Monday, March 21, 2016

Sputnik — Touting Isolationism, Trump Employs a String of Neoconservative Advisors

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump previously indicated that, if elected, his administration would focus on non-interventionist policies. His list of foreign policy advisers, released on Monday, says otherwise.
Trump may claim that he seeks to reign in US adventurism, but based on the records of his chosen advisers, a Trump presidency would likely mean business as usual.
See also
Donald Trump says he would move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
That stance puts him in line with the Republican Party's conservative base but would break two decades of bipartisan White House policy.
The Hill
Trump would move US Embassy to Jerusalem
Jesse Byrnes and Ben Kamisar

AlterNet
5 of Trump's Most Outrageous Claims at the AIPAC Conference
Trump's speech was filled with incendiary and inaccurate claims
Alexandra Rosenmann

51 comments:

Malmo's Ghost said...

No other foreign country gets this kind of nationally-televised blow job from our candidates. Really grating.

Trump has a tough balancing act though. Fuck this up and he's probably unelectable. I don't like the pandering, but I sort of understand it.

Tom Hickey said...

Usually the vassals kiss the emperor's ass rather than the other way around.

Dan Lynch said...

The question is, who is the real Donald Trump?

Since he has no track record, we don't know.

But the advisors Trump chooses are a bad omen. Trump does not seem to be a policy wonk so I can easily imagine him spending 8 years playing golf in between public relations appearances while his staff handles policy, similar to Eisenhower or Reagan.

Tom Hickey said...

What you see is what you get.

That doesn't Imply that seeing what you want to see means you will get what you expect.

Matt Franko said...

Still no report he has taken their munnie... so probably the the unease will continue from the OT influenced Israel/Israel lobby and significant % of Evangelical Christendom no such thing as UNMERITED favor with these OT influenced people...

Here is a link to the speech:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQgDgMGuDI0

Much focus on Iran state sponsorship of terror....

Trump: "Get even!"

Its not "even" with Iran....

John said...

Matt: "Still no report he has taken their munnie..."

Money is overrated, although that's not to say that it isn't important. The most dangerous politicians are the ideologues who couldn't care less about who's buying them. John McCain and Newt Gingrich weren't going to bomb Iran because a mad Zionist was bankrolling them: they were itching to do it, while Sarah Palin tried to find it on a map.

Matt: "Its not "even" with Iran...."

In other news, Anders Behring Breivik would like to get "even" with some more children on the island of Utoya; Al Qaeda would like to get "even" with New York; the KKK would like to get "even" with millions of uppity blacks; Josef Fritzl would like to get "even" with Elizabeth Fritzl; and the Adam Lanza appreciation society are planning to get "even" with the Sandy Hook elementary school.

Even though Iran has done absolutely nothing to the US, Trump will be able to spin it otherwise. He has "the best words"!

Dave said...

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. He is no outsider. With Trump you will get more war, but with a vicious crack down on dissent here at home. Have fun with that.

Malmo's Ghost said...

Liberals go ape-shit crazy over Trump and yet these same liberals give intolerant writ large Muslims a free pass. I know, I know it's because these Muslims are civilized folk, right? Wrong.

Think about it. There wouldn’t be a single act of Muslim terror in the West if Muslims were kept out. They contribute nothing to our societies and their native countries are pits of bigotry; obscurantism; in-breeding; pedophilia; honor killings, child marriages, FGM, and other oppression of women; persecution of Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, and Zoroastrians; murder; fanaticism; and squalor. Muslims with any integrity are thrown out of windows, stabbed, or shot (Bhatti, Taseer). Pakistani physics students think Allah causes earthquakes.

Liberals are fucking suicidal nuts.

Dave said...

Much of that list could apply to Christians as well. Should we keep them out too? Bill O'Reilly claims that God controls the weather, not global warming.

Malmo's Ghost said...

Bullshit, Dave.

Bob said...

What you see is what you get.

Campaign slogan for Hillary?

Dan Lynch said...

@Malmo, I've been thinking a lot about today's American "liberals." It doesn't mean what it used to mean. Mostly it means "politically correct urban professionals & minorities." Not that I have anything against urban professionals or minorities, but their pet interests are not necessarily my pet interests.

American liberalism used to be associated with the New Deal, which was a combination of blue collar working class, rural populists, and urban intellectuals. That coalition is dead and now the political spectrum is largely defined by rural vs. urban (Trump does not fit neatly into either category hence he is hated by the entire establishment).

As Lambert noted recently on NC, Trump's base is the poor and working class while yuppies make up Bernie's base. Clinton owns the minorities. Identity politics still seems to rule.

