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Monday, March 24, 2008

Second Draft - Our Declaration of War

Breath of the Beast has been quiet for a couple of weeks now and my friends, allies and constructive critics know that when that happens, something very important must be distracting my attention. I am happy to say that we have moved into a new phase at Second Draft. Richard and I have been pounding out our detailed plan to establish Second Draft as the Organization of Record for the quest for honest and ethical media. The written plan is important because it will serve as our primary planning and fundraising instrument. It is, I say this in all modesty, a comprehensive plan to first understand and then to motivate change in the mainstream media. Here is our Executive Summary-


The Unique Mission of Second Draft


Why are there so many anti-Zionist Jews? Why do so many Westerners hate Israel and America? Why do so many people assume that our government is always wrong, fundamentally bad? Why do the media always seem to ignore, make excuses for or gloss over the actions of terrorists, hateful Imams and extremist Mullahs who spread virulent hatred and the violence it inspires?

Israel’s fight for survival is a microcosm of the conflict between Caliphate Islam and Western democratic Civilization. This is a complex and deadly conflict, made more deadly than necessary by lack of inter-cultural understanding. Among the major contributors to this incomprehension, the mainstream media plays a critical role. The media’s failure to realize how our enemies systematically exploit them in the asymmetrical war on democracy makes them easy dupes in that war. The media are not alone as dupes though, as westerners, we are all hobbled by many cultural blind spots.

Key Western Blind Spots (what psychologists call cognitive egocentrism)

  • Believing they (the Islamists) are just like us. (tolerant and open)
  • Thinking they want the same things we want (peace, liberty and autonomy in a civil society).
  • hoping that we can find a “win-win” co-survival arrangement with them (positive-sum).
  • Supposing that if we extend the hand of friendship they will return the favor.
  • Feeling that if they are angry at us, we must have done something to make them angry.


In order to apprehend the true nature of the conflict we need to:


  • See how these blind spots render us incapable of understanding the conflict

  • Understand how our mainstream media, sharing those same blind spots, are particularly vulnerable to exploitation by the enemy in this asymmetrical warfare.

  • Develop simple reality testing exercises to reveal these misconceptions.

  • Improve our own and our media’s ability to detect and challenge the distortions introduced by the Jihadi PR machine.

  • Reaffirm that our highest values; the democratic social and political rights of tolerance, liberty, freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of religion are sacred but are a two-way street and must only be granted to those who honor them in return. Those who use them to undermine the society (e.g. seek to curtail freedom of speech to prevent hurt feelings), degrade the culture (e.g. allow honor-killing, wife-beating, female circumcision, and the burkha) and to mortgage the future (e.g. stop teaching the superiority of western democratic values in schools) must be denied those very rights.

When a group aims to degrade the rights and liberties of others, as does Caliphate Islam, we must find civil and lawful ways of recognizing and neutralizing that threat. If we do not, our blind spots will remain breeding places for political-correctness, cultural relativism and moral equivalence- all of which are corrosive of the ability of our democratic culture to sustain itself in a battle with the pre-modern forces of religious imperialism.

At Second Draft we go beyond the daily identification and fixing of inaccuracies, to identify the fundamental sources of the problem and, targeting them, help to build a more alert, effective cultural response. Our research and communications reveal the blind spots and restore clear cultural vision.

The Jihadis use the mainstream media as a theater of war (where they are, till now, consistently successful), our first step in building that cultural defense, and Second Draft’s highest priority, is to not only challenge our journalists to inform us more accurately but to understand that real accuracy requires knowing where the blind spots are and learning what is in them.

END

Important: Join us in our Declaration of War!

Understanding is the key but having the morale and financial support to act on that understanding is just as important. If you ( or someone you know) are interested in helping us in this crucial battle for the very survival of western values, we will be happy to send you a copy of our full plan. We have been approved as a 501 (c) 3 Tax deductable organization and donations can be made via PayPals (on the left side of this screen) or sent to:

Second Draft
P.O. Box 590591
Newton Centre, MA 02459

Thank You,

YBM

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Israel's Choice: Die or Confront the Aggressfugees

I got an email today from one of my favorite bloggers. The guy who calls himself Shrinkwrapped, who, as he wrote, almost never does this sent out a blast to a bunch of other bloggers. Here it is:

Subject: Has Israel Lost the Will to Live?

