A Double-Edged Sword

Almost as horrifying as Hamas going all murderously Einsatzgruppen in Israel two weekends ago, is the realization that yes, indeed – is the realization there are a not-inconsiderable number of Americans (and Americans-in-name-only) cheering them on. Cheering the remorseless slaughter of young and old alike, kidnapping for extortion and/or jollies, mutilation, torture, burning whole families and individuals alive, gang-rape … it’s a sobering spectacle. I expect any minute a rousing chorus of “Tomorrow Belongs To Me” from the Jew-hating undergrads and their professors on the campus too many colleges and universities.

I used to wonder how Germans under Adolph Hitler came around to accept, support, or at least turn a blind eye towards the so-called “Final Solution”, during the 1930s and ’40s. Well, wonder no more – I’ve seen it play out now in real time. Corked up resentments, envy and pure unadulterated hatred, given voice in classrooms, newsrooms, in social media and from the pulpits of certain churches, spewing from so-called leaders of various communities … all spilling out, in the wake of October 7 … it’s as sick-making as reports of all the rejoicing in the Arab streets, and the comments about how we Americans had it coming, after 9-11. To try and focus on the horror and misery inflicted on the innocent and the self-justifying replies from the usual pro-Palestinians boils down to something like the rationale from an abusive spouse – “Look at what you made me do!”

All that being said, we are seeing a backlash of sorts, this time around. The loud, proud, and indiscreet Jew-haters are getting called out, substantially. Fired from jobs, having job offers rescinded, wealthy alums withdrawing support from various schools … outrage from parties who heretofore were rather sedate. I can see several reasons for this – First, because the Hamas raid into Israel was so brutal, duplicating Nazi atrocities in Occupied Europe, right down to setting fire to houses to smoke out anyone hiding who might have escaped. Second – because the Hamas raiders videoed themselves doing so, every sickening second. They posted to social media, to boast of every revolting bloody detail – and more than just their sympathizers could watch. The rest of us can watch, too – if we have the stomach for snuff videos. It’s almost impossible to explain all that away, to claim exaggeration, war propaganda, bias … when it’s all out there on the internet, unmediated by reporters and a media which likely has a bias of their own. The internet and social media have become a double-edged sword. We can see events unfiltered.

Third – I do wonder how many Americans really have any warm feelings towards Islam and Islam-inspired wars of conquest. More than forty years since the Iran hostage crisis, twenty years since 9-11, how many years since the Beslan school murders, and the romp of ISIS and the new caliphate in the Middle East, a little more than a year since the debacle in Afghanistan … it all adds up. Never mind how often in movies and TV series the obligatory Moslem character appears, whether in a historical epic or one set in the modern day. They are invariably painted as wise, kindly, tolerant, worldly, sometimes as a foil to bigoted and ignorant Christians, sometimes as a victim of the same. In the years since 2001, a fair number of American military personnel have served a rotation or two (or more) in Muslim-dominated countries and overall have been less than enchanted with what they saw there or experienced.

Are we finally seeing a turning point? Discuss as you will and while we still can.

31 thoughts on “A Double-Edged Sword”

  1. My sister in Chicago was going to a church event today and I just talked to her. She encountered Palestinian propaganda at a Catholic church and school complex. I think we need to accept that the US residents (God knows if they are citizens) are no better than the Germans of 1938. Many are kids with no education in spite of certificates from Harvard, etc. I am rereading the book “The Dumbest Generation Grows Up,” the sequel to his previous book on the subject.

  2. Remember too that anti-Semitism in this country has never died. Although the Left today seems to have fueled it.

  3. Bill Brandt…I think anti-Semitism in the US had been greatly reduced, but has been revived by three factors:

    1–Immigrants who brought their attitudes with them, and who have not assimilated to US culture

    2–Native Americans (I mean people born here, not American Indians) who have been marinated in academic Leftism.

    3–Economic stress, which always and everywhere seems to result in hostility to Jews, especially among those that are not themselves very successful.

  4. I have to admit I’m pretty happy that these evil doers put themselves out on video and social media. Those people are going to have a red x through their names in due time.