Perhaps if Bernie became president he could win over the working class and redefine the Democratic base, but he has burnt some bridges by embracing gun control and immigration. Seems to me that America is likely to remain a divided country.

Malmo's Ghost said...

Dan,

I'm not poor, working class, Establishment (Republican or Democrat) or Billy Bob dumb. But I like Trump.. a lot. I can't stand most American liberals, who are generally gutless, intolerant, PC wimps. I have no illusions that Trump will be some kind of Savior in balkanized America, anymore than Sanders would be. The fact that he isn't an insider appeals to me, contrary to what Dave says. No matter who is elected fully half the country will be pissed off. Tom Hickey has written of race, ideological, or religious wars coming to America. I used to think that was fanciful thinking on his part, but I'm beginning to see where he's coming from. Makes me sick.

Dave said...

@Malmo, I don't know you, so I do not presume to judge you. Who you vote for is none of my business. I was simply responding to your comment, and pointing out that there is a lot of evil out there on both sides, and a lot of stupidity as well (OReilly, not you). I am no liberal, but then again how would you know that from an online response? I think that America needs a time out from its addiction to imperialism. As long as we continue to want empire, we will sink into decline. Trump, Hillary, Bernie, And Jesus Christ hisself can't save us until we decide to stop trying to rule the world. That is the truth. And right now, none of them want to do so.

Ignacio said...

"Identity politics still seems to rule."

Hence USA citizens still going to be fucked for longer... Self-inflicted pain.

Kristjan said...

Very wall put Dan, It has become about minorities and political correctness, radical feminists terrorising people etc. This what the Trumpism is all about. People who talk about freedom of speech and opinions talk about it only when It suits them (blocking roads so people cannot go to Trump rallies). There is a video on youtube, black cop wanted to see what the Trump rally was all about. The protestors were verbally violent yelling F... Donald Trump, Trump is racist etc.... He said Trump supporters were peaceful decent people, mothers covering their children's ears from the protestors, and media is portraying it wrong. Liberalism (I consider myself a liberal) has become a tyranny.

Trump supporters harassed on college campuses?
https://youtu.be/SLADMGEhBvg

VIRAL VIDEO: Black cop tells the TRUTH about Trump rallies
https://youtu.be/03Bt6b8PPP0

John said...

Malmo: 'Think about it. There wouldn’t be a single act of Muslim terror in the West if Muslims were kept out. They contribute nothing to our societies and their native countries are pits of bigotry; obscurantism; in-breeding; pedophilia; honor killings, child marriages, FGM, and other oppression of women; persecution of Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, and Zoroastrians; murder; fanaticism; and squalor. Muslims with any integrity are thrown out of windows, stabbed, or shot (Bhatti, Taseer). Pakistani physics students think Allah causes earthquakes."

Perhaps you should think about it. According to you, all 1.5 billion muslims are crazy and are guilty of everything you claim. Almost none are. A few thousand are guilty of terrorism, persecution, child marriage, FGM, etc. Curiously enough most FGM is practised in black African Christian countries, which proves that its an African cultural practice, but why let facts get in the way. Not that anybody cared less about all these issues until some terrorists killed almost three thousand innocent people on 9/11.

The response was to make up an absurd story about Iraq, invade it, smash it to bits and allow a bunch of totally demented maniacs to take over half of Iraq, before we even come to the came the dangerous farces in Syria and Libya. Then when we get the inevitable blowback, we can act all superior and blame hundreds of millions of people who have nothing to do with any of this. It's like bombing Brazil because of the involvement of the Roman Catholic Church in child sex abuse. By your standard, there wouldn't be a single case of Catholic sex abuse if we kept out all Catholics or outlawed Catholicism.

You want to make this about religion, when it is about terrorism. It's a terrible mistake to make.

John said...

You also missed one thing out: "...their native countries are pits of bigotry..." supported by our countries. All liberal, social-democratic and socialist parties are outlawed. All trade unions are outlawed. Any progressive movement is killed off. With Uncle Sam providing the weapons, the training and the intelligence. Blowback's a bitch. Luckily, we can blame the people we oppress. I think psychologists call it projection.

As for contributions to society, we can all play this game. Italian Americans are to blame for organised crime. Black Americans are to blame for most petty and violent crime. Latino Americans are to blame for human trafficking and drug smuggling. Rednecks, hillbillies and poor white "trash" Americans contribute nothing other than their predilection for incest and consumption of crystal meth. And on it goes.

