Principled Dupedom: On the Moral Imperative to be Stupid

One of the major weaknesses of Westerners in the current cognitive war with Islamic imperialism is a seemingly boundless commitment to being fooled. It’s almost as if, on principle, we need to accept lies from the other side as true, lest we be accused of being racist. There are two aspects to this, one, an honor-shame reflex that worries primarily about what others think of us (i.e., we’re not racist, but we’re worried others will think us so), and another, that spending our time suspecting others of deception strikes many of us (justifiably) as a huge waste of time. First let me go over some key examples here, and then come back to these two points.

Exhibit A: Andrea Koppel and the “Jenin Massacre.” During the period that the Israeli army conducted Operation Defensive Shield, reports came from Palestinian sources, especially from Saeb Erakat, accusing Israel of massacring over 500 innocent civilians in “execution-style” murders and burying them in mass graves. It turns out that, not only were they exaggerated, they were invented out of whole cloth. In fact, Israel sacrificed 21 soldiers in an operation that went from door to door in order to avoid civilian casualties and, in the end, of the 56 Palestinian casualties, the great majority were combatants. In other words, the situation was precisely the opposite of what the Palestinians claimed and the press reported an inversion of reality. In the middle of these events and reports, David Bloomberg reported witnessing the following exchange in Tel Aviv between Andrea Koppel, daughter of Ted, and reporter for CNN, and Adam Ruskin, an American-born Israeli:

While we [Bloomberg and Koppel] were chatting, an American-born Israeli joined us to tell Andrea about his perception of media distortion in that the press that stresses moral equivalence between Israeli civilian deaths caused by Palestinian terror and Palestinian civilian deaths caused by Israeli military actions. He argued that Israel has tried to engage in a peace process since Camp David and has been double-crossed over and over by the Palestinian Authority. Further, he argued the civilian deaths caused by Palestinians are intentional, whereas the deaths caused by Israel are mostly the tragic, unintentional results caused by Israel trying to defend itself.

Andrea replied, “So when Israeli soldiers slaughter civilians in Jenin, that is not equivalent?”

Israeli: “What are your sources? Were you in Jenin? How exactly do you know there was a slaughter?”

Andrea: “I just spoke with my colleagues who were there, and they told me of the slaughter.”

Israeli: “Did they actually see the shooting, the bodies?”

Andrea: “Palestinians told us about the slaughter.”

Israeli: “And you believe them without evidence. Could they possibly be lying and distorting facts.”

Andrea: “Oh, so now they are all just lying??” [sic]

The Israeli became emotional in describing that his children are afraid, his friends have been murdered, and if this goes on, “We could lose our lives or we could lose our country.”

Andrea, “Yes, you will lose your country.”

At this point, I interrupted the two of them and asked Andrea Koppel, “Did I just hear you correctly– that you believe the current crisis will lead to the destruction of the State of Israel?”

Andrea: “Yes, I believe we are now seeing the beginning of the end of Israel.”

Koppel later denied this report, which led to reponses by both Bloomberg and Ruskin. I think the latter two are telling the accurate story for a number of reasons, including the nature of their recollections. I think, however, that it illustrates the huge gap between the kind of DurahJournalism that was already dominant among the media stationed in Israel, and the residual ethical commitments of the mainstream news media to proper journalistic procedure.

In an unguarded moment, Koppel spoke like so many of her colleagues on the scene, not merely adopting Palestinian lethal narratives uncritically, but adopting the Palestinian “moral” narrative aimed at the destruction of the state of Israel. Once reported to her superiors in the USA, not yet overcome by DurahJournalism, she quickly backtracked, trying to deny what she had said, forcing Bloomberg to reveal the name of his other protagonist for corroboration.

What interests me most in this exchange is the remark with which Koppel replied to the possibility Ruskin raised about whether her Palestinian sources might be lying: “Oh, so now they are all just lying??” This reply exemplifies the politically-correct attitude that rejects accusations that Palestinians lie, with the implied (“they… all”) that somehow it’s prejudiced, even racist to accuse Palestinians of lying.

This is pure liberal cognitive egocentrism, in which we are not allowed to pay attention to cultural differences. There are cultures in which lying (especially to outsiders) is openly embraced as a virtue. Motivations range from the purely self-interested (giving directions when you don’t know just to save face and not admit ignorance), to malice (deliberately misleading an outsider because you don’t like outsiders) to waging war.

Taqiyya goes well beyond Shias protecting themselves from Sunni oppressors, and involves extensive disinformation to infidels, especially in cases of covert Jihad. Those among the shabab who play Pallywood would laugh at some Westerner’s rebuke that it’s “not right” to do such things.

So why do we, as a matter of principle, refuse to consider the possibility (high likelihood) that we’re being lied to by our “Palestinian sources”? Because it makes us feel like good, decent, honorable human beings who believe that everyone is like us? Or, more darkly, because it gives us narratives that make us feel emotions we welcome, moral superiority to and even revulsion at Israeli behavior? After all, the same journalists who are principled dupes to Palestinian lies have no problem accusing the Israelis are lying and propaganda.

Exhibit B: Muhammad al Durah One of the more fascinating aspects of the al Durah Affair concerns the attitude towards Talal’s testimony. It lies at the heart of the matter, since he’s the one to claim a) that the Israelis fired continuously for over 40 minutes, targeting the boy, and b) that the boy died before his camera.

Enderlin based his report on this testimony, and all subsequent accounts follow his narrative, if not in its extreme form – cold blooded murder – at the very minimum, in his claim that the boy died on camera. Indeed, the power of this footage, its riveting quality, and the inability of people to view it as anything but the scene of a boy dying under a hail of bullets, all traces back to Talal’s first claim.

The widespread reluctance of people who have seen the full evidence to go any farther than stating that the Israelis most likely did not kill him, stems from a double resistance to a) seeing Talal (and the Palestinian street) as deliberate liars, and b) seeing Charles Enderlin (and the journalist’s street) as dupes to so obvious a fake. I personally think the “conspiracy theory” is actually (in a addition to being Charles Enderlin’s only effective defense), an unconscious admission on the part of those who accept Enderlin’s version that only some massive conspiracy involving the staffs of both Shifa Hospital in Gaza City and the King Hussein Hospital in Jordan as well as even the king himself (who allegedly – in these matters one never knows – gave blood to Jamal), and all the journalists who stepped in line… ridiculous. Therefore it couldn’t be a fake. QED.

