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In the joint news conference with the Danish PM, I just heard the president use the words "totalitarian" and "Islamofascism" to describe the enemy. Now if we can just get the administration to stop calling it a "war on terror" and rectify names. It's a War against Jihad. I suspect that we'll hear whining from CAIR any minute, though, for implying that Islam is not a Religion of Peace™.Posted by Rand Simberg at June 09, 2006 08:37 AM
Better still: the Crusade against Jihad:-)Posted by Jason Bontrager at June 9, 2006 09:17 AM
Fighting Islamofascism in Europe, the US etc is fine. It doesn't work when our troops are in an Islamic country. Afghanistan now experiences more bombing runs than in 2004; the country is falling back into the hands of the Taliban. Iraq is a huge mess, and figures such as Zarkawi who were inconsequential in 2003 are now killed and the result hailed as a great victory. Real revolutions come from within and people will get sick of fundamentalism if left alone. At least that's the best shot at winning. The more our troops are crusading in an Islamic country the less the chances of a genuine democracy emerging.Posted by Fumanchu at June 9, 2006 11:21 AM
Nonsense. The Islamic countries have gone centuries without revolutions from within. On the other hand, they seem to "get" democracy pretty much as well as anybody, they turn out for elections in droves despite the threat of death, and democracy in Iraq is progressing far better than most sceptics would have predicted.
We can't "impose" democracy, but then we are not trying to. Just to provide the conditions and encouragement so it can happen.Posted by John Weidner at June 9, 2006 12:24 PM
(1) Islamofascism is a modern manifestation with no roots in the past contradicting your statement that Islam has had no revolutions from within. Case in point is Islamic rule over Spain, where Jews for example flourished and the Jewish Philospher Maimonides presided over what may be called the golden age of Jewish culture in Spain. Obviously today's Islam does not share that viewpoint and hence a revolution did occur, unfortunately for the worse, over time.
Oops, that last post was mine..Posted by Fumanchu at June 9, 2006 03:50 PM
That was a long time ago. Something seems to have been lost
I do wonder if the muslim "golden age" may have something to
Wow, they must have been even more pessimistic than the daily news of carnage from Baghdad.
They were. We were warned by many of these Cassandras that if we went into Iraq, that the oil fields would burn, that there would be house-to-house fighting in Baghdad with thousands of US casualties, that we'd be attacked with WMD (with he didn't have), that the Middle East would rise up against us, that dogs and cats would live together.
Things have gone about as well as I expected, and when you read Claudia Rossett's assessment, they sound pretty damned good to me. It is, after all, the Middle East.Posted by Rand Simberg at June 9, 2006 04:40 PM
Your argument about why the golden age of Islam was so liberal may have merit. If we take your argument as true it still argues for interpreting Islam as non-uniform and amenable to compromise, when viewed over time and space, essentially validating my argument with John.
Also, if your argument is true, would not that same apply to the parallel in time Christian societies which were far more vicious to their subjects and in particular to the Jews, with a viciousness that in today's context can only be called Christianofascism? Somehow that did die away over time without the influence of force exerted by another culture, unless one were to buy the somewhat tongue in cheek idea that Islamic rule was the motivator for the change.Posted by Fumanchu at June 9, 2006 05:12 PM
Somehow that did die away over time without the influence of force exerted by another culture...
Actually, it was influenced by another culture--that of northern Europe in the early development of the proto-Anglosphere, in which Protestants decided to no longer take their orders from Rome. This resulted in a diversity of Christian beliefs that made the transition to a separate church and state much easier (this lack of separation was what made the Catholics of southern Europe "Christianofascists"). One of the key problems with Islam is that it similarly makes no distinction between Islam and the state--it is all one. The Anglosphere Challenge discusses this, I believe.Posted by Rand Simberg at June 9, 2006 05:46 PM
(2) Turning up for elections isn't democracy. The best encouragement we can give democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan is to stay out of the picture... Turning up is a very good sign that people get the concept. And there are other good signs, such as the prolonged poitical wrangling and horse-trading resulting in the formation of the new government. That's good, that's normal. And we ARE moving out of the picture, but at a deliberate pace.
