Brussels Attack

Brussels Attacks Give Cruz Another Occasion to Slam Obama for Refusing to Say 'Radical Islamic Terrorism'

The Texas senator seems to think the phrase has magical powers.

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CNN

Responding to the terrorist attacks in Brussels today, Ted Cruz once again faulted President Obama for refusing to name the enemy:

Radical Islam is at war with us. For over seven years we have had a president who refuses to acknowledge this reality. And the truth is, we can never hope to defeat this evil so long as we refuse to even name it. That ends on January 20, 2017, when I am sworn in as president. We will name our enemy—radical Islamic terrorism. And we will defeat it.

This semantic issue is dear to Cruz's heart. The Texas senator brought it up during at least six of the 12 Republican presidential debates:

August 6: "We will not defeat radical Islamic terrorism so long as we have a president unwilling to utter the words, 'radical Islamic terrorism.'"

September 16: "We will have a president willing to utter the words 'radical Islamic terrorism' [if I'm elected]."

December 15: "We're looking at a president who's engaged in this double-speak where he doesn't call radical Islamic terrorism by its name." 

January 14: "I understand why Americans are feeling frustrated and scared and angry when we have a president who refuses to acknowledge the threat we face and, even worse, who acts as an apologist for radical Islamic terrorism."

February 6: "This is a president who, in the wake of Paris, in the wake of San Bernardino, will not even use the words radical Islamic terrorism, much less focus on defeating the enemy."

March 10: "You've got to understand the nature of the threats we're facing and how you deal with them. And yes, it is true there are millions of radical Islamic terrorists who seek to kill us. We need a president, commander in chief focused on fighting them."

Obama argues (through his press secretary) that the phrase Cruz favors alienates Muslims and lends legitimacy to groups like ISIS by implying that they are acting in the name of Islam (albeit an extreme version of it). I agree that trying to avoid the phrase (or variations on it that would presumably raise the same issues, such as "violent jihadists" or "militant Muslims") is needlessly awkward. At the same time, Cruz's faith in the quasi-magical power of labels tends to obscure the details of how exactly he would "utterly and completely destroy ISIS."

What do you think: Is this a bogus issue?

NEXT: Donald Trump on Brussels: 'I Would Close Up Our Borders'

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  1. We don’t ever say “radical Islamic terrorists.” John assured me of this.

    1. The President doesn’t. Do you agree with him? Does Islam have anything to do with any of this? If so, then how?

      1. Do you agree with him?

        About what?

        1. You’ve now put more thought into this than John.

          1. That isn’t exactly hard.

            1. STEVE SMITH HARD! STEVE SMITH ALWAYS HARD!!

            2. That’s what she said.

        2. We don’t ever say “radical Islamic terrorists.”

          The President doesn’t. Do you agree with him?

          The President never says that. I am starting to think you might actually be as dumb as you seem. That it is not an act. And that thought is terrifying.

  2. Didn’t Reason just give us an article about how very important the proper use of the English language is?

    Perhaps the authors are purposely arguing with each other?

    1. Or maybe reason isn’t a monolithic organization that enforces rigid ideological conformity at all, but rather an open forum that publishes the varied opinions of many metaphysically distinct individuals with different perspectives and values, much to the consternation of its easily-confused readership.

      1. It makes you wonder why people so easily confused keep reading and whining about something that confuses them so much. I mean, if I want to be confused, I go rewatch Lost. Can’t everyone?

        1. Lost was set on a remote island, but then there were some scenes that weren’t on an island. Make up your mind already!

          1. Wait, Starbuck was an…angel?!? What the fuck?

            1. That season didn’t happen.

            2. We don’t talk about Lucy and we sure as hell don’t talk about BSG.

              THEY DIDN’T HAVE A FUCKING PLAN!

      2. metaphysically distinct individuals

        Current leader for “phrase of the day.”

        1. As opposed to the commentariat, which is 99.5% Tulpa sockpuppets.

          1. We must strive to improve.

            We will be 99.999% Tulpa Sockpuppets.

            1. The remainder consists of interdimensional sex pirates, shaven rapesquatches, and John.

              1. so Warty, STEVE SMITH, and John walk into a bar…

                1. so Warty, STEVE SMITH, and John walk into a bar…

                  There are no survivors.

      3. I didn’t think it was. I was literally asking if they were purposely arguing with each other.

        Also, it seems somewhat more likely that they will use one argument to support something they like, and an opposite argument to attack something they don’t.*

        *By no means am I innocent of this one. I catch myself doing it from time to time.

        1. Or maybe there is no They. Maybe two different individuals are making different arguments about different things from different perspectives with no conversation between them. Like maybe one of them is a syndicated columnist or something.

          1. Or maybe there is no They.

            That is true as well, people are individuals. That being said, we’ve all seen Nick argue “A is good” for something he likes and “A is bad” against something he doesn’t.

      4. metaphysically distinct individuals

        You can’t prove that, Hugh!!!

        1. I would never dream of trying to prove that brainwashees of whatever religion crippled Ted are different from brainwashees of mohammedanism. Both reject reason for faith, hence freedom for force. All I ask is for a Remarqueable approach, like putting them all in arenas and letting them debate whose is the better sacrifice… with real short knives. I reckon Ted could hold his own in a knife-fight with that Salad feller over in Belgium, at least long enough to draw some paying customers.

          1. Both reject reason for faith, hence freedom for force.

            Slow down there, buddy. Millions to billions of people have faith, but I am reluctant to say that merely believing in a religion means you necessarily have no freedom (a choice made irrationally is still a choice) and embrace force (most pacifists are such for religious reasons, after all).

            1. Yeah, that was quite the leap.

            2. I know that Hugh would never collectivize all people of whatever faith as unreasoned and embracing of force.

          2. Both reject reason for faith, hence freedom for force.

            Though I’m sure they exist, I’ve yet to find an evangelical who actually rejects reason in exchange for faith. The reason I have faith is due to reason, in the same way a small child would trust his father to catch him at the bottom of the slide (“He did save me before, ergo…”).

            Also, even if one were to believe in spite of reason, that wouldn’t reject freedom, either. And even one that rejected personal freedom wouldn’t necessarily mean they would want to use force against people who didn’t.

            There are quite a few Non Sequiturs here, congrats.

          3. The Old Testament and the Koran glorify conquest by the sword. Often by genocide.

            The New Testament does not.

            Therefore Cruz’s sky God Muslim sky God.

            1. Damnit. Insert GREATER THAN.

  3. I suppose it’s a little more specific, and probably better than just saying muslim or islamic. But it still sucks. And is a bogus issue. And Cruz sucks. /shrug.

    1. “Radical Islamic Terrorism” isn’t a magic phrase, but it is somewhat more than symbolic.

      People in denial rarely confront their problems.

      1. Does using the descriptor make you better able, or less able, to deal with the problem?

        I think describing terrorism motivated by radical Islamist beliefs as “radical Islamic terrorism” makes us better able to deal with the problem. It doesn’t force any particular approach, but refusing to use it closes off potentially productive approaches.

    2. I am kinda with Cruz. I think it was rather Orwellian of the Bush Administration to call the nasty stuff they did by these ridiculous euphemisms like “Guantanamo detainees” instead of prisoners and “enhanced interrogation techniques” instead of, you know, torture. Likewise, the Obama folks calling fanatical Muslim terrorists things generic things like “extremists” and calling terrorist attacks “tragedies” has more than a touch of Orwellian Newspeak to it.

      The Bush Administration’s motivations for using these terms was pretty obvious and none too flattering. So what is the Obama Administration’s motive in using these watered down, generic terms? I think they are two fold:

      1. They’re afraid of stoking any sort of anti-Muslim backlash or the dreaded “Islamophobia.” Same reason articles about crime in most newspapers don’t report the race or ethnicity of people involved.

      2. They don’t want ordinary Muslims to think the U.S. government is anti-Muslim in general, lest this serve as recruiting tool for “the extremists.”

