Lethal, Own-Goal Journalism creates Caliphater BDS: Definitions

The following is a set of definitions I will be using in a talk I’m giving on Sunday. They are, I think, critical terms in understanding what has happened in the 21st century, and why we’re losing a war of the minds with triumphalist imperialist zealots. I will post the talk after I deliver it.

Definitions for Talk (* = my terms)


Lethal Narrative (Nidra Poller): a story designed to create hatred and a desire for revenge, like accusing someone of deliberately harming innocents. Most lethal narratives are false.

War Propaganda: False lethal narratives stand at the center of war propaganda produced by a belligerent force about their targeted enemy. A form of hate speech.

Lethal Journalism (Yossi Kuperwasser): The war correspondent’s first task is to filter out malevolent war propaganda, even on his own side. Lethal journalists, however, pass on lethal narratives of one side as news; they act as propagandists in someone else’s war.

Patriotic (tribal) war journalism: reporting “our” side’s propaganda as news. Widespread practice in early national journalism, today a major ethical challenge.

Own-goal War Journalism*: reporting your own side’s enemy’s war propaganda as news. Sinon, Laocoön and the Trojan Horse; Abu Rahmah, Enderlin and al Durah.


Triumphalism: dominion proves truth of one’s religion; to be right, “our” religion must rule. “I’m right cause I’m on top.” One God (ours), one king. Hierarchical.

Supersessionism: passive aggressive monotheist triumphalism; the conviction that one’s own value system completely replaces – erases and replaces – previous ones. Christianity supersedes Judaism, Islam, Christianity and Judaism, secular progressive left, all monotheisms… but especially Judaism.

Demotic religiosity*: dignity of manual labor, egalitarian relations of autonomous moral agents; positive-sum chosenness. No king but God.

Triumphalist Muslim terms:

      if you don’t know these terms you are religiously illiterate in the 21st century

Dar al Islam: Realm of submission/peace, where Muslim law (Sharia) rules.

Dar al Harb: Realm of the sword/war, where infidels are autonomous.

Kafir, kufar (pl): Infidel (one who “covers/conceals” the truth).

Harbi: one destined to the sword, autonomous kufar, inhabitant of dar al harb.

Jihad: holy war for the defense or expansion of Dar al Islam

Da’wa: summons or invitation to the kufar to convert to Islam.

Dhimmi: “Protected” people whom Muslims allow to live in exchange for their voluntary assumption of a condition of public disgrace.


Cognitive War (Stuart Green): Convincing more powerful enemy not to use its power. Mostly defensive, get imperialists to leave; some invasive: get enemy not to resist take-over.

Caliphaters*: triumphalist Muslims who believe that in this generation they will spread Dar al Islam to the entire world, and put an end of Dar al Harb. Both Jihad and Da’wa are legitimate means to that end.

Caliphaters three choices: conversion to Islam, death, or dhimmitude.

Da’wa cognitive war*: Caliphaters summoning people to the three choices; get kufar to become proleptic dhimmi, submitting without (before) conquest. “Europe and US will be conquered not by jihad but by Da’wa.” al Qaradawi, Muslim Brotherhood.

Proleptic Dhimmitude*: behaving submissive towards Muslim demands even though free to dissent. Jihadi terror and Da’wa cogwar are the one-two punch of proleptic dhimmitude: PD’s motto: “don’t piss them off.” PD’s self-image: mature, generous, considerate.

Islamophobia: caliphater cogwar weapon designed to silence opposition and apply laws of dhimmitude to harbis, forbidding criticism of Islam or Muslims.

Israel: demotic state of autonomous (non-dhimmi) Jews in Dar al Islam. Central target in an apocalyptic war of extermination against all enemies of “true” Islam.

Own-goal cogwar*: scoring goals for enemy; blocking own side’s shots. #ASSO21C

To use that terminology in two paragraphs:

Lethal journalists, thinking they were siding with insurgent nationalists (Palestinians) against an imperialist colonialist occupier (Israel), engaged in own-goal war journalism, systematically pumping jihadi war propaganda into the West as news. In so doing, they on the one hand, strengthened the triumphalist caliphaters, both those who, like Bin Laden, embraced Jihad and those who, like Muslim Brotherhood preacher Yussuf al Qaradawi, embrace Da’wa in the war against Dar al Harb and, on the other hand, weakened fellow resisters of Caliphate imperialism (tautology), starting with Israel, a nation whose very existence is an insult to triumphalist Muslims. (Free kufar in Dar al Islam? Allah forbid!) Anyone who imagines the new century’s global community as one of pacific and productive global civil society, knows for a certainty, that we need to confront, not appease this aggressive triumphalism.

BDS constitutes a main front in the cogwar that Caliphaters wage against the West right now. They have enlisted as allies, allegedly progressive Westerners who promote their triumpalist cause – namely, eliminating independent Jews in Dar al Islam and silencing as Islamophobes, those in Dar al Harb who object. This own-goal rhetoric, adopted as policy (!), in the name of human rights (!),complies with the demands of proleptic dhimmitude, joining the jihadis in attacking the only democracy in the authoritarian, unstable political culture of the Middle East. By stigmatizing any resistance (Zionism) as racism, they open the field to the most ferocious Caliphaters (Jihadis thrive on chaos), and block the resistance. Hard to imagine a more own-goal demotic foreign policy.

9 Responses to Lethal, Own-Goal Journalism creates Caliphater BDS: Definitions

  1. Amy Elman says:

    This is brilliant! Might you address the reasons that BDS finds certain venues within the academy to be especially ‘soft’ targets for this war?

  2. Daniel in Brookline says:

    Wonderful! We can’t talk about this if we don’t have the terms. And it’s difficult to think about it if we can’t talk about it.

  3. Ricky S says:

    There’s one good reason the US government is tamping down anything like Islamophobia. And why Jew-hatred just isn’t as important.

    The US needs Muslim allies and employees. There must be millions of surveillance recordings of Arabs in private conversations. All of which need to be reviewed and maybe translated into English. And who would do this listening except for friendly Arabs and Iranians ex-pats? And how friendly would they be if they saw Arabs or Iranians being mistreated by the US?

    The US and the West need other help as well, including bases in the Persian Gulf, such as in Oman.

    On the other hand, Israel is not seen as ever defecting away from the US.

    I speculate that the huge new NSA data-center out west, in Utah, I think, is tasked with auto-translation. Maybe we’ll live long enough to find out.

    • Cynic says:

      I think you forget, or maybe don’t know, but Syrian Jews in the US offered their help in translating Arabic just after 9/11, but were turned down because of the fear that local Arabic speaking people would be “offended”!

    • Rich Rostrom says:

      This is silly. There are millions of people who speak Arabic but are not Arabs, or at least Moslem Arabs.

      For instance, the Coptic Christians of Egypt. The Christians of Lebanon. The Assyrian Christians of Iraq. (Their native tongue is not Arabic, but most speak Arabic as well.) The Druze. The Kurds of Iraq, also mostly bilingual.

      These populations could provide all the linguists we could possibly need.

      However, many of them (and many Arabs who might be helpful) are afraid to work with us – because to avoid the charge of “Islamophobia”, the US and other Western actors bend over backward to accommodate jihadists, and frequently include jihadist sympathizers in anti-terror operations. They don’t believe we will protect their identities, or shelter them from attack.

  4. Sharon Klaff says:

    As always Richard you are genius. Why aren’t you running to POTUS!!!

  5. […] It was initially done as coverage of a talk I gave in Montreal on BDS and Cogwar (definitions posted here), but mutated into a much more complex discussion of messianism and the progressive left. The […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *