Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Critique of Chomsky

By Zenobia van Zelledongen  

I have mixed feelings about Noam Chomsky. Much of what he says is true. But he says it in such a one-sided way, always blaming the US and Israel for everything and never mentioning the cruelties and crimes committed by the US’s and Israel’s adversaries, so that every time I have to check to see if it's really true or he's making it up. And he often makes it sound a lot worse than it really is. Nonetheless he has rightly pointed out many stupid and cruel things that the US has done, and consequently he cannot be simply crossed off as a total liar.


Especially because, being the great Chomsky, he is capable of breaking through news blackouts, like the one that he denounced surrounding the Indonesian annexation of East Timor in 1975, in which he charges Indonesia with doing the dirty work for Australia, the US and Canada seizing East Timor’s offshore oil rights while the Indonesian army massacred the E Timor population, and the world press looked the other way.

He also very persuasively denounces the hypocrisy of the world hysteria over the Cambodian genocide by the Communists at the same time as the media were covering up the East Timor genocide by the capitalists. Furthermore he plausibly points out that the genocidal Khmer Rouge were largely a product of the desperation and devastation wrought by the savage US bombing of Cambodia, which had caused catastrophic damage and had utterly shattered the social fabric. This seems to be a well-established fact. I haven’t checked these charges from the 1970s, unlike later charges related to Islam conflicts. As I say, his charges relating to Afghanistan and so on are a mixed bag. Some are true and some are bullshit.

But he would be a lot more useful for the public at large if he were more impartial, i.e. denouncing everyone’s crimes and not just those committed by the US and Israel. And not inventing and exaggerating charges as he often does.
Here is my commentary on three interviews he gave on the subject of terrorism between 2001 and 2013.

The United States is a Leading Terrorist State, Noam Chomsky interviewed by David Barsamian, Monthly Review, vol. 53, no. 6, November, 2001

Chomsky has a point. I am no expert on the subject, so I will say rather more vaguely that the US’ readiness to commit or foster acts of terrorism and other atrocities varies depending on the situation and on which organ of the US government is dealing with the situation, as well as on many other variables I am not sure about.

The US is not indiscriminate in its use of violence and brutality as Chomsky constantly implies. For long stretches at a time the US has behaved quite well, like most other more or less democratic countries.

I'm sure someone has studied the issue. So I think before shooting his mouth off and giving the impression that the US is completely depraved and lawless 24/7, he should check to see if anyone has written a study on the subject. I intend to make a search of my own one of these days. However it is not a priority for me because I am not Human Rights Watch. I have other priority research interests.

What I criticize in Chomsky is that he seems to regard use of terror by the US as an incurable condition that can manifest itself in any context and at any time.
I think study is needed of which circumstances elicit terrorism by the US (as well as by other countries and non-state actors), which political factions, which scenarios, etc. Propose ways to prevent the US and others from engaging in terrorism. All that is lacking. Chomsky never makes proposals for piecemeal reforms either in the US, in Israel or internationally, let alone on the part of the US’ and Israel’s adversaries. Consequently he tacitly encourages the belief that use of terrorism and other atrocities by the US is incurable and inevitable and that only the destruction of the US as a great power will prevent the US from committing future atrocities.
This position is simply too extreme and simplistic, and encourages extremist solutions.

Chomsky gave this interview in 2001. I am writing this in 2013. More than eleven years have elapsed. Chomsky has had plenty of time to correct any errors he made. However when I downloaded the article a few days ago it seemed to have undergone no alteration since its original publication. That is a truly reckless omission on Chomsky’s part. He makes very grave charges, so the article should be reviewed at least once a year or so to correct any inaccuracy that may have been revealed in the interim. Quite apart from the fact that he makes misstatements that he should have known were wrong the instant he uttered them.

1. Chomsky improvising “underlying causes” to justify 9-11 attack on US

[talking about Afghanistan in the early 1980s] The bin Laden network and others like them draw a lot of their support from the desperation and anger and resentment of the people of the region, which ranges from rich to poor, secular to radical Islamist.

Chomsky’s account is extremely vague, but seems to direct implied reproaches at the US. However any such impression in this specific context is false.