      I think #2 is at least a reasonable concern. I think #1 is another instance of “the people we’re really worried about are those awful Republicans, who will be donning brownshirts and beating up Jews again if we’re not careful,” which, to many people, including me, seems really crass and rather offensive when the cops still haven’t hosed the blood off the sidewalk from the latest suicide bombing in Brussels or Haifa or where have you.

      1. You call them detainees because they don’t qualify as prisoners of war.

        You don’t call it torture because torture is outlawed and you believe that what you are doing is legal.

        Just like the refusal to call it Islamic terrorism is a signal that you don’t believe it is Islamic.

  4. Aha!! So Cruz is multiclassing in Truenamer now!!

  5. I get it. It’s all about saying the right words.

    Like Beetlejuice. Or something.

  6. I’ve read the Bible. I’ve read the Quran and several of the major hadiths. In order for a Christian to use his religion for violence, he has to pretty much ignore the entire New Testament and everything Jesus ever said. In order for a Muslim to use his religion for violence, he just has to do everything exactly like Mohammed did. ISIS is actually following the path of Mohammed much more closely than any “moderate” Muslim today. Muslims as individual human beings aren’t inherently violent, but the teachings of Mohammed make them much more prone to violent radicalization.

    1. I’ve read the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, and several of the Federalist Papers, so I think I have a pretty comprehensive understanding of American culture in the 21st century.

      1. You would have a firm grasp of those people who still follow the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Federalist papers. It’s a very good analogy but you failed at the dismount.

        1. These masturbation euphemisms are getting out of hand.

          1. That’s not how masturbation works!

            1. It is if you have one of those vibrating horse saddles. Which I suspect you do.

              1. His horse HATES it.

      2. The screeds from the barbary pirates read almost word for word, thought for thought like the blabberings of the Imams today. Same actions, same justifications, same fanaticism. That reads just like the babble from Mohammed himself.

        Savagery and primitivism are not things that depend for their existence on a specific time period. They are qualities that all humans have the potential for in all times in all places.

        “…alienates Muslims and lends legitimacy to groups like ISIS by implying that they are acting in the name of Islam…”

        They are acting in the name of Islam. Their actions match the instructions in their holy book and they openly profess that that is exactly what they are doing. Refusing to take your enemy’s motives into account is a recipe for disaster and defeat.

        1. sure, but that deprives the author of the chance to remind us that Cruz is a meanie and that uttering malicious truths is pointless.

        2. Here’s the problem:

          We don’t get to say if terrorists are “acting in the name of Islam”. They do. And they have. To pretend they haven’t, and that they aren’t acting in the name of Islam, is puerile denial of reality.

      3. Muslims will quickly point out to Christians that God’s mercy isn’t ours to give away–that we can’t depend on God’s mercy.

        When pressed, they’ll concede that God’s mercy isn’t for Muslims to withhold either, and the Quran repeatedly states that God is merciful. If the Quran says God is merciful, then to Muslims, anyway, it must be true–and you don’t want to act unmercifully towards someone God intends to forgive on judgement day for his own reasons. That would be a great blasphemy–to have behaved unmercifully towards someone God later chooses to forgive is to claim to be better than God.

        Oppression breeds defiance, and the more extreme the oppression becomes, the more radical the defiance. The Muslim world, over the past century, has been deeply oppressed–first through colonialism and then through post-colonial dictatorships. Generally speaking, the more oppressive the country was, the more radical the response. They aren’t as radical in Morocco and Indonesia like they are in Egypt and Algeria.

        It is no wonder that radical reactions to oppression tend to take religious forms. It’s happened that way in Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism, too . The ultimate cause of terrorism is oppression–religion is simply a typical means of expression in that reaction to oppression. If I can’t make the authorities answer to me, I’ll make them answer to God.

        1. They aren’t as radical in … Indonesia

          Balderdash and poppycock! Jemaah Islamiah, one of the long-standing modern Islamist terror group has its roots in the radical Darul Islam movement of the 40s to 60s. The entire cause of Darul Islam was to revolt against Dutch rule and establish a sharia-based Islamic state in Java.

          1. That movement was born during the Indonesian War of Independence against the Dutch (colonialism), and it radicalized under oppression when martial law was imposed (post-colonial dictatorship). As oppression eased, over time, so did the forces of radicalization.

            In what way does any of this conflict with what I wrote?

            Indonesia has been substantially less oppressive in recent decades–less than Egypt and Algeria were during that time period–and how broad is the support for radical terrorism in Indonesia today compared to somewhere else that experienced substantially more oppression?

            1. As oppression eased, over time, so did the forces of radicalization.

              In what way does any of this conflict with what I wrote?

              Because you claim the forces of radicalization have eased; the existence of Jemaah Islamiah, founded in 1993 by Islamist dissidents living in exile in Malaysia as to escape imprisonment by the Suharto dictatorship, falsifies your claim. Starting in the early 2000s, the number of radical Islamist groups operating in Indonesia and Moro areas of the Philippines have blossomed like mold in a damp basement.

              Islamic Defenders Front (1998), Laskar Jihad (2000), Indonesian Mujahedeen Council (2004), Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid (2008), as just a small sample.

              Additionally, your claim that Indonesia seems to have not experienced oppression or that is was mild in comparison is bizarre. Suharto was dictator for 31 years, and is viewed by many as one of the most corrupt leaders in history. He used both the regular military and paramilitary death squads to maintain order in a brutal campaign for control. I would think that if you mentioned Indonesia, you would actually know something about its history.

              1. “The existence of Jemaah Islamiah, founded in 1993 by Islamist dissidents living in exile in Malaysia as to escape imprisonment by the Suharto dictatorship, falsifies your claim.”

                The oppression of post-colonial dictatorships radicalizing resistance falsifies my claim?

                You should take another look at my claim.

                “Additionally, your claim that Indonesia seems to have not experienced oppression or that is was mild in comparison is bizarre.

                I didn’t say it was mild in comparison. I said Indonesia was less oppressive against Islamist groups (among others) in recent decades than what happened in Egypt and Algeria in recent decades.

                What do you know about the the atrocities of Algerian Civil War?

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algerian_Civil_War

                Why should it be controversial, on a libertarian website, to suggest that more oppression tends to radicalize both religious extremists more and public opinion more?

          2. +202 dead Bali nightclub visitors.

            Still, isn’t it accurate to state that the ruling government in Indonesia is less radical than those of most of the Gulf states, Sunni or Shia?

            1. The lion’s share of seats in Indonesia’s parliament belong to fucking Commies. Whether you want to call that ‘less radical’ is up to you. Certainly it is less “Islamist”, though it’s worth nothing that the 2nd largest party is Islamist in ideology.

              1. 40% of the members of one of the two major political parties in this country want to elect one to the highest elected office in the land. Which is just unbelievable to write, yet there it is.

                Are the Commies in Indonesia committed to spreading their ideology through violence and supporting violence elsewhere, as the Wahhabi/12er Shia states do? If so, then yes, they’re radical too.

                I had thought that Jemaah Islamiyah was, like the Moro insurgency in Mindanao, and like a herpes outbreak, one of those things that flared up from time to time, caused no end of embarrassment and discomfort when it did, but ultimately wasn’t existence threatening, and it could be controlled?

                Put another way, I have no hope that absent large degrees of repression by their home governments, societies of either Wahhabis or 12er Shia can coexist peacefully with Western culture. Indonesia, OTOH at least tries to be a democracy. And hasn’t tried to genocide its neighbors for the last thirty years or so. On the balance that seems a more tolerant version of Islam than many others throughout MENA and South Asia.

        2. If I can’t make the authorities answer to me, I’ll make them answer to God.

          Obviously God can’t do His Own Will, so He needs my help.

          1. That’s the mantra of everyone from the Jewish Defense League to the IRA, isn’t it?

        3. “When pressed, they’ll concede that God’s mercy isn’t for Muslims to withhold either, and the Quran repeatedly states that God is merciful. If the Quran says God is merciful, then to Muslims, anyway, it must be true–and you don’t want to act unmercifully towards someone God intends to forgive on judgement day for his own reasons. That would be a great blasphemy–to have behaved unmercifully towards someone God later chooses to forgive is to claim to be better than God.”

