Saturday, December 02, 2006

Apocalypse on the US blogosphere

David Selbourne (author of The Losing Battle with Islam) wrote on The There is a world, increasingly driven by unreason, in which voices in the wilderness denounce each other as ‘traitors’, cry out that ‘all I want is no more Islam near me’, or allege that Prince Charles is ‘waiting in the wings to declare the UK a Muslim country the minute QEII dies’.

I know things are bad in the UK, but hopefully not that bad.
It is the world of the American blogosphere of the ‘left’ and ‘right’; the world not of the lunatic fringe, though it may often seem so, but of vox pop. It is a world of which the ‘MSM’, or ‘mainstream media’, knows too little. Yet blog-site contributors’ opinions, threats and predictions — expressed in large volume on such sites as jihadwatch, littlegreenfootballs or Daily Kos — merit increasing attention for what they reveal of the temper of our times.

Roughly speaking, the blogging ‘right’ is anti-Muslim (and not just anti-Islam), pro-gun and apple pie, anti-‘big government’ and ‘liberals’ in DC, and generally pro-British, anti-European and pro-Israel; while the ‘left’ is anti-‘extremist’, anti-‘racist’, pro-‘human rights’, anti-militarist, anti-US support for Israel and anti-corporate — the last a position sometimes to be found on the ‘right’ also.
Reason would expect that the left would be even more worried about Islamofascism than the right is, because of their support for women's rights (women have almost no rights under Islam), gay rights (gays are either executed or subjected to 100 lashes), promiscuity (Islam makes Fundamental Christians seem like proponents for free sex. They just are too stupid to see the risk.
Above all, for most of this ‘right’, all-out war has been declared on ‘the West’ by Islam and its ‘terrorists’.
Osama must be on the right side of the blogosphere, since he certainly did declare that.
But for most of the ‘left’ and ‘liberals’, war is being imposed on parts of the Islamic world by the Americans, Israelis, and their rag-tag partners in geopolitical ‘crime’, and against whom Muslim ‘radicals’ must be expected to strike back.
Totally stupid.
The differences between these mutually hostile camps, judging by the blogosphere, are growing. Moreover, as Islam’s political fortunes have advanced, irrationality in response to this advance has spread also, to ‘right’ and ‘left’. Some of it provides light relief. To bloggers on the ‘right’, the ‘left’ are ‘moonbats’, Democrats are sell-out ‘Dhimmicrats’, Saddam Hussein is ‘Sodom Insane’ and the ACLU is the ‘American Criminal Liberties Union’; the ‘left’ describes President Bush as everything from a ‘traitor’ to a ‘boil on the public butt’, and pro-Israel Christian evangelists as ‘fundie nutjobs’.

Other judgements are more serious in their portents. A blog-poster declares that the ‘left’ and ‘liberals’ have ‘done nothing but grovel at the feet of Islamofascists’; another that the entire American ‘left’ — who are no better than ‘tares in the midst of wheat’ — are ‘killing this country’. For their parts, ‘left’ bloggers see the battles in Afghanistan and Iraq as ‘useless’, and the Bush ‘regime’ as having ‘run amok’.

However, ‘left’ and ‘right’ share the perception that it is the other which is in command of the polity and of the ‘MSM’. To the ‘right’, which considers itself ‘pretty much shut out of our national corporate media’, ‘what could not be accomplished on the battlefield — an American retreat from Iraq — was instead achieved in American newsrooms’. To the ‘left’, a ‘right-wing machine’ which includes ‘experts who have sold out to it’ and ‘hateful right-wing talkshows’ rules the waves.