Most terrorism in the US isn't even committed by Muslims. But white Christians seemingly have more of a right to carry out terrorism than anybody else. And what are you going to do when white American converts commit terrorism? Never mind. And never mind if there are a few thousand apocalyptic jihadis running around. Blame the 1.5 billion Muslims who either have nothing to do with this, or are trying to do something about it but are hindered by Uncle Sam's alliance with these lunatics in its efforts at regime change.

As for persecution, it depends on where you are. Zoroastrians aren't persecuted. If Iran wanted to persecute them, there wouldn't be any left. That is not to say they're treated splendidly. On the Buddhist and Hindu repression and violence, it's nearly all the other way round: Muslims being persecuted by Buddhists and Hindus. In Egypt, Christians are treated extremely badly by the majority Muslim population. In Lebanon, until relatively recently, it was all Christian intolerance of Muslims.

"Pakistani physics students think Allah causes earthquakes."

Some do, not all. They live in a regressive authoritarian country backed by Washington. What excuse do the tens of millions of relatively rich Americans have who don't live in such a society for believing in creationism, Noah's Ark, the earth is a few thousand years old, and all the rest of it? And talking about backward, you'd better take a good hard look at how America has treated black people, let alone the Native Americans. And how about Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Cuba, the Philippines, Angola, Congo, Chile, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Honduras, Guatemala, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Afghanistan, Libya, etc? What does that say about white Christian American society? I'd say it says nothing, but by your standard it would show that they were bloodthirsty fanatical racists.

And this is without even bringing up the hundreds of years of inter-Christian wars and bloodbaths. Muslims have a long way yo go before reaching the record heights of intolerance and killings that white Christians have made to civilization.

Malmo's Ghost said...

Nice try, John.

I'll take the Christian world as it exists right now. You can have (and live in) the Muslim world as it exists right now. Good luck.

I wish you'd try this hard when it comes to defending Trump.

Dave said...

John, everything you said is true and may get worse. If anything, the AIPAC speeches tell me that all the candidates who spoke intend to turn the Middle East into an inferno, all in order to protect Israel from being held accountable. And with the security infastructure in place, and possibly a hard line administration in the White House, you can forget about dissent. The terrorists will suddenly become American citizens, exercising their First Amendment Rights. They will be marked as trouble makers, liberals,etc. And with the newly built detention centers for illegals, it won't be too hard to imagine such trouble makers being shipped off to be "reeducated" about the wonders of American Exceptionalism.

Malmo's Ghost said...

One more thing. I in no way support any oppression of Muslims, here or abroad. I don't support bombing Islam to smithereens either. Don't care for their culture and way of life, but contrary to liberal talking points that's not the same thing as wanting them all suffering miserably, which I don't.

American Muslims must also have all the protections our Constitution affords. No exceptions. Where the rubber meets the road with me concerning Muslims is on the refugee and immigration fronts. I'm with Trump on a temporary moratorium. If that's hate speech then I'm a hater. I'll wear it proudly, considering the source/s.

Dan Lynch said...

Jimmy Carter expelled Iranians.

At the risk of painting with too broad a stroke, the "problem" Muslims are the Sunni Wahhabists. Shiites are by and large not attacking the West. Indonesia's moderate Muslims condemn the extremism of the Wahhabists.

So naturally the US is friends with the Wahhabists and enemies with the Shiites. :-)

John said...

Dan,

Perfectly put. We side with the lunatics who hate everything about us, and as it happens their 1.5 billion so-called co-religionists who have been the subject of nearly all their attacks. As the terror experts have tired of pointing out, this is an "internal war" that has spilled out. We always sided with the fanatics who were more interested in killing gays and Shias than who controlled the oil. The secular nationalists couldn't care less about religion and what people did with their genitalia. They were interested in economic development and who controlled the natural resources. Clearly these people had to be destroyed, and fundamentalist Islam was the weapon of choice.

Malmo,

Your first reply didn't address anything of substance. Your second reply is more considered. All I can say, is that if Washington took the approach of your second reply, there'd be little to concern ourselves about. I would add that the culture in various Muslim countries is extremely broad, and you'd be pleasantly surprised if you came across them. In any case, do you really believe that having a law that stops innocent Muslim tourists from entering the US is going to stop a fanatical jihadi from finding a way in, either by illegally entering through Mexico, Canada or a US port? How would you even know someone is a Muslim? They could claim to be a Christian, and the what? A white Kosovan, Bosnian or Albanian could claim to be a Christian. Or a white Western European convert. This is all silliness anyway: Trump doesn't mean a damn thing he says. For someone who claims to be as serious politician, he has no detailed policies!

