Crapthink

Crapthink
: Count on Alternet to find the looney perspective on the Madrid bombings:

Whether yesterday’s attacks in Spain, in which 190 people were killed and nearly 1500 wounded, were carried out by the Basque separatist ETA or by al-Qaeda, they make one thing very clear: terrorism cannot be fought by military means….

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a dove or a hawk, left or right, concerned with the suffering of others or concerned merely with your own skin. Military means will not work. The beginning of a solution is the end of the twin occupations in the Middle East. Only after that will it be possible to take measures against terrorism that don’t worsen the problem.

Well now, that’s a load of crapthink. So we leave the Middle East and just let terrorists train and fester and rearm and plan and recruit and launch their attacks on civilization. So we don’t go after the countries fertilizing terrorists with military threat (read: Libya) and let them keep on keeping on because military effort wouldn’t work. So we sit back and wait to be hit and then bury our dead. Yeah, that’ll work just fine.

  • http://finewhyfine.typepad.com/ Rob A.

    “end of the twin occupations in the Middle East”
    Syria’s occupation of Lebanon gets a pass?

  • Doctor Slack

    Well, hang on a sec. In the preceding paragraph, the author says:
    So far, all military measures in the “war on terrorism” have strengthened the emerging archipelago of Islamist terrorist organizations. Weakening it requires taking away the political ground on which they stand. That ground is not the virtually nihilistic domestic political programs of these groups. It is their opposition to U.S. imperial control of the Islamic world, a grievance that most Muslims share.
    That seems a perfectly sensible point to me. Being willing to use the military as a tool against terrorists is a different thing from embarking on massive conquest and half-assed “nation-building” projects. It’s not a choice between “taking the fight to them” on Bush’s model and doing nothing. It’s a choice between fighting smart, by playing to our political strengths, or fighting stupidly, by playing to al Qaeda’s. Bush has a habit of choosing door number two.

  • vaildog

    What the heck do you know Slack o’ crap?

  • Ryan

    “The beginning of a solution is the end of the twin occupations in the Middle East.”
    He is right at least according to the other side.
    If Israel removed itself all together from the planet I am sure we would see a tremendous dip in terrorism.
    But we have already made the decision not to offer Israel on a platter as a means of placating madmen.

  • billg

    If the Madrid attack was, in fact, carried out by ETA, the Alernet crowd’s slogan-mouthing about Middle East occupation is rather off target.
    If there is an Islamic terror group component, then they are, once again, tolerating, if not justifying, criminal actions that can have not sanction.
    Doctor Slack’s apparent agreement with their untenable assertion that the Middle East is in the grip of “U.S. imperial control” is unfathomable. Such “imperial control” exists only in the propaganda of miserable Arab governments and miserable Arab terror groups who maintain their own very real control of the Arab world by lieing to the Arab people.
    Even if the lies were true, we could not allow proponenets of human indiginity to win. All other things aside, they do not believe in democracy. That alone makes them our enemies and seals their fate.

  • Doctor Slack

    What the heck do you know Slack o’ crap?
    Always good to see this blog draws people willing to engage in responsible debate on the important issues.
    we have already made the decision not to offer Israel on a platter as a means of placating madmen.
    The contention that ending Israel’s occupation would be “offering Israel on a platter to madmen” is mostly a Likudnik canard. There’s little reason to believe it, and plenty of other reasons to terminate that miserable situation, even from a Zionist perspective.
    To take a relevant parallel, Spain’s decision to offer Basque country limited autonomy converted ETA from a populist movement to a group of isolated fanatics virtually overnight. It didn’t end the problem of ETA terrorism, but it significantly diminished it (combined with other measures, of course, like the GAL).
    I bring up ETA not just because I think it bolsters my line of thinking, but also because it’s the case that could also undermine that line of thinking. In the unlikely event that this does prove to be an ETA action, there are significant consequences for how we perceive and categorize terrorist organizations.

  • Doctor Slack

    Doctor Slack’s apparent agreement with their untenable assertion that the Middle East is in the grip of “U.S. imperial control” is unfathomable.
    Hang on just a damn second. Was not a major part of the neoconservative argument for a war on Iraq that American “empire” wasn’t a bad thing, and that the US should embrace its role as the latter-day Britain of the new global order?

  • Tonto

    Sophistry, thy name is Slack.

  • Doctor Slack

    Is that a “yes” or a “no”?

