Saturday, November 07, 2015

Know thine Enemy -- and Know thy Friend...

On a recent Jamie Glazov video, he interviews Stephen Coughlin, the prescient and mostly lucid Counter-Jihad analyst who made a big splash into the public consciousness (at least the tiny public nucleus of the Counter-Jihad) when in 2008 he was pushed out of his job at the Pentagon after Muslim Brotherhood operatives complained to the White House about his work.  His crime was that, in his capacity as a terrorism analyst for the government, he had been probing the Islamic motivations of our enemy a bit too close for comfort.

In this video, in the context of discussing Coughlin’s new book Catastrophic Failure, Glazov asks him for his thoughts in broad brush strokes concerning his take on the Problem of the Problem -- which in this context is the ongoing situation whereby Muslim Brotherhood influence has successfully infiltrated the national security concerns of the U.S. government, such that a “see no Islam” dictate has effectively become the rule of thumb in Washington (except, of course, when you want to praise Islam to the skies). 

As the interview unfolds, we see that Coughlin has taken it upon himself to use his years of expertise in the national security world of the Beltway to focus on what might be termed the “problem of the Problem of the Problem” -- specifically on how it is that our representatives in law enforcement and in the intelligence community have over the years since 911 failed abysmally in their primary obligation to protect their society.  And this abysmal dereliction of duty is caused, Coughlin says, mainly because these representatives of ours have forgotten about the dictum of the Art of War, “Know thine enemy”.  Or it’s not so much that they forgot it, but it almost seems as though they have been willfully suppressing it.

Coughlin is very persuasive in his handle on this tragicomic situation and all the data that substantiates his bleak assessment.  He has a sure grasp on the mechanism or description of the phenomenon; but he falters whenever he verges tentatively in the direction of explaining why there has come about such colossal fecklessness among our own people with regard to the problem of Islam.  In this sense, we could say that while Coughlin is quite good at “Knowing our enemy”, his grip is less sure when it comes to “Knowing our friends”. 

Back to the Glazov interview:

Glazov:  “As you write, ‘There is now a preference for this political correctness over accuracy.  But it has reached such an extent that we’re actually ignoring what the enemy… himself is saying why they’re operating.’  So the enemy is saying ‘we’re doing this because of this’ – and we’re ignoring that and listening to these… we could say Leftists and progressives, and they’re telling us what the threat is.”

Coughlin: “I think we’ve gone way beyond that, actually.  I think we’re at the point right now where you are forbidden to talk about the enemy’s explicitly stated basis of their threat doctrine, which categorically drives everything they do, to the point where know that doctrine gives you the ability the forecast future actions – which I have to tell you I’ve done flawlessly.  It’s not just that the Left is doing this, but the people they bring in to help them are people like the Muslim Brotherhood…”

One thing we notice from this brief exchange between Glazov and Coughlin is that both agree the culprits of this situation are the “Leftists”.  While Coughlin adds that of course Muslim Brotherhood influence is to blame, we know they would not enjoy the traction they do enjoy if they had no enablement from Useful Idiots on our side.  And this agreement to characterize all our Useful Idiots as “Leftists” is rather ironic, given that Coughlin goes on to name two prominent Useful Idiots, both Republicans in the Bush Administration:

Coughlin: “…in 2007, there was a shift in our war-fighting foreign policy under Secretary Condoleezza Rice, where she decided that that the ‘moderate’ Muslim Brotherhood was the counterweight to ‘radical’ al Qaeda and then operated on that; and then Secretary Chertoff in 2008 came up with this paper that flooded through the entire national security universe that with the help of these ‘moderate’ American Muslim friends – almost all of them Brothers – we could no longer use words like ‘jihad’, ‘caliphate’, ‘shariah’, ‘umma’ against an enemy that unconditionally and categorically defines themselves in those terms.” 

Glazov then goes on to note, and Coughlin confirms, that he himself was punished and after Muslim Brotherhood leadership “demanded a purge” and the Pentagon complied with that demand (Coughlin says he was named on one of the lists of people the Muslim Brotherhood wanted to be purged, a letter they wrote to the White House, “demanding that I be stopped”).