As is always said, good intelligence is what's needed. Political posturing doesn't help matters. That's why no sensible intelligence analyst has said closing the borders to one faith group is useful. What's needed is better intelligence: more money for more and better intelligence analysts and more and better technological resources. Not more money on stupid shit like NSA surveillance on everything and everybody, or a new round of fighter jets or aircraft carriers.

Malaysian culture is about as different as Saudi culture as you can possibly imagine. I've been to Indonesia and Malaysia (they're fantastic places), and I've also been to many Arab countries, and the difference in culture is staggering. So while I wouldn't want to live in, say, Saudi Arabia or Kuwait, Malaysia would be alright by me. But then I wouldn't want to live in Moldova, Macedonia, Belarus or Lithuania and would probably choose Malaysia over any of these if I absolutely had to. Albania and Kosovo are very secular countries and ostensibly Muslim, but they're not particularly appealing countries to live in, and neither are superficially Christian countries like Latvia and Estonia. Their cultures have little to do with their religious allegiances and more to dow with their respective histories, poverty and educational attainment. Anyway, I hope you'll be consistent and demand that no Catholic priests from abroad be admitted into the US, lest they leap on innocent American children.

Malmo's Ghost said...

John,

How would we know if someone is Muslim wanting to enter the country? Well ask them for starters. We can safely assume if they come from 95% Muslim countries they are Muslims, asking them or not. At any rate, proper vetting goes well beyond simply relying on an individual's word. In the meantime I'd have no problem with preventing any foreign national of any stripe from entering the country unless our government can assure us they likely aren't potential terrorists. This isn't rocket science. Turning a blind eye to a preventable threat is ideological lunacy.

As for predominantly Muslim countries and cultures, I'm fine with them. To each there own. I do have more than a slight quibble with the merging of disparate cultures, especially along religious lines, however. They generally are a recipe for violent civil unrest, which we're seeing in Europe in spades. No social engineer has a demonstrable fix for that going forward. Oil and water don't mix. Sanctimonious proclamations don't change that reality one iota, especially when these peoples are inorganically merged by our oligarchical alchemists..

John said...

Malmo: "At any rate, proper vetting goes well beyond simply relying on an individual's word."

You don't need to rely on anybody's word or mass vetting. You simply accept and put into place what the intelligence and security agencies tell you. Without the counterproductive political interference and undermining, they're good at their jobs. They know who and what signs to look for. I'll trust an intelligence analyst and counterterrorism agent over Bush, Blair, Trump and Clinton any day of the week. I trust the likes of the late Chalmers Johnson, retired Colonel Andrew Bacevich and Michael Scheuer, formerly head of the CIA's Bin Laden Unit. They know their stuff, nearly everybody else doesn't. Other than the politically motivated, all intelligence, security and counterterrorism analysts have nothing good to say about our foreign policies. They're usually scathing.

Malmo: "How would we know if someone is Muslim wanting to enter the country? Well ask them for starters."

How would that stop the tens of thousands of white Western European converts from lying? Someone who's planning on murdering as many people as they possibly can isn't going to find it all that difficult in claiming to be something else. As I said, give the counterterrorism departments of the intelligence agencies what they need, not what the military contractors want and not what the self-aggrandising empire builders within the warring agencies want. 9/11 could have been easily thwarted. Something like San Bernardino is less easy, but there were signals that should have been acted on. In any case, while the US-Saudi criminal relationship continues, this jihadi onslaught isn't going to cease. These jihadi wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria are becoming as increasingly dangerous to the instigators (the Western powers) as they are to the countries that have been subject to them. Blowback is a motherfucking bitch. Washington never counted on that. But they're prepared to live with it. And so is London. This century has to be another American century, no matter what.

Anyway, what we're really missing here is the most important issue. You really have to ask yourself why it is there haven't been any terrorist offences by the presumably millions of Muslim tourists who have travelled to the US since 9/11? Could it be that every single one of them merely wanted to visit, have a good time and then go back home? Millions of Muslims have visited the UK in the last fifteen years. The only terrorism we faced was home grown, and then the terrorists blamed it on the war on Iraq.

John said...

Malmo: "Sanctimonious proclamations don't change that reality one iota, especially when these peoples are inorganically merged by our oligarchical alchemists."

High marks for the florid prose style. No marks for anything else. Catholics and Protestants live together now. So do Jews and Christians. So do Christians and Muslims, on the whole. Political problems become religious problems, as we in the UK fully understand in Northern Ireland. Pre-Iraq there was no Christian-Muslim problems of any significance.