(3) If democracy as promoted by us is such a good idea, why don't we fund Hamas since that's who the Palestinians voted for under the election we sponsored. Why punish them for going to the polls in droves, having "gotten" democracy? Because democracy is not about being perfect, it's a system that gives feedback when mistakes are made. Things go wrong, then voters vote to try something else. The Palestinians have been treated like children for decades; now we are treating them like adults who can make rational decisions.
(4) "Democracy in Iraq is proceeding much better than skeptics would predicted." Really! Wow, they must have been even more pessimistic than the daily news of carnage from Baghdad The news is a press artifact; they only report carnage, and you are a fool to take this at face value. The overall Iraqi death-by-violence rate is less than some US cities. Actually democracy is going better than some of us optimists expected. It's been steady progress with no major stumbles, such as attempted coups or the rise of significant anti-democratic parties....or, oh yes, civil war.
Also, as for Hamas, our policies seem to be working, since Mr Abbas is getting a lot of traction for his proposed referendum on recognizing Israel. If that happens it will be democracy in action. And it certainly wouldn't have even been posible if we had kept paying them to be terrorists.Posted by John Weidner at June 9, 2006 06:38 PM
"Case in point is Islamic rule over Spain, where Jews for example flourished and the Jewish Philospher Maimonides presided over what may be called the golden age of Jewish culture in Spain."
Sorry, Fu; Rambam's (or Maimonides, as the goyim refer to him) family was driven out of Spain when he was thirteen, when the Almohads -- the Islamofascists of their day -- gave the Sephardim the choice of conversion, exile, or death.Posted by John "Akatsukami" Braue at June 9, 2006 06:38 PM
War on jihad...
Jihad is war.
War on war?Posted by at June 10, 2006 04:14 AM
You also might want to read the history of "the conquest" of the middle east and north Africa during the expansion of Islam. They are still digging up the mass graves of the victims today in Egypt and in Israel.
To be honest, I think that the mass graves are less interesting (there are mass graves caused by Christians as well, after all). What I find more interesting is that Muslims do not feel remorse for those graves - in fact, they are currently working to expand those graves. That's what I care about...Posted by David Summers at June 10, 2006 10:54 AM
". Afghanistan now experiences more bombing runs than in 2004; the country is falling back into the hands of the Taliban. "
O RLY? The real professionals say different.
"barry mccaffrey… [Rich Lowry]
…just got back from Afghanistan. Here are the introductory points from his report on what he saw:
• Afghanistan has in the short space of five years moved from a situation of mindless violence, cruelty, poverty, massive production of drugs, the absence of government, and isolation - to a nation with a struggling democratic government; an exploding economy; a rapidly growing, disciplined Army; a vibrant free press, and active diplomatic and economic ties with its neighbors and the world. The 30 million people have showed almost unbelievable gratitude for the actions of the international community and have welcomed a significant foreign presence with great hospitality and trust.
• Opium production has been dramatically slashed by 48% just in the past year. In less than three years, 4.4 million refugees have flooded back into the nation. 95% of the refugee camps in Pakistan have been closed. A Constitution has been adopted.
• A President has been elected who is a Statesman of enormous integrity, vision, and courage. A Parliament has been elected with representation from every walk of political life - and a greater percentage of women than any other democracy in the world. The road network and transportation infrastructure have gone from absolutely nonfunctional to a rapidly growing network that is beginning re-vitalize the economy and trade with its neighbors.
• Massive amounts of international and private foreign aid are pouring into the country. The totally destroyed educational system is beginning to function. The agricultural and livestock system has grown enormously. The irrigation system destroyed by the Soviets is coming back.
• The security situation is so dramatically changed for the better that no platoon-sized unit has ever been defeated in battle. U.S. Forces routinely operate in squad sized units.
• As one US Army Aviation Brigade Commander told me - “I have been flying over this country for three combat tours since 2001- the change for the better is almost unbelievable - I can see it with my own eyes from 500 feet.”
Posted at 11:38 AM"
http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MzMxNzNkYTczNTYwNDFmZThkOWVmYjhjNzViYjQ2MWY=Posted by at June 10, 2006 12:34 PM
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