  • Tonto

    Why both, of course. And neither. It all depends, doesn’t it? There were many Jewish sophists in Europe a mere seven decades ago.

  • Doctor Slack

    Why both, of course. And neither. It all depends, doesn’t it?
    So, you have no coherent response and would just like to bloviate. That’s what I thought.

  • Tonto

    Sophists bloviate. And do little else.

  • bah

    Perspectives different from yours are crapthink?
    Arrogant angry men make war in their minds.

  • Doctor Slack

    Sophists bloviate. And do little else.
    Who says irony is dead? Keyboard warriors are masters of the art.
    Gotta go, I’m afraid. I leave you to your Manly Action-Packed Websurfing for Democracy.

  • http://www.bopnews.com MattS

    Military approach plus economic approach plus policework approach plus financial sleuthing approach plus multilateral cooperative approach plus empowering the moderates within Islamic societies = winning the war on terrorism.
    Ignore any of these at one’s peril.

  • scott orrell

    MattS — Ditto
    Doctor Slack–ummmm…does yesterday’s bombing fit with the assertion—”It didn’t end the problem of ETA terrorism, but it significantly diminished it..”
    “Web-surfing for Democracy” wow. Deep man. Pass the bong.

  • http://twistedspinster.com/ Andrea Harris

    Ryan:
    “If Israel removed itself all together from the planet I am sure we would see a tremendous dip in terrorism.”
    You don’t actually give any sort of credence to that argument, do you? The so-called “legitimacy” of Israel or any other country in that part of the world has nothing to do with terrorism. These people want power, they don’t want to be satisfied. They don’t want their “struggle” to end. No one who craves power is ever satisfied. I think on the other hand that if Israel were to be abolished somehow, that would cause even more bombing and killing, because that would give the terrorists confidence that their tactics were the right ones.

  • Sortelli

    I didn’t get the idea that Ryan actually took the idea of “removing Israel from the planet” in any serious sense. It was interesting to see the respose it got out of Dr NotaSophist, tho:
    “The contention that ending Israel’s occupation would be “offering Israel on a platter to madmen” is mostly a Likudnik canard.”

  • billg

    What the neoconservatives said, or what someone thinks they said, is of no consequence. There is, in fact, no American empire, no “U.S. imperial control” of the Islamic world. Political opportunists from every part of the spectrum have been known, to, ummm, make stuff up, you know.

  • http://twistedspinster.com/ Andrea Harris

    It was hard to tell, Sortelli. In any case, I’m tired of the subject even being brought up as a hypothetical oh-what-if. For one thing, it’s a diversion from the main point which is, if Israel didn’t exist, there would still be Marxism-influenced fanatical Islamicist terror. They’d just be mad for some other “reason” — but the real one would be the fact that they don’t have power and they wants it, yess preciousss, give it to us now!

  • http://twistedspinster.com/ Andrea Harris

    Oh, and Doctor Slack — the minute you revealed that you buy the crap that the US has “imperialistic control” over the Middle East is the minute you lost whatever legitimacy you had in this discussion. See, if we had such authoritarian control over that place, we wouldn’t be having these problems now would we?

  • Sortelli

    Oh, we’ll have control all right, just as soon as Kucinich stops stonewalling our powerful mind-control rays.

  • http://nothing-to-see-here.blogspot.com BD

    No no… it’s the Synarchists! (Sorry, I read a Lyndon Larouche flyer recently. Big mistake.)
    The Alternet view that Jeff posted isn’t loony per se. But it is an extension of a loony worldview in which the perpetrator is never at fault, at least if the perpetrator is an oppressed minority fighting to break the chains of imperialism. Then it’s the victim’s fault they got bombed.
    Of course, when the victim bombs the perpetrator in retaliation, then they switch places, and the evil imperialist victim becomes the perpetrator, and the glorious anti-imperialist militants become the victims.
    Either way, if you’re bigger and more powerful (especially if you’re the West or Israel), you’re automatically at fault for every bad thing that happens because you won’t leave those nice terrorists alone.
    Crapthink indeed.

  • capt joe

    It is too bad Slacker took off. I bet he was about to blow the doors of the “Neconservative Jewish Zionist Cabal”. THat is usually the next think they talk about about calling everyone a chicken hawk blogger which he managed to so just before buggering off.

  • Robin Goodfellow

    It’s hard to plant a bomb when you’re dead. QED.

