Sunday, August 27, 2006

Well Worth Reading

1) How to Win the War Against Islamic Totalitarianism at Sixth Column. Excellent recommendations and great ideas – including some I haven’t seen elsewhere.
2) Hugh Fitzgerald explains the important factors that helped the Islamic Revival.
3) Onkar Ghate explains our failed policy of appeasement.
4) Walter Williams contrasts this policy with the past.
5) Govindini Murty says “’The Path to 9/11’ - much more than Oliver Stone’s ‘World Trade Center’ - will remind the nation why we’re in this war.” (link with pictures; hat tip Bilwick)
I’ve been busy reading Kant’s ethics but it doesn’t fall under the title of this post unless your interest is in cultural forensic science. I'll explain in a future post.


Blogger Always On Watch said...

As I had already read Cubed's excellent posting at Sixth Column, I started with number 2 on the list.

Fitzgerald, as usual, makes excellent points supported by facts and trends. This point he makes in the essay linked in number 2 often goes overlooked:

As the older generation of Western scholars of Islam died or retired, new people replaced them. These people were very often Muslims themselves, but even where not Muslim, they were by their mental formation inclined to favor Islam and the Arabs...

No wonder we see so many apologists for Islam! I have to wonder how many of those apologists have even read material from the previous scholars of Islam.

8/27/06, 8:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thaks for the links. I have to say that I really like Fitzgerald. As an Objectivist, I have issues with those that expose Islam but apologize for Christianity, which is what Robert Spencer does. But Fitzgerald doesn't seem religious, if I am reading him right.

I also like his pro-war but anti-Iraq occupation arguments. I even like his commentary better than some Objectivists, notably Robert Tracinski who I think is the worst of the Objecivist political commentators. (Yaron Brook is the gold standard.)

Even though I have some fundamental differences with Fitzgerald, he is always a pleasure to read. I read Jihad and Dimmi Watch just for his comments.


8/27/06, 10:41 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

Cubed, Fitzgerald & Williams have excellent points well made.

OTOH - Ghate foolishly tries a variant of that old chestnut - "violence nevers solves anything". Expressing the wish that aggressors must be punished for their aggression is silly. It is silly to be nice to people irregardless of who they are and what they desire. To take the example of Israel is doubly foolish, for Israel is truly an example of what can be achieved using a policy of aggression towards taking and holding territory. Zoinism built Israel by fighting for the Jewish homeland, clearing the homeland of the British and the Palestinians and keeping them away.

8/28/06, 1:22 AM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

Fitzgerald doesn't seem religious, if I am reading him right.

According to Robert Spencer, one on the staff of JW is an atheist. I believe that is Mr. Fitzgerald.

8/28/06, 6:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a cultural forensic scientist, I take issue with your analysis.

...and unaha-closp, I think your right about Ghates. He has adopted Achilles instead of Odysseus as his role model. And as we all know, Achilles "had" to die. And we also know what happened when Odysseus got home...

8/29/06, 8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As much as you admire Eros, Jason, one needs to give Thanatos (& Kant) his due before one can become like Zeus. Zeus recognizes and enforces the boundaries and only punishes those who overstep them.

8/29/06, 9:46 AM  
Blogger Jason Pappas said...

Actually, the thought occurred to me as I was reading Ghate’s article that the focus was legalistic rather than character-oriented. However, I think that is only apparent. Ghate’s not focusing on aggression in isolated acts apart from the nature and goal of the actors; but on the Arab’s continual goal of extinguishing the state of Israel. He respects this central character of recent Arab history. But he focuses on our appeasement in the face of continued Arab hostility towards Israel that has rewarded their hostility and helped to make Israel’s annihilation a continued part of their identity.

I’m confident that Ghate appreciates the nature of Israel’s enemies and he is not implying that Israel should never be pre-emptive in her defense.

8/29/06, 10:17 AM  
Blogger Jason Pappas said...

FJ, I’d hope you take issue but first let me formulate my thoughts and write a few blog entries on this most important person in the history of Western thought before getting into the debate mode.

8/29/06, 10:19 AM  
Blogger Allen Weingarten said...

There is a subtle point that relates to whether force solves anything. One does not build a house by restraining someone who attempts to burn it down. Yet unless one stops him, the house cannot be built.

Force and violence are not constructive, but are necessary to prevent destruction. Thus government (which is an instrument of force) is not developmental, but punitive.

So force does not solve anything, but is necessary to remove the impediments for a solution. Note that this is the antithesis of Islam, which views force as the means for changing the world.

8/29/06, 11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Then I'll wait for you to do another "Kant Bash" before I step in to defend him (again)!


Achilles was force. Odysseus was guile. Hard-kill. Soft-kill. Americans prefer the former. Brits the latter.

8/29/06, 11:26 AM  

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