Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Post-Paris: More writing & talking [updated]

France bombed ISIS

So much more to think about overnight . . .

“They deal in chaos, but they work from a script. The failure to understand that is costing us dear.
”There is a playbook, a manifesto: The Management of Savagery/Chaos, a tract written more than a decade ago under the name Abu Bakr Naji, for the Mesopotamian wing of al-Qaida that would become Isis. Think of the horror of Paris and then consider these, its principal [and self-contradictory] axioms…”
Mindless terrorists? The truth about Isis is much worse – Scott Atran, GUARDIAN

“It is highly likely that the Paris attackers were operating in a land that was not entirely foreign to them. They knew that they could rely on the help of other like-minded people. They also knew their actions would enjoy the passive support of a significant section of society, which is estranged from, and hostile to, the way of life of European societies. By now they must also know they are holding their own in a battle of ideas with European governments…
”But there’s something different about this type of terrorism, too. Such acts are not simply about unsettling the public and creating a climate of fear – they also aim to encourage others to take up the fight …
”The one response to terrorism that must be avoided, and fought, is appeasement …”
After Paris: We Must Refuse to Be Terrorised – Frank Furedi, SPIKED

“There are good reasons to wait for the full facts instead of jumping to the conclusion that Isis infiltrators are exploiting Europe’s refugee crisis.”
Why Syrian refugee passport found at Paris attack scene must be treated with caution – Patrick Kingsley, GUARDIAN

“Why are so few Westerners standing with, or fighting with, the Kurds?
”… Our leaders talk war on IS, while green-lighting war on the most implacable enemies of IS.
“The dearth of any true solidarity with the Kurds is striking. Of all the wicked things happening in the world today, the terrorising of the Kurds is up there with the worst, yet there’s little anger, barely any protest.
“The dearth of solidarity with the Kurds among Western progressives ultimately speaks to the baleful influence of the politics of victimhood.”
After Paris: Victory to the Kurds – Brendan O’Neill, SPIKED

“Here we go again. The same mantras are dusted down: we must be more assertive of our values, less tolerant of extremism, we must challenge Muslim separatism more effectively, demand better integration.
“And in my opinion the same root question is somewhat evaded: what exactly are our values? It is easier to assume that this is obvious – and it gives an impression of toughness. For example Boris Johnson today: ‘This is a fight we will one day inevitably win – because in the end our view of the human spirit is vastly more attractive and realistic than theirs.’
“But what is our view of the human spirit? What is our ideology, our creed? There are various words we can reach for – freedom, democracy, liberalism, maybe enlightenment. Fine words, of course, but there’s also an air of vagueness. I find it odd that there have not been more attempts to define our values in the years since 9/11. Very few intellectuals seem to ask the most basic questions…”
Islamic State are clear about their values. Are we clear about ours? – Theo Hobson, SPECTATOR

“For all of the commentaries to come detailing the various intelligence, military, and diplomatic responses that France, the United States, and the EU should pursue, nothing will substitute for our recognition of the enemy and a moral resolve to see its ideology defeated totally and permanently. When historians of the future look back on the beginning of the second millennium, they will find the curious spectacle of two civilizations in bitter conflict: one weak but tireless, underwritten by an ideology that demands submission at any cost and beholden to an image of regression back to a primitive way of life; the other strong, built on a heroic legacy of human achievement, but unequal to its inheritance.”
The Vengeance They Deserve – Slade Mendenhall, THE MENDENHALL

“I can understand why many people react to something like what has happened and ask the question, why are they doing this, what have we done wrong to them. Many people cannot wrap their head around genuinely bad people existing. They believe surely people can be reasoned with, if we be reasonable with them. They just don’t get that it’s possible for people to have heinous and ridiculous beliefs that will cause them to want to kill you for not holding those beliefs. As a result they grasp for answers to explain it in a way that is logical, that fits the mould of ‘they’ve only done this to us because we did this to them.’ …
“[They apply our] sense of ethics, an ethics applicable to the living, an ethics that sets boundaries for the living and their pursuit of happiness in a social context, to a metaphysics of the dead, The Walking Dead. So, think of ISIS and other violent sectarian actors as The Walking Dead for a spell. See how it fits, if it has a certain ring to it, given the juxtaposition of their apocalyptic metaphysics with our ethics for the living, the lovers of life.”
The Walking Dead And The Metaphysics of ISIS – Richard Nikoley, FREE THE ANIMAL

