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The murder of journalist James Foley: a spectacular ‘own goal’

This is my take on the intended semiotics of the video showing the beheading of journalist James Foley, by a jihadi with a British accent:

If you continue to mess with us, we will kill your people. See what I just did? And do you hear my voice? We have people who can strike at you in your homeland.

This is my take on the perceived semiotics in the west:

I do not get the Middle East. Shi’ite, Sunnis, Wahhabis, Kurds, Yazidis, who the hell are all these people any way? I don’t understand why they kill each other. But this guy was just a journalist. Who the fuck cuts the heads of journalists? Yes we are war weary but suddenly all I want is to see those jihadi mother-fuckers dead! Those Kurdish guys, the Pesh-something-or-other, they seem like the only non-arseholes in the region and they hate the jihadis, so give them a fuck load of weapons, and give them air support and bomb the FUCK out of those crazy Islamic State lunatics!

The Islamic State just made it a trivial domestic political task for anyone who wants to support their enemies against them.

Hamas fires rockets at Israel and then tries to get the IDF to kill some journalists in Gaza to win sympathy. The ‘Islamic State’ murders a journalist themselves by cutting his head off.

I guess the ‘Islamic State’ cannot afford the same a PR advice that Hamas gets :-D

71 comments to The murder of journalist James Foley: a spectacular ‘own goal’

  • The Sanity Inspector

    If only it really were a blunder on IS’s part. But, it’s probably not. They snap their fingers at logic and Western notions of political calculation. How many recruits will join IS because of this? Mark Steyn’s observation of Daniel Pearl’s murder a decade ago is roughly apposite now:

    Three weeks ago, Robert Fisk, the Middle East correspondent of Britain’s Independent, offered a familiar argument to Pearl’s kidnappers: Killing the American would be “a major blunder, an own goal of the worst kind,” “the best way of ensuring that the suffering” — of Kashmiris, Afghans, Palestinians, whatever — “goes unrecorded.” Others peddled a similar line: If you release Daniel, he’ll be able to tell your story, get your message out. Somehow we keep missing the point: the story did get out; the severed head is the message. By now, the tape has been duplicated, and re-duplicated, and copies are circulating through the bazaars and madrassahs. It’s a recruitment video — join the jihad, meet interesting people, and behead them –and a training video, too: this is how you do it — the statement, the knife, the defilement of the corpse. But in a more profound sense it’s a boast, an act of self-congratulation, a pat on the back for a job well done: the smile on the face of the tiger.

  • There ought to be one of those PBS-style acknowledgement messages–“this video made possible by everyone who supported the Iraq war and arming Syrian rebels.”

  • Alsadius

    Did the western world arm Syrian rebels in any meaningful way? And it seems at least as likely that ending the Iraq war is more responsible for this than starting it was.

  • pst314

    “but suddenly all I want is to see those jihadi mother-fuckers dead”

    And everyone who helps them.

  • Nick (natural genius) Gray

    But these people thrive under ‘oppression’! They want to encourage more jihad! That is what they are hoping for, from this!

  • Ken Hagler
    August 21, 2014 at 12:36 am

    I would simplify:
    ”this video made possible by everyone who though Assad should go.”

  • Bemused

    Dim Dave says ” we must redouble our efforts to prevent British citizens going to join IS”

    Excellent, let’s keep the murdering, psychopathic, fanatics here. I am sure if we only sit them down and chat about our differences over a nice cup of tea we can all get along.

    Stop them going my ass, get them out of our Country, redouble our efforts to ensure they never get back.

  • Lee Moore

    Daniel who ? It’ll be forgotten in twenty minutes.

  • Paul Marks

    And what percentage of young Muslims in such places as France and Britain (or parts of the United States) SUPPORT what IS has done?

    We must be careful of assuming that they (the young Muslims in the West) see these events in the same way that we do.

    Still if unites people against IS – then some good will come out of this evil.