          Nonsense. Islam has been a religion of violent expansion pretty much since its inception. Mohammad engaged in military campaigns. Abu Bakr engaged in military expansion to spread Islam. The real explosion of Islamic territory came under Caliph Umar, who was one of Mohammad’s favorite warriors and the father of one of Mohammad’s wives.

          Given the behavior of the early Muslims, it’s pretty goddamn easy to use Islam to justify violence. I’m not aware of anything in Islam that argues it’s blasphemous to kill those who oppose Islam on the grounds that Allah may later forgive them.

          1. I’ll concede that Islam may be easier to turn into a weapon than Buddhism, but it wasn’t an especially violent and expansionary force throughout its history.

            Even in its earlier history, many people preferred Islam because it brought something like the rule of law and replaced the barbarity there was before it. The noble savage is a myth–whether talking about Vikings before Christianization or parts of Africa before Islam.

            In modern time, I’d also point out that of the five schools of Sunni jurisprudence, I believe all of them have condemned both Al Qaeda and ISIS. bin Laden issued his fatwas because no one else would. Al Qaeda and ISIS rejected mainstream peaceful resistance and are, hence, the exception that proves the rule.

            1. The early history of Islam consists of it being the faith of the governing Arabs, many of whom were converted by force to their religion by the bloody wars following Muhammad’s death. 200 years after Muhammad, Islam was only accepted by a little more than 10% of the population ruled by the Caliphate — astounding, considering the legal benefits conferred by the religion and the fact that Christianity had close to the same percent of conversions in the Roman Empire 200 years after Christ despite being a socially and legally unaccepted religion.

              Obviously the followers of early Islam were amazingly good at governing, but Islam as a missionary religion was an utter failure until the Abbasid Caliphate and was nearly always tied to the prestige and piety of the Islamic state.

              1. “200 years after Muhammad, Islam was only accepted by a little more than 10% of the population ruled by the Caliphate — astounding, considering the legal benefits conferred by the religion”

                In some places, they made laws prohibiting conversion ti Islam–because they needed someone to pay tax.

                They rationalized in other ways, too; for instance, although Zoroastrians were not “people of the book”, they were at least as monotheist as the Christians, they abhorred idolatry, and the did have a book (the Avesta) if not the Old Testament.

                So they rationalized them as “people of a book” rather than “people of THE book”.

                It’s hard to finance the state if you keep slaying taxpayers.

        4. Yeah, those poor oppressed Muslims living under that horrible Brussels dictatorship. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone suffering under the yoke of…the EU.

          1. We’re talking about how widespread support for terrorism is in various places as well as how radical the terrorists are–but there will always be some extremists.

            Are you suggesting that oppression doesn’t breed revolt? That such revolts don’t typically feature religion? That oppression has nothing to do with radicalization?

        5. They aren’t as radical in Morocco and Indonesia

          There are some survivors of the quarter-million victims of Indonesia’s moderate treatment of Christians in East Timor who might disagree.

          1. East Timor isn’t an example of a radical Muslim terrorist group attacking Christians. It’s an example of the government of Indonesia invading, occupying, and oppressing a foreign country.

        6. Bullshit. The reasoning that they use to strike at Western nations is the same reasoning that they use to commit genocide and mass rape in their Caliphate, to implement a religion-based Jim Crow sort of society in other nations (complete with poll taxes and the occasional lynching), to justify slavery and empire in ages past. IOW, they didn’t invent these ideas to justify punching up, they just repurposed the ideas they’d been using for centuries to justify punching down.

          That reasoning is “everyone outside our community is subhuman trash, in varying degrees, and the morality of how we treat our neighbors does not apply to them — for the people at the bottom of the spectrum, in fact, we’re morally obligated to commit crimes against them”. Certainly they didn’t invent the notion nor are they alone in believing or practicing it, but when it becomes codifed as desirable and virtuous, rather than an atavistic impulse or a necessary concession to reality, things get very ugly (see also: Nazi Germany).

          1. You use “they” a lot.

            Are you talking about ISIS or are you talking about 1.2 billion Muslims?

        7. I haven’t read the Koran but as an offshoot of Abraham it seems consistent with the Old Testament. God is merciful to his own people in that he doesn’t kill them ALL when he is pissed off and he routinely wipes out their enemies.

          Moses got angry with the Israelis when they let the women and children of their enemies live.

          So don’t tell me that “they are all the same”. Christianity is fundamentally different.

    2. I think you need to go back and re-read the NT again. You’ll find plenty of justifications for violence there. The Christian Apologists did.

      Everything from the violent clearing of the moneychangers from the temple to Augustine’s justification of coerced conversion.

      1. The sheer scale, magnitude, and methods of violence in the New Testament is nothing compared to Mohammed. It is far easier to use Mohammed’s life to excuse violence than Jesus’ is all I’m saying.

        1. Th sheer scale, magnitude, and methods of violence in the Old Testament are pretty comparable to the Koran – let’s not forget that Christianity’s violent phase extended into the early part of the *Twentieth Century* and that if the OT was *truly superseded and made obsolete by* the NT then there’d be no reason to have it at all in modern Christianity, let alone the near equal focus on it and the NT.

          Islam is horrible right now, but not uniquely so. And its been a stabilizing and preserving force in the past. Its been (and is again) justification for preying on those outside the tribe. Every single religious tradition on this planet puts its worshippers at the center of creation and even when not explicitly justifying it in text (or even explicitly repudiating it – like Buhddism) that special position will be and is used to justify doing whatever the hell you want to the outsider.

          1. The sheer scale, magnitude, and methods of violence in the Old Testament are pretty comparable to the Koran

            Which raises a couple of questions:

            (1) Then why haven’t Jews engaged in a constant campaign to convert people to Judaism via the sword?

            (2) There’s a lot of variation, but Christians mostly look to the New Testament, which takes a different approach.

            1. But they certainly have never repudiated the Old Testament. Closest you get is a shrug and ‘God, the perfect all-knowing God, changed his mind about some things’.

              And uh, if you read the OT you see that the Jews were *not* peaceful people content to let their neighbors live in peace.

              1. I am less concerned with the activities of people dead for centuries or millenia than I am with those still walking around.

                1. That’s fine – but for those who keep harping on how Islam is *uniquely* horrible, well they’re letting themselves get lost in irrelevancies and setting themselves up to be consumed by hate when the situation calls for dispassionate action to secure ourselves.

                  Its also prevents them from seeing how other religions – like Christianity – evolved from Imperialism-by-any-means to the fairly benign form it is today (or how early persecution helped *spread and strengthen* the religion despite the best efforts of the persecutors).

                  Instead what we’re getting is Islam is uniquely horrible – never before seen in human history (rather than what is, sadly, fairly bog-standard human behavior) and we must isolate and destroy them. Which isn’t working.

                  1. That’s fine – but for those who keep harping on how Islam is *uniquely* horrible, well they’re letting themselves get lost in irrelevancies and setting themselves up to be consumed by hate when the situation calls for dispassionate action to secure ourselves.

                    Or perhaps you are letting yourself get lost in your unique hatred for Christianity when a dispassionate view of various religions indicates that indeed there are differences in them.

                    Christianity started out a subversive religion that was co-opted by a state. Islam started as a violent rebellion. Islam has no equivalent to “render unto caesar”, it proclaims not just a method of salvation, but a blueprint for the running of a state.

                    These are serious differences, and whether you want to handwave past them, they still exist.

                    1. Islam has no equivalent to “render unto caesar”

                      Good. Neither should have Christianity.

                      And don’t confuse my criticism of Christianity with *hate*. I don’t hate it. I just recognize that it has a long and contradictory history and has been used to justify a lot of bad shit done by immoral people in opposition to its ‘official’ doctrines.

