Each time an Islamic terror attack occurs, reporters take to the airwaves and print media scribbles on to report, explain, and ostensibly to inform us about the event. Political leaders, likewise rush to make declarations, lambast those with opposing views, or opine that we must act “NOW”! Along with this predictable reaction comes the dire predictions of larger, more violent attacks by Islamic terrorists in the offing. So, let’s explore the “Circle of Life of Islamic civilization”.
Today’s post is going to be links to other people’s writings, where you can read at your leisure. JK provides copious links to my blog and often very important ones get buried in blog post comments, never receiving the attention they deserve. Nightwatch, another source, which JK recommended to me when we met, provides another important rich resource for understanding of events around the world. Nightwatch is a subscription service, but well worth it. G. Murphy Donovan continues to write in clear, honest, stark terms about what to make of the Islamic war against Western civilization, so I want to add his link too. I leave it for you to decide on the basic question of whose understanding of this Islamic war is correct, President Obama and his “No Islam to see here” assertion, that these are the acts on “lone terrorists” and small groups of haters or the Global Jihad as part of an organized “living system” theory, which transcends individuals and rises to the level of a civilizational conflict.
Under the Obama-type understanding, Islam plays no role in the terrorist acts perpetrated against Western targets. These are just “violent extremists” – acting out of malevolence, but no higher-purpose. You watch people state repeatedly that they are “martyrs for Islam,” yet the American political Left insists there is no Islam in Islamic terror. Minta Marie Morze explains why in “A Naked Phrase Goes Clothes Shopping”:
People wonder why the President and his Administration won’t use the phrase “Jihadi violent extremism” or “Muslim violent extremism”. Even in the SOTU, he used the term “violent extremism”. He has said elsewhere that he is going to convene an international conference on “Violent Extremism”.
From the SOTU:
“. . . and assisting people everywhere who stand up to the bankrupt ideology of violent extremism.”
While there are many reasons for the Administration to insist on these terms and against the others, against any term relating to Islamists, I believe that a major reason for the omission—a very, very important reason—is simply this:
If you use the phrases “Jihadi Violent Extremism” or “Muslim Violent Extremism”, and if you call for an international conference to deal with the problem, then Islamist Violence/Terrorism will be what it is about. If you simply say “violent extremism” and “violent extremist”, you can have conferences and make laws and policies and regulations about generic “Violent Extremists”. Then, at any time, by inserting numerous qualifiers before the term, you can make the laws, regs, and policies turn, with full force of the law, against all of the people and groups on the Right, all of those “fearful and reactive” people who hurt the Progressives.
“Pro-Life Violent Extremists”
“Tea Party Violent Extremists”
“NRA Violent Extremists”
“Right-Wing Violent Extremists”
See how easy it is? Now all the laws and regs and policies made to deal with “violent extremism” apply to these factions too!
A naked phrase can be dressed in any attire you choose to clothe it in. Just select the necessary qualifier. After all, note how the Administration’s spokespeople carefully say things like, “There are many people who use violence to further their cause”, and other such phrases. (It’s called “priming the pump” or “preparing the ground” or “working the room”.)
Minta’s explanation explains why Hillary Clinton refused to utter the words “Islamic terror” and tenaciously clung to the “violent extremism” lingo in the Dem debate Saturday night and as she stated in the previous Dem debate, she considers Republicans her enemy, not Islamic terrorists. In her comments, she often posits that within the Republicans are bastions of “violent right-wing extremists” and President Obama brushed rural Pennsylvanians, of which I am one, in one broad stroke as “clinging to their guns and religion”.
So, let’s move on to the big picture, where the “Circle of Life of Islamic civilization” forms the framework from which to understand what in the heck is going on. Often, Westerners will say things like, “Why do they hate us?” or “What are we doing to make them react like that?” (note the accepting blame mentality). The November 15th Nightwatch explains that the terrorists involved in the actual terrorist attacks form only a cell within a much larger system:
“France-Islamic terror: Special comment: The Islamic terrorist attacks on 13 November reinforce several attributes about terrorism that should be well known. Most important is that the attacks were a product of a living system. The news analysts talked about a network, but that word is too limited and anodyne to be a metaphor for a living system devoted to death.
Before the investigations are complete, many dozens of people will be found to have supported the attack preparations. Well-planned and executed terrorist attacks always are the products of a living system.
According to Miller, in Living Systems, every biological system performs 20 separate functions that are essential to sustain life. In every human body, different organs are specialized to perform the functions. In human groups, including a terrorist group, individuals perform one or more of the functions.
The attackers represent only one of the 20 functions. Unknown additional people, usually invisible to the police, perform the other 19 functions that the group requires. The French and Belgian police are rounding up those others now.
