It is disheartening to listen to Obama and his administration voices childishly reiterating that ISIS has nothing to do with Islam because it does not represent the majority of Muslims or what Westerners perceive as normative values distilled from the Koran.
No radical ideology, religious or otherwise, starts out coherently, much less representing the majority; but it eventually can if appeased and left unchallenged.
Does Obama think that National Socialism could never have represented the Germany of Goethe and Schiller just because it only appealed to a minority of Germans in the 1932 election or was clearly a perversion of traditional German values?
All that was true, but irrelevant two years later when Germans who once laughed at the barbarity of National Socialism suddenly were willing to look the other way at its thuggery, killings, and ethnic cleansing in exchange for the sense of pride it lent a public that felt itself victimized.
Western European observers of the 1930s who were worried at what was going on in Germany did not, like our president, insist that National Socialism had nothing to with socialism or Germany, but rather feared that it might exploit both and end up not just representing Germany, but enthusiastically embraced by a majority of Germans. They were right. Hitler rose to power not because most Germans favored euthanasia and rounding up Jews, but because they were willing to overlook that and a lot more if Hitler were able to win back respect for traditional German influence and status.
It matters little right now that most Muslims in theory reject ISIS and find its barbarity a perversion of what they see as traditional Islam, in the way National Socialism distorted classical socialism and German values and history. The key instead is to what degree by its success in gaining territory and numbers, and in humiliating the West, will ISIS gain adherents among Muslims?
ISIS assumes that most Muslims, despite their present reservations over its methodology and religious contortions, harbor some quiet admiration that at least radical Islam strikes back at Muslims’ supposed oppressors. ISIS like Hitler expects that in time it will win psychological resonance for a large minority of Muslims — at least in sufficient numbers to ensure its existence and growth. The abyss from Bismarck and Hegel to Auschwitz was not inherently greater than from the Koran to ISIS, given the unchanging nature of humankind.
Psychoanalyzing Hitler or declaring that National Socialism was a betrayal of classical Germany or fearing conflating Nazism with Germany itself was a useless parlor game in the 1930s. All that mattered was whether Hitler’s thuggery could be humiliated — its bluff called in the Rhineland or at Munich — and shown to be weak and a prescription for disaster before it became too strong.
13 thoughts on “The Administration’s Adolescent Rants about ISIS”
A wide spread epidemic starts with a single sick person. Radical Islam is the sociopolitical smallpox of our time.
Why is there no outcry among Muslims through out the world? I think Jordan is the only nation expressing disdain for what is going on with ISIS.
Barry, I hear ya. It seems to be, however, only the King of Jordan and a large enough slice of the population of Jordan who are expressing disdain AND rising to do something. Unfortunately not all can be said of all Jordanians. Al-Sisi of Egypt has been pretty vocal recently in defense of the fight against this blight on Islam. Ayaan Hirsi-Ali is an international figure and outspoken critic of radical Islam and the incompatibility with western culture. Hopefully these folks have all of their affairs in order – at present the future doesn’t seem to be very bright for people who criticize Mohammed. I think that’s the issue: coming down on the wrong side can be very bad for one’s health. In what appears to me as typical fashion, many players in the Middle East are waiting for the dust to settle before claiming allegiance one way or another.
Very good summation.
I’ve given up trying to figure out what Islam really believes. It’s a moot point. The concept of the “moderate Muslim” is a joke. Their ambivalence is palpable. George Bush was ridiculed when he said “you ‘re either with us or against us”. In retrospect, this statement is dead-center accurate. Moral fence-straddling is emboldening and empowering the so called ISIS. They will recruit, expand and grow in strength in proportion to continued, collective global cravenness and apathy.
Perhaps it will be simply a matter of time where devout Muslims themselves will be called to make difficult decisions with regard to their relationship to the ‘new’ and vicious Islamic state. It could be life or death. It happened in Germany during those dark days in the 30’s when the intimidation started and kept on through the eventual terrible war. ‘Good’ men indeed became silent and quiet in order to keep their lives and well-being. Question is will this perhaps happen again?
That die has been cast. What you see now is where we are headed, and no thanks to the sad-sack, guilt-ridden American Socialists who put King Obama on his throne. The ship is headed into a dark Atlantic storm and the Captain is ordering to maintain speed and direction. He has two more years as Captain. What could go wrong?
Barry Kruebbe – Why not obstruct another Muslim on a jihad? Ex-ante, no one knows if an effort at jihad will be successful. Only after a jihad is completed do we know success or not. And success is determined by Allah. Obstructing another Muslim on a jihad could thus turn out to be an attempt at obstructing the will of Allah, which is futile and could threaten one’s eternal soul. It is better not to obstruct another Muslim’s jihad unless you believe they are clearly on the wrong path which is difficult to assess ex-ante and nearly impossible to know for certain.
”’ The risks of putting germany front and center in Europe’s crises”” from the wash. post.
Yes, the Administration as epitomized by Obama plays the fools who insist the emperor really does have clothes because, well, he must! ISIS is not Islam, because well, it can’t be! So now VDH observes Obama as the cowardly, deceitful, wishful and willful child, that like so many others in recent history brought destruction onto their countries. Guiliani called it another way: Obama is a moron. Either way, never has it been so obvious to so many that we are headed to our worst hour in history. Now where is our Churchill?
As far as I can recall moderate Muslims have never declared that ISIS has ever done anything that would insult or disgrace or come anywhere near to blaspheming their prophet Muhummad. But I don’t expect to see the ISIS cartoon network air any Muhammad toons anytime soon; that would be verboten.
It appears that the Obama administration pledge of transparency is only for our enemies.
It’s important to let them know our military timelines in advance.
However if an investigative reporter or a Congressional committee asks for details about a current issue “Benegazhi” then no one seems to know, FOIA takes weeks or months, written/email correspondence is heavily redacted, and the PR flaks ensure we’ve all been gruber’d.
A Muslim who states that his religion is the “Religion of Peace,” can be compared to a Christian that other Christians refer to as a “backslider.” Islam’s central tenet of “convert or die” has been in place for a millennium and is still in full force, world-wide. Anyone who thinks otherwise is listening to a moderate Muslim backslider.