                      I criticize the United States also without hating it. As do most of us here.

                    2. Good. Neither should have Christianity.

                      Why exactly? The render unto caesar, among many other passages in the new testament acknowledged a difference between the kingdoms of men and the kingdom of god. It was a vital piece in the secularisation of Christianity.

                      I just recognize that it has a long and contradictory history and has been used to justify a lot of bad shit done by immoral people in opposition to its ‘official’ doctrines.

                      Shrug. As people above said, you can follow the New Testament and never once need to visit violence on another- let alone establish a theocratic state. The Quran is totally different.

                      You seem to think it novel to point out that all across history, hypocrites have ignored the writing of foundational texts in order to visit misery upon humanity. That is not contested.

              2. And uh, if you read the OT you see that the Jews were *not* peaceful people content to let their neighbors live in peace.

                And what finally cured them of that was being thoroughly crushed by the Roman Empire and dispersed to the wind. So if we’re drawing analogies, what does that say regarding Islam?

                1. That the US doesn’t have the will to decimate populations and so we had probably better look for other solutions?

              3. But they certainly have never repudiated the Old Testament.

                Define Repudiated. The entire point of Christianity is that Jesus created a new contract with man. They don’t say the OT never happened, they say there is a new Covenant that man must follow.

                1. And where does this new covenant state the differences between it and the old covenant? The old is obviously not thrown out wholesale, but where does it specify the parts that no longer apply?

                  Slavery? Is that out? Because the anti-slavery stance wasn’t formal Christian doctrine for a looooong time after Christ.

                  http://www.biblestudytools.com…..s+25:44-46

                  44 ” ‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
                  45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.

                  http://www.biblestudytools.com/deuteronomy/20.html

                  14 As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the LORD your God gives you from your enemies.

                  1. Maybe you want to read up on the Reformation.

                  2. Why are you quoting the Old Testament to explain Christian doctrine? Mainstream Christians don’t follow Jewish law. They don’t observe the Sabbath, nor the dietary restrictions, nor do they get circumcised for religious reasons.

            2. The Jews never converted by the sword. They purged the land of their enemies.

      2. I recall the Jesus rant against the moneychangers was the only time he lost his cool.

        JC did (supposedly) mention that he didn’t come to bring peace, but rather a sword, but that is so contrary to everything else about him that I reckon that is a metaphor for stirring up moral friction rather than literal violence.

        I don’t know what Augustine did, but it ain’t in the NT.

        1. Augustine was a fairly famous Christian apologist who used his extensive knowledge of the whole of the Christian texts to create a framework justifying forced conversion – even to the point of murder. Its people like him who enabled the creation of the Inquisition and the Auto-Da-Fey, provided half the impetus to fund the expeditions to the Americas (for the forced conversion of the natives) all the way to ‘residential schools’ for indiginous people in Canada and Australia.

          1. Ah, no. Augustine’s framework (written roughly 350 years after Christ) was a) not supportive of penalties for pagans, b) supportive of penalty for heretics, but not death (IIRC he supported fines and imprisonment), and c) this was a position that changed throughout Augustine’s life (with some of his works supporting freedom of conscience and some supporting the penalties against the Donatists).

            As for forced conversion of natives, that was the preferred method of Spain but not particularly of the Catholic Church at the time. If you want to bring up forced conversions supported by the Church, your knowledge is shallow — the majority of Church-endorsed forced conversion were in Germany and the like, not in the Americas.

            Final correction: it’s Auto-De-Fe, not Auto-Da-Fay.

            1. There is no valid justification for the Spanish Inquisition, but it should be kept in perspective: the death toll of the Spanish Inquisition from 1478 to 1834 — three hundred fifty six years — was about the same as the number of people who died from a single Islamic terrorist event on 9/11/2001.

            2. Augustine’s framework was used as justification (not the only one, but part of a larger package) later for the forced conversion of indigenous people throughout the Americas and Australia at a minimum.

              1. Which proves that people suck and organized religion sucks. Coincidentally that is consistent with Jesus’s message.

          2. Agammamon…

            That’s fine, but I thought the original discussion was comparing/contrasting the examples set by the story of Jesus with the Story of Muhammad.

            1. No, the original discussion was, from my point of view, comparing/contrasting the whole of the core doctrines of each faith.

              *A* religious leader can say something – and that something get reinterpreted to suit multiple generations of clerics and laity, often into something completely at odds with the original wording.

              Take, for example, the Christian televangelists that preach the ‘prosperity gospel’.

              1. This started the debate above:

                I’ve read the Bible. I’ve read the Quran and several of the major hadiths. In order for a Christian to use his religion for violence, he has to pretty much ignore the entire New Testament and everything Jesus ever said. In order for a Muslim to use his religion for violence, he just has to do everything exactly like Mohammed did. ISIS is actually following the path of Mohammed much more closely than any “moderate” Muslim today. Muslims as individual human beings aren’t inherently violent, but the teachings of Mohammed make them much more prone to violent radicalization.

                The comparison is very much Jesus/Muhammed

                1. Don’t forget the kaiju Whore of Babylon violently crushing the cities of the Bible.

    3. Jesus never wrote down a single word, and none of the hearsay now attributed to the poor guy (or legend) ever made it into papyrus for about two centuries. Nor is there any record of Pontius Pilate ever trying such a person in court, or any other record penne by alleged contemporaries. What we do see before us are antirational memes that infiltrate susceptible minds (like brainwashed children) sort of like computer viruses, and convince the idiots to blow each other up. Christian or mohammedan, both groupthink collectives reject reason and life for altruistic faith, sacrifice and death. Other than that, they’re OK.

      1. Well, get ready for a shitstorm from the local apologists for pointing out that there is no contemporary historical record of Jesus Christ.

        1. It’s a pretty pointless debate, as the position is something akin in modern scholarship to arguing against the historicity of Julius Ceaser or Socrates.

          And why would you expect to find a contemporary record of a rural Jewish wandering preacher? Do you have any “contemporary record” of any other Jewish messiah (say, any of the ones mentioned by Josephus or Bar-Kochba), and if not do you therefore conclude that they did not exist and that Jewish messianic movements are a myth?

          Shallow atheists are as bad at history as shallow Christians are at biology, I swear to God.

          1. “It’s a pretty pointless debate, as the position is something akin in modern scholarship to arguing against the historicity of Julius Ceaser or Socrates.”

            Which then begs the question, how could any lucid person then make the leap to thinking Jesus is/was the Messiah?

      2. Jesus never wrote down a single word, and none of the hearsay now attributed to the poor guy (or legend) ever made it into papyrus for about two centuries.

        Which means fuckall in regards to this debate. Whether Jesus really existed or had a hand in the writing of the New Testament is as meaningless as the writings of the Quran. The fact is that both texts exist, and to the extent that they are foundational texts for two of the largest religions in the world means that their differences (if there) could shape how those religions ultimately evolve.

        I certainly dislike people who believe that Islam is a unique evil. But equally tiring are the people who act like it’s some revelation that Christianity has a checkered past. Both religions have over a thousand years of development, and one has largely developed into a secular system that is at worst benign a majority of the time and the other is regularly blowing up markets, schools and airports. The idea that maybe the teachings in each are a clue to how they’ve turned out isn’t exactly radical.

  7. I think Americans are weary of PC word games to the point of nausea, and the Democrats (whose SJW and progressive factions are all about PC word games) are entirely vulnerable to charges of being PC sensitive to the feelings of terrorists.

    It’s an election year. If it matters to voters, it matters, and given that Trump only does better when he’s accused of not being PC, yeah, I think Cruz can score some points against The Donald this way.

    1. Europeans as well. The fact that current world leadership has such a hard time identifying what is obvious to the masses does not inspire confidence. Hence the rise of the far right in Europe.

      1. Everyone knows that this is “Islamic” terrorism. However, responsible leaders don’t want to be the one’s inciting the pitchfork brigade to start burning down mosques and roughing up innocent muslims. Trump, Cruz and the rest of the right-wing shit show don’t worry about responsible anything however.

