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Lyle
01-01-2010, 10:48 PM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8437433.stm

Danish police have shot and wounded a man at the home of Kurt Westergaard, whose cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad sparked an international row. Mr Westergaard was at home in Aarhus when a man broke in and threatened him. He pressed a panic button and police entered the house and shot the man. Danish officials said the intruder was a 28-year-old Somali linked to the radical Islamist al-Shabab militia.

Mr Westergaard went into hiding amid threats to his life, but emerged last year saying he wanted to live as normal a life as possible. His house has been heavily fortified and is under close police protection. Mr Westergaard told Jyllands-Posten that the man had entered his house by smashing a window with a hammer and had shouted in broken English that he wanted to kill him.

bh.tv should invite this guy to do a diavlog.

AemJeff
01-01-2010, 11:06 PM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8437433.stm



bh.tv should invite this guy to do a diavlog.
This is what, the fiftieth "Muslim did a bad thing" thread from the same user? Starting to look more than slightly obsessed.

Lyle
01-02-2010, 12:30 AM
Such is our world Jeff, such is our world. :)

EvanHarper
01-02-2010, 06:46 AM
Dear Lyle.

I know that you are a veteran poster here, while I am just some guy who occasionally drops in. So perhaps it is presumptuous of me to criticize your conduct on these forums. With that in mind... really, Lyle?

Do you really think that there is some great silent majority of bhtv users out there just dying to read these posts? That we are all on tenterhooks waiting to read your links about the bad things Muslims have done, and gleefully looking forward to your little nuggets of stupid, sleazy right-wing insinuation? And to your tiresome affectations of brave politically-incorrect contrarianism?

And even assuming we are interested in this kind of crap, Lyle, why would we want to get it from you? You're not even doing it well. There are whole websites (http://jihadwatch.org) out there devoted to this particular genre which are far more informative and compelling than your posts are. Which is admittedly a low hurdle to cross.

I mean, half of the stuff you link here is stuff that virtually everyone in the English-speaking world is already well aware of. Some Nigerian Muslim tried to blow up an airliner? And then Janet Napolitano said something stupid about it on television? Woah, thanks for that novel and shocking insight, buddy, keep pursuing your noble mission to enlighten the complacent masses. And we loved that link to Thomas F'ing Friedman's latest column - how fresh and insightful.

Get over yourself, Lyle. You are not Christopher Caldwell or even Mark Steyn. The reason that people don't refute your claims isn't because we're all cowed dhimmis or liberal appeasers; it is because you do not even make meaningful claims to refute. You just sneer, insinuate, drop hints, and pull outrageous stunts like posting pictures of 9/11 victims apropos of nothing. You are indistinguishable from a garden-variety troll. Shut up.

TwinSwords
01-02-2010, 09:47 AM
[...]
Great post. Thanks for saying something -- and for saying it so well.

Ocean
01-02-2010, 11:22 AM
And to your tiresome affectations of brave politically-incorrect contrarianism?

That's the essence.

[/I] There are whole websites (http://jihadwatch.org) out there devoted to this particular genre which are far more informative and compelling than your posts are.

He wouldn't be special over there, only over here.


You are indistinguishable from a garden-variety troll. Shut up.

The above is OK, but I don't like when other commenters insult him. I still think he may be a middle-schooler... :)

bjkeefe
01-02-2010, 12:37 PM
Great post. Thanks for saying something -- and for saying it so well.

Second that.

nikkibong
01-02-2010, 03:15 PM
Get over yourself, Lyle. You are not Christopher Caldwell or even Mark Steyn. The reason that people don't refute your claims isn't because we're all cowed dhimmis or liberal appeasers; it is because you do not even make meaningful claims to refute. You just sneer, insinuate, drop hints, and pull outrageous stunts like posting pictures of 9/11 victims apropos of nothing. You are indistinguishable from a garden-variety troll. Shut up.

Good post, save one quibble: Caldwell is not remotely in the same camp as Steyn.

If you have an hour, watch this superb C-Span interview on Caldwell's new book

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1sBXX6WhH8


Again, good post. I won't think Lyle is truly "brave" until we get a thread entitled Muslim Tries To Kill Lyle.

Lyle
01-02-2010, 04:50 PM
No, I won't be shutting up. If I don't post it, nobody here will. Like I care what you think about me anyway. So... in all of your faces, I'm here to stay. :)

... and you think I'm right-wing, like it's right-wing to complain about things Muslims do. How laughable.

Here, have some Pat Condell:

http://www.youtube.com/user/patcondell#p/u/45/HR9LVf_KMO0

http://www.youtube.com/user/patcondell#p/u/49/H1ZLXbKeL2U

http://www.youtube.com/user/patcondell#p/u/57/HhN6CG1zCRc


... and furthermore it's telling you guys have nothing to say about what just happened in Denmark, but have an awful lot to say about me. Progressive!