“The West’s movement towards the truth is ‘remarkably slow. We drag ourselves towards it painfully, inch by inch, after each bloody Islamist assault.
”In France, Britain, Germany, America and nearly every other country in the world it remains government policy to say that any and all attacks carried out in the name of Mohammed have ‘nothing to do with Islam’….
“‘Noble’ or not, this lie is a mistake. … To claim that people who punish people by killing them for blaspheming Islam while shouting ‘Allah is greatest’ has ‘nothing to do with Islam’ is madness. Because the violence of the Islamists is, truthfully, only to do with Islam: the worst version of Islam, certainly, but Islam nonetheless. …
“Here we land at the centre of the problem — a centre we have spent the last decade and a half trying to avoid: Islam is not a peaceful religion. No religion is, but Islam is especially not. Nor is it, as some ill-informed people say, solely a religion of war. There are many peaceful verses in the Quran which — luckily for us — the majority of Muslims live by. But it is, by no means, only a religion of peace.”
Will politicians finally admit that the Paris attacks had something to do with Islam? – Douglas Murray, SPECTATOR

“It is not a new war, nor has it always been fought with weapons. It is, principally, an ideological war between the secular, liberal Enlightenment of the West and the theocratic, Dark Age philosophy that still dominates much of the Middle East and North Africa. …
“How does one defeat ideologues that do not fear death? While killing one’s enemy is certainly the chief means of victory in war, that alone is not sufficient—unless one manages to somehow kill every last member of the enemy’s force, which one should be prepared to do if necessary…
“…we should not delude ourselves into thinking that defeating the Islamic State will alone defeat Islamic totalitarianism. So long as the ideology is given room to breathe, it will re-emerge. Suffocating it will also mean eliminating its state sponsors—all of them. I do not mean state sponsors of the Islamic State, which are none, but of Islamic totalitarianism generally, in all its forms across all sects.”
Defeating the Islamic State: Toward a Foreign Policy of Reason – Brian Underwood, THE MENDENHALL

”Can a civilisation cowed by campus millennials summon the resolve to defeat Islamic terrorists? …
“In the darker corners of the Internet and the leftward precincts of academia, the Enlightenment values of liberty, reason, and universal human rights—not to mention the world-changing political revolutions they inspired in Europe and the Americas—amount to little more than a cheap intellectual justification for the historical forces of imperialism, slaughter, and subjugation. Usually, it’s easy to ignore those who respond to events such as the attacks in Paris with soliloquies to the effect of: ‘Well, you know who the real terrorists are, don’t you?’ Or, ‘You can’t expect an entire civilization to take centuries of insults lying down.’ Or, ‘Do you know what’s happening in Palestine right now, yesterday, and every day?’
“It’s not easy to ignore those sentiments today.”
Enemies Foreign and Domestic – Matthew Hennessey, CITY JOURNAL

“How did we get to this historical anomaly in France where, as the estimable scholar Daniel Pipes observes, “a majority population accepts the customs and even the criminality of a poorer and weaker community”? It is the result of a conquest ideology taking the measure of a civilisation that no longer values its heritage, no longer regards itself as worthy of defence.”
How France Became an Inviting Target of the Jihad – Andrew McCarthy, PJ MEDIA

“Mistrust of religion is not confined to Islam, but Europeans regard it as more threatening to their national cultures than other faiths (or indeed atheism) …. The threat of Islamic terrorism is rising, to judge not just by today's slaughter but also by other attacks and a recent upward trend in arrests for religiously-inspired terrorism reported by Europol, the European Union's law-enforcement arm. Perceptions can easily run ahead of reality, however…. And European publics wildly overestimate the proportion of their populations that is Muslim.”
Daily Chart: Islam in Europe – ECONOMIST

’The Duke of Wellington famously said that the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing-fields of Eton: and if that is the case, then the advance of the Islamic State was begun in the nice, tolerant, liberal academies of Britain and other parts of western Europe.’  …
”Many folk otherwise supportive of allowing peaceful people to cross borders freely argue this policy can’t survive Muslim immigration; they argue the policy is untenable since Muslims constitute an objective threat, to whom western borders must be irrevocably closed. But as many [Europeans] are slowly realising … the threat comes not from Muslim immigration: the threat is homegrown. …
”The cause of these homegrown killers? As Ben Caspit explained in an open letter to the UK Foreign Secretary, you would have to be deaf, blind and dumb not to know. …
”Some of these [homegrown killers] will simply be psychologically susceptible to the nastiness of a violent religion. But what else are they hearing? Where are the voices proclaiming the virtues of reason, individualism and liberty?  Where today will they hear these values proclaimed proudly and unashamedly? Where will they learn of the superiority of reason over religion, of freedom over tyranny?
“When Britain was exporting liberty to much of the known world, these values were unapologetically front and centre. These were the values that built western civilisation. These were values absorbed by immigrants and locally-born alike. People  moved to Britain and the west because of these values.
“What happened?
“In a word: multiculturalism.
“Multiculturalism taught that the values of civilisation and those of barbarism were equal.
“It taught that liberty and slavery were simply different choices.
“It taught that if any culture should be shamed it should be western culture. That the west is responsible for all the world’s horrors, and the rest of the world simply a victim. This is the perversion now taught and promulgated in schools, in universities and in learned commentaries peddled by perfumed academics for the consumption of the self-anointed.
“So for all the decades that we’ve been told that Islamic terror is the result of ignorance and poverty, leading westerners have been silent about the superiority of  western health, wealth and freedom over a stone-age theocracy in which beheadings, clitorectomies, slavery and crucifixions still play a part.
“If leading westerners are apologetic about the values of their own culture, especially when the contrast is so stark, then why in hell would others take them seriously? Why wouldn’t they wonder if there isn’t something to be learned from the stone age?
“What, then, can we do? ‘Well, for a start, we can stop taking these losers at their own estimation…’”
Home-grown horror – Peter Cresswell, NOT PC, 2014

