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Imperial Dipstick, Part Deux

A few weeks ago, we offered a "post" that was critical of Michael Scheuer, the former senior CIA analyst whose published work demonstrates an eerie fondness for Osama bin Laden and bizarre conspiracy theories about Jews. To our surprise, Mr. Scheuer deigned to reply to our charges; clearly, this is a man with some time on his hands.

In his initial response, Mr. Scheuer offered a variation of a typical defense: You guys are cherry picking quotes without a proper understanding of their contexts. Through such means, Mr. Scheuer's high praise for bin Laden's "admirable moral qualities" becomes anything but high praise for bin Laden's "admirable moral qualities."

Are we the only ones who found this justification unsatisfying? Perhaps so. And thus we decided to take aim at Mr. Scheuer's ideas again, this time in a context for which we cannot be accused of picking any cherries.

Radical Islamist apologist-cum-Duke University professor Bruce Lawrence's edited collection Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden bears a blurb from Mr. Scheuer, seemingly taken from Mr. Scheuer's tome Imperial Hubris. Mr. Lawrence, like Mr. Scheuer, detests American foreign policy and Israel's existence, and thus we can presume that he has not cherry picked a quote to make him look ridiculous. The entire text of Mr. Scheuer's blurb reads as follows:

Western media have made no consistent effort to publish bin Laden's statements, thereby failing to give their audience the words that put his thoughts and actions in cultural and historical context...Bin Laden has been precise in telling America the reasons he is waging a war on us. None of the reasons have anything to do with our freedom, liberty and democracy, but have everything to do with US policies and actions in the Muslim world.

For us, this blurb compels us to ask a rather quotidian question: Has Mr. Scheuer even read Bruce Lawrence's collection? Has he ever taken a look at Osama bin Laden's statements and writings?

Why surely he has, you say. This is a man with such a crush on bin Laden that he must keep a list of his bon mots in his Trapper Keeper. And yet we still have our suspicions.

After all, Mr. Scheuer claims that bin Laden's terrorism is wholly unlinked to notions of "freedom, liberty and democracy" but is entirely related to "US policies and actions in the Muslim world." Yet on virtually any page of Mr. Lawrence's collection, you can see proof that this is utter nonsense. In fact, it is so bloody incorrect that it seems the sentiment of an unhinged loon.

Don't believe us? Well, how about we offer you a smattering of quotations from Mr. Scheuer's hero himself?

In a pugnacious letter to Saudi Mufti bin Baz, for instance, bin Laden writes:

We ask Him to show the liar his lies, and help us avoid them, and to establish an order of guidance for our umma in which those who obey Him will be proud and those who disobey him will be humbled, and in which good is enjoined and evil rejected, and in which justice is done and the truth is spoken, in which the banner of jihad is raised up high to restore our umma its pride and honor, and in which the banner of God's unity is raised once again over every stolen Islamic land, from Palestine to al-Andalus and other Islamic lands that were lost because of betrayals of rulers and the feebleness of Muslims

Huh: So bin Laden is irked by the Muslim loss of "al-Andalus," i.e., Andalusia. Gee, doesn't that particular event predate America's deleterious foreign policy? It seems as if bin Laden isn't necessarily troubled by the successes of Western imperialism so much as he is bothered by the failures of Islamic imperialism. But don't ask Michael Scheuer about that. This must all be America's fault.

But perhaps this reference to Andalusia is a fluke--an uncharacteristic tick in the writing of a man singularly motivated by American foreign policy. Well, then just take in bin Laden's delightful characterization of Jews, which he uttered in a 2003 address:

What will explain to you who the Jews are? The Jews are those who slandered the Creator, so how do you think they deal with God's creation? They killed the Prophets and broke their promises. Of them God has said: "How is it that whenever they made a covenant or a pledge, some of them throw it away? In fact, most of them do not believe." These Jews are masters of usury and leaders in treachery. They will leave you nothing, either in this world or the next. Of them God has said: "Do they have any share of what He possesses? If they did they would not give away so much as the groove of a date stone." These Jews believe as part of their religion that people are their slaves, and whoever denies their religion deserves to be killed. Of them God said: "[That is] because they say 'We are under no obligation toward the gentiles'--they tell a lie against God and they know it."

