Friday, January 21, 2005

West and the Washington Times

Has anyone else noticed what a tear the Washington Times has been on lately? They've been publishing a ton of really good stuff. The latest is Diana West's column today about the clarity of our enemy:
Which takes me back to the original idea of what there is to achieve by writing about those central, retrograde aspects of Islam that clash with Western society--namely, the precepts of jihad and dhimmitude, and the dictates of sharia law. Clarity is the goal. We are unlikely to witness a security-lite inauguration four years--or eight or 12 years--hence if we remain confused about the ideology that animates our foes. And we are unlikely to ward off the spread of jihad, dhimmitude and sharia law the world over--including the U.S.A.--if we know nothing about it, or, worse, know only apologetics about it. Infinitely more pleasant, they are also misleading.

But apologetics are what we get. Take the reading list that Lt. Gen. John R. Vines, our new commander in Iraq, has given senior staff. It whitewashes jihad, dhimmitude and sharia law with the works of Karen Armstrong and John Esposito. No Bat Ye'or; no Ibn Warraq; no Robert Spencer; no Daniel Pipes; no Paul Fregosi; no Oriana Fallaci; not even any Bernard Lewis. Ignorance before September 11 was bad enough; perpetuating that ignorance is inexcusable.

This is progress. But until our president can speak in such open language, we still have a long, long way to go.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Our president significantly contributed to your perceived "language' problem. Didn't his pre-invasion State of the Union Address focus on WMDs and mushroom clouds? I haven't looked at the speech in awhile, but I recall nothing but these two justifications for our war in the middle east. I recall Rice's issue framing by using connect the dots/mushroom cloud sound bites and Powell's WMD pitch to the UN. Blame the president and his administration for framing the issue in a way that inhibits his ability to achieve "clarity."

Or are you a flip-flopper like others who simply change rationales after the original is debunked?

M Ali said...

I dunno.

I's not like Dark Age theocracies are particularly popular among Muslims today.

Anonymous said...

Reader's note. For those who HAVE noticed, one might hypothesize a positive relationship between the quality of the Times' editorial page and the work of its editor, Tony Blankley.

As to the content of the West article, I read her point as being the proper identification of an enemy; her distinction being between a tactic and a an abstract idealism of some sort (say, radical Islam, whatever that implies).

So far so good. But there's much more work to be done. In WWII, was the Axis, Hitler, Mussolini and Hiro Hito, or fascism and imperialism? If you checked "yes," you get it.

What it wasn't ("kamikazeism," "blitzkriegism," take your choice of tactics) might be a fair equivalent of "terrorism" in today's terms.

Will the Times next develop the connection between, as Ms. West points out, "some fringe" of 100 million plus soles (a population greater than that of France and Germany combined) committed to violent destruction of their universe of "infidels (that would be us)," their leaders and where they operate?

Someone had better.

Barnestormer

Anonymous said...

Reader's note. For those who HAVE noticed, one might hypothesize a positive relationship between the quality of the Times' editorial page and the work of its editor, Tony Blankley.

As to the content of the West article, I read her point as being the proper identification of an enemy; her distinction being between a tactic and a an abstract idealism of some sort (say, radical Islam, whatever that implies).

So far so good. But there's much more work to be done. In WWII, was the Axis, Hitler, Mussolini and Hiro Hito, or fascism and imperialism? If you checked "yes," you get it.

What it wasn't ("kamikazeism," "blitzkriegism," take your choice of tactics) might be a fair equivalent of "terrorism" in today's terms.

Will the Times next develop the connection between, as Ms. West points out, "some fringe" of 100 million plus soles (a population greater than that of France and Germany combined) committed to violent destruction of their universe of "infidels (that would be us)," their leaders and where they operate?

Someone had better.

Barnestormer