    But I do not expect to see any change of heart from the “libertarian left” or the nationalist (the railways must be under public ownership – and Putin is misunderstood……) right.

    They will find some way to blame everything on evil Uncle Same – and on “the Jews”.

  • Dave Walker

    This isn’t the only spectacular own goal that IS has scored.

    Having gone through the whole “war on terror” thing, we’ve all come to realise that “war” isn’t something that can be prosecuted against an abstract concept, a group of terrorists, a brand (such as al Qaeda – I note by counterexample the UK didn’t make the mistake of declaring “war” on “the” IRA), etc – war is only really something which can be prosecuted by nation states against other nation states (and even then, you need clear victory conditions and a clear exit plan).

    IS have declared themselves a state. They have a head of state, in the form of a self-proclaimed Caliph – we aren’t looking at your typical terrorist cell structure, here.

    Provided reasonable victory conditions and culturally-applicable exit plans can be constructed (Marshall and MacArthur-style plans seem not to work, in the Middle East), there’s a valid target for war, here. Also, unlike Iraq-under-Saddam, Yugoslavia etc, IS doesn’t appear to be functioning as a stabilising influence to keep the lid on other long-standing enmities in the region, so IS’ removal probably couldn’t make things worse.

    I’m not saying the West should go to war against IS. However, the opportunity is there, for someone to.

  • I think the big difference between Daniel Pearl and James Foley is one of timing. Daniel Pearl was murdered when the US and its allies were deeply involved in its military adventures. The politics of intervention was a done deal. James Foley was murdered more than a decade later when there was little appetite for much involvement in such ventures. That matters.

    We must be careful of assuming that they (the young Muslims in the West) see these events in the same way that we do.

    It is not muslim opinion that matters when a western nation decides to help dis-aggrandise the Islamic State by either dropping bombs or sending weapons to the Kurds or whoever, it is Joe Blow the Taxpaying Daily Mail reader :-)

    I have argued that giving air support to proxies is the way to fight these wars (both steps are needed) and I suspect that is how this will pan out.

  • Barry Sheridan

    Suggestions that beheading this journalists will rebound on the IS movement is hopelessly far from the mark. You are applying rational thinking to be bunch of people whose activities are justified by extreme Islamist teaching. This ideology is immune from any process we can dream up, the strength of Islam is that it insulates the adherent from any need to consider consequences outside of the narrow frame of its rote. They are blinded by its fantasies, its sole product at this level is to understand just one thing. Death! Killing until killed! We need to oblige them and go on doing so until it is eradicated.

  • Barry, I think you misunderstand why I think that. I could not care less how IS think. It may even get them some new recruits. And if they come from the west, all the better as there is a good chance these domestic jihadis will get killed over there, or at the very least identified.

    But the reason it is an own goal is that the way it plays in the West amongst non-muslims makes it easy for the bombs to keep falling and the weapons to start flowing to the enemies of IS.

  • Rob

    Is this an own goal? How do you think journalists will report Islamists from now on? More fearlessly and honestly? Their reporting (or non reporting) on Hamas suggests not.

  • Their reporting (or non reporting) on Hamas suggests not.

    It suggests nothing of the sort. Plus there has been lots of reports highly critical of Hamas. The latest one is great, showing Hamas setting up rockets next to a hotel full of journalists.

    But it is not about journalists or how they report, it is about how Joe Blow the taxpayer reacts.

  • I’m not sure IS are interested in PR, other than to attract more jihadists to kill more westerners. They are not in the least bit interested in public opinion, as they are not looking to them for funding, recognition, UN resolutions, etc.

    And for all the sympathy I have for Foley, I wish people would spare me the bollocks about him “trying to bring freedom to Syria” and other such shite. No journalist does that, and whereas I can’t comment on Foley himself, his fellow journalists have spent years actively supporting the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah. And now one of their own gets their head hacked off. Here’s a hint: journalists are not “off limits”; maybe this state of affairs will finally make them understand who humanity’s real enemies are, instead of arse-licking any thug or terrorist who opposes the west.

