I guess, I am a fool indeed ( famous last words of the fat lady...)
Submitted by Michel (United States), Jan 23, 2007 at 20:20
Submitted by Noah Wilk, Jan 22, 2007 at 03:14
Noah – We are going in circles but a few of your comments can not stand unanswered, as you fall into the trap sometimes to take me verbatim and do not see the meaning of what I try to convey.
"If this inaction, passiveness demonstrated by the UK authorities is indeed representative for much of the Western Society ( you did indeed mount tons of evidence to that fact)""If" this inaction is representative? Either you've been living in a cave for 6 years, or you are in denial of reality. I'm asking you which, because if you're in denial, there's no point in going on with discussion with you, whereas if you are simply ignorant of reality, we can at least get you up to speed!
Let me rephrase for you: I lament this inaction as much as you do. Period.
"They condemned and negated these teachings almost as passionately, as you or I do. But they were Muslims."A very rare exception to the rule. Remember that.
"Implement your solution I can not carry, as it belays the good achievements of our society. It betrays our principles."How do you figure? Go read that article again. It does not belay the good achievements of our society. It does not betray our principles.
I am today preparing for my Naturalization test. "All men are created equal", Bill of rights. Your MO is in direct contradiction to the US constitution.
It would not be a Pyrrhic victory. We could you low-yield nukes that explode underground (as Israel is planning) to take out their sites, which means very little fallout. After taking out their military and population centers with precision air strikes, they would be crippled militarily and we would have no problem taking Iran on the ground. The point is, you cannot fight with two hands tied behind your back as we are in Iraq. We'd need to bomb them into the stone age and completely destroy them. When we send ground troops in, there would be very few left to fight, with little or no armament. We would of course sieze the oil fields and claim them as our own to offset the price of the war. In fact, we could come out ahead on that.
I am starting to doubt your military background, Noah.
What is "very little" fall out? Will you concede that that fall out of a strike even with low yield bunker busting, precision targeted smart delivery systems on the level needed to take out just 3 out of 20 (optimistic estimate) targets, would result in a fall out far greater than for instance Tschernobyl? Can you even fathom, what that fall out would do to a region of 1500miles? There is not enough grain in the world to make up for just the crops lost in this region. For decades after, genetic defects throughout the entire region including Europe. The crater such a bunker buster opens is 50 yards wide, for God's sake.Enough to send massive amounts of nuclear radiation upwards into the atmosphere. It would take several times Hiroshima levels to break through, down and destroy wide. Study the specs, if you can access them. Some of the stuff is by now declassified and you should be able to find them.
"We can influence our legislation. I become US citizen, so I can vote. We can stand up and voice opposition, wherever the achievements of our democracy are being perverted. We can lead by example."Wrong. Politicians in both parties are totally corrupt and do not listen to the will of their constituents. Something like 85% of Americans are against amnesty for illegal aliens, and yet both parties are pushing for that. Our government is owned by foreign and global interests. The entire government would need to be replaced from the top down in order to have a chance.
So you propose a totalitarian system? If you are right and 85% of the US population are against amnesty, then it will not pass. If they do not vote, they do not have a right to complain.
If that's true, then why, even in this very post I am replying to, do you doubt reality despite being given an overwhelming amount of evidence?
Why is this so hard for you to understand, that I do N O T refute most of your examples, quotes and or references, but actually accept them as a fact. I just do not see those as 100% representative for the entire Muslim World. And I see your MO as not feasible, too radical and too simplistic.
As for your "evidence" of societal strength, let's shoot them down like plinking cans in the prairie.
You took me verbatim again, as I used this as an example for the relentless effort of some of our people to find root causes for any problems and never stop until a remedy is found. "Continuous (quality) improvement designed into most modern western corporations as integral part of a 21st century business – after all part of our modern society – or not?
" The power of innovation demonstrated by our society, which will make us independant from middle east oil in a foreseeable future."Again, pure delusion. The internal combustion engine has been obsolete for over half a century. Every president since...ummm...Kennedy?...maybe even before him, but every president since has sworn that in several years we would be independent of foreign oil.
