Thursday, January 25, 2007

Bernard Lewis on Muslim Rage (Part 1)

Side-note: I am still travelling but I wrote this on my notepad, and decided to publish it on the blog (via a thumbdrive) when I got the chance to access the Internet.

An Introduction:

In his infamous essay The Roots of Muslim Rage, which spawned the Hitlerian science of the clash of civilizations (actually, it has an entire section devoted to it), vulgar propagandist Bernard Lewis tries to explain Muslim anti-Americanism/anti-Westernism for his already partisan readership. The late Professor Edward Said remarked that the moment you hear the word “us” as in Lewis’s “our Judeo-Christian heritage” against the Other, you want to head for the door. That would mean walking a couple of miles if we’re going to be through with this tiresome ode to Lewis’s ego embodied by labels like “America”, “Western presence”, “Western models”, “revulsion against America”, “Western civilization”, “anti-Westernism”, “anti-Americanism”, “Western paramountcy” against “House of Islam“, “Muslim lands”, “Muslim dissidents”, “Muslim hostility”, “Muslim possessions”, “Muslim masses”, “Muslim response” etc. Let me mention that not once does Lewis in the course of this whole drivel mention anything about “Western rage”, “anti-Islam and Islamophobia” (in which he shamelessly indulges throughout, evoking some very hateful moods on which hate-mongers base their arguments), and when Lewis does consider, he chooses arguments that recoil:

Some Western powers, and in a sense Western civilisation as a whole, have certainly been guilty of imperialism, but are we really to believe that in the expansion of Western Europe there was a quality of moral delinquency lacking in such earlier, relatively innocent expansions as those of the Arabs or the Mongols or the Ottomans, or in more recent expansions such as that which brought the rulers of Muscovy to the Baltic, the Black Sea, the Caspian, the Hindu Kush, and the Pacific Ocean?

Take note of how he twists the entire attempt at introspection. And just to make it clear, Islam forbids imperialism and terrorism as they go hand in hand. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) never spoke of invading another country or people. In fact, he was a persecuted refugee himself, and it was in the Year of Sadness that the Holy Prophet lost his beloved wife Khadijah, may Allah be pleased with her. The other tactic that Lewis employs is intellectual camouflage, e.g.

A new variant of the old golden-age myth placed it in the Third World, where the innocence of the non-Western Adam and Eve was ruined by the Western serpent.

If you read Lewis’s writings, even this essay, you will find that Lewis is trying to establish this himself except the other way round. In Lewis’s world, the West is holy and the East is barbaric, serpentine and full of “rage”. The very fact that Lewis is so depleted on scholarship and lofty on American foreign policy propaganda tells us where all this is coming from. In the next part, I’ll talk about how Lewis is not so strictly referring to Muslims but the Eastern race, specifically the Arabs. This is interesting given Huntington’s, the torchbearer of Lewis’s rage, characterization of the Confucian and Islamic civilizations in The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order. Not even a molecular effort is spared by either Lewis or Huntington to come to common terms. An example of Lewis’s rage is the Iraqi conflagration which he advanced and supported with his neocon pals like Dick Cheney aka Hordak of the She-Ra cartoon grunting from the side-lines.

And if they ask what of the Rebellion against this neo-fascism that is gripping the self-proclaimed freedom lovers and corporate crooks, say we are. We salute our brothers and sisters in humanity from Korea to Mexico and we don’t feel any clash of civilizations but clash of egos. The bigger the ego, the bigger the propaganda and the gun of the M1 tank. In the words of Bernard Lewis himself:

It should by now be clear that we are facing a mood and a movement far transcending the level of issues and policies and the governments that pursue them. This is no less than a clash of civilisations—the perhaps irrational but surely historic reaction of an ancient rival against our Judeo-Christian heritage, our secular present, and the worldwide expansion of both. It is crucially important that we on our side should not be provoked into an equally historic but also equally irrational reaction against that rival.

This is a bit of Lewis’s venom analyzed by the late Professor Edward Said in that memorable speech. Lewis must be glad to know that both his secular present and his Judeo-Christian heritage have been expanded and the Iraqi people are waiting with flowers for him and his cronies like Fuad Ajmi and Sheikh Kabbani. Just as it was predicted. And down the street, he’ll also find some WMD. After all, the lying Muslim-baiting war-mongering sanguinary drunkard Christopher Hitchens had found a correlation with Niger.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Fortnight Leave

I'll be back after a fortnight insha'Allah.

Some maybe wondering what's Snoopy doing in the Rabbit's plane. The Rabbit was last seen hopping into a vertical burrow by cat-lover Alice. You must be all confused. Bye!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Pipes on Lewis's Madness

A while ago, I wrote on Bernard Lewis's deadly doctrines that pave the way for imperialism and contaminate already fascist politics with racism by pitting the West against the rest in a civilizational conflict. I just gave you the title of his lecture: "Bring Them Freedom or They Destroy Us".

