Some articles I’d like to blog on but don’t have the time

The following list constitutes a quick collection of articles I’ve saved to comment on. Inclusion in the list does not mean I agree with their point of view.

Jakub Grygiel, The Power of Statelessness

David Steinberg, If the Terrorists Misinterpret Islam …

Steve Emerson, State Department’s love affair with Islamists

Steve Emerson, Radicals in Our Prisons
How to Stop the Muslim Extremists Recruiting Inmates to Terrorism

Alan Dershowitz, Double Standard Watch: Obama’s got it exactly backwards

Myra Guarnieri, Identity and crisis, a review of Surrounded: Palestinian Soldiers in the Israeli Military

Bruce Bower, The Inner Worlds Of Conspiracy Believers

John Rosenthal, The Photo France does not want you to see.

Khaled Abu Toameh, Islam Today

Sam Ser, Explaining War

19 Responses to Some articles I’d like to blog on but don’t have the time

  1. oao says:

    khaled abu toameh is a must read.

    he has a very serious blind spot, however, let’s see if anybody here discerns it.

  2. [...] o­riginal h­ere: Augean­ St­ab­les » Som­e art­icles I'd­ like t­o b­log… Share and [...]

  3. Michelle Schatzman says:

    About conspiracy theories and its close friend, denialism, there is an excellent blog, which tracks mainly denialism in medicine, law and environment. Its definition of denialism is here:

    http://scienceblogs.com/denialism/about.php

  4. nelson says:

    many blind spots, oao,

    the most significant, however, seems to be the following: Toameh says the “Palestinians” voted for Hamas because it was different from Fatah (less corrupt or not corrupt at all — and this is a lie, as we can see in Gaza); actually, the “Palestinians” voted for Hamas not because of its differences with Fatah, but because of its similarities: both have the same goal, that is, the destruction of Israel and the extermination of the Jews; if the “Palestinians” have chosen Hamas, that’s because the Islamists seem much more eager to achieve this goal.

    Maybe what they really disliked about Fatah’s corruption (and they’re used to corruption) is that they suspected that, because of money, Fatah would delay too much or even give up the real goal.

    Hamas’ administration in Gaza is surely not better than Fatah’s in the West Bank (it is probably worse): thus, if they are willing to vote Hamas in, this has nothing to do with corruption and so on, but simply with Hamas’ open unwillingness to compromise even in the short term, even symbolically or falsely.

    By the way, why would the “Palestinians” mind about good governance if, first, they are sponsored by the US, EU, Saudi Arabia etc.? and, second, since as soon as they defeat and destroy Israel, they will automatically inherit all the “Jews’ gold”?

  5. oao says:

    the “Palestinians” voted for Hamas because it was different from Fatah

    of course, but this does not mean that fatah is not corrupt and that it did not serve as a reinforcer for voting for hamas.

    “Palestinians” have chosen Hamas, that’s because the Islamists seem much more eager

    not just more eager, but more effective too.

    they suspected that, because of money, Fatah would delay too much or even give up the real goal.

    delay is the main difference between fatah and hamas: slow vs. fast jihad–why kill ourselves now when we can have the gullible infidels in the west pump the jiziya and eliminate israel for us?

    Hamas’ administration in Gaza is surely not better than Fatah’s in the West Bank (it is probably worse)

    here you’re getting close to the major blind spot that i was referring to.

    By the way, why would the “Palestinians” mind about good governance if, first, they are sponsored by the US, EU, Saudi Arabia etc.? and, second, since as soon as they defeat and destroy Israel, they will automatically inherit all the “Jews’ gold”?

    it’s not just that they don’t mind. toameh does not ask himself why is it that the pals never developed honest leadership which wanted to give them a better life. the reason is the same for all arabs: their culture and religion prevent it. all that the int’l community did was to reinforce and reward that inherent characteristic.

  6. nelson says:

    By the time of the 1947 partition, the Yishuv had already had both a really working goverment and a functioning civil society, with all their institutions (from schools and universities to hospitals, sports clubs, tax collecting, an organized army and so on), for several decades. The Palestinias didn’t have anything similar at that point and now, 60 years later, they still don’t have it. The Yishuv was both a society and a country much before independence, while, even if given independence and a state of their own, the Palestinians still won’t be either a true country or a real society, not a modern one anyway. Why? Because that’t not, and has never been, their goal. The Palestinians were invented by the Arab world as an anti-Israeli weapon. Thus, if there’s anything we may call absolutely artificial in the Middle East, that is the Palestinian people. Suicide bombers seem natural in this context because, well, that’s were they belong. In a way, the Palestinians, as a people, are a kind of collective suicide bomb created with the sole intention of destroying the enemy.