    2. Whenever I parse PC I come up with Politically Communistic. I have yet to find a single exception to this simple rule of thumb.

  8. This “bogus issue” is just more politically correct malarkey that is only going to end up strengthening ISIS. I feel invigorated by the Senator’s moral courage to bring this important issue up so quickly after the attacks. In addition to my thoughts and prayers, you now have my vote, Senator. Godspeed.

    1. You are a fine upstanding man Crusty. Would that we had more American’s of your stripe.

  9. Obama is pathetic. refuses to acknowledge the Jihad against the West. Reason’s open border muslim loving lunatics should love him. #RefugeesNotWelcome #Trump 2016

    1. That is a trenchant and well thought-out argument. I appreciate you sharing it with us and the time it took to walk through each facet of this complex issue.

    2. Well, the hashtags convinced me. They’re really that powerful.

      1. Fuck hashtags. Octothorpetags or get the fuck out.

        1. #fuckhashtags

        2. That was a good, nay, Heroic, better still, grate argument!

      2. Hashtag “great day to start fresh at a new job, sincerely, BoJack.”

        1. When you’re wearing rose colored glasses, Hugh, all the red flags just look like flags.

      3. Well, hashtags did #bringhomeourgirls

    3. You sugarfreed those hashtags, brah. I keep clicking on them and it doesn’t take me to Twitter or Instagram or anything!

      1. How is this my fault, brah?

        1. Your handle got verbed a long time ago, brah.

          1. “I had a bunch of cheap Indian food this weekend and citzenx’d for three hours. My butthole felt like a storm drain in reverse.”

            1. I laughed.

            2. Eh. It just doesn’t flow the same. Pardon the pun.

              1. “I xeoned my pants!”

                1. You made your pants really sexy and awesome? Congrats, brah!

          2. That’s for HTML hyperlinks, not hashtags. SF doesn’t do that millenial bullshit.

            1. Whatever, i’m not a person of computers, nerd.

    4. Needz moar commas and dashes.

    5. Check out all the freedom-hating cucks are ganging up on you!

    6. Maybe if Obama was in favor of open borders, I would like him.

      1. Maybe if he got the Choom Gang back together and they all smoked up in the Rose Garden…

  10. Clearly things like these are “man-made disasters.” Obama told us so.

    1. A man-made disaster is when the EPA incompetence pollutes a river with mining tailings or when EPA climate-change phobias wreck an entire economy by restricting electric power generation (you’ll have to wait a couple years for that to materialize, but it will if the environmental left remains in charge.) Or, maybe a US foreign policy that does immensely more harm than good (e.g., Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Yemen, Syria, etc., etc.)

      A random terrorist bombing is not truly a disaster; it is a random terrorist bombing.

  11. Is truth ever a “bogus issue”? The Obama administration uses euphemisms for political purposes. A term like “violent extremists” merely clouds the truth, and allows them to claim that Constitutionalists etc. are an equal threat.

    Heck, even “radical Islamic terrorism” is a bit of a euphemism: it’s just Islamic terrorism, which is supported by far more Muslims than just a radical fringe.

    1. So much this. Euphemisms obscure the truth, and are there for a form of lying. Don’t use them, whether its “violent extremist” or “undocumented immigrant” or “furtive movement”. Just . . . don’t.

    2. Yeah, it should actually be called “orthodox Islamic terrorism” or “traditional Islamic terrorism”.

  12. It’s not that it’s a magical phrase, but one must correctly identify the problem if you hope to have any chance of fixing it.

    1. Confucius and Lao Tzu are highly underrated for the wisdom they provide, IMO.

      1. Confucius has the better axiom over ‘Do unto others…’ which was ‘Don’t do unto others if you don’t want them doing shit to you.’

        1. The Analects are like a great, Chinese-edited version of the OT book of Proverbs. Lao Tzu is less accessible, but he’s really quite excellent once you get what he’s about.

          I’ve always wondered why more atheists haven’t taken them as a base for their own thoughts on ethics, considering that they are provably workable and can be practiced without reference to deities.

          1. Or Epictetus if they want a more accessible Western version. Although he does occasionally mention gods. The gods are not the impetus of the morality.

  13. It’s weird that President Obama won’t say it, but it’s also a bogus issue and Ted Cruz is a joke.

  14. Ted Cruz is a joke and not enough people are laughing.

    1. Trump is a hard act to follow.

    2. And yet, Ted Cruz is the only one of 4 remaining contenders for a major party’s nomination who has ever mentioned the Constitution in a positive light.

      1. Sad, isn’t it?

        Cruz just flails around, trying to say something that will make him popular, forever unable to understand why people don’t like him. There something about him that makes me want to go all alpha jock bro and gut-punch in the parking lot after school lets out.

  15. “Obama argues (through his press secretary) that the phrase Cruz favors alienates Muslims and lends legitimacy to groups like ISIS by implying that they are acting in the name of Islam (albeit an extreme version of it).”

    This is a really stupid argument.

    1. it’s as if he thinks non-violent Muslims have yet to figure out that those being violent in Allah’s names are also Muslim.

  16. Bogus issue.

    I think Bush used the phrase one time in his eight years, for the same exact reason that Obama is. It’s not productive and harms our objective. Using the phrase is a tactical failure.

    1. “It’s not productive and harms our objective.”

      If our objective is to combat Islamic extremism then calling it Islamic extremism is just an acknowledgement of reality. Unless you think calling the Nazis ‘Germans’ would damage the WWII war effort by pissing off American Germans and turning them into a fifth column.

      What harms our objective is palling around with the Saudi religious lunatics while overthrowing secular dictatorships.

      1. What Irish said.

        1. Don’t call him Irish, it harms the objective of defeating the IRA!

          1. Islamic Radical Anarchists?

      2. Unless you think calling the Nazis ‘Germans’ would damage the WWII war effort by pissing off American Germans and turning them into a fifth column.

        So, during WWII, would it have been accurate to say we were at war with Europe?

        1. We were at war withe Italians, too. And technically Vichy France, although I don’t think the US ever recognized that government. In fact, we were at war with all of the national socialist governments of Europe except Franco’s ostensibly facist dictatorship. So yeah, it was probably more accurate to call it a war on fascism in Europe.

          1. So your answer is no.

            Sets…sub-sets…

        2. I think it would be safe to say that we were not merely at war with the bad, violent citizens of the Axis powers. Wars are fought between communities, not individuals.

    2. why is it a tactical failure to notice reality?

    3. It’s not productive and harms our objective.

      What objective is that?

  17. I’m not so much worried about what Cruz wants it to be called, we all know it’s Jihadists again and there is no reason to think otherwise.

    What I do agree with Cruz about is that the last thing we need from any leader -Obama or otherwise- is another lecture on Islamophobia.

    1. …which is a BS term, because “phobia” is an irrational fear, like, say, hoplophobia

  18. I’d rather hear the president say that we’re at war with specific groups that have attacked us or are attempting to attack us, not wage some open-ended crusade against an ideology. Declaring war on “radical Islamic terrorists” sounds like carte blanche to send US bombs or troops to whatever corner of the Muslim world we feel like any given day, forever.

    1. But maybe that’s why Teddy insists upon it.

    2. But the fact is, there’s an “open-ended crusade” by an ideology against us, regardless of what we say or do. It’s called “Islam.” Active terrorists, their supporters, the masses of “innocent Muslims”: all part of the same movement, the same plan. It’s in the Koran and the other teachings. Their goal is a worldwide totalitarian theocratic state.

      1. Your naked paranoid bigotry is quite refreshing.

      2. So why aren’t we waging an open-ended crusade against socialists? They have the same goal, and they’re a lot more dangerous and numerous than Muslim terrorists.

        1. So why aren’t we waging an open-ended crusade against socialists?

          You have my vote. Now you can boast that your base is child molesters.

