Drop the ‘War with Islam’ Talk

August 16th, 2010 at 12:27 pm | 102 Comments |

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As the controversy over the mosque at Ground Zero plays itself out, conservatives must not allow their understandable hostility toward radical Islam to transmogrify itself into a hostility against all of Islam. Because while America is rightfully at war with radical Islam, we have no quarrel with Islam properly understood. After all, as the renowned Princeton historian Bernard Lewis has observed in The Crisis of Islam:

Christendom and Islam are in many ways sister civilizations, both drawing on the shared heritage of Jewish revelations and prophecy and Greek philosophy and science, and both nourished by the immemorial traditions of Middle Eastern antiquity.

For most of their joint history, they have been locked in combat, but even in struggle and polemic they reveal their essential kinship and the common features that link them to each other and set them apart from the remoter civilizations of Asia.

Yet there is a prominent group of conservatives who do seem to be at war with all of Islam. They tend to congregate at a blog to which I otherwise proudly contribute: NewsReal Blog.

Indeed, according to NewsReal’s editor, David Swindle, Islam is “a Jew-hating creed” that is implacably hostile to America and the West. Islam must, therefore, be “eradicated,” Swindle writes; and there is no debate to be had on this matter. Period. End of discussion.

I am sorry that Swindle feels this way: because if he is right, then it seems to me that he is consigning America to a state of permanent war with the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims. And I’m not sure that the United States can win this war, given the overwhelming demographic and geographic challenges inherent in such a conflict. There are, after all, some 50 countries with a majority Muslim population.

But more to the point, I’m not sure that such a war is right, wise or necessary. There are, after all, practical and prudential reasons to oppose the type of harsh and virulent rhetoric that Swindle typically employs against all of Islam. For starters, “to many reasonable [and] well-intentioned people,” writes Calvin Freilburger

– especially those we still need to persuade — the phrase [eradicate Islam] does conjure up images of building concentration camps, exterminating Muslims, and nuking Mecca or at the very least suggests that those options are on the table.

It also raises the question of how much conservatives are willing to bend the Free Exercise Clause [of the U.S. Constitution] in the pursuit of our goals.

And, as Freilburger rightly points out, creating doubts and suspicions about our good faith will not help us in our larger-scale war against the Jihadists. In fact, quite the contrary: demonizing all of Islam will seriously undermine our efforts to win over the vast majority of Muslims who are both moderate-minded and religiously devout.

This is no small matter because counterinsurgency warfare is very much a popularity contest. Indeed, as Gen. Petraeus has observed, in this type of fight, the people (or the population) are the center of gravity; they are the prize to be won. I fail to see how we can win over the people of Iraq, Afghanistan or any other Muslim nation if we are busy demonizing their religion.

More substantively, it is far from obvious that Islam is an irredeemable religion that cannot be salvaged or interpreted peacefully and in accordance with the Western Judeo-Christian tradition. The renowned historian, Dr. Daniel Pipes, for instance, declares that “militant Islam is the problem, moderate Islam is the solution.”

Pipes believes in the possibility of a moderate Islam because he recognizes that Islam already has changed, often for the better, and dramatically so throughout the centuries. For example, he notes, in Medieval times, Muslim jurists reinterpreted Sharia Law to overturn the Islamic prohibition on usury.

Sharia law, Pipes explains, “makes demands that are untenable.” And so, to get around its overly exacting strictures, “pre-modern Muslims (that is, Muslims before 1800) developed legalistic fig leaves that allowed for the relaxation of Islamic positions without directly violating them.”

This “Medieval synthesis,” Pipes observes, allowed Muslims to “stick to the letter of the law while negating its spirit.”

“I’m an historian,” says Pipes. “And what I’m impressed by is how Islam has changed. You take a concept like Jihad and you see how it has changed over the centuries.”

Yet, Swindle’s analysis of Islam seems entirely textually based and devoid of any historical context. Thus, he is repeating, I am afraid, the same mistakes as the Islamists, who insist upon an extreme, radical and doctrinaire interpretation of Islam.

But as Pipes points out, this extreme, radical and doctrinaire interpretation is not the only interpretation of Islam available to us. Why, then, insist upon its primacy? What good does this do? Who does it help?

Answer: It helps no one but the Islamists and other radicals who are at war with America and the West.

You can follow John Guardiano on Twitter: @JohnRGuardiano

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102 Comments so far ↓

  • easton

    Jerseyboy, I don’t like Southern Baptists, what with their history of lynching blacks, their hooting and a hollerin’ in church, the generally slovenly nature of the adherents. I am offended that they want to live in my neighborhood, after all I have some black neighbors and I have to look out for their feeling. Let them move nearby trailer parks.
    And I don’t much like Mormons, what with their history of polygamy, and their constant goin’ round trying to convert others to their heathen faith, let them stay in Utah.
    And I don’t much like Jews, what with their Christ killing and all, let them live in a ghetto somewhere.
    And I don’t much like Catholics, lord knows what the priest is up to. Let them go back to Ireland or Italy, just don’t come around me.
    And I don’t much like Atheists. Mao and Stalin were atheists, so every other Atheist must be the same. I say make them convert.

    I could go on, but I think you got my point.

  • drdredel

    @DeepSouth,

    I think what you’re missing is the the distinction between live “peacefully” and live “like you”.

    You just gave us 130 million examples of people living peacefully under Islam. You’re wrong on a couple of counts though…

    Afghanistan was much happier in its secular(ish) state before the Taliban basically took the nation by force. Most of the nation is not tribal and is not particularly devout. Iraq is actually the same way… Saddam paid some lip service to the faith, but was a mostly secular dictator and the people under him, while divided by tribal and ancestral hate have a fairly tepid relationship with Islam… certainly “DeepSouthern” born again lunatics are far more devout than those people. Ditto for most Palestinians, and IRAN?! don’t even start with Iran… Iran, WAS a democracy in 54 and it was the US that undermined it and set it on its path to where it is today… and where that is, btw, is a nation of mostly youthful, mostly pro western, mostly secular people living under the thumb of a ruthless and ferocious theocracy!

    Turkey is the worst example (you’re right) because it was in fact secularized by force to the point where men were required to wear suits and hats in public! Atatürk made the current French movements against Islamic garb look like a warm welcome to their faith.

    Lastly, Pakistan is probably the most dangerous place on earth given the fact that they have a fairly sizable fanatic population, have a fair amount of money and build schools that turn teach kids to despise the west and have a military with sketchy allegiances and nuclear bombs!

  • Nanotek

    Listening to Jewish, Christian and Muslim adherents talk about the other two desert religions is like reading the old debates about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

  • drdredel

    I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature.
    Thomas Jefferson

    Yep… there’s your devout Christian founding fathers for ya

  • anniemargret

    jerseyboy: “That goal does not seem well served by a narrow and stubborn insistence on one’s own right s at the expense of the heartfelt sentiments of others.”

    I understand this sentiment. But it cannot be done. Because if you ask a group of people to not do something because it is offensive to some, then you must do it every time in other times. We would set a precedent that would uncork a thousand furies.

    We have laws. They must serve us all even when we don’t like it . The President was correct and I, for one, cannot understand how anyone could possibly think he could have said anything otherwise. As the POTUS, he has duty to uphold the law and Constitution, and has to leave his sentiments out of it.

  • Traveler

    I think we need to separate our suspicions from our principles.

    I and many on this list are deeply suspicious of Islamic intentions, and for good reason. It stems from far more than political or theological differences. I have said my piece elsewhere: http://www.frumforum.com/obama-stands-up-for-the-911-mosque/comment-page-3#comment-140286, and subsequent posts.

    I think you PC folk are really kidding yourself if you think moderates may in some way represent a dominant stratum of Islam. For sure, Muslims are mellow where they do not represent a sizable minority like here, but see UK now, or France, or Germany. Once the population approaches 20%, you get riots, bus and train bombs, planes into buildings and all sorts of awkward behavior. These people are far worse than your worst Dobsonian nightmare. Sorry folks, but PC wishes won’t sweep this reality under the rug. Pipes himself calls for more research into the issue, and I second that.

    Perspectives here range from complete absolution to complete blaming of Islamic behavior on this site. Fact is, everyone is right some of the time. The trick is figuring out whose watch is telling the time with the least error, and discussing things realistically based on the facts. I ain’t saying we can’t live with these folks, but let’s get to know them at least. I hope they aren’t my enemy, but I am not sanguine there. They’ll tolerate you until they get pissed off. Then they are really cranky. Sorry to be prejudiced, but I see no other way to categorize these people. (I can’t wait for the PC response to that!)

    So as I say in my business, aim before you fire off your mouth. I see all sorts of hipshot firing with no aim, and would like to see a reasoned discussion of the facts, not opinions. Sorry but opinions, both PC and rightist, really piss off people that have legitimate beefs with self righteous attitudes of both sides. Not that either one is often right, but I think you both really misrepresent reality a bit here. Are you helping things by dismissing the substantive concerns of the other side? Maybe if you both came of your high horses, you would find those on the other side here more approachable. There is no need for the intransigence of too many on this site.