The alternative is to imagine the possibility that a) cooperation with the fake was widely received, even by people who hadn’t been brought in to start (e.g., the Jordanians), and b) the number of willing dupes was numberless, including so many of the journalists who didn’t bother to ask any hard questions.

Exhibit A: Susan Goldenberg, writing for the Guardian, comes to the site, observes a dozen bullet holes behind the barrel, some so close to the barrel they could not have come from the Israeli position, all with direct entry trajectories rather than the 30 degree angle they would have had coming from the Israelis, and not nearly enough to corroborate Talal’s claim that the Israelis were firing “bullets like rain” for over 40 minutes, and concludes:

[T]he 12-year-old boy and his father were deliberately targeted by Israeli soldiers.

Exhibit B: Robert Fisk, who didn’t even need to show up to conclude:

When I read the word “crossfire”, I reach for my pen. In the Middle East, it almost always means that the Israelis have killed an innocent person.

While I don’t think that the entire field of Middle-East journalism was committed to the kind of lethal journalism here illustrated, I think that after the al Durah story broke, the rest of the field either got in line, or, perhaps more depressingly, did not dare to say a word.

Rumors have it that Talal sent his footage to Mike Hannah at CNN (not sure of the timing here, since he was allegedly – I trust Enderlin on nothing in this story – on the phone to Enderlin during the day), and Hannah told him he wouldn’t run it. This story makes a great deal of sense: Hannah wouldn’t turn down a story as explosive as this unless he had strong suspicions it was faked (as was most footage of clashes between Israelis and Palestinians at that time: it’s one thing to run fake footage of minor injuries, another to run the on-camera death of a child). He, like I think anyone not under the spell of the desire to see a dead child would, looked at the footage and thought: “There’s no way I can run this footage. Way too many holes in this story, critics will tear it to pieces.”

Enderlin’s “genius” was to realize that if he packaged this right, gave everyone in the JCS building a copy of the footage, and warned everyone they were about to see something terrible, he could create a stampede in which, eventually, even CNN would run the story. And he was right. Shades of Charlie Sheen creating a run on Wall Street.

Maybe I’m missing something here, but I think the widespread belief that Muhammad al Durah died on camera is obviously false, and the fact that the Enderlin cut it from his news report, is virtually an open and shut case against the “boy died on camera” claim.

“Take 6” in which the boy, rather than clutch his stomach wound, holds his hand over his eye, slowly lifts up his elbow, looks out and slowly lowers his elbow, lifting up his feet in counter-weight. Enderlin explained that he cut the footage because, as the boy’s death throes, it was too painful for the audience to see. The “audience” can judge whether this looks like the spasmodic death throes of a child, or deliberate and controlled actions.

When asked by Esther Schapira why he called the boy dead while showing earlier footage when he’s clearly not dead, Enderlin responded:

“I’m very sorry but the fact is the boy died. Maybe not at the precise moment I showed. But this is how I do a story. ‘The boy is dead’ is a statement. What’s your problem with that?”

And the fact that every news station that got the footage from Endlerlin did not find this final scene suspicious and use it to question Enderlin’s account, means that, far from a serious independent work, the Middle Eastern desks lined up behind their colleague, even though the damage caused by this footage was immediately evident. As Pierre Taguieff noted about the kind of anti-Zionism that emerged in the wake of al Durah and the Intifada he inspired: “When all the fishes swim in the same direction, it’s because they’re dead.”

All of this brings us back to the discussion of the process of auto-stupefaction I’ve referred to as rekaB Street. Rather than note the clues and the anomalies and pursue them fearlessly, most prefer not even to view the evidence, to dismiss it as a conspiracy theory, or, in some cases, to take a couple of fearless steps and then demur from reaching any further conclusions. Heaven forbid we call Talal a liar and Enderlin a(n apparently willing) dupe! Better we remain stupid.

On the contrary, I think that anyone who approaches the evidence not from the point of view in which “‘the boy is dead,’ and only 110% proof to the contrary will get me to change my mind,” but rather, “what’s going on in this tape? what are the odds it’s about a boy being killed by fire coming from the Israeli position, and what are the odds that it’s been staged?” will find the odds overwhelmingly favor staged (conservative estimate: 95-5?). If we thought about crimes the way most now think about this footage, we could close down our detective agencies and police departments.

37 Responses to Principled Dupedom: On the Moral Imperative to be Stupid

  1. Dr Landes said:

    It’s almost as if, on principle, we need to accept lies from the other side as true, lest we be accused of being racist. There are two aspects to this, one, an honor-shame reflex that worries primarily about what others think of us (i.e., we’re not racist, but we’re worried others will think us so), and another, that spending our time suspecting others of deception strikes many of us (justifiably) as a huge waste of time.

    I think that the second consideration (i.e. that it is a waste of time to start suspecting the Palestinians of Pallywood deception) can be partly attributed to another honor-shame reflex: we don’t want to be thought of as being cynics or, worse, conspiracy theorists. Cynicism is (usually, not always) viewed as a kind of degrading character trait, and conspiracy theorizing as an indicator of inanity, we wouldn’t want to be seen as such.

    And so as not to be thought of as cynics or fools, we cynically blame the Israelis with lies and fool ourselves that there is really no problem with the Islamist culture that threatens to gobble up Europe.

  2. Andrea: “Oh, so now they are all just lying??” [sic]

    Up to that point, the conversation was flowing without tension. But Ms Andrea became overtly defensive at the mention of the possibility of Palestinian lies. This might be a sign that she felt she was on shaky ground, that she had at the back of her mind that the Palestinians in this incident might have indeed lied. Also, a sign that she might have had inklings that Palestinian lying is a more general phenomenon, because it was her that brought the generalization (“all Palestinians”) up.

    We tend to become overtly defensive when we feel insecure, and why else would she feel insecure if it had not occurred to her that the Palestinians might indeed be lying?