I read an account of where bin Laden got his support from, and it had NOTHING TO DO WITH any alleged “desperation and anger and resentment of the people of the region”, and CERTAINLY NOT any emotions directed against the West or any foreign imperialism. See The Haqqani Network, CTC West Point. Bin Laden made political alliances with local warlords who had at their disp0sal many fanatical warriors lusting to do battle. And do battle they did, principally against Mohammedan fanatics belonging to opposing tribes and clans.

At the time the Taliban started up, they did mobilize local “anger and resentment” against corrupt landlords and potentates, especially when the latter raped innocent young girls and boys. The Taliban became popular by hanging a local tyrant and sexual predator from the barrel of a tank.

2. Algerian civil war
In fact, that [Algerian] government is in office because it blocked the democratic election in which it would have lost to mainly Islamic–based groups. That set off the current fighting. Similar things go on throughout the region.

The Islamist party, the Islamic Salvation Front, had clearly announced its intention of promptly discarding all democratic procedures together with the rule of law, once it had been voted into office. This clear statement of its intent to abolish democracy automatically invalidated its electoral victory. The Islamists were still naïf then and they blundered by speaking the truth.

As for the kicker “Similar things go on throughout the region”, I am fairly familiar with the region’s history and politics and offhand I cannot recall any “similar things go[ing] on throughout the region” at that time. Sounds like some glib Chomskovian improvisation just to avoid an awkward pause in the flow of conversation.

3. One-sided critique of US & Israel
The U.S. is the prime supporter of the Israeli military occupation of Palestinian territory, now in its thirty–fifth year.

He is assuming that Israel has no rights to Palestine. He is entitled to his opinion. However, I thoroughly studied the history of Palestine and the Middle East for the last century or so, and reached a different conclusion. This is not the place to argue the merits of Israel’s and the Arabs’ claims to Palestine. However, since Chomsky assumes that Israel is in the wrong, his charges against Israel are largely (but not wholly) a result of his assumptions.

4. Chomsky defending Islamic fanatics in the name of democracy:

A: There’s a lot more. There is the fact that the U.S. has supported oppressive, authoritarian, harsh regimes, and blocked democratic initiatives. For example, the one I mentioned in Algeria. Or in Turkey. Or throughout the Arabian Peninsula. What does that cryptic comment mean? Many of the harsh, brutal, oppressive regimes are backed by the U.S. and many are opposed to the US.
These are among the reasons why pro-American bankers and businessmen in the region are condemning the U.S. for supporting antidemocratic regimes and stopping economic development.

Now 12 ys later (2012) they had their elections and voted in … antidemocratic régimes! Consequently the charge of "supporting antidemocratic régimes” is a phony excuse. It is just one more lame pretext to evade the well-established fact that Islam is far more warlike and aggressive than any other biggish religion and that it is currently going through a particularly truculent and bloodthirsty period of its troubled existence.

5. Drug traffickers
Q: Do you think it’s more than problematic to engage in alliances with those whom are called “unsavory characters,” drug traffickers and assassins, in order to achieve what is said to be a noble end?

Chomsky himself associates with drug traffickers i.e. Hezbollah.

6. Chomsky sides with Bin Laden in falsely charging the US with a deliberate act of inhumanity

Or take the bombing of the Sudan, one little footnote, so small that it is casually mentioned in passing in reports on the background to the Sept. 11 crimes. How would the same commentators react if the bin Laden network blew up half the pharmaceutical supplies in the U.S. and the facilities for replenishing them? Or Israel? Or any country where people “matter”? Although that’s not a fair analogy, because the U.S. target is a poor country which had few enough drugs and vaccines to begin with and can’t replenish them. Nobody knows how many thousands or tens of thousands of deaths resulted from that single atrocity, and bringing up that death toll is considered scandalous. If somebody did that to the U.S. or its allies, can you imagine the reaction? In this case we say, Oh, well, too bad, minor mistake, let’s go on to the next topic. Other people in the world don’t react like that. When bin Laden brings up that bombing,[1] he strikes a resonant chord, even with people who despise and fear him, and the same, unfortunately, is true of much of the rest of his rhetoric. And yours!

