Calling them radicals won’t help, Pokey. Sure they’re a dangerously brainwashed, apocalyptic death-cult but why anger them or, worse, draw more zealots to their banner? They could still win the presidency in 2016. Oh… who did you think I was talking about? Suffice to say, Obama is insisting on a sensible narrative to address this brewing clash of civilizations. I realize republicana banned ‘sensible’ long ago, but thankfully Obama is not taking his working orders from our own fundamentalists. Charge of the Right Brigade? Foxward Christian Soldier? The Ted Cruzades? I’m being told to stop.
A Slate article by William Saletan points out how Obama is focusing on defeating Islamic terrorism, which can be summarized as: Rule #1: don’t feed into their bullshit:
“If extremists are peddling the notion that Western countries are hostile to Muslims, then we need to show that we welcome people of all faiths. We need to reject the terrorist narrative that the West and Islam are in conflict.”
Identifying bullshit narratives is not a republican strong suit. Hint of the Day: Republicans should reeeally consider getting a strong suit. If our Christian conservatives ever do figure out how to identify a false narrative they would no longer have a political party. Sad face.
“That’s why Obama doesn’t use the word Muslim to describe the attacks in Paris or Copenhagen. He’s depriving the enemy of rhetorical fuel.”
The Huffington Post follows up with an article with a quote from the deputy chief of the LAPD’s Counterterrorism, here: “The president was exactly right in this issue of the terminology.” Framing this conflict in terms that benefit radical recruitment efforts is madness. Speaking of madness, here’s the republican approach:
1. Saber rattle in true chicken hawk fashion
2. Invade the wrong country
3. Grossly mishandle the occupation
4. Get your friends all the rebuilding contracts
5. Sell more arms to all the resulting splinter groups you’ve now created
6. Use inflammatory ‘holy war’ language to increase radical recruitment
7. Arm everyone in the region, radical or otherwise, to make a quick buck, the way our Founding Fathers envisioned
While we were busy breaking our economy with two land wars, radical Islam flourished. Of course, some on the right are profiting from these misstep while others are propheting:
“When I hear the president of the United States and his chief spokesperson failing to admit that we’re in a religious war, it really bothers me.”
When republicans speak it really bothers me but, don’t worry, we will still protect your freedom of speech. Ear plugs sold separately. This week Paul Waldman posted this presidential quote:
“All Americans must recognize that the face of terror is not the true faith—face of Islam. Islam is a faith that brings comfort to a billion people around the world. It’s a faith that has made brothers and sisters of every race. It’s a faith based upon love, not hate.”
I can hear our friends on the right yelling, “Yeah! WTF? How can this Kenyan, Islam-appeasing pussy fight terror!” Then Waldman explains:
“These words were spoken by George W. Bush. I was not exactly a fan of Bush’s when he was president, but in the immediate aftermath of September 11 and for years afterward, he took pains to emphasize that America was not at war with a religion. And I don’t recall too many Republicans complaining at the time.”
Let’s link back to Pokey’s outrage of Bush’s audacity to placate extrem—
[Winslow: Nope nothin’.]
Oh, you missed that part? That’s right, W gets a free pass because he prayed before he invaded Iraq, which turned out badly. Maybe God was experiencing a high volume of traffic that day. Verizon Friarless? Can you bomb me now? As sad as that man was—Bush not God, God’s a woman—the damage the next Republican president will inflict on this world will Palin in comparison. Sorry, P U is two thirds of a pun.
My position hasn’t changed. I get what Obama is doing and I approve. I would rather tamp down this clash of civilization by using our words and deeds to mitigate radical recruitment. I’m not opposed to using drones, special ops, and our military judiciously, but with greater support from regional players. The Obama Doctrine.
Should the U.S. step up our own military response to Hezbollah, Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda, ISIS and the like? There’s a strong case for that, but this has to be a group effort. Winning the war of ideas and getting less people to don the suicide vest in the first place is the trick—a trick that Obama understands and you don’t. This article explains the need for a true coalition, here. My criticism of Obama’s approach here and my old Clash of Civilizations post here.
At the end of the day, fundamentalism is fundamentalism. Yes, if you take the Bible literally you’ll stone gays and, yes, if you take the Koran literally you’ll convert people by the sword. Most people thankfully move beyond this literal stage, Muslims and Christians alike. I’m not saying Christian or Islamic fundamentalists are the same, they’re just not as different as one would hope:
Admittedly, too much of the Islamic world is functioning at a lower level of consciousness. This may not be politically correct, but it’s true nevertheless. That doesn’t mean I want our Christian friends to stoop to their level. I don’t want to fight this your way, Pokey, because 1.) You’re too close to the problem, and 2.) I would rather win. I don’t want to see President Huckabee as Commander-in-Priest, leading us into some unholy war.