This is the sentiment of a man whose only concern is US foreign policy? To Michael Scheuer, whose comments on our previous "post" intimated that anti-Semitism is merely a red herring, the answer is an emphatic Yes.

Mr. Lawrence's collection is chock-a-block with passages of the sort we quoted. There's no denying that Osama bin Laden loathes American foreign policy and wants Israel destroyed. But for Mr. Scheuer to assume that bin Laden is solely motivated by such perceived malefactions is to misread bin Laden so willfully that one may reasonably wonder about Mr. Scheuer's motives.

It seems as if Mr. Scheuer thinks to himself: "I hate American foreign policy, and I hate Israel. Thus, if Osama bin Laden attacks America, he must share all of my views. No wonder he has such admirable character traits--he's just like me."

This is intellectually dishonest and pernicious. It's also morally abominable. And it's just one of many reasons why no one should take Michael Scheuer seriously.

(Note: The crack young staff usually "weblog" over at "The Hatemonger's Quarterly," where they are currently reading either Imperial Hubris or The Protocols of the Elders of Zion--they can't recall which one.)


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Comments (22)

Dear Sir,Thank you... (Below threshold)
michael scheuer:

Dear Sir,

Thank you again for mentioning my work. As it happens, the publishers of the volume of bin Laden's works that you mention took the so-called blurb from my writings without my permission or that of my publisher. You can check this point with my publisher, Potomac Books, Dulles, Virginia.

On the larger point, I believe that anyone who helps give Americans easy access to the speeches, interviews, and statements of bin Laden and Zawahiri performs a public service. Reading those words will help Americans to understand that the threat posed by al-Qaeda and its allies is much greater than our politically correct Republican and Democratic leaders have led us to believe. It will require the application of much more military power, as well as much greater policy cleverness to annihilate this enemy -- as we must. The will to take these actions seems to be resident in neither of our parties.

We are at war with al-Qaeda and its allies because of what we do in the Islamic world, not because of who we are or what we think. If we were at war for the latter reasons, we would be confronted by a lethal nuisance not a national security threat. What we do now is the problem, and victory in this war will hinge on how we react to that reality -- a reality which is simply a fact, and not anything like a value judgment. If we want to keep our policies as they are, so be it; prepare for a long and bloody war and get on with it, just stop our half-assed bipartisan governing elite from telling Americans that we're being attacked because we have elections and women in the work place.

On a final note, the publication in accessible Enlish-language volumes of the messages of bin Laden and Zawahiri, ought, I think, to be seen in the same light as the publication of similar volumes of the writings of Marx, Lenin, Mao, and Stalin. Publishing the Bolsheviks' writings allowed us to understand and ultimately defeat the threat posed by USSR. I often think that had a book called Mein Kampf been widely available in English in the 1930s, Americans might have focused on the Nazi threat much earlier.

Respectfully,

Michael Scheuer.

Dear Michael, "W... (Below threshold)
KobeClan:

Dear Michael,
"We" are being targeted by Islamic jihadists because "we" are not part of Islam. One might figure after 1300 years of this sort of thing one might begin to believe the people doing the attacking. What part of "a world with but one God and that God, Allah" don't you understand?
Another question: What American policy was responsible for the beheadings of those three innocent schoolgirls??

The thrust of Mr. Scheuer's... (Below threshold)
cubanbob:

The thrust of Mr. Scheuer's argument is:
1-Dump the Jews
2-Bend over and placate the Muslims

What I don't get from him and others who hold that view is why? what for? Why would the west want to dump what is the one of the most productive and talented, creative peoples in the world ( particularly for their size) for the least productive and creative and most parasitical cultures on earth?

Does he think the Muslims will just leave us alone if we abandon the Jews? Does he think they will respect us for doing so?
What Islam needs is a good and thorough thrashing.
A real and punishing defeat, one that they cannot rationalise away. One that will strip them of any illusions about the worth and superiority of their of their desert bandit culture. We owe them that.
Lets give them the respect they demand and that the left demands we give them. Lets give them total war and treat them as full fledged enemies and fight them with all our might. Just like Hitler. Just like Tojo. They deserve no less.

