[lit-ideas] Re: Ideology vs Experience

  • From: "Lawrence Helm" <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2006 17:56:22 -0700

Assertions are cheap.  They don't cost anything and if there isn't a hint of
rationale, they mean less.  In one of my previous notes I described how
difficult it was to get information about whether there were some, many, or
no moderates in the Middle East, but you have no trouble in asserting that
Iraq has increased the number of Islamists in the Middle East.  Upon what do
you base this assertion of yours?


I see you are assuming the existence of moderates in the Middle East.  Do
you have any evidence that they exist?  Quote me one moderate writer writing
from within the Middle East.  If you can, you'll be one up on Omar.


That the war in Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 is simplistic.  The same
person who told us we threatened to bomb Pakistan into the stone age (I
reported this while reading America's Secret War, by George Friedman in
January 2005) reported that going into Iraq was absolutely necessary if we
wanted to get cooperation from the Saudi's in our pursuit of Al Quaeda
members.  At the time the Saudis would not cooperate with us because they
were more afraid of Saddam than they were of us.  Saddam's story was that he
had backed down the US so everyone in the vicinity needed to forget about
the US and pay attention to him.  After we went into Iraq we got cooperation
from the Saudi's.  At the time it was believed (Friedman is the source for
this also) that Al Quaeda had two suitcase bombs; so cooperation in tracking
down Al Quaeda members was not considered an option.  That wasn't the only
reason we went into Iraq, there were many reasons, but it was an important
reason not mentioned; just as we never mentioned we got the cooperation we
wanted from Pakistan by threatening to bomb them into the stone age.





From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]
On Behalf Of Simon Ward
Sent: Thursday, September 28, 2006 4:50 PM
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Ideology vs Experience


Lawrence, my assertion is a simple one. The war in Iraq has caused moderate
muslims to be attracted to fundamentalist ideology. Because of the war
(which, it should be noted, had nothing to do with 9/11), there are now more
fundamentalist muslims than there were before. Because of the war in Iraq,
people died in Madrid and London. 


Now, you'll be blaming Qutb for coming up with the ideology, but of course,
the moderates wouldn't be interested in it without them perceiving western


Do you accept that the war in Iraq has created more fundamentlists than
there were before? 







----- Original Message ----- 

From: Lawrence <mailto:lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxx>  Helm 

To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 

Sent: Friday, September 29, 2006 12:13 AM

Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Ideology vs Experience




You forget that this all stated with Judy quibbling over my reference to
Sayyid Qutb's ideology being the root cause of modern Militant Islam.  What
on earth did I mean by "root cause," etc., etc.  Well, I explained that.
But, said someone who hadn't read Qutb, what about what the West did to the
Middle East in modern times?  Well, said someone who had read Qutb, Qutb
deals with that in some detail.  So this quibble seemed to dwindle into
whether there was something the West had done to the Middle East that Qutb
hadn't covered, but you, who had not read Qutb persevered in asserting that
there was much, much, much that Qutb hadn't covered that the west had done
to the Middle East that had caused the Islamists to behave as they do.




And then when I introduce something real, something not the vague
speculation you have hitherto engaged in, something going on right now in
Germany, you sniff, "sorry, but I'm not playing hypotheticals . . ."  Gosh,
Simon, what do you think you have been playing?  Not fact because you
haven't read Qutb and haven't all this time known what you were talking






From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]
On Behalf Of Simon Ward
Sent: Thursday, September 28, 2006 3:57 PM
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Ideology vs Experience


Sliding out of it again Lawrence? Wouldn't expect anything else, but then I
suppose I did give you the opportunity. More fool me.


Sorry, but I'm not playing hypotheticals and also reject you're accusation
of wishful thinking. Do you really think I'd be pleased to note that the
Iraq War has served to turn so many moderates into fundamentalists. I can
imagine how that might please you, but not me I assure you.



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