    Sorry but had to blurt that out. We are facing an abyss here. The geopolitical ramifications could be nasty indeed. Even though I may despise Islam, my personal beliefs have no relevance here. As I have said, accept the darned mosque, but hold them to the same standard you hold for yourselves.

    That can only come from our own example.

    Peace

  • anniemargret

    traveler: You are confusing. You say you are in the middle on this issue. Not the ‘PC” folks, or the rightists. I’m not sure what you mean by the PC folks, but saying we need to energize some Muslim allies is not what I would call PC.

    I think it is highly advantageous and serves our national interests. My beef with some posters here was the some/all fallacy and some obvious innate hatred of the Arab. That’s a whole ‘nother story.

    We can be wise and we can learn to discriminate. We can be aware and we can not let our emotions run amuk to the point where it ends up hurting us more than helping us. This issue over the mosque was more an emotional point than any real threat that radicals were building near 9/11. Emotions are still raw and very understandable. I’m in the box too. But at the same time, we cannot allow Muslim hatred to run rampant to the point of insanity.

    I believe America can do better.

  • balconesfault

    DeepSouthPopulist Secular governments reject the Koran by definition.

    Does that mean that secular governments also reject the Bible by definition?

    I’m good with that, mind you.

  • anniemargret

    Found this on Andrew Sullivan’s site and it seemed like a sane response to the mosque to me:

    Christopher Hitchens: “We need not automatically assume the good faith of those who have borrowed this noble name for a project in lower Manhattan. One would want assurances, also, about the transparency of its funding and the content of its educational programs. But the way to respond to such overtures is by critical scrutiny and engagement, not cheap appeals to parochialism, victimology, and unreason.”

  • Ruminant

    DeepSouthPopulist // Aug 16, 2010 at 8:03 pm
    Turkey is not a good example of moderate Islam. Turkey has a secular, non-Islamic government, as do most of the other so-called moderate Islamic nations like Pakistan.
    Can’t that same logic be used to imply that there are no good examples of “moderate Christianity”, either? I would have suggested the USA and other western nations, but I don’t think any of those countries are Christian theocracies.

    DeepSouthPopulist // Aug 16, 2010 at 8:03 pm
    On the other hand, the people who are skeptical that moderate Islam exists can point to actual real-world examples of what Muslim theocratic rule based on the Koran actually looks like in practice
    I would hate to live in one of your real-world examples of Muslim theocracies. Then again, I have read enough of the Bible to know that I would also hate living in a Christian theocracy.

    Perhaps the problem with Islamic theocracies like Saudi Arabia and Iran isn’t that they are Islamic, but that they are theocracies. Perhaps using a book of old fairytales as the basis for your national government is just a bad idea, regardless of which book of fairytales is actually used.

    As other people have already mentioned, external influences are necessary to moderate religions. It seems to me like a great moderating influence would be a government that says no, you can’t threaten or hurt this person just because your religion’s “holy book” says to. That seems true regardless of whether the “holy book” is the Koran, the Bible, or The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    I will agree that Islam is behind the curve on this whole “moderated religion” movement. But we should be encouraging Islam to catch up, not discouraging it by supporting the beliefs of Bin Laden and other fanatics.

  • drdredel

    @Traveler

    Once the population approaches 20%, you get riots, bus and train bombs, planes into buildings and all sorts of awkward behavior.

    Right… but once the population passes 95% everything settles right back down again. So, Denmark and France’s problem is that they’re not Muslim enough.

  • Ruminant

    ObamaYoMoma // Aug 16, 2010 at 6:11 pm
    For instance, in Christianity and other faith-based religions I can freely choose what it is I will adhere to and what it is I will not adhere to, and I can also freely choose to leave the religion if I so desire. However, with respect to Islam, because the freedom of conscience is forbidden under the pain of death, I can’t choose what it is I will adhere to and what it is I will not adhere to, as that is blasphemous and blasphemy is punished under the pain of death. Likewise I can’t freely choose to leave Islam, as murtaad (apostasy) is also punished under the pain of death.
    Making changes to the established dogma is called heresy, and Christianity certainly does not condone it. In fact they officially executed people for heresy all the way into the 19th century.

    Blasphemy, or irreverence towards religious customs and beliefs, is also a grave sin in Christianity. In fact, Thomas Aquinas said that blasphemy is a worse sin than murder. Mark 3:29 implies that certain forms of blasphemy are unforgivable, eternal sins. And Leviticus 24:16 states that blasphemers “shall surely be put to death”.

    Apostasy is also a crime against Christianity, and people in the past were put to death for it.

    —-
    The “moderate Christianity” of today is moderate because its leaders and followers chose to “reinterpret” (or in some cases just outright ignore) the more extremist tenets of Christian dogma. There is no reason why the same can’t happen with Islam.

  • jg bennet

    i’m thinking there should be a compromise and make it a mosque with sufi mystics.

    new yorkers would love the music

    super cool sufi music clip
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxPwz8FqxYI

  • Slide

    Traveler has some good advice when he says So as I say in my business, aim before you fire off your mouthBut then immediately violates his own advice with this nonsense:I think you PC folk are really kidding yourself if you think moderates may in some way represent a dominant stratum of Islamwell, I’ve already shown you a very wide ranging Gallup Poll that shows just that. I guess they are just being PC right spunky?WASHINGTON (AFP) — A huge survey of the world’s Muslims released Tuesday challenges Western notions that equate Islam with radicalism and violence.

    The survey, conducted by the Gallup polling agency over six years and three continents, seeks to dispel the belief held by some in the West that Islam itself is the driving force of radicalism.

    About 93 percent of the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims are moderates and only seven percent are politically radical, according to the poll, based on more than 50,000 interviews.http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5iZlsZRgzHmgwj6sKpA7PR5F5Ecsw

    Traveler continues: Once the population approaches 20%, you get riots, bus and train bombs, planes into buildings and all sorts of awkward behavior. These people are far worse than your worst Dobsonian nightmareReally. I see. Well thank-you for that brilliant analysis backed up by reams of evidence. Glad you don’t enagage in hyperbole and are discussing things realistically based on the facts as you said.

    More Traveler wisdom: I ain’t saying we can’t live with these folks, but let’s get to know them at least. I hope they aren’t my enemy, but I am not sanguine there. They’ll tolerate you until they get pissed off. Then they are really cranky. Who are the “they” you keep talking about? Muslims? All 1.5 billion Muslims? You are lumping together a group of people that span every continent, every race, every cultural background into one simple little group based on their religion???? My, my traveler. Glad you are the realist and not PC like some of us. Brilliant analysis yet again.

    but I think the next line from Traveler answers all of our questions:

    Even though I may despise Islam, my personal beliefs have no relevance here.Finally you say something I can agree with. I’ll even add, BECAUSE you despise Islam, your personal beliefs have no relevance.

    I can’t imagine that I could be objective when discussing something or someone that I DESPISE.

    de·spise (d-spz)
    tr.v. de·spised, de·spis·ing, de·spis·es
    1. To regard with contempt or scorn: despised all cowards and flatterers.
    2. To dislike intensely; loathe: despised the frigid weather in January.
    3. To regard as unworthy of one’s interest or concern: despised any thought of their own safety.Why are we even listening to you? Oh right, you had an incident a long long time ago with a couple dozen people that was unpleasant. They were Muslims. Therefore, all Muslims are bad. Lets see, Traveler extrapolates from 50 people to 1.5 billion people and he calls all of us PC and “not being realistic”

    Oh btw, were those 50 people nasty to you BECAUSE they were Muslim? I think there might be a few people that had nasty run-ins with mobs here in the US. Lynchings were pretty popular down South. Usually committed by Christians. Using your logic, Christians are bad bad people. It’s silly logic and its based on some very deep personal animosity towards an enormous amount of people that are obviously quite diverse in many ways.

    Traveler, get realistic will you?

  • Slide

    in the mid-1600s the notoriously anti-Semitic Dutch Governor Peter Stuyvesant turned down the request of the small Jewish community to build a synagogue. And in the early 1700s, how it was illegal for Catholic priests to enter New York. Such intolerance reflected the abiding sentiments of the time. Jews and Catholics were disfavored, even despised. Now it’s Muslims.http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/columns/unpopular-groups-deserve-rights-too/1114941

    despised. There is that word again.

    I guess history always repeats itself.

  • sinz54

    When he was in office, President Bush said: “If this [War on Terror] becomes ‘America versus Islam,’ America will lose.”

    And Bush was absolutely right.
    We can’t win a war against Islam, not in our current state anyway. Not without total mobilization and perhaps even the use of nuclear weapons.

    In this world of ours, Muslims outnumber Americans 4 to 1. And they’ve got a lock on much of the world’s oil supply

    So this is a strawman, Mr. Guardiano. We’re not trying to go to war against Islam.

    I’m just sick and tired of the wink-wink, nudge-nudge tacit acceptance of virulent anti-American Islamic radicalism as a “New Normal.” It’s unacceptable, because it leaves Americans perpetually under siege, just like the Israelis. I don’t want any more security measures that restrict Americans’ freedom. I want to restrict the freedom of those Islamic radicals who plot our doom.