I almost never send out mass mailings but the behavior of the Israeli government, and more importantly, the behavior of the Israeli population begs the question, "Has Israel Lost the Will to Live?" My post is here and includes:


"Is there a threshold beyond which the entire population surrenders to despair?

I am very fearful for Israel. It is still a democracy. Yet where are the people? Why are they not marching through the streets of Jerusalem or Tel Aviv in the hundreds of thousands, demanding their government do something to stop the reign of terror that they have been told repeatedly is their inevitable lot? Why are the Israelis not enraged with their own government's fecklessness?

Israel has the power to destroy their enemies many times over. That is a frightening prospect. Their enemies do not believe that the Israelis, civilized in ways that their enemies are not, would ever take the necessary steps to safe guard their people and stop this war. Yet the Israeli government could win this war with methods far short of total war. It is a question of will.

If the Arabs are correct and Israel has lost the will to live, this war can only end with the destruction of Israel and a second Holocaust where they will, as they often boast, finish the job Hitler started. The Palestinians would be only too happy to administer the coup de grace but it will be the Israelis who have committed collective suicide."

I hope this is of interest.
All the Best,
ShrinkWrapped

I felt a physical shock go through me as I read his email. Please, by all means, read his post, it is excellent- but before you do let me share my answer with you:

SW,

I share your concern. When Kate at Small Dead Animals linked to my last post on 03/12 she got me thinking in this direction when she posted it with this quote from Ayn Rand:

"In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit. In that transfusion of blood which drains the good to feed the evil, the compromiser is the transmitting rubber tube." - Ayn Rand

This quote makes a direct connection between the work Richard Landes and I are doing on the media and the mental state of Israel and, indeed, much of the west.

My last post spoke to the way in which Israel's public image has become compromised by the media's constant compromise with evil. The mainstream media is, at this point, paralyzed by the, vertebra-popping, ligament snapping contortions it has put itself through to convince itself it is being "fair" when what has actually been needed was not fairness but honesty and accuracy. Fairness, as practiced by the media (as I show in that post) is neither honest nor accurate but a delusional attempt never to offend the most easily offended party even as it cares nothing about offending the most open and least easily offended party.

Is it not possible that the malaise of the Israelis is a product of the same process on a cultural scale? As Neville Chamberlain proved for all time, appeasement and compromise with evil is not prudent, it is wasteful and stupid. But, even worse than that, it is debilitating to the compromiser. It literally compromises his legitimate defense mechanisms and disarms his ability to act.

Israel must stop compromising, if not for her immediate survival but for the hearts and minds of her people. If they continue to be forced to live under the threat of evil and (perversity of perversities) be reviled by much of the world including many leftist within Israel as the evil ones, is that not the ultimate compromise with evil? Let us say, “No more Compromise!” Turn off the power. Close the borders. For God's sake shoot back!

Could Olmert, Livni and their government possibly still have a forlorn hope of convincing the Arabs that Israel has the right to exist? In the entire history of the planet earth, rights without the exercise (not just the possession) of power has never availed anything for anyone. For a Jew, of all the perpetual victims, to think he will be the first case, is lunacy. Buy a history book. Look it up on the Internet. Ask any Arab.

Are they afraid of getting the Caliphateist Arabs (the world's frothiest collection of rage-oholics) angry? Are they afraid of making refugees out of a people that has held that title as a holy sinecure for sixty years? The so called Palestinians are the most murderous, longest suffering, loudest complaining, least productive and most resistant to resettlement refugees ever. It would, perhaps, be more accurate to call them "aggressfugees".

This is one of the few moments in the history of the human race when might coincides with right. Israel and America cannot afford to let the advantage wane for another year. For Sixty years Israel has been fighting an uphill battle and for the same sixty years the west has been pouring vast seas of petrodollars into the enemy's coffers. The tipping point may be at hand any time now; and we know from experience that the more even the fight gets, the more civilian tragedy will occur. It does not have to be a holocaust on either side but might must be asserted and the more one-sided the better.