Glazov: “…imagine during the Cold War – this is the image I got from reading your book – the Cold War, and we go to the KGB to advise us on how to fight the Soviet Empire!”

Coughlin: “Yes – and the first thing the KGB tells you is, ‘there is no KGB’ and because you hired us as consultants’, and [because] it would be an international incident for them to get mad, you better do what he says – and in fact that’s exactly what has happened.”

Glazov: “…you write how the Muslim Brotherhood and our enemies, they already know our desire to delude ourselves.  And you write that the enemy has, quote “successfully calculated that they could win the war by convincing our national security leaders of the immorality of studying and knowing the enemy.”  So the enemy now knows that we’re afraid to know them.”

Coughlin: “Well, I think it goes beyond that.  I think they know we’re afraid to know them because in fact they’re doing the training inside to tell us it’s immoral!  I mean, it’s that bad!”

Coughlin knows that our friends don’t know our enemies, and have even dug into a position that resembles willful denial, with elaborately useful ways of bending over backwards to be helpful to our enemies.  It is willful on one level, I maintain, but not on another level -- for to be “willful”, it would have to be operating in full knowledge.  This is more a situation of twilight state in between willful and not willful -- a species of denial where the person has a dim apprehension of where such knowledge might lead him, to a place he’s too afraid to go, so he chooses to cloud his mind and obfuscate awareness before full knowledge has a chance to happen. 

This sounds like a curious state of mind.  What on earth could cause this?  This question is similar to the question posed by Robert Spencer in his editorial remarks appended to the recent case of the Muslim student who stabbed four people at his college in California.  Referring to Sheriff Warnke of the county in which the attack took place, Spencer notes that he seemed to have enough data and dots to connect to conclude that the Muslim perpetrator in question was in fact motivated by Islam, and yet he continued to tell the public that the attack had nothing to do with Islam or terrorism.  Spencer then asks:
“What is the motive of these people? ” 

The motive, I say, is to protect the vast majority of Muslims whom they anxiously think will be “tarred with a broad brush” of “bigotry” and “racism” if one shines a light on the central motivation of Islam in attacks like these -- the same Islam that in myriad cultural & psychological ways binds all those hundreds of millions of Muslims together into a cohesive cultural identity.   

This is what I discussed in a recent essay, A shift from Islam to Muslims. 

Further anxiety is added to this impulse by the perception that Muslims are an ethnic people (or a wonderful diversity, tapestry, mosaic, quilt, stir-fry of ethnic peoples) -- an ostensible fact that almost immediately triggers the PC MC hot buttons of White Guilt and the autophobia of our own uniquely white Western tendencies & proclivities toward “racism” and “bigotry”. The sort of tissue or mush of thoughts and feelings that forms this point of view has apparently affected the majority of Westerners -- on all sides of the political spectrum and throughout all subcultural and religious persuasions -- in a kind of paradigm shift of worldview over the past half century or so (with historical roots going back further, of course).

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As we mentioned above, we all know the famous dictum of the Art of War -- “Know thine enemy”.  This has a mirror image, so to speak, in the terms of the dictum of a new Art of the War of Ideas: Know thy friend -- where our “friend” is our own fellow Westerners who persist in whitewashing the problem of Islam.  Surely, these fellow Westerners cannot all be dastardly Leftists with horns and tails.  The way some in the Counter-Jihad demonize these Leftist “friends,” they transmogrify, through their rhetoric, into veritable enemies.  

When we look more closely at the matter (and when we get out once in a while) we see that it seems that most of the Westerners who persist in whitewashing Islam are indeed “decent moms and pops like the rest of us” -- another mirror image. If cogent and if true, this is hopeful, for that means that a critical mass of the West is amenable to persuasion on this matter over time, even if they currently seem rather stubborn in their pleasantly deluded shibboleths of multiculturalism.

Once we get this far, we can begin to examine the behavior of this Friend: We ask ourselves, what more precisely is this Friend doing when he continues to indulge his reflex spasm to defend Islam? And why? I continue to maintain that the primary motivation afoot here is a fear of “bigotry” and “racism” (where the sneer quotes indicate an irrationally and anxiously Orwellian perversion of actual bigotry and racism -- which indeed should be eschewed by all good men and women).  This fear, in turn, wouldn’t make sense if these PC MCs who indulge this anxiety did not racialize Islam and Muslims.

