I tried read and comprehend the now-viral post of Canadian intellectual and well-known wingnut Mark Steyn, a true anti-muslim hit piece and all I could think about was changing the target people from muslims to jews or even to christians. It didn’t matter because it was all the same: our religion is best, yours sucks/we are peaceful/you are savages.
“When the Allahu Akbar boys opened fire, Paris was talking about the climate-change conference due to start later this month, when the world’s leaders will fly in to “solve” a “problem” that doesn’t exist rather than to address the one that does. But don’t worry: we already have a hashtag (#PrayForParis) and doubtless there’ll be another candlelight vigil of weepy tilty-headed wankers. Because as long as we all advertise how sad and sorrowful we are, who needs to do anything?
“…But that’s not true, is it? He’s right that it’s an attack not just on Paris or France. What it is is an attack on the west, on the civilization that built the modern world – an attack on one portion of “humanity” by those who claim to speak for another portion of “humanity”. And these are not “universal values” but values that spring from a relatively narrow segment of humanity. They were kinda sorta “universal” when the great powers were willing to enforce them around the world and the colonial subjects of ramshackle backwaters such as Aden, Sudan and the North-West Frontier Province were at least obliged to pay lip service to them. But the European empires retreated from the world, and those “universal values” are utterly alien to large parts of the map today.
“And then Europe decided to invite millions of Muslims to settle in their countries. Most of those people don’t want to participate actively in bringing about the death of diners and concertgoers and soccer fans, but at a certain level most of them either wish or are indifferent to the death of the societies in which they live – modern, pluralist, western societies and those “universal values” of which Barack Obama bleats. So, if you are either an active ISIS recruit or just a guy who’s been fired up by social media, you have a very large comfort zone in which to swim, and which the authorities find almost impossible to penetrate.
“And all Chancellor Merkel and the EU want to do is make that large comfort zone even larger by letting millions more “Syrian” “refugees” walk into the Continent and settle wherever they want…
“…To repeat what I said a few days ago, I’m Islamed out. I’m tired of Islam 24/7, at Colorado colleges, Marseilles synagogues, Sydney coffee shops, day after day after day. The west cannot win this thing with a schizophrenic strategy of targeting things and people but not targeting the ideology, of intervening ineffectually overseas and not intervening at all when it comes to the remorseless Islamization and self-segregation of large segments of their own countries.”
We’ve seen this demagoguery before and it is no prettier today than it was then.
The danger is always present with theocrats regardless of the religion, it’s the shock of seeing true believers whose only weapon is their confounding will to die.
Mark Steyn wants to collectively punish a billion-plus people who practice the world’s largest religion, literally wipe them out. He wants a new Crusade. It’s impossible to read this and not draw the same conclusion.
Frankly, I’m of the opposite mind: I think we need to welcome refugees into our country, we need to be kind to people who are fleeing terror, we need to show ISIS that we are better than them, we need to dry-up their greatest recruiting tool by recruiting their disaffected youth ourselves. We need to give them the American Dream, too. We need them to aspire to become us.
We need to welcome, educate, absorb them into our culture and learn about theirs. The closed gate is the target. Sorry Mark, I’m finding your intellectual argument intellectually dishonest.
“We need them to aspire to become us.”
How exactly do you plan on doing that? Especially when these are the starting points: http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/04/worlds-muslims-religion-politics-society-full-report.pdf
Rich – all I know is that when a person has nothing left to lose, no hope, no dreams, you can expect the unexpected.
I’m always going to be on the side of giving people hope, not on beating them into submission.
I once had an assistant who told me that had it not been for art he would have turned to terrorism because he was so full of rage and boredom and had no way to change it. He held multiple degrees and had no work. He had no way to express his inner turmoil and angst.
I doubt giving everyone a seet of paints and an easel would solve the problem, but for some it would. I like to believe that for most it would at least prevent the most violent outbursts by giving them something productive and meaningful to occupy themselves with.
For the very very few nothing can help them. Their anger, frustration and rage can have to outlet other than violence. These few will always be with us. These few were the ones leading the raiding parties and butchering the women and children in the Indian camps in the American frontier. These few were the billy the kids, as well.
