Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The war of ideas in Europe

Mike DeBow calls our attention to this speech on Europe and Islam. A snippet:

Put it another way: if you were Osama bin Laden at this moment, why would you leave the comfort of your own cave? Why risk turning on your mobile phone, dialling friends and family in order to plan the next mission, when the West is doing a nice job of self-destructing without you? Why bother beating on the infidels when the infidels are busy beating on themselves. Half a dozen low-ranking troops abuse Iraqi detainees and before you know it the Western elites claim (like Robert Fisk did in Britain’s Independent) that the West now has no moral authority and no right to act. And more and more Europeans nod sagely and agree how awful we are. Angela Merkel gets three hours with the President and uses her time to stand up for those poor little mujahideen holed up in Guantanamo who didn’t fight by the Geneva conventions and so I believe shouldn’t be treated as if they did.

For more along these lines, go here and here.

Discussions - 17 Comments

This is the only regard in which this war does resemble Vietnam. During the Tet Offensive the American military was killing the enemy at ratios of 30-40 for every GI lost. That, under any calculation, should be thought of as a victory.


That was as far as I got. This statement tells me everything I need to know about the speaker.


To inflict this kind of murder, in a faraway country, basically as a kind of social experiment is not a victory, it is a crime.


People come on. The terrorist threat the clash of civilisations, it’s a mirage, a cheap trick to get you on board this bloody bandwagon.


There are differences sure, but we (northerners) approach them from a fantastic position of strength, economically, politically and if needs be militarily. To reduce the entire interaction to war from the get go is facile and criminal.

The fact that you misconstrue every argument raised against your point of view continues to show how fundamentally unserious you are at attempting a dialogue.

Do you actually disagree with this:

"On the battlefield this enemy is defeated every time. There has not yet been one military confrontation with this enemy which has been anything less than a rout of that enemy. But just because Al-Qaeda and their sympathisers perform badly in battle, does not mean they cannot win the war. It does not mean that they cannot win the battle of ideas, winning total victory by the side door without having to waste all that money on bullets, missiles and whatever type of IED is "hot" in Afghanistan this season. If you doubt this, then just think back on the so-called "defeats" which we are meant to have suffered since 9/11. Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, 100,000 civilians alleged to be dead by a fanciful survey courtesy of The Lancet magazine. What did our enemy do to win these victories? Absolutely nothing. It all came from within."

You certainly tout those victories. The article was expressly not about fighting in Iraq, it was about maintaining western culture in the west.

Mr. Coughlin,

Read further. You’ll likely not agree, but it will be harder to dismiss him as a mere militarist. He thinks that the principal conflict is one of ideas, one that Europeans are currently losing, largely through unilateral intellectual disarmament. Are you willing to confront the Islamists intellectually, to assert the superiority of European liberalism and rationalism, and to refuse equal standing to those who would impose sharia on their fellows and treat them like dhimmis? Given your bold pronouncements about American evils, you don’t strike me as a weak-kneed relativist. Are you willing to call for a vigorous defense of your principles against those who would undermine them in your own backyard (including mealy-mouthed European political leaders)?

Are you willing to confront the Islamists intellectually, to assert the superiority of European liberalism and rationalism, and to refuse equal standing to those who would impose sharia on their fellows and treat them like dhimmis?


You freakin’ betcha!!


However, bombing these people into submission is not productive, and I’m afraid I agree that the London bombings where a result, and not a cause. Even a cursory study of the people involved shows that.


So should we arrest and try people in Europe who preach hatred and murder? Sure. Blond blue eyed fascists or Islamofascists, if they break they law they do the time.


Should we pull down mosques were the preaching occurred? Um ... a big no on that front.


Should cartoons that insult islam be permitted? You betcha, and I even felt we should print them just to inure people to the idea of insult to religion as being just part of the scenery.


Should we prevent people from wearing headscarves, burkas or whatever? No. That was a stupid idea, and French are probably going to have to backtrack on that one.


Is this a war situation? Absolutely not, and whipping people into hysteria about it is deeply irresponsible. A real war, a hot war between us and the islamic world will result in millions of deaths, mostly on their side. That is pretty damn awful in my view already, but it has the genes to touch of a wider and very nasty conflict. If you needed a self interest argument.


We must contain this through robust international law. We are not Britian appeasing Germany on the eve of WWII. That comparison is frequently made and it is utterly ludicrous. We outclass these guys by orders of magnitude on every single front, we can afford to be gracious but firm for a very long time yet time to come yet.

#3 was directed to Coughlan, not Prof. Knippenberg.

Should have read : we can afford to be gracious but firm for a very long time yet to come.

You certainly tout those victories. The article was expressly not about fighting in Iraq, it was about maintaining western culture in the west.


Oh please, are you so insecure in our shared culture that you need to beat to a bloodied pulp anyone who challenges it?

More Straw men. Where have I, Prof. K, Mr. DeBow called to beat anyone to a pulp.