          1. Child molesters? I thought you were just a lonely, generous man who liked to make kids smile and had a thing for windowless vans?

        2. Well, if and when the socialists start organizing themselves into terror cells and launching repeated terror attacks, then we might just need have have an open-ended crusade and socialists. Until then, I don’t see the need.

          1. Besides, Bernie is bae!

          2. Bader-Meinhof, Red Brigades…

            1. Yeah, what he said!

            2. Who were all destroyed by international police and paramilitary forces? Not sure of your point.

          3. Um, the Sandinistas, Shining Path, FARC, RAF, Red Brigade don’t ring a bell? Should I keep going?

            1. Are they especially active now? I do seem to recall that there was a concerted effort to destroy these assholes back when they were actually a problem.

          4. Indeed, a generation and more ago socialist terrorism was a thing. But, I am less concerned with a problem solved a generation ago than I am with one that bedevils us today.

            Other than as a source of lessons on how to solve today’s problems.

            1. Right, but the point is that we’ve faced similar issues and dealt with them and the answer didn’t seem to be ‘ban all German immigration’, ‘hunt down all socialists, etc’ so why is the answer ban all Muslims now?

              After San Berdino, someone here brought up dealing with turn of the 20th century anarchist terrorism which was pretty widespread in the US (to the point of assassinating a sitting president) by deporting leaders, etc, so it could be a source of lessons on today’s problems, but no one seems to want to actually discuss any of that, at least not that I’ve seen. It’s all drone strike this, invade that, and register those.

              1. Right, but FARC, Shining Path, RAF, Red Brigade were operating in their lands of their origin. So banning immigration wouldn’t be a very effective strategy.

    3. those specific groups are bound by a common thread. Rhetorical tap dances do not change that fact.

    4. The problem with saying “we are at war with these specific groups: [listed by name]” is that it invites an endless game of whack-a-mole, as the same people and the same problem rebrands itself.

      1. What, you think the People’s Front of Judea is just gonna go and become the Judean People’s Front? Absurd.

    5. The problem is that the ideology is the main unifying factor. The groups often don’t have much in the way of organization. Saying “we’re at war with these four guys who just blew themselves up” is basically useless for preserving the peace or saving lives.

  19. Attention San Francisco area Reasonoids! We are having a meetup this Thursday, 6:00 pm, in Hayes Valley (about a 13 minute walk from the Civic Center BART). Happy Hour prices! Write me at my handle @gmail.com for details. I want a headcount so we can reserve some space.

    1. You keep failing to post a menu.

      1. OK, OK. $4 well drinks, $5 draft beer, appetizers from Hahn’s Hibachi Family Style Korean BBQ Restaurant.

    2. Can I come? (Warning: I might be a Muslim)

      1. Only from 20 yards away. Up close we should be able to recognize your whispy mustache.

    3. Drat, can’t make it. Next one!

      1. Send me your email. Not sure I have it from the last time.

        1. Cool, just sent you one.

  20. Cruz is the Manitobian Candidate. Canada has long been jealous of American success and dreams of overthrowing it and imposing a Christian Caliphate by the name of Gilead – see Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale. For all his bluster about Constitutional freedoms, he can’t wait to eviscerate them. The reason this happened in Europe was not because of ‘radical islamic terrorism’ but because they don’t have free speech and freedom of religion. Of course they will attempt attacks here but the solution is good old fashioned police work. As Ben Franklin said, he who gives up freedom for security will have neither.

    1. Canada has long been jealous of American success and dreams of overthrowing it and imposing a Christian Caliphate by the name of Gilead – see Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale.

      I… what?

      This, uh

      Hmm.

    2. The real threat is definitely Canada. I think that’s so widely accepted here on the comment boards that it’s not even discussed. YOU HEAR THAT RUFUS?!

    3. I think you’re one Amendment off in your reasoning why they seem to have so much more success in Europe than here.

      1. One recalls with fondness the attempted terror attack in Garland that ended before it began. The guy who ended it happened to be a cop, but I have no doubt that the crowd at the event was heavily armed, and even if the terrorist had gotten inside, he wouldn’t have lasted very long at all.

        1. I would guess the tendency of Americans to shoot back might put a bit of a damper on things for the would-be jihadis.

        2. Hopefully, they learned a lesson beaides “don’t call your shots in Texas.”

    4. The reason this happened in Europe was not because of ‘radical islamic terrorism’ but because they don’t have free speech and freedom of religion.

      which religions have European nations banned and I seem to recall a couple of publications being attacked for exercising their right to speech. Hint: they were not attacked by other Europeans or agents of their govts.

  21. I’d suggest that, if you evade the nature of the challenge, you stand little chance of adequately addressing it. Whether we admit it or not, a portion of the Muslim world wishes us ill. Pretending they’re not at odds with us isn’t going to change the fact that they are. Worrying about offending the sensibilities of Muslims who don’t wish us ill doesn’t seem to be doing much for ensuring that they remain on friendly terms with us. Pretending that internal uprisings against secular leaders in the Islamic world mean something good for us has proven disastrous.

    1. True but we are killing them by the thousands monthly – US, French and Russian drone strikes in Syria and Libya. So it’s a bit disingenuous to claim that we are ‘in denial’ that they hate us. We ‘hate’ them even more.

      1. Drone strikes are a tactic, not a strategy. U.S. policy in Syria and Libya are prime examples of where our policy has gone ridiculous from not acknowledging the the fact that it is Islam is the major driver of our adversaries. In both countries, you had secular rulers who were contained. We replaced them with, well, the sort of chaos that allows radical Islamic terrorism to thrive. It was predictable that this would be the result. In Syria, the U.S. is now engaging in the absurdity of supporting an Al Quaeda affiliate against ISIS.

        1. OK so what you are saying is that the “nature of the challenge” is our own addiction to replacing despots with chaos?

          1. In part. In different circumstances that might be a reasonable strategy. If, on the other hand, what’s likely to replace the secular despot is an Islamic state, you’re probably choosing poorly.

    2. According to Mencken’s Treatise on Right and Wrong, the innocent bystander mohammedans (provided they are genuine and not impostors) have nothing to complain about when blown up or caught in crossfire: “The Moslem theory is that the latter (innocent bystanders), if they happen to be true believers, will go straight to Paradise and are thus not to be pitied, and that no calamity can be too great for those who doubt.” (p. 212)

      It’s a lot like the Rapture in Christian “Left Behind” beliefs, only with better action scenes and less dreary monologue. Those who doubt are to mohammedans and christians alike much like those “deniers” who dare to ask for scientific evidence of anthropogenic climate change. All such heretics deserve to burn forever in Hell to atone for their lack of revealed Faith. It’s religion, the coercive exercise of which is protected right there in the First Amendment. Get used to it!

      1. It’s religion, the coercive exercise of which is protected right there in the First Amendment.

        You must have a different version of the First Amendment, because my copy says “free” not “coercive”.

    3. Whether we admit it or not, a portion of the Muslim world wishes us ill.

      Jesus Christ on a fucking Popsicle stick.

      Terror is about politics, not religion. Terrorists attempt to tie their actions to their religion to help gain support for their political cause. Us going to war with Islam only aids them in gaining that support.

      Talk about useful idiots.

      1. They say they’re doing it out of religion. They certainly aren’t shouting “Islamic Republic” as they blow shit up or shoot a bunch of people. So, I guess you know these guys’ mind better than they do. Either that or you’re being a presumptuous ass who prioritizes your assumptions over empirical fact.

        1. So, I guess you know these guys’ mind better than they do.

          No.

          They know their mind. They have political objectives.
          I know their mind. Been trained, by our military, in the implementation of terror tactics.

          You, are a useful idiot, being played by both ends. Meaning the terrorists and our politicians, both of whom stand to gain from the US scapegoating an entire religion for the acts of a few criminals.

          1. Why do you differentiate between politics and religion? The Quran certainly seems to think they go hand in hand- indeed, we have a term for it- Theocracy.

