Commenter Profile

The Blessed Bigotry of Mr Trump – Israel Shamir/The Unz Review

March 16, 2016 3:48 pm
Cloak and Dagger, To summarize: Just because the neocons are trying to demonize Muslims doesn't mean that some Muslims aren't in fact a threat to modern Western democratic values. All three major Abrahamic cults -- Judaism, Christianity and Islam -- have produced dangerous extremist movements throughout history, and continue to do so. It's not all about Israel. By the way, I can't imagine how anyone who is thin-skinned about criticism of radical Islamism would entertain for a second the thought of voting for Donald Trump -- he is clearly hostile to Islam and Muslims in the extreme -- and I don't think he makes any significant discriminations between Muslims in general and radical Islamists. But he is also the only candidate who *might* challenge the Israeli government and the Israel lobby (although this is highly doubtful). It's complicated.  
March 16, 2016 3:32 pm
Cloak and Dagger, You seem to be arguing that Islamists are incapable of engaging in military aggression and human rights violations proactively on their own, on the basis of their messianic ideology, and without the manipulation and string-pulling of Western powers. Am I misreading you? You should start looking into the current status of human rights in Islamist nations around the world -- you might begin with Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Turkey just shut down its largest newspaper -- Zaman. See, for instance: 20160308 [Guardian] This is the end of journalism in Turkey http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/08/journalism-turkey-zaman-media-eu BEGIN QUOTE The time has come, so it seems, for the world to brace itself for the funeral of journalism in Turkey. Receiving blow after blow and left severely bruised by authoritarianism under the ruling AKP and its undisputed leader, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a key profession is now on its deathbed. After the seizure under dramatic and brutal circumstances of Turkey’s biggest daily newspaper Zaman – and Today’s Zaman (its sister in English) – at the weekend, on Monday the Cihan news agency was the latest media organisation to be taken over by the government. Both operations make up a massive segment of the Turkish media: this leaves only a tiny – and fragile – number of independent outlets in operation. END QUOTE Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think that even Israel has gone this far in trying to crush the free press in Israel. Haaretz, for instance, strongly criticizes the Israeli government -- and even Zionism in general -- on a daily basis. Is it your opinion that Saudi Arabia is a more democratic and enlightened nation than Israel? More respectful of human rights?  
March 15, 2016 12:16 am
Cloak and Dagger, Ok -- I will make an honest effort to look at his argument with an open mind. But I sifted through all the available data on the Boston Marathon attack during the first year or two after the event. At first it looked like a false flag op to me -- but the deeper I dug into the facts, the more I began to doubt that interpretation. Something that was exceptionally off-putting -- the claim by some conspiracy theorists that the victims of the attack were "crisis actors" -- absolutely infuriating and enraging for those whose family members, loved ones or friends were killed or maimed by the attack. One wonders if those claims were cunningly designed to produce disgust and revulsion about all false flag theories -- that's not a stretch, by any means -- Psyops 101.  
March 15, 2016 5:46 pm
Cloak and Dagger, (This is a repost from yesterday which got lost in transit.) You are not even close to parsing and understanding my remarks -- perhaps that is my fault -- is my writing incoherent today? Exceptionally muddled? I have noticed that Islamism seems to be acquiring increasing influence in the Muslim world, with profound strategic consequences and reverberations for Western/Muslim relations. I am trying to figure this situation out, because it has become a huge issue in American and European domestic politics (witness the rise of Donald Trump and nativist sentiment in Europe). I am *not* trying to paint all Muslims with a broad brush. Islamism (political Islam) reminds me in some respects of religious Zionism (political Judaism). Both Islamism and religious Zionism loom large in contemporary politics -- and their violent interactions may drag the entire world into a grand conflagration. A few Google searches I've been using to dig into the subject: 1. islamism aggression 2. islamism beliefs 3. islamism boko haram 4. islamism censorship 5. islamism christianity 6. islamism definition 7. islamism documentary 8. islamism egypt 9. islamism europe 10. islamism facts 11. islamism fascism 12. islamism feminism 13. islamism free speech 14. islamism fundamentalism 15. islamism future 16. islamism hamas 17. islamism hezbollah 18. islamism history 19. islamism human rights 20. islamism isis 21. islamism jihadism 22. islamism lebanon 23. islamism muslim brotherhood 24. islamism nazism 25. islamism polls 26. islamism quotes 27. islamism rise 28. islamism salafism 29. islamism statistics 30. islamism terrorism 31. islamism totalitarianism 32. islamism trends 33. islamism turkey 34. islamism violence 35. islamism vs christianity 36. islamism vs islam 37. islamism vs secularism 38. islamism wahhabism 39. islamism war 40. islamism women 41. islamism youtube I am getting an eyeful as I browse around and explore. I definitely need to pay more attention to this topic. I recommend that others here do so as well. You mentioned Christian Science vs. Christianity. This is the better analogy: Islamism is to Islam as Christian Zionism is to Christianity and Jewish religious Zionism is to Judaism. Christian Zionism has acquired increasing influence in the world of Christianity in recent decades, as have Jewish religious Zionism in the world of Judaism and Islamism in the world of Islam. I don't know how to be more clear on this subject. Perhaps you think that Islamism is no big deal. I strongly disagree.  