Fact of life – not until the pressure becomes unbearable, are we willing to adapt. Have you looked at the sales of Trucks and Hummers in the US lately? The rise of the Toyota Prius? Look at what's currently driving around in any Western Europe Capital ( 2 seaters, 60m/g ). Look at the recycling efforts in Germany or Switzerland at present at up to 80%. The development of Solar and wind technology. Once again, you focus on what's not happening, yet fail to see the positive developments. Most western innovations after all.
So where has this "power of innovation" been hiding for more than a quarter of a century, and why do we still have utter dependence on oil? Why is virtually no one outside of a few Hollywood environmentalists driving hydrogen fuel or electric cars? Once again, denial or ignorance of reality.
Denial goes both ways, Noah. Reduction of dependence on middle eastern Oil to 20% (USA) is utter?
" The leap frog in military strategy during the original IRAK campaign"
Apples and oranges. One-dimensional.
" Billions of $ for the Tsunami victims coming from every corner of the globe"
Another misread example, which was meant to demonstrate, that it is still possible to get a unified world, if there is cause. As far as the factual support goes – we agree to disagree.
" The space station and the Dreamliner. The medical improvements just during the last 10 years. The IT revolution causing the "information Age"Again, all scientific or technological achievements, but not a sign of societal strength. " Our discussion we have without fear of being thrown into a Gulag"A sign of the strength of our forefathers, but that right of free speech is being eroded daily. A sign of how weak we've gotten, when we cannot speak our minds freely even in America." The fact that some complete idiots are allowed to promote removing "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance"Another sign of weakness, not strength. We cater to whiners because they're "offended" by things they do not agree with. How do you see this as strength?
If above results and developments can not be seen as "societal", what can?
And you conveniently ignore the fact that Americans are allowing a steady erosion of their rights and freedoms every day. We allow government to pervert emminent domain laws, we allow illegal aliens to corrupt our culture and devastate our economy, we allow Congressmen to swear into office on the battle manual of the enemy, we refuse to speak the plain and simple truth about Islam...need I go on?
I do not allow them anything. As soon as I can vote, my voice will speak against such. I can not deny that our passiveness has led to perversions and the impression you describe above. But it still is in the hands of the people to stand up against, partake in the political process instead of simply complaining.
Michel, I have news for you. A society's strength is measured by how much the people care about their culture, about how much they are willing to sacrifice for their nation, about how aware they are of their Constitutional rights and how far they are willing to go to preserve those rights. We're a pathetically weak society now. When we reached 2,500 military deaths in Iraq (currently 3,000), we lost our national will to fight and elected the democrats as a referendum on Bush's policies (that was a stupid way of doing it!). We lost far more in a far shorter time in WWII!
Can't argue with anything here. The state of our affairs is deplorable. I do not deny it.
Don't talk to me about the strength of our society. That's a joke.
The patient is in a coma – I said it myself many times. But just take the immediate aftermath of 9/11.
That's "moot" point. "Mute" means not being able to speak. Sorry, that's been bugging me for days now.
"Like I said, it comes off like a game, coming from you. You seem to simply enjoy arguing although you refuse to acknowledge reality in each post, even while admitting that others have given you overwhelming evidence of that reality.
Another sad misconception, I seem to be unable to correct. Maybe if I use simple straight forward statements, I can clarify:
Ø I do not see it as a game. Deadly serious in fact.
Ø I enjoy a good debate – no denial here
Ø I accept most of your evidence as true
Ø I stand against intolerance and any form of radicalism from any side.
Ø I see one single example of positive as reason for hope and entry point for constructive approaches
Ø I am a relativist of the purest form. Reality, as you call it can be looked at from different angles and a variety of different conclusions can be derived.
Your claim of travelling the world and searching out all these poor ghettos and villages is not very convincing, I'm afraid. Earlier you spoke of travelling on business. What is your business, the Red Cross? I think Susan pegged it right with her two group theory, and I suspect you fit into group two.
I responded truthfully to Susan's "profile". In addition I may state, that ( mentioned in one of my posts) I was mostly "on business – . During the last years, as VP for a very large and very well known Aerospace Company by design more in airplanes than home. I know every bloody airport lounge there is - and - by the way , it is not romantic at all. If I never see an airport again, it is too early.
Sucking on an apple tobacco water pipe in a market place in Istanbul or eating wieners out of a can with Vodka instead of water or a soft drink in St. Petersburg, all that in a living room of the size of my bathroom here, led to a strange situation, where I find myself having most friends overseas than, where I actually live. It is not good or bad – just the way it is for me personally and individually.