  5. –Economic stress, which always and everywhere seems to result in hostility to Jews, especially among those that are not themselves very successful.

    I think this is the source of much black anti-Semitism, which has been around as long as I can remember.

  6. Never mind how often in movies and TV series the obligatory Moslem character appears, whether in a historical epic or one set in the modern day. They are invariably painted as wise, kindly, tolerant, worldly, sometimes as a foil to bigoted and ignorant Christians, sometimes as a victim of the same.

    Here’s a good example

  7. David,

    I would also add to your 3 factors the recasting of Israel as a “colonial” power. Israel’s victory in the Six-Days War not only utterly humiliated Nasser and the Arab countries but placed it in control of various “occupied” lands. This changed, or better yet gave Europeans the excuse to change, the prevailing opinion of Jews as noble victims of the Holocaust to colonial oppressors. In other words antisemitism became fashionable again. While this attitude was cast in terms of “anti-Zionism” and solidarity with a fairly secular Palestinian cause, it did the lay the basis to turn to more explicit anti-Jewish attitudes as the PLO was supplanted by groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. That aattitude is even more pronounced in the US with our “leadership” in postmodernism.

    I think if we look at the historical antisemitism as a function of being cultural outsiders, it can bring a new perspective. Jews have been, ever since their expulsion in 70 AD, the world’s outsiders throughout Europe and the Middle East. It is very useful for demagogues to both inflate their power and deflect blame for past failures by pointing to an outside group. As Milan Kundera has pointed out Jews are cosmopolitan by being everywhere but belonging nowhere; such they can easily be cast as part of some transnational, alien conspiracy. That attitude is very much alive in the Middle East (exacerbated by the presence of the Jewish state) as well in Europe.

    In fact perhaps it is for that reason antisemitism should be seen as a virus or some sort of underlying pathogen always ready to re-emerge from history when triggered by events or a demagogue. The Holocaust didn’t put a stop to it but only caused it to go dormant for a few years. In fact I think much of the native (as opposed to migrant) European antisemitism is driven by the twin, opposing grievances of the Jews “allowing” themselves to be sympathetic victims of the Holocaust to taking their destiny their own hands by re-creating Israel. How dare they.

    Looking at antisemitism as an insider-outsider phenomena might also add to your explanation regarding its rise among blacks. Remember Al Sharpton got his start with his Crown Heights pogrom but how is that very different than various forms of black violence toward other ethnic groups such as east and south Asians as witnessed by LA riots in 1992 and the riots in 2020? So much of Woke with Al Sharpton and Ibram Kendi and others is about blaming outsiders – Jews, Asians, or Whites

    People who are confident in who they are and where they are going don’t blame others for their problems.

    You know where support for Israel and Jews is the strongest? Among American evangelicals. You won’t have guessed that 75 years ago.

  8. So much of Woke with Al Sharpton and Ibram Kendi and others is about blaming outsiders – Jews, Asians, or Whites

    The new biography of Tucker Carlson, “Tucker” discusses his relationship to Al Sharpton. Sharpton is a despicable person but he has some interesting ideas. He is determined to avoid the Jesse Jackson experience of becoming a toy of the Democrats. Kendi (Henry Rogers) is, of course, a successful grifter. More focused on money then Sharpton.

  9. Israeli flags are inexpensive on Amazon. Got mine last week.

    Be nice to see one under every America flag across the country

  10. I have a hard rule of thumb when watching “entertainment”.
    1 – any introduction of deviant sex or relationship (ie anything other than a normal man and woman) in the beginning of anything and I click it off. recent Fraser reboot is an example.
    2 – any portrayal of white, veteran, conservative, Christian as the heavy…and I’m gone
    3 – Focus on interracial marriage as the centerpiece (includes product commercials) and I’m gone.
    Don’t try to shove you’re viewpoint crab at me via the screen – big or small.

  11. The breaking down of western , especially US, society is also a big factor. As social capital accrued over centuries gets used up, social trust declines and everyone increasingly reverts to humanity’s default tribalism. Increasing numbers of Americans don’t care. The Jews are not my tribe any more than the arabs are, or the Ukrainians or the Russians or the Taiwanese. I am not interested in sending my people or money to be wasted in long standing, likely irresolvable conflicts between peoples I am in no way related to and who have no impact on my security.