Cuban Boob,Muslims... (Below threshold)
Economist:

Cuban Boob,

Muslims are not some monolithic beast. Arab Muslims in Libya have nothing in common with Indian Muslims. Speaking of, 150 million Muslims in India live side by side with Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs for the most part just fine.

100 years of divide and conquer and propping up dipshits like King Fahd, Mubarak and Saddam (Reagan gave him plenty of aid) gives the Al Qaeda all the reasons in the world to practice their insanity.

Go get a hold of a history book, you bone head. A thousand years ago, you shithead Europeans were dying in droves because of the plague and 400 years ago you were burning women at the stake for being witches. 50 years ago, you wouldn't let black people drink water from the same place as white people. Go back long enough you can find something bad about everybody.

In the mean time, please take a blunt knife and saw off your capability to breed. Either that, or take your bravado to the nearest recruitment center and go sign up to go to Iraq. Your armchair bravery is a bunch of BS.

Michael ScheuerNic... (Below threshold)
Economist:

Michael Scheuer

Nice respectable answer to the usual ad hominem attacks at this cesspool. Don't do it again. These guys are a bunch of dimwit hacks drunk on their own pretension. The only thing he cowboys here can do is to kill their own strawmen.

So instead of attempting to... (Below threshold)

So instead of attempting to answer or refute the proffered evidence, Mr. Scheuer just repeats his original assertion. How disapppointing.

Econmist a/k/a mak44 has on... (Below threshold)
cubanbob:

Econmist a/k/a mak44 has once again proven that he is:

1-a complete and total idiot. But then again what can one expect from a communist and Muslim bootlicker and self-hating Westerner.
2-we don't have to go back 400 years to find
Islamic evil. Just read today's headlines. Darfur for one.
3-that the putz has never heard of the Organization Of Islamic States. An organization that purports common Islamic values and brotherhood. 57 countries that contribute zero to the scientific and technological advancement to humanity. The Hindus in India would beg to differ about just how peaceful and harmonious the Muslims in India are.
4-do the only useful thing you will ever do in your miserable, worthless existence and kill yourself in a gaia friendly manner.
5-I would say that you should first saw of your head and balls with a dull, rusty blade but since you are all asshole there is neither balls or brains to first remove.

6-speaking of assholes how does a guy like Michael Scheuer get in to let alone rise so high in the CIA?

The real problem with Islam... (Below threshold)
KobeClan:

The real problem with Islam is that most Muslims WANT to live like it was still the 15th century (except for muslim women, that is).

As for the Economist, you might consider upping your dosage. The little moonbat inside your head seems to be taking control, again.

Cuban poopSo when ... (Below threshold)
Economist:

Cuban poop

So when are you going to go and sign up to fight, you little armchair general? Hmmmm?

Either you can't sign up to join the marine corps because you are an illegal alien (as your name indicates) or you are a little dipshit gutless wanker. All bluster when it comes to posturing on a blog, not an ounce of guts in reality. What a joke you are.

BTW, I've been to India many a time. I actually have some idea of how life is like there. The head of state happens to be a Muslim, DEMOCRATICALLY elected no less.

The Muslim countries which cause all the trouble are for the most part the ones the US has propped up at various times or the UK has arbitrarily drawn maps around: Iraq, Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Yemen etc.

BTW, I would totally support a war between Islamic fundamentalists and people like you. Hopefully both sets of religious nuts kill each other off, leaving Athiests like me without dipshits like you.

michael scheuer,Wh... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

michael scheuer,

While I agree with some of your points, it seems that a simple truth has escaped your notice. Bin Laden attacks the U.S. because of what we do (our policies), but those policies reflect who we are.

Some of who we are is not pretty, such as consuming vast amounts of oil, oil which we must obtain from Middle East nations. That translates into policies to secure and protect the source of that oil. To change such policies requires changing some of who we are, such as lovers of large SUVs and pickup trucks, lovers of living in the country and working in the city many miles away, lovers of distant vacations, and NIMBY types who protest any and every energy plan that has the remotest chance of effecting them negatively in any way.