Pharmaceutical factories can easily be adjusted to produce chemical weapons. That is exactly what occurred to this pharma plant during the 1990s. The Sudanese government converted it to produce chemical weapons. I believe Al Qaida was involved. In any case Richard Clark's book In Search of Enemies (2004) gives a blow-by-blow description. The CIA sent an agent to the plant who gathered soil near the plant. When the soil sample was analyzed it showed traces of a nerve gas, I believe. That was proof that the plant was producing nerve gas. It was promptly destroyed by a US missile. And a good thing, too.

7.  Chomsky calls jihadis “mercenaries”
The U.S., along with Egypt, Pakistan, French intelligence, Saudi Arabian funding, and Israeli involvement, assembled a major army, a huge mercenary army, maybe 100,000 or more, and they drew from the most militant sectors they could find, which happened to be radical Islamists, what are called here Islamic fundamentalists, from all over, most of them not from Afghanistan. They’re called Afghanis, but like bin Laden, they come from elsewhere.

Uncharacteristically, I must here defend the honor of jihadis. Chomsky is deliberately demeaning these religious fanatics by attributing to them material earthly goals, whereas they actually seek material celestial goals. They are so touchingly naïf that they think that when they get their heads blown off in battle they will instantly resurface in Paradise screwing a bunch of babes.  Consequently there is no need to bribe them with money. They do it for free.

Chomsky: The Boston Bombings Gave Americans a Taste of the Terrorism the U.S. Inflicts Abroad Every Day, May 2, 2013

Chomsky makes some valid criticisms of US foreign policy. However he makes the US out to be more evil than it is and he refrains from criticizing anyone except the US, which is hypocritical, because a lot of the people involved in the issues he mentions are just as guilty as the US if not more so.

8. Chomsky adopts the typical dhimmi positions that

  1. Terrorism against the US is merely reprisals for previous wrongs committed by the US;
  2. To prevent further aggression we must refrain from provoking others;
  3. There was no way directly to prevent Boston Marathon bombing

Regarding 1 and 2, Chomsky's claims would be accurate if he stated them more modestly. No doubt retaliation plays a role in some attacks on the US, and refraining from wronging others will no doubt improve US security situation somewhat. However neither are accurate when stated generally.

Why not? Because anti-Western hatred is largely inherent to Islamic ideology and would occur anyway, no matter how peacefully the US behaved. After all, Mohammedan terrorists targeted Sweden a few years back, didn't they? How many Mohammedan babies did Sweden kill?

Also remember the looting and burning of the US embassy in Islamabad in 1979. Since the Islamists couldn't think of any reason to attack the US embassy, they just made one up, and a pretty ridiculous one, too.

Besides, US crimes do not necessarily elicit hatred, and if they do, the hatred does not necessarily produce violence. In his 2001 interview Chomsky himself provides the example of Nicaragua’s lawful response to US aggression in blatant breach of international law. Despite the US’ ruthless acts against Nicaragua, no Nicaraguan has ever committed any act of terror against the US in all the years that have elapsed since then. Why not? Simple: no Mohammedans in Nicaragua.

As to “3. There was no way directly to prevent Boston Marathon bombing”, what the hell does he know? I think he's talking through his hat. To be able to make a statement like that responsibly one must first perform considerable research into police matters. Since Chomsky does not provide one single specific fact that indicates he ever looked into the matter, his statement is what lawyers call a “conclusory statement”, a gratuitous utterance akin to a ritual formula and completely lacking in informational value, that we can safely classify as a load of typical Chomskovian codswallop.

Chomsky On "Terrorism" [sic], By Saad Sayeed, 10/26/06 "Excalibur", News of Pakistan

9. Ex: In 1979, Russia invades Afghanistan. The U.S. uses the Ziaul Haq regime in Pakistan to fund the rise of militancy. This gives Zia a green light to fund cross-border terrorism in Kashmir. Now we allegedly have some of those elements setting off bombs in Mumbai. Clearly, these groups are no longer controlled by any government.

I don't know exactly what terror acts Chomsky is talking about, but his last sentence “Clearly, these groups are no longer controlled by any government” is obviously insincere and just meant to mollify the Paki journalist and the Paki government. There's no way in hell Chomsky could tell whether it was controlled by the Paki government or not. As a matter of fact it most likely WAS controlled by the government, as most terror groups are in Porkistan.