Over the years, I have noticed that the best the Counter-Jihadists can come up with to refute this primary tendency is to repeat the mantra “Islam is not a race” (often couched as a rhetorical question, “What race is Islam again…?”). The mantra by itself is good enough; but it evidently isn’t up to the task of grappling with a neurosis as deeply entrenched as PC MC is. It also glosses over the fact that whenever a person’s attention is adverted to Muslims in nearly any context, they indeed see people who “look ethnic” -- a repeated experience which even if only subliminally reinforces the racialization of the issue in which PC MCs routinely indulge.

Knowing our friend, then, I maintain, reveals that the main thing going on with them when they persist in defending Islam is an anxiety and a semi-conscious fear -- the hand-wringing anxiety that worries about succumbing to “bigotry” and “racism”.  So in their minds, the issue shifts from Islam to Muslims -- and their overriding concern to avoid “tarring all Muslims with the same brush” -- which they fear would happen (along with “backlash” against Muslims) if we pay too much attention to the Islam that motivates the terrorists; for our friends know, even if only semi-consciously, that it would be the same Islam which unites all Muslims. 

Our friends thus are not demons with horns and a tail; they are relatively sincere, decent, intelligent fellow Westerners who really think they are doing the right thing by protecting Muslims from “bigotry” and “racism”.


Egghead said...

No, white people are fakes and cowards.

White people who have abandoned Christian morality positively cling to fake imitation morality in order to feel 'superior' while promoting 'equality.'

White people are NOT going to confront non-whites due to white cowardice. White people are more afraid to lose their jobs and friends than to lose Western civilization via obvious white genocide.

White people fiddle - and handsomely pay for Muslims to invade (and soon burn down) Rome.

Richard James said...

Hesp/Voeg, I've just come here after looking around "Harry's Place" which I do now and then, being english and looking for some interesting links from the more aware BTL posters. "The Hesperado" is the only place where I find clear thinking about islam and muslims and the real nature of the threat they pose.

I have to hold my nose before I jump in to the very muddy waters of Harry's Place but I visit now and then to find BTL links to un- or under-reported UK islam-related news. And also of course to see what lies they're telling about us to soothe their self-misperception that they might be "bigots".

There's a lovely little example there of the conflation of race with religion/ideology where islam and muslims are concerned. One of the few counter-jihad posters there was banned on Friday by Gene, one of the moderators and as far as I know the owner of the "Harry's Place" blog. Compared to Gene, Sarah A. Brown is a beacon of clear thinking and moral intelligence ;-)

As you know, in the process of of understanding the nature of muslims and islam to call Harry's Place asymptotic would be to give them an undue compliment. They're nowhere near the y-axis yet.

Gene's reason for banning Paul? see below... (pasted her because, as you know, Harry's Place almost uniquely bans BTL comments after 7 days so that the blog remains clean of defilement by specks of truth about islam).

Paul • 2 days ago

I keep getting kicked off Disqus and I don't know why. Anyway, I'm back now. If SarahAB has banned me, please tell me and I will stop posting.

SarahAB Mod > Paul • 2 days ago

I believe someone else may have banned you.

Gene Mod > SarahAB • 2 days ago

It was me. I've banned you again. Please go away.

Andrea Collins > Gene • 2 days ago

Yes, why?

Gene Mod > Andrea Collins • 2 days ago

Because if he wrote about Jews or blacks the way he writes about Muslims, I would ban him too.

Just a minor example of the conflation of race with religion, largely to demonstrate to the conflator himself that he isn't a bigot.

I would describe as a wilful denier of reaity anyone who spends significant time gaining an understanding of Islam and then doesn't reach the conclusion that simply by remaining or becoming a muslim, muslims have made an appalling and self-incriminating moral choice that means they cannot be trusted for the sake of our own safety to live in our societies and therefore must not allowed to reside here.

Why? Because they have chosen a religion that explicitly authorises murder, extortion, slavery, rape and so on, and recommends to them multiple ways to lie about their religion and their intentions in order to advance it.