What do you hope to accomplish by identifying greater Islam as the threat? What would that do to the millions of peacefully integrated Muslims already in this country? Internment camps anyone? Spare me your incendiary sermon, Preacher Poke, I would rather continue to enlist the aid of moderate Muslims than needlessly shift more radicalward. When such moderate does appear on Fox they’re attacked. Check out the appalling Reza Aslan interview, here, after which Brent Bozell noted, “He’s not a very good Muslim.”
Is radical Islam on the march? Yes. Are there way too many radicalized Muslims in the world? Yes. Duh. Thinking that Obama is oblivious to this fact is ridiculous. Do you have any solution save making the enemy stronger through a series of missteps? Of course not, you’re a republican (See: history). Obama’s not ignoring the problem, but thankfully he’s ignoring you. It’s not a self-Foxfilling prophecy—it’s a caliphate, not a califate.
[Caliphornication joke removed by the editor]
As for your Glenn Beck comment, I remember watching that segment live on Fox. I wasn’t in disagreement that factions of radical Muslims are attempting this Caliphate, precisely as Beck asserted. I also remember MSNBC wrongly scoffing at his claims. Does MSNBC sometimes represent the head-in-the-sand far left faction of liberalism? Yes, it’s why they piss me off.
The best argument for stepping up our attacks on these radicals came from the late great Christopher Hitchens. He made a much more compelling and coherent argument to bring the fight to Islam (minus all the crayons and glue sniffing so prominent on the right). I appreciated Hitch’s argument back in the day, here. The real problem is this: he was banned from Fox News because of his intellect. That’s the problem, anyone who can articulate their thoughts—into coherent groups of words that I like to call sentences—no longer has a place in The GOP. Conservatism cannot survive as an anti-intellectual movement. If you chase everyone with the IQ above a turnip out of your tent, you’re left with….CPAC run.
“Yeah, but the truth is still the truth!” I can hear Pokey shouting.
Sorry, if your best argument comes courtesy of Glenny the Chalk-Sniffer and Bozell the Clown, you will never be heard, nor should you be. In fact, I think Beck spent the rest of that segment talking about how Groucho Marxists will align themselves with the Green Meanies to drive real America out of the Land of Submarines. I realize you don’t care about the relative mental health of your political party, but maybe you should. It’s like those old milk commercials: Got Adults?
Understanding the Islamic radical agenda is not news and it’s not insightful, but how we respond is. Radicalizing the rest of the planet through stupidity is not my idea of strong approach. In fact, it’s more Charlie Sheen style Winning. Two and a Half Glenn?
Meanwhile, recruitment for radicals flourished during the Bush years. They stuck billboard-sized posters of Abu Ghraib atrocities all over downtown Tehran. Sorry if I continue to insist this issue be handled competently as nearly a third of the world identify as Muslim. We wrecked our economy invading and attempting to occupy just 6% of the problem…you know, your way. Republicans aren’t good at math, so let me spell it out for you: if we see a republican president in the near future, I would brush up on my Farsi if I were you, Pokey, and don’t forget to bow to Mecca for those ablutions.
Holy Wars: you’re doing it wrong.
But don’t fret. The Koran is not all that different from the Old Testament. It’s still got all the Smite Stuff. You’ll adopt. I won’t, but c’est la vie, or as they say in Damascus…you know, I don’t want to know what they say in Damascus, ever. But there’s a war of ideas occurring so you should really consider getting some. There are ways to make it harder for radicals to recruit (D) or easier (R). I would rather frustrate and defeat ISIS, because the pen is mightier than the ignored—and ignoring the GOP is always wise. Lest we forget, Bush played into Bin Laden’s hands. My warning back in the day, here. Now radical Islamists are, once again, trying to trick our conservative friends into a more widespread conflict. Obama Won’t Be Fooled Again. I Can’t Explain but Who Are You to question My Generation because I Can See for Miles and Miles across this Teenage Wasteland? I know that hits home, Pokey. It was intended
Who to. I have my own ax to grind with scientists, but someone once said that answers have a better chance of springing from scientists who meditate than Christians who pray. Amen. Oh, I mean Allahu Akbar.
*Sorry I couldn’t work in the actual title, Baba O’Reilly. It’s a Substitute, Happy Jack