I fear for my grandsons generation. They will be taught by the equivalent of machines to jump through the right hoops and pass the test. They will be taught what they need to know to be obedient workers, and nothing more.
They will be taught no history, no culture, no wonder, and no joy in life. And because of this it is only a matter of time until terrorist actions, like this are commonplace occurrences here in the U.S. Because the playground will teach them violence but the school will only train them to push the right buttons, and fill out the paperwork well enough.
I’ll be glad to be proven wrong but my slim knowledge of history and my witnessing of the training and arming of our domestic suppression forces (read police) give me reason to fear for my grandchildren.
But today I worry about my health, that of my DW and whether we will retire into a cardboard box, a shotgun shack, or a decent house. I feel for the refugees, imagine their terror today, their worries their fears of persecution and violence to come. Remember the Oakies in their diaspora?
Will it ever end? Not as long as men breathe air, but we could make it better for all if that was our intent.
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But the wingers don’t believe in root cause, Osirisopto. “They hate us for our freedoms,” remember that? Rubio gave us a version of that on ABC this very morning.
His larger comparison of climate change (which he claims doesn’t exist) vs. “the real problem” (people whom, I gather, he prefers would not exist) is made more deeply obnoxious when informed people actually realize that the pressures placed on the Middle East and drove the Arab Spring are in part driven by climate change. People are going to be uprooted, and will be stateless. How disaffected, alienated, and ultimately, radicalized against the West they are is up to us.
Steyn is a dipshit.
That said, the folks responsible for the Paris slaughter are not the kind of people who are amenable to persuasion of any kind, and a bullet between the eyes is probably the only “solution” in their case.
I agree that we need to offer an attractive alternative to Islamic theocracy to those fleeing the whackos.
The problem is we’re moving further and further away from having one to offer, except as rhetoric about the “American Dream” which is increasingly in profound disharmony with our own observable reality.
We’re busy here at home building the apparatus of a surveillance state, busy promoting the interests of corporatism around the globe, busy imprisoning a greater proportion of our citizenry than anybody anywhere, and, as John Oliver so poignantly pointed out, we’ve succeeded in making a clear blue sky absolutely terrifying to children throughout vast swaths of the Middle East, an appalling achievement which fills me with a combination of grief and cold fury that’s hard to describe.
So yeah, kindness and a welcoming spirit and a dream of something vastly more attractive than a dreary and oppressive Caliphate are indeed what we need to offer, or we’ll be playing whack-a-mole forever.
The problem is, while as individual Americans we are often both kind and welcoming as a default position, collectively as expressed by the way our government comports itself around the world we tend to be bellicose and often stunningly cruel, qualities that are much more readily apparent to “foreign” observers that to most of us here at home.
I know ya’ll know this already, but goddam it I just needed to vent a little about that.
We’re acting, collectively, like brutal fucking morons ourselves and some days there just seems to be no end in sight.
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Bravo and well said.
Yes, we have a lot to do and many wrongs to right, so let’s start the project you lay out right now.
The head of the Islamist party in Tunisia just said it ” Poverty causes terrorism” http://www.rawstory.com/2015/11/head-of-tunisias-islamist-party-poverty-is-a-root-cause-of-terrorism/
My gut reaction on 9-11 (and I have friends of friends who were in the towers) was first, we’re gonna nuke someone, and second, the only thing that’ll stop this is a world-wide Marshall plan to rebuild the so-called “third” world, aka, the first world’s looting grounds.
We mostly didn’t do the first (although it’s really hard to see Dubya’s Grand Iraqi Adventure as anything but a slow-motion nuking of the region) and we completely fucked up at the second one, because it would cost money.
We sowed the wind, motherfuckers, what the HELL did we expect?
Also, too, Mark Steyn is a genocidal asshat who would shit his fucking pants if he ever *actually* faced danger.
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Clap clap clap clap. I want to add even more claps to that. Thank you.