  • Doctor Slack

    Ahhh, good to see the adolescent section of the War Base is still in fine form. “You’re just a hippie” cliches: check. “Ah ha! you’re an anti-Semite!” bullsh*t: check. Absurdly self-righteous duckspeaking:
    . . . you lost whatever legitimacy you had in this discussion . . .
    Check.
    (And I hate to break it to you, Andrea, but your opinions of “legitimacy” carries no weight whatsoever with me.)
    Fortunately, there’s some worthwhile stuff to respond to as well.
    What the neoconservatives said, or what someone thinks they said, is of no consequence.
    Well, first:
    Isn’t it? Wasn’t the Iraq venture primarily framed and motivated by the neoconservative concern with making America’s global posture more muscular, and if that meant building an “empire” so be it? (In asking this, I’m assuming you have the minimal wit not to have been fooled by, say, David Brooks’ attempt to publicly uninvent the existence and influence of neoconservatism — charging anyone daring to use the term with “anti-Semitism.”)
    And this has nothing to do with what someone “thinks they said.” It is precisely what they said. Or at minimum, what a great number of their prominent writers and “thinkers” have said.
    So yes, I think it’s of some consequence that there have been prominent figures in American culture openly proclaiming their agenda as one of “empire.” They may even be right; empires don’t have to be evil dictatorships ruled by the iron-shod boots of stormtroopers. Rejecting the usage may be trickier than you think — and it doesn’t make someone’s argument automatically loony if they accept it.
    Second:
    In any case, if you don’t like his phrase “U.S. imperial control,” that doesn’t especially bother me. Replace it with “direct U.S. political and military dominance” and the point is more palatable, but basically the same.
    But it is an extension of a loony worldview in which the perpetrator is never at fault, at least if the perpetrator is an oppressed minority fighting to break the chains of imperialism.
    Of course, there’s an equally loony worldview in which states are never responsible for evil actions or for their contributions to the violence — insurgents are automatically evil and unreasonable merely by the fact of being insurgents.
    History shows us that the state that tries to fight insurgency through violence alone is pretty much doomed to failure. MattS is pretty much right about the multi-faceted approach that’s needed here. Too bad Bush’s White House has hamstrung itself in terms of actually taking that approach.
    Doctor Slack–ummmm…does yesterday’s bombing fit with the assertion—”It didn’t end the problem of ETA terrorism, but it significantly diminished it..”
    Yes, evidently it does. So now what?

  • Sortelli

    Slack, your response to Ryan’s tongue-in-cheeck suggestion that Isreal be removed from the planet prompted you to post about Israel’s occupation. I know from your other posts that you take anti-Semetism seriously, could you explain yourself a little more there? Are you talking about settlements or what?

  • Doctor Slack

    I know from your other posts that you take anti-Semetism seriously, could you explain yourself a little more there? Are you talking about settlements or what?
    In the short term, I favour a two-state solution which entirely withdraws the Israeli military from the Occupied Territories and dismantles the illegal settlements there. I don’t think the model of Spain’s solution to the Basque problem is at all a bad one — and, just as in Spain, this wouldn’t completely end terrorism, but should rob the terrorists of much of their political base. Of course the Spanish and Israeli situations aren’t totally analogous; in Israel’s case, I think a limited autonomy for Palestine would have to be a transition to a longer-term one state, fully democratic solution.
    I don’t mean to toss off those phrases as though I think they’ll be easy to achieve — and in fact my faith in the possibility of a two-state short term solution is decreasing daily. But in general, what I want to see happen (and I think it’s quite feasible) is the establishment of conditions that will allow two things:
    1. On the Palestinian side, the development of a genuine civil society. There’s been no shortage of Palestinian reformers with aspirations to this, but as long as the Occupation continues these people are effectively sidelined by the revenge killers of al-Aqsa brigades. (That means no turning over of Palestine to war chiefs like Arafat and his cronies — all of whom are also, by evidence of Palestinian attitudes, pretty much politically dead without an Israeli occupation.)
    2. On the Israeli side, there needs to be a chance for Zionism to evolve beyond seeing its goal as purely demographic, as retaining a Jewish majority in the Israeli electorate, workforce et cetera. It’s not hard to understand where that goal comes from, but nevertheless I think events have demonstrated that it’s fundamentally misguided and unworkable; in particular, it can’t be reconciled with the humane commitments of liberal democracy in its fullest sense.