    Some examples:

    In the days after 9-11, an imam right here in Flushing Queens NYC, tried to issue a statement pledging support for America and denouncing al-Qaeda. He was stunned when half of his own congregation refused to sign it and walked out of his mosque. (Reported in the New York Times)

    Hezbollah sympathies run high in Dearborn Michigan USA. (Numerous sources)

    The imam who wants to build the ObamaMosque near Ground Zero implied that the United States brought the 9-11 attack on itself. This may be why he has been so avidly embraced by Gibbs’ “professional Left,” who believe exactly the same thing. (A Boston Globe poll of delegates to the 2004 Democratic National Convention–which nominated Kerry–found that a plurality of them responded that the main cause of the 9-11 attack was “past U.S. wrongdoing.” Only a tiny minority blamed “Islamic radicalism.”

  • Slide

    You can try to pain the Iman as a radical all you want but it just isn’t true and I’m not going to let you get away with it. This from Time:

    Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and his wife Daisy Khan, are actually the kind of Muslim leaders right-wing commentators fantasize about: modernists and moderates who openly condemn the death cult of al-Qaeda and its adherents — ironically, just the kind of “peaceful Muslims” whom Sarah Palin, in her now infamous tweet, asked to “refudiate” the mosque. Rauf is a Sufi, which is Islam’s most mystical and accommodating denomination.

    The Kuwaiti-born Rauf, 52, is the imam of a mosque in New York City’s Tribeca district, has written extensively on Islam and its place in modern society and often argues that American democracy is the embodiment of Islam’s ideal society. (One of his books is titled What’s Right with Islam Is What’s Right with America.) He is a contributor to the Washington Post’s On Faith blog, and the stated aim of his organization, the Cordoba Initiative, is “to achieve a tipping point in Muslim-West relations within the next decade, steering the world back to the course of mutual recognition and respect and away from heightened tensions.” His Indian-born wife is an architect and a recipient of the Interfaith Center Award for Promoting Peace and Interfaith Understanding.

    Since 9/11, Western “experts” have said repeatedly that Muslim leaders who fit Rauf’s description should be sought out and empowered to fight the rising tide of extremism. In truth, such figures abound in Muslim lands, even if their work goes unnoticed by armchair pundits elsewhere. Their cause is not helped when someone like Rauf finds himself being excoriated for some perceived reluctance to condemn Hamas and accused of being an extremist himself. If anything, this browbeating of a moderate Muslim empowers the narrative promoted by al-Qaeda: that the West loathes everything about Islam and will stop at nothing to destroy it. Don’t like Time Magazine? Fine. How about listening to his own words and let everyone decide if they think he is a radical or a moderate:

    After our proposal to build a community and cultural center two blocks from the World Trade Center site, I was pleased and gratified by the outpouring of support from city officials and a wide range of people who understand our mission.

    My colleagues and I are the anti-terrorists. We are the people who want to embolden the vast majority of Muslims who hate terrorism to stand up to the radical rhetoric. Our purpose is to interweave America’s Muslim population into the mainstream society.

    People who are stakeholders in society, who believe they are welcomed as equal partners, do not want to destroy it. They want to build it. And there’s no better demonstration of our desire to build than the construction of this center. It will help revive lower Manhattan.

    The project has been mischaracterized, so I want to explain clearly what it would be. Our planned 13-story community center is intended for Park Place between Church St. and West Broadway. It is not a mosque, although it will include a space for Muslim prayer services. It will have a swimming pool, basketball court, meeting rooms, a 500-seat auditorium, banquet facilities and many other things a community needs to be healthy. The center will offer theatrical programming, art exhibitions and cooking classes. These are amenities missing now from this part of the city.

    And, yes, the center will have a public memorial to the victims of 9/11 as well as a meditation room where all will be welcome for quiet reflection. The center will support soul and body.

    The center will be open to all regardless of religion. Like a YMCA, the 92nd St. Y or the Jewish Community Center uptown, it will admit everyone. It will be a center for all New Yorkers.

    What grieves me most is the false reporting that leads some families of 9/11 victims to think this project somehow is designed by Muslims to gloat over the attack.

    That could not be further from the truth.

    My heart goes out to all of the victims of 9/11. They are all heroes. But I urge you to include in your sympathy the family of Mohammad Salman Hamdani. Born in Pakistan, his parents brought him to New York as a small child. He wanted nothing more than to be an American, and he was.

    A high school football player in Bayside, Queens, he graduated from Queens College. When he could not get into an American medical school, he became a part-time ambulance driver. He disappeared on 9/11; his body was found months later in the wreckage of the north tower. This 23-year-old Muslim died trying to save his fellow New Yorkers.

    Religion did not separate the victims on that terrible day. Whether Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists or any other faith, all of these people made up the fabric of New York. They all died together.

    Freedom of religion is something we hold dear. It is the core of what America is all about, and it is what people worldwide respect about our country. The Koran itself says compulsion in religion is wrong.

    American Muslims want to be both good Americans and good Muslims. They can be the best assets the United States has in combatting radicalism.

    They know that many American values – freedom of religion, human dignity and opportunity for prosperity – are also Muslim values.

    We believe that people of good faith can use the common core of their religions to find solutions to problems that will let them live together.

    I have been the imam at a mosque in Tribeca for 27 years. I am as much a part of this community as anyone else. Our mosque is as much a part of the neighborhood as any church, synagogue or surrounding business. My work is to make sure mosques are not recruiting grounds for radicals.

    To do that, Muslims must feel they are welcome in New York. Alienated people are open to cynicism and radicalism. Any group that believes it is under attack will breed rebellion. The proposed center is an attempt to prevent the next 9/11.

    What could be a better use for the citizens in lower Manhattan? What could be a better monument to the victims of that tragic day?

    Now if this guy doesn’t pass the Sinz test for being a moderate Muslim then I guess no Muslim can be a moderate. Well, that’s their point isn’t it now? Lets make sure every single Muslim is smeared with the radical, violent brush that these bigots would have you believe.

  • Slide

    sinz54 // Aug 17, 2010 at 9:13 am The imam who wants to build the ObamaMosque near Ground Zero implied that the United States brought the 9-11 attack on itself. This may be why he has been so avidly embraced by Gibbs’ “professional Left,” who believe exactly the same thing.

    Is Bill Kristol a member of Gibb’s “professional left”? This is what he had to say:

    Bush decided that, for reasons both good and bad, we had made too many accommodations with dictators; we had turned a blind eye to Saudi Arabia’s export of Wahabbi Islam; we had made deals with dictators who seemed to be pro-American for various reasons and who seemed to be keeping the peace with Israel in some cases, and for various reasons. The price we were paying was too great; too many of these dictators were in bed with terrorists; too many of these dictators were exporting terror and extremism as a way of keeping themselves safe at home. The reaction to these dictators was, in many cases, leading to greater anti-Americanism, greater extremism and greater terrorism.http://www.ricochet.com/conversations/Arguments-Good-and-Bad-The-GMZ-Zoning-Law-and-the-Bush-Doctrine

    But we all know IOKIARDI

  • jg bennet

    ITS THE COMMUNISTS STUPID!!

    while all of these hawkish republicans are crapping on the constitution, screaming national security, whining and running scared from a few whack muslims and a mosque, they are ignoring the real enemy to the US

    the real enemy/socialists/communists/totalitarians (remember them?) have a couple of trillion in cash!!

    are building missiles to sink our aircraft carriers

    are being funded through financial transactions with the largest corporations in america

    have their totalitarian/financial tentacles wrapped around latin america, africa & europe

    threaten and have the juice to dump the petrodollar for global transactions

    make friends with and fund our most dangerous enemies

    have as their center goal global domination and

    the usurpation of americas #1 place in economics & geopolitics….

    who is the badder bad guy?

    every good thug from a street hack to madoff uses diversion & distraction to gain the upper hand

    the sad part is we willfully look the other way from the threat that can actually destroy america.

  • easton

    “We need not automatically assume the good faith of those who have borrowed this noble name for a project in lower Manhattan. One would want assurances, also, about the transparency of its funding and the content of its educational programs. But the way to respond to such overtures is by critical scrutiny and engagement, not cheap appeals to parochialism, victimology, and unreason.”

    I don’t even agree with this. We have freedom of Speech and Religion, not freedom of speech or religion. I see no reason why we should force any Muslim to state words that we want to hear in order for him to build his mosque. My own feelings as to any religion are irrelevant. Either everyone has freedom to worship as they choose (provided they do not break societal laws in doing so) or our Constitution is a lie.

    And I love how no Republicans are proposing peaceful remedies. How about all the people who oppose it donate money to a fund to buy the site, sure the owners might make a considerable profit but hey, that is what America is about, and since there are so many opposed to it the per person cost would me negligible.

    But nope. It is simply deny them the right to build there, let them eat millions of dollars in losses, and go to hell while you are at it you filthy Mooslem.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    A few simple questions for John or anyone else who agrees with him:

    If you take a look around the world wherever mass Muslim immigration has occurred in the West, instead of assimilating and integrating like other immigrants, the vast overwhelming majority of Muslim immigrants have banded together to form Muslim no-go zones ruled by Sharia and in direct contravention to the laws of the states in which they reside. If the vast overwhelming majority of Muslim immigrants are so-called “moderates” as you maintain, then how do you explain the rise of Muslim no-go zones throughout Western Europe ruled by Sharia?

