The NY Times gets it wrong again. Film at 11. - Jay Maynard

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Wednesday, 13 July 2005


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0900 - The NY Times gets it wrong again. Film at 11.

The NY Times, the paper of record of the American Left, knocked the We're Not Afraid site in an editorial yesterday. They called it, among other things, a "brutish flaunting of wealth and leisure".

This one's getting lots of play in the blogosphere; michaelmink pointed me to Little Green Footballs, and there's a link at Instapundit to Ann Althouse's blog and The Volokh Conspiracy as well.

Personally? Well, if you followed the cut link yesterday, you saw my contribution to the site. If that's being brutish, then I cheerfully plead guilty to being a brute. I think the Times's carping is more about the folks posting to WNA not trying to understand the terrorists, so we can give them what they want and get them to go away happy. To that, I politely say, "bunk!" The only thing we need to understand about terrorism is how to wipe those who practice it from the face of the earth, utterly without mercy.

current mood: [mood icon] pissed off
current music: Billy Joel - Allentown

(20 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:penk
Date: - 0000
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The only thing we need to understand about terrorism is how to wipe those who practice it from the face of the earth, utterly without mercy.

I don't think anyone disagrees with you there.

Now how do you do that? No one is wearing a sign that says "Islamic Fundamentalist Terrorist. Shoot [X] here to eliminate." Maybe we should just shoot all potential terrorists. Ah good. Hm. Define that - what's a potential terrorist?

Getting awfully 1984 here.

[User Picture]
From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000
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Actually, there are those who do disagree with me. You'll probably see some of them post here within the next day or so.
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From:howardtayler
Date: - 0000
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I'm all for showing a little mercy, but that's the only point where I disagree.

And your "1984" shot is a little cheap. If we truly understand terrorism well enough to eradicate it, we will understand that arbitrarily targeting innocent muslims, people of arabic descent, or turban-wearing swarthy men will NOT do the trick.

I'm with Jay. Let's learn enough about terrorism that we can profile it accurately enough to exise the cancer without making the patient any sicker.

--Howard
[User Picture]
From:shelbystripes
Date: - 0000
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Let's learn enough about terrorism that we can profile it accurately enough to exise the cancer without making the patient any sicker.

I'm all for that sentiment. The problem is that people act like "terrorism" is an organization or ideology; it's just a method. Kind of like "gun crime" is; different people do it for different reasons, the only thing that they truly have in common is how they do it. There are a number of different end goals and motivating beliefs behind the different individual acts that happen, and no one solution is going to address all of them.

And the truth is that there are two clear practical solutions: One is to treat terrorist behavior as a crime, and the other is to treat it as an act of war. The former ends up pursuing, detaining, and achieving justice against the individuals who perpetrate it, and only those individuals. The latter brings in flags and ideologies, which only validates that there is another side, and allows that other side to wave its flag and rally support around it and to grow.

Nobody ever says "Hey, I want to be an incarcerated criminal, too!" But get people going about the nation that occupied theirs and dropped bombs that killed their parents and siblings and children and is "sorry that such collateral damage happened in this necessary war", and people aren't going to care about whether the war was necessary or not--they're gonna pick up guns, and they're gonna go fight on the side that's against the nation that bombed them. And it doesn't take much collateral damage to create sympathy for any side that's willing to return the favor.

Terrorism is an action by people who want something they don't have. Waging war as a response only gives those people a side and a flag, which gives them power, which is probably what they want.

It's obvious enough that full-scale war is not the answer. But we haven't even learned that much yet.
[User Picture]
From:korgmeister
Date: - 0000
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Yeah, I made the mistake of signing up for the NYT Editorial RSS feed. I deleted it within a day because it was like some sort of portal to the Unholy Dimension of Fucking Stupid.

Also, that editorial is a classic case of not getting the point.

A defiant attitude is a Good Thing. We are meant to be defiant to terrorists. That should be so self-evident as to call the mental faculties of anyone who can't understand it into question.