Some of what we are is based on a sense of fair play and justice. The borders of Israel and Palestine were established by the U.N. in 1948. Israel accepted those borders even though they were much more confining than those of ancient Israel. There never was a Palestinian nation in all history, yet the U.N. created one at the same time it set the modern borders if Israel. It was the Palestinians who never accepted those borders and went to war against Israel, yet when the Palestinians lost, they now want the world to recognize those original borders and claim Israel is occupying their land. The failing of the U.N. and of the U.S. was in acquiescing to the folly that the Palestinians could, by an act of war, reject the U.N. established borders of Israel, lose that war and yet retain their own U.N. established borders. After three attempts to win in war what the Palestinians could not win politically, the U.N. should make it clear that another war on Israel entitles Israel to permanently keep all territory it takes from attacking nations in that war. To do otherwise is to remove the risk of failure in war and that promotes war.

Some of what we are is based on our common Judeo Christian heritage. The fundamental difference between a Jew and a Christian is that a Jew will tell you that Jesus was a Jew, while a Christian will tell you Jesus is a Jew. The Jew is looking for the coming of the Jewish Messiah as is the Christian, the difference is that the for the Christian it's the second coming. As long as Jewish and Christian peoples have influence in this nation, the U.S. will not abandon Israel.

Some of who we are can and will change, but most of who we are won't change and if that means we are at war with Bin Laden and his kind, then so be it. I know Bin Laden thinks God is on his side, but history proves him wrong. This nation was born in war, sustained in war, prospers in war, prepares for war, and its anthem is of war. Bin Laden could not have picked a more formidable foe. God has protected and prospered this nation for His own great purposes. I believe one of those purposes was the restoration of Israel. The NT prophesies that Israel exists a the end of the age, and God's chosen instrument in restoring Israel in 1948 was a Christian nation. Jews rejected Jesus as the Messiah because He didn't restore Israel as a nation, yet people called by His name have done so in preparation for His second coming and the end of this age. Whether you believe that or not is irrelevant, I believe it along with millions upon millions of Americans.

Hey! Economist!If yo... (Below threshold)
KobeClan:

Hey! Economist!
If you are an atheist, shouldn't you be denigrating all of Islam, also??
Only weak-minded people, vastly inferior to yourself, can believe in a deity, correct?
Isn't any member of an organized religion a nut? The people of India must be particulary stupid, electing a Muslim.
It would seem there are multiple moonbats vying for superiority inside your cranium. Try Prozac enemas, I'm told they will quiet those little voices.

Kobe ClamWhy are y... (Below threshold)
Economist:

Kobe Clam

Why are you talking to yourself? I don't think asking questions and then giving out answers (in someone else voice no less) is normal.

FYI, Cubby Clam, I have no problem with you believing in whatever kind of god you choose. Your religion is a personal thing and is no business of mine.

Anyway, I'd be happy to spring for a plane trip for you to go to Afghanistan to find OBL. If he finds you first, well we'd be better off without you anywway. If you find him and get him, well you would have done a better job than GWB and would then be deserving of my fullest and deepest apologies. Until then though...be quiet.

Your recommendations of prozac enemas obviuously result from personal experience -- you conservatives wouldn't recommend something without trying it first would you? Nevertheless, since sticking pills up your bum haven't done anyting to quell the voices in your head, I have scant evidence to believe that it will have any effect on me.

What ho Chip and the rest o... (Below threshold)
Mrs. Peperium:

What ho Chip and the rest of the crack young staff! Bravo! This is jolly good fun. Mr. Scheuer, when you listen to UbL, one realises he is merely spouting the things his Prohpet, (peace be upon him) and all the Prophet's little wizards (peace be upon them) tell him to spout. It has less to do with our foreign policy and much, much more to do with the fact we are infidels. It might be helpful of UbL as the AK-47packing Joel Olsteen of the Middle East. The Koran is a very informative read into understanding 'ol Joel :http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0486445690/ref=sib_rdr_ex/102-1855048-1468901?%5Fencoding=UTF8&p=S003&j=0#reader-page

Mak44 a/k/a the economist h... (Below threshold)
cubanbob:

Mak44 a/k/a the economist has been to India as many times as I have been to the moon. Yes there is no sectarian violence in India and the little problem of Kashmir is just a figment of my imagination.

Just when one thinks abortion is an absolute wrong there comes you to prove the adage that every rule has an exception. Except one: the only good communist is a dead communist.

