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15 comments

1 Rightwingconspirator  Jan 16, 2015 9:53:19am

To me the best reaction is anything but an overreaction.

The very idea that we could not defeat these guys over the long haul without upending our own civil protections or unwisely/unnecessarily bombing those under our warplanes in distant lands is a particularly damnable false notion.

2 Jayleia  Jan 16, 2015 10:04:17am

It won’t be just us losing…it will be everyone, and everything. The radical religionists (both Christian and Islamic) want us to commit genocide.

The radical Christians want us to go kill the Muslims so we can win, the radical Islamists want us to try to kill all the Muslims to radicalize the rest of them, so we can make more of them so they can win. The last time a major developed country did something like that…they didn’t have any nuclear weapons or ICBMs to deliver them.

Goodbye civilization.

3 b.d.  Jan 16, 2015 10:33:35am

Great write up

4 CuriousLurker  Jan 16, 2015 10:49:00am

re: #1 Rightwingconspirator

re: #2 Jayleia

re: #3 b.d.

You know what the creepiest part is that really weirded me out? The realization that the GOP is using the exact same strategy AQ uses, however they’ve turned it inward and are using it to pit American voters against each other.

How effed up is that?

5 EPR-radar  Jan 16, 2015 12:26:33pm

re: #4 CuriousLurker

You know what the creepiest part is that really weirded me out? The realization that the GOP is using the exact same strategy AQ uses, however they’ve turned it inward and are using it to pit American voters against each other.

How effed up is that?

That’s pretty much the main reason I view the GOP as proto-fascist. They really are just agitating for hate while searching for a leader and for targets for mob violence.

6 PhillyPretzel  Jan 16, 2015 6:32:41pm

As Sun Tzu said many years ago, “If you know your enemy as well as you know yourself and you need not fear a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy for every victory you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy or yourself, you will succumb every time.

7 Shvaughn  Jan 17, 2015 2:34:51am

Thanks for writing this.

8 Aye Pod  Jan 17, 2015 4:51:47am

Hi CL . Yes the west is being manipulated. From IS’s point of view, this isn’t really about protecting Islam from being offended, it’s a recruitment drive.

Every wingnut that screams about turning the middle east into glass, or stopping all muslim immigration, is totally playing into their hands, and is actually doing their recruiting for them, because it will be their comments that get recirculated through muslim’s social media etc.

On the issue of freedom of speech though we obviously have no choice but to defend it. I don’t think there is anything we can say that will make IS go away. There’s no strategic verbal magic bullet. If we didn’t bother about defending free speech, they’d focus on some other issue that they knew we were going to bother about, like women’s rights.

9 CuriousLurker  Jan 17, 2015 7:46:02am

re: #8 Aye Pod

On the issue of freedom of speech though we obviously have no choice but to defend it. I don’t think there is anything we can say that will make IS go away. There’s no strategic verbal magic bullet. If we didn’t bother about defending free speech, they’d focus on some other issue that they knew we were going to bother about, like women’s rights.

No one—neither the author of the article nor myself—is saying or implying that free speech shouldn’t be defended. Of course there is no magic verbal bullet that will make IS or AQ go away, and you’re absolutely right that if it wasn’t free speech they’d simply move on to some other issue, but surely there must be other ways of defending the things we care about that don’t play right into the hands of these goons.

These guys pull our strings and we jump exactly like they want us to. They know how we’ll react—hell, many of them are from the West, and those who aren’t have surely studied us and our reactions to past attacks (as well as the reactions of Muslims around the worlds) intently. As the article pointed out, they’ve adjusted their tactics in response to those reactions.

These guys are brutal, they’re thugs who’ve deluded themselves into thinking they can turn back time and recapture a lost glory, but the one thing they aren’t is stupid. Underestimating them won’t help us win this fight, and killing their leaders & kicking the shit out of them with our superior military power doesn’t seem to be working either.

I don’t know what we have to do to stop them or at least mitigate the harm they’re capable of inflicting without giving up our freedoms or abandoning our core values, but every problem has a solution, and the solution is contained somewhere within the problem if you study it close enough and from every angle. My guess is that it’ll be several things done in tandem. All I know for sure is that these guys are still having success and keep getting exponentially more vicious, so whatever we’ve been doing so far clearly isn’t working

Oops: Edited to remove previous (unfinished) portion of response.

10 Decatur Deb  Jan 17, 2015 8:00:05am

re: #9 CuriousLurker

…snip. All I know for sure is that these guys are still having success and keep getting exponentially more vicious, so whatever we’ve been doing so far clearly isn’t working

Oops: Edited to remove previous (unfinished) portion of response.

To be a bit cold-blooded, we need some longer term data on the effectiveness of what the West has been doing. There is a dark side of Applied Anthropology, just as there was a dark side of Psychology in the torture abuses. If we are applying it covertly, we sure aren’t talking about it.

This is a classic that might explain some of what is going on in Islam today:

amazon.com

en.wikipedia.org

11 Aye Pod  Jan 17, 2015 8:05:04am
No one—neither the author of the article nor myself—is saying or implying that free speech shouldn’t be defended.

Thats ok - it wasn’t my intention to suggest that anyone here was doing that.

12 CuriousLurker  Jan 17, 2015 8:30:23am

re: #10 Decatur Deb

Thanks, I’ll take a look.

I guess what I was trying to express in my typically verbose way is that I’m not ready to concede that we lack the ingenuity to defeat these groups at their own game without alienating the entire Muslim world. The idea that they’re a scourge we’ll simply have to deal with for the foreseeable future is a thought I find intolerable. There must be a way.

13 Decatur Deb  Jan 17, 2015 8:32:45am

re: #12 CuriousLurker

Thanks, I’ll take a look.

I guess what I was trying to express in my typically verbose way is that I’m not ready to concede that we lack the ingenuity to defeat these groups at their own game without alienating the entire Muslim world. The idea that they’re a scourge we’ll simply have to deal with for the foreseeable future is a thought I find intolerable. There must be a way.

I think so too, but:
1. Our decision-makers might not be that smart/nasty.
2. You, as a believer, would not like it if they were.

14 CuriousLurker  Jan 17, 2015 8:45:21am

re: #13 Decatur Deb

I think so too, but:
1. Our decision-makers might not be that smart/nasty.
2. You, as a believer, would not like it if they were.

I dunno. As I mentioned in my #4, the GOP seems to be doing an excellent job of applying the IS/AQ strategy (sans the violent bits) to polarize Americans.

15 Decatur Deb  Jan 17, 2015 8:56:22am

re: #14 CuriousLurker

I dunno. As I mentioned in my #4, the GOP seems to be doing an excellent job of applying the IS/AQ strategy (sans the violent bits) to polarize Americans.

That’s just vote-renting. Win or lose, the kulturkampf is not going to be fought in Iowa.

For an optimistic take, consider that millenarian religious outbreaks seem to be self-limiting. In that sense just containing them long enough, at a tolerable level of atrocity, would work.

(Looking up the ‘Oppressed’ book, I see that it is/was the basis for a Vassar course, taught at a correctional facility. Gotta love the ’60s writers.)


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