  • But the reason it is an own goal is that the way it plays in the West amongst non-muslims makes it easy for the bombs to keep falling and the weapons to start flowing to the enemies of IS.

    We’re a long, long way from that. As Tim Blair pointed out, the reaction to an Australian 7-year old holding up a severed head was Australian politicians falling over themselves to explain it away and condemn the outlet that published it. We can expect more handwringing from our “leaders” and chattering classes, but nothing more.

  • But it is not about journalists or how they report, it is about how Joe Blow the taxpayer reacts.

    I see where you’re coming from, but I think if Joe Blow the Taxpayer had his way, the Middle East would have been glass a long time ago. The problem is, the Establishment make policy and what Joe Blow wants is largely ignored.

  • Stuck-Record

    I think of most of what we need to know about how our betters in the spineless West see this can be illustrated but all the media outlets referring to the act being performed by ‘militants’. Same as the Rigby murder.

    If we, as a community, cannot bring ourselves to call someone a terrorist, when they specifically tell you their action – cutting a head off – is carried out in order to terrorise, then we’re screwed.

  • The problem is, the Establishment make policy and what Joe Blow wants is largely ignored.

    Indeed, and what such beheadings etc. are likely to do, is put said Establishment in a position where it can longer ignore Joe Blow’s humble opinion. Only a matter of time. I’m with Perry on this.

    Alsadius:

    Did the western world arm Syrian rebels in any meaningful way?

    Of course it did.

  • Indeed, and what such beheadings etc. are likely to do, is put said Establishment in a position where it can longer ignore Joe Blow’s humble opinion.

    I want to be with Perry, I just don’t think I am. I thought 9/11 would be a game changer, and it wasn’t. Within days people were busy blaming the US and “understanding” the grievances of Muslims worldwide. I thought the beheading of Nick Berg would be a tipping point, and it wasn’t: a few months later, newspapers were running articles about how the Yanks “mishandled a Koran” in some Iraqi prison and threatened a prisoner with a dog. I thought the killing of Lee Rigby might induce a step-change in the degree to which violent Islam is tolerated in Britain, but no: protests featuring posters which read “behead those who insult Islam” are still covered with “understanding” by the British media, while half the readership posts pictures of dead children carefully arranged in various locations by a Hamas PR rep.

    No, this beheading of Foley will galvanise nobody and change nothing. Damn, even if these head-loppers were knocking down their own doors, most people would call the police and wait in vain while their head was being hacked off rather than shoot them in the head – even if were legal to own a gun and do so. Europe, including the UK, lost the stomach to confront irreconcilable violence with overwhelming violence sometime after WWII. The day the British Army starts shooting ISIS members, you’ll find most of the population wringing their hands and asking them to stop. Hell, they’ve been doing this for the past decade that the British Army has been shooting the Taliban; people more worthy of shooting on sight I cannot imagine, but you’ve still got half of Europe weeping over their deaths.

    ISIS have weighed up who we are, and found us wanting. We can’t even raise a word in anger when the Russians’ mates shoot down a civilian airliner, FFS!

  • Tim, you are talking about the media, which is part of the same Establishment you mentioned earlier. I do agree with you about the establishment, but if you want to convince me that Perry is incorrect, you’d have to tell me that your mates down at the pub are thinking the same thing. Is that the case?

  • Gene

    Tim Newman, I’m afraid I must come down in the same position as you. My only question, probably academic, is whether this fecklessness is a result of ideological corruption or just plain old-fashioned fear?

  • I do agree with you about the establishment, but if you want to convince me that Perry is incorrect, you’d have to tell me that your mates down at the pub are thinking the same thing. Is that the case?