            1. First, because it isn’t religion that’s motivating them. Small political factions wrap themselves up in religion in attempts to garner support.

              Second,because it makes sense to fight a group of 10s/100s/even 1000s than a group of 1.6 BILLION.

              1. We were at war with the USSR, but it doesn’t mean we were fighting to exterminate every one of its citizens, only to limit their ability to fuck shit up for everyone else outside of their own territory, and limit that territory to its present boundaries.

      2. “Terror is about politics, not religion.”

        Bullshit. There are lots of violent groups throughout the world. Suicide bombing is basically unique to Muslims, and it is only a viable tactic because of their religion. People are certainly willing to risk their lives for secular causes, but to strap on a bomb and explode in the middle of a crowd of harmless strangers requires either mental illness or Islam.

      3. Islam is not just a religion. It is also a social and political system.

  22. This is a bogus issue. Most of their recruits are motivated by economic and political reasons, not as much pure ideology. Cruz is solely motivated by ideology, which prevents him from either understanding this or expressing it.

    1. Most of their recruits are motivated by economic and political reasons, not as much pure ideology.

      Bull-fucking-shit!

      1. Lmao, you f*****g idiot, that video says exactly what I did, in many more stupid words.

        “These, of course, are the same east answers that tyrants and demagogues – from Lenin to Mussolini to Hitler to bin Laden – have always offered their followers.”

        This video is completely correct about extremism being the problem. It is also completely correct that Islam is in no way unique to this.

        Now, watch your own support before making any more comments, you complete s***mongerer.

      2. Lmao, you f*****g idiot, that video says exactly what I did, in many more stupid words.

        “These, of course, are the same east answers that tyrants and demagogues – from Lenin to Mussolini to Hitler to bin Laden – have always offered their followers.”

        This video is completely correct about extremism being the problem. It is also completely correct that Islam is in no way unique to this.

        Now, watch your own support before making any more comments, you complete s***mongerer.

    2. Most of their recruits are motivated by economic and political reasons, not as much pure ideology

      [Citation needed]

  23. This is a bogus issue. Most of their recruits are motivated by economic and political reasons, not as much pure ideology. Cruz is solely motivated by ideology, which prevents him from either understanding this or expressing it.

    1. Wrong. Politics and ideology are not distinct, and the “economic” motivation argument is contradicted by the fact that it’s not the poorest Muslims who are doing this, but often the well-off ones: bin Laden was rich; and many other terrorists have college educations.

      1. They are most certainly distinct. Politics should be pragmatic, ideology does not need to be. They are often mixed together, but so are vinegar and oil.

        I think you need to sit down and think about what you’re saying. You used Bin Laden as an example of the terrorists who are “doing this”, when in fact it was Bin Laden flunkies who committed the terrorist attacks he planned. You literally described what I am talking about, where money finances terrorism because it is much easier to find foot soldiers when their economic situation provides them little other choice. Of course, their economic issues are bolstered by propaganda, and misinformation, and seeing America as invaders – but again, that is true for an endless number of conflicts.

        The entire world and all of history is flooded with other examples, proving it isn’t “Radical Islam” that is unique here. Are you aware of cartel violence, and could you tell me what ideology motivates them?

        1. Islam is unique in that it’s a huge, worldwide religion with the stated ambition to take over the world and impose a totalitarian theocracy. Drugs cartels have no such ambition.

          1. Come on man, you’re not even trying here. That whole conspiracy theory you just laid out means nothing if the vast majority of the “huge, worldwide” group doesn’t have that ambition. They don’t. It is the revolutionaries and criminals who are using that to try and give their actions credibility.

            Seriously, look at any oppressive tyrant and you’ll see the same sort of non-sense. Do you think they could get any followers if they were just preaching “Yea, help me get power and then I’ll share it with you!” – No. It is always cloaked in non-sense. Of course, they have to live their words or else they lose credibility, and yes, many do actually believe their shit. It doesn’t mean that is what motivates their followers. See: Donald J. Trump.

            Do you really think the majority of Trump’s followers are motivated by his rigid ideology? No, don’t be an idiot. They are motivated by the promise of a better life. To state the obvious, I am not calling Trump’s followers terrorists or criminals. I’m pointing out a movement with a leader that has fooled them all, and is using them for his own gain. That gain might include being remembered as a legendary leader, but whatever, it’s still as much of a personal gain as when a billionaire donates to a University to have a dorm named after them.

            1. It’s not a “conspiracy theory,” it’s what’s in the Koran. The fact that every individual Muslim is not doing or saying or believing it all 100% of the time is totally irrelevant.

              Islam is doing a good cop/bad cop thing. The terrorists are the bad cops, and the “majority of innocent Muslims” are the good cops. But they are all on the same team, even if they fight among themselves, and that team wants to defeat everybody else’s team.

            2. Tulpa?

    2. True – most of them are soldiers of fortune funded by Russia and Saudi Arabia. The purpose is to threaten the West as an ‘existential threat’ so that we bomb oil fields in Libya and Iraq thereby raising gas prices. They are just a bunch of criminals and thugs. They are led of course by some reasonably smart people, e.g. Bin Laden. But they are the exception not the rule. Most are country bumpkins. Also their education system is just plain brainwashing – Trump is right on this one. Again, funded by Saudi Arabia Wahabbeees.

      1. Right, and various other groups have their own funders and backers. Boko Haram feeds off the same underlying economic and cultural dysfunction. The cultural side (education, women’s rights, etc.) is obviously harder to deal with, since that requires re-structuring the social hierarchy within a foreign society. History tells us this is always fiercely resisted, and it seems very difficult to do quickly from the outside without overthrowing their society followed by colonization, which as we know also fails quite often and leads to revolutions, terrorism, etc… its all a big cluster***k, really.

  24. when I am sworn in as president. We will name our enemy?radical Islamic terrorism. And we will defeat it.

    Um…how?

    Or will simply naming the enemy cause them to roll over shrivel up and die?

    Who cares what we call them? What’s your plan, smart guy?

    I’m so sick of this election cycle..what to we have 7 months to go? Pandering scumbags.

    1. Rumpelstiltskin.

    2. Or will simply naming the enemy cause them to roll over shrivel up and die?

      I would say that correctly identifying your enemy is a necessary but not sufficient condition for defeating him.

        1. Until I hear of a better one, I think “radical Islamic terrorism” is the best on offer.

          1. Okay. We agree. Not Islam.

            So same question to you as to Teddy bear…

            What’s your plan?

    3. 1. Mis-name the enemy
      2. ????
      3. Profit

    4. 1. Create Summoning Grid
      2. Name thing to be summoned
      3. ???
      4. Prophet?

  25. As usual, a terrorist attack in Europe brings the rightwing cranks out of the woodwork. Do you guys have to turn this place into Freep redux?

    1. Y U HAT FRERDOM, JORDAN

      U R NAMDE AFTER ARAB CUONTRYY, COINSDEENCE?!? I THIKN NOT!

    2. It’s like the gun Nazis after a shooting.

      All reasonable argument goes out the window becuz feelz.

      1. There is one distinction:

        The gun Nazis are animists, wrongly blaming an inanimate object.

        Radical Islamic terrorism is not an inanimate object, but a motivating ideology that can be blamed for the problem.

        No question, people are missing the point (by blaming Muslims generically), but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a point.

        1. Okay, we agree again.

          So now the first step is to identify their motivations, which is the crux of the matter. Every terrorist group has different motivations and thereby different centers of gravity. Attacking their centers of gravity is how you defeat an adversary.

          Attempting to lump them all together (as in blaming their religion) is a huge mistake that will lead to, as a minimum, wasted effort/resourses and as a maximum, defeat.

  26. This is supposed to be a happy occasion. Let’s not bicker and argue about who killed who.

  27. the phrase Cruz favors alienates Muslims and lends legitimacy to groups like ISIS by implying that they are acting in the name of Islam

    1. ISIS is clearly doing this. Why is it unreasonable to suggest that? And any Muslim who is alienated by a factual description of what ISIS is doing is unlikely to be helpful.

