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Re: Re: Federal Agents Raid Local Muslim-Owned Businesses

re the war on muslims

from greg grandin's book empire's workshop: latin america, the united states, and the rise of the new imperialism

[blockquote]

It was in Central America that the public relations people advised the Reagan administration first made an important rhetorical shift when they polled the public and found that the word terrorism, intangible as it is, generated more negative connotations than did Communism to describe America's enemy.



…Reagan's wars in Central America created an affinity between neoconservatives and Christian evangelicals: both came to share a crisis-ridden view of the world and a sense that America was in decline. But they also shared a belief that decline could be reversed through a restoration of moral clarity and authority and a recognition that evil existed in the world.



The worldview that unites the secular and religious branches of the conservative movement regarding foreign policy manifests itself today in the carefully crafted cadences of Bush's oratory, which cribs from scripture to replace Jesus with America: "America stands as a beacon of light to the world," he said in his Ellis Island address on the first anniversary of 9/11, "and the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." It is captured in Bush's oft-repeated insistence that "freedom is not America's gift to the world, it's God's gift to mankind." The idea of "freedom" serves as the coalition's universal signifier uniting secular nationalists, political liberals, corporate or ideological free-market dogmatists, and evangelicals. The concordance is confirmed in a shared appreciation of the threat facing America: the war on terror, says Norman Podhoretz, is more accurately understood as a war against radical Islam and should be identified as such. Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and Franklin Graham, son of Billy, agree, believing Mohammed to be a terrorist and Islam evil and wicked. Even the "moderate" Institute for Religion and Democracy (which, though it still monitors Protestant denominations for any residual sympathy they may harbor for liberation theology, is now more concerned with combating liberal religious tolerance of Islam) has condemned the World Council of Churches for refusing to confront the "deep physical, social, and spiritual deficits within the Islamic world." The alliance also finds bureaucratic expression in places like the Pentagon, which brings together secular realists like Rumsfeld, neoconservative ideologues like Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone, who served as a key link in the chain of command that oversaw the interrogations at Abu Ghraib, and Christian soldiers like Lieutenant General William Boykin. After revealing that he had inside information that the United States would win the war on terror because Christ is "bigger" than Allah and warning that "Satan" plans to "destroy" America "as a Christian army," Boykin was promoted to the number-two slot in charge of intelligence in the Pentagon.

[/blockquote]

while mike may be correct in that the so-called GWOT wraps up a lot of loose ends/interests, i think it should be quite clear that the central context is that of a religious war directed specifically against muslims.

step back a couple of years when the steering committee on the present danger was revived in order to keep GWOT moving in the right direction. as frank gaffney, jr. summed it the group's new mission,

"The CPD brilliantly waged a 'war of ideas' against an earlier, hostile ideology with global ambitions – Soviet Communism. Now it must help defeat today's ideological threat: Islamofascism."
www.fightingterror.org/members/index.cfm

here's a sampling of stmts from some of the other members

"Just as America defeated totalitarian threats from, first, Nazism and then Communism last century, so must we defeat totalitarian threats from radical Islam this century. It is our duty, and destiny."
The Hon. Kenneth Adelman

“The struggle against the Islamofacist terrorists and their enablers must be our nation’s number one priority. America’s other challenges pale by comparison.”
Morris J. Amitay

"Islamic terrorism is an unconditional and existential threat not only to America and Israel([search]), but also to Judeo-Christian culture. We have no choice but to recognize that war has been thrust upon us, and that principles of warfare apply. Only by denying success to this threat – by a combination of anticipatory defensive and offensive measures – can we defeat it."
William Van Cleave, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor, Missouri State University

"Just as the Reagan administration rolled back Communist tyranny, today we can roll back the tyranny of radical Islam and the terrorist regimes it has spawned. But the first battle will be here at home, where we must defeat the blame-America-first pundits of political correction."
Kenneth R. Timmerman

"Militant Islam is today's engine of international terror. The war on terrorism is, therefore, primarily a war on militant Islam in regions of that the U.S. considers to be linchpins for its long-term economic and security objectives. The war on terrorism will only be won with the defeat of militant Islam."
S. Rob Sobhani, Ph.D.

"In the war against Islamic fascism that is no substitute for victory. Success in this war will require a effective strategy, a national commitment of resources, and above all, courage. History demonstrates that courage is the most important virtue because all others spring from it."
Peter Schweizer

“Only when the Islamist ideological roots of the current war are acknowledged can we successfully wage and win the war.”
Daniel Pipes, Ph.D.

tom barry wrote a good analysis of the history of CPD in it's various incarnations & what this one is up to
The "Present Danger" War Parties
www.irc-online.org/content/3297

he concludes that

[excerpt]

The third CPD also aims to raise the level of fear among Americans by declaring that the United States is immersed in World War IV but has not yet committed adequate resources to the global battle. But after five years of exaggerated threat assessments from the neoconservatives and the Bush administration—many of which have already been publicly exposed, such as the weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein-Bin Laden ties that proved baseless in Iraq—the CPD faces a major challenge in winning acceptance for its call for the U.S. government to expand its misdirected war on terrorism and its missionary crusade to spread "freedom and liberty." The new Committee on the Present Danger may be the first CPD that is unable to sell its alarmist version of the "present danger."