    Further, if you take a look inside every Muslim country in the world today without exception you will see systematic persecution and often violent oppression of females and non-Muslims. Since the majority of Muslims living in the world today live in the Islamic world, why are females and non-Muslims always systematically persecuted and often violently oppressed? In your mind is it normal and moderate behavior for so-called “moderate” Muslims to systematically persecute and often violently oppress females and non-Muslims?

    Additionally, can you point to any country in the world where mass Muslim immigration has occurred that hasn’t inevitably become the victim of Islamic terrorist attacks? How about pointing to a country that was the victim of Islamic terrorist attacks but where mass Muslim immigration hasn’t occurred yet?

    I’d like John or anyone else who agrees with him to address earnestly the above easy questions. Indeed, if John is right, there ought to be simple explanations.

  • medinnus

    John Stewart, with a clip of Glenn Beck agreeing with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf about the causes of 9/11:

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-august-16-2010/mosque-erade

  • easton

    “If you take a look around the world wherever mass Muslim immigration has occurred in the West, instead of assimilating and integrating like other immigrants, the vast overwhelming majority of Muslim immigrants have banded together to form Muslim no-go zones ruled by Sharia and in direct contravention to the laws of the states in which they reside.”

    Absolute rubbish, I lived with a Moroccan family for a short time in the 80′s, they never once attempted to convert me, impose any of their own values on me, nor have any other Muslim I have met.

    And there are numerous countries where there are many Muslims where terrorist activities have not occurred. Canada, for one. Mexico had many Muslim immigrants at the start of the 19th century (building railroads, etc.) I have many students with Arabic names. Carlos Slim, the worlds richest man, his family came from Lebanon. The former Governer of Oaxaca’s family came from Iraq, etc.

    And what do you propose to do there? Kill all Muslims? Outlaw the religion in the United States? Or whine and bitch like a little stuck pig?

  • ObamaYoMoma

    easton:

    Uhm…you dodged the questions! Why don’t you answer them?

    Moreover, what about the rather large terrorist cell in Canada arrested in 2006 that was planning to storm parliament to among other things behead Prime Minister Stephen Harper? That doesn’t count?

    It couldn’t be more obvious; you don’t have the first clue and thanks very much for demonstrating it.

  • easton

    Oh for Christ’s sake, a group of clueless clowns got stopped is evidence that all Muslims are looking to overthrow Canada? Yeesh, years back Puerto Rican seperatists tried to do some nonsense in the US Capitol, should we have deported all Puerto Ricans? Oh wait, you would say yes. And I noticed you did not contradict what I wrote about Mexico. There are whack jobs aplenty.

    Terrorism is the use of violence or threats of violence by individuals or groups against civilians or property. Terrorists seek to create terror as a way of achieving political ends. Terrorist activities include assassinations, bombings, hijackings, and kidnappings. Some states use terror against their own or enemy populations, but this is not classified as terrorism under Canadian or international law. Few violent extremists would accept the label “terrorist,” a politically-charged term that carries highly negative connotations. Instead, most describe themselves as fighters for freedom and against injustice.

    Keywords
    Political Ideologies

    Terrorism is a phenomenon with deep roots. Scholars have noted examples of terrorism in the Middle East in the ancient and medieval periods. Since the late nineteenth century, terrorist attacks have been common. From 1880 to 1910, anarchists killed several world leaders, including US President William McKinley and Italy’s King Umberto I. In 1893, anarchists set off a bomb in Barcelona’s Teatro Liceo, killing 22 and wounding 50. In 1914, a nationalist group in Bosnia assassinated both the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne and his wife, setting off a sequence of events that led to the outbreak of the First World War. Since then, terrorism has continued to be practiced by religious, nationalist, and ideological groups, both on the left and right of the political spectrum.

    Although Canada has had a relatively peaceful history, it has not been immune from terrorism. Canadians have been victims of hundreds of terrorist acts. While on Canadian soil, foreign terrorist groups have raised funds, planned operations, and carried out attacks. Canadian citizens have committed terrorism abroad. Despite the hundreds of attacks by or against Canadians, terrorism has seldom advanced the causes of those who have used it.

    Soldier and Child
    Soldier and child, 18 October 1970, during the October Crisis (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/PA-117477).

    Domestic Terrorism in Canada
    In 1923, the Sons of Freedom initiated what is likely Canada’s first domestic terrorist campaign. Residing in British Columbia, the Freedomites were a radical splinter group of DOUKHOBORS, a religious sect that rejected state authority. In contrast to Orthodox Doukhobors, who were pacifist, the Freedomites used violence to protest against government interference in their lives, particularly compulsory schooling and the mandatory registration of births, deaths, marriages, and land ownership. Freedomite terrorism consisted of the bombing or burning of schools, homes, businesses, railway lines, and electrical wires. Over a 40-year period, the Freedomites carried out several hundred attacks against the government, railway and power companies, and Doukhobors whom the zealots judged to be excessively materialistic. The most dramatic incident was the 1962 bombing of a power transmission tower in south-eastern British Columbia. The frequency of the incidents declined after 1962, when 36 Freedomites were convicted of arson or conspiracy to commit arson and were sentenced to 12 years in prison. In the 1970s and early 1980s, the Freedomites executed only a few isolated attacks.

    Approximately 300 acts of terrorism were carried out on Canadian soil in the 1960s, almost all committed by the Freedomites or the FRONT DE LIBÉRATION DU QUÉBEC (FLQ). To promote its objective of an independent Quebec, the FLQ executed a series of bombings against a range of targets, including the federal government, the post office, the armed forces, the ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE, the CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS, and the Montreal Stock Exchange. Although the intent was usually to destroy property, at least six people died as a result of FLQ operations, and many others were severely injured.

    In October 1970, the FLQ kidnapped the British trade commissioner in Montreal, James Cross, and Quebec’s labour minister, Pierre LAPORTE. The Quebec government requested the assistance of the Canadian military to deal with the crisis. The federal government of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau invoked the WAR MEASURES ACT and suspended civil liberties, allowing the police to arrest hundreds of individuals without charge. Laporte was strangled to death, and his captors were later convicted of murder and kidnapping. The individuals holding Cross were flown to Cuba in exchange for the diplomat’s release. Within two years of these events, FLQ activities had come to an end, though others used the group’s name when carrying out attacks in the 1970s and 1980s.

    In the early 1980s, a small anarchist group, Direct Action, began a violent campaign against pollution, pornography, and the arms industry. The group’s activities were funded through fraud and armed robbery. Targets included a BC Hydro sub-station on Vancouver Island and the Toronto-area plant of Litton Systems, which manufactured cruise missile components. Operating under the name Wimmin’s Fire Brigade, some group members firebombed three adult video stores in Greater Vancouver. In all, Direct Action members caused more than $10 million in damage and injured ten people. The group’s operations ceased when the five key members (known as the Squamish Five) were arrested in January 1983. They pleaded guilty and served prison terms ranging from four to eight years.

    In the 1980s and 1990s, extremists from the animal rights and environmental movements committed several acts of terrorism in Canada. The Canadian branch of the Animal Liberation Front freed animals from several research laboratories and then vandalized or set fire to the facilities. A group calling itself “the Justice Department” mailed death threats to hunting guides and fur retailers, along with razor blades that were covered in rat poison or in blood that the organization claimed was infected with HIV. Eco-terrorists destroyed a $2 million logging bridge in BC in 1995 and caused $5 million in damage to a logging facility in Alberta in 1997.
    Shall we ban all French people in Quebec, all environmentalists, etc. Being that I have thoroughly demolished your stupidity I only have to add you are a hateful bigot and troll. I am not going to bother with your drivel.

  • aiter

    Hey easton, you can’t put together any sort of coherent thought, or any thought at all, which doesn’t revolve around insulting people much smarter then you or whining that the U.S. government isn’t taking money from people who earned it and giving it to you.

  • anniemargret

    easton: I am totally convinced that the Republican party, in its present state have absolutely no capacity to create peace out of chaos. In fact, I am starting to think they like chaos. I shudder to think what would happen with a rightist at the helm of this country – endless wars based on feelings rather than common sense and facts.

    Suddenly these property rights, protect our freedoms and Constitution supporters back down when the going gets tough. No one said democracy was going to be easy. But they want to select which parts of the Constitution they want to support, as long as it makes them feel good, and which ones to throw away.

    Frankly I do think there is an enormous anti-Arab feeling in this country that is not solely based on the events of 9/11. It is about hate and fear and some of this rant about the proposed Muslim center is cornered there. Like that lady near the site that said she didn’t want any ‘Muslims’ around their Christian/Catholic neighborhood.

    I hope Republicans run with this theme in 2012. They have become the anti-minority party in the USA.

  • Traveler

    Annie:

    “Traveler: You are confusing. You say you are in the middle on this issue. Not the ‘PC” folks, or the rightists. I’m not sure what you mean by the PC folks, but saying we need to energize some Muslim allies is not what I would call PC. ”

    I do want to energize the Muslim allies (and not the enemies). That is why I am for the mosque. I just think that sweeping Islamic reality under a PC rug is not the way to win friends or influence enemies.