Meanwhile, the U.S. supported Ziaul Haq as he was turning Pakistan into a country full of madrassahs and fundamentalists. The Reagan administration even ( . . . ) kept certifying to Congress that Pakistan was not developing nuclear weapons, which of course they were, so that U.S. aid to Pakistan could continue.

This seems largely factual. I haven’t checked it in detail, but it broadly coincides with what I have learned from other sources that are considerably less ideological than Chomsky. The duplicity he relates is strongly reminiscent of Reagan’s documented modus operandi on other occasions.

10. Take the London bombing in 2005. Blair tried to pretend that it had nothing to do with Britain's participation in the invasion of Iraq. That's completely ridiculous. The British intelligence and the reports of the people connected in the bombing, they said that the British participation in the invasion and resulting horrors in Iraq inflamed them and they wanted to do something in reaction.

The bombings occurred because of that and because of Blair's other crime – allowing mass immigration of Mohammedans into Britain without consulting the population. Big demographic shifts should be subject to prior consultation.

[1] When did “bin Laden bring up that bombing”? I don't believe he ever mentioned it. And so what if he did? That just proves that Bin Laden is just as mendacious as Chomsky, by neglecting to mention that it was being used as a poison gas factory. 

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

A Tale of Two Team Bs

 By Igor Slamoff

A review of Understanding Shariacrap Law by the Center for American Progress

The CAP is a liberal think tank that supports the Democratic party and, as a sideline, also lustily cheers on Islamic imperialism. This piece of lying garbage is a response to the “September 2010 report "Sharia: The Threat to America," published by the conservative Center for Security Policy … [CSP, whose] … authors claim that their report is "concerned with the preeminent totalitarian threat of our time: the legal-political-military doctrine known within Islam as 'Shariah.'"

But first of all a remark on the unfortunate moniker under which the authors of Sharia: The Threat to America chose to appear on the public stage, to wit “Team B".

A retired CIA analyst called Melvin A. Goodman recently published a book entitled National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism, which contains a less than flattering account of the original Team B, a Cold War phenomenon. According to Robert Parry’s review[1] of the book, Goodman was in the 1970s "a senior CIA analyst responsible for assessing the Soviet threat”.

The name “Team B” is an evil omen and its choice attests to willful ignorance of history on the part of the conservative Center for Security Policy. Indeed, it would seem that ignorance of history is often the price one must pay to remain a conservative. For me to say such a thing may seem a gratuitous provocation to some. But those who persevere reading this review until its end might  conceivably change their respective minds.

The name “Team B” is copied from that of “an ad hoc group … [that in 1976 or thereabouts] demanded access to the CIA’s raw intelligence on Soviet military capabilities with the idea of writing their own analysis.”

[CIA Director] “Colby would not allow a clearly polemical group, led by Harvard professor Richard Pipes and referred to as Team B, to hijack the production of intelligence estimates. … [President] Ford removed Colby [and replaced him with George Bush I, who allowed] Pipes – with the help of [White House Chief of Staff Dick] Cheney and [Defense Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld – [to] name … a team of right-wing academics and former government officials to draft their own intelligence estimates on Soviet military power. …”

So as not to irritate my gentle readers, I shall refrain from remarking on the depressing associations that this constellation of foreboding names – Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld – must evoke in every critical observer – regardless of political opinion -- of events since 2000.

Now for the punch line: “Team B predicted a series of Soviet weapons developments that never occurred [my stress]. These included directed energy weapons, mobile ABM [Anti-Ballistic Missile] systems, and anti-satellite capabilities. Pipes’s team concluded (falsely) that the Soviet Union rejected nuclear parity, was bent on fighting and winning a nuclear war, and was radically increasing its military spending.” [p. 247] Though Team B’s assessment was wildly off the mark … The Reagan administration used these inflated estimates of Soviet military power to garner a trillion and a half dollars in defense spending in the 1980s.”

“When the Soviet bloc began falling apart in the late 1980s, Gates and other CIA bigwigs continued to miss this historic development because they were essentially programmed to ignore intelligence on Moscow’s weaknesses. However, when the reality could no longer be denied, they and other right-wingers simply adjusted the narrative and declared that Reagan’s military buildup and his other aggressive strategies had brought the Soviets to their knees.”