    I’m sure a lot of people have tired of any disagreement with the mainstream narrative being called racist/ sexist/ islamophobic/ antisemitic/etc. Like the boy who cried wolf, accusations of racism
    and antisemitism have lost much of their sting.

  12. Re: overseas tours and a more in-depth understanding of Islam.
    If you look at how many American troops in World War I and World War II took “War Brides” versus how many in our 20-year occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.
    I believe i heard the total was low single digits.

  13. More than 40 years? It’s been more than 1,400 years. This has been the reality of Islam the entire time. The only places Islam isn’t like this are places where they are either totally subjugated or totally in control.

    In the West we tend to study only Western, that is to say, Christian, history. In doing so we ignore Islamic history, even though it is nearly as important in a world context. Islam has extinguished many cultures. They just weren’t Western cultures as we think of them today. But that’s just the point: the once-Christian areas lost to Islam were forgotten and written out of Western history. Did you know that Christianity once thrived almost as much to the East as to the West? That it had spread all the way to the Pacific? The eastern Church was all destroyed by Islam. As just one example of my point that we *know* how Islam behaves. We just have to not look away.

  14. I’m absolutely baffled. How is it not obvious that the people killing babies are in the wrong? Collateral damage is a thing, but doing it by-design?!?!

    There are shades of grey in asymmetrical warfare, but purposefully targeting children is not one of them.

  15. The big US and European cities are a theater of operations, the pro-Hamas demonstrations coordinated attacks, in the Islamist war against Israel and the West.

  16. So after a whole week, there is finally a picture of the hospital that was supposedly struck by the Israeli bomb. Before the only pictures that were available showed the parking lot. https://12ft.io/proxy?q=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theatlantic.com%2Fideas%2Farchive%2F2023%2F10%2Fgaza-hospital-explosion-misinformation-reporting%2F675719%2F

    Take one look and tell me that anyone can claim that it was hit by a 500 lb+ bomb Most of the wrecked cars look to be in the same place before the munition hit, the walls are still standing, and the grills on the window are intact. Look at the palm trees. If I may be so crude, where exactly were the 100, let alone 500, people standing when they were killed?

    Okay we knew this was a hoax. If it wasn’t so tragic I would say the media got pantsed, but really they wanted to be fooled. Why did we have to wait a week to get a picture on such a major story? Did any media outlet request to visit the site to verify Hamas’s (I’m sorry the “Gazan Health Authority”) claims? It would take 15 seconds on site to debunk then. Did the media even try? CNN is still claiming to investigate what it would take that 15-second site visit to verify (https://www.cnn.com/2023/10/21/middleeast/cnn-investigates-forensic-analysis-gaza-hospital-blast/index.html)

    I think this is the worst case of malpractice I have seen in my decades of following the media. It’s not like they are very contrite about it because they are still keeping a straight face as they are recycling Hamas propaganda with every report on Gazan death tolls Hamas ran with the story because they knew what kind of people are media is composed of.

    Remember this is the same gang that will be gearing up for covering the year from hell, Election 2024. Time for battlespace prep. In the absence of full-throated apologies AND firings, call on every Republican candidate for president to ban reporters from CNN, NY Times, and the Washington Post from their press pools on the basis that they do not abide basic journalistic practices, purvey misinformation, and act as mouthpieces for the propaganda arms of groups that murder babies. Make them defend themselves and then make sure that label sticks to them for eternity

    If we were serious about winning in 2024, we would have it out right here and now

  17. An under appreciated benefit of free speech is with no legal consequence, the Talib’s and Omar’s stand naked in their hate and bigotry. The NYT stands naked in theirs as well. And make no mistake, it is hate and not confined to the inhabitants of Israel, there’s plenty left over for us deplorables too. That leaves it up to us to take note and remember.

    You might say that of course there are no consequences, they and the present “administration” are totally in tune; and you are right for now. A more coherent and competent administration with the power would use it to tamp down the public hate, the better to pursue their agenda on the qt. A few no-name yutzes thrown in the gulag should be all the signal their allies would need to cool it for now. I think that would greatly overestimate the intelligence of their base and most especially “the squad”.

