Even when one doesn't profess to, or proselytize for, a particular religion, it is sometimes apparent what flavor of belief system they buy. You have, I'm sure, met an older person at a a grocery store or football game and thought, oh yeah, that's a Christian. Well the same is true for Hillary Clinton.
Just by Hillary's words and deeds, you can tell she subscribes to a belief system. She gave a speech on Thursday at the Council on Foreign Relations in which she discussed at length the precepts of that system. And much like her would-be predecessor, hers is an Islamic belief system.
That is, a system of beliefs about Islam.
Take a look at this clip from the speech, made snarky by Digitas Daily:
Do you hear the cognitive dissonance in what she says? Via Truth Revolt, the full key transcript:
The bottom line is that we are in a contest of ideas against an ideology of hate, and we have to win. Let's be clear though, Islam is not our adversary. Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism. The obsession in some quarters with a clash of civilization or repeating the specific words "radical Islamic terrorism" isn't just a distraction - it gives these criminals, these murderers, more standing than they deserve. It actually plays into their hands by alienating partners we need by our side. Our priority should be how to fight the enemy. In the end, it didn't matter what kind of terrorist we called Bin Laden, it mattered that we killed Bin Laden. But we still can't close our eyes to the fact that there's a distorted and dangerous strain of extremism within the Muslim world that continues to spread.
Let's take things in turn:
"We are in a contest of ideas against an ideology of hate, and we have to win."
A contest of ideas? False. This is not a contest of ideas. This is called a war. We aren't holding forums on public access television here. People are literally DYING IN THE STREETS. It's not like they are pitching AC power and we're pitching DC. This isn't Edison versus Tesla. It's a clash of civilizations. But more on that in a minute.
Here's the other thing: you can't have an ideology that is merely "hate." That's not an ideology. It's an emotion. She says we are fighting it and have to win against it. Against what? Are we fighting the emotion of hate? How do you win against hate? What are the conditions of victory? That nobody hates anything anymore? It's nonsense. What we are fighting is an ideology with a specific point of view. It has a philosophy, goals in mind, cultural mores, and of course, without question, fundamental religious beliefs.
"Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism." OK this is demonstrably false. Let me demonstrate by using a different religion: Christianity. It's a favorite hobby horse of Democrats anyway. Imagine that tomorrow a group of organized Catholic killers took hostages in the streets of Mecca. They wear crosses and carry Bibles. They murder 50 Muslims who are merely going about their day, shopping, going to school (well .. the men anyway), and generally not engaging in acts of war. What would that be called? Terrorism, right? And the group would be Christian. You could say they twisted their religion, but that is just picking nits. There is no international or galactic Christian governing body that determines what is pro and what is merely amateur. They are, in every way that it is possible to make such a determination, a Christian group.
Therefore, you would be incorrect to say Christians have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.
"Muslims have nothing to do with terrorism" is a core tenet of Hillary's Islamic belief system, but it is a totally meaningless sentiment. Some people who are terrorists are Muslim. That is simply a fact. Not all Muslims are tolerant and peaceful. This is also a simple fact. Indeed some Islamic nations that we call allies are anything but tolerant. But some are. Hillary's definitive statement may make liberal do-gooder tolerance-junkies feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but it means nothing at all. It is a sentence without statement. It is fluff. It is nothing.
The radical Islam and clash of civilizations "obsession".
I feel triggered. Do you feel triggered? "Obsession"? How typical of a Democrat to use the language of unreasoning preoccupation for the opponents of the "ideology of hate" rather than its adherents. It is not an "obsession" to be clear-eyed about exactly what enemy you face. Sun Tzu says "If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle." Democrats know neither the enemy nor us.
Our civilization is the famous Western one: dominated by Christianity but inclusive of many religions; tolerant of other points of view but sharing a general principle of freedom and democracy; and blessed with an embarrassment of blue jean riches and cheeseburgers. Yes, the West is all those things. But it is also a civilization that wishes to exist, strives to. Western civilization desires continuance. Americans want America tomorrow as well as today. France wants France for a thousand more years. What Hillary and Obama and others of their particular belief system don't understand is that this desire to exist is strong, and westerners are prepared to fight death. Thus World War II. And likewise, the change in national mood across Europe since the radical Islamic terror attack last weekend.