    Most of my mates are Royal Marines, so probably not representative. :)

    But when I talk to “ordinary” people, I have noticed they are far more towards the “If only America didn’t antagonise them / if only we weren’t America’s lapdog / if only we would withdraw from world affairs and mind our own business” end of things than the “They did whaaaaaat?!! Let’s unleash hell!!” Most people I speak to are terrified of reforms to the NHS, UKIP, and potential scrapping of the BBC license fee. They just don’t have the stomach to confront ISIS.

  • Well, fair enough then. And, needless to add, depressing enough as well.

  • DICK R

    The ones responsible for all this are the Polyannas who were gushing about the arab spring , who thought
    that the best interests of the west would be served by supporting those who would overthrow Assad , they learned nothing from
    the debacle in Libya and Iraq .

  • …the best interests of the west would be served by supporting those who would overthrow Assad

    Yes but…

    Assad is *not* a source of regional stability, not by any reasonable measure. Oh I agree with not supporting Assad and not supporting any Islamist opponents of Assad (I once wrote a flippant article suggested selling ammo to both sides)… but this is yet again where backing the Kurds, not just in Iraq but also in Syria, makes sense. You want someone who opposes both Assad *and* the Islamists? Well then back the Syrian Kurdish YPG as well as the Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga.

    Guess who actually rescued the Yazidi off Mt. Sinjar in Iraq? Yup, it was the Syrian Kurdish YPG because they do not give a damn that the Yazidis are not Muslims, they only care that they are also Kurdish. Of course it might be nice to de-list them from officially being ‘terrorists’ because of their vexed relationship with certain regional governments. But Islamists they ain’t.

  • Laird

    I’m waiting to see the outcry in the US. But to this point, anyway, it’s not happening. A few editorials in a few newspapers, but no widespread outrage that I can discern. Perhaps we’re all too wrapped up in the riots in Ferguson, MO, and our capacity for anger is spent. Anyway, unless something changes in the next few days this murder will disappear completely from public consciousness and life here will continue as before.

    So I just don’t see Perry’s prediction coming to pass. Personally, I think every member of ISIS should be summarily executed; no prisoners and no mercy. But I also don’t see that it’s the US’s place to do it. Dropping some smart bombs from 40,000 feet and (grudgingly) giving a few arms to the Kurds is about all we’re ever going to do. Obama has no stomach for conflict and the American people aren’t calling for it.

    Surely Saudi Arabia and Egypt are under more immediate threat from ISIS than is the US; where are their troops?

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Perry de Havilland (London)
    August 21, 2014 at 8:46 am

    But the reason it is an own goal is that the way it plays in the West amongst non-muslims makes it easy for the bombs to keep falling and the weapons to start flowing to the enemies of IS.

    This may yet prove true, but so far the Obama response has been to talk tough about abstractions and return to vacationing. Given the attention span of the American media and political classes, by the time he gets back to Washington the whole thing may have blown over.

    And, sorry, but the American response, such as it may be, is the only one that really counts for much.

  • There has been a sudden surge in European nations saying they will send military aid to the Peshmerga now (Germany, Italy, Czechs etc.). Well armed Kurds are key to dealing with IS.

  • There has been a sudden surge in European nations saying they will send military aid to the Peshmerga now (Germany, Italy, Czechs etc.).

    The Norwegians have form in this area. They send a first aid tent along with a gaggle of conscripts and look nervously over their shoulders whenever the US Marine marine division they are attached to move beyond arm’s reach. :)

  • c777

    I rather think RN’s observations will come to pass, they’re so damn evil they’re losing support of the local Sunni’s, probably why even Al Qaeda dumped them.
    I think most of them will never leave Iraq alive.
    With a bit of luck.
    The US should keep an eye on the Syrian border that’s the only place they’ll be able to flee across in the end.
    Of course that’s if clandestine support for Assad doesn’t go ahead I have a feeling it will now,ISIS, they’re in trouble.

  • Stuck-Record

    i agree with Tim above.

    Our greatest enemy is the cultural cringe.