    • From the New York Times:

      Rockets Fired From Egyptian Sinai Land in Israel
      A shadowy Islamic extremist group said it had fired the two rockets in support of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.

      But when the Islamic extremists are Hamas, we only get a description of them as “militants” or “fighters” or “combatants”, not as “Islamic extremists” – yeah, ok, it would be too much to ask for “terrorists”, even though Hamas is designated as a terrorist organization both in the EU and the US. The Palestinian David wouldn’t be as appealing to the western audience if he was presented as a terrorist, and it is the Israeli Goliath that we, morally enlightened journalists and academics, that we are after – no matter that the Goliath is the really moral one in the conflict.

      A “shadowy” extremist group attacked Israel, not the Hamas fighters.

      Some extremists are more equal than other extremists.

  3. Dr Landes said:

    So why do we, as a matter of principle, refuse to consider the possibility (high likelihood) that we’re being lied to by our “Palestinian sources”? Because it makes us feel like good, decent, honorable human beings who believe that everyone is like us? Or, more darkly, because it gives us narratives that make us feel emotions we welcome, moral superiority to and even revulsion at Israeli behavior? After all, the same journalists who are principled dupes to Palestinian lies have no problem accusing the Israelis are lying and propaganda.

    I think that these two explanations for our principled dupedom to the Palestinian narratives are not mutually exclusive, but complementary.

    Our brains are parallel processors, we might very well entertain two apparently contradictory motivations at the same time. Both our moral narcissism in wanting to entertain a decent self-image even at the expense of truth and our susceptibility to experience moral schadenfreude when blaming Israelis/Jews can be present at the same time.

    And let us not forget to add a third possible motivation to acquiesce to the Palestinian lies, which Dr Landes had already offered a few paragraphs before, our fear of being morally shamed by our peers as racists, in case we accuse the Palestinians of lying.

    • mika. says:

      What bothers me most is not the behavior of Koppel and the rest of them CIA/Vatican propaganda whores; what bothers me most is that they and their CIA/Vatican propaganda outlets suffer ZERO consequences themselves as a result of their behavior. Even Richard Landes, who is perceptive enough and knowledgeable enough to understand their behavior, still entertains this bullshit by tuning in to it. Why? Why are we giving these fscks our attention, ratings, and our money? Why is it that after over half a century of this bullshit, these fscks are still around and still continuing their mischief?

      Why? I’ll tell you why! Because it is all orchestrated with complete acquiescence of the CIA/Vatican agents in our Knesset and our media outlets (which are really the CIA/Vatican media outlets). It is a sick game played with Israeli and Jewish lives is the service of Vatican/CIA fascist nazi imperialism.

      • @ mika

        Even Richard Landes, who is perceptive enough and knowledgeable enough to understand their behavior, still entertains this bullshit by tuning in to it. Why?

        I don’t know about Dr Landes, but i can speak for myself: i tune in so as to know what’s going on and talk with others about it. It’s self-defense really.

        • mika. says:

          That’s not self-defense, that’s masochism. Self-defense would involve removing the threat and the potential of the threat from existence. You are doing nothing of the kind by engaging and patronizing these villains and their institutions. All you are doing by engaging these villains and patronizing their institutions is lending them support and credibility. It is exactly such a warped mindset that keeps these villains and their institutions alive.

          • @ mika

            Masochism if you want, but bound to be unfulfilled: no self-respecting slave would ever want Harriet Sherwood or Judi Ruroden as his dominatrix.

          • mika. says:

            “Masochism if you want, but bound to be unfulfilled”

            Exactly. So what’s the point? If you want things to change, vote with your feet.

  4. Dr lande said:

    This is pure liberal cognitive egocentrism [LCE], in which we are not allowed to pay attention to cultural differences.

    Maybe we should draw a distinction here between LCE and moral relativism?

    LCE is a cognitive stance that, in the end, issues the descriptive statement “non-westerners feel and think like we, westerners, do” – with the corollary that the Islamists are only interested in their economic situation and their human rights and not in spreading Islam in Europe and in destroying Israel, because they are like us, westerners, who are concerned with our personal finances and freedoms and not with dominating.

    Moral relativism on the other hand is a thesis that issues the normative statement “it is wrong to criticize other cultures’ moralities based on our own moral standards”.

    No doubt, LCE is contributing to our tendency to adopt the moral-relativist stance, but it is when we take the step from description to prescription that a bigger danger arises: LCE makes us passive dupes of Islamist demopaths, moral relativism makes us enablers of Islamist demopaths, i.e. it makes us active dupes willing to take matters a step further and fight a cognitive war on the side of the Jihadis by spreading their Pallywood narratives and by silencing through moral intimidation any sane and sensitive voice that speaks out against the barbarianism of the Islamists.

  5. Vilmos says:

    In the link to the “cultures in which lying” there is an extra space before WNB.


  6. Fritz Wunderlich says:

    It’s almost as if, on principle, we need to accept lies from the other side as true, lest we be accused of being racist.

    That`s it, perfect.

  7. @ Fritz

    Concerning your first link, the one about the owner of Malaga football (soccer) club (Al Thani, who is related to the Qatari ruling family), i think they have learned the trick of shouting “racism” from the radical Lefty/progressive Human Rights Organizations. The Islamists are not the only ones to take advantage of this moral intimidation “technique”: i haven’t yet engaged in an online debate where someone has not called me “racist” just because i am pro-Israel and against Islamism – they spout the word with an ease that is outrageous in that not only is it gratuitous but it also obscures what racism really is, and trivializes a term that could be put in good use – especially in characterizing the Arab/Muslim attitude towards Jews, which is textbook racism.

    The funny thing with those humanitarian racists of the western NGOs who delude themselves that they care about human rights is that they, too, will suffer the consequences of their Islamism-enabling actions once the demographics in Europe allow the Islamists to behave like they really want to. And the Islamists can’t take “no” for answer.

    Here is a football-related example indicative of the Islamist (and, specifically, Palestinian) attitude towards whatever gets in the way of their gratification:

    “Palestinian Protestors Burn F.C. Barcelona Jerseys to Protest Friendly Match in Israel”

    “Do as we say, or we will burn you”. Bully chic?

