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#CharlieHebdo after-assessment: “A bleak analysis of a bleak reality”

#CharlieHebdo after-assessment: “A bleak analysis of a bleak reality”

The Obama administration dares not say its name.

The Obama administration has engaged in absurd linguistic gymnastics to pretend that the terrorists who shot up Charlie Hebdo and the HyperCasher supermarket merely were individuals who happened to adopt radical Islamic extremism almost by chance.  Could have been any extremism, we’re told.

Generic “extremism” is the problem, as if it lived out of body.

By playing these word games, the administration does no favor to those in the Muslim world who recognize the reality and want it to stop.  To the contrary, the administration’s word games constitute an abandonment.

The President of Egypt is one of those voices, calling for a revolution within the Muslim world against the extremism.

Another voice is Hisham Melhem, the Washington bureau chief of Al-Arabiya

In late September 2014, I wrote about an article by Melhem, The Barbarians Within Our Gates. Melhem made points as a Muslim examining the Muslim world that would get him labeled “Islamophobic” and “racist” by groups like CAIR and the Southern Poverty Law Center:

Arab civilization, such as we knew it, is all but gone. The Arab world today is more violent, unstable, fragmented and driven by extremism—the extremism of the rulers and those in opposition—than at any time since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire a century ago. Every hope of modern Arab history has been betrayed….

And let’s face the grim truth: There is no evidence whatever that Islam in its various political forms is compatible with modern democracy. From Afghanistan under the Taliban to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, and from Iran to Sudan, there is no Islamist entity that can be said to be democratic, just or a practitioner of good governance. The short rule of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt under the presidency of Mohamed Morsi was no exception. The Brotherhood tried to monopolize power, hound and intimidate the opposition and was driving the country toward a dangerous impasse before a violent military coup ended the brief experimentation with Islamist rule….

The Islamic State, like al Qaeda, is the tumorous creation of an ailing Arab body politic. Its roots run deep in the badlands of a tormented Arab world that seems to be slouching aimlessly through the darkness. It took the Arabs decades and generations to reach this nadir. It will take us a long time to recover—it certainly won’t happen in my lifetime. My generation of Arabs was told by both the Arab nationalists and the Islamists that we should man the proverbial ramparts to defend the “Arab World” against the numerous barbarians (imperialists, Zionists, Soviets) massing at the gates. Little did we know that the barbarians were already inside the gates, that they spoke our language and were already very well entrenched in the city.

Melhem has a follow up, The Time of the Assassins (excerpt below).

He explains in this video interview:

From the article:

There is something malignant in the brittle world the Arab peoples inhabit. A murderous, fanatical, atavistic Islamist ideology espoused by Salafi Jihadist killers is sweeping that world and shaking it to its foundations, and the reverberations are felt in faraway continents. On the day the globalized wrath of these assassins claimed the lives of the Charlie Hebdo twelve in Paris, it almost simultaneously claimed the lives of 38 Yemenis in their capital Sana’a, and an undetermined number of victims in Syria and Iraq. Like the Hydra beast of ancient Greece this malignancy has many heads: al Qaeda, the Islamic State, Sunni Salafists and Shiite fanatics, armies and parties of God and militias of the Mahdi. This monstrous ideology has been terrorizing Arab lands long before it visited New York on 9/11, and its butchers assassinated Arab journalists and intellectuals years before committing the Paris massacre of French journalists, cartoonists and police officers….

The time of the assassins is upon us. And the true tragedy of the Arab and Muslim world today is that there is no organized, legitimate counterforce to oppose these murderers—neither one of governments nor of “moderate” Islam. Nor is there any refuge for those who want to escape the assassins….

Just think of this surreal scene; Iran the only Shiite theocracy in the region is fighting the Islamic State, the radical claimant of an ephemeral Sunni Caliphate….

The tragedy of the Arabs circa 2015 is that they no longer have institutions that can save them from the murderers, just as they no longer have a Beirut that will embrace them and give them intellectual sustenance and a fleeting chance to engage in introspection after an atrocity like the one in Paris—to ask themselves the hard questions that only they can pose and answer. Alas, the old Beirut is no more, just as the old Alexandria is no more. We are left with the faded memories and lamentations of a world that cannot be restored any time soon. It is indeed the time of the assassins, and they are, for now, unopposed by their own people.

Bleak indeed.

And we have an administration which refuses to name the problem, and thereby becomes part of the problem.


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Here is yet another voice of reason and what he is up against. He, and others like him are in the minority, not the extremists.

    mzk in reply to gasper. | January 15, 2015 at 5:38 am

    There is a major difference between the man you quoted and the man the article is about. The man you quoted is indeed a voice of reason. He speaks about Charlie AND the supermarket. But the man in the article has not a word to say about terrorism against Jews, let alone Israelis. It is the same old song we hear from the Saudis and countless others – terrorism is horrible, but attacks on Jews are not terrorism.

    And it would appear that the French largely agree.

The mental and linguistic gymnastics displayed by that administration are also to continue to promote the idea that others are just as extreme and violent as radical islam. You know all those violent tea party types and those extreme and violent right winger gun nuts. My favorite is the mythical right wing gun nut mass shooter, which for what I have seen has never been found, though progressives insist exists. (Maybe he is in Area 51 with the aliens and Elvis?)

Another aspect is that if they admit and radical islam is on the rise then it is proof positive that Obama has failed, since he was supposed to be the “bridge between the west and the muslim world.”

Lastly, they can’t admit that radical islam is on the rise because they know that they are complicit in its rise. They have spent the last 6 years spewing drivel about how horrible the last administration was and they realize that the only way to combat these pot bellied savages is to do……exactly what the last administration did. Basically they would be forced to do something about it.

