Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Whatever happened to Hesperado?

In a recent burgeoning thread of comments at Jihad Watch attached to yet another report of Muslim pathology to add to the mountain of thousands that make up the ever-mounting volcano of the data of the evil lava of Islam that is
Mt. Jihad Watch, late veteran Jihad Watcher "Wellington" asks, by the by:

BTW, what's happened to Hesperado? Haven't seem him around lately.

He'd asked that because it had occurred to him, a few comments before, that the Islamo-impatient sentiment of another Jihad Watcher, "Eleanor", reminded him of me. Concerning the lead story, about a hijabbed Muslima -- who had contended in an article that Islam is hunky dory, that Infidels need not concern themselves about Sharia, and that the real extremists are the Western "bigots" and "Islamophobes" -- Eleanor had opined:

I don't care if she's "trapped" in an Islamic hell (if, by some chance, she secretly considers herself to be "trapped" with no free choice). And I'm sorry but that makes me no traitor to my gender, the way I see it. I'm a humanist, but I've decided to draw the line between us and Dar-al-Islam -- those "trapped" behind enemy lines. If it's selfish to reserve one's concern for one's own (Westerners), then I suppose I'm selfish. Wellington? I believe you and I have discussed this concept before -- the idea that "we cannot help them, we must instead help our own." What say you?

Wellington then replied:

You sound like Hesperado, Eleanor, and I can't blame you here.

Eleanor's actually a rather mild version of me; but that's about as tough and no-nonsense as one is going to get on Jihad Watch comments threads (let alone in and between the lines of the spry commentary of the official Jihad Watch editors, Spencer and Marisol, as well as their asymptotically more pitiless colleague, Hugh Fitzgerald, who pens prolix essays on Jihad Watch now and then -- mostly then, these days).

(Just a parenthetical aside: Wellington, Eleanor, Spencer, Marisol, Fitzgerald... By Jove, I think we have the makings of an Evelyn Waugh novel...!)

At any rate, to get back to Wellington's question. The first to answer him was the senior Jihad Watch veteran, "Battle of Tours":

He was banned (by Marisol, I believe) for saying Muslims are 'not human'.

Not quite. I was banned by Marisol because she thought I was simply saying that Muslims are not human. As I explained in my lengthy article about this whole mess, I had made it clear, in two different comments on that thread whereon I was banned, that when I wrote "Muslims are not human", I did not mean it in an ontological sense, but in a pragmatic sense. In a civilized forum, the monitor would have asked me to clarify what I meant, and I would have gone on to articulate the proposition that humanity is a symbolism, not a fact lying around on the ground -- a symbolism developed uniquely in the West. Its symbolic quality then illuminates a distinction between ontological and phenomenological in its usage. (I go into this to some extent in my recent essay, Wildersianism and the "inner Westerner" inside Muslims.)

It would have become clear -- at least to a reader whose intelligence is civilized -- that my sentiment is not the brute one upon which a brutish apprehension insists. I suppose, however, that Spencer and his right-hand Censor-cum-Commentator do not care to protect free speech on the basis of an appreciation for nuanced distinctions.

Battle of Tours added:

That is over the top indeed...

What was over the top was a straw man; apparently no one has cared to examine what I actually said.

Battle of Tours concluded:

I miss his sometimes insightful posts too, if he would just learn some diplomatic 'tact'. ;)

In fact, my two posts that so offended Marisol on that thread were maturely and intelligently worded, and contained the necessary nuance to distinguish them from the apparently unacceptable. There was no lack of "tact" there, and I challenge anyone to point such a deficiency out if they think they can.

Then, a little later in that "Where's Hesperado?" thread, another veteran Jihad Watcher, "traeh", offered his two cents to Wellington's question:

1) he made some comment about Muslims not being human. As one would expect from Hesperado, it was a carefully meditated comment, not some sort of careless speech....

Yes. And not only was it carefully meditated, it was carefully written, and contained the necessary nuance to distinguish it from a brute "Muslims are not humans" statement -- though not sufficient, evidently, for those who are anxiously concerned to tiptoe around the eggshells of our PC MC Masters.

traeh's second point, alas, misses the mark rather grievously:

2) Marisol and Robert did not want to permit Hesperado to continue to come to Jihad Watch to repeatedly attack Spencer's position on the same grounds Hesperado was always stating here against Spencer, grounds that Spencer offered a rebuttal to several times.