    Whatever, Europe will find out what sort of monster it has been breeding while all along it was supporting the Palestinians against Israel.

    • @ Fritz

      Just to explain my use of the term “humanitarian racist” as qualifying the NGO operatives: i picked it up from Manfred Gerstenfeld:

      I think the term is apt because the NGO staff (and the media) treat the Islamists and the Palestinians as if they had no moral agency, i.e. as if the Islamists cannot be held accountable for their own actions. And this is a racist consideration that leads to the absurdity of not criticizing the Palestinians for the terrorism and, instead, heaping moral opprobrium on Israel that behaves according to moral standards that i doubt that any western Army could match under similar circumstances in asymmetrical wars.

      Ok, maybe we shouldn’t be considering this “progressive” attitude towards the Palestinians to be racism? Because it is meant to be benign? But it hurts the Palestinians in the long run, since it shatters the prospects of peace by making them more intransigent in their demands.

      Anyway, let’s just call it then “Patronizing the Palestinians”:

      Personally, i love cats. The media love the Pals, who am i to protest one’s choice of a pet – because that’s how they treat them, as pets.

  8. […] Principled Dupedom: On the Moral Imperative to be Stupid, Richard Landes, focusing on two famous cases – the supposed “massacre” in Jenin […]

  9. […] Principled Dupedom: On the Moral Imperative to be Stupid, Richard Landes, focusing on two famous cases – the supposed “massacre” in Jenin and the Al […]

  10. The propaganda war is being won because the Palestinians’ Islamic mindset allow them with perfect legitimacy to play by a different set of rules. The Western media, by and large, seeks to get to the truth, allegedly; the Islamist response, legitimised in the Hadiths, is to get people to believe whatever best serves its political purposes. Against such, the West hitherto has no defence. Lying? Of course they’re lying because they have brought an entire hemisphere around to the notion that the revisionist history taught in their schools and madrassas is accurate and distortion of the truth is a perfectly legitimate jihadist weapon. As any serious student of the ME will know and every dictator realises, it’s not what you say but what you can make people believe that matters. Finally, when people use the word ‘racist’ it has become a catch-all encompassing xenophobia and religious imperialism. As such it is nothing more than vulgar abuse and should be treated as such.


    Mondoweiss has today a piece by Alex Kane that exemplifies one of the fruits of Liberal Cognitive Egocentrism (LCE), namely the tendency of the media to ignore culture and religion as potential causes of terrorism. It is unacceptable to even imply that the Boston terrorists acted as Muslims, because this supposedly makes us hateful of all Muslims.

    The truth is, of course, that we have no reason to hate all Muslims, but we have every reason to be concerned about possible mainstream interpretations of Islam that are conducive to terrorism. The fact that (as has been shown in polls) there are many Muslims who find the 9/11 attacks morally justified is reason enough to worry about such interpretations of Islam that breed Muslim terrorists as the Boston bombers. It is the moral wrongness of such interpretations and the deleterious effects they have that should be our target, not the Muslim population. The media’s job is to expose both the interpretations and its adherents because such widely held interpretations have the potential to radicalize the Muslim populations.

    Simply put, if we don’t want the Muslim populations in the West to turn into terrorists, we must be ready to speak out against what causes them to become terrorists. Side-stepping the issue because it is not politically correct to talk about such things and because we are afraid to be morally intimidated by the liberal cognitive egocentrists who are quick to call us “Islamophobes” (as if it is irrational to be afraid of popular interpretations of Islam that result in terror and bloodshed of innocents) is suicidal. If we want to allow our moral narcissism (or fear of moral intimidation by the cognitive egocentrists) to take hold of our actions, and to prevent us from speaking out about the potential of Islam to generate slaughters, then we become dupes of the Islamists that have waged jihad against the West, and we are no better than the cognitive egocentrist dupes.

    Italics are Alex Cane’s (the author), normal font mine.

    Boston Marathon bombings unleash a new wave of Islamophobia

    Could it be because the perpetrators were Muslims and because of the fact that the bulk of global terrorism nowadays is perpetrated by Muslims? If it is politically correct to conjecture that seeing violence on TV makes kids prone to violence, why is it not politically correct to say that hearing radical Muslim preachers makes Muslim kids prone to terrorism? Are we not allowed to criticize practices and shows that are potentially inculcating people with a wish to harm?

    It’s happening again: another collective freakout steeped in Islamophobia. The Boston Marathon bombings have unleashed the anti-Muslim sentiment that bubbles under the surface and always shines bright in times of national hysteria. The current wave of Islamophobia the country is perpetuating and experiencing–and it’s only the beginning–is the first since the Park 51 fracas in 2010.

    Notice the “it’s happening again”: the moral bully is trying to make things sound sinister for the safety of Muslims, as if the US has a record of suppressing Muslims. In the process, he doesn’t mention anything about the safety of the general population of the US, Muslim and non-Muslim, which is threatened by Muslim terrorism.

    The news that the main suspects in the bombing are Chechen Muslims will fuel the ugly hate that has intensified since September 11. But the hate was unleashed immediately after the attack, even before the public knew that Muslims were involved.

    Expecting the terrorist to be a Muslim is the result of a psychological process that makes use of the human capacity to think inductively, i.e. to generalize on the basis of past experience. The whole of our science is based on inductive reasoning. The conditional “if terrorist, then probably Muslim” is called a “reliable stereotype” and is morally innocuous, as the stereotype “if immigrant, then probably poor”. They are both based on our past encounters of concurrence of the antecedent and the consequent – nothing wrong with forming such stereotypes, hence our calling them “reliable”.

    But the author, like a good liberal egocentrist, does not want to acquiesce even to a process of reasoning that is hard-wired in humans. Maybe because his moral narcissism compels him to be morally super-human? If so, in his attempt to be (pseudo)super-moral he forgets that he is mortal.

    How little is needed for the brash and bigoted side of this country to come out swinging against the “Muslim enemy” we have been been so trained to fear.

    Trained to fear the Muslims? Oh, he probably made a Freudian slip, unconsciously thinking about the training that some Muslim terrorists undergo abroad, and about the stated goal of terrorists which is, well, to instill fear in the West.