Paranoia and odium are on the increase. In the blogosphere, the word ‘fascist’ is thus routinely used by the ‘left’ to describe the ‘right’ of all shades — the White House, for example, is said to be ‘gripped by a fascist power lust’. The ‘right’, whose spelling is less good, not only regards Islamists as ‘facists’ but also those on the ‘left’ whom it accuses of sympathising with America’s foes.
No we refer to those on the left as being communists or socialists.
But nothing can compare with the ‘right’s’ abuse of ‘Muzzies’ in general. They are variously said to be ‘dumber than dirt’, ‘godless savages’, ‘losers’, even ‘Koranimals’. As for Islam, or ‘Islamania’, it is (for example) a ‘misogynistic genocidal cult’ which allegedly worships a ‘false pagan moon-rock god of death’ and is ‘eating at the insides of every nation until it is dead’.
Most of my criticism is not against Islam as practiced by most people, but the rabid Islamofascists that have hijacked that faith.
Of course, there are distinguished precedents even for the bleakest and coarsest of these judgements. To Montesquieu in 1748, Islam’s ‘destructive spirit’ spoke ‘only by the sword’; to Schopenhauer in 1819, the Koran was a ‘wretched book’ in which he had ‘not been able to discover one single idea of value’; to De Tocqueville in 1843, Islam was ‘deadly’, ‘to be feared’ and a ‘form of decadence’.

Today, however, it is the sheer violence of emotion on blog-sites which is most striking. The true patriot would seize American ‘appologists [sic] for Islam’, ‘hold them with their feet to the fire until they are screaming, and watch them squirm’; while a ‘liberal’ voice yells into the ether that those who have supported the war in Iraq ‘should not be given a chance to breathe. Pound them into the ground until they never get back up, evil bastards!’

In this unhinged world, now non-Muslim as well as Muslim, the counsels of action offered by ‘right-wing’ vox pop range from the near-despairing to the catastrophic. ‘Go home and leave us alone’, diaspora Muslims are told — at the mildest — ‘and take your Western lapdogs with you’; or, ‘Islamophobes need to get loud, very loud,’ says another, ‘it’s the only thing we can do now’. Here, the sense of foreboding is strong. Tougher is, ‘We are the West. Let them know who is boss. If they don’t like it, they can leave.’ Higher up the scale comes, ‘Let the military take over. I advocate a military coup.’ At the apogee are nukes. ‘Why should we restrain ourselves from nuking every Mohammedan hellhole that lacks a credible defense?’, asks one; ‘Nuke Mecca Now!’, demands another. The feeling of world-endingness, of apocalypse, is rife on the sites of the ‘right’. For some, it is ‘the West’ which is done for. ‘We have allowed Islam in. We have sentenced ourselves to death’ is its voice.
That may be true of Europe; I think if we are smart we can avoid falling into the problems they are in now.
For others, it is Islam which faces Armageddon. ‘The final day of Islam will arrive very soon’ and it ‘will be vanquished utterly’, a blog prophet promises in biblical tones.
If the President of Iran has his way, Armageddon will definitely start soon. We just have to be concerned about whether that means the return of Christ, or the return of the 12th Imam.
Or another American civil war is foreseen. ‘If it breaks out,’ declares a would-be recruit, ‘my only comfort is that the left will be killed first, since most of them don’t carry guns.’
Good point. The left would also be hurt the most should Islam win.
Moreover, just as the Islamist can assert that ‘we will not rest from our jihad until we have blown up the White House’, so non-Muslim terminators look to the day of a nuclear exchange. ‘I just hope the nuke attack comes soon. Let it be on the East Coast where it belongs,’ prays one; ‘I hope I wake up to Washington a glowing hole in the morning,’ prays another, almost in the same terms as the most violent of jihadists. ‘We would be able to fight back even with millions dead in our cities,’ predicts a third, ‘then we’d go get the oil fields.’ In this war of words as well as of worlds, reason is under pressure on all sides. The true complexity of things is being given short shrift by ‘experts’ and by vox pop alike: after all, London is no more ‘Londonistan’ than Israel is a ‘cancer’ and America the ‘Great Satan’. In particular, frustration at America’s reverses is driving many round the bend, if the torrent of opinion in the blogosphere is a guide. Or, as one poster demanded to know, ‘What the hell is our oil doing under their sand?’

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