Now before the Almighty realizes that you have done the impossible, violated every law of both Jewish and Gentile physics, an asshole who has climbed up into his own asshole and disappeared up into his own asshole, please make yourself into a good communist lest the Almighty hit the cosmic reset button and blink us all out of existence.

Cuban Poop,When ar... (Below threshold)
Economist:

Cuban Poop,

When are you going to join the army? We need you to sniff out landmines in Iraq, buddy.

All the sectarian violence in India is because of Pakistan now, particularly Mush -- who happens to be Bush's best bud there. Zia, the last dictator in Pakistan before Mush was Reagan's pawn. Zia, btw, is the guy who de-secularized Pakistan's constitution. Reagan ignored the Saudis funding madrassas in Pakistan because we needed mujahedeen to fight the Soviets in Afg.

This in economics is called the law on unintended consequences, kinda like when your dad mistoook a baboon for a woman and ended up fathering you.

More about India, Coobun Poop: the Shiv Sena, BJP and VHP are as bad as the Deobandi Muslims. Do some digging around, go to a library, pick up a book. It could do wonders for you. Start with some basic economics.

Excellent idea Marxist econ... (Below threshold)
cubanbob:

Excellent idea Marxist economist! Let's take a page from your god Joseph Stalin and use treasonous vermin like you to clear land mines. The ones Saddam and the Iranian's bought from your Soviet communist buddies.
Now mak44 is upset that Hindu nationalist are for a Hindu India! Muslims rioting and burning Hindu's in India just might have had something to do with pissing off the Hindu's or is that to much for your all too limited neurons to figure out besides your standard commie poop. Now run along and be a good commie and die.
Perhaps you can tell us about your excellent passage to India on LSD Airlines.
And please do join your Islamofascist buddies in Iraq instead of being an armchair terrorist. Maybe the world will get lucky and a Marine will empty a clip into your ass which appears to be the only distinguishing feature you have.

Chicken PoopDamn, ... (Below threshold)
Economist:

Chicken Poop

Damn, your insults are good, bro. "...your ass which appears to be the only distinguishing feature you have..."

From your lips to God's ear, this is like poetry. I mean if that just doesn't make your head spin with its phenomenal wit, this one surely takes the cake " Perhaps you can tell us about your excellent passage to India on LSD Airlines..."

Sheer genius.

WOW! Economist calls... (Below threshold)
KobeClan:

WOW!
Economist calls us chickenhawks! How pithy.
Next thing ya know he'll be insulting our lineage. How original.
Nevermind that the Muslims have been involved in sectarian violence for 13 centuries, it all Bush's fault. If you don't agree you're a son of a baboon or a Jew. Oh, wait. Economist thinks they're the same thing.

Mac Lorry,That was... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

Mac Lorry,

That was an outstanding post.

Son Of The Godfather,... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Son Of The Godfather,

Thanks. I was hoping to have a fruitful discussion, but I expect many stayed away once they saw the thread had become another insult contest. I know it's hard to resist responding in kind to personal attacks, but serious discussion requires a higher level of discipline.

Nice respectable a... (Below threshold)
kbiel:
Nice respectable answer to the usual ad hominem attacks at this cesspool.
These guys are a bunch of dimwit hacks drunk on their own pretension.

Is this irony or hipocracy? I guess it depends on whether Economist/mak44 took his meds before spewing his hatred.

Be advised that Mr. Scheuer... (Below threshold)
patrick:

Be advised that Mr. Scheuer's job as an analyst with the CIA was to protect the citzens of the USA. Not the citizens of Belgium, Japan, or Israel.

If Israel fell of the face of the Earth tomorrow, only the Peoples Republic of China would be disappointed as Israel sells them our finest military hardware.

Prime Minister Olmert is due in D.C. next week seeking an additional $10 billion to dismantle some settlements in the West Bank that were built in defiance of the USA and UN. What balls!

Do not fear, the AIPAC cowered Congress will surely stroke the check that could be used for the victims of Katrina.

The people and government of the USA must realize that Israel does not share in all of our interests. When our interests are shared, it is fine that we work together. However, when our interests deviate, our government must put America and Americans first.

Our ally, the only democracy in the Middle East. What bullshit.

Remember the USS Liberty and Jonathon Pollard!




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