Monday, January 23, 2012
For What the Bell Tolls
A vibrant flurry has been triggered recently at Jihad Watch by the defection of a Leftist, one Eric Allen Bell, at that notoriously ultra-Leftist online community the Daily Kos -- his defection being his temerity to notice that Islam is a dangerous ideology furthermore hostile to liberal values, and to publish three articles there articulating this.
This heresy of Bell's would be a hard enough pill for PC MCs to swallow (who, pace "Wellington", one of the Jihad Watch readers who insists stubbornly and against the facts that people on the political Right are significantly up to speed on the problem of Islam, continue to compose the vast majority of all Westerners whether on the Left, the Center, or the Right). In the hard-core Leftist, which constitutes the bulk of the membership at the Daily Kos, it becomes a toxic chemical inducing epileptic seizures.
Oh, Eric Allen Bell (the defector in question) may claim with disarming disingenuousness that he's "not a Leftist" per se and that he has an affinity for a whole pastiche of supposedly across-the-spectrum positions; but it's clear from his many comments he has written in the comments sections of the two Jihad Watch articles devoted to the circumstances of his defection that he is solidly Leftist (with his only even vaguely tenable claim to some form of centrist nuance being his support of the "right to life").
At any rate, the bigger story here is that the Jihad Watch community, with their unquestionable Leader at the fore, are gushing and fawning so promiscuously over this new idol of an ideological victory, they are willing for the most part to overlook his severely asymptotic tendencies -- though, as some of those tendencies continue to slip unavoidably out from more and more comments he makes in response to other JW readers (and Bell is conscientious about responding in a timely and relatively substantive (not to mention candid) manner to the comments, concerns and questions of others), I have noticed a JW reader or two (or three) begin to grow just a tad chilly and impatient about Bell's United-Nations-cum-New-Agey-style humanitarian bleeding heart for the "good Muslims" whom he knows must exist presumably by the millions, and many of whom, naturally, he has met "personally" (inflation of anecdotal evidence -- a staple of the asymptotic not to mention the PC MC -- what would they do without it?).
I.e., Jihad Watchers are so anxiously desperate to see signs of hope -- and what could be more hopeful than to see a major rift in the vast iceberg of PC MC in the form of "one of them" crossing over to Our Side? -- they will treat the defecting newcomer like visiting royalty and wouldn't dare to try to vet him on where he stands on the most crucial aspects of the primary problem in which we all have a stake. No, all that matters is that he -- a member of the Daily Kos's inner circle -- snubbed his nose at them about Islam, and then got banned by them. Who cares what his precise beliefs, beyond abstract platitudes, are about the problem of Islam, and the problem of Muslims?
This is not to add the crucial corollary -- namely, that quite a few Jihad Watchers are already rather comfortably asymptotic themselves, and so they couldn't see anything wrong with the tenor of Bell's stand even if they were literate enough about Islam to be disposed to do so. As far as they are concerned, Bell rings true, and he's a Leftist. And that's all that matters.
Who cares that Bell effectively wants the West to perpetuate the ongoing metastasizing influx of more and more Muslims, logically by the millions over the next half century, into the very fabric of our societies and their institutions, all in the name of the abstract principle (and feel-good emotion) of making sure we remain humane? As far as Bell is concerned, this massive immigration, increasing exponentially as we speak, portends no danger, because "nearly all" the Muslims he has personally met seem to be good people who respect democracy. And we all know that the instant a Muslim relocates to the West, and then becomes a citizen, or is born here of immigrant parents, he or she magically becomes a harmless supporter of human rights!
Well, that settles that! Nothing to worry about, then!
And what a happy, convenient coincidence that our concern for the evil, unjust and dangerous ideology of Islam will force no difficult choices on us in order to defend ourselves. We can have our cake and eat it too -- we can just oppose Islam: we don't have to actually oppose the human beings called Muslims who practice, promote, support and/or enable Islam. That's the great news Bell is tolling for the town square! We can preserve all our humanitarian impulses and policies, we can respect the rights of all the millions of Muslims (other than the tiny minority among them who explode and gun people down in broad daylight, of course) under our laws, and we can somehow continue to be vigilant about protecting our liberties and liberal values from Islam!
A three-fer as easy as Apple Pie Allah Mode! We can have it all! I smack my forehead and say: Now why didn't I think of that!?
I enjoin the reader to peruse the two very long comments sections to the Jihad Watch articles devoted to Bell:
Independent thought on jihad and Islam at the Daily Kos
Truths about Islam and human rights that were too much for the Daily Kos
In these, as I said above, Bell himself weighs in quite often, and the reader may well see whether or not my misgivings have merit. The holistic reader may also expect to find a precious few salutary crumbs of dissension from the party line -- from readers "dumbledoresarmy" and "Infidel Pride" and, most emphatically and refreshingly albeit a tad crudely and imbued with excessive pessimism, from"Wildflower Jones"; otherwise among a pathetic handful of others one could count on the left hand of a Muslim convicted of theft (two posts by "Kinana of Khaybar" provide massively documented data that should lead anyone with a lick of sense to become wary of the problem of Muslims -- and not merely the abstract "problem of Islam" -- but, of course, Bell only responded with a limply oblique thanks to the first post and has ignored the second one; and the added irony is that "Kinana of Khaybar" is not significantly any less mushy about the problem of Muslims than Bell is).