The problem is, however, different because there now exists a psychopathic entity called ISIS which will lay waste to as many cities and its people as it can and foment anti-Muslim violence. The only political resolution to ISIS is to destroy it. As the DIA put it, we created it. For years now Iraqi and Syrian *Muslims* have been trying to destroy it. Only when ISIS became a danger to the Saudis or got bigger than their anti-Assad status did we get worried. Will Frankenstein kill its monster or just weaken it so that it doesn't threaten its benefactors and renews its original remit in bringing down the Assad regime? At least the Russians have ensured ISIS can't win.

Malmo's Ghost said...

John, when you get off your high horse here's a newsflash: Catholics, Jews, Protestants are not on a global jihadist crusade. But if I say black you're going to say white so I get where you're coming from.

But going back to my first post:

" Think about it. There wouldn’t be a single act of Muslim terror in the West if Muslims were kept out. They contribute nothing to our societies and their native countries are pits of bigotry; obscurantism; in-breeding; pedophilia; honor killings, child marriages, FGM, and other oppression of women; persecution of Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, and Zoroastrians; murder; fanaticism; and squalor. Muslims with any integrity are thrown out of windows, stabbed, or shot (Bhatti, Taseer). Pakistani physics students think Allah causes earthquakes."

Facts are a bitch. This is much of the Muslim world as it exists RIGHT NOW, and it's not only a few malcontents who are on a mission from Allah to right all wrongs against the Western infidels..I don't want to be part of that world and I don't want it exported here to fuck up my world.

Please show me where modern day (you know, today, and not 100's of years past) ostensibly Judaeo-Christian nations are operating under such an onerous backward culture/worldview?

Tom Hickey said...

when you get off your high horse here's a newsflash: Catholics, Jews, Protestants are not on a global jihadist crusade.

The people that are on a global crusade to impose their POV are the liberals (neocons and neoliberals) and they are OK with using terrorism, torture, threat of nuclear vaporization, you name it, to intimidate the rest of the world. The so-called global jihadists are a blip on the screen of history that don't amount to anything.

Anyway, if you want to held the jihadists, obliterate the "grey" area of moderates and ID all Muslims as terrorists. This is precisely the jihadist plan to create successful global jihad.

Malmo's Ghost said...

Tom,

I'm not disagreeing with the evils that the neocon warmongers global crusade has wrought. It's been ugly, largely unnecessary, and, yes, it's given us a global jihadist movement that isn't, as you say, a blip.... at least not a blip anymore. That's different than claiming that the Judaeo-Chritian world is even remotely as backward as the Muslim world, which isn't even debatable.





Malmo's Ghost said...

....and if you're equating neocons with Catholics, Jews, Protestants in the same way Muslims are inextricably tied to violence and cultural intolerance then I'm afraid you couldn't be more wrong. Apples to oranges.

Tom Hickey said...

That's different than claiming that the Judaeo-Chritian world is even remotely as backward as the Muslim world, which isn't even debatable.

Based on what criteria? What is the justification of those criteria?

The reality is that the victors get to write history.

John said...

Malmo: "John, when you get off your high horse here's a newsflash: Catholics, Jews, Protestants are not on a global jihadist crusade. But if I say black you're going to say white so I get where you're coming from."

And there I was thinking that what I said was perfectly understandable and being as accommodating as I can. I'll have to start again. This is a *political* problem, not a religious problem per se. Clearly there is no global jihad by Jews (although there is a local Jewish holy war to ethnically cleanse the native Arab Christian and Muslim population), Catholics and Protestants. The Catholics and Protestants had their holy wars and for various reasons decided to end the bloodletting - essentially a political arrangement was forged. Everything is politics. When jihadis murdered millions of Muslims, there weren't many people talking about it "fucking up the world". No, these were brave freedom fighters who had to be supported.

Crucially, neither is there a global jihad by Muslims. Nearly all 1.5 billion (it could be as high as 2 billion but the censuses aren't what they should be in poor countries) Muslims are going about their every day lives and not killing anybody or planning on killing anybody, neither are they persecuting minorities or raping their children in any numbers particularly greater than anywhere else (I believe rates of incest, paedophilia and rape are highest in Hindu India). There is a jihadi problem that numbers tens of thousands of people. That it the considered opinion of the most highly respected analysts. I take these people seriously. Tens of thousands of trained terrorists is problem enough. So it's not a "few malcontents", nobody ever said that's all it was. They need to be killed. End of story. They can't be killed off by us; they can be killed off by the Iraqi and Syrian militaries. It isn't a coincidence that these jihadis came to power until we decided to destroy Iraq. If you destroy a country, bad people take over. That's it. If the US were destroyed, who'd you think would take over? The Quakers?

John said...

Malmo: "Please show me where modern day (you know, today, and not 100's of years past) ostensibly Judaeo-Christian nations are operating under such an onerous backward culture/worldview?"

