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Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross takes on the naive (and sometimes malicious) idea that somehow, if we were just to give Bin Laden and his Jihadist allies what they say they want, our troubles would disappear. Of course, anyone who keeps up with the bigger picture by reading blogs like this, or particularly Robert Spencer's Jihad and Dhimmi Watch sites knows that Bin Laden's stated reasons - US troops out of Saudi Arabia, stopping support for Israel, etc... - are for export only. They're just put-ups - a distraction from the real purpose...re-establishment of the Caliphate, and forced spread of Sharia law.

It sounds utterly bizarre to our modern, Western sensibilities...until you realize how deep the religious current runs in the Middle East, and how seriously so many people take such things. What Bin Laden and his kind do are not simply reactions to our supposed misdeeds. He has his own motivations.

Not everyone gets it, of course, and Bin Laden knows this. He's more than willing to play upon our desire for peace, our tendency to expect that our misunderstood enemy just wants the same things we do - if only we just understood each other better - our isolationist desires and yes, our petty hatreds and still thriving Judenhass, too. It's going to take a lot of continuing work to insulate us from the perfidious effects of these new, tempting, tactics.

FrontPage magazine.com: Bin Laden's Rhetorical Gambit by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

...According to bin Laden’s new rhetoric, the way out of this protracted conflict is for Westerners to “look for its causes in order to prevent it from happening again.” In pointing to these alleged causes, bin Laden places his finger on issues that have some traction in the West. In particular, some factions in the West are attracted to the idea that – as bin Laden suggests – selling Israel up the river and adopting a policy of non-intervention in the Middle East would guarantee us security.

Such a strategy would not, in fact, guarantee us security because it conflates bin Laden’s short-term grievances with his long-term goals. Al-Qaeda was founded with the explicit goal of re-establishing the caliphate, a Muslim super-state encompassing the entire Islamic world that would be primed for perpetual conflict with the West.

Bin Laden’s caliphate would be ruled according to the strict version of shariah law typified by the Taliban, where homosexuals and those preaching non-Islamic faiths were executed, women were kept in burkas, and men were imprisoned if their beards were not long enough. Accommodation is a trap because withdrawing from the Middle East would make the attainment of such an Islamist super-state – and the greater danger it would pose – more likely.

Despite this, some influential Westerners seem ready to fall for this rhetorical gambit. Indeed, even prior to the October 29 videotape, some Western politicians and other noteworthies were already clamoring for negotiation with al-Qaeda and accommodation to their demands...

"Syme: It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. You wouldn't have seen the [Newspeak] Dictionary 10th edition, would you Smith? It's that thick. [illustrates thickness with fingers] The 11th Edition will be that [narrows fingers] thick. Winston Smith: So, The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect? Syme: The secret is to move from translation, to direct thought, to automatic response. No need for self-discipline. Language coming from here [the larynx], not from here [the brain]" -1984 (film)


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