    Notice, also, how he completely inverts reality, by presenting the most Muslim-friendly country in the West as Islamophobic – this reality-inversion is typical of cognitive egocentrists, because reality cannot accommodate their aggressively wishful thinking that all people on the globe are thinking in the same way.

    It’s very easy to see the most blatant manifestations of the ugly phenomenon of Islamophobia, which casts collective blame on all Muslims. The right-wing is always the place to start. But it’s also emanating from our mainstream institutions and figures, where it’s a little more difficult to identify the Islamophobia. It’s there, though. Powerful institutions and figures are focusing on Muslims and trying to justify even more animus and surveillance targeting the Muslim community in the United States.

    That he feels the need to disapprove of surveillance, which is an innocuous security measure, is proof enough of the lengths to which the western dupes of Islamists are willing to go in order to commit cultural (and maybe physical) suicide.

    Let’s begin with the easiest of places: the Islamophobic media. The New York Post led the charge on this front. In the immediate hours after the Boston attack, the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid fingered a “Saudi national” who was injured in the blast as a suspect. It turns out he had nothing to do with the attack.

    “Rupert Murdoch” in some circles is code for “right-winger” and, hence, a cue that the reader should not trust anything coming from his media, even if it is the unadulterated truth. Cognitive egocentrists are usually quick to demonize, despite their self-proclaimed tolerance.

    Anyone trying to draw attention to the fact that Islam has the potential to breed terrorists is dismissed with no counter-argument. Well, that’s understandable because there can be no counter-argument to reality.

    Drawing attention to a Saudi (not even Muslim) cannot have been an instance of Islamophobia, given the fact that the majority of the 9/11 terrorists were Saudis. But truth and LCE don’t mix well.

    The other easy place to see anti-Muslim hate is, of course, the Islamophobic blogosphere. Pamela Geller went from freaking out about the Saudi to freaking out about two innocent people featured on the Post’s front page to freaking out about a missing university student to finally arriving at where everybody else is: freaking out about the Chechen suspects. What tied them all together was they all looked “Muslimy,” the term Wajahat Ali aptly used in Salon, and denotes how Muslims have become racialized in this country. There was also Steve Emerson, the faux terror “expert” welcomed by AIPAC with open arms, who opined about the “Saudi national” on television, as Ali Gharib documented.

    The “racialization” of Muslims he alludes to deserves a reply: the moral repugnance of racism rests on the fact that people have no control over their genes that that decide their color. Blaming people for things they have no control over is not just immoral, it’s stupid. On the other hand, blaming unjust and violent behaviors or belief systems that lead to such unjust and violent behaviors is morally acceptable and, even, required.

    I would agree that that blaming someone for being Muslim is, obviously, morally wrong. But wondering whether his being a Muslim might mean that he is one of those Muslims who adhere to the extreme and widely held interpretations of the Quaran (i.e. Muslims that justify the 9/11 terrorism and the Palestinian terrorism) is not morally wrong. Being concerned with an interpretation of the Quaran that makes people susceptible to become terrorists is not morally wrong and it is not irrational, therefore it is not Islamophobia.

    And then there are the anti-Muslim hate crimes. ColorLines has chronicled some of them. They include: a white man punching a Palestinian woman who wears a hijab in Massachusetts; and Latino men beating up a Bangladeshi in the Bronx because he looked “Arab.”

    Two Muslims have been attacked by two lunatics. And this fact, according to the author, constitutes an indication of Islamophobia in America. If we were to justify our concerns about Islam on such flimsy ground (just two hate crimes), how aggressively would the author have attacked us?

    Consistency is not the strongest point of liberal cognitive egocentrists, their usual self-indulgence and over-concern with their image makes them produce such inane arguments.

    But how easy anti-Muslim sentiment migrates over into the mainstream. Sure, this form of Islamophobia is not as blatant as Pam Geller’s. But it’s just as dangerous–if not more so, since more people imbibe what the mainstream tells them.

    The mainstream media is busy speculating about whether Islam played a role in the decision to blow up the bombs at the Boston marathon. I heard one reporter ask the uncle of the suspects whether they were “radicalized” in a local mosque, apparently not knowing that the vast majority of mosques in the nation are nowhere near “radical.” This is the soft bigotry the mainstream is engaging in.

    Another inversion of reality.

    The mainstream media make consistent attempts not to offend the Muslims at any cost. The media don’t even report accurately on the Israel-Palestine conflict, a conflict that exposes the ugliness of Jihadism in all its ramifications. And, yet, the author disregards this suicidal tendency of the media to ignore the dangers that the West faces from radical Islam, and even complains about “soft bigotry” against Muslims by the mainstream media.

    He even blames a reporter who asked the obvious question, i.e. where exactly he got radicalized. As if the (purported, i wouldn’t trust the author’s unsubstantiated claim) fact that most mosques might not be radical proves that the terrorists local mosque could not have been radicalized.

    Only Allah could have made us that suicidally stupid – then again, our moral narcissism does the trick as good as the Prophet would have, peace be upon him and upon our naivete.

    Another culprit that has bought into Islamophobia, and therefore legitimizing it, is law enforcement. Return back to the Saudi national story. As The New Yorker’s Amy Davidson writes, “he was the only one who, while in the hospital being treated for his wounds, had his apartment searched in ‘a startling show of force,’ as his fellow-tenants described it to the Boston Herald, with a ‘phalanx’ of officers and agents and two K9 units.” Davidson goes on to ask: “Why the search, the interrogation, the dogs, the bomb squad, and the injured man’s name tweeted out, attached to the word ‘suspect’?” The question answers itself. He was Saudi. He was Arab. That’s enough for a lot of people, including law enforcement. It speaks volumes that the only injured person to have his home searched by law enforcement was the Saudi national.

    As i have said, given the Saudi predilection for terrorism as in 9/11, the Police had to follow the most promising lead in the person of the Saudi.

    Even common sense has to retreat to make room for the liberal cognitive egocentrists delusions of moral grandeur.