March 15, 2016 1:56 pm
b.grand, Does criticism of radical Islamism make you uncomfortable? Or was it something else I said that provoked you? :) I don't mind disagreements -- in fact, I welcome them. By all means, straighten me out if I have said anything that is inaccurate, unfactual, unreasonable, etc. I will readily change my mind if you are persuasive. To reiterate: Islamism strikes me as being rather an important issue in the current affairs of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Syria, Libya and some other key nations around the world. Radical Islamism is on the rise in the Muslim world -- and there are significant strategic consequences in that fact worth trying to sort out. I have never tried to defend Western imperialism, colonialism and racism, or the neocon policies that have wrought such horrific havoc in the Mideast -- in fact, I have very loudly opposed them, at length, over and over again. But I also think that all Abrahamic religions and cults (including Judaism, Christianity and Islam) have an innate tendency towards aggression, authoritarianism and totalitarianism -- those mental traits are baked into the core Old Testament ideology. Islamism is as much proactive as reactive -- its behavior can't be completely explained by the sins of the West. Your thoughts? Regarding Taxi: she and I are far too independent in our thinking ever to be mistaken for one another -- we have often knocked heads -- but we are both fairly rational people in quest of the truth, wherever it leads us.  
March 15, 2016 5:42 pm
RudyM, I was one of the first people to start investigating the false flag angle on 9/11, within weeks of the event, on a small mailing list which included Michael Ruppert and David Ray Griffin. I still think that the preponderance of evidence points to the likelihood of a false flag op (and especially with regard to the 9/11 anthrax attacks). That is why I continue to post pointers to 9/11Blogger.com articles here. But even if 9/11 was a false flag op, Saudi Arabia, one of the most powerful Muslim nations on the planet, was deeply involved in it -- and an enormous amount of effort has been exerted to cover up that involvement. I looked closely at the evidence concerning the Boston Marathon and San Bernardino attacks, and have come to the conclusion that the perps were in fact Muslim fanatics acting on their own initiative. Feel free to disagree. My impression is that within a year or two of 9/11, the conspiracy research community was heavily infiltrated by government intel psyops designed to discredit it from within by trying to portray every major terrorist event in the US and Europe as a false flag op, even when there was little substantial evidence to support the claims. There really are radical Muslim terrorists out there, and one would have to be soft-headed to think otherwise. Russia has just conducted a major military campaign in Syria to try to crush a large army of these very real zealots. How these psyops work is quite simple: when false claims are made about non-existent false flag ops, true claims about actual false flag ops become much easier to ridicule and dismiss. Elementary mind games. You know, this thought policing campaign by some politically correct parties to smear thoughtful and well-informed critics of radical Islam as Islamophobes reminds me a great deal of similar efforts to smear critics of radical Jewish Zionism and Christian Zionism as antisemites and Christian haters. It insults my intelligence. All three major branches of Abrahamism have managed to generate many violent fanatics -- Islam is *not* the wonderful exception to this historical pattern. I think some critics of Israel have become so overwhelmingly focused on the misdeeds of Zionism that they have lost track of what is going on in the rest of the world -- much of which is utterly appalling from a human rights standpoint. It's not all about Israel.  