The great American protest singer-songwriter David Rovics sums it up in the last stanza of his song "Evening News" which severely mocks corporate media for indoctrinating the populace:

Evil men are plotting
To blow up Washington, DC
'Cause they don't like freedom
They're fans of the Dark Ages
They are all around
They're marching from the desert sand
And coming to your town

Unfortunately, this is how many people view Arabs and Muslims -- propaganda heated up by Lewis, Pipes, Spencer and Kramer etc. The question is where do we move from here, a positive attempt, and not be drowned by hate literature like The Roots of Western Rage, The American Mind and The Crisis of Judaism and Christianity. Actually, I forgot to mention -- none of these book exist. The correct list is The Roots of Muslim Rage, The Arab Mind and The Crisis of Islam. My point is that hate and racist literature by the likes of Lewis and
Raphael Patai when cloaked in sophisticated Western authorship is worthy of bestselling material. How do we change this trend? Not by falsifying information against our non-Muslim brothers and sisters, but by challenging this portrayal by those select few.

Not suprisingly, Daniel Pipes, the man in question, is in full agreement with Lewis. On the same subject, allow me to inform you in case you aren't aware of an
upcoming showdown between the London Mayor Ken Livingstone and Daniel Pipes scheduled for January 20th concerning the so-called clash of civilizations. Hopefully, we'll have the video up on youtube. Watch out for it.

Pipes is even behind Lewis on this Hitlerian concept. While Lewis contents himself with the war-mongering power-thumping phrase "the clash of civilizations", Pipes does a back somersault to fall flat with his nut stuck in the Orientalism sewer, and pietistically declares into the filthy foam: "not a clash of civilizations, but a clash between civilization and barbarism." While Lewis is bad, Pipes is worse. He disagrees with the atom of supposed goodness in Lewis's theory, after propagating Lewis's theory offshore and then turning it inwards he bares the fangs at Western Muslims:

There are plenty of born-free Muslims in the West who are Islamists. Take, for example, the four 7/7 bombers in London. Freedom did nothing for them.

And in his classic, insensitive tone toward the people of Iraq, Pipes delivers a terrible judgement:

The goal in war has to be to defeat one's enemies, not liberate them. The invasion of Iraq, dubbed "Operation Iraqi Freedom," suffered from this mistake. The same applies to the war on radical Islam, where we must cause our enemies to feel a sense of defeat. We must crush their will. After that bitter phase has been experienced, they are then eligible for freedom.

The only positive thing about Daniel Pipes is that he may be more truthful about American-Israeli policies and objectives than other policy-makers and propagandists. It is indeed better to say "we came to crush them" than "we came to liberate them". This, however, doesn't discount Pipes's obliqueness.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

On "Moderates" and "Extremists"

Since 9/11, we've had various Muslims talking about terrorism and signing petitions against it, which is all good, but the trouble is further expounded when Muslims single themselves out as law-abiding, "moderate" and anti-terrorism against others. Some Muslims on the blogosphere even have the "American Muslims Against Terrorism" logo with stars and stripes. Let's see. You want to say you're against terrorism while wrapping yourself in stars and stripes in the manner of bourgeois intellectual Salman Rushdie on the cover of a French magazine while bombs from your country rip apart innocents. Your overbearing silence puts you in league with the Muslims on the other end who chant from the Qur'an and praise Osama bin Laden. The only reason you are comfortable with that logo is because power rests there...the mainstream media is on that side, and you shall be tipped by the masters for your patriotism around state terror and apology around terror from co-religionists. Why not stand up and condemn state terror alongside terror inflicted by Muslims? Contrary to what is said, that will make you a better Muslim. Do away with labels like "moderates" and "extremists", which while may make you rest easy will harm other people just because they they don't share a similar enthusiasm for presenting themselves as "moderate" Muslims.

Monday, January 08, 2007

O-I-L (Operation Iraqi Liberation)

"By 2010 we will need [a further] 50 million barrels a day. The Middle East, with two-thirds of the oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize lies." (Dick Cheney; US Vice-President, 1999)

"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." (Benito Mussolini)

This is sad news for both war-mongers and us anti-war "troublemakers". While its piercing spike on the hearts of war-mongers is not bothersome to me as their hubris and lies are never-ending, we have to bear with the consistent abnegation of the politicians and a further substantiation that this war was indeed about oil. I have secretly tried to look for excuses all along, that maybe despite all the bombs and imperial pomposity and dead people, the end is not what the least of pessimism makes it out to be, because the fate of the Iraqi people depends on it. And while we talk of the world gone mad and all, most of us can at least be free. But what about people in the Iraqi quagmire? For whose comfort are they dying or have died? The answer can be directly traced to centres of power in Baghdad and Washington and London. The truth is that 655000+ Iraqis have died for the whim and hubris of the powers that control them. But above all sits the prized possession of Iraq: oil. And as expected, it is being looted by American corporations who have sent death squads aka US military to shed blood, divide people and install puppets all for oil. They have proven themselves to be less civilized than Saddam Hussein himself who invaded Kuwait for oil and was thwarted by its ally, the United States, which couldn't bear to see the rise of one Arab country over others. What with the hypocrisy?! Here's a bomb of conscience for the war criminals and the real fascists who have destroyed Iraq for their personal gain:
So was this what the Iraq war was fought for, after all? As the number of US soldiers killed since the invasion rises past the 3,000 mark, and President George Bush gambles on sending in up to 30,000 more troops, The Independent on Sunday has learnt that the Iraqi government is about to push through a law giving Western oil companies the right to exploit the country's massive oil reserves.

