Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Danny Goldhagen on the Islamunists and the Iranian Colossus

Danny Goldhagen, who apparently never tires of discovering what he thinks is the essential evil in people, having previously figured out the inner pollution of the Nazi-era Germans and the Catholic Church, has now turned his attention to Islamic terrorism, or Political Islam. Or maybe the term used by Jesus' General, "Islamunism", would be better, Islamism having taken the place of Communism as the favorite bogeyman of fans of perpetual war.

The Humiliation Myth Democracy Journal Spring 2007, Danny explains why not only is it ridiculous to suggest that poverty might have anything to do with terrorism, but also the idea that Arabs and other Muslims might be responding to feelings of humiliation, well, Danny knows that's just absolutely wrong. The problem is Political Islamists (Danny likes to capitalize the first letters).

And Danny says they're pretty much like Hitler, and now is 1938, and the West has to find the Will to stand up to them. The whole neocon song-and-dance, in other words. All our enemies are like Hitler, of course. Danny writes:

Moreover, it is not clear that we can put the humiliation "genie" back in the bottle. Whatever role it played in the emergence of Political Islam, that ideology now powerfully exists and has a vibrant life of its own, controlling countries and threatening to take over others. To return to the example of Nazi Germany, whatever the multiple causes of Nazism’s rise, by 1938 it was not within the Allies’ power to pacify the Nazis and the majority of Germans who supported them merely by reducing further "humiliation"; by that time, the humiliating terms of Versailles had been reversed and Germany had already regained its status as a great power. To be sure, Bergen and Lind acknowledge that by 1938 "no concessions … short of acquiescence" would have sufficed. But they do not draw the policy conclusion that follows for today. We must recognize that likewise "no concessions … short of acquiescence" will satisfy the Political Islamists. We must therefore fashion policies with a clear-eyed view of the underlying political-religious ideology that structures their enmity and aspirations, the varied and widespread political manifestations their movements  and governments assume, and the broad and determined threat they pose to governments and peoples that goes well beyond al Qaeda's by-now-classical terrorist means. (my emphasis)
Danny concludes:

Instead, we should recognize the broad-based danger not merely of terrorism, but of Political Islam. And we must realize that it can only be defeated by active diplomatic, economic, and military containment and, when practical, rollback by the United States and its allies in Europe and in the Middle East. We should stop fixating on al Qaeda and terrorism, narrowly construed, as the overwhelming problem and recognize that the biggest danger is the Political Islamic colossus and aspiring hegemon: the soon-to-go-nuclear Iran. (my emphasis)
That's Danny's bottom line: we have to get Iran, the new Hitler menace.

If you're tempted to read the whole thing, it's a relatively short article. Miniscule by Danny's standards, actually. That way, you can get the full effect of his polemical bile, the sweeping generalizations sprinkled with alibi phrases so he can later deny making the sweeping generalizations, and the huge leaps of faith required to follow his arguments.

To summarize how he gets to Iran being the new Hitler Germany that's a deadly threat to America's existence, we take our first leap of faith to accept that poverty and resentment at humiliation have no decisive influence on Muslim terrorists, it's their relgious ideas. But it's not just a matter of Al Qaida-style violent Salafists, it's (next leap of faith) all forms of "Political Islam". All forms of Political Islam are (leap of faith) deadly threats to the US and Israel, and they (leap of faith) cannot be appeased. Iran is ruled by Political Islam, Iran is (leap of faith) "the Political Islamic colossus" despite that little Sunni/Shi'a problem, it is (leap of faith) "soon-to-go-nuclear" and therefore (leap of faith) is an "overwhelming" danger to the US and Western Europe that (leap of faith) should be dealt with by "rollback".

If you can leap along with Danny along that path, let me tell you how the leprechauns hid Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction with magic pixie dust as part of a plot between Saddam, Osama bin Laden and the Irish Republican Army...

Danny, in other words, is one more neoconservative warmonger trying to gin up another useful war for someone else to kill and die in.

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