[/excerpt]

lots of reasons that they will likely fail, but a key one IMO is that "islamofascism" is one of the lamest mktg terms ever conceived. aside from being a code word to rally the base pointed out by grandin in the bookquote above, the phrase is worthless propaganda. effective propaganda requires at least some grain of truth in the message. in this case, it's an absolutely idiotic conception that says loads more about the accuser than the accused. (though that probably won't stop rightwing mouthbreathers from parroting it)

here's what one scholar has to say on the subject

Welcome to Neo-Fascism 101
by Andrew Bosworth, Ph.D.
www.counterbias.com/726.html

[excerpt]

Middle Eastern powers include pan-Arab socialist dictatorships (Syria), monarchies (Saudi Arabia), constitutional theocracies (Iran), and assorted fundamentalist movements. None are "fascist." For three decades of political scientists, "fascism" is a phenomenon of industrialized societies and exhibits features alien to the Middle East.

Classical fascism was evident in inter-war Italy, Germany and Japan, and full-blown fascism exhibits three dimensions: economic, political and cultural.

1. Economic fascism is based a merger of big business and big government. Sometimes, a formal corporatism emerges; other times, the private sector (monopolies and oligopolies) simply pass over into the public sector (as in the US), capturing the state and using it to wage that most profitable of activities: war. This later scenario is what happened in the United States, and the incestuous relationship between Big Business and Big Government ushered in a new Gilded Age of cronyism and corruption. Benito Mussolini was clear: "Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of State and corporate power."

For the Middle East, the preconditions of mature capitalism (and thus fascism) simply do not exist.

2. Political fascism normally includes, as it did for Italy and Germany, a retreat from already-existing democratic practices – an erosion of democracy. The political class begins to express a disdain for human rights and international treaties, lashing out at pillars of civilization like France. Power is increasingly centered on the executive branch, and elections become less transparent, even fraudulent. Civil liberties are restricted, and constitutions are ground under the hobnailed boot.

Political fascism always depicts dissent as treason, and there is an obsession with scapegoats and plots. There are frequent mixed messages about the enemy: the enemy is strong, then weak; the enemy is important; then irrelevant. Today, the Party depicts Hezbollah as having unlimited funds from Iran and, simultaneously, selling pirated DVDs and fake Viagra in your town.

Political fascism is based on militant nationalism, pseudo-populism and an adoration of military power. As Huey Long said, former Governor of Louisiana: "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the American flag." For different reasons, these values tend to resonate among economic elites at the top and the lower middle class at the bottom. In the United States, however, it appears that the lower and working classes are now questioning their leadership – or losing themselves in End of Empire entertainment: pan y circo (bread and circus).

In its advanced stages, political fascism depends upon mass surveillance and, more crucially, eternal war. Italy's mad adventures in Ethiopia and Germany's insane and unwinnable two-front war were nursed by the ideology of eternal war.

The only ingredient of classical political fascism missing in the United States is a charismatic leader – but not for lack of trying. In Red States, billboards of George W. "Our Leader" arose, and fundamentalists synchronized Morning Prayer to those of the White House.

Middle East powers – particularly the movements neo-cons describe as "Islamo-Fascist" – are emerging in non-democratic systems. They are also pushing for more, not less, political democracy because the popular classes will catapult them to power and keep them there.

Hamas, for example, won in an election. Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood would very much like to go to the polls in more transparent elections. Shia Muslims in Iraq are also keen on voting. Iran's president won an election handily. And when the dust settles in Lebanon([search]), the next sure winner at the ballot box will be Hezbollah, when Lebanese Christians, Sunnis and Druze will surely wait in lines for hours to endorse this radical Shia group. Democracy, it seems, is about to flourish in the Middle East – it's just not yielding the puppet regimes hoped for in Washington, London (Airstrip One) or Tel Aviv. Tony Snow claims "they hate democracy." Don't be snowed.

Islamic fundamentalist groups compete at the national level, but Islamic fundamentalism is a transnational movement inherently opposed to the pseudo-nationalism necessary for fascism.

3. Cultural fascism is based on a reaction against science, modernity, the arts and intellectualism. It distorts science to accomplish political aims. Cultural fascism always includes strong doses of homophobia.

In the US, for every person with legitimate objections to immigration (objections based on public policy), there must be three people objecting to it based on race, and for them "illegal" becomes a euphemism for "Mexican." Xenophobia is basic to cultural fascism.

