Monday, June 21, 2010

Never Say the I-Word

Newsweek, not famous for its biting politics, is uncomfortable that America's government refuses to name its enemy at a time of war, preferring to pretend - oh, I don't know what they're trying to pretend.
Hedieh Mirahmadi saw this trend firsthand as part of the steering committee for a conference on radicalization sponsored by the State and Defense departments and the RAND Corporation in mid-May. Throughout the discussions, the draft report on the meeting’s minutes was titled a “Defining a Strategic Campaign to…Counter and Delegitimize Radical Islamism.” “We made it all the way through the day of printing with that title,” Mirahmadi told me. “There were probably 15 drafts.” But when the report finally arrived two weeks ago, the title had been changed. The term “radical Islamism” had become “violent extremism,” even though the 97-page report itself, which was made public on June 14, deals almost entirely with problems in the Muslim world.
In Harry Potter's world, not naming the enemy was an act of fear. This seems simply to be an act of silliness - which is probably worse.


Anonymous said...

well, maybe they wanted to make sure that they covered the Tamil Tigers - who are said to be something else

also there are some Maoists somewhere between India and Nepal who are said to be pretty nasty.

One can't leave those out, that would be discrimination and we won't have that, it just wouldn't be fair on them


NormanF said...

Oh? I thought they meant Israel. Oh well!

Anonymous said...

Elders of Ziyon is on the Voldemort ooops AlQaeda story also -
the run up to the conclusion is a treat

"Does this mean he (Obama) will apologize to Hezbollah, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the PA for the killing of non-al Qaeda members? It sounds like the US violated the principle of proportionality, that we all know is a cornerstone of international humanitarian law.The drones should not have attacked until it was known for certain that only al Qaeda members would be killed - because the other people were just innocent members of the great religion of Islam whose beliefs were being grossly distorted by their hosts."

4infidels said...


I think this is a critically important issue.

Without using the term Islamist, how does one accurately assess what has been happening in Turkey over the past decade?

It seems that the US government and media (and the American Jewish organizations that lobbied against the resolution acknowledging the Armenian Genocide) are all waking up to a reality, following the flotilla incident, that has been telegraphing its ideological approach for years.

If you take ideology ("Islamist") and its connection to traditional Islamic doctrine out of the picture, then it is impossible to determine how profoundly different Erdogan's values and sympathies are from his predecessors in Turkey.

After all, for most of his party's time in power, it would be inaccurate to label them "violent extremists" (because they weren't violent) or even "radical Islamists," a redundant term that seems to be a substitute for terrorist rather than a focus on Islamist ideology.

Without using the term "Islamist," how does one note that Erdogan, while not actively engaging in terrorism and initially being canny about his sympathies for Hamas and Hezbollah, still shares the same goals as the terrorists ("violent extremists" or "radical Islamists")? Those goals are Islamization at home (making Turkey more Sharia compliant) and the spread of Islamic law to secular Muslim or infidel societies abroad, until ultimately the entire world falls under the domain of Islam.

That Erdogan wears Western clothes and is following an incremental approach, using Turkish democracy to achieving his undemocratic aims and overturn the secular legacy of Ataturk, doesn't make him any less of an enemy of secular Turks and those outside Turkey who embrace the values of the West. Just as groups in the US like ISNA and CAIR are not "violent extremists" (though they often support those who engage in "violent extremism"), they share the same agenda of making the Koran the highest authority in America. And it is the threat of that "violent extremism" that makes the "stealth jihadists" like Erdogan or CAIR seem reasonable and actually allows them to advance their aims more effectively.

So by taking Islam out of the equation, we are left pondering "Who Lost Turkey?" and blaming Israel's war in Gaza, the flotilla incident or Europe's failure to admit Turkey to the European Union for Erdogan's move into the Iranian-Syria orbit. Nonsense! Turkey's shift to the East comes directly out of Erdogan's ideology and should have been predictable to casual observers based on Erdogan's political program, statements and enemies.

4infidels said...

Mark Steyn had a recent column in which he cited demography as the reason for the resurgence of Islam in Turkey.

At the time of Ataturk's secular reforms, there were 14 million people living in Turkey. The urban middle-class easily accepted and assimilated Ataturk's secular approach into their Westernizing lifestyle, while the effects of the secular reforms were skin-deep for the rural population who remained firmly tied to the Islamic (Eastern) identity and traditions.

Today there are 70 million people in Turkey. Which of the two groups mentioned above do you think is responsible for that population growth: the secular, educated Westernized middle-class in the cities or the rural Islamic traditional masses in the countryside?