December 7, 2010

The Methods of a Mad Nation

Justin Katz

David Samuels' insightful commentary addressing a day at the United Nations — the day President Obama and Ahmadinejad of Iran spoke — is definitely worth a read:

This odd fusion of religious dogma with the rhetoric of the Frankfurt School is characteristic of Ahmadinejad's speeches to Western audiences. The historical dialectic as he understands it is shaped by "the widespread clash of the egoist with the divine values" that are, apparently, incarnate in himself. His goal here is to undermine the legitimacy of the global institutions that falsely "promise to bring about peace, security, and the realization of human rights" - promises that he spits at daily in the name of God, truth, justice, fairness, national self-determination, the people of Palestine and Iraq, and whatever else comes to mind.

The point of his polymorphous approach is not to present a coherent argument for his faith or foreign policy but rather to fracture the legitimacy of whatever language might be used to oppose Iran's development of nuclear weapons. He deploys a counterlanguage that aims to cancel out the claims that might be posed by the more familiar language of morality and human rights.

Of course the main purpose of Ahmadinejad's discourse is to inspire fear. His counterlanguage is simply a tool to heighten the disorientation that the listener feels in the presence of a maniac.

Most folks, upon a little reflection, will be able to bring up an instance from life experience of sudden revelation that somebody with whom one has come into contact is simply not playing by the same rules of communication. The person's use of language is not to communicate an idea, but to manipulate. There's a spectrum, here; the best salesperson, after all, will believe in the product, and the best liar will believe in the lie. If there's manipulation, in those cases, it's first and foremost of the self.

Those with wholly indefensible intentions fundamentally cannot allow language to beget clarity. Rather, they must establish that they are operating by different principles and rely on relativism to prevent their opposition from asserting conflicting beliefs nonetheless.

We cannot win a logical argument with the likes of Iran's leaders, because they will not acknowledge a common intellectual language. For the same reason, we cannot really negotiate with them without the plausible and proximate backing of action beyond language, whether economic or military.

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This odd fusion of religious dogma with the rhetoric of the Frankfurt School is characteristic of Ahmadinejad's (Huckabee’s, Palin, Bachman, speeches to Western audiences. The historical dialectic as he understands (they understand) it is shaped by "the widespread clash of the egoist with the divine values" that are, apparently, incarnate in himself (themselves).

Get it?? The only difference between Ahmadinejad, the fanatical Muslim, and the religious right in this country is the spelling of god’s (allah’s) name.

P.S. Still waiting for Justin to say a kind word or two about Islam.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at December 7, 2010 10:48 AM

The article is interesting enough, but Justin's take is pure orientalism...

"We cannot win a logical argument with the likes of Iran's leaders, because they will not acknowledge a common intellectual language."

Read, they don't agree with American economic and military hegemony therefor they must be INSANE!!!

All of this begs the question of what proof exists of an Iranian nuclear weapons program. The underlying assumption that is the case of course in know way an attempt by the US to use language to manipulate public opinion.

Funny that Justin seems unaware that his point on the futility of negotiating without threat of violence is actually the hardliner justification for developing a nuclear weapon in the first place, violence being the cornerstone of US hegemony in the region for decades. But as with most orientalist views, that's a prerogative reserved only for us.

Posted by: Russ at December 7, 2010 2:06 PM

I'm waiting for any significant Muslim leader to say a kind word about Christians ,Jews,or Buddhists.
I won't hold my breath.

Posted by: joe bernstein at December 7, 2010 5:17 PM

Please explain what there is about Islam that deserves "a kind word". And explain what there is about religous people in America that does not.

Let's keep in mind that the Frankfurt School is the cultural arm of the Leftist/Fascist movement. It was specifically created to promote the destruction of western society via the mechanism of "cultural Marxism".

The attempt to link the deranged dictators who control Iran to religious Americans is a contemptible lie. I don't see any Baptists or evangelical groups committing unspeakable acts of violence or funding terrorist organizations. Perhaps the Leftists have some evidence to back up their bizarre accusations?

Exactly the kind of tactic we have come to expect from the little terrorist wannabes who pollute these comment threads.

