Foolish to Argue with Muslim Fanatics

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Who dares to correct the ‘correctors’, the self-righteous, and those who god-like can predict the future, “Time’s on our side,” and who can allot to  the state of Israel an “Israhell” status, the devotees of religious fanaticism who devoutly believe they are the instruments of Allah and anointed with His omniscience? And what mortal who is intellectually endowed by the “prodigality of nature” only with ratiocination would dare argue against the divinely anointed and expect to dent their omniscience? Pre-determinedly it is written on this stormed-laden sky that rationality must be deluged by this downpour of religious obscurantism. That is why for people who lack the luxury to pray seven times a day it is futile to waste time arguing with those who do.

And the inanity and ridiculousness of both Sham and A. Menaidy are illustrated by their own words. When in the case of the former he attributes “personal misfortune” (M.E.) to “Israhell,” as if for the devil incarnate it is a personal misfortune to be the devil, and in the case of the latter, whose silliness has no bounds, when he accuses Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and attributes to the latter a rational component that could limit it for the purpose of Israel not to be labelled by the world a “no.1 pariah,” as if there was a difference between a number one pariah and a number eight one as he implies by his statement.

 

 

Israel’s Development and Achievements Stem from the Cultural and Intellectual Strength of its People

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Israel is no “mercenary of the West in the heart of the Middle East” but an outpost of Western civilization in the midst of barbarians. Besieged on all sides within the short span of 60 years it became culturally, politically, economically, and scientifically the most developed nation of the region and deservedly proud of this great achievement. Moreover as a civilized outpost, Israel is at the forefront of the fight against the holy warriors of Islam, of Hamas and Hezbollah, the proxies of its most dangerous enemy Iran.

The author of the article might be rich in some of his psychological probing but has a very poor understanding of history. Great achievements are not the outcome of “victimhood” but they arise from the cultural, moral, and intellectual strength of a people. And Israel is a testament of that.

The Intellectual Cheating of Liberals

A short reply to a Liberal –By Con George-Kotzabasis

Clearly your vocation in the ‘market of argument’ is to be a peddler in non sequiturs. Why are you shifting the ground of the argument, is it because your pockets are empty of all coins of counter reasoning on the issue? The question as was initially put by Clemons’s use of the Bolton quote was not whether Israel’s and America’s wars were self-defensive or not but whether there was “moral equivalence” between the deliberate and non-deliberate killing of civilians. Clemons by cheating intellectually, by speciously transforming this argument of moral equivalence into an argument of devaluation of “Muslim and Arab lives” has made himself intellectually and morally persona non grata.

Talleyrand, eloquently and boldly said the following in the face of Napoleon, when the latter deposed the legitimate Ferdinand II and placed his own brother Joseph on the throne of Spain, “Sire, un enfant de famille may gamble away his last farthing—the heritage of his ancestors—the dower of his mother—the portion of his sisters—and yet be courted and admired for his wit—be sought for his talents and distinction—but let him once be detected in cheating at the game, and he is lost—society is forever shut against him.” You likewise, in partaking in this Napoleonesque cheating of Clemons “at the game,” have become your own ‘guest’ as an intellectual and moral pariah.

 

 

Peter Beirnart has the Courage of Ignorance

By Con George-Kotzabasis

In any critical dangerous conflict the first thing one has to know is one’s enemy, that is, whether he is reconcilable or irreconcilable and the danger he poses respectively. To the sharp eyed and historically experienced Israelis the Palestinians and the Muslim countries which overtly and covertly support and in some cases fuel the former’s intifadas by providing them with weapons, are irreconcilable enemies  whose goal is the destruction of Israel. Hence all the hard actions and reactions that Israel is forced to take issue from the hardened mortal enemy it confronts.

Beinart and the young historically inexperienced Israelis, who think that Israel by bearing olive branches toward the Palestinians can resolve the conflict, are profoundly ignorant of the kind of enemy Israel is engaged with. Not being cognisant or rather being ignorant of Sun Tzu’s “Know Thy Enemy,” they are completely incapable of understanding the strategic contours of the conflict and therefore politically and intellectually are totally unqualified to formulate a strategy that could resolve the conflict. 