Lyle
01-02-2010, 05:12 PM
Respect. Although I'm a grown man girl... raaarrrrrrr!

AemJeff
01-02-2010, 05:13 PM
...tiresome affectations of brave politically-incorrect contrarianism?
...

No, I won't be shutting up. If I don't post it, nobody here will. Like I care what you think about me anyway. So... in all of your faces, I'm here to stay. :)

... and you think I'm right-wing, like it's right-wing to complain about things Muslims do. How laughable.

Here, have some Pat Condell:

http://www.youtube.com/user/patcondell#p/u/45/HR9LVf_KMO0

http://www.youtube.com/user/patcondell#p/u/49/H1ZLXbKeL2U

http://www.youtube.com/user/patcondell#p/u/57/HhN6CG1zCRc


... and furthermore it's telling you guys have nothing to say about what just happened in Denmark, but have an awful lot to say about me. Progressive!

Heh, indeedy!

Lyle
01-02-2010, 05:36 PM
Hey, how about those Danish Cartoons! :) (inside joke between nikkibong and his truly)

Lyle
01-02-2010, 06:01 PM
http://www.aina.org/images/muhimage11.jpg

Lyle
01-02-2010, 06:33 PM
http://politiken.dk/newsinenglish/article871758.ece

The young man being charged by police for the attempted manslaughters of the Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard and a police officer has appeared in a remand hearing in Århus on a stretcher and denies the charges.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article6973966.ece

An axe-wielding Somali extremist broke into the home of Kurt Westergaard on Friday night as the 75-year-old cartoonist was looking after Stephanie, his five-year-old granddaughter.

Westergaard, whose little ink drawing of Muhammad with a bomb in his turban sparked riots throughout the Middle East in 2006, has received numerous death threats. He pressed an alarm button to summon police when the attacker entered the house in Aarhus, Denmark’s second city, by breaking a window.

He did not have time to collect the child from the living room before locking himself into a “panic room”, a specially fortified bathroom. He said the assailant had shouted “swear words, really crude words” and shrieked about “blood” and “revenge”, as he smashed the axe in vain against the bathroom door.

“I feared for my grandchild,” he told Jyllands-Posten, the newspaper that had commissioned the cartoon. “But she did great. I knew that he wouldn’t do anything to her.” He went on: “It was close, really close. But we did it.”

The attacker, who was also carrying a knife, shouted, “I’ll be back”, before going outside to confront police. He smashed a police car window with the axe and was shot in the hand and a knee when he threw the axe at an officer.

The cartoonist’s telephone went unanswered yesterday: he is expected, for a while at least, to go to ground under police protection.

He puts a brave face on his plight. “At my age you are not so much afraid any more,” he told The Sunday Times last year.

He has no regrets about the cartoon, whose original is locked in a bank vault, defending Denmark’s tradition of democracy and freedom of speech. He seems resigned to a life on the run. “This will go on for the rest of my life. There is no way out,” he said.

Lyle
01-02-2010, 07:57 PM
... and oh, behold the irony of someone telling someone to shut up in a thread about a Muslim guy trying to permanently shut up Kurt Westergaard. Just awesome. :)

bjkeefe
01-02-2010, 08:03 PM
... and oh, behold the irony of someone telling someone to shut up in a thread about a Muslim guy trying to permanently shut up Kurt Westergaard. Just awesome. :)

The only one who sees this as "irony" is you. The rest of us do not see anything equivalent between someone being threatened with death for drawing a political cartoon and someone else droning on repeatedly in an uninformative and uninformed manner.

Lyle
01-02-2010, 08:28 PM
How exactly am I uninformed? Is the Danish newspaper Politiken mistaken about what happened? Did 9/11 not happen? Is Major Hasan not a Muslim? Is Mr. Abdulmuttalab not a Muslim?

Tell, us bjkeefe, what's the truth? What are the facts?

... and I'll say it again, it is mighty ironic for someone to tell someone to shut up because they posted and linked to the story about a Muslim trying to permanently shut up Kurt Westergaard (who has been told to shut up by millions of people around the world just for drawing a cartoon).

EvanHarper
01-02-2010, 08:30 PM
No, I won't be shutting up. If I don't post it, nobody here will.

A rational person might see that as evidence of what exactly this community wants and doesn't want to read, and act accordingly.


Here, have some Pat Condell:

http://www.youtube.com/user/patcondell#p/u/45/HR9LVf_KMO0


Best quote from this one:
"Every year, thousands of women in Pakistan are murdered by members of their own family. And yet nobody is insulted by that. Nobody's demanding an apology for that. Instead, what do we get? A deafening silence from Muslims -- almost a miracle in itself. According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan..."

