douglas murray II
October 15, 2015 § Leave a comment
It’s hard to take anybody seriously who is talking about Islamism without recognizing that there wouldn’t be an Islamism if they weren’t try to unseat western backed dictatorships and oligarchies.
It’s seriously getting old. I understand the learning curve is a bit steep and that maybe not everybody is going to understand the political history or the West’s relationship with the Mideast, but for fuck’s sake, it’s 2015 and listening to this guy, you’d think we were still debating this in 2002 and watching for the color-coded terror alerts on cable news. I’m pretty sure we already had these debates and settled them a long time ago, so what the fuck is this shit?
Islam doesn’t exist in a political and economic vacuum, as if people blindly obeying words in a magic book is what determines historical change or outcomes. Is there ever a point where people like Mr. Murray start asking questions about why this particular interpretation of the magic book would exist and would win out over other interpretations? When does that happen? What is the political, social, economic, and historical context in which people decide on this interpretation or another one? Wouldn’t that tell us more about why radical Islam exists than trying to parse words in a book filled with religious allegory and bullshit?
And nobody is arguing that Islam isn’t responsible for the actions of Muslims but that Christianity is responsible for the actions of Christians. Who specifically argued this? The criticism is that in both these cases and in any other case, interpretations of Christianity, Islam, and any other religion begin the real world in which people interpret religions and nowhere else.
He says he wants “facts” rather than paradigms, so here are some facts: There was no pan-Islamic jihad anywhere fighting anybody before the 1980s when the U.S. poured arms, money, and training into an effort to create one to kick the Soviets out of Afghanistan. When the Soviets finally retreated, all those newly radicalized and trained jihadis who ordinarily would never even have met one another or realized they had anything in common returned to their home countries where they started their own groups.
It was the same “rollback” policy that funded the Contras in Nicaragua, RENAMO in Mozambique, or UNITA in Angola, the idea being to ditch Kennan’s containment policy and instead “roll back” whatever Soviet gains had been made in the 3rd world after the U.S.’s retreat in Vietnam. Fearing that the example set by successful popular uprisings against U.S. backed dictatorships in Nicaragua and Iran would inspire others and looking at emerging uprisings in Guatemala, El Salvador, and elsewhere, the Reagan administration decided that they didn’t want to contain potential dominoes while on the defensive, but instead would go on the offensive and create dominoes in the U.S.’s favor which would put the Soviets on the defensive.
To that end, the Reagan administration actively tried to create or support guerrilla groups, hardliners, crazies and insurgencies against the U.S.’s enemies in its spheres of influence. In the Middle East, the U.S. already had a long history of supporting right wing political Islam because it was seen as a check on 3rd world independent and secular nationalism, so actively trying to create an Islamic jihad against the Soviets was just a natural extension of an already existing policy.
Secular nationalism, it was believed, would be more amenable to Soviet influence whereas right wing political Islam would keep the Middle East non-aligned, militarily weak, and easier to control through collaborator proxies and clients. That is why the U.S. still supports the Saudi oligarchy while it exports Wahabbism all throughout the region. Jeanne Kirkpatrick in her academic output in the 1970s explains in no uncertain terms that the U.S. preferred what it deemed to be benevolent right wing dictatorships over democracies which could be poached by the Soviets. In the Middle East, like here and virtually everywhere else, what insulates a right wing dictatorship from popular revolt is a public mandate, and that mandate always comes from right wing, hard line dumbasses and useful idiots with a religious conception of nationalism or a nationalistic conception of religion.
Doesn’t Mr. Murray wonder why the U.S. would do such a thing if the U.S.’s intention there was to spread democracy, capitalism, freedom, and modernization? Did he not wonder why the “Islamists” were Rambo’s buddies and allies in Rambo III? Didn’t he think it was a bit strange that Reagan would invite Taliban fighters to the white house and compare them to the founding fathers? And how exactly should the Middle East respond to the imposition of Western imposed oligarchy and dictatorship? What would be more convenient for Mr. Murray?
When is Mr. Murray going to talk about this context since that is the real origin of Islamism as we know it?
You want facts? Here’s a fun fact: Under a 50 million dollar USAID grant, the University of Nebraska wrote mathematics textbooks for children studying in ISI (CIA) funded madrassas in Paskistan that were intended to groom recruits for the jihad in Afghanistan by indoctrinating them with – you guessed it – Wahabi Islam. They had questions like the following:
“A brave mujahid attacks 50 Russian infidels and kills 25. How many Russian cowards fled?”
You couldn’t even make shit like this up. You can read about it here:
Gee, do you think that shit like this might have something to do with the development of radical interpretations of Islam that would justify political violence?
It can’t be possible that Murray is so thick that he hasn’t recognized that religious fundamentalism, in the Mideast and elsewhere, is not an extension of something pre-modern that refuses to die, but is instead a product of contemporary circumstances in which people consciously and deliberately reject what they believe to be modernity. It’s really no wonder why people living in Western backed dictatorships would choose to reject this particular form of modernity, is it?
And if the problem isn’t Islam, but the underlying context in which people interpret Islam, then eradicating Islam hardly solves the problem. Like revolutionary 3rd world Marxism that came before it, after radical Islamism is gone, it will just be replaced with some other justification for resistance to imperialism. Maybe it’s time to start asking questions about imperialism instead, yeah?