Monday, May 31, 2010

Controlling the Thinking of Others

On Politics and the Arabic Language from Porphrogenitus

(Required reading)

Musing a bit further on this article, particularly this section:
Next, our counterterror adviser evokes the perverse logic behind the administration’s recent decision to censor words offensive to Muslims (which I closely explored in this PJM article):
Nor do we describe our enemy as “jihadists” or “Islamists” because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one’s community, and there is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children.
Inasmuch as he is correct in the first clause of that sentence — “jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one’s community” — he greatly errs in the latter clause, by projecting his own notions of what constitutes “holy,” “legitimate,” and “innocent” onto Islam. In Islam, such terms are often antithetical to the Judeo-Christian/Western understanding. Indeed, the institution of jihad, according to every authoritative Muslim book on Islamic jurisprudence, is nothing less than offensive warfare to spread Sharia law, a cause seen as both “legitimate” and “holy” in Islam. As for “innocence,” by simply being a non-Muslim infidel, one is already guilty in Islam. Brennan understands the definition of jihad; he just has no clue of its application. So he is left fumbling about with a square peg that simply refuses to pass through a round hole.
Until the recent "troubles" it wasn't just Islamic jurisprudence that properly understood what the term Jihad meant; it was universally understood throughout not just Islam but all cultures that had contact with Islam to mean warfare, specifically directed at non-Muslims or those declared heretics and thus deemed to be un-Islamic. (more)

On the Flotilla Disaster

...Those who sent an elite unit into a hostile confrontation armed with toy weapons made an incredibly stupid decision. And a uniquely Israeli one. In recent memory, Israeli military action has been violent but not decisive, bloody enough to provoke the outrage and condemnation of the world (at this point, a stubbed toe will do), but not enough to actually change facts on the ground (the Hamas and Hezbollah wars being prime examples). These halfhearted wars and battles have earned Israel demerits in world opinion without enough to show in improved strategic position. Exit question: How many new flotillas to Gaza are being planned right now in Europe, Turkey, and the Middle East?

Net result of the “peace/humanitarian” mission: dead activists, wounded Israeli soldiers, no more humanitarian aid to Gaza than if Israel’s offer to transfer the aid to Gaza from Ashdod had been accepted, and a likely breakdown in the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks that were about to start. Congratulations. 
UPDATE: Reuters: “Greta Berlin, a spokeswoman for the Free Gaza Movement that organized the convoy, said: ‘How could the Israeli military attack civilians like this? Do they think that because they can attack Palestinians indiscriminately they can attack anyone?’” Here’s a hint, Ms. Berlin: when you try to run a naval blockade, and then attack the blockaders with weaponry, “civilians” is not an apt description.
Allison Kaplan Summer (via Instapundit): “Israel appears to have stepped directly into a trap of a carefully planned suicide mission dressed up in the clothing of a humanitarian effort.”