People need to do some things for themselves

Friday, December 15, 2006
David mentioned in the comments to the Skook's Five o' Clock post below that Bush is responsible for the ignorance of the Democrats and the American people in regards to the enemy because he is too politically correct to name the enemy.

I disagree. I have heard both Bush and Blair say that we are in a war with Islamic fascists and all they got for their trouble was hell from the press and the pundits.

But the truth is people need to do a better job of figuring some of this out for themselves. Whether they be private citizens or Congressional Representatives there is no excuse for sitting back and waiting for George Bush to tell you who the enemy is when the enemy is out there threatening to kill you on a daily basis. I mean really, we live in a world in which there is an unprecedented amount of information available to people and it is as if the more information there is, the more confusion there is.

My father told me that when they heard that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii he and his best friend went to the school house to look at the globe and find Pearl Harbor. But today, they could go to Google and probably get pictures of the smoking hulks of US Naval ships.

And yet people argue over whether it is Bush's job to tell who is Sunni and Shia and AlQaida and Hezbellah. In truth political correctness is not the only problem, or even the main one. The problem is people do not agree on who the enemy really is.

I for one do not believe we are in a war with Islam. I resent people on the Right characterizing all Muslims as being the same, as if they are part of the Borg, some ccollective intelligence that commands all their movements and beliefs. At the same time there are people on the Left who see all Muslims as victims, as some oppressed class who bear no responsiblity for themselves or the world they are a part of. Both views are overly simplistic and tell us more about the people who have such beliefs than they do about the Muslim world itself.

I was watching the show Closer recently, an episode that I believe was called Serving the King. An older CIA agent has asked Kyra Sedgwick's character to help in an investigation of the murder of an Arab teen because the CIA believes there are ties to terrorism and that perhaps the agency itself has a traitor. This agent makes a comment that I think says who our enemy is as well as any I have heard: He said that years ago the enemy read Mein Kampf and then the there was a new enemy who read Lenin and Marx and dispatched people with a shot to the back of the head. Now the enemy misuses the Koran and kills with bombs. Same enemy, different book.

So no, I don't think it is that simple. I don't think any president, politically correct or not is going to go on TV and make some statement that will satisfy people. He can not simply name the enemy and win the debate. Especially if people can not be bothered to educate themselves enough to know who and what they are dealing with and to agree among themselves what it means.

14 comments:

Skookumchuk said...

terrye:

Now the enemy misuses the Koran and kills with bombs.

The question we are trying to figure out as a civilization is if these actions are in fact a misuse of the Koran, that is, if they are somehow aberrant to Islam, or if these actions are intrinsic to Islam.

I mean, a guy who has a sword named Dhu al-Fiqar which I have read translated as "clever of the spine" or "finder of the vertebra" ain't exactly preaching the Sermon on the Mount here. There is therefore at the root a fundamental difference between Islam and Christianity. That does not mean, does NOT mean, that there have not been times and places when Islam was not warlike and expansionist.

Southeast Asia before the Wahabbists comes to mind. Before the Saudis began funding mosques, Islam in Indonesia and Malaysia seemed relatively tolerant. I'm not an expert in Islamic religious history, but I've been to that part of the world a while back and that is what I saw. And others have made similar observations.

The question is - are those times and places the exception instead of the rule? And if admiration of religious violence and "martyrdom" (not the Saint Sebastian kind, but the Semtex kind) is the rule and not the exception today, what do we do about it? That is why observing what the Iraqis and the Afghans do with their new countries is a kind of test for us as a society.

Bob Hawkins said...

A Virginia Tech professor has written a book about how the media reports what Bush says:

http://tinyurl.com/y5fcgj

The professor says that, for about two months after September 11, the news media actually reported what Bush said. Then they began to leave certain stuff out. Eventually, says the professor, “[I]f someone were relying only on the mainstream media for information, they would have no idea what the president actually said. It was as if the press were reporting on a different speech.”

Bostonian said...

A solid third of us believes that "we" have or should have grown "beyond all this war stuff." Didn't Salzburger express dismay that we were at war again, not having "learned" from Vietnam never to do that? I can attest to less-prominent lefties of my acquaintance having the same opinion, that "we" should be "past" war.

I put "we" in quotes because I have literally no idea what is meant--the US? the human race? Not the jihadis, that's for sure.

Anyway, these people don't use the word "enemy" at all (except when referring to their domestic political opponents). They do not and cannot think that way.

So it is hardly surprising that they are ignoring the people who daily behead infidels.

MeaninglessHotAir said...

Terrye,

I agree completely that more self-reliance is called for and that we should cease trying to blame all of our ills on Bush (though of course we won't).

I agree with Skook. There is a distinct logical difference between the following two statements: 1) all Muslims are our enemies, 2) Islam is inherently threatening to our civilization. Not, mind you, that I am stating that either of those statements is true. I am not. I do not actually hear anyone arguing 1) though they may be; what people seem to be arguing is 2). Yet 1) is what you are apparently ascribing to your opponents. Moreover, by throwing in the phrase "right wing" you are essentially seeking to belittle that opinion rather than to confront it and persuade your opponents on the merits of your case.