First of all, off the top of my head, Turkey, Lebanon, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Morocco are not involved in child marriages, persecution of religious minorities, oppression of women, commit FGM or honour killings (and get away with it), etc. As for "murder", every country has murder, the US being a very good example. I don't think there is a country which even comes close. As for incest, paedophilia and rape, the extent is not considered to be any greater than anywhere else of comparative socioeconomic status, although India is purportedly at the head of this undesirable list. As for religious intolerance, Buddhist Burma is number one, which surprised me, given that I thought Saudi Arabia would take that position. So, as you say, facts are a bitch.

The Judaeo part is nicely represented by Israel's illegal invasions of its neighbours, ethnic cleansing, annexation of other countries territory and numerous violations of human rights, including making landownership illegal to anybody but Jews, which is as backward a worldview as you are likely to find, let's see what Christendom or the Judaeo-Christian world has to offer. Again, off the top of my head we have Liberia, Sierra Leone, Uganda, the Central African Republic and not so long ago Rwanda and Burundi were as hellish as you can imagine. Leaving the worst to last, let's not forget Christian Congo where six million Christians have killed each other in the last two decades. (Do the US-backed neo-fascist South American states count? Or is fascist mass murder more palatable than religious obscurantism?) Will that do? Ah, but what is the common denominator in all these Christian cases? War. That's why they've descended to this hellish of affairs. And that is why so many Muslim countries have descended into this very same state. Nothing really to do with religion. It seeps in, but it's all to do with war and politics. I didn't want to bring up WWII because although it isn't "100's of years past" and is the best example of total madness in history (committed by Christians), it isn't "today".

Malmo's Ghost said...

John,

You can cheery pick your "facts" till you're blue in the face (we all do) but you haven't demonstrated that the Western world (Judaeo-Christain world you apparently so loathe) is remotely as backward as the Muslim led world. Is it because you are Muslim? That's OK if you are. I'm neither Muslim , Christian, Jewish or anything involving God worship. I'm an atheist. Period. In the marketplace of living I, an atheist , have a far better chance in the pursuit of happiness in the Western world than I do in the Muslim world. That doesn't mean the Muslim world shouldn't exist. It only means it sucks to be there in the 21st Century.

No place is perfect. So what? Christians and Jews fuck it up too. So what? But once more I'll try again. Which places are qualitatively better places to foster tolerance and civil liberties--Muslim led lands or lands influenced and operating under historical Christian and or Jewish antecedents?

Malmo's Ghost said...

Tom,

Are you claiming the Muslim world is the equal of the Western world in promoting truth, justice, civil liberties, women's rights, religious freedom, etc?

Tom Hickey said...

....and if you're equating neocons with Catholics, Jews, Protestants in the same way Muslims are inextricably tied to violence and cultural intolerance then I'm afraid you couldn't be more wrong. Apples to oranges.

A lot of what's going down in the ME is due to certain Christian sects' belief about the end time, the Second Coming, and how they can induce it by creating what they believe to be the prophetic conditions for it. Then there are the Dominionists, who are a Christian version of the Wahhabis.

Moreover, the Hebrew Scriptures are hardly less illiberal than the Qur'an and maybe more so. Jesus reportedly said, "For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter,[a] not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished (Mt 5:18 NSRV). Many take this saying as authoritative over Paul's Letters that the Law has been fulfilled and only faith is now required.

One may say that this is only a small number of the total population of Christians. Well, the same goes for Islam. Wahhabis and Salafis comprise only a limited number of Muslims, and not all Wahhabis and Salafis are either jihadists or takfiris.

There are many people holding very different views in the world and liberalism requires tolerance of all views. Do those who are not liberals have freedom under liberalism to their own views?

Where no one is free is in breaking the law. But law is nation-specific, other than international law, e.g, under the UN.

Is it liberal to discriminate against or even lock up people that "might" break the law based on profiling?

Malmo's Ghost said...

By the way Tom and John, if you're a man living under Muslim rule I can see your possible fondness for such an arrangement, what with women being second class citizens, there for you personal pleasure and service.

John said...

Malmo: "....and if you're equating neocons with Catholics, Jews, Protestants in the same way Muslims are inextricably tied to violence and cultural intolerance then I'm afraid you couldn't be more wrong."

If jihadis and their diseased views are somehow indicative or representative of their religious society, why aren't the neocons representative of their wider religious society?

The fact is that they don't represent anybody but themselves. Just in the same way that the KKK represents nothing about America. It wouldn't be all that surprising if something like the KKK came to power if the US was destroyed in the same way that Iraq and Syria have been destroyed. Warped, demented, intolerant groups don't represent anybody but themselves.