Permit me to introduce a somewhat frivolous but pointed illustration:




Nice sword you have there Hizbollah (Syria, Hamas, Iran etc...)

Israel is still a democracy but the government of the moment is self-destructive to the point of suicide. If the people do not shake off the deadly effects of compromise and insist on a new civilian leader to replace Olmert and jolt Israel out of her paralysis, the confined and frustrated military might at some point elect to save the country on their own authority- A latter day Saul or David may arise. I pray that this is not necessary. It is not a good prospect but it is preferable to annihilation. It is not too late- YET.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Why Good People Believe Bad Things

Unconscious Anti-Semitism, Anti-Westernism and the Mainstream Media

How do people who are not anti-Semitic come to behave, think and speak in anti-Semitic ways? Why do well intentioned people who enjoy all the advantages of living in free and prosperous countries come to question and even revile the protectors of their good fortune? It has a lot to do with the way the media presents the world to us.

As individuals, we experience the world around us through our five senses. On a cultural level, the media are our eyes and ears, the lens through which we experience the world beyond our immediate experience. We depend on the media to bring us an undistorted representation of that larger world so that we can understand and adapt to it.

Many people of many political persuasions complain about the media lens’ distortions, which, they all feel is biased against them. The news media often point to this widespread disapproval as a good sign. “After all,” they say, “If no one is happy with us then that must mean that we are doing a good job, that we are fair.”

But the very concept of fairness may be the problem. Fairness and its often silent partner “evenhandedness” are the fulcrum by which the media’s good intentions are flipped into the upside-down world of moral relativism and political correctness. The media’s job is not to find the mid-point of competing political agendas, but to report the news regardless of how that plays out for or against any particular group’s interests. In the name of “fairness” our media too often aim for a sort of "average" position between opposing groups. Whether those opposing groups are political parties, cultures that are competing for survival or warring armies, the "mid point" between them is seldom anything but a barren no man’s land. The sort of fairness that we find routinely in the media is, at best a morally blind position based on reporting both sides equally credibly and credulously. The reason that no one seems to be satisfied that we are not getting fair and honest representations of events is, simply, that we are not.

This tautology of universal offense is one of the hand-maidens to the most dangerous public delusion in Western Civilization: moral relativism, which holds that no set of values or opinion or culture is superior to any other. This radical variant of multiculturalism, which refuses to judge other cultures by our own (or any) standards, dominates much of the media and academia.

It seems safe to say that in all of human history there has never been a conflict in which both parties were exactly as right (or good - or nice) as the other. In truth, the morally neutral approach actively undermines the side with the most moral clarity and confers an unfair advantage on any side that is less democratic, ethical and open. So why is the media intent on making believe that all causes are equal?

Leaving aside the reporters and outlets who are anti-Semitic and virulently pro-Arab, there is still a very strong anti-Israel bias to the mainstream media (and academia) that is directly traceable to this pernicious moral relativity. How does a measure whose avowed purpose is the elimination of bias become the source of bias and distortion? It is in the very nature of moral relativism- It Is a willful denial of real differences and denial can only ever deepen any crisis. Without trustworthy media, the more tolerant and open the culture, the more paralyzed and defenseless it is. Honesty in reporting requires, not blank indifference to cultural and moral values, but a firm grasp on the consequences of ideas and actions. Truly fair reporting does not present the average between two sides in a dispute; it finds the real center of gravity, based on the best estimate of the moral values of each side and presents the relationship as accurately as possible.

Nowhere is this problem of moral relativism more acute than in the Arab-Israeli conflict. The Arabs have no compunction against making wild accusations. They make claims of humiliation, land theft, collective punishment, apartheid and massacres that never happened against Israel. Even though they have been exposed In many notorious fakes (al Durah, Jenin, Gaza Beach Kfar Qana…) they persist becausee the tactic succeeds. It succeeds because when the media tries to find the "evenhanded" center point between those wild inaccuracies and the honest, reasoned, compassionate apologetic approach of the Israelis, they invariably throw up their hands and say, “Who are we to judge?” or “One man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter” and find some way of reporting the events that put them half way between the wild lies and the halting attempt at truth. The Palestinians and their supporters are enraged because their outrageous accusations are softened a little and the Israelis are exasperated because they have once again been reported to be war criminals when they are nothing of the kind. The “fair" version is skewed far out of the real center point that Israel's integrity and earnest search for evidence is rewarded with labels like– apartheid, pariah and even Nazi. She winds up being tried and convicted in the kangaroo court of the "evenhanded" media of disproportionate response, massacres of civilians and collective punishment. All too often Israel and her supporters neglect to appeal this injustice and through their inaction the accusations stick.