Former Secretary of State Equates Politics of Hamas and Israel

By Con George-Kotzabasis

A reply to: …on Israel-Palestine Conflict by Steve Clemons

Washington Note June 21, 2009

 “Absolutists on both sides need to be overcome” which Steve obviously agrees with this statement of former Secretary of State James A. Baker. This statement however ravages the truth by its direct reference of a ‘political equivalence’ between Hamas and the Netanyahu government. No Israeli government ever governed on behalf of the minority absolutist interests of the religious fanatics of Israel unlike Hamas which governs Gaza in the interests of its millenarian goals. It’s like saying that Republican governments, such as the former Bush administration, governed on behalf of the narrow interests of the religious right and not for the general interests of the United States.

If this is the quality of strategic thinking that the four eminent persons of Carter, Baker, Scowcroft, and Brzezinski, are offering to the Obama administration for resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict then such advice will be a repeat performance of past failures as it rises from the lowest ebbs of their strategic ‘cogitations.’

And Steve will be found to be completely wrong if he thinks that the new turbulent situation in Iran might ‘force’ the Khatami-Ahmadinejad regime to change its policy toward its Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist surrogates. Steve in his misplaced realism does not realize that Iran will never abandon its pawns as long as it engages in its power-play in the region whose goal is domination.

New American Foundation Poll on Israel a “Bull’s Trail” Poll

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The New America Foundation (NAF) poll is most doubtful, if not a wishful concoction, that President Obama has not significantly reduced Israeli support for his Middle East policy with the fateful diplomatic error he made with his insistence and demand that Israel cease all settlements. An overwhelming majority of Israelis rejected this demand of Obama as being not only against Israel’s interests, but also, for its political naivety, as shown by a poll of the prestigious Jerusalem Post last August. That such a significant majority of Israelis against Obama can now be transformed in such a short time by the NAF poll into a 41% favourable for Obama goes against the grain of elementary logic and places a great question mark about the credibility and objectivity of the NAF survey. Moreover, the perception among a huge majority of Israelis that Obama is pro-Palestinian, according to the same poll of the Jerusalem Post, makes the NAF poll a “bull’s trail”.

The above post elicited the following comments in The Washington Note.

 

Posted by PissedOffAmerican, Dec 11 2009, 9:43PM – Link

Kotz, considering that Steve provides a link to the poll itself, and its methodology, it might help your argument if you actually gave us chapter and verse about why you think the NAF poll is skewed.

And I find it hard to believe that you are too stupid to see how this works in Netanyahu’s favor. Not only does it demonstrate that the Israeli’s appreciate a cowardly and subservient American President, it also telegraphs to Obama that if he continues with the same kind of toothless horseshit  the Israelis will abstain from using his middle name when feeding our worthless sack of shit Fourth Estate the script for the next edition of….

“Israel, (the good guys), necessarily exterminate more Palestinians, (the evil doers), while continuing the ethnic fumigation of Jerusalem.”

 

Posted by JohnH, Dec 11 2009, 10:59PM – Link

Yes, nice poll numbers are moot if you don’t have the spine to use them to promote American interests…

It’s charming that Kotz thinks that stopping the settlements is the problem. For Kotz’ information, most of the rest of the world thinks that constructing the settlements is the problem, and that Obama had it exactly right–before his spine turned to mush.

Posted by nadine, Dec 12 2009, 12:26AM – Link

“According to the New American Foundation Poll, President Obama has a 41% favorable / 37% unfavorable rating among Israelis. His unfavorable rating is only four points higher than the unfavorable rating for George W. Bush, who is routinely characterized as very popular among Israelis.”

ROFL. Here is the question they asked:

“Q.20 Now, I’d like to rate your feelings toward some people, with one hundred meaning a VERY
WARM, FAVORABLE feeling; zero meaning a VERY COLD, UNFAVORABLE feeling; and fifty
meaning not particularly warm or cold. You can use any number from zero to one hundred, the higher the
number the more favorable your feelings are toward that person or organization. If you have no opinion or
never heard of that person, please say so.”

It was purely on Obama’s personal popularity. It had nothing to do with his policies at all, and nothing to do with his Mideast policies. It had nothing to do with his job approval either. Totally misleading. His personal popularity is higher than his job approval in the US too.