Posted by: BobN at December 8, 2010 9:47 AM

Here you go, Joe...
A Common Word Between Us and You

As Muslims, we say to Christians that we are not against them and that Islam is not against them—so long as they do not wage war against Muslims on account of their religion, oppress them and drive them out of their homes... Our very eternal souls are all at stake if we fail to sincerely make every effort to make peace... So let our differences not cause hatred and strife between us. Let us vie with each other only in righteousness and good works. Let us respect each other, be fair, just and kind to another and live in sincere peace, harmony and mutual goodwill.

Signed by 138 of the world's most powerful Muslim clerics, scholars and intellectuals from all branches of Islam, including 19 current and former grand ayatollahs and grand muftis from countries as diverse as Egypt, Turkey, Russia, Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Iraq

Posted by: Russ at December 8, 2010 2:07 PM

Joe, you might also try searching on "Ahl al-Kitab," something one hears a lot in the Middle East, at least I did. In looking around a bit today, I even found something suggesting Buddhists are Ahl al-Kitab (I admit to being a little surprised by that one).

Posted by: Russ at December 8, 2010 2:53 PM

All well and good Russ-I notice no mention of Jews-being called a descendant of monkeys and pigs kind of pisses me off.
I have no problem with individuals of Muslim background,but their religion is poison.Guess what-I've heard this from people born into Islam-and they weren't converts to Christianity either-they were like me-preferring not to be preached to by anyone.

Posted by: joe bernstein at December 8, 2010 6:23 PM

You are entitled to your warped positions, but please refrain from distorting history to the point that you equate right wing Nazism with the political left.

Ever hear of Timothy McVeigh, a born and baptized Christian? To refresh your memory, he detonated a truck bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, killing 168 people and injuring 450. It was the deadliest act of terrorism within the United States prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at December 8, 2010 9:43 PM

That's it Lefty-hang onto McVeigh like a lifejacket to excuse the hundreds of attacks by Islamic militants.You aren't alone either.
Any left wing blog(like kmareka and RIF)has the same pitiful drivel as you shop around here.
McVeigh carried out his act about 16 years ago.Since then how many thousands of people have been killed by Moslem terrorists?Keep on being an apologist for the religion of hate.

Posted by: joe bernstein at December 8, 2010 10:11 PM

I bow to you. You seem to be an expert on hate. You certainly dwell in it like a dung beetle in a cow pie.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at December 9, 2010 8:18 AM

Joe, I don't think I can convince you if you have what appears to be such a tightly held bias.

So I take it, you also think the Irish are a nation "of hate" based on the terror used to resist British occupation? How about Vichy France? Peruvian communists? The Tamil Tigers? Germans? Japanese? I think most (left or right0 see where this kind of bias leads.

Posted by: Russ at December 9, 2010 10:29 AM

Russ-I also should have mentioned extreme Zionists.OK?
The Vichy French were collaborationists.
Study your history.
The Irish WERE oppressed.Nothing wrong with their anger.
I don't think obscene pedophile slave owning sheiks are oppressed.
OTL-F**K YOU.If I'm a dung beetle,you're my last turd.Go to hell.
Hey Russ-the Tamil Tigers?I really don't have a clue to that answer.

Posted by: joe bernstein at December 9, 2010 2:30 PM

We have believed in God
and what has been sent forth to us
and what was sent forth to Abraham
Ismael, Isaac, Jacob
and the Tribes
and what was given the Prophets
from their Lord
we separate and divide not
between any one of them;
and we are the ones who submit to Him


Posted by: Phil at December 10, 2010 6:37 AM

The Islamists recognize people of the Book in theory(not in practice)-wow,isn't that big of them.
They treat others like Hindus,Buddhists,Zoroastrians,B'hais,andothers as not human.
Like I said,a religion of hate in practice.

Posted by: joe bernstein at December 10, 2010 9:49 AM

No, dummy, the Left's attempt to link McVeigh to the conservative movement is the big lie. On the other hand, the mutual admiration society among Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt and his key advisers, and the Fascist/Nazi/Stalinist regimes is well-known historical fact, including correspondence from FDR himself.

Your own ignorance of the history makes it impossible to discuss this topic with you until you do some homework. If you dare. I suspect you're not brave enough to try to learn the truth about the movement you espouse.

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