The French bombing of Syria betrays some understanding of the relationships in a living system. Communications between the attackers and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria is enough to justify a retaliatory attack to assuage public outrage a bit.
Nevertheless, ISIL operatives outside Syria and Iraq behave as independent actors, deriving guidance more than material support from the ISIL leadership. The more sinister parts of the living system are being found in Europe. These terrorists were locals. The specific targets were locally determined.”
JK mentioned a 2005 Foreign Affairs article, “Blowback Revisited”, in a comment yesterday, which chronicles the back story on the current crop of Islamist terrorists Europe and the United States must confront. If you don’t subscribe to Foreign Affairs, they allow you to register and view one free article a month. Here’s where we’re at today:
The byline starts:
TODAY’S INSURGENTS IN IRAQ ARE TOMORROW’S TERRORISTS
Here’s the key takeaway:
“Several factors could make blowback from the Iraq war even more dangerous than the fallout from Afghanistan. Foreign fighters started to arrive in Iraq even before Saddam’s regime fell. They have conducted most of the suicide bombings — including some that have delivered strategic successes such as the withdrawal of the UN and most international aid organizations — and the Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, another alumnus of the Afghan war, is perhaps the most effective insurgent commander in the field. Fighters in Iraq are more battle hardened than the Afghan Arabs, who fought demoralized Soviet army conscripts. They are testing themselves against arguably the best army in history, acquiring skills in their battles against coalition forces that will be far more useful for future terrorist operations than those their counterparts learned during the 1980s. Mastering how to make improvised explosive devices or how to conduct suicide operations is more relevant to urban terrorism than the conventional guerrilla tactics used against the Red Army. U.S. military commanders say that techniques perfected in Iraq have been adopted by militants in Afghanistan.”
The article closes:
“The lesson of the decade of terror that followed the Afghan war was that underestimating the importance of blowback has severe consequences. Repeating the mistake in regard to Iraq could lead to even deadlier outcomes.”
G. Murphy Donovan perfectly describes the Western response to the threat we now face in a searing piece, “Friday the 13th in Paris” :
“No matter the body count or venue, Europe and America refuse to recognize jihad as a global Islamic assault. And as with the Charlie Hebdo atrocity, the best response that Francois Hollande and France can muster now is a karaoke Marseillaise, a knee-jerk hymn to irrelevant if not discredited notions of liberté, égalité, and fraternité.
Fey responses to terror are now routine in the West. Call it cultural appropriation. Summary executions are accepted by Islamist butcher and infidel victim alike. Atrocity has been routinized, now hallmarks of 21st Century practices in the East and tolerance in the West. Suicide bombers and their victims are joined by the same moral vacuity. The former have no moral compass and the latter are loath to exert any prudence.
Excuses are epidemic. Bernie Sanders on the looney Left actually believes that global warming and ISIS are wingmen. The Sanders pronouncement is of a piece with team Obama’s flawed assessments where ISIS has been described as the “junior varsity.”
Exaggerating a threat might be a no lose hedge but underestimating an existential threat can be fatal. Just ask Paris.”
GMD brusquely sweeps the cobwebs out of the corners of timid reactionary thinking and lays out the reality of Islamic civilization devoid of the burka of political correctness:
“For those with the attention span to notice, global Islamic terror is the most obvious symptom that globalization is not working. Democratic civility and “one-world” comity are not ascending stars, especially in the Muslim world. Societies that venerate 7th Century absolutist monoculture or cult prophets are impervious to fact or reason – much less democracy.
With the possible exception of Kurdistan and a few of the former Soviet Muslim republics, the Ummah is morphing into universal dystopic theocracy. (my highlight)
The quest for Islamic monoculture is facilitated by three trends: a weak or indecisive West, dishonest assessments of the threat, and a generation of leaders in the West who fail to appreciate or defend the virtue, indeed, superiority of their own culture. Indeed, of the three, the most pernicious is the last, the notion that all cultures and religious beliefs are morally equivalent.”
I’ll close with a link to a video on Living Systems Theory:
And in keeping with my Disney theme, above at minute 5:38 there’s a slide on the Circle of Life from the animated Disney movie, “The Lion King”. Below you can watch the entire “Morning Lesson with Mufasa”:
When my children were young, my younger sister came to visit and The Lion King was a hit then. She observed that she thought that movie was too violent for children. One can only wonder what children in war-torn Syria or downtown Paris think about the world they live in…
3 responses to “The Islamic Civilization Circle of Life”
Excellent essay, Liberty. Excellent grouping of different materials.
A lot to think about. Thanks.
Thanks, Belle. Lucid and generous.
No, thank you GMD, for so generously allowing me to borrow from your brilliant articles!!!