How about addressing a point that is made? (any one)

Admitting that the western intellegencia is ignoring Islamofacsist in their midst, but then saying but that does not excuse the war in Iraq is simply a non sequitur.

Where have I, Prof. K, Mr. DeBow called to beat anyone to a pulp.


I also mention this international angle because in talking about the battle we are currently in – the first stage of a war which the Pentagon and others are now looking at as a 30-year conflict – we should regard our military abroad as our first line of defence, as well as our first line of offence.


Did you not read the article?


Admitting that the western intellegencia is ignoring Islamofacsist in their midst, but then saying but that does not excuse the war in Iraq is simply a non sequitur.


I don’t see what you see, this is not being ignored. If people commit crimes, the police deal with it according to the relevant laws within each EU nation state.


For example : http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4684474.stm


Plus, as I recall the europeans where the ones reprinting these dumbass cartoons (the most overt current manifestation of the "enemy" in our midst ... scary), while the US went all mealy mouthed.

"The US State Department called for European media to act more responsibly and not to offend Muslims. Kurtis Cooper, a department spokesman, said “We all respect freedom of the press but . . . inciting religious or ethnic hatreds in this manner is not acceptable.” "


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4681294.stm

What on earth happened there? How is printing these cartoons incitement to hatred? Maybe it reflects the Bush governments theocratic roots.


As it happens by chance and circumstance, I know a fair bit about Cristianity. However, I know zip about Islam, and I don’t want to have to learn to avoid offending people. They need to get over it.

I for one am getting a bit wearied from Coughlan’s constant repetitive rants.

Perhaps an old chap from way back has a certain perspective on Brian

"A sophistical rhetorician, inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity, and gifted with an egotistical imagination that can at all times command an interminable and inconsistent series of arguments to malign an opponent and to glorify himself."
ATTRIBUTION: Benjamin Disraeli (1804–1881), British statesman, author. Speech, July 27, 1878, Knightsbridge, London. Quoted in Times (London, July 29, 1878).

Referring to Prime Minister Gladstone. On another occasion, Disraeli said of Gladstone, “He has not a single redeeming defect.”

"Now don’t that beat all!"-Andy Taylor of Mayberry, Constable.

http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/03/06/D8G6CJV03.html

Anyone who believes in the ongoing American gulag crap should read the article. They have released or transfered to foreign prisons 267 prisoners already from Gitmo and are planning on releasing another 123 in the near future. The problem? I’m sure the Soviet gulags had the same problem.

The problem? Many don’t want to go "home" for fear of being tortured or killed.

For Coughlan to consider..........

"In the case of Iraq, America ended a murderous regime, took no oil, gave billions of dollars in aid and plans to leave as soon as a democracy can replace a dethroned dictatorship. While that apparently makes us loathed by many in the Middle East, it is nothing we should or will apologize for." From

http://www.victorhanson.com/articles/hanson030606.html

I guess at some point again in the future, the USA will have to come to the rescue of many but not all "Testicularity challenged" Euros.

Eh, Brian?

I for one am getting a bit wearied from Coughlan’s constant repetitive rants.


Good point. I don’t have much left to say.


Nice chattin’ to y’all. Really:-) Mostly I get bumped after the 2nd post, I’m sure you see why.


Here’s hoping that democracy, tolerance and respect for diversity survive the 21st century, without needing to kill a whole bunch of peripherally involved innocents.


Ciao, and genuine good wishes to you all:-)

We must contain this through robust international law. Comment 5 by Brian Coughlan [E-Mail]

Not just any law, but ROBUST law!

Coughlan, your naivete is good for a giggle.

We outclass these guys by orders of magnitude on every single front...

What do you mean we Coughlan? There you go speaking on behalf of 6.2 billion people again. You sir are no part of we. My dear Irishman hiding out from the world in Sweden, you are a zebra in a pack of zebras running through a river infested by Islamic crocodiles hoping the crocs get all the other zebras first. You refuse to accept the seriousness of the situation, but WE will protect you with overwhelming firepower. Sleep peacefully. You’re in good hands.

Uncle Guido, could Coughlan be aware of this in his midst.........?

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=21502

It is a long panel discussion but interesting nonetheless.

Coughlan as a zebra is on mark. I wonder if he was born oblivious or self-made?

I must confess, Jesse, I did not read the entire article. I got to the point where I came to the conclusion the first speaker was rationalizing brutally felonious behavior, and went on to the second speaker. Reading the same sort of rationalization, I went on...and on... I was hoping to read some rationalization for the zebra mentallity. I didn’t get it. Why do these people allow this to happen to their women?

At the other end of the spectrum, literally as well as figuratively, is what is going on in Australia. One politician there--a fellow named Abbott--is telling Muslims to accept their law and forego sharia law or leave.

Someday someone may step forward and do the right thing in Sweden. Could it be Coughlan?...Nah.

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