Of course, this tendency to settle for the morally blind “geographical” measure of the center-point of a dispute, while pointedly ignoring the moral and cultural dimensions of it, is not just a media disease. In the culture at-large the uninformed, the morally weak, the self-loathing, and the politically immature flock to organizations and ideas that feed from this same trough. Sabeel, International Solidarity Movement and the various Israel divestment proposals (Academic, Methodist, Episcopal, Presbyterian) all lean on this central distortion of reality to support their activities. While it is true that some of these are motivated, at least partially by good intentions, many are moved by insensate Jew-hatred dressed up in genteel clothing. almost all have some mixture of the two.

Under normal circumstances, Israel's lack of self defense and the rest of the world's general disinterest in correcting the media is a mere disorder in judgment that might pass for generosity of spirit – Israel and the Western democracies are strong and can afford to be self-critical; Arab and Muslim countries have great difficulty dealing with modernity and need a break. But under current conditions of waxing global Jihad, the current media (and academic) approach is backfiring – disguising Jihadi aggression through (polite) under-reporting, encouraging that same aggression by a disproportionate self-criticism that registers as weakness, failing to hold the Arab world and their western abettors (journalists and their dupes) to any standards, undermining genuine moderates who really do want to live up to modern standards, and paralyzing Western capacities to resist Jihadi aggressions. The moral inversion whereby Israelis and Americans are spoken of as “state-sponsored” terrorists resisting Palestinian or Iraqi “freedom fighters” has catastrophic consequences for the Western world and any human being interested in Liberty.

The situation could be improved dramatically if the media would just be honest and accurate. Instead of contorting themselves, obfuscating their stories and persecuting their readers/listeners/viewers with evasive and inexact politically correct jargon, they should forget about balancing their spin on the news to keep everybody equally dissatisfied and concentrate on the facts and the realities. That will make those who most deserve to be unhappy the unhappiest.


Update:
Kate at Small Dead Animals (welcome SDA readers!) linked here with this quote added:

"In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit. In that transfusion of blood which drains the good to feed the evil, the compromiser is the transmitting rubber tube." - Ayn Rand


My thanks to Kate- this is a great quote!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Austin Olney, Another Great Dead White Man


I met Austin Olney through his daughter who was a friend of mine in college.

I came across his obituary in tonight’s newspaper and although it has been a number of years since I have seen him, I was deeply touched. I admired Austin and, like so many others, was nurtured just by knowing him. His obit barely scratches the surface of the list of authors whose works he coaxed to higher levels of honesty and craft. I was privileged to have spent a little time with him at the house in Marlborough, NH and fifteen or twenty years ago we climbed Mt Monadnock together a couple of times. He helped me to develop my writing skills and encouraged me to believe in myself as a writer and thinker.

Even though I had allowed myself to fall out of touch, I have carried the warmth of his easy and tolerant friendship with me, in some way, ever after.

He touched a great many lives in a positive way. He was an inveterate instigator of creative and intellectual fun and ferment. He had a wonderful, generous way of correcting and encouraging at the same time- but to me, the greatest gift was that way that he had of finding the profound, the good and the humorous in everything. It was a kind of unselfconscious spirituality.

One day, on the lower reach of the white cross trail of Monadnock, as we returned to the base after a climb with my two oldest sons, I remarked to Austin that the boys were bickering with each other quite a bit lately. Austin chuckled and told me about the time his mother (I think it was his mother) was getting irritated with the bickering of the young Austin and his fractious siblings and cousins at some family get-together. He recalled for me how his grandmother had altered the spirit of the day (and taught everyone a beautiful lesson) when she laughed and said, “Yes, isn’t it wonderful how much they care!” This was how Austin corrected- with love and humor. I may be one of the least of his mourners but I am no less sincere for that. I am very grateful to have known him.

