Friday, September 28, 2012

Pipes' Law

The Arab islamochristian James Zogby recently pontificated from his well-funded and influential think tank:  

“The reasons [i.e, the reasons why "Arab Americans" -- obviously he means Muslims and other non-Muslim Arab dhimmis like him -- are overwhelmingly disenchanted with Republicans and will thus vote for Obama] are not so much faith as that the Republican Party has just turned them off, especially on the Muslim side, when you have everything from loyalty oaths in the Republican debate, whether Muslims should take an extra loyalty oath; the notion that you never met a Middle East country that you didn’t want to bomb; the very hard line on almost every issue involving the Middle East.  

I used to think I didn't have enough evidence for the principle or factor I kept noticing -- which we could call Pipes' Law (in honor of that gold standard of the soft-on-Muslims Counter-Jihad analyst, Daniel Pipes) -- namely, that it doesn't matter how careful we try to be, in our criticism of Islam, to be soft on Muslims and to anxiously assure our audience that we "don't mean ALL Muslims" and that we are "not racists" because "Islam is not a race" -- they still treat us exactly as though we had said we are against ALL Muslims and want to round them all up and put them in camps. 

So, after seeing this prominent and publicly influential statement from Zogby, in which he is preposterously caricaturing the Republican position on Muslims as though Republicans want to bomb all Muslim countries etc. -- when Republicans have been for the most part maddeningly soft on Islam for years -- I see one more piece of evidence, out of umpteen I've seen over the past few years, for the operative reality of Pipes' Law

Certainly, some Republicans have been incrementally better than Democrats on various issues revolving around the problem of Islam (more or less, depending on the particular issue); but with one or two mild exceptions, Republicans and other "conservatives" have been nowhere near where they should be (which would approximate Zogby's caricature and, in certain respects, frankly, go beyond it).

In response to Pipes' Law. then, I proffer Hesperado's Law:

If we're damned if we do and damned if we don't, then let's DO it, for Crissake.

§ § § § §

Further Reading:

The Pipes Dream, revisited

1 comment:

Fiqh said...

Hiya Hesp,

Fiqh here from JW. Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond; the last 48 hours have been a bit crazy. I meant to respond to that last post, but since this one is along the same lines, I’ll post my thought here.

But anyway, yes, I agree with what I think (and correct me if I’m wrong) your general point is. Now is not the time for dealing with this conflict surgically, and no such time ever existed anyway. We have to address this matter in bulk. It’s not pretty, but it’s reality. As I think you may have pointed out at JW (again correct me if I’m misattributing this), we didn’t fight the Nazis by saying, ‘Yes, Nazism is evil, but not all Nazis are.’ For counter-jihadists to expend a great deal of effort drawing a lot of distinctions in this war, and to be expending a great deal of effort focusing on race (a subject that, as you highlight, is inherently blurry), is in most cases probably futile. Again, it’s not pretty, but the way wars are won is that you identify an enemy demographic in bulk and fight them.

I thought that this point you made in the thread was particularly interesting:

I've explored this in various essays as part of the complex. Part of the dynamic going on here is that "race" and "racism" are not coherent scientific concepts, strictly bound by rational rules of biological taxonomy. They are also subject to sociopolitical ideology which can range from the intelligent and erudite to the demagogic and deformed. As such, the concept of "race" is vulnerable to various forms of ideological manipulation….…in a nutshell, all non-Muslim "ethnic looking" peoples have become "Honorary Whites" as the West's PC MC has increasingly dug in its heels to "respect" Muslims post-911.,.

I hadn’t really thought about it before, but that truly is the case, isn’t it. Ironically, the non-Muslims that vilify the counter-jihad, in doing so, actually reinforce the Muslim / non-Muslim divide, while further manipulating racial definitions. Again ironically, this may actually help to crystalize the battle line, even though those non-Muslims opposed to the counter-jihad don’t realize it yet.

What I’ve found is that a similar, and perhaps an even greater, challenge is this: I have a small amount (very small) of experience dealing with military strategists -- the sort of ‘military intelligentsia,’ so to speak -- and on top of a general cluelessness about, or dismissiveness of, Islam, there has been a mind-frame in that community for some time now that even eclipses the refusal to identify Muslims as the problematic demographic in terms of its destructiveness. In the wake of the Cold War, let’s say, for the sake of argument, beginning around 1990, the question for US military planners became: What now? The conclusion reached is that we no longer have a bulk enemy of any kind. That bulk enemies no longer exist. That ended with the defeat of Communism, supposedly. From here on out, conflict for the US would be defined in their minds only as tiny regional flare-ups that could be quickly extinguished, or incidental international “crimes,” (such as “terrorism”) that they could quickly send a SEAL team to dispatch, and that would be the end of it. And they put a great deal of effort into reconfiguring the military in line with this theory. It was a very Francis Fukuyama-ian mindset. What I’m getting at is that we have an entire generation of policy-makers who have invested their entire careers in a paradigm which denies not only that Muslims, in bulk, are the demographic at issue, but denies that there can be such a thing as a bulk enemy anymore of any kind. The problem, from a counter-jihad perspective, is deeply entrenched indeed.