View Full Version : Targeting Kennedy

06-04-2007, 09:05 PM
4 June National Review editorial - Targeting Kennedy (http://article.nationalreview.com/print/?q=ODY1OWU4NzIxN2QyNzk4NWQyZTdiYmQ1YjI3MTNiOTY=).

This time it was John F. Kennedy International Airport. Nothing new about big-city airports — seven years ago, Los Angeles International Airport was targeted. Nothing new about New York City, either. The World Trade Center was bombed in 1993, and finally destroyed in the 9/11 attacks. The United Nations complex, the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, the FBI’s Lower Manhattan headquarters, the Brooklyn Bridge, Grand Central Terminal — they’ve all been on the hit list. Big Western cities, in fact, are the hit list. New York, L.A., Chicago, Washington, London, Paris, Madrid . . . on it goes.

And, of course, there is nothing new about the culprit. The story is always the same: radical Islamic terror. The storyline is the same, too. But an element of Western opinion always wants to obscure it, turning a blind eye to the ideology of hate that motivates these would-be murderers. The root-causes crowd has little interest in that root cause. No, it must be poverty (even when the terrorists turn out to be comfortable, well-educated, and fully employed); or the Palestinian issue (even though organizations like al Qaeda have barely mentioned the Israeli–Palestinian dispute, and some terror targets, like Bali, had no rational connection to it); or, it goes without saying, George W. Bush and “his” war in Iraq (no matter how many attacks occurred before his presidency).

A growing chorus, weary of the war at home and abroad, some of its voices resistant even to the reality that we are at war, is quick to reject the use of both military force and heightened domestic surveillance. The War on Terror is, they maintain, a war only of ideas...

06-04-2007, 10:26 PM
With the greatest respect, I fail to understand the point of the SWJ editors in posting this editorial.

The deepest lesson here, though, is that we are at war with an enemy that hates us, that will stop at nothing — even death — to harm us, and that we must understand in order to defeat. That is the first step in the real battle of ideas.

As is usual with these little hatepieces, it's full of nominatives - words that mean different things to different people.

And as usual, it runs from the specific - a reference to a bunch of dumb@sses caught by the FBI, to sweeping generalisations about Islam, the shadowy "They", who will stop at nothing to harm us.

This is about generating fear, irrational fear, to provoke a particular reaction, a hatred of all things Islamic and a polarisation of the world into Islam vs. the rest. I will leave the reader to speculate whose interest this is in, because it is surely not in America's interest.

Lets start with specifics, four Islamic dumbasses who plot to blow up the fuel supply at JFK. They are caught in an FBI sting and no more needs to be said.

The authors then sets up a straw man argument that says that the root causes of Islamic terrorism are not particular events (Al Ghraib, Palestine, Iraq, Whatever) but a generalised hate of all things western, and that that must be what causes four muslims, three (I think) of them Americans, to speculate about blowing up an oil line.

Let me tell you something. I am not a muslim, but I am hopping mad at what has been done in my name by the Bush Administration. If I was also a muslim, I would be incandescent with rage to the point almost of madness. No overarching hatred of the West is required.

If anything, I'm surprised that there has been so little domestic terrorism, and the FBI's accounts suggest that the potential perpetrators have come from the shallow end of the gene pool anyway.

Now lets get down to facts. There is no monolithic "Islam" that is at war with anyone. Islam as we have seen in Iraq, is riven by sects, tribes, orders, and cultural differences. If I travel to Indonesia or Malaysia, both nominally muslim countries (Indonesia is the largest Muslim country), do I have any trouble getting a beer and a ham sandwich? No. Are the women sheathed in black from head to toe? No. Am I reviled and spat upon? No. Am I secure in my person, provided I stay away from the occasional thieves kitchen? Yes.

True, there are places where I would not go without an escort these days, Pakistan for example. But in general muslims want exactly the same things we want - peace, prosperity, to watch their kids grow up.