I think the deeper problem is the one mentioned by Bostonian, the magical thinking attitude which believes that by refusing to use the word "war" we have somehow banned it.

Rick Ballard said...

There has been absolutely no misuse of the book. The muslim scum have been following the book to the letter. The fact that they don't in instances where they have not gained ascendancy can be attributed to taqiyah. Muslims are nothing if they are not great liars.

The teeny problem is the Western fools who haven't actually read the book. If they had they might recognize that murder is the norm rather than the exception.

Skook's reference to Southeast Asia is precisely on point. All it takes is a little Saudi money and the swords come out.

When muslims have any power whatsoever they say what they mean and they mean what they say. When they don't have power they lie through their teeth - and plenty of westerners are dumb enough to believe them.

Bostonian said...

I have been trying for many months to think of some slogan suitable for a bumpersticker to, er, raise awareness in my bumpersticker-lovin' community.

Now I am thinking a picture of the symbol of Islam with the words "Murder is the norm."

Skookumchuk said...

Can they be tolerant of others who are not like them? Well, about ten percent of Egypt is Coptic Orthodox, though they are under increasing, if unofficial, harassment, especially in Alexandria. You might say that Egypt is at one end of the scale. The possibly losing tolerant end. On the other end of the scale, it is illegal to build a church in Saudi Arabia. In Iraq, certainly the Chaldeans suffered under Saddam and are suffering now under the Wahabbist terrorists. And churches are being burned in Nigeria almost monthly. I think the Anglican archbishop of Nigeria has survived four murder attempts. I am told that there are now more Anglicans in Nigeria, about 20 million, than in Britain. Explosive growth, even though their churches keep getting torched. No rampaging Anglicans burning mosques, though.

David Thomson said...

President Bush only once in awhile refers to our enemy. His inconsistency has resulted in enormous damage. And yes, it is very fair to describe our Commander-in-Chief as politically correct. He never did anything, for instance, to stop the foolishness of Norm Mineta.

loner said...

WARNING: Song Lyrics

Now the rovin' gambler he was very bored
He was tryin' to create a next world war
He found a promoter who nearly fell off the floor
He said I never engaged in this kind of thing before
But yes I think it can be very easily done
We'll just put some bleachers out in the sun
And have it on Highway 61.


The President isn't "the rovin' gambler" and he isn't "a promoter." Want them?

All I can tell you is brother you have to wait

For the next two years the President gets to try to keep the rovin' gamblers and promoters (and himself) from creating a world war. I wish him nothing but success.

Should he fail, well a couple of years later the same songwriter sang some other words and another made of them something memorable a year after that:

Outside in the cold distance
A wild cat did growl
Two riders were aproaching
And the wind began to howl


They don't write 'em like that anymore. Still, in places, live' em like that though...and, by the way, I'd like to think I'm the thief, but I'm not. Neither, in all probability, are you.

Syl said...

Rick

When they don't have power they lie through their teeth - and plenty of westerners are dumb enough to believe them.

Many muslims believe them too! And that is precisely why we shouldn't herd them all into a corner and say 'You're bad just because you're muslim'. That would become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I think many westerners are too dumb to see that.

terrye said...

I was only quoting form a TV show and i do think there is misuse of the book.

Now if you want to make enemies of a billion poeple, including the ones who have done you no harm..you go right ahead.

But I grew up in the Southern Baptist Church and according to them the bible must be taken literally. Ofcourse if the bible really is taken literally we have to start stoning adulteresses and torching witches again, as well slaughtering unbelievers in an attempt to save their immortal souls...now don't we?

So perhaps the idea of whether or not the book is misused comes from the idea that zealots use the Koran literally. I know a Muslim who says they take certain passages out of context and use them in a way they were never intended to be used. So it seems to me that if Muslims can not agree as to whether terrorists are using or misusing the Koran then perhaps I am not enough of an expert on the subject to assume I know better.

But hey, if hating a billion people and assuming that every one of them is your enemy then go right ahead.

But I won't go there with you.

terrye said...

MHA:

I say right winger because a lot of people on the right say that.

Now I have been called a typical leftist by people on the right and I have been called a right winger by moonbats so I do understand the concept that labels can be a tad off putting.

However, go read some of Rick's comments for verification of what I am saying. If people on the right do not want to get the reputation for hatred or bigotry then they could be a little more discriminating in their hatred.

terrye said...

David:

Too simplistic. Bush has been called hiterl by the Left. he has been accused of launching a new Crusade by many in the Muslim world. If he gets up there on TV and names Islam as the enemy then he will lose all credibility and all hope of winning this war.

People here will not buy it and people elsewhere will consider him more dangerous than the mad mullahs, if they don't already.

Sometimes people really should make some concession to reality if they want to win.

Bush has said we are in a war against radical Islam and so has Blair. Short of putting in a Tshirt and running subliminal messages on TV I really do not know what else either one of them can do if people just plain do not want to hear it.

terrye said...

I think the point many are missing is that the show, even though it was just some silly TV cable show...did understand there was an enemy and there was a war. That in and of itself is something in this world. It really is.