  18. The big US and European cities are a theater of operations, the pro-Hamas demonstrations coordinated attacks, in the Islamist war against Israel and the West.

    Bingo. Along those lines, here’s this:


    Basically, a pro-Hamas demonstration took over a street in Minneapolis for a while and almost trapped a motorist. Bayou renaissance man links to someone else who analyzed video of the event and believes that there was organized command and control during the event.

    Don’t worry, though. I’m sure the FBI will handle the threat of a hamas-type organization operating with impunity inside the US with their usual deft competence.


  19. Mike
    October 23, 2023 at 4:53 pm

    “If we were serious about winning in 2024”. IF Republicans were serious about winning they would be doing a lot of things.


    Going back to the Gaza War, I have a funny feeling that the purpose of US forces in the Middle East [2-CVBG’s and an ARG, plus Army and Air Force units] is to be there to try to impose a “ceasefire” by Biden’s [or whoever is pulling his strings] decree if it looks like HAMAS is going to be badly hurt by the IDF, putting Americans between the two. Can’t let the administration’s allies be taken out.

    Also more and more I am agreeing with the analysts who have been saying if Israel finds itself in a multi-front war; that what is referred to as the Samson Option is likely to be used.

    As far as the domestic disruptions in support of HAMAS by their allies here, I have been saying for some time that we are not really one country under one Social and Political Contract anymore, but rather are several nations and cultures who believe in different incompatible things that cannot be reconciled. The final process of settling which nation and culture comes out on top is going to be highly kinetic, sanguinary, and unpleasant. The good guys do not always win. Especially with so many different definitions of good.

    Subotai Bahadur

  20. If we were serious about winning in 2024, we would have it out right here and now

    Who is this “we” you are talking about?

    I know the GOP base was ready and energized enough to give the party a massive win in 2010. The party establishment hated that and worked hard to get rid of the Tea Partiers and their enthusiasm. I know after 2016 Trump gave the GOP control of the entire government- and the GOP establishment fought against him tooth and nail. In 2020, the Uniparty including its GOP wing boasted of “fortifying” the election against Trump- and now they’ve twisted and warped whatever remained of the law in an attempt to prevent Trump from running for office.

    When I think of these folks I don’t think “we” at all. As Col. Kurt Schlichter writes, they hate us and want us dead- and after watching decades of hostility from the GOP establishment aimed at the GOP base, I include that establishment in Schlichter’s mix.

    The GOP as it exists is no more capable of solving the problems of the United States today than the Whig party was capable of solving the problems the country faced in 1850.

    Worse, it doesn’t want to. If it did, it wouldn’t spend so much time attacking its supporters.

    I’ve had enough of this, so I’m out.

  21. Xennady
    October 23, 2023 at 8:51 pm

    The “we” in my post was a quote from Mike’s post. After repeated betrayals I left the Republican Party and am an unaffiliated voter. This is after decades of being at every precinct caucus, delegate to county and CD conventions, and to the State Convention. I have worked campaigns and one year I was one of the 5 crazies who ran the presidential campaign in my county.

    I was an active TEA Partier, and wrote a weekly column in our local conservative newspaper for 10 years. And I also agree with you about the waste of effort the GOPe is. In fact, one of my regular tropes is that the current Republican Party is akin to the Whigs in the 1850’s. Except we do not have anything like an opposition party as an alternative, and if there is a Second Great Civil Unpleasantness it is going to be far worse than the first.

    Most of the party base I know [remember, I’m old] is just about as disgusted. I rather think that if the Caucasian [with one exception] Cluster meeting in DC tonight and tomorrow ends up forcing Emmer on us as Speaker of the House when he is not a conservative and endorsed the stolen election of 2020; that there will not be a Republican Party in 2024. YMMV.