    An example. On my high street there are lots of violent and aggressive bums and yobs. They are mostly Afro-Caribbean, because of where I live. The white shopkeepers/PCOs/Police/public will never deal with them aggressively and, as a consequence, they lose stock and customers, and are regularly hassled and intimidated. They are terrified of the accusations of racism that are the stock defence the bums wheel (loudly) out at the first obstacle.

    The shopkeepers from the Middle East, Turkish and Eastern Europe have no such qualms. They are only too ready to respond with violence and strong-arm tactics immediately. They remind me of English people up to the 1980’s. They really don’t want violence but will thump you pretty quickly if you are stupid enough to threaten them.

    As a consequence they are NEVER troubled more than once by any bum.

  • Snag

    It’s the fault of non-intervention in Syria, and intervention in Iraq, the establishment of the State of Israel, the dismemberment of the Ottoman Caliphate and the Reconquista of Andalusia in 1492.

    None of these are excuses, oh no. They are reasons.

  • Indeed Snag, that really is the sort of gibberish I hear trotted out all the time.

  • Sigivald

    The Islamic State just made it a trivial domestic political task for anyone who wants to support their enemies against them.

    If only.

    Remember Daniel Pearl?

    Yeah, and nobody else who isn’t already on “our” side in terms of dealing with wanna-be Caliphs does either.

    And only journalists really care about journalists getting killed, as far as I can see from here in the States.

    (If only it were otherwise… but it isn’t.)

  • Remember Daniel Pearl?

    Not the same, already said why I think that.

  • Tim, not troops, but rather weapons and ammunition.

    Frankly it is a terrible idea to get involved substantially on the ground. The Kurds are willing and able to take on the role of the Northern Alliance (remember them from Afghanistan?). Give them the weapons and the air cover and let them get on with it.

  • lucklucky

    “The Kurds are willing and able to take on the role of the Northern Alliance (remember them from Afghanistan?).”

    They lost.

  • The Right in America is generally far more Christian than the left. Assad is the bulwark in his neighborhood for the Christians (and other not Moslems). So why did everyone in the American political class decide to gang up on Assad? Thankfully the American people put a stop to the worst of it. What made the politicos stupid?

  • The trouble with our betters is that they bought the narrative in the Arab/Israeli conflict and applied that template to the rest of the ME.

    And even now – condemnation of ISIS and condemnation of the Jews. Their minds are so muddled that they can not see. The American public has a little more clarity.

    The only reports coming from the ME that I trust are from Michael Totten.

  • PeterT

    At what point do we see the West help Assad get back to strength? A pincer movement between the Kurds and rejuvenated Syrian forces would surely do the trick.

  • PeterT
    August 21, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    How can the powers do that? Assad is officially the Devil.

  • At what point do we see the West help Assad get back to strength?

    Hopefully never. Or perhaps you think he should also be helped to occupy much of Lebanon again too? Assad is not and will never be a stabilising influence.

  • Hopefully never. Or perhaps you think he should also be helped to occupy much of Lebanon again too? Assad is not and will never be a stabilising influence.

    Choose your poison – he is better for stability than ISIS. And he does come from a dynasty that knows how to rule the area.

    I’d rather things evolved the way South Korea did than what is going on currently. See: Syngman Rhee.

  • And he does come from a dynasty that knows how to rule the area.

    No, he comes from a dynasty that had repeatedly destabilised Lebanon for decades. He is in no way better than the Islamic State. Islamic State spilled across the border into Iraq. Ba’athist Syria invaded Lebanon. But the fact these two groups are fighting each other is delightful.

    If only Iraq had not been ruled by a catastrophically bad leader like Nouri al-Maliki, unable to even maintain a semblance of a viable *national* army, IS would still be a Syrian problem. Fortunately Lebanon’s army is rather more capable and crushed an IS incursion.

  • Well OK. We disagree. No problem. We have zero influence.

    OTOH it is interesting that ISIS chose not to open a two front war with Israel. Nor have the “winners” Hezbollah. Nor has Assad.