So the upshot of this episode of sterling patriotism – whether by accident or by design -- was to saddle America with an oversized and superfluous, nay, parasitical, military bureaucracy and weapons manufacturing industry that are still bossing us around while squandering our resources. Thus "Team B” is a name that inspires about as much respect as, say, “The Three Stooges”.

Since I haven’t read the CSP report yet, I cannot yet judge whether it is a work of fiction or non-fiction. However, as the authors of the CAP product criticizing it also wrote a wretched piece of propaganda maligning counterjihadists called XXX, it would appear that Team B the Second is considerably less mendacious than its namesake of Cold War notoriety.

By a curious quirk of fate, Richard Pipes’ son Daniel Pipes is now a prominent academic critic of Islamic suprematism. However he does not seem to share his progenitor’s flair for fantasy and science fiction, and even the most vitriolic Islamophiles avoid including him in the hard-core group of “hate-mongers” who are ceaselessly maligned by the Islamo-gutter press, although for the life of me I can't see why, since his statements seem to be almost as trenchant as those of the redoubtable Robert Spencer.

One of the more brazen lies dished up by the "Young Muslim American Voices”, as the CAP authors[2] bill themselves, is the claim that “none of [the CSP report authors] has any credentials in the study of Islam …”.

 When I read that, I glanced at the list of authors of the CSP report. The lead authors certainly inspire no confidence at all: topping the list is (thankfully retired) Lt. General William “Jerry” Boykin, a Christian zealot who wants to give the US a Christian foreign policy. Definitely a loose cannon. As if we didn't have enough religi0us fanatics to deal with! He was recently disinvited to West Point, where he planned to give a speech to the hapless cadets. For once I applauded the Obama administration’s deference to Gangstapimp opinion. Not so much on grounds of political correctitude, but rather because I view Boykin’s apostolic hobbyhorse as an exercise in the most deplorable vulgarity, that would make the US the laughingstock of the world (again).  Also quite irrational.

However, listed as number three among the associate authors is Stephen Coughlin, an expert on Islamic law and the author of the brilliant treatise “To Our Great Detriment”: Ignoring what extremists say about jihad, a closely argued, extensively sourced and truly massive document [available on the Web, by the way] that clearly proves that extremist jihadi America-haters are solidly backed up by orthodox Islamic theology and accordingly that religious war against the West, far from being a distortion of Islam,[3] is instead a thoroughly respectable and indeed mainstream Moslem standpoint.

My confidence in Team B’s report thus restored despite its dodgy name, I plowed on through the morass of hinky-dinky-parley-voo disgorged by the professional quibblers and dissemblers of CAP who breezily champion the crude, virtually Neolithic rituals embodied in shariacrap as if it were the progressive thing to do. 

But then I was distracted by the sudden recollection of the incident that tragically derailed Col. Coughlin’s Pentagon career. You see, he was in the habit of teaching his students, military officers all, that jihad is a logical outcome – perhaps the most logical outcome – of Islamic theology. Apparently this habit of Coughlin’s got on the nerves of a senior civilian Pentagon official – actually more like a consultant (hard to tell the difference these days) -- a gentleman of Egyptian background called Islam something-or-other, who promptly blackballed Coughlin. Coughlin was accordingly eased out of government employ.

Mr. Islam – or is it Sheikh Islam? -- was – perhaps still is – a very influential figure in  Pentagonal circles, because among other things he was the trusted aide, nay the boon companion, of one Gordon England, a noted Undersecretary of Defense of irreproachable character, who had attained the dizzying heights of Penta-power through an illustrious career in the … armaments industry!

Hmmm, I said to myself. I smell a rat.

This is my reconstruction of the chain of causality involved. Some elements are optional,  other variants possible:

The Reagan Revolution brilliantly achieved its goal of making government more responsive to healthy, competitive free-market forces by unleashing the profit motive that slumbers in the core of every human being. 

President Reagan’s bold policies of privatizing and deregulating American society and government were  spearheaded in the realm of foreign policy by Team B the First, inasmuch as Team B the First privatized crucial analytical tasks out of the hands of stodgy, tradition-bound CIA bureaucrats completely unresponsive to the  profit motive. 

Newly empowered weapons manufacturers, being of the profit-maximizing persuasion, had a perfectly healthy and understandable tendency to accommodate the highest bidder.