A confluence of bad things coming together is all that's needed for an ISIS, a Lord's Resistance Army, Khmer Rouge, Nazis to come to power. It says nothing about Cambodian culture or its religions that the Khmer Rouge came to power and murdered millions of people. The state had been destroyed. It says nothing about central African cultures or Christianity in the Congo that six million people have been murdered. It says nothing about the culture or Islam that a maniacal group like ISIS can take over parts of countries that have totally collapsed.

Tom Hickey said...

Are you claiming the Muslim world is the equal of the Western world in promoting truth, justice, civil liberties, women's rights, religious freedom, etc?

Those values are liberalism. virtually all normative institutional religions view liberalism as the work of the devil. It's hardly just Islam. For the regions, "truth" is God's revealed word, "justice" is God's revealed law, "civil liberties" contradict the Great Chain of Being, "women" have a place and their rights are such as protected under God's law, "religious freedom" is the rejection of God's revelation.

These are antithetical worldviews. The question is to what degree can they intersect without conflict. The West been the chief promoter of conflict since the Age of Imperialism, and now it justified based on the Enlightenment and liberalism.

No one in the West knew much about Islam and cared less until Osama Bin Laden started a reverse crusade against the modern crusaders (the US had established military bases in Saudi Arabi, which is "holy ground."} The Islamists have pretty consistently said, Get out of our backyard and we will leave you alone.

It's interesting now with Trump making "getting even" or even making the other party pay more, when that is the tribal policy on which tribes have operated for millennia. In the rural US it was the hillbilly feuds that lasted across generations. Pretty soon it's all going not be about getting even.

Tom Hickey said...

By the way Tom and John, if you're a man living under Muslim rule I can see your possible fondness for such an arrangement, what with women being second class citizens, there for you personal pleasure and service.

A number of conservative Christians have similar views, e.g., the role of women is obey and serve. In this scheme, it's not possible to "rape" your wife, since her duty is in obeying and serving you. Oh, and "spare the rod and spoil the child."

Malmo's Ghost said...

Tom,

Give me a break. You can't be serious in equating the plight of women in the USA to that of women under Muslim rule.

John said...

Malmo: "By the way Tom and John, if you're a man living under Muslim rule I can see your possible fondness for such an arrangement, what with women being second class citizens, there for you personal pleasure and service."

In some Muslim countries that is partially true. I say partially because in that such a society men are guaranteed to be second class citizens and women will be third class citizens (Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Arab States). In most it isn't true in the slightest. So that tells you it has little to do with Islam. Just like the fact that FGM is unheard of in most Muslim countries, but is common in some subsaharan Muslim and Christian ones.

Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country, has had a female head of state. Pakistan, the second most populous country, has had a female head of state. Bangladesh, the third most populous Muslim country, has had a female head of state. So has Turkey and so has Senegal. There have been hundreds of ministers and many hundreds of elected officials. Just goes to show how much they hate women.

The problem is Saudi Arabia and its jihad against every other Muslim country. If we want to be accurate, the problem is US-backed Saudi Arabia and its jihad against every other Muslim country. Even when Americans pick their countrymen out of the New York rubble, the relationship carries on. Look at the big, bad Muslim tourist, not the psychopathic Saudi Royal family we keep in power to spread their jihad! Saudis good, tourists bad!



John said...

Tom: "No one in the West knew much about Islam and cared less until Osama Bin Laden started a reverse crusade against the modern crusaders."

Quite right. And no one in the West knows much about the Lord's Resistance Army or the six million dead in Congo. They don't represent Christianity, neither do any of the policies enacted in Christian countries by Christian politicians.

They definitely don't represent the religious lunatic Dubya who claimed he invaded Iraq because God told him to, and that he saw Gog and Magog at work in the Middle East. This is religious psychopathy. Apparently our own Prime Minister, Tony Blair, at the time had some similar religious visions. Tony Blair also claimed that the second world war was fought to stop the gassing of Jews. His concept of reality is altogether different to everybody else's.

Tom Hickey said...

Give me a break. You can't be serious in equating the plight of women in the USA to that of women under Muslim rule.

The US is a liberal country and has passed laws that limit the power that men have traditionally had over women. Nevertheless, many men still believe that naturally they have that power in spite of the law.

But take the Orthodox Christian countries POV. They regard the liberal West as formerly Christian, now apostate, and the Western Christian churches as at least borderline heretical.

As I have said these issues run deep and are likely not going to be settled during this century.

How it will turn out no one knows.

Tom Hickey said...