  • I think all the aforementioned parties are a tad busy at the moment to be inviting that kind of additional grief ;-) Certainly Hamas picked a TERRIBLE time to go poke the Israeli Bull as they are truly on their own.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Just for the record, I’m with Tim.

    And thanks a lot for that second link, Perry. Everybody should see it.

    M. Simon asks, ‘What made the politicos stupid?’ Simon, you answered the question yourself in that very remark. The politicos are conditioned as reliably as Pavlov’s dog. Christians, the very symbol of the kind of American that is lower than a snake’s belly and needs to be squished once & for all. They don’t know which fork to use and they all say “ain’t.” And they go to State U’s, and some of them go so far as to shoot moose.

    I tend to agree with you on Michael Totten, by the way.

    Oh, and what Paul said.

    I seem to be in a foul mood. I’ll go away now.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Hm. Semiotics of the murderous bustards: Trophy kill. Counting coup. ???

  • http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/blogs/michael-j-totten

    Michael and I were on “Winds of Change” a lot when he was a nobody and “Winds” was run by Joe Katzman.

  • Yondu Ondata

    The CIA funded ISIS, they are responsible for this. How convenient for the NSA and CIA this all is.
    Saudi Arabia funds terrorism across the globe yet strangely we bend over and spread our ass cheeks for them. Nuke Saudi and kill the scum princes and you solve most of the problem.

  • Ockham's Spoon

    The CIA funded ISIS

    And you know this how?

  • Yondu Ondata

    Baghdadi was trained by MOSSAD, Snowden revealed that months ago.

    ISIS is a MI6, MOSSAD, CI, Saudi dirty op.

    Create instability and fear and thus more taxpayer money funnelled to the contractors who sponge off of war.
    Fear enablrs NSA to expand its power and silence critics. ISIS is a very profitable toy for the expansion of state powe.

  • Ockham's Spoon

    Baghdadi was trained by MOSSAD, Snowden revealed that months ago.

    Provide a link for that claim, mate.

    ISIS is a MI6, MOSSAD, CI, Saudi dirty op.

    And provide a link for that claim too, mate. And it needs to be to a non-lunatic site, because I’ve already got you marked down to a tinfoil hat jobber.

  • Julie near Chicago

    I just saw this, which I suppose everybody else already knew, but it raises the ransom and hostage issues, if correct. From the A.P., Aug. 22, 2014:

    http://www.gopusa.com/news/2014/08/22/foley-case-revives-debate-over-paying-ransom/?subscriber=1

    “By paying ransoms, governments in the Mideast and Europe have become some of the biggest financiers of terror groups. By refusing to do likewise, the U.S. and Great Britain are in the thankless position of putting their own citizens at a disadvantage.

    “Foley’s captors, the Islamic State militants, had for months demanded $132.5 million (100 million Euros) from his parents and political concessions from Washington. They got neither, and the 40-year-old freelance journalist from New Hampshire was savagely killed within the last week inside Syria, where he had been held since his disappearance in November 2012.”

    “Extremists called his death a revenge killing for the 90 U.S. airstrikes, as of Thursday, that have been launched against Islamic State militants in northern Iraq since Aug. 8. But the ransom demands began late last year, even before the Islamic State – one of the world’s most financially thriving extremist groups – had begun its brutal march across much of western and northern Iraq.

    “They don’t need to do this for money,” said Matthew Levitt, a counter-terror expert at the Washington Institute think-tank. ‘When you ask for $132 million, for the release of one person, that suggests that you’re either trying to make a point … or you don’t really need the money.’

    “A senior Obama administration official said Thursday the Islamic State had made a “range of requests” from the U.S. for Foley’s release, including changes in American policy and posture in the Mideast. ….” [Snip]

  • Laird

    Ockham’s Spoon, I don’t know if you consider Alex Jones to be a “non-lunatic site” (personally, I think it’s mixed), but they are reporting what Yondu Ondata said. On the other hand I haven’t seen it reported in any of the mainstream media or, for that matter, with any source outside of the middle east. And a site called “Liberal Conspiracy” says that it’s all a hoax. So who knows what to believe? You pays your money and you takes your pick.

