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September 04, 2008

American Hezbollah

Rudy Giuliani last night:

GIULIANI: For four days in Denver, the Democrats were afraid to use the term “Islamic terrorism.” I imagine they believe it is politically incorrect to say it. I think they believe they will insult someone. Please tell me, who they are insulting if they say, “Islamic terrorism.” They are insulting terrorists!

With just a few words changed, this would sound exactly like the hardest of Hezbollah's hardliners:

For four days in Beirut, the National Liberals were afraid to use the term “Jewish terrorism.” I imagine they believe it is politically incorrect to say it. I think they believe they will insult someone. Please tell me, who they are insulting if they say, “Jewish terrorism.” They are insulting terrorists!

However, there are important difference between the situations. One is we've systematized and institutionalized our propaganda, so that anything along those lines from Hezbollah would be picked up by groups like MEMRI. As far as I know, the Arab world hasn't degraded itself to quite that degree yet.

EARLIER: Republicans and Hezbollah hit on a winning electoral strategy.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at September 4, 2008 11:12 AM

Oh? Try "Wipe out the Jews: Anti-Semitic Hate Speech in the Name of Islam," DER SPIEGEL, 5-16-08.
And that covers just a tiny segment.
Nobody's got the market cornered in this department, not even the Rudy types here.
The Arab world has degraded itself as much as any part of the bad, bad West. It's a clash, all right, but no longer of civilizations. Ain't nothing civilized about either side.

Posted by: donescobar at September 4, 2008 12:20 PM

Don't you think the stuff on Saudi or Egyptian TV ("The Protocols of the Elders of You Know Who") and from the clerics, in textbooks and schools in the Arab world is both internalized and gradually institutionalized? Not with the speed and as effective a machinery as ours, but...

Posted by: donescobar at September 4, 2008 02:49 PM

AND only one thing does it faster---the net.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at September 4, 2008 07:26 PM

Interestingly (or not) the National Counter-Terrorism Center urges government officials not to rhetorically link Islam and terrorism. Their reason is a pragmatic one, in that they don't want to imply that terrorists have religious legitimacy and of course they can't issue their own fatwas saying "terror is bad theology" or something.

Posted by: Doctorb at September 4, 2008 08:58 PM

I recommend a book by the German scholar Matthias Kuentzel, "Jihad and Jew-Hatred: Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11."
It ain't just about the occupation.

Posted by: donescobar at September 5, 2008 10:10 AM

Well, I don't give a rat's ass about Goldberg, but he and other reviewers do note the "massive evidence" Kuentzel presents for ideas, "widely and fervently" held. To call them "idiotic" doesn't help much at all. It's not primarily the idiocy of a Murdoch or Helms that falsifies and harms and fuels hatred, it's the vitriol and resentment and blindness and hypocrisy.
We have always underestimated the allure of fascism, with its certainties--and condemnations arising from them--to so many.
And. as Stephen Leacock said so well, a half a brick can be thrown much farther than the whole brick. So half-truths or idiocies can be advanced more easily. Our "communications" are full of them, day in day out, in the middle, on the right, and on the left too. (See "Counterpunch." Rudy Gulianis of Leninism.)

Posted by: donescobar at September 5, 2008 12:14 PM

I think we're going to have to agree to disagree about Kuentzel. Not about the dangers of general human crazitude, however.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at September 5, 2008 01:50 PM

Fine, and for those unwilling to read his book or spend the $$ for it, try "Islamism, Antisemitism and the political left," an interview with Kuentzel by Alan Johnson, editor of Democratiya.

Posted by: donescobar at September 5, 2008 02:19 PM

"It ain't just about the occupation"

You keep telling yourself that then if it makes you feel better. Somehow I get the feeling that if the primary oil producing regions of the planet happened to by settled by Buddhist, we would be grappling with the disconcerting rise of Buddhi-fascism. And say what you will about Hezbollah, but to date it's the only force that has compelled Israel to do that which it abhors--concede land which it had previously occupied. Furthermore, outside of Hezbollah what other force in Lebanon has the deterrent effect to safeguard that nation's sovereignty?

Posted by: Coldtype at September 5, 2008 05:43 PM


Posted by: Save the Oocytes at September 5, 2008 07:52 PM

Wouldn't dream of "making you read" anything.
Wouldn't judge a book by the reviews, favorable or unfavorable, given it, especially on Amazon.
But hey, as they used to say, it's a free country.
Or, was. More or less. Friede.

Posted by: donescobar at September 5, 2008 11:01 PM

I realize that on the Left (almost) all that is Islamic is a sacred cow, but do take a look at Benny Morris's review of books about the history of Muslim Anti-Semitism, "The Darker Side," on tnr.
It is not a publication I care about, but even as Jon admitted, good pieces appear there on occasion.
I don't expect this article or Kuentzel's book to be taken seriously by "progressives." Golden calves must be preserved and protected.

Posted by: donescobar at September 8, 2008 10:47 AM