The rest of the poll is packed full of push-poll questions about good things that will arrive after an Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty. I’d love to see Scott Rasmussen analyze these questions.

Posted by Dan Kervick, Dec 12 2009, 11:37AM – Link

Looking over all of the numbers in the poll that pertain to Obama, we get this picture: On the whole, Israelis think Obama is honest and trustworthy, don’t think he is particularly naïve, think he will improve America’s standing in the world, and think his election is “good for the problems facing the world”.

But most don’t think he supports Israel or shares their values. So there is some significant number of Israelis who think Obama is good for America and the world, but bad for Israel, and thus admit to a divergence between Israeli interests and non-Israeli interests.

And then there’s this stunner: 39% of Israelis believe Barack Obama is a Muslim! And as I read the supporting numbers, over half of Sephardic Jews think he is a Muslim.

Obama might be able to help himself in Israeli if he could just figure out how to bring that number down to 25% by convincing some of these folks that he is actually a Christian. Maybe he should send them Christmas cards.

As others have mentioned, the key results are hard to interpret because they don’t show a breakdown into Arab and non-Arab Israelis. That data appears to be on the supporting “Crosstabs” PDF. There is a section for questions 20 to 29 that breaks the responses down by respondent identification.

As expected, Obama is more popular among Israeli Arabs than Jews. For some reason, Obama is very unpopular with Israel’s young people. I wonder if that has something to do with demographics. The Jewish birth rate in the colonies is higher, as I understand it, than the birth rate in the rest of Israel.

Kotzabasis says,

JohnH

It’s true of course that the political “tyroism” of ‘the world thinks that constructing the settlements is the problem.’ But the cardinal question is not what the world thought about the freeze of the settlements but what Israelis felt about it. And with Obama’s diplomatic faux pas on a total freeze he missed the wood for the trees as to the feelings of an overwhelming number of Israelis.

Kervick’s post is brimming, as usually, with contradictions. While 39% percent of Jews and over half of Sephardic Jews believe that Obama is a Muslim, nonetheless Kervick deduces from the poll that ‘on the whole Israelis think that Obama is honest and trustworthy,’ and that he is ‘good for the problems facing the world.’ That Israelis could make such a positive assessment about a “Muslim” president is beyond belief. Kervick takes a flight in the face of glaring contradiction.

What is interesting and revealing at the same time however, is that Clemons cleverly abstains from making a direct positive assessment of the NAF poll and uses a mouthpiece, Congressman Robert Wexler, to evaluate and wax lyrical about the poll. Is it because Clemons is concerned that he would compromise his political nous by directly accepting the dubious results of a dodgy poll?

JohnH says,

As Kotz notes, “the cardinal question is not what the world thought about the freeze of the settlements but what Israelis felt about it.” And what makes Israel great is that it can lead the US around by its nose…

If the US wants to be respected as a leader in the world, it will have to solve its Israel problem.

Posted by Dan Kervick, Dec 13 2009, 12:02AM – Link

“Kervick’s post is brimming, as usually, with contradictions. While 39% percent of Jews and over half of Sephardic Jews believe that Obama is a Muslim, nonetheless Kervick deduces from the poll that ‘on the whole Israelis think that Obama is honest and trustworthy,’ and that he is ‘good for the problems facing the world.’”

Kotzabasis, rather than allowing you to go further in making a fool of yourself, I will instead suggest you follow the link Steve provided, and read the results for poll questions 30, 39 and 42. Take note of the numbers under the “Very Well” and “Well” columns – which are summed up in the “Total Well” column. After you have absorbed those results, you will see that I didn’t “deduce” anything about majority opinion in Israel, but simply read it straight off the poll results.

Posted by kotzabasis, Dec 13 2009, 4:14AM – Link

Kervick

Well, well, you might not be a fool but you certainly are sans political insight. That you ‘simply read it straight off the poll results’ without seeing the flaunting contradiction or commenting upon it if you had seen it, that is, while stunningly, according to you, a majority of Sephardic Jews think that Obama ‘is a Muslim,’ yet according to questions 30, 39, and 42 a majority of Jews consider him favourably. The fact that you missed this glaring contradiction of the poll and didn’t sniff its “bull’s trail”, i.e., the cozenage of the poll, makes you a political simpleton.