    More to come.

  • Traveler

    Drdredel:

    “Once the population approaches 20%, you get riots, bus and train bombs, planes into buildings and all sorts of awkward behavior. Right… but once the population passes 95% everything settles right back down again. So, Denmark and France’s problem is that they’re not Muslim enough.”

    Right. So I was nearly killed almost 40 years ago for being an infidel in a pure Muslim community. That sure blows that argument. Try dodging rocks for fifteen minutes before you get on your high horse. The only reason I survived was that the bus came in before it got out of hand. Several other westerners were killed the day earlier.

    But of course all those Muslims were moderates. After all, it had nothing to do with religion. It was all politics. Even back in the summer of 1973…

  • easton

    aiter, um…I don’t live in the United States so I have not got a clue what the hell you are talking about. And I guarantee you that even though I know nothing whatsoever about you that I am far more intelligent than you, based on your completely nonsensical comment: “the U.S. government isn’t taking money from people who earned it and giving it to you.” Wow. Of course I would insult idiotic statements such as that. For the record I work, I support my family quite well, I have homes in both China and Mexico, and I pay taxes here without any complaint, though as a US citizen I have no vote, I don’t begrudge a peso in taxes that I pay. And yes, I also pay US taxes based on investments I have in the US. and I don’t begrudge a penny of that either. You have heard of Capital gains taxes right?
    So really I am paying taxes to support you, since some of that goes towards roads, defense, etc. of which I do not use. How about you pay me back then yourself you parasite. Ha. Actually, I am perfectly fine with this. I love America even when I am not there.

    Traveler, you know that Rwanda is overwhelmingly Christian, that did not stop the Hutus from slaughtering the Tutsis. And Orthodox Christian Serbia saw fit to war with Catholic Croatia and Muslim and Catholic regions in Bosnia, and Muslim regions in Kosovo, and we went to war with them. Would you like to have been an American in Serbia then?

    Personally, I think there is a rot in Islam funded by Saudi Wahabbi clerics designed so that Muslims will remain backward and ignorant so that the oil sheiks can enjoy their lives of luxury and despotism. The solution is to get off oil, not to deny Muslims their freedom in America.

  • Traveler

    Slide:

    You are mighty charitable for an ex-NYC cop. I must have touched a nerve to get you so spiteful. For most posts I agree with you. But not here, and you left yourself wide open. For starters:

    “Well, I’ve already shown you a very wide ranging Gallup Poll that shows that “moderates may in some way represent a dominant stratum of Islam”. I guess they are just being PC right spunky?”

    Not so fast. You better read the critical reviews of the Gallup poll before you go off on your high horse. For starters, hardly any tables or graphs were presented in the actual poll or the book based on same. Holy cow, an entire thesis based upon selected facts that cannot be independently verified. Scarcely passes for science in secular humanism land. Harvard, Michigan State and Sandbox did manage to glean out several relevant facts:

    http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/mesh/2008/04/who_does_speak_for_islam/

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2010/07/msu-spokeswoman-muslim-supporters-of-jihad-did-not-cite-quranic-verses-or-islamic-teachings-in-their.html

    http://sandbox.blog-city.com/dr_esposito_and_the_seven_percent_solution.htm

    The 7% represented only those who thought that the attacks were completely justified. Now as to other 93%, fully 29.6% felt that the attacks were at least somewhat justified. At the latest census showing 1.57 billion Muslims, that 36.6% is a tidy 574 million Muslims that accept the attacks as at least partially justified. Even so, your moderates still represent a majority, but not like what you would think.

    The Gallup release then goes to great efforts to point out how many people were interviewed, and supposedly from all sorts of countries. However, residents of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Nigeria and other such nations weren’t interviewed. That is some sort of valid statistical analysis for “moderate” Muslims of the world. So now the revised moderate 93% is totally suspect and would be laughed out dodge in academic circles. But hey, if it supports your preconceived wishes, it has to be right huh? Easton, DSP, Carney and others on this site are far more capable of diving into this, so go to it gentlemen. I don’t have the time, but way too much bullshit is accepted as fact when good people buy this crap.

    The poll and commentators go on to point out that the majority of respondents want Sharia imposed wherever they live. I have enough of a problem dealing with our own fundamentalist Sharia as far as it goes (Kansas School Board anyone), and yet you call as “moderates” those that want to impose laws requiring your wife circumcised at puberty?

    “Once the population approaches 20%, you get riots, bus and train bombs, planes into buildings and all sorts of awkward behavior. These people are far worse than your worst Dobsonian nightmare”

    “Really. I see. Well thank-you for that brilliant analysis backed up by reams of evidence. Glad you don’t enagage in hyperbole and are discussing things realistically based on the facts as you said.”

    Sorry that was off the cuff. But compared to your Gallup “source”, I scarcely need “reams of evidence”. Britain, Holland, France and Germany are the countries to which I refer. Britain has had its bombs, France has its riots, and Germany gave us 9/11 organizers. Holland has only a political murder so far. All these have Muslim populations that want to impose Sharia, and the percentage is only around 20%. Sorry about the lack of precise info.

    “I ain’t saying we can’t live with these folks, but let’s get to know them at least. I hope they aren’t my enemy, but I am not sanguine there. They’ll tolerate you until they get pissed off. Then they are really cranky. ”

    “Who are the “they” you keep talking about? Muslims? All 1.5 billion Muslims? You are lumping together a group of people that span every continent, every race, every cultural background into one simple little group based on their religion???? My, my traveler. Glad you are the realist and not PC like some of us. Brilliant analysis yet again. ”

    Read my posts, guy. Of course I don’t lump all Muslims into the basket of radicals. Sufis, Shia and other sects are not nearly as radical. Indonesia is a major population with relatively liberal perspectives. But the Sufis and Shia are bomb fodder for the supposed “moderates” in Pakistan, and the Indonesians have their share of dead bodies too. In that regard, you Islamic apologists would really love this site:

    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/index.html#Attacks.

    I never said all Muslims were the issue. So what is with the bullshit extrapolation to that? Its just many more Muslims than you seem to think (or want to accept). If you want to be nasty, at least be correct.

    “but I think the next line from Traveler answers all of our questions: Even though I may despise Islam, my personal beliefs have no relevance here. Finally you say something I can agree with. I’ll even add, BECAUSE you despise Islam, your personal beliefs have no relevance.”

    I despise Islam because it shows no sign of accepting other beliefs or other codes of conduct. It’s that simple. Until I see acceptance of other faiths and cultures in Islamic culture, I will despise them as much as I do Christian fundamentalists. I am an equal opportunity despiser here.

    “Why are we even listening to you? Oh right, you had an incident a long long time ago with a couple dozen people that was unpleasant. They were Muslims. Therefore, all Muslims are bad. Lets see, Traveler extrapolates from 50 people to 1.5 billion people and he calls all of us PC and “not being realistic”

    Oh btw, were those 50 people nasty to you BECAUSE they were Muslim? I think there might be a few people that had nasty run-ins with mobs here in the US. Lynchings were pretty popular down South. Usually committed by Christians. Using your logic, Christians are bad bad people. It’s silly logic and its based on some very deep personal animosity towards an enormous amount of people that are obviously quite diverse in many ways.”

    For starters there, were at least 150 people for the last 15 minutes. At the end, stones come at me several per second, so this was not the garden party you want to portray. And yes, they were throwing stones precisely because they were Muslim, and I wasn’t. They thought I was an infidel worthy of punishment because of the article. THERE WAS NO OTHER REASON. Get it? And if the bus hadn’t come just then, I wouldn’t be here ripping your wishful thinking about Islamic “moderates” to shreds. You’re wearing some really pathetic clothes as the Emperor of PC.

    So finally you fall back on the tired relativism of Christian and American misdeeds, for which I hold an equal repugnance. If it weren’t for its evolution in response to social evolution, I would despise Christianity as much as Islam. But until Islam accepts our standings as infidels and learns to live within the laws of their adopted country, it remains a major threat to our future. And until then, I will despise those “moderates” that suck fluids from the world’s vital forces.

    So Slide, “get realistic will you?”

    Now back to Annie’s confusion. I want a world where differences can be aired cogently so conflicts can be addressed by civilized discourse based on empirical facts. If a PC position represented by Slide is untenable, then how do you expect to deal with the equally untenable positions of the radical right? They buy into far more negative perspectives re “moderates” than I do, and they are plenty intransigent. Think about it. As I said, living well is the best revenge. But that doesn’t mean bending over.

  • Traveler

    Hi Easton,

    Rwanda and Sri Lanka are notable examples of non-Muslim bad actors. The world is full of equal opportunity bad actors. Fortunately, the situations there seem to have settled down. So long term implications to world interactions are insignificant. OTOH, Islam has far more influence worldwide.

    The Serb issue is very complex, and exemplifies the differences between political/historical differences and theological/cultural differences . They are still pissed off about losing out to the Ottomans seven centuries ago. It more territory than religion, although each side is homogeneous in terms of politics and theology. There the issues are inseparable.