  7. oao says:

    you’re preaching to the choir.

    The Palestinias didn’t have anything similar at that point and now, 60 years later, they still don’t have it.

    because they then had no notion whatsoever that they were a “people”. they were a bunch of arabs, many of them having come over from the arab states. only after israel kicked the arab asses in 1967 did the notion of pal people surfaced and even then if was not invented by the pals themselves. they had no idea they were a people.

    The Palestinians were invented by the Arab world as an anti-Israeli weapon. Thus, if there’s anything we may call absolutely artificial in the Middle East, that is the Palestinian people.

    a pal state will have the same consequences as pakistan, another artificial state.

  8. nelson says:

    wouldn’t last as long as Pakistan

  9. oao says:

    wouldn’t last as long as Pakistan

    well, they committed suicide many times, but were resuscitated and propped up by the enlightened int’l community. it can keep even the dead alive to produce havoc.

  10. Eliyahu says:

    the Palestinians, as a people, are a kind of collective suicide bomb created with the sole intention of destroying the enemy.
    Right!
    The “palestinian people” notion was not invented by the pals themselves. they had no idea they were a people
    Right!

    The “palestinian people” notion was invented in order to be a kind of “anti-people” just as anti-matter destroys matter so this anti-people was meant to destroy Israel and Jews. But I don’t believe that it was invented by Arabs. Rather, I think that it was invented by Western Judeophobes, experts in psychological warfare [and in what Stu calls cognitive warfare]. It was probably invented by British psywar experts. Why do I say by Westerners? Where did the Judeophobia of the UK govt go after the Holocaust? Maybe it just changed form into anti-Zionism, a more acceptable hatred in the post-Holocaust world. By the way, Manfred Gerstenfeld of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, writes that Britain is the most Judeophobic of Western European states [if I cite him correctly].

  11. oao says:

    Maybe it just changed form into anti-Zionism, a more acceptable hatred in the post-Holocaust world.

    MAYBE???????

    it was not the arabs who drove the british from palestine, right?

  12. nelson says:

    Let’s remember that many inventions are, at least in part, due to chance, and that, anyway, they have to be made with the available materials.

    Thus, I don’t really think that what I call the invention of the Palestinian people was something clearly designed and thought out from the very beginning. That’s not how things happen.

    The Arab governments and their allies and enablers made many, many mistakes. They too went through a process of trial and error. Were it not so, they wouldn’t have been beaten in 1948-49 or later. Nor would the creation of a so-called homeless and stateless people of victims, like the Palestinians, have been of much use during the 40s or 50s, when the world had fresh memories or really awful things and there were DPs (Displaced Persons) all around.

    The truth is that, as far as their idea of victory is concerned, the Arabs learned a lot from their mistakes, while the Jews, thanks to their luck and victories, started making more mistakes, but stopped learning much from them. I’d say that Israelis and Jews in general who are below 60 have been rather unlerning whatever the earlier generations knew either from experience or intuitively.

    When I say “the invention of the Palestinian people” I’m, up to a point, using a metaphor. But the whole complex process cannot be reduced to a plan or atributed to this or that group or organization. Many different and independent things had to appear or come together before such an invention became possible and useful.

    The result, however, is that this “invention” is now part of a much bigger problem. In short, the problem is that nowadays the enemies of the West seem to understand the contemporary Western mind much better than the Westerners in general undestand their enemies or, by the way, themselves.

  13. oao says:

    Thus, I don’t really think that what I call the invention of the Palestinian people was something clearly designed and thought out from the very beginning. That’s not how things happen.

    but it could have been instinctively perceived as useful for that purpose. and, as i suggested, if it were invented by non-arabs, surely the arabs quite quickly saw the value and exploited it accordingly.