Who does he think runs the HRCP, exactly? A bunch of Buddhists?


http://www.youtube.com/user/patcondell#p/u/49/H1ZLXbKeL2U

"Too often, [wearing Muslim dress] is used cynically, as a political weapon, to cause division in society. They insist on working as teachers, dressed in this costume, knowing it's going to cause problems because the kids can't hear what they're saying. And so it all ends up in court, because that's what they really wanted all along, and then it's all over the news again because some Muslims have gone out of their way to be offended, yet again."

Condell offers no evidence whatsoever for this astonishing conspiracy theory, of course, he does not explain what British Muslims would stand to gain from destabilizing society, or why they would want to be "all over the news" in such a negative fashion, or really anything else.

I'm not even going to deal with the specifics third one because, Jesus, it's just another rambling evidence-free diatribe about Muslims taking over everything. He even explicitly attacks the notion of liberal democracy. The only thing he doesn't do get on about hidden Islamic symbols on the back of a five-pound note.


... and furthermore it's telling you guys have nothing to say about what just happened in Denmark, but have an awful lot to say about me. Progressive!

Lyle, honestly. Are you seriously suggesting that there is one single person on this message board who does not think that Danish cartoonists should be able to publish whatever cartoons they want, that riots and death threats over Danish cartoons are execrable, and that people who try to murder Danish cartoonists should be caught and severely punished? I mean what the hell is your point here? We have nothing to say because nothing needs to be said, we all agree on the principles of freedom of speech and words over clubs, and our very presence on this discussion board is evidence enough of that.

Any idiot can play this "but you didn't condemn X" game. For example, Lyle, you are always posting about Muslims, but you never say anything bad about Roman Polanski. This is telling! As in, you're obviously a fifth-column apologist for rapists, Hollywood, and/or Polish Jews. Oh-hoh, I really got you with that one, didn't I!

If you actually want to have a discussion about something, you should raise some interesting point about which people might actually disagree. You might even try formulating complete thoughts and conveying them in complete sentences.

Just a suggestion.

Lyle
01-02-2010, 08:35 PM
Then why such a problem talking about it? All I did was start a thread about an attempted murder.

... and the point about Pat Condell is that he's someone not of the "right-wing" complaining about Muslims. You seem to suggest that only the "right-wing" complain about Muslims. Christopher Hitchens isn't exactly "right-wing" either and he complains a lot about Muslims as well, right?

Lyle
01-02-2010, 08:39 PM
... and I've never said anything about Roman Polanski!!! Hahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

Bob Wright even knows what I've said about Roman Polanski.

http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=4201&highlight=polanski

Commenter Court diavlog (guess who they talk about discussing what):

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/23253

http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=4072&highlight=polanski (check out the conversation Francoamerican and I have about Roman Polanski)

Don't be too embarrassed EvanHarper, you've only posted 9 times here. :)

bjkeefe
01-02-2010, 09:10 PM
... and I'll say it again, ...

Yes.

Because it is clear you believe mindless repetition strengthens your assertions.

bjkeefe
01-02-2010, 09:13 PM
Don't be too embarrassed EvanHarper, you've only posted 9 times here.

Agreed. It's a bit much to expect someone new to this site to know the futility of trying to engage in an honest intellectual exchange with you.

Lyle
01-02-2010, 10:47 PM
Yeah, I'm going to repeat myself as much as you require me to. :)

stephanie
01-03-2010, 05:23 PM
If I don't post it, nobody here will.

Post what? As I'm sure you know very well, the objection to the style of these posts is that they don't actually make any points. You cite an incident of a Muslim doing an obviously objectionable thing (or in a prior similar post, to some black on black crime), as if your point should be clear. It's not. Thus, given the number of these, the clearly indefensible nature of the actions at issue, and the fact that they are obviously not news to anyone posting here, people draw certain understandable conclusions about your point. Namely, that you are trying to suggest something about Muslims vs. non-Muslims. If you really want to pretend you are bravely standing up against public opinion (or CW here), just say it. You might get more diverse responses (or at least different ones) than you claim to expect.

Otherwise, what? Yes, it's obviously bad for people to try and kill people for exercising their freedom of speech. As others have pointed out, that's not even debateable, at least given the makeup of this site, so you must have some greater point. So say it.

Lyle
01-04-2010, 12:48 AM
You fail to understand Stephanie. The whole point was simply to start a thread about the Muslim man trying to kill Kurt Westergaard. That's all. I have no other statement to make. The incident itself is my statement, Sweetie. It's really just a conversation starter, if there are people who want to have their say.

... and I definitely won't be apologizing for beginning the thread with the word Muslim, cause like Major Hasan and Mr. Abdulmuttallab that's what he is. :)

AemJeff
01-04-2010, 12:59 AM
You fail to understand Stephanie. The whole point was simply to start a thread about the Muslim man trying to kill Kurt Westergaard. That's all. I have no other statement to make. The incident itself is my statement, Sweetie.