Umm, you know who else thought he could exterminate an entire religious sect? I’m not saying that if you have the memory of a dog peter gnat you’re a Fascist, but if you’re a Fascist you probably have the memory of a dog peter gnat.
What it is is an attack on the west, on the civilization that built the modern world – an attack on one portion of “humanity” by those who claim to speak for another portion of “humanity”. And these are not “universal values” but values that spring from a relatively narrow segment of humanity. They were kinda sorta “universal” when the great powers were willing to enforce them around the world and the colonial subjects of ramshackle backwaters such as Aden, Sudan and the North-West Frontier Province were at least obliged to pay lip service to them. But the European empires retreated from the world, and those “universal values” are utterly alien to large parts of the map today.
The problem here is that the West didn’t export or enforce those values around the world. The West sent its worst people to the colonies to loot and oppress. They could have built universities, they could have embraced the natives as equals and engaged with them in a mutually beneficial relationship, but they didn’t. They practiced divide-and-conquer and stole the natural resources. They made common cause with dictators and autocrats, from Iran to Chile to the Congo. They had no problem with attempting genocide, in the Americas and even in Ireland, their own backyard.
Steyn is a mendacious shitbag, and his prescription would only result in decades more of blowback and terrorism. Western Civ should live up to its stated principles, but guys like Steyn are more like their ISIS counterparts than they are like Rousseau.
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Well said, again B-4.
These people amaze me that they don’t see the irony in calling the other theocrats savages, and anytime you get the Western Civ speech, it’s just a more educated way to say White People.
This was as racist a diatribe as I’ve ever seen.
I can’t get the “like” button to work for me, which in a situation like this is not how I would wish it to be.
I’ve found—even on my Mac—that I have to clear the cache now and then to get some features on WordPress to work as designed.
I’m sorry you’re having trouble, but I’m glad you were reaching for like and not for the Thumbs-Down button.
Yeah, and even then, WP still sucks less than Blogger…
I will admit that I’ve popped for a WP upgrade, so I can upload songs directly into my posts without worrying that YouTube will take away the rights at sometime in the future…
Not that I post often enough for anyone to care, but that’s the way it is…
It’s no big deal, but just FYI;
The “like” button works using Safari, I just found out, but not with Firefox, at least not for me, even with cleared cookies, disabled blockers, a fresh login and an empty cache.
I use Safari almost exclusively, and still I sometimes need to refresh. iOS also has a similar problem in the WP Admin screen, too.
Oh, man don’t GET me started on Chile. I watched the coup on TV at the time, with a guest from Chile in the room. I learned at an early age what anguish looked like as I watched a man worry about what his country had just turned into.
(my dad worked for the organization who runs (ran? its been a while) the astronomical observatory on Cerro Tololo in Chile.)
Henry Kissinger is a war criminal on the peer of any of the monsters at the Wannsee Conference. That that *thing* is allowed to walk free to this day is an affront to civilization.)
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6-degrees time: one of my distant cousin’s story as a (student) journo was a minor plot line in “Missing.” His story rivited me and so yeah, that Kissinger has not gone home to meet Ol’ Scratch is one of the great injustices of this lifetime.
A very well written response to a very badly POS racist screed attempting to ape its betters, ‘intellectually speaking’. Mark Steyn is one of those people I use to remind fellow Canucks that we have just as crazy racist a**holes come out of our culture as our American brethren whenever they start getting too smug about how much better we are than thee culturally speaking. Our recently removed PM being another and THANK! GOD! (irony intended) Harper is no longer PM for this event, else the jingoism and the thuggishness coming out of this nation’s official organs would be Steynian indeed.
Thank you for your blog, I think this is my second or third comment ever here, but I read it fairly regularly because I enjoy the content and the consideration that goes with it.
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Yeah, but. Yeah, but, but but… Kissinger is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate! (Or is it Lariat? Should be one around his fucking neck so we could pull him off the fucking Stage.) So, Peace Prize! Well, and Arafat, Peres, and Rabin. Oh, and Peace-Loving Obama. Oh, I see. Don’t mean what it says it means.