Thursday, August 5, 2010

Gingrich/bin Laden: your respective Civilizations aren't interested in your Clash

I've tried to avoid weighing in on this subject in any depth, simply because I get too outraged and find it nearly impossible to think, speak, or write clearly after that. But as you'll surely have heard, Newt Gingrich made a speech last week at the American Enterprise Institute entitled "America at Risk: Camus, National Security, and Afghanistan" (pdf). Take a look at it if you like, or just trust my summary: Gingrich thinks we're at war with Islam (or as he would draw the difference-less distinction, with "Islamism") and believes it's necessary to mobilize all of our national resources to combat the creeping destruction of our civilization. Sounds like someone else I know. William Saletan and Max Fisher do a great job of drawing out the parallels. Here's Saletan:

In the years since 9/11, Osama Bin Laden has issued more than 20 audio and video statements to spread his view of the conflict between the United States and al-Qaida. According to his worldview, the United States represents Christianity, al-Qaida represents Muslims, Christians won't protect Muslims, the West hates mosques, peaceful coexistence is a fraud, and the "war on terrorism" is really a war on Islam. By spreading this message, Bin Laden works to turn Muslims against the United States and rally them to al-Qaida.

Now Bin Laden has an ally in this propaganda campaign: Newt Gingrich.

Over the past two weeks, in a series of articles and speeches, Gingrich has declared a religious war that suits al-Qaida's agenda almost perfectly. While denouncing "Islamists" rather than Islam, Gingrich has blurred the distinction by selecting as his initial target the construction of a mosque near Ground Zero. Everything Bin Laden says about the United States, Gingrich validates.

He then presents a side-by-side comparison of bin Laden and Gingrich's thoughts on the subject of culture/civilizational war. The similarities are striking. Read it.

Max has more here on how Gingrich's speech fits into the broader picture of his own political ambitions and divisions within the GOP on security policy.

As I've said in the comments to this post, I think this issue is a vitally important one. I'm going to continue my policy of relative silence, though, because as I've said, I lose my mind when I start thinking about Newt effing Gingrich or the people opposing Muslim Day at Six Flags as the vanguard of a civilizational army fighting for ME. F that noise.

(And while we're on the subject, check out what Ex has to say about the mosque controversy. I think he's a little too focused on the Establishment Clause but completely agree on the broader sentiment.)

1 comment:

  1. First the weather at the beach was nothing but fog. And now you kill an untold number of my brain cells with this and the link to Exum's drivel. WTF is up with you people today?

    My entire twitter feed and blogroll is people who I rely on for news updates and links and everybody is posting this bullshit. Oh no! Mosque uproar! Gay marriage! Exum is quoting the first amendment (WTF???). The Twitterverse is posting bullshit about Gingrich stroking off bin Laden. And opposition to gay marriage is being portrayed as a bunch of people motivated by hate. Damn.

    I don't go to legal or political blogs for national security news. Why do these nat'l security people think that their worthless views on law and politics are special?