... and I definitely won't be apologizing for beginning the thread with the word Muslim, cause like Major Hasan and Mr. Abdulmuttallab that's what he is. :)

If this isn't perfectly clear evidence of the complete futility of directly responding to this poster, I'd appreciate somebody pointing out why.

bjkeefe
01-04-2010, 01:05 AM
If this isn't perfectly clear evidence of the complete futility of directly responding to this poster, I'd appreciate somebody pointing out why.

I know what drives Stephanie and the others, because I used to think it, too: Lyle is able to present, at first glance, as someone amenable to reason.

It takes a while until you realize that he's only going to offer disingenuousness and wide-eyed who-me?s in response, and that he's going to keep this racist shit up as long as he keeps getting attention.

[Added] (Never thought I'd be able to find an upside to the severely limited number of intelligent commenters on this site, but maybe I just have.)

Lyle
01-04-2010, 01:38 AM
Racist... hahahahaha!!!

claymisher
01-04-2010, 01:42 AM
The only reason he starts these threads is because he's a garden-variety internet troll (which is no accomplishment, even for a mere tween). And he has to start his own threads now because so many people have him on the ignore list it's the only way anybody will see his flamebait.

Nothing lasts forever. This board had a good run. Lyle, you won. Congratulations.

Lyle
01-04-2010, 01:49 AM
You want to have a conversation Stephanie? Why do you have a problem talking about this guy's rational for wanting to shut up Kurt Westergaard? Is it really, as you say, all about freedom of speech? Or are you just uncomfortable pointing a finger at his faith and culture... Islam and the Muslim communities?

If you were alive in 1920s America Stephanie, and saw whites running around lynching or trying to lynch blacks or whomever, would you seriously try and argue it had nothing to do with race or culture, but was only an abomination because lynch mobs were simply a violation of the law, being that lynchings were extrajudicial? Much like the white lynch mobs of yesteryear, there is something much bigger at play then simply breaking the law and trying to kill someone for drawing a cartoon.

Muslim extremism, is the white segregationist lynch mob of our lifetime Stephanie.

bjkeefe
01-04-2010, 01:58 AM
The only reason he starts these threads is because he's a garden-variety internet troll (which is no accomplishment, even for a mere tween). And he has to start his own threads now because so many people have him on the ignore list it's the only way anybody will see his flamebait.

Nothing lasts forever. This board had a good run. Lyle, you won. Congratulations.

Agree with everything except the last part. I believe our collective Masterful Indifference will overcome Lyle the Child. It's just a matter of the newer intelligent commenters figuring him out for themselves, and I don't expect it to take much longer. As you observe, he's reduced to starting his own threads now, just to get any response.

bjkeefe
01-04-2010, 02:25 AM
Racist... hahahahaha!!!

You're right. Change it to bigoted.

Lyle
01-04-2010, 02:56 AM
Yeah, I'm definitely a bigot when it comes to Muslim terrorists. Aren't you? :)

stephanie
01-04-2010, 06:25 PM
The whole point was simply to start a thread about the Muslim man trying to kill Kurt Westergaard.

That's not a point. And certainly not a conversation starter. Either you are trolling or implying something that you are too embarassed to say. If you were willing to say it straight out, that might actually start a conversation.

stephanie
01-04-2010, 06:35 PM
Why do you have a problem talking about this guy's rational for wanting to shut up Kurt Westergaard?

Why on earth would you think that I did? Have you asked me or said anything that would reasonably elicit my opinion on that? No, no you haven't.

What is irritating about this is you say nothing, make coy remarks designed to imply things you aren't willing to say, and then claim ridiculous things about what the fact that people find it annoying means. It's troll-like behavior and you know it.

Is it really, as you say, all about freedom of speech?

Is what really all about freedom of speech? The fact that I'd defend someone's right not to be killed for what they said? No, there are other considerations too, like opposition to murder. Duh.

Or are you just uncomfortable pointing a finger at his faith and culture... Islam and the Muslim communities?

What about them? Say something and I'm happy to tell you what I think. Saying that the motive for killing someone here was religious (which you didn't even say directly) seems far less than what you are hinting at, so out with it.

If you were alive in 1920s America Stephanie, and saw whites running around lynching or trying to lynch blacks or whomever, would you seriously try and argue it had nothing to do with race or culture, but was only an abomination because lynch mobs were simply a violation of the law, being that lynchings were extrajudicial?

1. As is obvious, this is a totally new point. Make the damn point and we will respond.

2. Of course it has nothing to do with race, if by that you mean that whites are inherently more inclined to violence.

3. Of course it has something to do with culture, but "white culture" is meaningless as a generality.

Lyle
01-08-2010, 05:59 PM
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-01-07/only-muslims-can-stop-muslim-terror/?cid=bs:archive11

President Obama warns against “extremism.” Former Vice President Dick Cheney declaims against “terrorists.” But they hardly ever bark the essential word, the almost always absent critical adjective: Muslim. Almost all the terrorist and extremist violence in the world today is committed by Muslims—and in most instances, the victims are Muslims themselves. What’s afoot here is Muslim extremism—despite the fact that the great majority of Muslims aren’t radicals and condemn terrorism.