    That said, as an American, I probably would have been taken out and shot by the Serbs. OTOH, many of the Bosnians we supported turned out to be terrorists. Go figure. Thankfully, there were only a few AK-47s around back in 1973.

    I like your Wahabi prince theory. I want Muslims to succeed in the US.

  • anniemargret

    traveler: I’m not sure who said they wanted to underestimate radical Islam. I sure don’t. But what I’m hearing on radio and seeing on TV is a frenzied festival of hate leveled against all Muslims everywhere. This is pure hysteria and it is being fanned by the likes of right wing radio and mindless idiots like Beck and Palin and the Stooges crowd.

    Of course politically it works (or they think it does) for Republicans. They don’t have to offer any real solutions to real problems. Because they don’t have any. These rants by Republicans, including Gingrich (shame on him for bringing in the Holocaust), are designed to keep fanning the flames of resentment and cultural warfare. It’s the only thing the Republicans now how to do well.

    I just listened to Palin admonish the POTUS saying he ‘just did’t get it.” Get what? should the POTUS say to the American people and to the world that we, being the USA which has upheld the rights of every American including minorities since time immemorial, that Muslims should hide and not be seen or heard because some people cannot stand the idea of them at all?

    Sentiment about 9/11 is one thing… crazed hate-fest is quite another.

    Can anyone imagine the brouhaha over that one? Or the smearing of the Constitution by our own President?

    Yes. She is THAT stupid. Every time I see or listen to her I cringe. How anyone can think she could be a ‘leader’ is beyond my comprehension. She is a like a walking talking Barbie, wind her up…and she’s just keeps blowing out kisses with her inanities.

  • jg bennet

    If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
    James Madison

  • aiter

    “Wow. Of course I would insult idiotic statements such as that. For the record I work, I support my family quite well, I have homes in both China and Mexico, and I pay taxes here without any complaint, though as a US citizen I have no vote, I don’t begrudge a peso in taxes that I pay. And yes, I also pay US taxes based on investments I have in the US. and I don’t begrudge a penny of that either. You have heard of Capital gains taxes right?
    So really I am paying taxes to support you, since some of that goes towards roads, defense, etc. of which I do not use. How about you pay me back then yourself you parasite. Ha. Actually, I am perfectly fine with this. I love America even when I am not there.”

    Yeah, I believe that life story you have there. Doesn’t sound hackney or made up at all. Oh wait, yes it does.

    “And I guarantee you that even though I know nothing whatsoever about you that I am far more intelligent than you…”

    Ha ha ha. That’s rich. Every other posts of yours on this website evolves around some 6th grade class warfare nonsense. No one who’s actually worked for a living would actually say this:

    “…screw over the working class, all to the benefit of the wealthy investor class. ”

    “So essentially you can have a whole class of very rich paying no income taxes, no payroll taxes, and depending on the state no state income taxes either. Dude, that is just evil. ”

    It’d be one thing if you felt that someone’s tax plan didn’t bring in enough revenue, but calling not seizing private property evil?

    Then you call Paul Ryan an “evil little turd” for wanting to implement changes to Medicare recommended by the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare chaired by John Breaux. Democrat.

    Lastly…

    “Earnings reports will look pretty good because of increased sales in Asia and Latin America, but while it might boost stocks I have no idea if it will lead to anywhere enough new hires.”

    That’s like what someone trying to sound like a credible analyst says.

    You in general strike me as a fellow who has never heard any arguments against his own views.

    Well, I’ve blown off enough steam. Have fun working on that fictional life you’ll never get.

  • aiter

    Also on the Ground Zero thing, they have a right to build it there, but they could build it anywhere else. They should do that.

  • Slide

    So Traveler has a bad incident 40 years ago, in a foreign country, that involved a handful of individuals that happened to be Muslims. Ergo 1.5 billion Muslims are all radical extremists worthy of being “despised” (his word not mine) Does he even realize how incredibly moronic that sounds?

    So, blacks who were often lynched down South by God fearing Christian mobs, (think we had that 40 years ago right?) means Christianity should be despised?

    So, when hundreds of Catholic priests molested thousands and thousands of children across the planet we should despise Catholicism.

    So when innocent Palestinians in Gaza are killed by Israeli rocket attacks, all Jews should be despised.

    It is certainly your right to despise whomever you want Traveler. Sounds like you were horribly traumatized by that incident 40 years ago and I’m sure you wake up at night screaming with nightmares about the about the rock throwing incident that has such a profound effect on your life, but conversely we certainly have a right to discount just about everything you say because of the very same reason. In any case what happened all those years ago, in some foreign country has nothing whatsoever to do with a community center being built in lower Manhattan, not too far from a strip club, by an American Muslim that the Bush administration enlisted to spread the word of moderate Islam.

  • TaterSalad

    President Barack Obama supports the “Victory Mosque at ground zero while 65% or more of America says NO tho this construction. Since the President is a Muslim ( http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=tCAffMSWSzY#t=28 ) then it is evident that he does not care about any of the Americans killed on 9/11 but only about the feelings of Islamists who want to build this grand “Victory Mosque”.

    Attached are videos #1 & #2 & #3 of what our President supports and what kind of “Change” he wants to bring to America. Change that is NOT in the best interests of America and our laws.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ye-DbwJtnus

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-3X5hIFXYU

    http://crossmuslims.blogspot.com/2010/07/shariah-law-and-english-law.html

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2010/06/pat-condell-on-ground-zero-mosque-is-it-possible-to-be-astonished-but-not-surprised.html

    http://therothshow.com/2010/08/islamic-domination-and-rule-on-its-way-with-new-york-mosque/

    Flight 93, Shanksville, Pennsylvania fields, there is also another Muslim victory site being constructed as we speak!

    http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2010/07/911-hero-family-member-ground-zero-mosque-is-the-second-mosque-being-built-on-a-911-site-.html

    Sharia compliant banks: http://sioe.wordpress.com/sharia-compliant-banks/

  • easton

    aiter: Yeah, I believe that life story you have there. Doesn’t sound hackney or made up at all. Oh wait, yes it does.

    Oh my God, you truly are astounding. I will tell you what, I recently won a contest here at Frumforum and sent the magazine subscription to my University here in Oaxaca. Write Frum forum and maybe they will confirm it. I lived in China for 7 years, went to the University of Salzburg in Austria, lived on the island of Pohnpei in Micronesia, I live now in Oaxaca not too far from the beaches at Playa Cangrejo and Playa Azul. I can give you names of restaurants and landmarks here that only someone who lives here would know. I own a home in Chuansha in Pudong and one here.

    But, truly, you are a jackass filled with a deep seated insecurity complex. I am actually flattered that you think my life so fantastic that I would make it up.

    As to Ryan, I absolutely stand by what i said, and I noticed you never did refute what I said. By the way, Paul Krugman, you know a Nobel Laureate in economics, states pretty much the exact same thing I do. As do Jonathan Chait, Ezra Klein, etc. etc.

    So I put forward my biography (a partial anyhow) what “interesting” life have you lived. “well, last weekend I went to walmart…”

    You know, it is funny but when I try to teach beginning level University students English for Left and Right I hold up my left hand to make an L, for left, I help them remember it by putting it to my forehead and it is interesting that all of them knows that means “Loser.” L for Left, L for Loser, I have to say it is a pity your moniker doesn’t begin with an L because you obviously are a loser.

  • easton

    by the way aiter, I gotta state I find your internet stalky thing a little creepy. What, do you copy and paste all of my postings here and put it up on your wall? That posting had to have been, what, a month or two old? You do know that is pretty weird, don’t you? I am not a politician or a policy maker, I come here just to have fun, I certainly don’t take it seriously enough to keep track of what other posters say months ago.

    Actually, if I weren’t sure you were a total pussy I would think I put forward too much information about my life. Do yourself a favor, don’t fixate on me, just ignore my postings. Get a girlfriend (a real one), play ball, go hiking, in short get a life.

  • aiter

    “Oh my God, you truly are astounding. I will tell you what, I recently won a contest here at Frumforum and sent the magazine subscription to my University here in Oaxaca. Write Frum forum and maybe they will confirm it. I lived in China for 7 years, went to the University of Salzburg in Austria, lived on the island of Pohnpei in Micronesia… I own a home in Chuansha in Pudong and one here.

    But, truly, you are a jackass filled with a deep seated insecurity complex. I am actually flattered that you think my life so fantastic that I would make it up.”

    “Actually, if I weren’t sure you were a total pussy I would think I put forward too much information about my life. Do yourself a favor, don’t fixate on me, just ignore my postings. Get a girlfriend (a real one), play ball, go hiking, in short get a life.

    Yeah again, none of this is believable. I imagine a nervous little laugh at the end there.

    “I can give you names of restaurants and landmarks here that only someone who lives here would know. ”

    Do that.

    “As to Ryan, I absolutely stand by what i said, and I noticed you never did refute what I said. By the way, Paul Krugman, you know a Nobel Laureate in economics, states pretty much the exact same thing I do.”