March 14, 2016 11:51 pm
Taxi, I found this article to be useful -- Robin Wright seems to know her stuff: 20120819 [New York Times/Robin Wright] Don’t fear all Islamists, fear Salafis http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/20/opinion/dont-fear-all-islamists-fear-salafis.html What do you think?  
March 15, 2016 5:31 pm
Taxi, Important facts there, now filed away in my head -- particularly concerning the problematic history of Saudi/Egyptian relations. "This is why I am dead against islamophobia and the collective punishment of global islam." As am I. Regarding this: "As far as Abrahamic religions are concerned, it is really the Talmudic vein within them that have set the rot. Some Abrahamic tenets are universal and peaceful and I find these teachings acceptable." Actually, the Torah is the conceptual foundation stone of Abrahamic ideology -- the Talmud came later. Some of the key themes in that document: 1. apocalyptic violence 2. authoritarianism 3. bad science 4. collective punishment 5. colonialism 6. divine vengeance 7. ethnic cleansing 8. fanatical self-righteousness 9. genocide 10. ignorant superstition 11. imperialism 12. magical thinking 13. messianic chosenness 14. military aggression 15. misogyny 16. monarchy 17. mystical ethnocentrism 18. racism 19. robotic collectivism 20. self-appointed priesthoods 21. theocracy 22. totalitarianism 23. usury 24. world domination And the God who is the alleged author of this worldview often comes across as a violent and fickle psychopath. Is is possible to build a truly sane, humanistic and enlightened culture on the basis of these ideas and traits? That seems doubtful. Thomas Jefferson produced a rationalist version of the Bible, but it has never really caught on: Wikipedia: Jefferson Bible https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_Bible In the year 2016, many Jewish religious Zionists and Christian Zionists continue to promote the most destructive Torah themes from over 3,000 years ago. (And many Islamists as well.) Perhaps this tradition should be rejected and ejected entirely before it inspires the self-destruction of the human race.  
March 15, 2016 2:58 pm
Taxi, In my opening comment in this thread, I explicitly described the writings of Pamela Geller and her fellow Islamophobes as "unbalanced and warped" -- direct quote by me. Nor did I try to characterize Islam as a whole or all the world's Muslims. I made no bigoted comments. What I suggested is that buried in their writings may be some solid and useful documentation on specific aspects of radical Islam -- radical Islamism to be specific -- of the type that has been driving ISIS, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra Front, the Saudi government, etc. One can pick through the writings of extremists of all varieties, all across the political spectrum, and often find useful bits and pieces of accurate research and information. I believe in vacuuming up information from *all* sources and sifting for the most useful nuggets. I am now leaning to the opinion that Islamism is as big a problem in the Muslim world as Jewish religious Zionism is in the Jewish world and Christian Zionism is in the Christian world. I am still sorting out these ideas, and am currently giving myself a crash course in the history of Islamism. Some Muslims are as thin-skinned about criticism of Islamism as some Jews are about criticism of Jewish religious Zionism and some Christians are about criticism of Christian Zionism. That's the Abrahamic mindset for you -- it cannot brook questioning or dissent. Always at the forefront of my thinking is the premonition that these Abrahamic cults in combination may well succeed in driving all of us into the most violent conflagration in world history -- one involving the unrestrained use of WMDs and genocide on an unprecedented scale -- one might say a biblical scale.  