President Obama got somewhat more specific in his press appearance Thursday regarding the Christmas bombing attempt. He said that the United States was “at war against al Qaeda.” Indeed, we are, and al Qaeda is surely the main Muslim terrorist organization we are fighting. But it is not the only one. Many of the Muslim terrorist groups around the world are their own bosses, particularly in Asia and also in the Middle East. Nonetheless, he still avoided the Muslim nature of the problem.

kezboard
01-08-2010, 10:25 PM
I have no problem with this guy's basic thesis that only Muslim moderation can defeat Muslim extremism, but what the hell:

It was one thing for the United States to enter the ideological and philosophical lists against Hitler or the Soviet Union. These countries shared a Christian and European heritage. But there has been little sharing between Western societies and Islam.

But simultaneously:

But wherever the fanatics lodge themselves firmly in power, as the Taliban did in Afghanistan, they will try to practice the totalitarianism of Hitler and Stalin... They’ve tried to impose totalitarianism in Iran, but haven’t succeeded so far—because the Iranian people have fought back.

So are Islamic radicals Hitler and Stalin, or aren't they?

EvanHarper
01-09-2010, 02:45 PM
I have no problem with this guy's basic thesis that only Muslim moderation can defeat Muslim extremism, but what the hell

Yeah, I'd have to say the guy's basic thesis is about the only thing in the whole piece that makes a damn bit of sense. Here we have a guy who was the President of the world's most influential foreign policy think tank for ten years, he's been a professor of international relations for longer than I've been alive, and he's writing about the single most prominent foreign policy question of the last decade... and he's making absolutely no sense whatsoever.

What on earth is he even calling for? "The great majority of sensible and moderate Muslims must take up operational and actual arms against the terrorists." I love the way he throws in "operational and actual," like it's some shrewd technical qualifier, to obscure the fact that his core demand -- "moderate Muslims must take up arms against the terrorists," is utterly incoherent.

What does that even mean? If he's demanding that Arab governments fight Islamic terror, the answer is that they already are, they have been for decades, Islamist extremism is the #1 security threat to every Arab government and they know it. Major Arab countries like Egypt have become virtually totalitarian states, so extreme are their secular governments' fear of Islamist extremism.

If he's demanding that Muslim citizens fight against their tyrannical governments, which up to know they have supposedly been passively "accepting," well of course, but then what does this have to do with fighting terrorism? The Islamist terrorists completely agree that Muslim citizens should fight against their tyrannical governments. That is their primary raison d'être. For goodness' sake, the most important opposition group in most Arab tyrannies is the Muslim Brotherhood! Bin Laden draws most of his popular support precisely because of his argument that "It certainly shouldn’t be acceptable for Muslims in ... Islamic countries to accept Muslim tyrannies!"

God, it just goes on. Reading this piece of shit is like hitting yourself in the face repeatedly. Actually, it's not like hitting yourself in the face, because come to think of it I really did hit myself in the face while reading this, so forceful was my facepalming. There's a hundred other idiotic claims to refute in this thing - you caught a good one - but I'll spare you.

What the hell has gone wrong with our foreign policy élite? Why do we still allow these clowns to posture as sagely observers of the Big Picture, when they're clearly just sinister buffoons?

Francoamerican
01-09-2010, 03:22 PM
What the hell has gone wrong with our foreign policy élite? Why do we still allow these clowns to posture as sagely observers of the Big Picture, when they're clearly just sinister buffoons?

The American foreign policy élite! Surely, you jest. Has there ever been a country so lacking in a foreign policy élite? Lesley Gelb is nothing but a hack, and has always been a hack, a sinister buffoon, as you say.

EvanHarper
01-09-2010, 03:29 PM
The American foreign policy élite! Surely, you jest. Has there ever been a country so lacking in a foreign policy élite? Lesley Gelb is nothing but a hack, and has always been a hack, a sinister buffoon, as you say.

You say potato, I say potàto. He may be a hack but he was in charge of the CFR for ten years, he's got a Pulitzer, he runs a "progressive" (read: liberal hawk) think tank from which most of Obama's "national security" people were recruited. These kind of people really are taken seriously in, they really are to a large extent in charge of, the world superpower's foreign policy. God help us.

Francoamerican
01-09-2010, 03:50 PM
You say potato, I say potàto. He may be a hack but he was in charge of the CFR for ten years, he's got a Pulitzer, he runs a "progressive" (read: liberal hawk) think tank from which most of Obama's "national security" people were recruited. These kind of people really are taken seriously in, they really are to a large extent in charge of, the world superpower's foreign policy. God help us.

We agree that potatoes are in fact potàtoes.