There are at least some humorous (ironic) aspects of this. During the days of atheistic communism, Christians in the West were praying for the conversion of Russia. Now the same people are concerned about the closeness of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian state.

Malmo's Ghost said...

Tom, John,

We aren't in agreement here, but I appreciate your collective candor.

Thanks.

John said...

Malmo: "Are you claiming the Muslim world is the equal of the Western world in promoting truth, justice, civil liberties, women's rights, religious freedom, etc?"

These are very modern achievements! Fifty years ago black people in America didn't have these liberties. The last Jim Crow legislation was taken off the books by Reagan. Much of Africa, China and much of the rest of the Far East don't have these liberties. No country had them under western colonialism. And that's the point. We've started a marathon twenty miles ahead and then bemoan those who are at the back! Look at Christian South America. When did these liberties make an appearance? You can't expect a country that has been independent for a mere few decades and is wrestling with all kinds of economic and political issues to make the democratic jumps that have taken western countries centuries of civil war and civil disobedience to achieve? Some have made enormous progress, getting to near West European and North American standards in a few years. Others will take more time: their problems are more complex. And it doesn't help matters that there is a US-backed Saudi jihad to derail any progress.

John said...

Malmo, I just spotted this, so I can't possibly let it pass.

"You can cheery pick your "facts" till you're blue in the face (we all do) but you haven't demonstrated that the Western world (Judaeo-Christain world you apparently so loathe) is remotely as backward as the Muslim led world."

I'm not cherry picking anything. I answered your questions with factual answers. I can't help the fact that you don't like factual answers. I don't loathe my country or the Western world, thank you very much. That's a very cheap shot and beneath you and any type of discussion/argument. You dislike your governments policies? Does that make you someone who loathes his country? Of course not. Why then should it apply to me? I'm with Thomas Paine on this: "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country."

"Is it because you are Muslim?"

Nope, but it's interesting you raise it and then quickly brush it aside as an irrelevance. I'm an atheist like you (agnostic if we want to be pedantic). Like most English people I was brought up an Anglican, although in my case with a lot of Quaker undertones. In what way my household could have been called Anglican is a total mystery to me. My parents are ostensibly Anglican but seem to be more like radical Quaker. So a radical Quaker agnostic atheist is probably the best description. I hope that answer is to your satisfaction. I've travelled quite a bit in the Islamic world, and I've never seen felt remotely unsafe and have been treated with nothing but kindness and decency. If you haven't travelled in the Islamic world, I highly recommend the countries I named.

Malmo: "Which places are qualitatively better places to foster tolerance and civil liberties--Muslim led lands or lands influenced and operating under historical Christian and or Jewish antecedents?"

Perhaps you should have asked that to a black person from the founding of the United States up until sixties Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, etc. Again that's one of my points: history as context. America made a gigantic leap forward in the sixties and seventies. Many other countries can do the same. Being historically more advanced isn't a sign of some superiority. It's a question of luck and a question of being free from other countries to pursue your own destiny. Give a country, a society the opportunity to make the right decisions and they invariably do, even if it means enforcing a way of life on another part of the society (the North enforced a different culture on the South from the sixties on).

Again, your generalising. Is Turkey better in these respects than Belarus? Yeah, probably. Is Lebanon better in these respects than Moldova? Yeah, probably. Is Malaysia better in these respects than Romania? Yeah, probably. Is the US better in these respects than Finland? Probably not. Is the UK better in these respects than Norway? Probably not. Is France better in these respects than Denmark? Probably not. Is the UK better in these respects than Turkey? Yes, it is. Is France better in these respects than Indonesia? Yes, it is. It all depends on history and institutions. Religion has almost nothing to do with any of this, otherwise, seeing China's tremendous development, everybody would become a Confucian. You're the one confusing apples with oranges.









Malmo's Ghost said...

John,

Relax.

I think you're confused. You think I'm confused.

Peace.

John said...

Malmo, it's another one of your clever lines, but I think anybody who reads this thread with an open mind will come to a different conclusion.

Time put all this cheeriness to an end, listen to some Townes Van Zandt or Bob Dylan and chill out. Peace out, man.

Dave said...

The neoliberal death machine has many willing subjects. You can dress this pig up as Hillary, Trump, or Cruz and they will get exactly what they want, more death and more inequality because most people are willing to believe the enemy is brown skinned and not wearing a three piece suit ( or pants suit). The good news is the Republican Party is a hot mess, and Trump and Hillary both have ridiculously low approval ratings. Maybe, just maybe, the pain will be so great from one of these two idiots that people will wake up and stop fighting each other, and focus on the real problem which is the 1 percent.