    Actually, yes I did. I pointed out that you throw out sound economics in favor of class warfare, and that your panic over Ryan’s medicare proposals was hypocritical, since it was also recommended by a Democrat. And your argument is actually “this smart guy agrees with me”? Really. At this point, it doesn’t matter that you made your life up, you can’t even figure out simple logical fallacies, and why one looks stupid using them. Obama got a Peace Prize, that doesn’t make him an expert in anything.

    “by the way aiter, I gotta state I find your internet stalky thing a little creepy. What, do you copy and paste all of my postings here and put it up on your wall? That posting had to have been, what, a month or two old? You do know that is pretty weird, don’t you? I am not a politician or a policy maker, I come here just to have fun, I certainly don’t take it seriously enough to keep track of what other posters say months ago.”

    Typing in site:frumforum.com is stalkerish? You don’t know what stalking is. That took like five seconds. Stalking is obsessively following a person, and people generally do that to celebrities. People who are actually rich and successful.

    “You know, it is funny but when I try to teach beginning level University students English for Left and Right I hold up my left hand to make an L, for left, I help them remember it by putting it to my forehead and it is interesting that all of them knows that means “Loser.” L for Left, L for Loser, I have to say it is a pity your moniker doesn’t begin with an L because you obviously are a loser.”

    I’d guess what you’re going for is an “Even I’m amazed at how loserish you are, I mean, look at me!”

    “Actually, if I weren’t sure you were a total pussy I would think I put forward too much information about my life. Do yourself a favor, don’t fixate on me, just ignore my postings. Get a girlfriend (a real one), play ball, go hiking, in short get a life.”

    Not catching on are you? I don’t do this to impress you. I do this for fun. I blow off steam. I go through some shmuck’s post and try to disembowel it. I’d focus more on the logical substance of your arguments, but there wasn’t any to begin with. Only inane and hateful ravings. You tell me you do this to have fun? I am too, I have fun while you sputter with rage. You have actually called me a loser because I don’t try to prove myself to total strangers on the internet. Who cares? I’m sure you’re a great guy. You may even have that fictional life you talk about. But you’ve actually said that I’m a failure because I haven’t made up some awe-inspiring biography.

  • easton

    Dude, I do this for fun too. You simply don’t understand that I have no reason to lie, zero. You want a little proof I live here you schmuck, well I have an FM2 Inmigrante status. I also have a Curp, have my insurance through IMSS. I also have an NUE number, they recently changed the immigration books to cards. There was a recent election in Oaxaca and Gabino Cue won, displacing the PRI, which has held power in the Governors mansion in Oaxaca for years. I live by the Manzur and ISSTE shopping centers and a Bodega Arrera recently opened. But whatever, I could show you a picture of myself here and you would say I photoshopped it. And why would I lie? To “win” an argument with someone I have never met and will never meet over an issue that truly doesn’t personally affect me?

    Now as to stalking, I was not aware if you typed http://www.frumforum.com it prominantly displayed my postings from months ago, um..sure. Freak. You obviously had to hunt, read, copy, and paste to get this old information…and for what? Because you got somekind of crush on me, obviously.

    And Breaux, from La.? You have got to be kidding me. The guy was very Conservative for Democrats. He voted to abolish the estate tax. Would you be impressed if I bring up Collins or Snowe as examples of mainstream Republican thought? Don’t be an idiot, oh wait, that is impossible.

    And Ryan is flat out lying when he claims his policy is based on that reform panel. Have you read both?

    This is Ryan: Future Medicare beneficiaries would receive a payment to apply to a list of Medicare-certified coverage options. The Medicare payment would grow every year, with additional support for those who have low incomes and higher health costs, and less government support for high-income beneficiaries. The most vulnerable seniors would also receive supplemental Medicaid coverage and continue to be eligible for Medicaid’s long-term care benefit.

    This from the Commission: Provide Outpatient Prescription Drug Coverage for 3 million more low-income beneficiaries

    Immediately provide federal funding for coverage of prescription drugs under Medicaid for beneficiaries up to 135 percent of poverty ($10,568 for an individual and $13,334 for a couple). This would also expand beneficiary participation in currently available subsidies for premiums and cost-sharing. All funding obligations related to the coverage under this provision would be federal.

    Are you aware that this is more than the entire 11,000 initial voucher of Ryans? Yeah, dey da same.

    This from the WH blog:
    Under the Ryan plan, the Medicare seniors know and trust would disappear. In its place, seniors would receive a voucher to buy insurance on the private market. Last month, former OMB Director Peter Orszag spoke about Rep. Ryan’s voucher plan and its impact on our seniors and the cost of health care:

    Over time, the voucher would increase far more slowly than projected increases in health care costs, and seniors would be asked to cover the widening difference in costs… Proponents envision seniors buying high-deductible health insurance plans—insurance plans in which seniors would pay out-of-pocket for ‘regular’ medical expenses and in which insurance only covers catastrophic costs.

    Unfortunately, these plans would do little if anything bring down health care costs and would leave seniors with bigger bills. As Orszag noted:

    For such high-cost patients, high-deductible plans would do little to change the delivery of health care—since these patients would rapidly run through their deductibles and most of their costs are above the deductibles.

    Indeed, in the context of traditional health plans, CBO concluded that universal high-deductible plans would reduce costs by only about 5 percent relative to conventionally designed PPOs—and may not reduce costs at all relative to HMOs.

    And Orszag discussed how the Ryan plan would cut Medicare and put seniors at risk:

    …The plan simply mechanically cuts Medicare by increasing its vouchers more slowly than health care costs.

    The result is that most of the budget savings would come from simply by shifting more and more cost and risk—ultimately including catastrophic risks—onto seniors without substantially altering the course of overall health costs.

    The bottom line under the Ryan plan: Costs would continue to rise, the value of benefits provided to seniors would continue to fall, and seniors would be stuck with fewer benefits and bigger bills. And, according to outside analysts, his plan would substantially increase the deficit in the medium-term.

    We won’t go down Rep. Ryan’s road.

    And the worst thing about Ryan is he is a fraud. He states that his plan won’t occur for 10 years, but if vouchers are a great idea, then why not push to do them now? He doesn’t because he knows Republicans would be creamed by seniors, so he is doing his charade that no one truly takes seriously (look how many co sponsors are lining up for his as yet non existent bill, you know, because it is only a proposal…yada yada… man up, get some balls and attach your name to it now.

    I find it amazing you entire rebuttal consisted of stating the name John Breaux. Can you even think? Facts please.

    And that pretty much destroys you poor little aiter, so be sure to copy and paste my posting you little stalker you.

    By the way, thanks for stating my biograghy is awe inspiring. It isn’t really, but I have been blessed. I have a beautiful young wife, 3 beautiful boys, am healthy, have tenure…how else do you imagine I have time to waste here? It is summer vacation. Oh, as an example that I have a spanish keyboard ¿¡ñ which are not on American keyboards. ¡ is not i by the way.
    And if you think I still don’t live in Oaxaca in Mexico, well then you are hopeless. And I noticed you are too cowardly to put up your own biography.

  • easton

    one last thing because it is hilarious:

    aiter // Aug 18, 2010 at 3:07 am

    Also on the Ground Zero thing, they have a right to build it there, but they could build it anywhere else. They should do that.

    Really put a lot of thought into that one, didn’t you? You are so lame it IS funny. You have achieved a state of uberlameness.

    Oh yes, they should do that, they should eat the millions they invested in the property and buy somewhere else…nitwit.

  • easton

    By Matt Miller
    Thursday, August 19, 2010

    Dear Paul Ryan:

    In recent days Ryan-mania has reached a wonky fever pitch. Paul Krugman says you’re “the flimflam man.” The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page fired back that your “Roadmap for the Future” features “radical honesty.” The Times says you’ll be at the center of events if Republicans win big this fall. And The Post even featured you on Page One.

    Which is why it’s important to be clear that your vaunted plan to get our fiscal house in order, and to restore a culture of self-reliance rather than dependency on government, isn’t a “plan” at all — at least not in the way most people think of one. Your road map is a set of assumptions — a kind of rigged forecasting exercise, really — that shows how a certain underlying philosophy could play out fiscally in an aging America.

    But it doesn’t balance the budget, lower national health costs or assure faster economic growth. It’s not fiscally conservative enough for my taste, if anyone in Washington still thinks “fiscally conservative” means advocating that government pay for what it chooses to spend.

    Let me say before offering a good-faith critique that I’m someone who has taken lashes from fellow Democrats for proposing to tie initial Social Security benefits to an index based on wages, not prices (too dull to detail, but this means bigger trims in future benefits than you’ve proposed). I’ve also urged my party not to demagogue needed reductions in Medicare’s growth rates when Republicans propose them. So this is not a pan from a liberal defending the status quo.

