey, and a most civilizing addition to Man Chat.

    Do play nicely, gentleman.

    And to all a goodnight.

    Posted January 21, 2015 at 9:01 pm | Permalink
  29. Whitewall says

    Essential Eugenia. A good grasp of Man Chat you have. We slug to convince and hopefully to triumph. Bruises only so we can come back at it again later. As for women’s chat…I have heard razor like verbiage exchanged over the smallest perceived slight. This picks up speed and sweet ferocity as other ladies in the group catch on and choose sides. Cutting glances are nearly as sharp as words. A very unnerving thing for men to witness as we are not equipped. I do appreciate any show of ankle;)

    Posted January 21, 2015 at 10:27 pm | Permalink
  30. EE,

    Your mention of “a cunning linguist” reminded me of a skit they once did on SNL, in which the main character was a “Colonel Angus” (a guy from the South, of course).

    Posted January 21, 2015 at 11:17 pm | Permalink
  31. Musey says

    EE, I am naturally a suspicious person and have fully decided, after a period of reflection, that you are a very “cunning” man. I think it was your reference to “rapacious intellectual hooliganism” that gave you away. If I am wrong, I do apologise.

    Posted January 22, 2015 at 12:44 am | Permalink
  32. Essential Eugenia says

    My goodness.

    Is this where we cut our eyes at one another, Musey, and, in the words of Whitewall, exchange razor sharp verbiage over this small perceived slight?

    “Well!” I might say, going into a huff, “I should think you would apologize for mistaking me for a man!”

    Happens all the time, actually. Ask JK. When JK first met Eugenia he thought she was a drag queen. Then JK decided Eugenia was just a drag. That made Eugenia cry.

    Can you imagine Malcolm sniffling about something the OEM says? Do you imagine JK makes The Big Henry cry?

    No, Musey, I am as I say I am – always sincere, if not always serious, and most assuredly a woman.

    Posted January 22, 2015 at 2:36 am | Permalink
  33. JK says

    Man Chat can be a brutal slug fest to the death, with a rapacious intellectual hooliganism run amok. If we women behaved toward one another as these louts do, our friendship circles would be ruptured vertically and sideways for three generations, and then who amongst us would knit the bandages so necessary to those wounded in the culture wars?

    So, yes, I believe I must say I understand you right as rain, JK – but of course!

    Naturally you are using the word cunning in its North American sense of delightfully attractive and quaint … ?

    Old English 1st & 3rd person singular present indicative of cunnan “know, have power to, be able,” from Proto-Germanic *kunnan “to be mentally able, to have learned.” German kennen “to know.” Absorbing the third sense of “to know,” that of “to know how to do something” (in addition to “to know as a fact” and “to be acquainted with” something or someone). An Old English preterite-present verb, its original past participle, couth, survived only in its negation. The present participle has spun off as cunning.

    But dear EE you’ll be understanding cunning as JK regards is as I’ve said plainly as I might, “sheer delight” in your instance.

    So, no tears?

    (But if those might come despite EE, do please make those tears of the dainty sort, as dainty alone is when a sole word must suffice the only one JK has to hand when comes to the conversation EE?)

    Posted January 22, 2015 at 3:46 am | Permalink
  34. Whitewall says

    JK, from your xx committee link..”Here the progressive need to find Islamophobia, which seems to concern many on the Left more than armed jihadism, does not promote stability.” Isn’t that the bottom line for all of the West? The political elites and their cartel soul mates in the media have to fall back from reality of Islamism and instead shriek about that imagined “other” lurking within their populations. The public is well aware of the threat and therefore well ahead of most pols. Politicians hate to have to face actual problems and take a stand in response.

    Posted January 22, 2015 at 9:30 am | Permalink
  35. JK says

    And from your comment Whitewall for as you say, the public-at-large “is well aware” but

    Politicians hate to have to face actual problems and take a stand in response.

    I was reading somewhere (Unz?) recently concerning Corker’s suggesting raising the fuels tax would be palliative where rather, if the pols used the fuels tax revenues as the tax was originally intended (written, voted on, and signed by Eisenhower) highway infrastructure would never’ve become the problem it has.

    *Somebody* should take a stand. The public is (or was) aware.

    Posted January 22, 2015 at 12:08 pm | Permalink