    Finally, let’s look at the man who runs the city that suffered the nation’s most catastrophic terrorist attack. Mayor Michael Bloomberg sought to reassure New York City in the aftermath of the Boston attacks. But he ended up exploiting the attacks for his own political purposes. At a press conference on Tuesday, he crassly said: “The moment that we let our guard down, the moment we get complacent, the moment we allow special interests to shape our security strategies, is the moment that the terrorists are waiting for. As a country, we may not be able to thwart every attack. We saw that yesterday. But we must do everything we possibly can to try.”

    “Security strategies.” It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Bloomberg is referring to the New York Police Department’s tactic of spying on Muslim communities with no regard as to whether people are innocent or guilty of any crime. Don’t get complacent: stop criticizing the NYPD, the mayor says. They’re doing their job, and their job is to map Muslim communities, eavesdrop on conversations and catalog innocent people in police documents related to terrorism. And those “special interests”? That’s a clear as day reference to the Muslims who are fighting back against the spy program and to the allies who have joined them in that fight.

    Many of the Muslims who “are fighting back against the spy program” are the Islamist demopaths who use their petrodollars to spread Sharia in the West. They appeal to values, such as respect for human rights, for which they themselves have no respect whatsoever, and intend to violate them as soon as the circumstances allow them.

    But they couldn’t have any success in their ulterior designs were it not for the useful infidels, the dupes like the author, who have joined the Islamist demopaths in the fight”.

    It’s only when the Islamists are helped by the media that they manage to score such victories, as to make it a moral crime to judge systems of beliefs such as religions.

    I guess the author, the mainsteram media and the Islamist demopaths have found a way, without the invention of the time-machine, to turn us back to 1984 – in the Orwellian parallel universe which, courtesy of demographics, is coming soon to a theater near you, if you happen to be European. Enjoy.

    What Bloomberg doesn’t acknowledge is that the police department itself has admitted in court that their surveillance program has not stopped a single act of terrorism. Not one. Which begs the question: how can the “security strategies” Bloomberg is defending help prevent the next Boston? They can’t. But Bloomberg wants to justify a program that is Islamophobic at its core.

    The surveillance program “has not stopped a single act of terrorism” simply because the potential perpetrators were discouraged from committing an act of terrorism, knowing they were under surveillance. If there were no surveillance program, there might have been acts of terrorism. That’s why we conduct surveillance, in order to prevent, as the Bloomberg program did.

    The author should be wary of making such stupid claims, if surveillance is withdrawn, not even his residence in rekaB street will be safe from terrorism.

    So here we are, nearly 12 years after September 11 unleashed a new wave of anti-Muslim hate. 44 percent of Americans say they have an “unfavorable” view of Muslims, according to a recent poll–and that was before the Boston bombings. How little has changed.

    Equating “an unfavorable view of Muslims” with hating Muslims? Nuance just doesn’t come easy to liberal cognitive egocentrists.

    But i agree that very little has changed. Americans should have by now realized that the mainstream interpretation of Islam advocates Jihad against the West (violent or nonviolent) and they should have been demanding that the Islamist demopaths be exposed, instead of being protected, by the mainstream media.

    Let me, like the author did, deplore the 44% of awakening Americans worried about Islam.

    It should have been a 100%, but the mainstream media are just too caught up into the Politically Correct Paradigm that sets the coordinates of where anyone’s moral narcissism is permitted to wonder around.

  12. AND WHEN YOU WANT TO ATTRIBUTE MORAL EQUIVALENCE BETWEEN THE ISRAELIS AND THE HAMAS TERRORISTS, ALL THE UNIVERSE CONSPIRES IN HELPING YOU TO ACHIEVE IT – even if it means that you have to invent a time machine that makes it possible to compare 1942 with 2012, and even if it means that Mondoweiss has to LIE.

    From Mondoweiss (italics theirs, normal font blockqotes are the citations of mondoweiss, normal font mine):

    Double standard on killing collaborators
    by Phil Weiss, with Adam Horowitz and Annie Robbins on April 20, 2013 22

    Yesterday we pointed out Yale scholar Marci Shore’s piece on the Times op-ed page about the Warsaw Ghetto resistance of the 1940s, and the ways in which this Jewish resistance was memorialized by Zionists as a foundational myth for the Jewish state.

    Shore cited an often-overlooked fact:

    In October 1942, the Jewish Combat Organization carried out its first death sentence, assassinating a Jew serving as a policeman in the ghetto. They had to send a message: there was a price for collaboration.

    Oppressed Palestinians seem to operate by a similar code. Last November political forces in Gaza killed six men accused of being informants for Israel and dragged the body of one through the streets of Gaza City.

    But those actions brought round condemnation from valiant defenders of the civilized world.


    Sort of like terrorism. It’s barbaric– unless Jews do it.

    P.S. Annie Robbins points out that Hamas condemned those executions.

    Hamas’ Deputy Politburo chief Mousa Abu Marzook posted a message on his Facebook page condemning the execution of six people accused of being Israel collaborators.


    She notes that Hamas also kills collaborators, but after a trial.

    Yes, the fact that in 1942 the Jews killed a collaborator turns the modern Israelis morally equivalent with the Hamas terrorists that extra-judicially execute and treat savagely an informer.

    Come and think of it, my ancestors, the ancient Greeks, were also killing extra-judicially, and savagely, the collaborators.

    This clearly means that modern Greeks are morally equivalent with the Hamas terrorists.

    How much more Liberal Cognitive Egocentrism do we have to swallow before the world realizes that Hamas is the epitome of barbarianism?

    P.S. Oh, and Ms Annie Robbins (Editor at Large for Mondoweiss) is lying by omission, as is usually the case with Mondoweiss.

    The official Hamas assumed responsibility for the savagery:

    I quote Haaretz:

    Masked gunmen publicly shot dead six suspected collaborators with Israel in a large Gaza City intersection Tuesday, witnesses said. An Associated Press reporter saw a large mob surrounding five of the bloodied corpses shortly after the killing.Hamas’ military wing claimed responsibility. [emphasis mine]

    Some in the crowd stomped and spit on the bodies. A sixth corpse was tied to a motorcycle and dragged through the streets as people screamed, “Spy! Spy!”

    The Hamas military wing, Izzedine al-Qassam, claimed responsibility in a large handwritten note attached to a nearby electricity pole. [emphasis mine] Hamas said the six were killed because they gave Israel information about fighters and rocket launching sites.

