Re: Fundamentalist Islam and Social Control--was CNN...
- Subject: Re: Fundamentalist Islam and Social Control--was CNN...
- From: Victor Steinbok <Victor.Steinbok@VERIZON.NET>
- Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2001 13:13:02 -0400
- In-reply-to: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Reply-to: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
- Sender: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
I know that you occasionally have trouble with sarcasm, so I'll
explain the causes of my remarks. In the past, when I questioned your
claims of a Global Conspiracy to enslave the masses by undereducating
them, you made several remarks that sounded very much like the way
you referred to comments by the Presiding Dunce: "You are either with
us or you are with the terrorists," although in my case, I was not a
terrorist, but a closet Right-winger. I share your discomfort with
W's declarations (although, it seems, everyone needs to be reminded
that he DOES NOT WRITE his own speeches--he only delivers them) and
the excessive flag-waiving. But there is reason and there is
rhetoric, and you express far more of the latter than of the former.
You, once again, subtly attempt to paint me into the Right Wing
corner--"I can't believe that you really support marching in lockstep
behind the government with no discussion allowed. This hardly seems a
reasonable stance for a participant on a list largely opposed to
government policy on so important an area as education." You know
perfectly well that I have never made any statements to indicate that
I "support marching lockstep" with anyone. In fact, the reason that
you and I are having this public discussion is because I also refuse
to march lockstep with you.
As to the reports of Arabs, other Muslims, and, in particular,
Palestinians rejoicing at the news of bombing, perhaps you have
watched 60 Minutes yesterday, where it is made perfectly clear that
this was the prevalent feeling on the streets--the report only talked
about Egyptians, but the conclusions are patently obvious.
Furthermore, after the initial broadcast of the jubilant
Palestinians, several reports mentioned that the cameraman who shot
the video in East Jerusalem and the AP cameraman who made a similar
tape in Nablus have been threatened. Several other journalists had
their tapes confiscated by the Palestinian Authority, who was quite
concerned about the street reality not matching its official rhetoric.
Although several commentators were wondering why there have been no
other images of jubilant Muslims, celebrating the news of murder of
over 6000 civilians, the story finally broke once again two days ago.
Unfortunately it appeared in the Weekly Standard, which neither of us
considers a reliable source. Since I have already heard the story ON
THE DAY THAT IT HAPPENED, I was quite convinced of its accuracy,
despite the source.
I have not condemned Islam--if you actually read the statement, what
I condemned was what was being done "in the name of" Islam, Communism
and American Imperialism. Even so, I do not consider New Democracy
equal to American Imperialism, Communism or Islam. However, I do
consider you a demagogue in the same mold as many of the leaders that
ride under those banners. The only difference is that you are
small-time and are not likely to do much damage (and might actually
do some good in the meantime--otherwise, I would not waste my time
discussing this issue).
I am opposed to thoughtless, reckless actions on the part of the US
Government. In fact, I am quite concerned that the "evidence"
concerning Bin Laden's involvement in the plot--at least at the
moment--seems to be nothing more than a cheap propaganda trick,
exacerbated by obvious lies coming from the White House (the claim
that was made about Air Force One being the next target are
ludicrous--if that was the case, why did they put him on the plane?
Coudn't they find a less conspicuous target if it was going to have
fighter-plane escort anyway?) I also believe that it WAS the US
policy missteps and knee-jerk Cold War reaction that has caused the
present situation in Afghanistan--unfortunately, at the time, there
was little I could have done about it, being in Moscow. So I all for
more dialogue, but only reasoned dialogue, not more propaganda.
At 10:22 AM -0400 9/24/01, Dave Stratman wrote:
I am surprised and nonplussed by the level of hostility in your post.
I have been arguing that we must allow democratic space for
discussion of the context and meaning of the terrorist attacks
rather than shut people up. I have also pointed out that Communism
and fundamentalist Islam are both means of authoritarian,
anti-democratic social control. For this you equate New Democracy
with American Imperialism, Communism, and Islam. (Incidentally, I
think it is quite inappropriate to condemn Islam as a whole in this
way, unless you mean also to condemn Judaism and Christianity. There
have been enough ignorant remarks on this list already about Muslims
with your adding to them.)
Frankly Bush's declaration the other night that "You are either with
us or you are with the terrorists" made me very uncomfortable, as I
think it should you. It is exactly the sort of formulation that I
feel we should avoid. I can't believe that you really support
marching in lockstep behind the government with no discussion
allowed. This hardly seems a reasonable stance for a participant on
a list largely opposed to government policy on so important an area
So why attack me when I say that we shouldn't close off discussion?
Why make these bizarre assertions about New Democracy?
Editor, New Democracy
5 Burr Street
Boston, MA 02130
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