Lyle
01-10-2010, 04:38 PM
I prefer to compare them to white segregationists bent on lynching a black kid.

Better to compare them to pre-Reformation Christians perhaps. Whatever they are, we must all stand up to it, cause they're wrong and we are right.

Oh, and his point about Hitler and Stalin. He's saying it was easier for Western countries to point fingers at Hitler and Stalin because they were Western, and that despite the Taliban, AQ, and the despotic governments in the region being totalitarian or authoritarian, i.e. Hitler and Stalin like, it's hard for the West to point fingers at them because they're non-Western.

Lyle
01-10-2010, 04:41 PM
I think you totally misunderstandd what he's saying. He's not making a foreign policy call, he's simply saying we shouldn't be afraid to label the problem with the word Muslim, and that non-violent Muslims need to literally stand up to their violent Muslim neighbors. He's mean like in Europe, where many of these guys are coming from.

Lyle
01-10-2010, 04:47 PM
http://www.tnr.com/blog/the-spine/look-intelligence-failures-are-neither-democratic-nor-republican-alas-they-are-both-n

Peretz:

I have made my own criticisms of President Obama and his administration's perspectives on the etiology of terrorism in the world. And the truth is that it is not yet clear in the president's head--or he is not yet being candid (which is my substitute for "frank" and "honest")--that you can't have a true view of routine mass murder in the contemporary world without having quite a harsh view of Islam today. It is unfair to the American people and to the peoples of the liberal world for the administration to pretend that the perpetrators of terror are not animated by some all-consuming ideology. It is not an abstraction that animates them. It is not a game of hide-and-seek with the CIA.

And, yes, of course, there are millions upon millions of Muslims--pious or more than a bit diffident--for whom Islam is a religious faith, a culture, and an anchor of personality. They are not part of the Islam which has been overwhelmed by the poisonous politics of the jihadists and those who routinely yield to them. It is time that the administration make this distinction. Unless it does, the responsibility for any confusion will rest with them. But that also means identifying the adversary in all its savagery.

Chait:

Now, what about that "harsh view of Islam today"? I should let Marty speak for himself. But my basic view is that the Islamic world today is not unlike the Christian world before the enlightenment (a time, of course, when Islam was more tolerant and advanced than Christendom.) It is a culture where notions of liberalism and religious tolerance are largely foreign -- where even the most liberal mass movement that can be found, the Green movement in Iran, has to make its case in religious terms in order to have any chance at legitimacy. I would not blame the mass of Muslims for al Qaeda's terrorism any more than I'd blame the average medieval Christian for the Crusades. Still, an illiberal, non-secular culture like this is far more capable of producing, or even merely accepting, violence against non-believers qua non-believers.

A lot of liberals have an unfortunate tendency to brand as racist any analysis that holds one culture above another. But there's nothing inherently racial in believing that the illiberal culture that dominates the Muslim world is a key source of the problem, just as it wouldn't be racial make a sweeping indictment of pre-Enlightenment European culture. My belief is that, in the long run, relations between the Muslim world and the West will remain very difficult until the Muslim world has its enlightenment. In the meantime, American policymakers should do their best to reach out to Muslims and try to drive a wedge between the majority and the extremists.

Yglesias disagrees:

http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2010/01/peretz-obama-needs-harsh-view-of-islam-today.php

Andrew Sullivan possibly agrees with Chait and Peretz:

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/01/in-need-of-an-islamic-enlightenment.html

Lyle
01-12-2010, 03:16 PM
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a7927712-fc91-11de-bc51-00144feab49a.html?nclick_check=1

Caldwell opines (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a7927712-fc91-11de-bc51-00144feab49a.html?nclick_check=1):

A 28-year-old Somali Islamist allegedly tried to murder the Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard with an axe on New Year’s night. It was Mr Westergaard who drew the most controversial of the 12 cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad commissioned by the Arhus-based daily Jyllands-Posten in 2005. His was the one showing a bearded man in a turban shaped like a bomb. Publication of the cartoons led, months later, to riots across the Muslim world. Danish embassies were burned in Iran, Syria and Lebanon. More than 200 people died.

The threats against Mr Westergaard, who is 74, have not abated since. He has had to move house nine times. In October, US authorities arrested two Muslim radicals in Chicago who had allegedly planned to kill him and Flemming Rose, the Jyllands-Posten editor who commissioned the cartoons. The suspects had already travelled to Denmark, allegedly to case the newspaper’s offices. Danish authorities have acted to protect Mr Westergaard from other credible death threats. They fitted out his bathroom as a fortified bunker, complete with steel door and a panic-button connection to the local police, a detail that probably saved his life last week. The assailant hacked at the door to no avail as Mr Westergaard’s five-year-old granddaughter looked on. Mr Westergaard expects the threats to persist for the rest of his life. That doesn’t seem to have dented his forthright disposition. “What will happen in the long run,” he told a radio interviewer last year, “is that our culture – the materialistic, superior culture – will of course win out.”