Posted by Dan Kervick, Dec 13 2009, 10:10AM – Link

Kotzabasis, you’re just trying to cover your embarrassment now with more ad hominem sneering and ad hoc arguments.

The statistic about Sephardic Jews is also to be found in the results in the Crosstabs page. It’s not just “according to me”. What you seem to be suggesting is that the poll must be faulty in some way because these results are a “glaring contradiction”. The fact that you see them as contradictory reflects only your own bigoted preconceptions, not any incoherence in the poll results.

It is possible that many of these Sephardic Jews only distantly follow American politics. They know that the US president’s father is of Kenyan origin, and that they are both named “Barack Obama”, so assume, not knowing much else about his personal history and religious conversion, that he is a Muslim. It is also possible, as I think Nadine suggested, that these Sephardic Jews’ attitudes simply reflect their own traditions, in which a person’s religious identity isn’t something one can choose, but is a result of parentage. Just as they believe that what makes them Jews is that their mothers were Jewish, they believe that the fact that Obama’s father was a Muslim makes him a Muslim.

Kotzabasis says,

Kervick

You are a very bad reader. The phrase ‘according to me’ follows the word ‘stunningly’ and applies to it, which in your first post you typed as ‘stunner,’ and did not apply to the results in the Crosstabs page.

Just answer one question and you will see clearly by your own answer that the ‘contradiction’ is free from any bigoted preconceptions. Can you imagine that a majority of Sephardic Jews that assume correctly or wrongly-in this case of course wrongly-that Obama is a Muslim would also consider him favourably, when the whole Muslim world is deadly against them? By being overly logical in your second paragraph you continue to miss this glaring contradiction in its bellicose context of Muslims and Jews. This contradiction in itself speaks volumes about the cognitive status of the poll which you parroted sans critical scrutiny.

World Affairs Guru Picks Up Liberal Bastinado to Beat U.S.A.

A reply by Con George-Kotzabasis to:
 
Mahbubani Responds: Western Intellectual and Moral Cowardice on Israel/Palestine is Stunning

Washington Note, May 29, 2008

Professor Kishore Mahbubani of the National University of Singapore argues, with his impeccable credentials as an expert in international affairs, of a dawning shift of economic and political power from the round-eyed transnational continents of the West to the slant-eyed continent of the East. And in the eyes of Mahbubani it seems that the U.S. after reaching the peak of power and dominance in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries will inevitably fall from the top branch of the tree of power (like Newton’s apple?) pulled by the gravitational force of Asia. Therefore “America should prepare well for a post-American world order”. 

This pending decline of the West and of America is not mainly based on economics that western bears compete with Asian tigers on the global market, but primarily on politics and on the art of political leadership. Although Mahbubani gracefully acknowledges and applauds “the liberal international order which has benefited humanity”, which was the creation of the West and the American hegemon, he claims that presently “Western geopolitical incompetence poses the biggest threats to our international order”. He pinpoints four areas where this incompetence is blatantly demonstrated. The blunders of the war in Iraq and its concatenation to Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo bay, the Israel/Palestinian conflict,  the dialogue between the West and the Rest, and global warming. All the four issues of course are the same that the liberal intelligentsia is using to condemn and chastise the Bush administration. Hence Mahbubani by picking up the liberal bastinado to beat the U.S.A. shows himself to be vacuous of any originality in his analysis, since all he does is to replicate and regurgitate the animadversions of the international coterie of liberals who like Charon, are preparing to transport the Bush administration and its Republican successors to Hades. Lastly, he blames and rebukes the U.S. for lacking the will and astuteness in its exercise of global  “governing”  to avail itself the inherent “benign characteristics” of power. Thus implying that in its political engagement with the rest of the world the U.S. is far from being a benign superpower.