It is a sharp irony for me that my dad, who was a lot like Austin in many ways, died last October 11th and Austin passed just a few days short of my father’s birthday.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Think Happy Thoughts About People Who Want to Kill You!

The BBC has excellent news! The Gallup Study of the Muslim World suggests that the problem of Islamist violence is easy to solve. All we have to do is concentrate on thinking happy thoughts about Muslims and all the problems will go away.

Well, actually, it does require four other little things:
1. Believe all the self delusion and lies Muslims tell pollsters
2. Pointedly ignore the gaping holes in their perception of reality that the
pollsters forget to ask about
3. Revile anyone who notices the inconsistencies as an “extreme right winger”
4. Be willing to blame Western Civilization, America, President Bush and The
Jews for everything

Here’s how it works:

Last week I followed a link from LGF to the BBC Web Site and for a few seconds, I thought I had clicked onto The Onion by mistake. The article was titled Most Muslims 'desire democracy' “Yeah, sure, democracy and Sharia law, what a natural combination!” I thought, to myself, “They go together like feminism and burkhas; this is going to be good”

The first paragraph was only one sentence long- but what a breath-taking little stanza:

“The largest survey to date of Muslims worldwide suggests the vast majority want Western democracy and freedoms, but do not want them to be imposed.”

“Exactly!”, I thought, “..Great Irony! Terrific deadpan delivery! In all one thousand five hundred years of Muslim history- there have been Caliphates, Dictatorships, Empires, totalitarian states and chaotic free-for-all wars among tribal warlords and not a single democracy and somehow they really think that they are just going to sprout a democracy spontaneously. Right! the Saud family, Ahmadinejad, Abbas, Haniyah, Qaddafi, Assad, Nasrallah, and all the other tin-pot dictators, Imams, Sheiks, fiends and mullahs of the Islamic world are going to just decide one day that since everybody is yearning for democracy its probably a good thing to do and without a word or any sort of help from the western democracies (two hundred thirty two successful years in business here in America alone), will just announce national conventions, write up constitutions and hold elections.”

So, as I read the next sentence/paragraph I’m waiting for the punch line- and the smile begins to fade on my face…

The poll by Gallup of more than 50,000 Muslims in 35 nations found most wanted the West to instead focus on changing its negative view of Muslims and Islam.

What? A Gallup Poll? You mean this is serious? Muslims are actually saying this kind of stuff, pollsters are recording it, journalists are writing it down and their editors are allowing it to be printed? Never mind 9/11, London, Madrid, Beslan, Bali, the USS Cole, Buenos Aires, the continuing slave trade, Darfour, the ongoing attempted genocide of Israel, the suicide recruitment of the vulnerable (including women, children and people with downs syndrome) as suicide bombers, the teaching of hatred to children, the endemic child abuse the beating and honor killing of women and so very many other little matters of conscience, we need to cheer up and get a perky little smile on our faces towards good old Islam before there will be an improvement in relations. Are we supposed to just nod our heads and agree, “oh yes, we really must change our opinions of those poor misunderstood folks.”

So let’s review the first two sentences. Not only do Muslims claim to desire democracy, not only do they think they can (in fact, have to) do it by themselves but they also seem to think that we should just ignore their cultural sanction of violence, hateful rhetoric, anti-western, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, misogynist, repugnantly sexually exploitive behavior, entirely unjustified attitude of superiority toward every other people on earth and their parasitic oil cartel and just “change” our perfectly justified “negative view of them.

A little further down in the article there is a quote from one of the authors of the book that analizes the poll. John Esposito the well known academic shill who, as a professor at Georgetown University, has positioned himself at the business end of a serious pipeline of oil money with which the Saud royal family have bankrolled a pseudo-academic propaganda machine they call The Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. Esposito says "Muslims want self-determination, but not an American-imposed and defined democracy. They don't want secularism or theocracy". Since any model of democracy that has ever worked for any length of time has been predicated on some sort of seperation between church and state the aversion to secularism might be a problem. Also, since we already know that Islam only approves of the Caliphate, the disavowel theocracy leaves one wondering exactly what kinf of democracy they might have in mind? No wonder they always have to put up with what ever travesty the next bloodthirsty despot wants to subject them to, they obviously have no intellectual tools or civic understanding that would enable them to support a democratic society; and they refuse the help necessary to develop them.

