Sunday, July 04, 2010
Andy McCarthy: Hard Glazovian
Andy McCarthy is what passes for a tough anti-Islamist these days.
Tough is good, but it all depends on what that toughness is relative to. In McCarthy's case, he basically follows TMOEWAHI -- i.e., the "Tiny Minority of Extremists Who Are Hijacking Islam" paradigm. His toughness, therefore, only applies to "radical Islamist extremists". The toughness we need to adequately protect our societies, however, must begin by recognizing the porous confluence between the Muslims trying to attack us, and Muslims in general. After this recognition, and after a study of the complexity of the nature of this porous confluence, realistic policy can be developed to protect ourselves. We will never get to the point of that recognition, or our progress to that point will be severely retarded, as long as we reinforce the TMOEWAHI paradigm.
Along with the TMOEWAHI paradigm, McCarthy also supports the closely related "Muslims Will Help Save Us From Islam" paradigm -- with the key to that salvation being "reform" among Muslims.
Thus, from a recent interview Diana West conducted with McCarthy:
West: As a former federal prosecutor, could you make a legal case to close Dar al- Hijra, the so-called 9-11 mosque in northern Virginia? Or, if you prefer, is there a legal case to be made to close Dar al-Hijra? If so, why wasn’t it done a long time ago? If not, why not?
McCarthy: I don’t think you need to close down mosques. I think you need to prosecute those individuals who conspire with, aid and abet, or provide material support to terrorists. You need to use the immigration laws to bar aliens likely to do those things from entering the United States (and deport such aliens who are already here). And you need to make it known that you will investigate what goes on in mosques, that you won’t be intimidated by the grievance industry under circumstances where many mosques – by no means all, but many – have been shown to preach hatred and incite violence. (In my terrorism trial, we proved the mosques were used for conspiratorial meetings and firearms transactions, as well as for recruitment and general incitement.) Taking these measures would offend only the Islamists and their apologists; patriotic American Muslims would be thrilled. If we did those things, it would empower the true moderate Muslims we keep saying we want to help, and the mosques would take care of themselves.
Then, after West asks him to clarify whether, and how, Obama's "Wilsonianism" differs from that of Bush, McCarthy answers:
McCarthy: I have two principal disagreements with the democracy project. First, it is counterproductive to our national security: democratic freedoms enable terrorists; Islamists – not just terrorists – regard our efforts to plant Western ideas and institutions in Muslim countries as acts of war; and democratic procedures – e.g., constitution-writing and elections – empower Islamists.
Let's unpack McCarthy's hard Glazovianism:
1. His belief in the TMOEWAHI paradigm leads him to the irrational claim that not all mosques are dangerous -- only "many" are. How many is "many"? How do we know which mosques are dangerous? Do we surveil all mosques? Apparently not, if only "many" mosques are the problem, and one supposes McCarthy already knows which need to be surveilled and/or shut down, and which don't need to be. Even if we decided to deem all mosques potentially dangerous, and then translate that suspicion into concrete policy, would that even be feasible? Or do we only move into a mosque after the fact of finding out about terrorist connections its imam might otherwise have? Meanwhile, how many mosques, beyond McCarthy's irrationally limited suspicion, will be getting away with providing safe haven and a command center for horrific attacks on us by WMDs?
2. Similarly he only favors restriction on Muslim immigration limited to those who are "likely" to "conspire with, aid and abet, or provide material support to terrorists." Again, he is irrationally waiting around for Muslims to demonstrate they are terrorists before advocating taking action against them. Considering the capability and intent of Muslims to infiltrate surreptitiously, and considering the horrific eventuality of one or more successful attacks with WMDs, McCarthy's limitations he would impose upon our ability to proactively prevent such attacks will tend to endanger us.
3. Furthermore, he presumes that "patriotic American Muslims" and "true moderate Muslims" exist: Not only do they exist, in McCarthy's mind, they apparently exist in numbers sufficiently great to make a difference for our safety. In the context of this unfounded hypothesis, he adds the ludicrous (yet logical within his framework) claim that these putatively "patriotic" and "true moderate" Muslims will have their patriotism and moderation reinforced when we go after the Tiny Minority of Extremists among them. So far, we have seen no signs that this is the case. What we have seen is the opposite, in fact. What we have seen are Muslims complaining about "discrimination" and "bigotry" whenever we do go after that Tiny Minority amongst them. What we have seen are Muslims tending to resist assisting us in ferreting out the extremists among them. What we have seen are Muslims responding to the obvious Islam inspiration and motivation among terrorists with disingenuous sophistry rather than boldly forthright condemnation based upon a recognition that there is a problem within Islam itself. What we have seen are masses of Muslims all over the world become outraged in mass demonstrations, protests, riots, vandalism and murder when their fanatical sensibilities are offended -- but no mass demonstrations or protests at all against the outrageously grotesque atrocities Muslims are perpetrating on a daily basis all over the world, from the Philippines to Malaysia to Indonesia to Pakistan to central Asia to Turkey to Iraq to Jordan, across North Africa, in the Sudan, in Nigeria -- let alone in various places in the West.
What is McCarthy smoking anyway? Well, the answer is the Peace Pipes, as in Daniel (and I don't mean the Book of).
If all that isn't bad enough, McCarthy lets slip a basic incoherence and self-contradiction in his paradigm when he answers why he opposes the neo-Wilsonian nation-building democracy project in Iraq and Afghanistan: On the one hand, he limits the problem to a tiny minority of extremists, as evidenced by his assumptions we have analyzed from his words. On the other hand, he acknowledges that --
... democratic freedoms enable terrorists; Islamists – not just terrorists – regard our efforts to plant Western ideas and institutions in Muslim countries as acts of war; and democratic procedures – e.g., constitution-writing and elections – empower Islamists.
McCarthy isn't putting two and two together here, and asking himself the essential, elementary question: If the problem is only a tiny minority, why would democratic procedures "empower Islamists"? Democratic processes among Muslims would only enable terrorists and empower Islamists if the Islamic demos -- the Islamic people -- were diseased with essentially the same fanaticism that motivates and guides this supposed "minority" of extremists who endanger us.
I thus call McCarthy a "hard Glazovian": He is hard insofar as he recognizes data about Muslims that should lead him to widen his diagnosis of the problem and our prescriptions for managing it. But he remains Glazovian in resisting the rational direction which the data he notices would lead him.
More on Glazovianism.