So what then is behind Islamic terrorism, absent of course, those for who the Al Ghraib, Waterboarding, or the death of a relative at the hands of Americans is enough? To find the answer, I believe we need look no further than our own history - the reformation, which started around 1517, that basically broke the power of the catholic church.

Now the reformation was "powered" for want of a better word, by the invention of the printing press and moveable type. This allowed for people to have ready access to transaltions of the Bible in their own languages, and of course what they read was not exactly what the Catholic Church had been telling them for centuries. The result? Debate, insurrection, insurgency, war. It is no accident that the first known "Terrorist" was a Catholic gentleman by the name of Guy Fawkes who plotted with other Catholics to blow up the (Protestant) Parliament House in London.

My contention is that Islam is in the process of the same type of reformation, "powered" this time by the Internet, DVD's and computer technology. I have travelled in the backblocks of Indonesia and never missed an email. I've walked through Kampongs in Sulawesi that had fibre to the door. I remember buying a copy of "Time" magazine in Jakarta about 1974. On the instruction of the Mullahs, the cover of each copy had a picture of a girl in a bikini carefully blanked out by hand. This sort of censorship is no longer possible. The information revolution has upset the Islamic applecart.

Look no further than the rantings of Al Qaeeda - they want an end to "western influences" - translation they want their kids listening to the Koran, not rap music. They want their kids to be happy with their lot as it is now, not watching western sitcoms on DVD where the girls don't wear veils and get an education. Western values are subversive of the old order and the old power structure, thats why they want us out. The Mullahs of Iran and Saudi Arabia must have a lot in common with medieval Popes at the moment. There are too many "Inconvenient Truths" (pardon the wording) floating around on the internet for the Mullahs to be happy.

So what then, given the cause of Islamic radicalism is a kickback against the internal forces for Islamic reform, should we be doing? Demonising an entire religion? No. Discouraging moderate reformist muslims? No. Uniting muslims against us by our acts of depravity? That would be stupid.

So I'll ask again. What would be the sensible thing to do, given that a reformed modernised Islam would be in our interests? How could demonising and polarising Islam against us be in our interests? Why would someone write such an editorial? And finally, whose interests might such a polarisation and demonisation really serve?

06-04-2007, 10:50 PM
... and you discussed - that is the point.

06-05-2007, 06:29 AM
Walrus - you and me gotta get together for a beer. I attempted to say something very similar to what you just eloquently stated in an earlier thread and just didn't have the chops to get it done.

But what I didn't grasp upon was the implicit argument that "the west" is just external to Islam's own internal "reformation". So...are we just "the heavies?"

Tom Odom
06-05-2007, 12:49 PM

Can I assume (oooh there's that word, again) that you are not a Ralph Peters fan? :wry:

Good post--and as SWJED stated--that is why he posted the NR rant.


06-05-2007, 01:41 PM
I fail to see how the label " radical Islamic terror" deomonizes Islam and sets the entire West against all of Islam. I also fail to see any major Islamic reformation unfolding. I would reference the fact that Saudi women are still not allowed to drive and the 6 months a man can get in Jordan for doing an honor killing, which is an upgrade in their Jurisprudence by the way. Regarding the dumbass operatives who can't seem to blow up airports, I take their intent and the unknown numbers who endorse such actions with more trepidation than their failure in tactical planning.


" Allah (has/does) directs you as regards your Children's (Inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females........"

"Some of those who are Jews change words from their context and say: "We hear and disobey; hear thou as one who heareth not" and "Listen to us!" distorting with their tongues and slandering religion. If they had said: "We hear and we obey: hear thou, and look at us" it had been better for them, and more upright. But Allah hath cursed them for their disbelief, so they believe not, save a few."

Put that on the plate for reformation, since it comes directly from God.

"Uniting muslims against us by our acts of depravity? That would be stupid."
Gimme' a break.