Not to mention the flaunting of wealth, that also falls into the category of "duh". We have wealth, (relative) freedom and happiness. The terrorists are jealous that our cultures have these things and their culture has nothing but soul-destroying religious oppression, shame and inadequacy. What better statement against terrorism than to make that abundantly clear?

Of course, most amusing is how Sorry Everybody is a Good Thing and We're Not Afraid is a Bad Thing for reasons that effectively reduce to Sarah Boxer (our better) has decreeing to the unwashed masses that it be so.
[User Picture]
From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000
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portal to the Unholy Dimension of Fucking Stupid
I gotta remember that one! Bwahahahaha...
[User Picture]
From:unspeakablevorn
Date: - 0000
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think the Times's carping is more about the folks posting to WNA not trying to understand the terrorists, so we can give them what they want and get them to go away happy.

You're putting words in the left's mouth again, accusing them of wanting to do the dane-geld thing.

You make an assumption here: that the left thinks that what the terrorists want is what will make them go away.

This isn't true.

What the terrorists want is essentially the destruction of the western world and the supremacy of their particular extreme version of islam worldwide. But that won't make them go away. What will make them go away is essentially westernization and the removal of this particularly extreme version of islam from all areas of social life.

The terrorist mindset is such that even killing all the terrorists won't stop them from coming back. A dead terrorist, to these people, is a hero, and goes to paradise and gets 72 virgins.

Vorn
[User Picture]
From:phanatic
Date: - 0000
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What the terrorists want is essentially the destruction of the western world and the supremacy of their particular extreme version of islam worldwide.

The left displays an amazing capacity to not understand that.
[User Picture]
From:korgmeister
Date: - 0000
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The terrorist mindset is such that even killing all the terrorists won't stop them from coming back. A dead terrorist, to these people, is a hero, and goes to paradise and gets 72 virgins.

I refuse to believe that the culture in those parts of the world is so diseased that such death-worship is extant in all but an extremist minority.

Besides, if it is, then the most rational course of action is to renact the Third Punic War with modern technology.
[User Picture]
From:unspeakablevorn
Date: - 0000
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An extremist minority is all you need.

The problem is that in places like Iran and Saudi Arabia, they also happen to be in control of the schools.

Vorn
[User Picture]
From:phanatic
Date: - 0000
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I refuse to believe that the culture in those parts of the world is so diseased that such death-worship is extant in all but an extremist minority.

"Peace will come when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us." - Golda Meir

The death cult is incredibly extent amongst present-day "Palestinians."
[User Picture]
From:korgmeister
Date: - 0000
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Let's just say that voicing my thoughts on the Palestinians would probably cause a visit from the LJ-abuse fairy. So I won't.

And that's a great quote. I haven't seen anything that encapsulates the War on Terror better. Only way it could be improved is if we substituted "their children" with "themselves". Because heavens is the collective self-loathing strong in that culture.
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From:howardtayler
Date: - 0000
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The article does make a good point, and that's that the pictures are becoming increasingly frivolous, and that twists the original message.

But you know what? There's no way for me to take a picture of myself in any of my life settings without appearing to "flaunt wealth" in front of the "have-nots." I'm not an especially wealthy guy, but I own my home, I have a back yard with a play-set in it, and I have a car.

Those are some of the fruits of a free, capitalist society. We GENERATE WEALTH, and we do so in such enormous amounts that the "poverty level" in the United States is wealthy by the standards of the third world . If the Islamofascists who happen to be "have-nots" are going to take issue with that, well, GOOD. It proves that it's not just about ideology for them -- it's selfishness, envy, and fear that their "way of life" won't survive the 21st century.

--Howard
[User Picture]
From:ginafae
Date: - 0000

My thoughts

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My thoughts on eradicating terrorism is that you should understand what causes people to go to such extremes, and the eliminate the cause.

Sure, the people that are messed up now... are messed up. But the only way to prevent more people from being messed up in the same way is to understand what caused a perfectly rational human being to feel the need to kill themselves and take out as many people as they can with them. It's not a rational line of thought... but somehow people are brought to that point.

That's all I feel about understanding "terrorists". I don't want to understand and sympathize. I want to understand to prevent.