I almost wrote down the following old saying as a metaphor for this dilemma: “Everyone wants to get to heaven but nobody wants to die.” Ooops, sorry, when you are always longing for things that your own behavior prohibit, you might very well want to die. In Islamist culture they are caught in so many of these impossible binds, contradictions that fly in the face of reason and reality, that suicide seems to them to be a hero’s way to get to heaven. The Islamic variation on that old saying should rather be, “Everyone wants to get to heaven but there are only so many suicide belts to go around”.

The new Gallup Poll of the Muslim World asked a lot questions of a lot of people and there is a lot of information about the responses those people gave in the study but there is something missing from the analysis- something, like, oh, say, honesty and reality. They never address the logical difficulty of rationalizing the existence of two such incompatible (and mutually contradictory) opinions in one mind. Even more incredible than this, is how can they do it and not be exposed and challenged by the purportedly scientific pollsters or the supposedly impartial and objective journalists.

It is the behavior of those analysts and journalists that I find most disturbing. When the BBC implies that we should care about what The Muslim World thinks about us and that the only way to have peace with them is to believe Esposito’s conclusion that, “Those polled also said the most important thing the West could do to improve relations with Muslim societies was to change its negative views towards Muslims and respect Islam.” they are actually advancing a utopian philosophy that is often mislabeled as “multiculturalism”.

They are not “just reporting” that, “Muslims want democracy” alongside the other opinions by which the Muslims simultaneously set preconditions that absolutely guarantee they can never achieve democracy, without posing the revealing and discomforting questions about how such illogicality is possible, pollsters and journalists are intentionally betraying the standards of their professions. They are conspiring to cloak the fact that the Muslim world has a different idea of what democracy is than we do and that many of their responses are colored by immense cultural differences. Their behavior in not understandable unless you consider culture and attach a value to it. And this is something that has become forbidden by the ethic of what most people call “Multiculturalism”.

When I say “what most people call Multiculturalism”, I include myself. I’ve been writing about Multiculturalism a lot lately and the more I do the more I realize that it may have started out as a way of “understanding” and “tolerating” the behavior of other cultures but it has, in common practice, morphed into a denial that there are any useful distinctions that can be made in the ethical value, moral viability and economic strength of differing cultures. It has become a way for the misinformed, poorly educated disenchanted and the nihilistic to target and disparage their own culture while preventing any criticism of any exotic one. I have begun to believe that what I have been writing about is actually a form of nihilism which would be more accurately called Anticulturalism or Cultural Nihilism.

I know this will sound harsh to many of you who are still partially under the influence of the peaceful, Aquarian-Age lure of multiculturalism but our culture is better ethically, morally, economically, intellectually and spiritually than any other culture in the world. This does not meant that there is no room for improvement or need for criticism. There are many things we can learn from other cultures. One of the strengths of the Judeo Christian West is that, even if the evolution, growth and spread of the culture has, at times been ugly and rough, it has learned and expanded through openness and tolerance- in spite of the (sometimes disastrous) periodic retreats into ignorance and intolerance.

Other cultures, by comparison, have not grown greatly or created much that is new or of real value in the five hundred years since the renaissance. Even today The Muslim World, for example, often appears to be nothing more than a bedlam of deluded, ignorant, bigoted rageaholics who, when they are not busy repressing, persecuting and murdering each other in their own countries, are found in the west- protesting in the streets, blowing themselves and innocent bystanders up and generally trying to screw up the western world in the name of Allah. This is not to say that all Muslims behave this way- only the ones who are the most firmly embedded in Islamic culture. The ones who have adopted western cultural values and are willing to become citizens of western civilization are some of the finest and most productive people on earth.

Culture is the problem. Muslims are embedded in a system that leaves them very little choice- not nearly as much choice as ours leaves us. Of course, not all Muslims are like this but all of their leaders are. Esposito the supreme apologist writes:

“The unfortunate news is that there is a large number of politically radicalized Muslims (the 7 percent previously mentioned, which translates to approximately 91 million individuals) that could be pushed to support or perpetrate violence against civilians.”