Currently the highest bidder on the weapons market is The Wahhabi Entity, a.ka. São di Arabia. 

Consequently the inevitable outcome of the actions of Team B the First was to render exceedingly arduous the task of Team B the Second.

[1] What Has US Militarism Wrought?,, 4 March 2013.
[2] These are the “Young Moose-leem American Voices” who confess their responsibility for this sordid piece of Islamo-Fascist propaganda called “Understanding [sic] Shariacrap Law”
•              Matthew Duss (sounds more like a Young Moose-leem-Bootlicker than a Young Moose-leem American Voice) is the National Security Editor at American Progress (makes me feel more secure already!)
•              Wajahat Ali is a Researcher for ThinkProgress. [In his blog Goat's Milk Ali rejoiced at Osama bin Laden’s demise and called for those of Bush and Rumsfeld as an encore, to the dismay of a writer at FrontPage magazine. I, on the other hand, found Ali’s proposal to decerebrate those two scheming bunglers worthy of serious  consideration. If you want to know why, read Paul Sperry’s Crude Politics.]
•              Hussein Rashid, associate editor, Religion Dispatches, and
•              Haroon Moghul, executive director, The Maydan Institute.
[3] As disingenuously argued ad nauseam by tiresome Islamo-windbags like Juan (“Ikhwan”) Cole. 

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Drone hypocrisy

By Zenobia van Zelledongen

Reply to Dealing Remote-Control Drone Death, The US Has Lost Its Moral Compass
By Akbar Ahmed and Lawrence Wilkerson © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited

Akbar Ahmed is the Ibn Khaldun chair of Islamic studies at American Univerity in Washington, DC. He has also taught at Princeton, Harvard, and Cambridge Universities. Formerly, he was the Pakistan High Commissioner (ambassador) to the UK and Ireland. His most recent book is Journey into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization (2011)

Zenobia van Zelledongen remarks: Akbar Ahmed is an Islamist and terrorist sympathizer who recently published a book criticising what he calls an “American assault on Tribal Islam” throughout Central Asia,  North Africa and the Middle East. The first “victim” Ahmed bewails in … you guessed it, North Waziristan!

Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson is distinguished adjunct professor of government and public policy at the College of William and Mary. Previously, during a 31-year career in the US army, served as chief of staff to US Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Zenobia van Zelledongen remarks: Col. Wilkerson seems to have degenerated from a professional soldier to a whimpering ninny.

"Warfare by armchair warriors playing video games is little better than murder.
This misguided policy is fueling anti-American hate"

What nonsense! 

The morality or otherwise of using a weapon against a foreign state is not determined by rules of  fair play, i.e. whether the attacker runs any risk of retaliation or not. International law says attacks are warranted if they are in self-defense or serve to forestall imminent military attack. Furthermore international law forbids attacking non-combatants. That’s all. The only relevant issue is whether the US is abiding by international law.

And the answer is that sometimes it is and sometime it isn’t. 

US drone attacks on Yemen appear to have been poorly targeted, have caused many civilian casualties and fueled fuelled anti-American hatred. Moreover it is uncertain whether  they were intended to forestall imminent military attack. Consequently they should be condemned.

On the other hand US drone attacks on North Waziristan are clearly acts of self-defense against the terror training camps that abound in that district under the control of the terrorist Taliban, al Qaeda and others. A steady stream of terrorists has emerged from North Waziristan to slaughter European civilians. Consequently US attacks on North Waziristan are fully warranted, whether they be drone attacks or amphibious landings.

US drone attacks on North Waziristan fuel anti-American hatred. Sure they do.
So what?
In 1979, long before the US intervened in south and central Asia, Islamists looted and burnt the US embassy in Islamabad. Why? Because they charged the US with having instigated the Mahdist attack that year on the big mosque in Mecca. A likely story! Since the Islamists had no good reason yet to hate the US, they invented one.

Ergo, Pakistani hatred is a worthless standard by which to judge anyone’s actions. 
Moreover I doubt very much that Pakistanis are indignant at the US killing civilians. If killing civilians were a taboo in Pakistan, how come most Pakistanis adore Adolf Hitler?

Leftist dhimmis? Yes, but ...