It's this lying more than anything that ensures that no identified muslim should be allowed to reside in our societies, never mind be trusted.

It's significant that Jihadists now mostly don't feel they have to deceive us any more and state plainly that they wish to slaughter us. They have sensed that the response of the Establishments in the West is to put their fingers in their ears and shout "La-la-la-la-la!" at the tops of their voices.

Know our enemies AND our friends indeed, Voeg.

Richard James said...

Sorrry, I should have written that Harry's place removes BTL comments after seven days, not "bans" them.

Egghead said...

If you REALLY want to go through the looking glass into Never-never-land, consider the idea that Jews implemented Communism and have actively facilitated the Western Muslim invasion in order to genocide white Christians.

Coming from the most PCMC background, if I can admit that Muslims are trying to murder me, then I can admit that Jews are ALSO trying to murder me.

Egghead said...

Once I read that Socrates said that men are responsible for picking and following 'bad' religions with 'bad' results - even when men are born into those religions.

I have not been able to find a citation for that yet.

Egghead said...

Here is an example of ridiculousness:

If a gang of white football players accosted a black university president after a football game, the narrative would be quite different....

But, the white president publicly feeds all white people to the baying dogs of racism in order to try to 'save' his own job....

Egghead said...

Another example of non-white Yale students as an aggressive group encircling and harassing a white professor:

Again, if the colors were reversed, we would hear a different narrative....

Hesperado said...

Thanks Richard James, I appreciate the support and it's nice to know someone, anyone, who has matriculated beyond Islam 101 (let alone PC MC).

I briefly took an extended swim at Harry's Place some time ago and wrote an essay here about it. It might interest you. I did so at first because Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch referenced them. When he did so, the Jihad Watch article in question mushroomed with over 100 comments (remarkable for Jihad Watch) -- and several Harry's Place regulars popped over to assure us they were good counter-jihadists. One thing I noticed about them was a glibly naive trust in Maajid Nawaz.

Harry's Place

About one thing you wrote:

"It's significant that Jihadists now mostly don't feel they have to deceive us any more and state plainly that they wish to slaughter us."

I agree; though I think the jihadist "bad cops" still need their counterpart "good cops" as a foil & contrast to keep the Western Useful Idiots placated.

Richard James said...

Thanks Hesp

I've just re-read your "Harry's Place" post - I had read it before, probably at the time you posted it, but it's been useful to read it again.

I rarely post BTL at Harry's Place because when I have my posts on Islam and Muslims were often removed.

I recently posted there in direct reply to Sarah AB who was emitting her usual vapidities about islam and muslims - Harry's Place uses Disqus which does save all one's comments at one's Disqus account even though Harry's Place deletes them at the blog after a week. I post on Disqus as "Maura Labingi".

The sub-thread was a discussion about the textual context of the "no compulsion in religion" quotation used by muslims - yes, they're mostly so low on the learning curve that they still need to discuss that...

SarahAB Mod > Mark • 11 days ago

I have no objection if people seem to be reading the Qur'an a bit selectively as long as they are sincere.

Maura Labingi > SarahAB • 11 days ago

And how will you know they're sincere, Sarah? Can you read their minds?

Sincerity, pah!

As Mark says, "The "but" comes into it when those who use that one line, know everything that surrounds it and are only using it complicitly in order to evade from the other verses that mean the absolute opposite."

Are you prepared to endanger our society on weak points like your having "no objection if people seem to be reading the Qur'an a bit selectively as long as they are sincere" despite all the evidence that Muslims practice a variety of scripturally sanctioned deceptions to advance their religion and do that with great sincerity because that is what their religion and their "Messenger of Allah" instruct?

And that's not even to mention the lethal violence.

It sounds to me like you're whistling in the dark.

From the evidence of her posts, Professor Sarah A Brown of Anglia Ruskin University and Harry's Place is a shockingly sloppy thinker and given to posting ATL links to articles she later admits BTL that she hasn't read deeply because she's just woken up or just had her breakfast. Never mind her being one of the people who lost Britain as Spencer put it, she sometimes gives the impression that she would struggle to find her own backside in a brightly lit room.