Esposito plays on our Western sensibilities here. The violence, rage and intellectual barrenness of the Islamic world inspires tremendous anxiety in us. We cannot comprehend it. It is a force that we would like to control or ameliorate. When Esposito here implies that the “radicalized Muslims” have been in some way pushed to that point and then he warns us that more could be pushed to support or perpetrate violence, he gives the weak-minded and easily manipulated the soothing option- All we have to do is stop pushing them and they will be happy with us. Many in the west are ready to sign up for that one.

So when Esposito and the BBC archly keep repeating that we forget about how culture-bound, benighted and violent they are and “focus on changing our negative view of Muslims and Islam.” They make it sound as though this will solve the whole problem. It would be an act of suicide to listen to them.

They, for a multiplicity of reasons, have used the freedom of choice given them by our culture to become tools of the Caliphate Islamists- what Esposito refers to as politically radicalized Muslims. You see, even his name for them is designed to avoid the fact that this is a cultural conflict. When he calls them politically radicalized Muslims, it makes them appear to be actors within a political system we might recognize. But they are not just western political radicals they wish to destroy the western system of politics and put in its place a world-wide Islamic Caliphate. The great danger is that they have learned to use our democratic principals against us. The Caliphate Islamists have become expert in co-opting the language and principals of the democratic world in ways that twist its strengths into weapons to be used against it. This is what my friend and mentor Richard Landes calls demopathy- using democratic language and invoking human rights only when it serves their interests. One who behaves this way is a demopath.

The name demopath is very well chosen as this behavior is a strong cultural analog of the criminal sociopath. A sociopath is an outsider to human society who does not feel bound by the commonly felt restraints of social integration and is very adept at manipulating the restraints that others labor under for his own (usually) pernicious purposes. A demopath does the same thing at a cultural level. In the case of the Caliphate Islamists, with their hyper-emotional rage at imagined slights, their wild rhetoric, capacity for mass violence and their refusal to indulge any self-examination or criticism from the outside, they use our principals as a cudgel against our honesty, take advantage of our propensity for self-criticism and, ultimately, damage our ability to defend ourselves. They make our easy tolerance and open intellectual curiosity work against us.

Just as sociopaths are defined as antisocial deviants, we need to identify demopaths as anticultural deviants. We need to take appropriate protective measures. One of the first and most important measures needed is to isolate them so that they cannot work on the structure of the culture. This requires that we find ways to address the way the Gallup organization, John Esposito and the BBC pass this cultural poison through their filters and feed it into our information stream.

The analysis of The Gallup Poll of the Muslim World and the coverage of it by the BBC are not just bad science and sloppy reporting. By choosing not to compare these opinions to the historical record and by refusing to make observations of the ways in which they might not reflect the contemporary realities, they have allowed the demopathic argument to go unchallenged.

They look through the morally relativistic anticultural lens of multiculturalism, and see no reason (or way) to challenge or examine these opinions- after all, if right and wrong are relative, so is true and false. In their world, there is no meaningful difference between the values of Muslim Society and Western Society. An opinion is just as valid and means the same thing on either side of the divide. The cultural gulf that yawns between the opinions in the survey and the western audience to whom the book is addressed is ignored. The raw opinions are presented without explantion of the cultural matrix out of which they are being expressed.

I have written before many times about how the rage and anguish of the Muslim World is a product of Muslim Culture. It is the fruit of honor-shame, intellectual and religious intolerance and the civic inability to support any sort of democratic system. So, as the BBC article says, they “desire democracy” and refuse the only way they could ever get it- by having it introduced from the outside.

Too many well-intentioned but culturally na├»ve people in the west react to the dissonance created by the alternately plaintive, angry, aggressive and contradictory nature of the opinions of Muslims by taking Esposito’s treacherous but soothing lozenge of poisoned advice- “focus on changing your negative view of Muslims and Islam”. The BBC and Esposito are, wittingly or not, what Landes might call “demopathic dupes” they are enabling the demopaths of Caliphate Islam to paralyze the public and keep it unaware of the danger we face with these soothing but hopelessly inaccurate misinterpretations of the situation.

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