    Here are my biggest problems with your “plan”:

    – Taxes. Most people don’t know that your road map assumes that taxes would rise from today’s recessionary low to their recent historical average of 19 percent of gross domestic product and then remain there for decades. (The Congressional Budget Office hasn’t “scored” your various tax cut proposals, but the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center says they would leave taxes at about 16 percent of GDP). But how can we double the number of Americans on Social Security and Medicare as baby boomers retire and keep taxes at the same level they were when America’s population was much younger? Why isn’t an increase in taxes as a share of GDP unavoidable as we accommodate an aging population — making the real question how to finance the boomers’ retirement via a reformed tax system that does the least harm to growth? Unless your answer is that we can double the number of seniors who are covered by halving their benefits, your 19 percent assumption can’t possibly add up.
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    – Debt. The CBO says your road map would put spending at 22.2 percent of GDP in 2020 and 23.5 percent in 2040. With revenue capped at 19 percent, that means Paul Ryan stands for deficits that would be 3 percent to 4 percent of GDP for at least the next 30 years, which would balloon the debt by trillions, to 100 percent of GDP from 53 percent in 2009. If you’re supposedly willing to make “the hard choices,” why wouldn’t you balance the budget as soon as the economy is back on track? What kind of “fiscal conservative” has a half-century plan to balance the budget?

    – Health care. Your road map would turn the federal contribution to health care into a voucher (which I don’t view as a dirty word). But the vouchers it would offer, both via tax credits for younger Americans, and for seniors in a revamped Medicare, are at levels so far below current insurance premiums as to make it likely you’d be shifting costs to millions who can’t afford them. Your health tax credit of $5,700 per family, for example, won’t go far for average Americans when the most popular preferred provider organization family plan enjoyed by Congress today runs about $14,000. Ditto for Medicare (which may be why you omitted the voucher amounts in your Post op-ed on the subject last week). Will you acknowledge that the road map doesn’t reduce national health costs, but just limits Uncle Sam’s exposure? And that even if this step were sensible, it has little to do with the real challenge of re-engineering America’s radically inefficient health sector?

    There’s more in the road map than one can treat in a single column — and some ideas, such as moving past the employer-based health care system, are dead on — but the points I’ve raised make your current thinking a nonstarter even to reform-minded Democrats. For now, the Ryan “plan” racks up far too much debt even as it poses a false choice between a return to “rugged individualism” and a slide toward a European-style welfare state — when in fact there’s a way to responsibly chart an American-style course that blends liberty, growth and justice in an aging America.

  • aiter

    “Really put a lot of thought into that one, didn’t you? You are so lame it IS funny. You have achieved a state of uberlameness.

    Oh yes, they should do that, they should eat the millions they invested in the property and buy somewhere else…nitwit.”

    No one told them to invest there. And I love how you condemn my short non-rambling answer, which is pretty much Harry Reid’s position on the issue. Clearly true intellectualism is incoherent nonsense.

    “And that pretty much destroys you poor little aiter, so be sure to copy and paste my posting you little stalker you.”

    “Now as to stalking, I was not aware if you typed http://www.frumforum.com it prominantly displayed my postings from months ago, um..sure. Freak. You obviously had to hunt, read, copy, and paste to get this old information…and for what? Because you got somekind of crush on me, obviously.”

    Again, stalking is a bit more serious than that. Typing in site:frumforum.com and adding easton there takes no time at all and reveals all your inane ramblings. Like:

    “I really, really wish I could be engaging in hyperbole for effect, but in these anti-American American’s hearts, I imagine they do indulge in such dark fantasies of exterminating all Muslims.”

    That’s a laugh riot. And once again, stalkees are people with actual lives. At least when I copy and paste, I add some commentary. You just copy and paste some one else’s hard work.

    “To “win” an argument with someone I have never met and will never meet over an issue that truly doesn’t personally affect me?”

    Actually, yes. You seem very emotionally charged here. You keep insulting me, saying I’ve been destroyed, and that I’m a loser. Then you keep getting provoked by me. That’s how I know you don’t mean it when you call me a nitwit.

    “Oh, as an example that I have a Spanish keyboard ¿¡ñ which are not on American keyboards. ¡ is not i by the way.
    And if you think I still don’t live in Oaxaca in Mexico, well then you are hopeless. ”

    “vê-đúp i-cờ-rét” I have a Vietnamese keyboard. That’s the entirety of my evidence. And if you don’t accept my pathetic argument, you are hopeless. Actually there, you’re right. Unlike you, there’s no hope I fall for idiocy.

    “I lived in China for 7 years, went to the University of Salzburg in Austria, lived on the island of Pohnpei in Micronesia, I live now in Oaxaca not too far from the beaches at Playa Cangrejo and Playa Azul. I can give you names of restaurants and landmarks here that only someone who lives here would know.”

    I told you to do that. You didn’t. You could have just looked online for the answer. I am appalled by the lack of thought you put in to this. I mean, you put so much thought into your two syllable insults.

    Enought of that. On to your *snorts*… on to “your” “arguments”. That you ripped off from others.

    - Won’t bring in enough tax revenue.

    Yeah, Ryan consulted with the Treasury Department about that. They think his plan will bring in enough. TPC is a fine outfit, but there is no reason then to trust them more than the Department of the Treasury.

    - Still too much debt.

    A legitimate complaint. Of course, it’s not one you came up with. Ryan’s plan doesn’t cut spending enough for me, but it’s still a step in the right direction. The alternative to the debt reaching 100% of the GDP is the debt reaching 700% of the GDP.

    And since your entire health care argument was just you copy and pasting someone else, I’ll do the same.

  • aiter

    From online.wsj.com/article/NA_WSJ_PUB:SB10001424052748704388504575419473063003094.html

    Here are all parts related to policy.

    “Thus Peter Orszag, until last week the White House budget director, devoted much of his farewell lecture at the Brookings Institution to Mr. Ryan’s plan “to replace Medicare as we know it.” Having presided over record deficits of $1.4 trillion in 2009—or 9.9% of GDP—and an expected $1.5 trillion in 2010, Mr. Orszag no doubt finds it easier to change the subject than defend his own record and agenda.”

    “Mr. Ryan wants to remodel Medicare by giving seniors a modified voucher to buy private insurance. Mr. Orszag, et al., concede that the roadmap would make the entitlement permanently solvent, as confirmed in an analysis by their icon the Congressional Budget Office, but they claim that the amount of the voucher would not keep pace with rising health-care costs.

    This is an odd complaint for an economist like Mr. Orszag, given that more market discipline and consumer choice in health care would drive down costs as it does in all other dynamic sectors of the economy. To take one example, recent research by Michael Chernew of Harvard shows that a one percentage point increase in seniors insured by Medicare Advantage HMOs—the Ryan-like program that offers private options—reduces traditional fee-for-service Medicare spending by 0.9%, despite its price controls.

    In other words, cost-conscious competition changes how doctors and hospitals provide care to all patients. A larger transition to market-based medicine could turn out to be as smooth as the private-sector shift to 401(k)s from defined-benefit pensions, and a similar reform was even suggested in 1999 by Bill Clinton’s Medicare commission, which was led by Louisiana Democrat John Breaux.”

    Or you could look here http://blog.heritage.org/2010/08/05/orszag-vs-ryan/.

    Here’s another defense. http://dailycaller.com/2010/07/29/peter-orszag-versus-paul-ryan-part-deux/

  • aiter

    “one last thing because it is hilarious:”

    Then made you made another post after that one. That’s what’s hilarious.

    BTW, what do you feel about abortion. Surely as a guy who thinks government is necessary to provide for us, you surely think that it should provide a more basic function and protest our lives, right?

  • jakester

    Maybe the war analogy is too extreme but when you look at the head Islamic country, Saudi Arabia, and the up and coming Islamic bad boy power, Iran, and throw Libya, Somalia and Sudan into the mix; only the most blinkered person can say that Islam is some benign force that is working for human rights. We need to assert the primacy of human rights especially womens’ and religious minorities’s rights, and tell those throwbacks to move out of the 7th century.

  • Traveler

    @ Slide

    “So Traveler has a bad incident 40 years ago, in a foreign country, that involved a handful of individuals that happened to be Muslims. Ergo 1.5 billion Muslims are all radical extremists worthy of being “despised” (his word not mine) Does he even realize how incredibly moronic that sounds?”

    Talk about moronic. It was because it was so long ago that the current “political” theory of Muslim hatred is revealed as bunk. It was due to Islamic intolerance, pure and simple. I love your depiction of mob violence based upon religious bigotry as a “handful of individuals that happened to be Muslims”. Your attempt to gloss over the facts are pathetic. It is precisely your sort of wishful thinking that I debunk. So why you haven’t responded to the sources that point out the dubious veracity of the Gallup poll? Don’t want to face reality, do you?

    That said, I have to walk back how back just how much I despise Islam. I don’t have a beef with Muslims that are truly tolerant, just like I have no issue with Christians that are tolerant and don’t spend our taxes teaching that creationism is a valid theory. Read what I say in other posts.

    What I don’t tolerate are the near majority of Muslims that think 9/11 was a Jewish plot, and the majority, many of them immigrants in secular lands, that want to impose Sharia. Them I despise, just like I hate your lynchers. Christ, even Cat Stevens supported the Fatwa on Salmon Rushdie. With friends like that, we don’t need enemies.

    As I have said several times, I want the true Islamic moderates to succeed in America, and for that reason I support the mosque. Just don’t go around touting your rose colored version of reality that has such little relevance to the facts.

  • Roger's Rules » Accommodation or resistance? A reply to Ron Radosh

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