You can see the total lack of understanding of we the West, particularly Americans, in the way the Democrats are approaching the question of Syrian refugees. Take this excerpt from, of all things, a Mother Jones article.
Here's the thing: to the average person, it seems perfectly reasonable to be suspicious of admitting Syrian refugees to the country. We know that ISIS would like to attack the US. We know that ISIS probably has the wherewithal to infiltrate a few of its people into the flood of refugees. And most voters have no idea how easy it is to get past US screening. They probably figure it's pretty easy.
So to them it doesn't seem xenophobic or crazy to call for an end to accepting Syrian refugees. It seems like simple common sense. After all, things changed after Paris.
Mocking Republicans over this—as liberals spent much of yesterday doing on my Twitter stream—seems absurdly out of touch to a lot of people. Not just wingnut tea partiers, either, but plenty of ordinary centrists too. It makes them wonder if Democrats seriously see no problem here. Do they care at all about national security? Are they really that detached from reality?
Obama and Hillary and so many Democrats and liberals are making that critical and frankly insulting error. They know neither themself.
Yet even more overtly they know not the enemy. As I said, it is a civilization in that it is a set of common cultural, societal, and religious ideas in and among a particular set of nations and groups. The common thread is that they are Islamic nations, they are Islamic groups, they make Islamic claims, and they follow Islamic laws. That is a civilization, and we are clashing with it.
Which is not to say at war with. Civilizational clashes in history have been resolved without war from time to time. But we are at war with some of the groups and perhaps, from a perspective, certain nations. Still, the fact remains that Western civilization is clashing with, for lack of a better phrase, Middle Eastern civilization. This is a simple concept, and also an inevitable state.
As for the words "radical Islam", they of course matter. To predict a move, understand a motive. That's true in chess, poker, and war. We must know them for who they are. They must know that we know them for who they are. And especially, those nations Hillary is afraid of alienating must know that we know. To put it in the plain terms this requires, it is not dangerous that friendly or moderate Muslims think we know that ISIS is Islamic. It is dangerous that they be placed into the enemy camp.
I mean, isn't that Hillary's argument anyway? Don't make enemies out of allies? Then don't. Give them an out. You're Islamic, but we're fighting RADICAL Islam. If we're going to talk real talk about strategy then let's do it. You give your allies an excuse to be on your side against the enemy. You don't pretend that there is no enemy. And in this case, considering the thousands of Muslims being murdered by radical Islam, it's an out they are ready for.
Which ties in, at long last, to the final point ....
"But we still can't close our eyes to the fact that there's a distorted and dangerous strain of extremism within the Muslim world that continues to spread."
I will spare the rehashing of above points and get right to the most glaring and obviously ignorant thing that Hillary said in this amazing amount of idiocy crammed into less than two minutes. "Extremism." That is the key word here.
It's not Islam, she says. It's not even "radical" Islam, she says. But it is extremism. Extreme what? You can't just be an extremist. There has to be something which you are taking to the extreme. What is it? What exactly are they taking to the extreme here? Does it have a name? Come on Hillary. Explain, won't you?
Hate is not an ideology. What we are facing right now in this clash of civilizations, however, is an ideology. It is an extremist one. It is based on one thing, one belief system, that is the very core of what motivates those who act on it. A religion. Islam.
These are just truths, Secretary Clinton. Observable, demonstrable truths. Observation is not obsession. Facts are simply facts. But like many who subscribe to an extremist religious point of view, you are blind to those facts, willfully or otherwise. They don't comport with your system of beliefs about Islam, or "tolerance" or liberalism or social justice. And you hate that.
I leave you with one more thought from Sun Tzu:
The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy’s not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.
The enemy is out there. We must expect him. In the streets of Paris, or through a refugee camp. Or through a mosque. It is better that we be ready, armed with knowledge, truthfulness, and clear, open eyes. Because the truth is unassailable.