And Iraq's oil reserves, the third largest in the world, with an estimated 115 billion barrels waiting to be extracted, are a prize worth having. As Vice-President Dick Cheney noted in 1999, when he was still running Halliburton, an oil services company, the Middle East is the key to preventing the world running out of oil.

Now, unnoticed by most amid the furore over civil war in Iraq and the hanging of Saddam Hussein, the new oil law has quietly been going through several drafts, and is now on the point of being presented to the cabinet and then the parliament in Baghdad. Its provisions are a radical departure from the norm for developing countries: under a system known as "production-sharing agreements", or PSAs, oil majors such as BP and Shell in Britain, and Exxon and Chevron in the US, would be able to sign deals of up to 30 years to extract Iraq's oil.

PSAs allow a country to retain legal ownership of its oil, but gives a share of profits to the international companies that invest in infrastructure and operation of the wells, pipelines and refineries. Their introduction would be a first for a major Middle Eastern oil producer. Saudi Arabia and Iran, the world's number one and two oil exporters, both tightly control their industries through state-owned companies with no appreciable foreign collaboration, as do most members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Opec.

Critics fear that given Iraq's weak bargaining position, it could get locked in now to deals on bad terms for decades to come. "Iraq would end up with the worst possible outcome," said Greg Muttitt of Platform, a human rights and environmental group that monitors the oil industry. He said the new legislation was drafted with the assistance of BearingPoint, an American consultancy firm hired by the US government, which had a representative working in the American embassy in Baghdad for several months.
Need I add more? Another thing that has affected me recently is the audacity of some people to blame the Iraqis themselves for the deaths of civilians and the destruction of Iraq ("Middle East is like that", "it's in their culture", "they hate freedom", "we tried but...", "they are uncivilized", "the Arab mind" etc. etc.) which I hope to discuss in a different post.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

What Does Dershowitz Have to Say?

Yes, what does that lawyer aka professor of torture who when he's not smearing Jimmy Carter who dared to think of Palestinians as human beings, or dehumanizing Lebanese civilians as legal targets for Israel; and yes the same man who defends paedophiles for money and not just supports but plagiarizes anti-Palestinian propaganda -- what does this history revisionist have to say about this?
FBI agents documented more than two dozen incidents of possible mistreatment at the Guantanamo Bay military base, including one detainee whose head was wrapped in duct tape for chanting the Quran and another who pulled out his hair after hours in a sweltering room.

Documents released Tuesday by the FBI offered new details about the harsh interrogations practice used by military officials and contractors when questioning so-called enemy combatants.

The reports describe a female guard who detainees said handled their genitals and wiped menstrual blood on their face. Another interrogator reportedly bragged to an FBI agent about dressing as a Catholic priest and "baptizing" a prisoner.
Click here to read the entire article. 21st Century fascism is on the roll.

The Spirit of Christmas: Christian Easterners

These bunch of Christian Easterners (on those wondering why I say "Christian Easterns", hold on) have "unfortunately" sided with Muslims (has Robert Spencer stuck the Dhimmitude Poster yet?). This, my friends, is some refreshing news from Bethlehem. Indeed it is in the spirit of Christmas:
In April 2003 at the height of the military campaign directed against Iraq, the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem decided to ban President Bush and Prime Minister Blair from the birthplace of Jesus Christ.

"They are war criminals and murderers of children. Therefore the Church of Nativity decided to ban them access into the holy shrine for ever,"

"Their entry into the church will tarnish it as [Bush's] hands are covered in the blood of the innocent,”

The Church of the Nativity is under the authority of the Greek Orthodox church.

Of utmost significance, the US News media has not reported this story.

Spread the word to Church parishes in the US and around the World.

Unseat the War criminals.
Now about the expression "Christian Easterners". I think this is reflective of how similarly victims irrespective of their religion think -- it is their opinion that matters when they are invaded or occupied and not of the New York Times or CNN. Most Muslims and Christians in the East rightly conclude that George Bush and Tony Blair are war criminals. In the same breath, it needs to be maintained that Christians in the West rightly conclude that Osama bin Laden is a mass murderer. How positive it would be if we could add the names of Western leaders to the list of international terrorists. We could start with Henry Kissinger who last I read was going to eulogize former president Gerald Ford with fellow master of deceit George Bush.