      Step 1 in having a rational policy on anything is to be able to accurately observe and assess the situation. Publicly, at least, our government has refused to do this under both the Bush and Obama administrations. Consequently, we find ourselves wasting money on quixotic bids to have the Middle East develop European-style social democracies — a fool’s errand costing us in lives. Identifying what Islam is today and how it shapes the values of those who adhere to it is important for developing policy and avoiding the costly failures of Bush and Obama.

  28. The woodchippers know that free speech is the enemy of the oil industry. For if given free speech, an extremist cleric in the levant will upload highly produced propaganda videos to the youtubes, and your innocent children will be radicalized to jihad against you, inspired by visions of eternal glory in heaven. We cannot stand for this! Instead, we must restrict free speech and shut down parts of the internet and bomb the source of their funding: oil fields in Libya and Iraq. Then the Saudis will make more money on oil and this will make them behave more responsibly. That will solve all our problems!

  29. Anyone have a recommendation for a streaming news service that’s doing coverage on the attacks? I’ve had BBC’s World Service on, but they’ve moved on to other things.

  30. my buddy’s step-mother makes $89 /hr on the laptop . She has been fired for seven months but last month her income was $19439 just working on the laptop for a few hours. you could check here

    ? ? ? ? http://www.ReportMax90.com

  31. OT:

    ‘We can shoot your wife and frame your mother-in-law’: The ad by a small picture framing business BANNED for being ‘violent’? or is it just a bad joke?

    Picture frame service’s slogan has been banned for being too ‘violent’
    It stated: ‘We can shoot your wife and frame your mother-in-law’
    A number of people complained saying it was ‘sexist and violent’
    Advertising Bureau ruled it was ‘not funny’ and breached standards

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..anned.html

  32. I hope I’m not included in whoever Ted means by “us.”

  33. Reason to its credit has covered this attack more than National Review. There was a time when National Review thought terrorist attacks in Europe were a big deal. For example, here is their live feed on the Paris attacks

    http://www.nationalreview.com/…..g-hostages

    Currently as of noon eastern time the NRO blog has posted exactly one “please keep the victims in your prayers” post.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner

    It is almost like they are worried that these attacks might help a certain political candidate or something. Whatever your politics, you have to stand in a bit of awe at what shameless hacks those people are.

    1. Yep. Now that the neocons have been summarily and unceremoniously drummed out of the republican party by the peasants, they’re going crawling hat in hand back to the democrats (where they originally came from).

      1. They have since 2001 been more acutely aware of the Islamic terrorist problem than anyone. And suddenly they decide there is “nothing to see here’? Do they think no one will notice the contrast?

        1. Trump, John. TRUMP.

          1. Their entire feed for this morning consists of one “keep them in your prayers” post about the bombing, a bunch of Jay Nordlinger Castro sucks posts, and one inside baseball post about the Arizona primary. That is it. They are truly the dog that didn’t bark.

            I never thought I would see the day when National Review didn’t want to talk about an Islamic terrorist attack. Wow.

            1. Tha really is quite astonishing. It’s like they are determined to destory what little shred of their credibility that may have remained.

    2. Eh. You have more patience than me. Once the wise latina took over, I bailed.

      1. Every couple of years they let Lopez lose on the server without any adult supervision and she goes on an anti-porn rant. it is an epic train wreck.

        1. I can see why she would view pornography as her enemy. I know which of those I would rather spend time on.

  34. “Radical Islam is at war with us. For over seven years we have had a president who refuses to acknowledge this reality.”

    Damn, so all that warrantless surveillance, TSA groping, and general spying on the public was NOT even related to this?!? Well, I hate to think how much bigger Big Brother will grow when some war boner-bearer like Cruz finally decides to address this “war.” I suppose ANY remaining privacy or Bill of Rights protections will be loooong gone by then.

    1. The reason why Obama doesn’t talk about radical Islam is not because he gives a shit about Muslims. He doesn’t talk about it because if he did someone might question why he is taking everyone’s rights rather than going after the actual enemy.

    2. Damn, so all that warrantless surveillance, TSA groping, and general spying on the public was NOT even related to this?!?

      Actually, that’s what you get when you won’t identify your problem and address it – overbroad flailing around driven by other agendas.

  35. I do think we need to stop dicking around with constantly pushing minsicule changes in terminology.

    Some random thoughts on this crap.

    1. Islam *is* a problem. I still contend that its not a uniquely bad religion, especially when placed alongside historical Judaism and Christianity, but its certainly horrible *right now*.

    2. When an extremist Christian shoots and abortion doctor, other ‘moderate’ Christians are quick to point out how and where that person fell away from mainstream Christian belief. ‘Moderate’ Muslims . . . not so much. Some will even admit that, yes, their religion sort of really does condone and command these things but *they’d* never do that because they’re one of the good ones.

    3. Which sort of says that the only reason they’re not doing it is because they’re lazy and/or afraid.

    4. By pushing back and not letting them off the hook, *maybe* we can force them to start the search for doctrinal interpretations that justify not-shooting your neighbors instead of just shrugging and walking away.

    1. 5. A multicultural society is great. A multicultural society that tries to pretend that every practice by every member is of equal value . . . looks like Europe. Let’s not become Europe. Its full of hate and petty divides far beyond the West/Islam conflict in progress right now. About a third of Europe’s Islam Problem is access – you can walk there if you are determined enough – and the protections that Muslims receive (coupled with the deliberate attacks on civil rights by their own government) and another third is the West’s history of interference and control in the Middle East. If it weren’t for the coddling and interference then these guys would just be running around screaming at each other like they’ve been doing for generations.

      1. 100% agree with all of this.

        Maybe part of the problem is that Islam has never really had a long historical period where it had to be in competition with other faiths. Aside from a brief time during Muhammad’s life and another brief period under the Mongols (who eventually converted to Islam), Islam has been legally dominant and state-enforced, particularly in its core regions, since after Muhammad’s death. In contrast, Christianity had many periods where its core regions were under serious threat (Greece and Israel were conquered, Rome was often sacked and nearly conquered a few times by its enemies), or where it had no core regions and had to make converts voluntarily. RE: the Jews, the dominant theme of the Old Testament is exile and the theme is only developed after the Jews were kicked out of their historical homeland.

        Islam won’t get any better unless it stops being a legally-enforced monopoly in the regions where the prestige and academic products of the religion are being produced (MENA region, that is).

  36. So if we quit using the phrase, then what the phrase describes will just go away? Amirite?

    1. Not using the phrase creates terror. These historically marginalized persons of explosion are acting out because they identify as Muslim and TPTB are othering them and invalidating their lived experience.

  37. There is no Good Islam and no Bad Islam, as Muslim leaders occasionally trouble to tell us. The distinction that our leaders make between Good Islam and Bad Islam is not theological, but pragmatic. They dub whatever is shooting at us right now Bad Islam and assume that everything else must be Good Islam. That is the fallacy which they used to arrive at their Tiny Minority of Extremists formula.
    There is no Tiny Minority of Extremists. Behind the various tiny minorities of extremists are countries and billionaires, global organizations and Islamic banks. Outsourcing our counterterrorism strategy to the countries and ideologies behind the terrorists we’re fighting isn’t a plan, it’s a death wish.
    The Jihad isn’t coming from some phantom website. It’s coming from our Muslim allies. It’s coming from Pakistan, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. It’s coming from the Muslim Brotherhood and its front groups. It’s coming from the moderate Muslim leaders that our leaders pose with at anti-extremism conferences. And it’s coming from the mosques and homes of the Muslims living in America. There is no Good Islam. There is no Bad Islam. There is just Islam. There is just the Quran.
    http://sultanknish.blogspot.co…..islam.html

  38. If these terrorists were claiming to be Christian or Jewish, Obama and the media would be all over it, non stop.

  39. I’m not surprised he won’t acknowledge the enemy. Didn’t he flirt with Islam in his youth?

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