    Subotai Bahadur

  22. It’s a little late for a book project on the subject, but it would be nice if someone went through the past 7 years or so and put together a history of the Left’s information war strategy

    My reaction after the initial shock of the Hamas atrocities wore off was to put approach it as a problem to be solved, how would the media spin something this horrible. The method ended up being some sort of HR-driven conflict resolution/deescalation session. Admit that what happened was wrong and that you were justified feeling the way you do, talk through possible options for response gently deflect or delay any options they find unacceptable, and generally play for time to allow the situation to “defuse.” Btw… this is the same strategy used by the NYT executive editor trying to explain how the paper totally misrepresented the story (https://www.nytimes.com/2023/10/23/podcasts/headlines-gaza-hospital-coverage.html) … nice dulcet NPR tones, commitment to doing better, learning from mistakes and you are lulled to sleep until you realize that they are 150+ year-old newspaper and not a site of trolls writing stories from their basements clad in pajamas.

    They say “sure Israel what happened to you was wrong and you are right to feel angry, but let’s sit down and think this through, let’s make sure you don’t act out of haste.” Many events run on a form of physics; they get put in motion by something like what happened in 10/7 but over a certain period of time they lose momentum until they get mired in the tar. Isn’t that what Biden did? Acknowledge the pain, show support by sending munitions, travel to Israel and give Netanyahu a big hug? Then he asks Israel that in return for his support to slow things down a bit, wait till we get some hostages out, make sure we don’t get Iran into this, and are you really sure you want to invade Gaza? Delay and allow the 10/7 to dissolve, dissipate into the past. The lead story on CNN, NYT, and WP? Two hostages released. The type of story that shows progress made, that negotiations work… that pushes 10.7 further into the background. That’s why you take hostages

    It’s a great strategy if you want hinder Israel from what it wants to do while keeping your hands clean. All those anti-semetic protests going on right now? They just make the information warfare strategy the more dangerous because it looks more reasonable, though its more deadly, in comparison.

    We think that the media is a dying institution because no one trusts it anymore, but it has immense power because no one else can create any sort of an informational structure out of the chaos of reality. In a little over two weeks, the media has managed to even the score between Hamas and Israel with both-sideism. Sure the hospital bombing story was crap but it got people focused on the fact that Israel was bombing and provided a framework for people to apply the images of ruined buildings and more importantly give a patina of respectability to anti-Israel protests. It doesn’t matter if the original story was a lie because the key was not its veracity but what events it started in motion. Where will we be in a few more weeks?

    We think the media is untrustworthy, but we also look at the Nazi and Soviet propaganda machines of old and laugh because we think who would be dumb enough to believe that. We don’t think that those were the early models and that what we are dealing with today is the one several generations ahead The 1/6 was a masterpiece, better than George Floyd or the Russian Collusion hoax; what are we going to be facing next year? We might know it’s crap and we are being manipulated but unless you can define what’s happening and have a response to it it doesn’t matter.

    If the information warfare strategy of the last few weeks was a version of HR-deescalation then the one of next summer will be one of whipsawing us, fast and furious,

  23. I have no substantive disagreement with anything you wrote, but I do have a few comments.

    After repeated betrayals I left the Republican Party and am an unaffiliated voter.

    Same here, although I was never so involved in the party as you.

    In fact, one of my regular tropes is that the current Republican Party is akin to the Whigs in the 1850’s.

    I share that trope. In my opinion the comparison of today’s GOP with the Antebellum Whigs is incandescently obvious and I’m surprised more people haven’t noticed.

    Except we do not have anything like an opposition party as an alternative, and if there is a Second Great Civil Unpleasantness it is going to be far worse than the first.

    If I recall the Whig party imploded well before the Republican party came into existence, allowing the Democrats to run wild. Perhaps that Whig implosion was necessary before a viable successor party could emerge, and also perhaps the Democrats had to show their true hand before that could happen. Shrug, I dunno.

    …ends up forcing Emmer on us as Speaker of the House when he is not a conservative and endorsed the stolen election of 2020; that there will not be a Republican Party in 2024.

    We’ve at least dodged that particular bullet. But at what point did the Whigs cease to be a viable opposition party to the Slavocracy? Were they ever?

    That’s water under the bridge of course, but why should I still think their present day equivalent can successfully solve the problems the country faces after watching them waste multiple occasions when they had complete control of the government?