NB: I’ve added other related writing here at NOT PC under the tag: #Paris. Head there for more good and related writing.


“All of the other suspects in the Paris attacks appear to have been European citizens. In fact, large numbers of citizens from France, Britain and other Western nations have travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight, suggesting that the problem is not so much those coming from over there but those who are already here. Nor are these people necessarily the ones with familial links to the Islamic world: There have been a number of European converts to Islam who have travelled to join the Islamic State, and vast numbers of European Muslims have repeatedly condemned the actions of the Islamic State."
The Islamic State wants you to hate refugees: And the plan may be working – Adam Taylor, WASHINGTON POST

But Muslims who call the Islamic State un-Islamic are typically, as the Princeton scholar Bernard Haykel, the leading expert on the group’s theology, told me, ‘embarrassed and politically correct, with a cotton-candy view of their own religion’ that neglects ‘what their religion has historically and legally required.’ Many denials of the Islamic State’s religious nature, he said, are rooted in an ‘interfaith-Christian-nonsense tradition.’
Haykel told ThinkProgress he still supported these claims, although he explained he was specifically referring to two groups of people who declare ISIS un-Islamic: Muslims he says [who] are ‘just ignorant’ of Islam’s legal and political history, and Christians who engage in what he called ‘the Christian tradition of interfaith dialogue’ and declare Islam a ‘religion of peace.’
“Haykel readily acknowledged there are numerous Islamic scriptures ‘that advocate a more kind of pacifist, less violent, and, in fact, an even tolerant and open-minded [religion that is] accepting of, let’s say, non-Muslims.’ But he concluded that the texts ISIS pulls from still exist within the Islamic tradition, thus making them Islamic.”
What The Atlantic Left Out About ISIS According To Their Own Expert – THINK PROGRESS

“Let’s fight for the enlightenment.
”The Enlightenment is a long-term strategy. In fact, many westerners would have to discover the enlightenment. The Enlightenment encourages us to be reflective. But to reflect on whether we are doing the right thing, isn’t an invitation to stop doing the right thing. As a civilisation we have become paralysed by self-doubt when we should have become energised by self-reflection. As we have discovered (or as many knew all along) is that a moral and ideological vacuum will be filled by others – as it turns out savages and barbarians.”
Let’s fight for the Enlightenment – Sinclair Davison, CATALLAXY FILES


  1. Yes to that piece on the Kurds.

    They've been taking the fight to ISIS all along at great cost. All the while being persecuted and slaughtered by that bastard running Turkey (from whom the Kurds deserve a peaceable homeland).

    And the Kurds seem to be the only group in the area which have an enlightened philosophical viewpoint (though I don't know a lot about them other than actions, such as the women brigades, etc).

  2. Mark above. You have to remember that the Kurds as PKK constantly attack and terrorize Turkey. This is long standing.
    This is what happens when people groups lose territory . When I was in Turkey in the nineties there was general distrust of Kurds, because the PKK terrorises the country. I don't know about the army but the Police are very visible on the streets , and make good contact with citizens. You carry ID everywhere, but of course Westerners do not look Kurdish so are generally well befriended by the friendly Turks.

  3. Waleed Ali's clip was deceptive. He is perhaps more dangerous than the violent jihadists are, because he paves the path for them.

  4. In support of Richard Wiig's comment about Waleed Ali, here is Andrew Bolt's damning summary of Ali's story
    Andrew Bolt Heral Sun
    Includes "First, he is a Muslim and was spokesman for the Islamic Council of Victoria at a time that it had voted to make the extremist Sheik Hilali the Mufti of Australia. He could be seen to have an agenda."


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