Note what percentage of screen time by Harf, Earnest, et al, is spent going around in circles on the semantics instead of the substance. It’s diversionary defense on the smallest scale. We could coin a new term for it – micro-diversion – but there’s already a name for it: bullshit.

    Ragspierre in reply to Henry Hawkins. | January 15, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    A big part of the HIGH bullshit formula perfected by the Obami is filibustering an answer.

    This does two things;

    1. it wraps the original clear question in enough dryer lint that you can’t remember what the hell it was, and

    2. runs out the network clock, which everybody associated with the media has running in their heads.

“absurd linguistic gymnastics to pretend that the terrorists … were individuals who happened to adopt radical Islamic extremism almost by chance.”

Even worse: Josh (Not-)Earnest asserted that the terrorists “later” used a “perverted” form of religion to justify their action. I.e.: they wanted to kill some people, and afterward they blamed Islam. (They must be Islamophobes, then, just trying to make Islam look bad.)

All the talk of using Islam as “justification” skirts around the matter of motive: WHY did they want to kill those people? It’s almost as though they picked out the Charlie Hebdo staff at random.

If the administration acknowledged that the massacre was intended to avenge insult to the honor of the “prophet” and to forestall future insult, they might have to admit that official sharia courts in Islamic countries are handing down death penalties for the same crime of “insult,” but usually it’s for a much milder insult and often with less evidence.

The terrorists were carrying out a sharia punishment, because France is not (yet) governed by Islamic courts.

wouldn’t “ingrained extremism” qualify as mainstream?

He is part of the problem. He IS the problem. Read the full article. Is there is single word condemning terrorism against Jews? (We won’t even mention against Israelis.) Just as the Christians, Atheists, and what-have-you in France are concerned about an attack against the trash magazine, and not very much at all about an attack against a Kosher supermarket.

There is another problem he will not mention, and that problem is much, much older than Islam. In fact, historically Islam was probably the least of the offenders – althoguh that’s saying very little.

nordic_prince | January 15, 2015 at 9:01 am

Amazing how to Zero and his ilk, all “extremists” are the ones we have to watch out for – except for left-wing extremists, of course ~

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | January 15, 2015 at 10:02 am

This is what the left’s obsession with multi-culturalism has brought. Europe seems to finally be noticing that radical Islam isn’t compatible with Western Civilization. But they are noticing after decades of lenient and “tolerant” immigration policies to promote diversity for diversity’s sake. Now they have no idea how deeply the radicals have infiltrated their societies.

This journalist is absolutely right that we need to do more to change the mindset. After we won WWII, we did not just allow the Nazis to stay in power. We removed Nazis from power and made the new government of Germany “de-Nazify” its ideology from society. It took a long time, but it was successful. We made Japan change its mindset from imperialistic aggression out to dominate all of Asia (if not the world) to becoming more passive and accepting it’s role as one nation among many in the region.

Many Muslim autocrats have lost power during Obama’s presidency, but Obama has not done nearly enough to take advantage of that to change minds. Instead, he allows groups that are even more radical than Al-Qeda, such as ISIS, form a borderless caliphate while he thinks the biggest foreign policy issue he needs to deal with is stopping Israel from building apartment buildings. It’s hard to imagine his foreign policy could have been more horribly mismanaged.

Obama has Sharpton leading the race relations team in Ferguson … isn’t it clear Obama is the extremist?

Obama lied to America about Obamacare, “not a smidgen of corruption at the IRS” was a bold faced lie. Leaving men behind in Benghazi while concocting a plan from the war room, to blame “that (free speech) video”, was an extreme breach of the oath of office. Twenty years in a racist “God Damn America church”, while cavorting with domestic terrorists like Ayers, and being led to office by Jarret, daughter of communist friend to Obama’s communist mentor Frank Davis, shows Obama is one of the “Occupiers”.

Now POTUS promises to use the bully pulpit to silence critics of Islam, because the future must not belong to those that dishonor (pedophile and murderous “colonialist”) Mohammed.

Isn’t it clear who the extremists are in this country? And in Europe, those leaders that marched are the same that have opened European borders to invasive Muslims, against the natives’ will. Southern Europe was already conquered once by the religion of peace. This time they will just surrender?

Is it really nativist to want to retain western civilization, rather than fund twenty million Muslims that demand surrender at the point of a knife, or barrel of a gun? What insanity promotes a third world invasion to destroy ones own heritage, in the name of diversity and multiculturalism?

Since we aren’t seeing Arabic terrorists and their allies slaughter comedians and cartoonists yelling Christian slogans, perhaps it’s safe to say they are only cloaking themselves in one religion in particular? Perhaps it would help us to be aware of why?

David R. Graham | January 15, 2015 at 2:50 pm

I blame Christian clergy and, especially, monastics for this state of affairs. They are the ones who should have the depth of knowledge and moral courage to have taught their countrymen what was coming and, now, what is happening. Politicians (lawyers) and professors cannot be expected to see such things coming or know how to handle them once arrived because they are too busy minding affairs of constituents, clients and students. Monastics, on the other hand, and to a lesser extent clergy, have time specifically to study deeply and pass along what they need to know to affairs-handlers who need to know it.

That has not happened for decades. Since before WW II. With very few exceptions (e.g., Bonhoeffer, Tillich, Butterick, Teilhard, Benedict XVI) — and those far below the culture’s requirements — Christian clergy and especially monastics threw off their responsibilities in order to favor their appetites. They became maws instead of marvels. Roman Catholics the least so, but still really all of them, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Anglican and Orthodox.

So if you want to blame someone or be angry and resentful at someone for this bleak mess, focus your wrath on Christian clergy and monastics. They are the ones who let you down. They are the ones who let George Soros and bin Saud play merry hell with your life.