Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Obama's New Dance Craze: The Cynical Twist!

Politics has always had a component of tweaking the opposition's noses. Reagan's operatives were good at it, as were the Clintonistas, but when did political trolling get raised to an art form?

False "Facts"

President Obama is factually incorrect when he says 99.9 percent of Muslims reject terrorism. Support for suicide bombing and extremist organizations range from 1% to almost 70%, depending on the country, the timing, and the specific question asked. Here is how a conservative puts Islamic terror into context without defaming all Muslims or insulting their religion.

President Obama is wrong when he regurgitates the panderish, well-worn and obligatory refrain: "ISIS has nothing to do with Islam.” There are pious Muslims who beg to differ. 

Here is an example of how non-political adults discuss the issue.
An overwhelming majority of Muslims oppose ISIS and its ideology. But that’s not quite the same as saying that ISIS has nothing to do with Islam, when it very clearly has something to do with it.
If you actually look at ISIS’s approach to governance, it would be difficult – impossible, really – to conclude that it is just making things up as it goes along and then giving it an Islamic luster only after the fact.
But if the goal is to understand ISIS, then I, and other analysts who happen to be Muslim, would be better served by cordoning off our personal assumptions and preferences. What Islam should be and what Islam is actually understood to be by Muslims (including extremist Muslims) are very different things.
In the face of such realities, why does the president insist on spouting such absurdities?

President Obama is Trolling

He's goading Muslim-hating reactionaries at the other end of the spectrum to throw gasoline on the fire so he can fan the flames, tar everyone to the right of him with the "all Muslims are terrorists" broad brush.  The result is the crippling of our ability to have a frank, rational dialog on such important issues.

Syrian Refugees:  False Dilemma

Scolding moralists pose a false dilemma: Either we invite in refugees, or we leave them to the predations of ISIS.

We could build safe zones. That is the excluded, reasonable alternative.

A related question:  Why aren't their Muslim brothers and sisters welcoming them in Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and other safe countries?

Another related question: Would religious charities here in the US be so accepting of refugees if they had to foot the bill to clothe, house and feed them themselves instead of lapping up billions of dollars in federal contracts?

False Comparison:  Syrian Refugees 2015 = European Jews 1939

This one is such a sick and cynical crap-filled fallacy, I am surprised it got off the ground, but it has. European scapegoaters had always attacked Jews as The Other, a separate, distinct and often despised ethnic and religious group that was never completely welcomed into any European nation, despite Jews integrating into European society as scientists, doctors, scholars, businessmen and skilled craftsmen. It is absurd to argue Muslim Syrians meet the same challenges in their own nation.

Jews had nowhere to run to in 1939. Today's Syrian refugees have whole nations of Arabic-speaking Muslims in close proximity. If moral posers want to blame shame people, point the finger at Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states and other nations of brother and sister Muslims.

Most importantly, America's refusal of Jewish refugees in the 1930's was motived by an unabashed anti-semitism that was quite fashionable in polite circles. This despite no Jewish acts of terror in the west, no violent groups insisting upon the supremacy of The Torah, and no Jews foaming at the mouth and swearing violence against western nations.

We can't say the same about Muslim refugees. They are not all terrorists, but there are terrorists and terrorist sympathizers among them, and western governments have displayed a horrific inability to sort them out. Also, no one can explain the frightening phenomenon of grateful, integrated Muslim immigrant parents spawning Western-born jihadis. So, unlike with 1930's Jews, we could very well be bringing in people who hate us and want to do us grave harm.

Such cynical comparisons are an insult to Jewish people, and those who make them (most especially Jews) should be ashamed of themselves.

PEW Poll 2015

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