    I cannot find the Facebook link that Mondoweiss cites (their link directs to Ynetnews) where, allegedly, Hamas condemns the execution, but even if the Facebook page existed it would have been just the usual Palestinian tactic – saying something in English for the benefit of the western useful-infidel dupes and saying something completely opposite in Arabic for the benefit of the Arabic audience (long live the spirit of Arafat!).

  13. Yamit82 says:

    Dionissis Mitropoulos says:
    April 21, 2013 at 5:16 pm


    Moral equivalency knows no bounds with these leftists. While some Jews in the Ghettos had little choice of what they were made to do and many in their own way helped at considerable risk to themselves other Jews, others were scum and enjoyed their relative positions of power. Some were more cruel and exceeded in enthusiasm brutality the dirty business the Germans gave them to do. Some were not real Jews but had either a single parent or distant relative and were even more antisemitic than the Germans and Poles. Those who were taken care of were no doubt a threat to other Jews and deserving. Check the archives at Yad ve Shem and there are hundreds of testimonies re: Jewish Police and Kapo’s and Jewish vengeance against many of them but not all.

    Let’s really compare Arab extrajudicial murders of their own. Facts are that in their societies which are clan centered when a rival clan wants to inflict damage to another they sometimes spread rumors about their opposition and in Arab societies rumors take on an aura of truth when enough people repeat them.

    Fact is Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank want to kill Jews, Jews like most normal people reject the notion of being killed without any effort to negate the utility of the Arab desire. So Israel needs to know what those Arabs are up to, it’s called collecting intelligence. To that end tens of thousands of Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank are employed or induced to provide information to Israel in-order for Israel to preempt attempts by Arabs in those places from attempts to murder we Jews. Israel in it’s efforts to attain such information is what any normal country does in it’s own self interest and self defense.

    Now if the Arabs were non violent and peaceful and their leaders in control of their societies there would be no reason for Israel to use such methods. Live and Let live, would reign supreme in our region.

    Putting paid to the lie of the anti Israel Left is that the Palestinian leadership more often than not are our primary sources of information re: planned attacks by their own people against Israel. They too are well paid by Israel the EU and America for their efforts and they would do nothing to change or end their lucrative gravy train and their fat bank accounts in Switzerland and other of shore zombie banks.

    Israel has the power if that were her intentions to literally eradicate the whole Palestinian non People. Maybe if the left pushes us hard enough that’s exactly what we will do.

    For over 10 years I did my reserve duty in the Gaza Strip and at times worked closely with our internal security forces to catch Terrorists and interrogate Arab Snitches (Shtinkers). If their information proved to be a lie they would be handled accordingly.

  14. sshender says:

    Richard, I am as skeptical of the Al-Durah affair as you are; however, wanted to hear your thoughts on whether Muhammad is still alive or not, which seems a rather non-trivial issue to me, and one which you seem to avoid in your writings. If he’s still alive, surely it would not be too hard to have someone find him and dispel any uncertainties we may have had. If, on the other hand, he was killed, why not concentrate more efforts on trying to find his burial place or put his family under more scrutiny? Moreover, if the footage was of a different child, why not find out that child’s identity?

    Even with the Hamas’ iron grip on the strip, surely some of it can be done by a non-Israeli/Jewish journalist. Is it really that hard to establish whether someone is dead or alive?

    And also, you promised a video/audio of the talk you gave together with Kenneth Levine. Any idea when it will be ready?


  15. Honey Bee says:

    Dionississ, is there no place on earth safe from your opinions and cats!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Babs says:

    Here in the UK, we have been bound and gagged for years in the face of the steadily increasing influence of Islam, due to successive UK governments’ mindless acceptance of the perversion of “multiculturalism” which is manipulated by the followers of the prophet to privilege Islam.

    I published my own take on how Islam has fascinated the West (and the sort of lazy thinking and blinkered view of the world that has allowed the West to be fascinated) at and it was cross posted on Think Israel.

    • @ Babs

      I haven’t read all of your article yet, but this caught my attention:

      Joe and Jane [Bab’s fictional dupes of Islamists] have fallen from their own grace even by feeling it[resentment towards Islamists] and of course they feel guilty. They may even compensate for the harm they imagine themselves to have done by overidentifying with those they perceive to be the underdogs. Perceived through this lens, “We are all Hamas now!” becomes rather more than a mere statement of solidarity

      I think you caught perfectly the psychology of the Lefty/pseudo-progressive militant-activist dupe of Islamists who has come in touch with Islamists. How would Rachel Corrie have felt the first times she met with the alpha-male barbarian Palestinians? Despite all her willingness to view them as fellow human beings, she couldn’t have missed their dominating attitude towards women. And i think you are right in saying that this would have made her feel shame (“how can i, Rachel the champion of sensitivity, feel so insensitively towards the colonized underdog”?). From then onwards, needing to escape the feeling of shame by silencing the voices in her head that were telling her that the “underdogs” are not so ideal as she has been imagining them to be, she could very well end up committing herself more and more intensely to whatever causes the underdog had. Sort of shouting more in favor of the Pals/Islamists so that she could avoid hearing the bad news about the underdogs that part of her brain was telling her.

      I would speculate that, for many of the militant-activist variety of Lefty dupes, it is their quest to show to their societies (and their parents?) that they are far more sensitive and tolerant than them (the parents, the society) which motivates them (the Lefties) in the first place to adopt anything post-modernist and relavitistic that the Academia spews – hey, the Lefty academics are the prototype of such sensitivity-aspiring psychology (despite the fact that they end up being so insensitive as to support terrorism, seems that the road to Hell is paved not only with good intentions, but also with rocket-fire. If Allah existed, and had a sense of humor, he would have assigned to the female activists, post mortem, the role of the virgins awaiting Jihadis. But the odds are nil – that he has a sense of humor, his existence is certainly possible).

      If we add to this initial motivation of sensitivity-antagonism the consequent glee of being a moral narcissist (“i am more moral than most people because i am more sensitive”), and the fear of being rejected by their peer group in case they back off, and also add a possible pre-existing (mild or worse) feeling of moral competitiveness towards Israel, then we may have a psychological account for the pro-Islamist and anti-Israel discourse of many Lefty militant-activist dupes.