The imprescriptible rule in power politics is that there are no benign characteristics in the implementation of power but only pragmatic ones. This is especially so when a nation in its greatness, such as the U.S., is burdened with the historical responsibility to tilt the balance of the world toward peace and to be the supreme arbiter between other belligerent and warring nations. In such a complex context while it’s possible for the U.S. to be benign in its relations with other nations some of the time, it’s impossible of being so all the time. The mere scale of its responsibilities and of having so many balls in the air, forces it to make its judgments on pragmatic grounds and to the highest degree possible with the precision of a juggler that dexterously keeps all balls in the air without letting any of them crashing with each another. And in this magnitude of the scale of its operations it’s inevitable that the U.S. is bound to commit mistakes, especially in the “fog of war” as it has happened lately in Iraq. But the greatness of a nation lies not that it doesn’t make mistakes in its exercise of political, economic, and military power, but in its ability to promptly acknowledge and correct its mistakes, as the U.S. has presently done with the implementation of the new strategy in Iraq that has critically changed the course of the war and which is leading to an American victory.

It’s an easy call for Professor Mahbubani to make his strictures against America ex cathedra without being directly involved in the quotidian, complex, intricate affairs of the world as the U.S. is as the sole superpower. In such involvement there are no magic or scientific prescriptions that can remedy the maladies of the world. There are no precise scientific instruments that can neither timely diagnose the ills of the world nor provide the instant remedies that can cure them. This is the reason why often in world conflicts the “surgeon” is the major domo. Only his dexterous handling of the knife can prevent a situation from getting worse. The Serbian-Bosnian conflict was a clear example. Conversely, the lack of political resolve to use a surgical strike against the Hutu regime in Rwanda led to the genocide of the Tutsis, as it’s also presently happening in Darfur.  But while no surgery is infallible, surgical strikes are unavoidable when a nation confronts an irreconcilable implacable foe. Israel has demonstrated this both in its attack on Iraq’s nuclear plant and on Syria’s incipient one, lately. And an impending attack either by America or Israel on Iran’s nuclear plant might be the next one.

Mahbubani completely ignores this narrative of the complexity and intractability of global conflicts and the often insuperable difficulties that a nation that tries to resolve them finds itself in. To him it’s the incompetence of the U.S. leadership that cannot resolve these problems, and, indeed, due to this incompetence exacerbates them and threatens the stability of the international order. He accuses the West, and by implication the U.S., of “stunning intellectual and moral cowardice” on the Israeli Palestinian conflict and of standing aloof from the “collective punishment” (Me.) of the people of Gaza. Without giving a tad of consideration first that this collective punishment is a result of the intransigency and deadly bellicosity of Hamas, and secondly, in not acknowledging that next to the genocidal punishment of the people of Israel the collective punishment of the Palestinians, even if Israel was to be blamed for, is infinitesimal. Notwithstanding this great threat posed to Israel, Mahbubani claims only the plight of the Palestinian people is the “litmus test” for the West and America.

Further Mahbubani casting himself in the role of “Theodicy”, condemns America for its double standards, for its evilness of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. Like a bronze statue impervious and unaffected by the ravages of the weather, Mahbubani is impervious to the ravages of war. He does not recognize that war being the greatest atrocities of all inevitably atrocities of all kinds follow its trail. Even most of its civilized and disciplined combatants will yield to the ugly rules of war—no war can be fought clinically–especially in this case fighting an invisible enemy clad in civilian and often in women’s clothes and who can be identified only at the instance of their terrorist actions. Moreover the religious fanaticism of this “apocalyptic” enemy who believes he follows the orders of his God makes him impervious to any reasonable persuasion that would extract from him information that could save thousands of lives. In such an existential struggle it’s inexorable that human rights and values are secondary and are replaced by human existential rights and values. There are no absolute human rights and the latter are always relative to a particular situation. In the sinking of the Titanic the human rights of men were secondary to the human rights of women and children. Throughout history the values and laws of mankind have a concrete existence and not an abstract one. Their abstract existence is for philosophers but not for philosopher-kings.

Professor Mahbubani by picking the liberal bastinado to beat the U.S. shows himself to be just a follower and an aficionado of the dernier cri, the fads of the global liberal intelligentsia. And he cannot usurp least of all take up legitimately by the power of his intellect and imagination the position of a philosopher-king. He is just a pharisaic sophist superciliously weaving his thesis on the decline of the U.S.A. and its replacement by Asia.

I rest on my oars: Your turn now.