    Personally, it seems to me that ISIS sprang up so fast, is so well funded and organized, and apparently so militarily sophisticated, that it smells fishy. And when something smells fishy I always look around for CIA involvement.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Laird, speaking of decent English: “sprang.” Very good, props to you, a pleasure to my ears. Spring, sprang, sprung. –Also swing, swang, swung and for g-d’s sake shrink, shrank, shrunk !!!

    Ah memories…when I was a girl, we were still taught “bring, brang, brought” with “bring, brought, brought” just coming into acceptability. We were already halfway to weakening the verb, you see. Not long before that it was “bring, brang, brung”; but “brung” was already vilified as illiterate. Which, of course, it wasn’t.

    Think, thank, clunk.

  • Laird, it’s much more prosaic than that…(short version: the US “inadvertently” armed ISIS).

  • Alisa
    August 22, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    The link you left – http://theconservativetreehouse.com/2014/06/22/update-part-iii-what-we-know-about-the-benghazi-attack/ – is interesting.

    But did you know that those folks are confirmed prohibitionists? I’m banned from there for bringing up the subject once too often. My last post on the subject was in an open thread. And then the ban hammer came down.

  • Laird

    Alisa, that’s a fascinating article; thanks for sharing it. It pulls together a lot of threads and finally answers what really happened in Benghazi.

    So the CIA really DID help arm (and even train) ISIS. Figures. (At least Mossad’s hands are clean!)

  • Julie near Chicago

    Simon, I hunted up “Winds of Change,” of which I’ve never heard, and it looks interesting. (windsofchange.net, last posting in 2011 says it’s moving to WordPress.) I see Neo-neocon in the honor roll on the right: A good sign.

    Thanks for the lead.

  • Honored to be of service.

  • M. Simon: that does not surprise me, as these folks are wearing their Conservatism on their page banner :-P

    Just a note, that is a two-parter, the link to the second installment is at the bottom of the first. I recommend scanning the comments section too, as the article’s author posted some relevant videos there.

  • Alisa
    August 23, 2014 at 11:29 am

    It looks like conservatism has devolved into protecting Progressive initiatives. It is nothing new. And they especially don’t like being called on it. They can’t stand having their morality questioned. Because the have ALL TRUTH. Which they got from …. Somewhere.

    ===================

    The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. Even when the revolutionist might himself repent of his revolution, the traditionalist is already defending it as part of his tradition. Thus we have two great types — the advanced person who rushes us into ruin, and the retrospective person who admires the ruins. He admires them especially by moonlight, not to say moonshine. Each new blunder of the progressive or prig becomes instantly a legend of immemorial antiquity for the snob. This is called the balance, or mutual check, in our Constitution. — G.K. Chesterton

  • M. Simon: indeed, but this is not a post about prohibitionism or conservatism vs progressivism, so…

  • Oh. Yeah. James Foley. Prohibition provides 1/2 the funding of these idiots. Oil the other half. The “conservatives” know what to do about oil. They are clueless about prohibition.

  • Surely Saudi Arabia and Egypt are under more immediate threat from ISIS than is the US; where are their troops?

    All true but Saudi Arabia is so militarily inept that the only thing sending troops to Iraq would do is destabilise the Wahhabi Arabian Kingdom and make it more likely the even crazier Wahhabis Caliphate would end up taking over… which would be bad :-)

    And I think Egypt is too focused on its own local domestic nutters and Hamas to worry about Iraq and Syria.

    And yes, please stay on topic everyone.

  • Perry de Havilland (London)
    August 23, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Well then. It appears that conservatives are the same everywhere. Preserving the worst features of what ever system they grew up in. Change is bad.

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