Bell by his own admission has only lately woken up to take notice of Islam (that's like waking up to Katrina a month after the levees broke), and to begin to acquaint himself with a minuscule portion of the vast mountain -- yea, the veritable mountain ranges -- of horrible, grotesque, ghoulish, alarming, deadly, outrageously anti-liberal data spewing out from them like dripping, sputtering, gushing and exploding evil lava that is Islam put into practice by Muslims all over the world in words and deeds now, and throughout the years, decades, and centuries.
But Bell has not really read, and has not really digested, those mountains of data. For if he had, the ridiculous stars in his eyes would clear up and give way to a grimly, sadly, lucidly determined realism. He would stop trusting the friendly secular Muslims he has had so many nice conversations with, and even more preposterously using these personal anecdotal experiences as a basis for trusting all American Muslims, without ever asking them the tough questions -- and follow-up questions -- that would as sure as the night follows the day serve to coax the "Inner Extremist" out of them, such that the mask would slip.
Then, perhaps, he'd see for perhaps the first time in his naive life, once he takes off his Miss Universe rose-colored spectacles, that there are people, groups and cultures out there in the world that do not think like Eric Allen Bell. And perhaps he'd finally have the epiphany (alas, all too rare) that really wakes up the Leftist and the PC MC: the epiphany every infant who grows up has sooner or later -- that the world is not just an extension of his navel-gazing Ego and of his loving white parents. And that there are incorrigible wolves out there in human clothing, and that to build a long and productive and relatively happy life, for yourself and for the ones you love, you must be prepared to take care to defend against those wolves, and that "dialogue" is usually not possible with them. Not only is it usually not possible for such a grim necessity, it is often positively reckless to expect it and to cultivate it, and if you do, it is all too liable to endanger yourself, and your loved ones and neighbors.
It's called Appeasement of monsters, in the vain hope that there are no monsters, only misguided humans who need our help to regain their humanity.
Or, if a Bell concedes there are some monsters, he must limit their reality to a Tiny Minority -- while their remaining millions and millions of gang-members around the world, all their minions of brothers and sisters, since they are so numerous and seem to be mostly Ethnic People with "cultures" we must "respect", and they often smile and are friendly when Bell meets them -- why, they cannot possibly be monsters; they cannot possibly be in collusion with the monsters who adore the same Founding Monster, Muhammad, whom they also adore; they cannot possibly be enabling their fellow monsters in some kind of sick and twisted relationship of mass co-dependent Stockholm Syndrome enablement. No, that cannot be, because that's not how humans (= white suburbans like Eric Allen Bell) are.
For all the happy carilloning of his recent advent, Bell still seems far from growing up in this regard. And until he shows us signs of having done so, he deserves no gushing, fawning, undeserved praise. Only guarded encouragement, and tough advice on how to keep progressing.
One thing is for sure: the anti-Islam movement (such as it is) ought not to be promiscuously embracing a Bell like he's the latest thing since sliced cheese, or like schoolgirls swarming the Beatles when they were fab. We should be polite, respectful, but at the same time firmly expect him to submit to a vetting process so we can see where he stands. And when that's clear, if we find him wanting, we should tell him in polite, respectful, but no uncertain terms why and how, and why, as such, he must sit over in the corner -- perhaps doing something useful for us like licking envelopes or folding flyers -- while the grown-ups handle the problem of Muslims.
Bell does not toll for us, unless he agrees to the following non-negotiable positions on the anti-Islam platform:
1) We cannot tell the difference between harmless Muslims, even if we agree they exist in large numbers, and the dangerous Muslims trying to deceive us in the service of their grand, protracted plan to subvert the New Rome -- the modern West -- standing in the way of Islam's right to dominate the world.
Actually, there's really no need to adumbrate further positions. For, Bell already has made the move of precondition before that: the recognition that Islam itself is evil, dangerous and anti-liberal. From there, it's on to step #1. (The fact that quite a few Jihad Watchers themselves seem stuck and unable to take that first baby step -- such as the aforementioned "Wellington", who ought to know better -- is another, aggrieving problem which my ulcers, high blood pressure and brain aneurysm cannot handle right now.)
The child learning about the horror, the catastrophe of Islam, must take the next step -- step #1 -- from recognizing the problem of Islam, to recognizing the problem of Muslims. Namely, that the danger of Islam remains inert until it is put into practice, in myriad ways, from explosions to enablement, by Muslims.
Bell has shown a glimmer of an auspicious beginning. Let him not squander it in perpetuating the PC MC paradigm upon which he has been weaned his whole life, and allowing it to neutralize and soften the deadly edges of what he is starting to learn about the unique problem of Islam.
It's time for Bell to get cracking, for Liberty's sake.