But the constancy of the threats against Mr Westergaard points to a serious challenge to free societies, and shows that we may still underestimate the significance of the Danish cartoon crisis. Mere criminals are not, as a rule, bent on harrying their victims to the grave. The man who attacked Mr Westergaard at New Year also seems to be in it for the long haul. He is a father of three who holds a Danish residence permit and has been in the country for 12 years. But he has been linked by Denmark’s intelligence service to both the East African branch of al-Qaeda and the violent Somali youth movement al-Shabaab. The attack on Mr Westergaard was not primarily a crime. It was an act of political violence. The aim, as best we can tell, was not to take Mr Westergaard’s money but to enforce “justice” in a way that would alter society’s rules and people’s behaviour.

A state’s authority rests, as Max Weber said, on a monopoly of violence. In matters of free speech about religion in Denmark, the government monopoly on violence has been broken. There is another player in the market, declaring that cartoons perceived as anti-Islamic are punishable by death. A pattern of political violence against ordinary citizens is something western Europe has not experienced in more than half a century. Some people describe radical Islam as a kind of totalitarianism, or “Islamofascism”. That is an oversimplification. Even if he had contact with al-Qaeda, Mr Westergaard’s would-be assassin was probably working as an individual.

But this power to intimidate, though informal, is potentially decisive. It is the same power exercised by those who threaten journalists in Russia, those who kill policemen in Mexico, or the Ku Klux Klan in the US south of a century ago. Such acts make law. It is remarkable how few people they have to harm to do so. Lars Løkke Rasmussen, the Danish prime minister, was not just mouthing a cliché when he described the attack on Mr Westergaard as “an attack on our open society”. Once a competing source of predictable violence emerges in an open society, government must do something to stop it.

The concepts of “minority” and “majority”, which have for decades provided well-meaning western governments with their main way of understanding justice, are of no help in such a task. Obviously, only a minority of Danish Muslims, and an even smaller minority of Danes as a whole, are violent radical Islamists. But even if that minority is infinitesimal, it is big enough. As long as it can make a credible threat to deal out death to those who disrespect Islam, it can give Islam a privileged status among Denmark’s religions.

For all the mayhem and controversy it has occasioned, publication of the Danish cartoons has turned out to be as revealing an exercise as Mr Rose said it would be. Artists talk about “testing the boundaries” of expression, but they are often fake or obsolete boundaries, things that people wanted passionately to keep hushed up, say, 50 years ago, but don’t really care much about now, such as sex.

But Mr Rose hit a real taboo, one backed up by violence. He thus revealed a terrible problem. Political violence is aimed at promoting a cause – in this case, special consideration for Islam. If a country cannot stop the violence directly, then the public will demand that it stop the violence indirectly, by thwarting the cause the violence serves. The rise of Geert Wilders’s party in the Netherlands, the referendum to ban minarets in Switzerland, the proposed ban on burkas in France – these are all desperate measures to declare that Islam is not the first religion of Europe. “This is a war,” the mainstream French weekly L’Express editorialised in the wake of the attempt on Mr Westergaard’s life. “To flee this conflict would be to buy tranquillity today at an exorbitant price in blood tomorrow.” It concluded: “Banning every kind of full-body cover [the burka] in our public spaces is a necessity.” This is not the non-sequitur it appears to be.

Lyle
01-13-2010, 04:51 PM
http://www.michaeltotten.com/2010/01/an-interview-with-christopher-hitchens-part-i.php#comments

Here's a way of throwing an Oregon progressive into a state of confusion: ask him or her if they've read the latest Al Qaeda pronouncements on the Hindu question. Or, shall we put it another way, a billion infidels, brown-skinned, third world, living in a secular democracy, and all of them deemed by fatwa as fit only for slaughter.

Who's the racist here? Me for pointing that out?

Remember, this Al Qaeda crap comes not out of Palestine. We've got three big Asian democracies, one Christian—the Philippines—one largely Sufi Indonesia, and one Hindu—India. The attempts of Al Qaeda in each case is to create a separate state, to wrench one out of the territories of these three, which would lead to more chaos and war and misery than you can imagine. The reason I'm an optimist is because if we can manage to create alliances with these three large prosperous multicultural democracies, and say that we understand the attempt by radical Islam—again, I correct myself. I should say reactionary Islam.

I don't like the word radical being used here. I do it myself sometimes, but I'm always trying to stop myself. We say "the radical imam." No, he's not radical. He's the most reactionary bleeder in the region.

http://www.michaeltotten.com/2010/01/an-interview-with-christopher-hitchens-part-ii.php#comments

There's something everyone has forgotten, and Obama has never tried to remind them. He doesn't get credit because he's never asked for it. Do you remember when the American crew was taken by the pirates off the coast of Somalia? It's the same country of origin of the axe-wielding maniac who just tried to murder Kurt Westergaard in Denmark.