With almost all the staff and posters at HP I get the impression that they know or suspect the truth about Islam and muslims but are striving very hard to convince themselves they are mistaken in order to preserve their need to think themselves good (=PCMC) people.

I agree absolutely with your opinion of Majid Nawaz and the rest of the supposed ex-"extremists" "good cops" at Quilliam. I think there's a huge clue in the name they chose for their foundation. I don't need to tell you that Abdullah Quilliam was an English convert to Islam, built the first mosque in Britain, argued for the establishment of a global Caliphate, swore allegiance to the Ottoman Empire, and urged muslims to fight against European powers and was often denounced as a traitor. One of the foundation's publicly stated aims is "to make Islam at home in Britain and Europe".

Just choosing Quilliam as their figurehead suggests the real agenda of Maajid Nawaz and his friends at the Foundation. If I may adapt your designation of Nawaz, oily snakes indeed. Oily snakes engaged in the usual muslim strategy of trusting us not to examine too closely what they say and do.

Egghead said...

Unfortunately, I know people who are atheists and Jews who hate Christianity so much that they are actively making false equivalencies among ideas (religions) and behaviors (crusades versus Muslim wars, invasions, and terrorism).

Rather than caring that Islam is evil, they are contending that Christianity is just as evil as - or really MORE evil - than Islam. Thus, they claim that we deserve what we get from Muslims. You will see this sentiment when many Jews leave comments about the Muslim invasion of Europe.

The constant haranguing about the Holocaust which is presented as an official sanctioned act perpetrated by the Christian West against Jews exclusively (instead of a crime against the Christian West that was FOUGHT by the Christian West) enables these false equivalencies.

The Christian genocides in Russia by Jews and Armenia by Turks are NEVER admitted to be genocides because that would disturb the current 'narrative' that white Christians are the world's worst holocausters - who should be genocided for that reason!

Hesperado said...

Thanks again, Richard James - very interesting stuff about HP.

"With almost all the staff and posters at HP I get the impression that they know or suspect the truth about Islam and muslims but are striving very hard to convince themselves they are mistaken in order to preserve their need to think themselves good (=PCMC) people."

Yes, that's the psychology of what I have called the "asymptotic" counter-jihadist -- by a curious paradox, their very increasing awareness of the problem causes an internal reaction of denial. In a way, I'd say the asymptotics are more incoherent in their denial than are the PC MCs, if only because the degree of artful mental gymnastics is necessarily higher, given their superior awareness. Why they would feel the need to do these gymnastics points to the only reasonable explanation we can come up with -- namely that for some reason they harbor higher residues of PC MC in their minds than do those of us who don't feel the need to flex into yoga pretzels in order to assuage our anxiety about being "bigoted" and "racist" and "tarring all Muslims with one brush", etc.

"I think there's a huge clue in the name they chose for their foundation. I don't need to tell you that Abdullah Quilliam was an English convert to Islam, built the first mosque in Britain, argued for the establishment of a global Caliphate, swore allegiance to the Ottoman Empire, and urged muslims to fight against European powers and was often denounced as a traitor."

Yes indeed, and another unflattering fact of his biography: he urged Muslims to oppose the British government for its opposition to a jihadist movement in the Sudan that in its day was rampaging around much like ISIS.

"Just choosing Quilliam as their figurehead suggests the real agenda of Maajid Nawaz and his friends at the Foundation."

Not only that, but it is reasonable to suppose that Maajid chose that name in order to gloat secretly at how stupid the kuffar in the Counter-Jihad are, that they would partner with him even after he chose such a brazenly immoderate name for his Foundation. "Jihading in plain sight"...

Egghead said...

And, as always, there is the problem of 'who is paying whom to say what?'

GoV has significant Jewish writers and donators who are effectively paying GoV to ignore and/or dilute inconvenient information about the Jewish contribution to the rise of Islam - even banning related comments.

Egghead said...

My 2nd to last comment disappeared. What I said was that, once people question Islam, they also question the roles of Jews and blacks facilitating the rise of Islam. And most whites know more Jews and blacks than Muslims, so that can be highly discomfiting. How very inconvenient is the history that Jews and Africans ran the slave trade with Muslims?

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