I appreciate that I was able to see a lot of things a lot of the people here only read about, first hand, up close and personal, but it also came with a high price. No lasting relationships, the loss of the love of my life, no wife, no children, no family. Nothing romantic about it. I ve seen terrible ugliness, but I have also seen the best in humans there is and the latter surrounded by unspeakable misery.
My personal decision is simply to focus on the latter, build upon it, rather than tunnel-vision on the first and thus lose any (remaining) optimism.
"We always point out, how diverse those many cultures are, but fail to acknowledge how similar the average individuals. It is because of that that I feel that basic human needs come first, no matter where you are. It is why I have faith in our society, because it stands for exactly satisfying these basic human needs."Once again, we do not share the same values. People in all civilized western countries value the lives of their children above pretty much anything else. In Islamic countries, they value revenge above the lives of their children. Their pathological and demented hatred of Jews, Christians, and "infidels" of every sort is so powerful that they send their children out as suicide bombers and actually breed children to be used as terrorist suicide bombers. They do not believe in the basic human needs of life, liberty, or happiness.
I want to hear, what an average American Muslim has to say about that.
"I would not be a pragmatist, if I denied the reality you depict. It's grim. My own little lab experiment failed miserably - I humbly must accept as fact. In that sense – I concede defeat and a weak position."Hopefully that is a sincere admission.
It sadly is sincere. Plato came in, but still no Muslim voice. But I am still hoping :-)
And what exactly is wrong with "extreme measures"? If you have a raging infection of gangrene in your leg, we must use "extreme measures" and amputate that leg in order to save your life. Unfortunte, but for the greater good. When faced with extreme circumstances, you are forced to take extreme measures.
Don't deny the logic of the analogy. Can you accept that I promote the free will to either live with the amputation or not? Sometimes the surgery kills the patient. Sometimes the therapy is worse than the illness it tries to defeat.
" Banning Islam, deporting 1% of our population is to say the least "radical". "Yet effective, and neccesary."I am not willing to accept the "collateral damage" of deporting or suppressing innocent people"Show me that they are truly innocent. Islam is the enemy.
The difference between us is, that you state that all of them are evil, because by sheer logic of its teachings all Muslims are depraved., while I will not condemn them as a whole, no matter, how much evidence you list.
"If the price for survival is that high, that it would force us to abandon everything we stand for, I promote in fact suicide. "Then you are truly a fool. It does not force us to abandon our principles or "everything we stand for".
Noah - I am studying for my exam tomorrow the constitution. Your proposed MO is in direct contradiction to what the US constitution declares, hence you clearly promote the abandoning of the principles of just the preamble and the Bill of Rights. I do not need to be a Supreme Court Judge to recognize that and see no way, how you could possibly argue yourself out of that paradox.
So until you can show me some evidence of widespread reform in Islam here in America, they are the enemy. Every last one of them. Period. If they want to remain here in America, let them become Christian or Buddhist or whatever. I'm not about to excuse 99.5% of them on the actions of those rare few 0.5% who actually aren't supporting terror either passively or actively. I am not about to risk out country's future for a tiny minority when 99.5% of them don't care.
Your point of view is clear, but so is mine. Since you are unable to prove to me 100% accuracy of your depiction of Islam, I can not entertain a strategy, Hitler would be proud of.
"Ok, let me get this straight. You're not willing to live in a place where we deport a fantical, socio-political-religious death cult that is threatening our survival as a nation and as a culture, but you are willing to allow your country to be transformed into an Islamic state where your head will be cut off simply for being Jewish? Someone grab a straight jacket, please!
We the people…. The patronized melting pot….have legal means at our disposal ( I know that is boring and not sexy) to never let that happen. We will not go down quite that easy, my friend.
"You seem to be able to do that. To entertain insane ideas in face of insanity. I accept and respect your point of view and the fact that you are willing to pay an enormous price for our survival but..."
Yes – to be truthful – the examples you mentioned were unnecessary and insane. Adding insult to injury, as the outcome at that moment was predestined already. Revenge? A book could be written about that topic alone. Philosophically spoken I am to the opinion that the ascent of man towards Utopia is only possible, if he learns to overcome this one strong motivational force - as a species, culture, society and as an individual.