Two things egregiously amiss here in traeh's claims:

a) As I maintained in my previous article about my banning, for the last year at least, the vast majority of my comments in Jihad Watch threads have not been criticisms of Spencer or of Jihad Watch, but have been usually on-topic, as well as informative, maturely worded, and intelligent. I challenge anyone to demonstrate otherwise with a representative sampling of my comments over a long period of time.

b) Spencer may have "offered a rebuttal... several times" to my detailed, lengthy and numerous critiques which I had written in my now retired blog, Jihad Watch Watch, dedicated to a critical examination of Jihad Watch -- if by "rebuttal" one means "woefully insufficient riposte", and not a cogent counter-argument as traeh evidently implies. Again, I challenge anyone to lend appropriate scrutiny to the evidence and analysis I marshalled in that now retired blog and then present a counter-argument.

traeh then could not help closing with:

I could not agree with the dehumanization thing... he also tended to look upon virtually all Muslims as less than fully human and I can see why that would have led to his getting the axe.

What traeh cannot agree with is some straw man, not what I wrote nor what I intended. Isn't that what Spencer's detractors are always doing -- condemning him not for what he says, but for what they claim he says? I guess it's ok when Spencer and his followers do it to his "attackers" or people who "annoy" them, but not vice versa.


Nobody said...

While what you wrote was accurate in the way you describe it, one more thing everybody who commented on your statement in that thread said missed.

The thread in which this comment was made, if I recall right, was in a video of a beheading or some such barbaric act by the Taliban either in Pakistan or Afghanistan. If one watches a video of a beheading and then says that any group of people to which those barbarians belong aren't human, one would be completely justified.

Sometimes people go over the top and generalize, and would point to such incidents as being examples of human beings becoming inhuman. Or they may draw it down to an entire race, or whatever. But since all these acts take place either in dar ul Islam itself, or gets perpetrated by Muslims, you were perfectly justified in saying in your original commentary that you don't waste any emotion on it since you've stopped considering them human.

I had stopped it long ago - I don't mourn Muslim honor-killing victims or victims of riots, tsunamis, floods, earthquakes, whatever. I know that in the best of times, they act like monsters, and have forfeited the right to be considered human.

As for Jihad Watch, it's lost its credibility w/ me after the way they flip flop over Hannity, O'Reilly, et al. As Debbie pointed out recently - and she was a one time admirer of Spencer - Spencer is a fraud and his ways of combating Islam are just for public consumption. She made an example of the debate where he never asked his opponents their views on Hamas & Hizbullah. Also, she mentioned how he plagiarized from Bostom, and is not worth respecting. Initially, I had a tough time digesting that charge, but after seeing Spencer's response in that thread about Islamic Antisemitism, I agree w/ her.

the author said...

Thanks Nobody for your comment.

"The thread in which this comment was made, if I recall right, was in a video of a beheading or some such barbaric act by the Taliban either in Pakistan or Afghanistan."

Yes, I picked that thread to post my comments on purpose -- though Muslims are doing so much barbarity all over the world, pretty much every third thread on Jihad Watch would be appropriately barbaric. One of my points was that regular readers of Jihad Watch have been reading hundreds of stories (or literally thousands, like me, since 2003) of such barbarity, and yet they tenaciously cling to their sentimentalist beliefs that serve to exculpate innumerable Muslims -- many Muslims are "ignorant" of their own Islam, or are really secular deep down and are only unwillingly continuing to follow Islam out of fear or intimidation from a minority of "extremists", etc.

Quite a while ago, the sheer quantity (and gruesome quality) of Muslim barbarity around the world now, and throughout history, moved me to the reasonable position that here we have a People unique in their ugliness, fanaticism, hostility to others, evil, and danger to the world. If the symbolism "human" is used to endow a People with immunity from our rational right to protect our societies from them and from their demonstrable dangers to us, then that symbolism is being used in an irrationally rigid, and increasingly reckless, manner.

"Sometimes people go over the top and generalize..."

As I said in this essay, and in a couple of previous essays (the essay about being banned linked in this essay), my statement about Muslim "humanity" (or lack thereof) was not an ontological statement, but a pragmatic or phenomenological one. But I'm glad you, and apparently Schlussel, are on board generally speaking.

On the question of Spencer being a fraud or not, I think it's more complex. There are certain things about him that seem not quite right (e.g., where has he gotten the money to fly hither and thither all year long, every year and on top of that, to pay for apparently 24/7 bodyguards?) and it doesn't help that he ostensibly maintains a wall of silence about aspects of his personal life that impinge on the movement he is simultaneously leading and claiming not to lead; and about his motives (other than, of course, motives as pure as Superman's). But mingled among his character flaws (which may well include a mercenary exploitation of anti-Islamic sentiment) I think there are also genuinely sincere motives to help Western society.