To use a metaphor that maybe describes my feelings a little better, I don't want to learn how to treat lung cancer. It's virtually hopeless. However, if I study lung cancer enough to know that smoking causes lung cancer, I can easily prevent it. Make sense?
[User Picture]
From:phanatic
Date: - 0000

Re: My thoughts

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But the only way to prevent more people from being messed up in the same way is to understand what caused a perfectly rational human being to feel the need to kill themselves and take out as many people as they can with them.

'Perfectly rational' is a very much unfounded assumption, and asking a question which includes it will lead to answers that don't reflect reality.
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From:shelbystripes
Date: - 0000
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I read the Times editorial, and don't see anything to disagree with in it. It does seem that the site is becoming a place to "flaunt wealth and leisure", which does seem to undermine the original point of the site.

Of course, your ignorance about constantly assuming what the left wants us to do shows itself again...
[User Picture]
From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000
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I pointed bronxelf_ag001 at this, but she's up to her ears in trying to wade through 5000 pictures sent to the site. (Until two hours ago, she was the only American helping on the site.) She's too busy to type this herself, so she asked me to point out:

1) The terrorists in London were in a house in Leeds, not a cave in the middle east. Explain just what they "don't have"?
2) The pictures you see today were sent days ago. (Mine probably won't go upon the site for several more days.)
3) The photo guidelines (as set down by Alfie Denning, the guy who started the site) are getting VERY strict, so you probably won't see much other sentiment than holiday shots.

And speaking for myself, the point of the site is to show people going about their routines, not being intimidated by terrorists - thus denying them their objective, which is to change people's lives in order to get what they want. I'm sorry if that offends some folks, but it's the real world.
[User Picture]
From:shelbystripes
Date: - 0000
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Unfortunately it's obvious that terrorism has changed people's lives, including yours. You respond by crying for war, by disregarding any notions of justice and instead going for mercilessly wiping them and "their kind", leaving that open to the broadest definition anyone is willing to make from it, off the face of the earth. And by jumping on and attempting to alienate anyone else in your own country who doesn't believe in that as feverishly as you do. You call for open war, and if it weren't for these recent acts of terrorism, you'd be apathetic to whatever those people did over there with themselves, so that's obviously a change on your part brought on by their actions.

And that is exactly what the terrorists want--for this to be seen as a war instead of just to be treated as common criminals like anyone else that intentionally hurts or kills people or destroys property. Calling it a war admits that they have a side and a cause, instead of just some criminal actions that they've each committed. That allows them to rally people around the cause, it helps them wave their own flag, and it makes them stronger.

Terrorism does change people in this country, and it's changed a lot of them in exactly the ways that "the terrorists" want. So don't give me this crap about how it doesn't change people, when obviously it does.
[User Picture]
From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000
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The only justice for those who kill innocents without mercy is death without mercy.

Nowhere have I ever said anything about wiping out "their kind", because I do not believe it. It's not about any particular religion or ethnicity. It's about evil people who think killing innocents is a Good Idea.

Only when the terrorists started attacking us directly did I realize that terrorism is a danger to everyone, everywhere, and must be ruthlessly stamped out whenever and wherever it is found.
[User Picture]
From:shelbystripes
Date: - 0000
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Bullshit. You've said "nuke the whole region" before. You've spouted the rhetoric of "those who are not with us are against us" which by your own definition creates enemies of not just terrorists themselves but those who oppose our method of dealing with them. And you've been welcome to accept "collateral damage" in the form of innocent lives lost in the war we launched, using the "war on terror" as justification, on a nation that had no hand at all in the nation that attacked us and that only appeared to have a connection to those terrorists at all in the form of agreeing that we're the "bad guy".

Killing innocents is a bad idea, which is exactly why full-scale war on a nation as a response to the actions of individuals operating under no flag is wrong. Dropping bombs on targets that we knew had Iraqi civilians inside in the hope of exterminating that nation's leader was no less "evil" than what the fanatics involved in 9/11 or London or Madrid did.

Neither ruthlessness nor mercilessness are pillars of justice, and without justice we are no better than they are.

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