" I can understand your cultural trauma and sensitivity to the issue, being Jewish. However, that's not the same thing we're talking about. Your ancestors were rounded up and exterminated by an evil madman and his military machine simply because you existed. I am not advocating the eradication of an entire culture. That decision would rest entirely in their own hands. As long as they did not attack America, they would not be eradicated. As long as they became civilized human beings worthy of living, they would not be eradicated. And I am advocating eradicating them (if it comes to that) not because they exist, not because I disagree with them, but because they are a deadly menace to all we hold dear and sacred...life, liberty, happiness, freedom. If the mythical "moderate" Muslims refuse to transform their religion, they must be forced to do so, just as we forced Japan to surrender its insane ideology.
Thank you for above statement. At least you see my sensitivity.
If you truly believe that, then you are a total fool. Only a completely ignorant and misguided fool would prefer suicide to genocide when faced with an implacable enemy that does not respect life itself, when the enemy does not respect freedom or happiness, when the enemy's goal is the total annihilation of everything you hold dear.
If not buying into purpose justifies all means, is being a fool, then by all means, call me that. My principles and core values transcend my tiny little personal life. Before I betray them, everything my forefathers bled for, Yes - cheerio and bye bye.
"They are simply much smarter than I am, but – let me tell you, my moderate friends –as opposed to Noah and Susan, Infidel and dhimmi, I am ashamed of you and I walk away from here in disgust, whereas I respect the aforementioned as willing to speak up, voice at times harsh, even radical opinions and in general " do the work". They have backbone at least, whereas I can call you guys only Cowards with no spine. You enjoy the blessings and privileges of our society, yet lack any courage to defend it."
And yet you still think they deserve to be allowed to live in our society?
"You on the other hand just watched like the passive onlookers in a NY Subway during a gang rape. Probably smiled ironically, shook your heads but otherwise just sat there nice and cozy."
Deploring passiveness and living a paranoia of believing that they are all enjoying it or trying to kill me, is a whole different ball game.
"If you – the silent majority – continue to do so, I can not come to any other conclusion than Noah –we are doomed. God help us all." God helps those who help themselves. It is far past the time to let the so called silent majority know...if you are not going to stand with us, you are against us.
The silent majority is right here in our own backyards. Average Americans, no matter the creed or origin, too afraid, disinterested, self-absorbed. IN your own logic therefore your enemy, as they are not with you. ( Nor with me for that matter). So what do you suggest we do with them?
I say it for the very last time: This blog alone has delivered any radical Imam, domestic or abroad, enough material to indoctrinate his community for years to come as to the hateful, intolerant, outright paranoid nature of us "infidels". It has not led to any constructive dialogue but quite actually sharpened any conflict. If I was a muslim reading what you posted, my only reaction could be resentment, anger, hatred - exactly the breeding attitude for fanatism and terrorism.
I find myself appalled and helpless in the face of such extreme opinions. How can diametrically opposing cultures and religions find dialogue and compromise, if not even we, members of the same society, Western republicans can not find common ground?
I will admit that I engaged in this debate out of scientific curiosity. I wanted to find out, if I could pick one of the extreme posters and apply any form of respectful technique to come to a form of platform, both parties could buy into. I tried every single tool within my arsenal of modern conflict resolution techniques to no avail whatsoever.
I tested the wide spread hypothesis that there is no reasoning with fanatism and found it clearly confirmed here. Insofar, I apologize to you. The whole thing was initially an experiment. But it became much more in the course of the debate. It became a frightening example and strong evidence for the fact that hatred is almost impossible to overcome, once it is imprinted.
There is no way The Imam in Birmingham or our own people as represented by you can and will ever find common ground. I can only hope and pray that people like Plato stand in between as a buffer between arch enemies.
As far as I am concerned - I concede the experiment as failed in its entirety. ( Including the lab test to involve moderate muslims)
You remained steadfast like a rock, not giving an inch, ready for the next crusade.
Congratulations to you, and a really stiff drink for me, as I wasted a ton of my (expensive) time.
Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".
Reader comments (2096) on this item
Comment on this item
You can help support Daniel Pipes' work by making a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum. Daniel J. Pipes