Cultural fascism, in the West, tends towards anti-Semitism. For now, American anti-Semitism has an anti-Arab face. In linguistics and ethnology, the term "Semitic" includes "Arabic" and "Arabs." A Marriam-Webster definition of "Semite" is clear: "A member of any of a number of peoples of ancient southwestern Asia including the Akkadians, Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Arabs."

Thus, when neo-con pundits, politicians and even the President employ the term "Islamo-Fascist" they are being anti-Semitic.

Middle Eastern and Islamic movements can be reactionary, but these are reactions to external powers and not to the core dimensions of their own societies, which remain traditional.

So the economic, political and cultural prerequisites of fascism do not exist in the Middle East – but they do exist in the United States. Our post-WWII, Information Age neo-fascism is much like the inter-war classical fascism but softer, lighter, friendlier. Today, instead of marching, we ritually demonstrate our political will on touch-screen pads, a ceremony organized by Party-backed corporations with secret software on private servers.



Neo-con pundits follow a clever strategy of deflection. They employ the term "Islamo-Fascism" when "theocracy" or "dictatorship" or "fundamentalist movement" would be more historically accurate. Why do they do this? Their political epithets are inspired by a subtle conditioning campaign.

Perhaps it's subconscious projection. "Projection," of course, is a defense mechanism that kicks when someone is threatened by, or afraid of, their own impulse. So they attribute these impulses to someone else. Do not be neo-conned. How can you help?

First, always replace the term "neo-conservatism" with "neo-fascism."

Second, always charge those who use the term "neo-fascism" with anti-Semitism (because Arabs – most of whom are Muslims – are technically "Semitic," too).

Third, remind people who use the term "Islamo-Fascism" that the term is historically inaccurate and that the main ingredients of classical fascism – 1) monopoly capitalism; 2) erosion of democracy; and 3) militant nationalism – are coming together in the United States like a Perfect Storm.

[/excerpt]

and reporter jim lobe, who has been watching the neocons for a long time now, recently tracked who's using the f-word in the press, in one of his typically informative articles

Fascists? Look who's talking
atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/HI02Ak04.html

[excerpt]

The aggressive new campaign by the administration of President George W Bush to depict US foes in the Middle East as "fascists" and its domestic critics as "appeasers" owes a great deal to steadily intensifying efforts by the right-wing press over the past several months to draw the same comparison.

The Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox News Network and the Weekly Standard, as well as the Washington Times, which is controlled by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, and the neo-conservative New York Sun, have consistently and with increasing frequency framed the challenges faced by Washington in the region in the context of the rise of fascism and Nazism in the 1930s, according to a search of the Nexis database.

All of those outlets, as well as two other right-wing US magazines - the National Review and The American Spectator - far outpaced their commercial rivals in the frequency of their use of keywords and names such as "appeasement", "fascism" and "Hitler", particularly with respect to Iran and its controversial president, Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

For example, Nexis cited 56 uses of "Islamofascist" or "Islamofascism" in separate programs or segments aired by Fox News, compared with 24 by CNN, over the past year. Even more striking, the same terms were used in 115 different articles or columns in the Washington Times, compared with only eight in the Washington Post over the same period, according to a breakdown by Nexis.

[/excerpt]

so this has everything to do w/ ideology and nothing to do w/ reality. and political actions based strictly on ideological lines are both dangerous & self-destructive. i don't think that it is correct to label the cold war as strictly an ideological war, as many interests were served & many, many lives lost, and the same goes for this new war on muslims (for a brief moment it was relabeled "global struggle against violent extremists" - remember how that flopped?). muslim populations live in very geo-strategic regions and eschew many of the western (read "imperialist") needs - namely expansionism, captive markets, and raw materials & resources (including cheap labor.) and these regions are considered important to u.s. interests in their longer range plans, when hegemonic challengers like china or a resurrected russia pose a threat to their dominance. and, finally, there's a whole lotta money being made in the security sector, amongst others, by having a swarthy evil brown enemy who doesn't accept jesus christ as his personal savior.

on the orig topic of somali's & raids, this has been going on quite frequently in the twin cities since 2001. very difficult to send money outside the u.s. to somalia, esp using the normal wire services. but then, it's getting tougher to send money out to a lot of countries. not just predation by bizmen who jack up fees to exploit those most easily exploitable, but fed restrictions & such also. they have a harder time tracking flows from hawalas, whereas western union et al likely let intel tap thier wires, that is, if they're not still sending transactions thru them first.

money laundering though, now that's probably a joke. how much can one launder thru such setups? meanwhile, the real laundering goes on a banks, casinos, race tracks, the usual suspects - anywhere that smaller denominations rapidly change hands. nobody really knows how much money gets laundered in the u.s. economy each year, but estimates typically range upwards of $1 trillion USD.
 

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