Friday, February 10, 2006

Dorman again

After leaving Iraq, Dorman saw some friends in the US, and responded to my oft-repeated request that he define some concrete steps that we should take if we grant for discussion his assertion that Islam is "obviously dangerous."

His plan, and my response, are in the comment left on his blog:


Thanks so much for doing me the favor of reprising here.

However, I don't think that your prescription comes near to dealing with the full scope of your diagnosis. When you wrote that Islam is "obviously dangerous," you did so when you were serving in Iraq. I assumed, perhaps wrongly, that your comment was intended to relate to not only Iraq, but the entire Global War On Terrorism. In your argumentation supporting your belief that Islam is "obviously dangerous," you cited global (and historical) events, including contemporary terrorism.

But your three steps here appear to relate only to changing attitudes in the United States, or at most, among Americans. They appear to have little relevance to the GWOT.

> step 1, stop the blind destructive PC ideal of "tolerance" and see it as it displays itself.

This change in attitude would seem to be limited to the U.S,. or Americans, wherever they may be. But it's not an action.

> step 2, maintain our laws as equal as possible to all and not allow ridiculous litigation to flood our, burka wearing women on Florida license photos.

This is two actions: a) maintain equal application of law for all parties, b) prevent 'ridiculous' litigation. The 'ridiculous' litigation of the kind you mention is not a 'flood.' It is very rare. Our courts are instead flooded with street crime, child support, divorce, tort law, and various business law cases. So I think that rather than "flood" you probably meant something like "mock."

Your goals in a) and b) are naturally somewhat at odds, as equal protection under law means that even veiled Moslem women have rights. The legal channels as defined by the Constitution permit the free pursuit and expression of religion.

But in any case, this would be a purely domestic American change and would have little impact on the GWOT. For example, the 19 hijackers who performed the 9/11 attacks were not Americans. How would this step have prevented that? Again, perhaps I was mistaken in thinking that your view that Islam is "obviously dangerous" was meant to have any relevance to the GWOT.

> step 3, RE-establish the idea of American nationalism in which any and all are welcome to come here through LEGAL channels and assimilate to our established american culture. This means the end of the self-destructive idea of multi-culturalism. Want multicultural? Come to Europe. Each culture has a country for a reason.

Disregarding the reference to "nationalism," by which I think you simply mean "the ... nation", this step seems to break down to a) ensure that immigration is legal and b) promote assimilation, not multiculturalism.

The 9/11 hijackers all entered this country legally and using their true names, so I don't see how a) helps us.

While one problem with b) is that we would first have to define what the standard culture is that others should assimilate to, this point seems to have even less relevance to national security or the GWOT. The 9/11 hijackers 'assimilated' by going to gyms and strip clubs, so perhaps assimilation is not the answer?

When you wrote that Islam is "obviously dangerous," you were no doubt aware that the vast majority of the world's 1.2 billion Moslems live outside the U.S. Your prescription for changing American attitudes and culture would not increase our national security, nor would they have much impact at all on the vast Moslem population spread around the globe, or the GWOT.

I think that in writing that Islam is "obviously dangerous," you were just blowing off steam, speaking in an angry way with no practical implications.

My contention at the time you made the assertion was that you were helping to confirm Moslem perceptions that Americans are hostile to Islam, and thus providing a tiny bit more fuel to those elements that seek to misuse Islam to promote violence.

I support your free speech right to assert that. However, I maintain that you are merely venting frustration without proposing a way to improve the world.

He replied:

BH. I speak on a societal and human level. not on GWOT which is a joke, as we all should know. Like a war on poverty or the war on drugs. Jokes.

I spoke TO americans but it applies to all. Look at the danish right now. Europe stands stronger than america by telling the dirty bastards in words and actions to go screw themselves, fear tactics won't supress our cultures. Not in america where we pre-emtively self-defeat in the name of PC.

To which I:

Thanks for elucidating. Your prescripton seems mostly about attitude change. I'm wondering whether you can name any specific actions that you hope such an attitude change should bring about.

In other news...

WASHINGTON - A former top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney told a federal grand jury that his superiors authorized him to give secret information to reporters as part of the Bush administration's defense of intelligence used to justify invading Iraq, according to court papers.

I think we can confidently expect a wave of character assasination against "Scooter" Libbey now, like the ones against Joe Wilson and Richard Clarke.

Add this disgruntled wacko to the list, too:

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A former CIA official who coordinated US intelligence on the Middle East has accused the Bush administration of "cherry-picking" intelligence on Iraq to justify a decision it had already reached to go to war, The Washington Post reports.

The newspaper said Paul Pillar, who was the national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005, also accused the administration of ignoring warnings that the country could easily fall into violence and chaos after an invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein.

AND this guy, despite the fact that he did a "heck of a job:"

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former federal disaster chief Michael Brown told a Senate panel on Friday he had warned President George W. Bush that New Orleans was facing catastrophe the day before Hurricane Katrina struck.
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