    The truth is that, as far as their idea of victory is concerned, the Arabs learned a lot from their mistakes, while the Jews, thanks to their luck and victories, started making more mistakes, but stopped learning much from them.

    there’s certainly some truth in that, but the underlying mechanism is the int’l community. it is so gullible that the arabs learned quickly how to be effective with it, while israel did not see the danger in that and did not counter it. were it not for the int’l community i suspect israel would have behaved differently than the disastruous way it did.

    In short, the problem is that nowadays the enemies of the West seem to understand the contemporary Western mind much better than the Westerners in general undestand their enemies or, by the way, themselves.

    bingo.

  14. nelson says:

    I agree with you about the role of the International Community. But we’re still lacking a more precise definition of what or who is the IC.

    The IC in 1948, whatever it was, wasn’t the same as it was 10 years later, and it has changed since then too.

    By the early 50s we had, I think, the “non aligned” countries, the Soviet bloc and Nato. It took some time for the non aligned countries to merge, up to a point, with the Soviet bloc, and it was only by the end of the Algerian war that France adopted a clearly anti-American and anti-Israeli position, trying to get close to the Arabs.

    The old Western left followed Soviet orders, but its influence was much more restricted then. It’s only when the new left appeared that things started to change deeply in the Western countries, the US included. This new left fought for and won the “Gramscian” hegemony inside the educational system, the media and the intelligentsia.

    50/60 years ago the main Western nation-states were much stronger than today vis-s-vis the transnational bureaucracy which, then, barely existed. Now, as with the intelligentsia (and the members of academia, the media, the movie industry etc.), this bureaucracy forms a class of its own, with its own supra or extranational interests. Besides, there was no EU half a century ago, nor the Brussels and Strassburg bureaucrats.

    Even according to basic leftist dogma, the Arab/Muslim world, before the 60s, was considered reactionary, backwards. When, in 1979/80, Michel Foucault openly backed the Iranian revolution, the majority of the French intellectuals was scandalized. So were most leftist and “progressive” writers when, 10 years later, Khomeini condemned Rushdie to death.

    I’d say the whole context has been changing radically and fast. The Arabs and Muslims have been able to adapt better and quicker to the changing circumstances, maybe exactly because they never took seriously or literally things like the UN, human rights, antiracism etc.

    They discovered that for many observers it was enough if they just payed lip-service to all of this. Thus, while Israel, the US and much of the West seem to have taken things seriously and, when unjustly accused of some misdeed, they did their best to defend themselves at what they thought was a real court of justice, their enemies knew the whole thing was either a show-trial or a trial where the best way out always was to bribe the judge, buy the reporters and/or threaten the jurors and their families.

  15. oao says:

    It’s only when the new left appeared that things started to change deeply in the Western countries, the US included.

    yes, because the new left is a mixture of sore loser reaction to the failure of communism and a young generation who spews mindless slogans who have no meaning without having a clue about them. the likes of rachel corrie and the students at nyu who took over the building (i watched that video and it was mind boggling).

    maybe exactly because they never took seriously or literally things like the UN, human rights, antiracism etc.

    bingo.

    Thus, while Israel, the US and much of the West seem to have taken things seriously

    some do. but not seriously enough to learn and understand enough about reality. they only took themselves very seriously, not anybody else.

    anyway, your analysis is fairly accurate and that’s one reason why i keep claiming that it’s not islam that dooms the west, it’s suicide.

  16. nelson says:

    “it’s not islam that dooms the west, it’s suicide”

    agree: but it’s not because Islam has no wish to destroy it; a willing coalition of Western powers could easily reduce the power of Islam by simply taking its oil over; there are nations, I mean, real nations in the West and elsewhere (Japan, China), nations able to defend themselves; that’s not the case of the oil producing Muslim countries; as nations, they’re a fiction created by the West, and their formal right to own and do whatever they want with the oil found in their lands and the cash they get from it is sustained by the West; with the guarantees given by the West, they get money and spend it buying more guarantees and influence in the West; in short: they play the West as a violin

  17. oao says:

    but it’s not because Islam has no wish to destroy it

    you can’t suspect me, of all people, to believe that, do you? not just wishing, but actually actively engaged in it. my point is that it would not succeed had the west remained the west. but it has not and that dooms it.

    remember when the west got together against the nazis?
    well, slow jihad is MUCH more dangerous than that.

  18. oao says:

    michelle,

    this is for you:

    The wages of fighting campus complacency. . .and of campus complacency itself
    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2009/05/023666.php

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