    Ugh, enough rambling, because I’ve just explained why I’m now an unaffiliated voter.

  24. Read “Midnight in the Garden of Beasts” about US William Dodd’s time as ambassador to Hilter’s Germany from 1933-37. The abuses he and his family witnessed during their time in-country which the Germans ignored. Even Dodd’s daughter fell in love with a Nazi officer and was unfazed by his association with the terror. It happens, and people get used to it. Remember too that the Jews and the bankers (often one in the same) were blamed for the famine that swept Germany after WWI. It is easy to see in retrospect how the average German citizen would feel about the man who saved them from the famine, and how they would turn a blind eye to his dark side.

    As to our relationship with Islam, there is no better book than Raymond Ibrahim’s “Sword and Scimitar” about the 1400 year battle between Islam and Western Civilization. Then you will understand that Islam gives no quarter in its battles. The Koran mandates that behavior and I fear that no reformation of this religion is likely to occur.

  25. Never forget, these same “people” cheering for hamas to murder Jews literally spent the last 4 years calling YOU a nazi….. Go figure.

  26. But at what point did the Whigs cease to be a viable opposition party to the Slavocracy? Were they ever?

    The Whigs were a party that favored economic development, which at the time was canals and later railroads. The Republican Party shares some of that focus. I don’t think the Whigs were ever capable of dealing with the issue of slavery, which became the single biggest matter in the 1850s. Similarly, the Republican Party cannot deal with Marxism and its “Woke” spinoffs. The 1994 Republican Congress had an opportunity to correct many faults that had appeared after Lyndon Johnson and his “Great Society.” They utterly failed and I blame Gingrich for much of this. They just were unable to deal with big issues like the welfare state and Socialism. The 1990s were much like the 1920s and, like the 1920s, we have had nothing but trouble since.

  27. Mike K.

    I was thinking about Gingrich as well and in addition David Stockman and his memoir “The Triumph of Politics.” Both the Reagan Revolution and the Contract with America offer lessons for trying to change things in the system. Gingrich’s experience shows the value of recruiting the right people to run for office and doing so with a positive agenda for change; it also shows the problem of doing so when the other party is in the White House as Clinton ate his lunch. As for Stockman, he was just mad because he couldn’t get everything he wanted in 4 years.

    My takeaway from going through the Reagan ad Gingrich experiences was that change is possible, both did substantial things, but that you are not going to set the scene for a victory parade at the end of term. These things take time, especially if you are cutting programs, given the need to compromise.

    We (there’s that word again) should take a lesson from the Progressives. 10 years ago they were mad, frustrated, and at a loss of what to do with Obama and the Democrats who they saw as moderate squishes give their experiences with Obamacare and other items. They looked at several different strategies, including forming their own party, but they decided to stick with it and it all started heading the right direction when Bernie Sanders ran for president in 2016 – keep in mind Bernie is still not a Democrat.

    Now and especially after 2018 they are the power within the Democratic Party. A minority in the country at large but the power within the majority. They stayed disciplined and organized so that when opportunities presented themselves to capture the Democratic Party they took full advantage of them. The other thing about them? They are confident enough about themselves to not let ideological purity stand in the way of picking up wins. Two years ago they were at loggerheads with Manchin and Sinema and instead of throwing a hissy fit and throwing the table on Reconciliation they (while still very frustrated) cut a deal that gave them a good deal and allowed them to come back and pick up the rest later.

    Lessons for those disgusted by the Republicans?

  28. The labels stay the same but the people have changed. Today’s Democratic and Republican politicians aren’t the same kinds of people as the pols of 1, 2 or 3 generations ago. Truman, JFK, Hubert Humphry, even Bill Clinton would be considered conservatives or right-wingers by today’s Left. People like Trump or Elon Musk, who would have been moderate Democrats as recently as 15 years ago, now stand to the ideological Right of today’s most conservative Democrats. The young, dynamic cohort of the Democratic Party is comprised of people who would have been called communists until recently. The institutional Republicans are intellectually and ideologically adrift, in part because the Democrats have successfully marginalized everyone who effectively opposes the Left as “right-wing extremists” who are to be excluded from participation in electoral politics.

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