March 15, 2016 4:21 pm
American, If you want to make the case that Barack Obama is invested in black identity politics -- and that he has been promoting a black agenda that is in conflict with white interests and white identity politics -- you might provide a list of actions by him -- appointments, statements, policy positions, etc. -- that support that argument. Often Obama strikes me as the whitest guy in the room by far -- in terms of stereotypical notions of high white culture being rational, cool, crisp, unemotional, analytical, etc. But he has involved himself in several  high profile legal cases regarding black issues that seemed emotional and imprudent in the eyes of some observers. I think Obama is an incredibly complex human being -- there is a lot going on beneath the surface -- he may feel many conflicting loyalties. Regarding white identity politics: at this point, in which whites are rapidly declining into a minority with diminishing economic prospects, it is difficult to argue that white identity politics should be any less legitimate than Jewish, black or Hispanic identity politics. I have often pointed out that the Jewish ethnic nationalism of many leading Zionists in American politics often exceeds in intensity the white ethnic nationalism of people like David Duke. That is a discrepancy that is difficult to defend on rational grounds. It is safe to predict that, given current demographic and cultural trajectories, white identity politics in the US and Europe will see a sharp increase in the coming years. It's already happening. Democrats in particular have helped create a climate in which identity politics -- ethnic, racial, religious, gender, etc. -- will run amok.  
March 15, 2016 12:55 am
American, "Sean , I'd argue that radical Christian neos aren't any different than radical Muslim Islamist ." This has been my point all along -- radical political Abrahamists from Judaism/Zionism, Christianity/Christian Zionism and Islam/Islamism all share the same essential psychological profile and behavioral patterns. We shouldn't feel intimidated by the politically correct thought police about calling out radical Muslims in the same way we call out radical Jews and Christians. (Nor should we blame all Jews, Christians and Muslims for the misdeeds of the violent fanatics among their sects.) I am surprised that this point of view would be even mildly controversial. Many of us don't treat any of these ideologies with any special reverence. When they respect the rights of others, they should be tolerated; when they violate the rights of others, they should be opposed.  
March 15, 2016 3:26 pm
Taxi, It's true that Phil Weiss is single-mindedly focused on Jewish politics, and seems to have little interest in what is going on in the rest of the world. This is true of quite a few Jewish anti-Zionist progressives, who can be as ethnocentric in their attitudes as liberal Zionists and Likud Zionists. But the Jewish establishment is currently the most powerful player in the making of American Mideast policy -- this is an area of activity that bears close attention. Phil produces thoughtful and carefully researched pieces on nearly a daily basis -- quite a remarkable output. It is always refreshing to hear *non-Jewish* perspectives on these issues -- from all non-Jewish groups around the world with a stake in Mideast politics -- that is why I read your blog.  
March 15, 2016 12:07 am
RudyM, Your comment here took me to the Unz Review -- a great set of comments! Sharp and crackling -- what you get when you permit a wide range of controversial points of view to engage with one another. And I am struck once again by the high quality of the Unz Review site from a design standpoint. Overall it feels more lively and modern than Mondoweiss -- although I still think that Phil Weiss is perhaps the most stimulating daily analyst of Mideast politics.  
March 15, 2016 3:11 pm
Taxi, "Actually, there is no research and polling data in the Islamic world that would confirm or deny this." Great comment! You are educating me on political Islam. I don't claim to have a handle on this subject yet -- I am learning. Conflicts surrounding Islamism (political Islam) have dominated much of the news from the Mideast for the last few years -- especially concerning events in Libya and Syria -- that is why some us have the impression that it is on the ascent. But I need to look much more carefully into the hard numbers to know for sure what is really going on. It is certainly true that neocon forces in the West have been aiding and abetting Islamist forces under the table -- that plays directly into their long-term strategy of igniting the Clash of Civilizations -- they are looking for an opportunity to drop the hammer on the Muslim and Arab worlds in general -- to utterly crush them for all time. One hears that sentiment in the writings of Jewish religious Zionists and Christian Zionists all the time.  
March 14, 2016 11:33 pm
Cloak and Dagger, One take on John B. Wells and Caravan to Midnight: Calling Out The Zionist Disinfo Agents In The “Alternative Media” http://smoloko.com/?p=1025 I don't know enough about Wells to have an opinion on this particular article. One thing I am fairly certain of -- most of the leading and professionally produced "conspiracy" shows are under the thumb of the powers that be -- that is why they are permitted to exist as significant players in the alternative media. They are often used as disinformation channels -- as instruments of obfuscation, distraction and misdirection -- mixing up truth and falsehood in complex ways. Acquiring control of these folks is quite simple -- you just need enough money to throw around.