      On the possibility of such preexisting negativity towards Israel, you may want to see these: If you don’t have the time to read it all, you can just skip to the part where there is talk about the Leftists possible motivation.


      And just to give you a hint, i quote Dr Landes from the last link:

      In my effort to explain the virulent anti-Zionism of the “Left,” I suggested that it was a matter of moral envy and competitiveness, since Israel, under conditions of existential threat, behaved far more humanely towards its enemies, and more democratically towards its own people than, say, the brutal totalitarians Lenin/Stalin and Mao, who between them are responsible for over 100 million deaths of their own people.

      This, of course, explains the left’s anti-Zionism, not its pro-Islamism.

    • @ Babs

      From your article:

      It is useful to find out about why people leave Islam (good sources are and and to get to know as much as possible about how dissident groups are treated in Islamic societies.

      I did as you asked, and checked on how the Palestinians think about the issue of apostates of Islam. How tolerant they are towards them?

      Select results from a new Pew survey of Muslims worldwide show that Palestinian Muslims are among the most religiously conservative and intolerant of all Muslim-majority countries.

      Here are some of the survey questions with how Palestinian Muslims answered:

      Do you favor or oppose the following: the death penalty for people who leave the Muslim religion?
      Favor – 62% Oppose – 29%

      62% of the Palestinians have no problem stating in public that they want to kill anyone who converts from Islam to anything else.

      And the international community is asking Israel to accept the Palestinian faux refugees’ return to Israel. If the Palestinians can turn so violently hostile towards their own people, how could they ever coexist peacefully with the Israelis once their number in Israel allowed them to express their aggression?


    In February, six Belgian senators (three of whom are Muslim) introduced a draft resolution in the Belgian Federal Parliament that would make “Islamophobia” a crime punishable by fines and imprisonment.

    The draft text — which, among other objectives, seeks to equate “Islamophobia” with anti-Semitism — is audacious in scope and if passed would pose a devastating blow to the exercise of free speech in Belgium.

    According to the authors of the resolution, a person would be guilty of Islamophobia if he or she:

    Considers Islam to be a single monolithic bloc, closed and static, incapable of adapting to new situations;
    Considers Islam to be separate and “different,” devoid of having any aims or shared values ​​with other cultures, not influenced by other cultures and not influencing other cultures;
    Considers Islam to be inferior to the West, to be barbaric, irrational, primitive and sexist;
    Considers Islam to be violent, threatening and supportive of terrorism, actively engaged in a ‘clash of civilizations’;
    Considers Islam to be a political ideology, used for political and military purposes to establish its hegemony;
    Rejects out of hand criticisms made by Islam of ‘the West’;
    Shows hostility towards Islam to justify discrimination and social exclusion of Muslims;
    Accepts hostility toward Muslims as natural and normal.

    This definition of Islamophobia, which is based on a 1997 report published by the London-based Runnymede Trust, would effectively outlaw any critical discussion of Islam in Belgium under the guise of combatting racism.

    And, kindly, provide one 9-year-old virgins to each and every Belgian Muslim. We wouldn’t want to “other” them just because they have a different cultural take on child molesting, would we?

  18. Honey Bee says:

    Homo Erectus


    The Islamic threat to the West and the Islamic motivations are playing themselves before us, but we are too politically correct to see them. I am an atheist and I take this to be a coincidence, not divine providence, but the fact remains that we can see in miniature the cultural war between Islamism and universal values just by observing the real war between Israel and the Palestinians.

    The insistence of the Palestinians and the Arab world in the (fake) right of return of the Palestinians is a clear case of stealth Jihad that aims at the demographic destruction of Israel. And yet, the western elites do not acknowledge this modus operandi of worldwide demopathic Islamofascists (and also suppress by accusations of Islamophobia anyone who dares to speak out), and as a result the western elites welcome demographic changes that tilt the balance in favor of the Islamofascists, oblivious to the transparent motivations of those Islamofascists, motivations that have at their core the establishment of Sharia Law in Europe – then they take Manhattan, after Berlin.

    And all along we have in front of our eyes the Israeli/Palestinian conflict which clearly shows that the ultimate motive of the Islamists (Pal/Arabs in this case) is to demographically destroy Israel, hence Arafat’s refusal to accept the 2,000 Camp David generous Israeli peace offer, because it wouldn’t accommodate the Palestinian fake right of return.

    We are blind in our ears and in our mind and in our eyes and, instead of supporting Israel, we westerners, tragic figures like Oedipus, await unknowingly the death of universal values. But Oedipus, at least, had a bit of kinky sex before meeting his tragic fate. What’s in it for us in becoming dupes of the Islamists?

    • mika. says:

      Cui bono?

      The Jihadistanis are completely subsidized and supported by the West. This has been so from day one. From the very first day, when Romanism sponsored and trained muhmud to plunder and murder Jews and Christians throughout the Roman Empire. Romanism used muhmud because Jews and Christians refused Roman Catholicism. Rome used muhmud as a proxy because as Roman citizens, these Jews and Christians were considered to be under Roman protection. Only, this Roman protection never came. Quite the opposite, Rome was granting muhmud “rights” to vast areas for plunder and murder.

      The same goes on today. Map out who are the main victims and beneficiaries of the Jihadistanis and al-CIA-da, and it’s always the “heretics”, that is, those who are not Roman Catholics who are the victims, while the beneficiaries are always the Roman Catholics.

      The whole CIA gov mafia is completely Roman Catholic. Look into the demographic makeup of the filthy rich towns and counties employed by thieving CIA gov mafia “security” bureaucracy. They are all Roman Catholic.

  20. […] he, like Derfner, somehow can’t imagine that the Jordanian report might be false, a kind of principled dupedom that characterizes inhabitants of rekaB […]

  21. […] he, like Derfner, somehow can’t imagine that the Jordanian report might be false, a kind of principled dupedom that characterizes inhabitants of rekaB […]

  22. […] Principled Dupedom: On the Moral Imperative to be Stupid, Augean Stables, April 18, 2013 […]

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