Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Bruce Bawer reminds us that the bien pensant types have always had contempt for their own country. Patriotism is gauche and opposition to Jihad, like opposition to Communism is, in their view, the province of the knuckle dragging peasants.
So with the new term "counterjihadist" they attempt to demonize people who believe that the 9/11 hijackers were followers of Islam rather than some kooky lunatic fringe.
But then these are strange times. On the evening of September 11, 2001, you might’ve expected responsible-minded, in-the-know public servants, journalists, and academic Islam experts throughout the Western world to start giving their respective publics a crash course (as it were) in Islamic jihad, so as to ensure that absolutely everybody understood exactly why those men wanted to take down those buildings. Instead, the President of the United States, the Karen Armstrongs and John Espositos, and virtually the entire Western media were quick to begin issuing fervent assurances that the terrorists were a fanatical minority who’d hijacked not only airplanes but Islam itself. Similar assurances followed hard upon every major terrorist act in the succeeding years. Those of us who knew better – who recognized that the terrorists were doing exactly what the Koran ordered them to do, and who believed that it was vitally important for everyone in the West to understand this – began to see our names yanked to a term that identified us not as people who were seeking to educate and inform but as antagonists of something to which every one of us, after all, should be opposed.
For those who blame George Bush, I totally agree. Keep in mind that the Bush family is part of the "respectable" country club and upper-class Republican establishment with a world view that closely matches the mainstream Democrats of the twentieth century. Remember the "thousand points of light" or a "kindler, gentler" Republican? That was a way of distancing themselves from the conservative Ronald Reagan who as definitely not the scion of privilege and who Bush Senior ran against in the Republican primary.
The stance of the chattering classes vis a vis Jihad and Islam closely parallels that of their attitude toward Communism.
Back in the day, anti-Communists had a similar problem. I’m old enough to recall the obloquy heaped upon them by bien pensant types – professors and high-toned journalists who considered active, vocal opposition to Communism the most lowbrow of pastimes. Yes, whereas today’s counter-counterjihadists act as if jihad is a figment of counterjihadists’ fevered imaginations, the anti-anti-Communists (a label they wore with pride) at least acknowledged – albeit in a bland, bored way – that Communism existed. Sometimes they even admitted that it wasn’t all that terrific. But by focusing their animus on anti-Communism, and remaining all but silent about the evils of Communism itself – indeed, by insisting that the very application of words like “evil” to Communism (à la Ronald Reagan) was infantile and hyberbolic – they drove home the idea that overt anti-Communism was worse – by which they meant less intelligent, less sophisticated, less worldly – than Communism itself. Indeed, even as self-identified Communists in America and throughout the West held positions of trust in the academy, government, the arts, and elsewhere, anti-Communists came to be viewed as fanatical, paranoid conspiracy theorists who, in the phrase of the day, saw “a Communist under every bed.”
Read the whole thing.