Empirical observation puts some nuance into a conservative cliché 

Igor Slamoff

David Horowitz wrote a book called  Unholy Alliance about an alleged  leftist-Islamist political alliance. Many of Horowitz charges are warranted. Indeed, I have observed that leftist political parties, web sites and so forth in many Western countries are generally very uncritical of Islam.

HOWEVER, rightists generally exaggerate the Left’s sympathies for Islam. There are important exceptions to the “leftist dhimmi” rule.

Juan Cole, a notorious islamophile, recently published an article on the left-wing AlterNet web site claiming that  Islam strictly forbids terrorism, Top Ten Ways Islamic Law Forbids Terrorism (WOW!).

Beneath  is a selection of replies by readers’ critical of Islam (about half of all replies). 

 The moral:  David Horowitz hasn't noticed (and probably never will) that:
  1. Many leftists are critical of Islam, and
  2. Leftist web sites do not indiscriminately suppress all Islam-critical replies from their readers.

No, we're talking about this site [i.e. AlterNet] - a site that claims to be progressive but has an obvious blind spot when it comes to Islam. No fundamentalist Christian would write for this site pretending to be progressive, but the author of the article in question thinks progressives can be conned into believing that the Quran is compatible with a progressive agenda.
Really? I think promotion of, acceptance of or turning a blind eye to Islam's plethora of brutal 'excesses' pretty much sums it up. Otherwise Sharia law would already have been banned by Muslims themselves, and the basic right to choose to leave Islam should one wish would have been embraced by all Muslims, and encoded its laws. Instead, with the full right to choose their own way after the 'Arab Spring' they vote in the Muslim Brotherhood in places like Egypt, and call for Sharia law to become The Law in the western nations they live in. The vast majority of 'moderates' are cowed into submission by the cult. Perhaps you're aware of a Muslim movement which has instituted a non-Sharia, progressive government somewhere recently? Where are these multitudes of progressive Muslims who are speaking out and taking it to the streets? Do tell.
Holy shit, idiotic articles like this really make me reconsider to ever look at this website again.
And this at a time when over 100 000 muslims physically gathered in Bangladesh to demand the hanging of atheist bloggers. Not to mention what they do with gays and people who want to leave the cancer of Islam in every Islamic hellhole in the world.
And let's not even talk about the outright denial of whole branches of science.
There is no totalitarian ideology more inimical to democracy, reason, progress and human rights than Islam.
The holy koran teaches that democracy is not Islamic. Ask any Islamic scholar. Seriously.
Many democracies in the Islamic world? Name "the top ten".
If this Muslim religion is so peaceful in 10 different ways, what has been going on for the last, oh, the last 10 years or so? I see men with Muslim names, expounding Muslim beliefs, carrying out openly heinous crimes. Since Chechens happen to be the latest group, has everyone forgotten what what happened in Beslan? Kids, no older than the one who died in Boston, were were shot dead by Chechens. Cold brutality on a level that's just unfathomable.
Islam … preaches peace in many verses of the Qur’an and the author
highlights some. But they are not in context. Take for example the idea that murder and terrorism are forbidden by Islam. By the way, they are forbidden in the Hebrew and Christian Bible as well. We call it terrorism and murder they call it killing, which is totally acceptable:
- Slay them wherever ye find them and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. -
When it comes to religious tolerance the article again only quotes the supporting ideal passages and ignores the host of other passages. If you look at how kaffur (unbelievers), shirk (idolatry) and mutard( apostate) are to be treated:
- Prophet! Make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal sternly with them. Hell shall be their home, evil their fate. - 66:9
- Muslims are harsh against the unbelievers, merciful to one another. - 48:25
Suicide is forbidden, so it becomes martyrdom. Go to Gaza and the West Bank and see how these “shahids” are revered. Women and Children are not supposed to be targets but they make the argument that they are combatants by supporting the kaffur
Another mistake the article makes is it ignores the Hadith, Shari’a, and fatwas. Each of these sources offers more perspective and context on what is acceptable behaviour
within Islam. An important concept in Shari'a is Adat (custom). Many tribal customs make their way into Islam.
The last gap in this article is history. History is replete with examples that contradict each point raised in this article. Islam was spread by conquest, forced conversions and persecution. The same way Christianity spread.