Someone went to the Oval Office and said, "Mr. President, you have three choices. We can have a standoff with the Somali government, we can negotiate with the pirates, or you can order the Navy SEALs to fire four shots."

I wouldn't like to be a newly elected president and have that dumped on my desk. He must have said, however long it took him, "Use the SEALs."

But that's not what impresses me. The point I'm making is not the one you thought I was going to make. What impresses me is that he didn't give a speech later about it. If Reagan had done that, everyone would remember it. There would be hubris. "They can run, but they can't hide."

I like his nature. Those who need to know, know. We don't have to make a big fucking circus out of it.

Lyle
01-21-2010, 04:52 AM
http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,672716,00.html

Westergaard has returned to his house to pick up a few things he needs, so that he can continue working in the secret location where he is currently being housed. Although the names Kurt and Birgitte Westergaard are still printed on the doorbell nameplate outside, Westergaard now feels like a stranger in his own home.

His wife is cooking lunch in the kitchen: baked fish with black bread and tartar sauce. The table in the living room is set for eight: three police officers, two workmen, the Westergaards and their visitor from Germany. Whenever the doorbell rings, one of the officers from Danish state security gets up to see who it is. The Westergaards plan to return to the house full-time once the renovations are complete and things have settled down. "I refuse to hide," says Westergaard. "And it wouldn't do any good," says his wife. "Denmark is too small for that. Anyone can find anyone else here."

The Muslim World in Uproar

Westergaard was one of 12 cartoonists who published drawings of the Prophet Muhammad in the newspaper Jyllands-Posten in September 2005. A few months later, the Muslim world, inflamed by Islamists from Denmark, was in an uproar. Ambassadors in Copenhagen submitted official complaints to the Danish government, an organization of Islamic countries called for a boycott of Danish products, Libya closed its embassy, activists in Gaza City stormed the grounds of the European Union office there, and Arab League foreign ministers demanded punishment for the cartoonists. Tens of thousands of women took to the streets in the Yemeni capital San'a, the Danish Embassy in Lebanon was set on fire, Iran severed trade relations, and there were widespread protests throughout the Muslim world, in Tehran, Pakistan, Malaysia, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Nigeria. The protests claimed 150 lives, including six people who died in a suicide bombing attack on the Danish Embassy in Pakistan.

The Islamic world felt insulted and provoked by the Danish cartoons. Westergaard, an atheist, had turned in what was probably the most provocative drawing, with his Muhammad wearing a turban that contained a bomb with a fuse attached to it. He was also the only one of the cartoonists who appeared in public and defended his right to freedom of expression.

He has received dozens of threatening phone calls since then. In 2008, three people were arrested and charged with plotting to kill Westergaard. But everything changed on Jan. 1, when a threat turned into a question of survival. At this point, shouldn't Westergaard be asking himself whether this symbol, this cartoon, was worth having to now share his life with three police officers assigned to protect him and his wife around the clock?

Westergaard is 74. He comes from a town in North Jutland County in northern Denmark, where his father owned a small shop. He grew up among devout Christians and, like everyone else, attended Sunday school, where he learned about the existence of God and Satan. "But God," says Westergaard, "is far away and the devil is nearby. Both are tyrants that frighten people."

'Sent on Vacation'

After finishing high school, Westergaard wanted to study art, but his parents were opposed to the idea. Instead, he ended up working as a teacher of German, English and Art Education, first at an elementary school and, after gathering 10 years of experience, at a special school for the disabled. At 50, he decided to try his luck as a cartoonist. His first cartoons appeared in a left-leaning liberal newspaper called Demokraten, which soon went out of business. He then took a job with Jyllands-Posten, where he has worked as a cartoonist for the last 25 years, producing a cartoon almost every day, usually about a current event. Throughout the years, even after the publication of the Muhammad cartoons, Westergaard had an office in the newspaper's editorial department.

Two months ago, however, Westergaard was "sent on vacation," as he says. It is unclear whether the paper was more concerned about his health or its own security. But now, says Westergaard, he doesn't want to stay at home anymore, preferring to return to his desk at Jyllands-Posten.

Jörn Mikkelsen, the editor-in-chief of Jyllands-Posten, has been working for the paper since 1994. He started out as a correspondent in Bonn, joined the senior editorial team in 2002 and has been editor-in-chief since 2008.

As Mikkelsen recalls, at some point in December 2005 the Associated Press published a four-line report from the city of Srinagar in Kashmir, where merchants in the local bazaar had staged a protest against cartoons in a Danish newspaper after Friday prayers. "We laughed about it in the editorial department, but later, as I was going home, I started having a queasy feeling. I asked myself: How did they find out about this? Who reads Jyllands-Posten in Kashmir?"