Symposium: The Fear that Wilders is Right

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FP: Thank you Robert Spencer.

Roger Simon, our concluding round begins.  What are the consequences we face with this mass psychosis and denial? What is the most effective thing we can try to do to put a crack in it?

Simon: To begin, I would like to thank my co-panelists for their excellent posts.  I think the three of us substantially agree on this issue, which pushes us immediately to the most serious question:  As Lenin put it, “What is to be done?”

Well, the answer to that is far from easy because, as a considerably better writer than Lenin – Charles Dickens – put it, these are “the best of times and the worst of times.” By that I mean the very thing that could be our salvation – the unprecedented mass communication of the Internet – is the very thing that is most often used to perpetuate the Big Lie about the very problem we face. Unfortunately, the Internet often ratifies and amplifies the very societal hypnosis and self-hypnosis modern liberals undergo. This is as true for the trial of Geert Wilders as it is for anything else.

For make no mistake about it, we are engaged in a global psy-war. The question is how to win it when our side often seems uninterested in defending itself.  Indeed, the current administration seems to want the reverse – to cede victory to our adversaries by refusing to name them, an extraordinary state of affairs. It reminds me of what my colleague Glenn Reynolds used to write about opponents of the Iraq War: “They’re not anti-war. They’re on the other side.”

But back to “What is to be done?” Well, we must redouble our efforts in the psy-war and broaden our approach.  That means not just preaching to the choir at venues like Pajamas Media and Front Page, but also finding ways to break through on their turf.  The Great American Middle must be awakened and informed logically, not heatedly, about the Islamic threat. This is not about proving we are “right.”  This is about saving our civilization.

At this moment, the failures of the Obama administration, perceived now even by his supporters, may offer a window to reach out.  We should seize it. Accusations of racism, like those habitually aimed at Wilders, also seem to be losing some of their punch – another signal it is time to go on the offensive. On top of that, the monumental Gulf oil spill – not Obama’s fault, but further evidence of his incompetence – provides further opportunity.

So perhaps I am slightly more optimistic than I was on my first post.  See what a little writing can do to make one feel better.  Let’s keep doing it.  We’ll be covering the Wilders trial closely at Pajamas Media and PJTV.

FP: Roger Simon, thank you. I would like to follow up with you for a moment. Can you briefly list what you deem to be some of the failures of the Obama administration? And also, in your view, what incompetence has Obama showed in dealing with the Gulf oil spill?

Simon: I can’t think of anything I like about Obama, really, but his single most repellent act … or non-act…  was his non-response to the Iranian freedom movement at their moment of crisis, when revolution against the mullahs seemed possible.  Obama’s lack of emotional connection was stunning. It was almost as if he cared more about taking the credit for some mythical negotiation with Ahmadinejad than he did about the lives of the brave democracy demonstrators thronging the streets of Teheran.  I can’t recall an American president ever behaving worse in my lifetime – and that includes Watergate.

The rest of his foreign policy follows from that behavior.  His treatment of Israel is beneath contempt and seems guided by his old friend Rashid Khalidi of the missing LA Times tape, but I’m sure the readers of Front Page know that.

As for the economy, he’s been an obvious failure and is clearly out of his depth.  I don’t think he has a clue about what he is doing and any real discernible policy. He is also in a trap, because the only thing he does believe in (to the extent he believes is anything) is increased government spending and taxes, but the public knows, indeed many of his allies now know, that that is precisely the opposite of what the country and the world require and is doomed to failure.  The recession will only get worse.

The fortunate thing in all this is that whatever he does do domestically, can probably be reversed (with great effort).  But some of his foreign policies may be irreversible.  The damage will be done.

Regarding the Gulf oil spill, as I have written elsewhere, this is the one area he is not really culpable – anymore than Bush was for Katrina – although, ironically, it is the most likely to bring him down.  That said, however, it is evident that Obama doesn’t do empathy well.  He couldn’t be empathetic to the Iranian students and it took him ages to react to the people of the Gulf on a human level.  Makes you nostalgic for Clinton (Bill, I mean).  Anyway, Obama is up against it now.  Things don’t look good for him.  As John Lennon once sang, “Instant karma’s gonna get you.  Gonna knock you right on the head.”

Karma’s catching up with Barack Obama.

FP: Thank you Roger Simon.

Kenneth Levin, what is to be done? And I didn’t mean to get us off track with Obama’s failures, but in crystallizing them we can perhaps gauge, as Mr. Simon notes, how to seize the window of opportunity in terms of what to do in the context of our cultural denial.

Levin: The cultural denial of the threat we face will be overcome in one of two ways. Either it will be changed by the nation being subjected to sufficient additional carnage to force it awake or – obviously preferably – it will be abandoned in response to a sustained effort to saturate the public consciousness with images that effectively convey the threat, convey it to the point where fewer and fewer are able to cling to their denial of reality.

Israel, to its misfortune, resisted the latter path to its waking from the delusions of Oslo. Pro-Oslo governments, and the nation’s media, refused to address statements by Arafat and his associates, and by PA media, mosques and schools, that clearly demonstrated their goal remained Israel’s annihilation. Nor did Israel’s pro-Oslo leaders and media acknowledge the obvious implications of the Arafat-supported terror, unprecedented in its intensity, unleashed against Israelis during the early years of the Oslo process. It was only after Arafat, in September, 2000, rejected the offers of a comprehensive peace deal proposed by Israel and supported by President Clinton and instead unleashed his terror war, ultimately killing over a thousand Israeli civilians and horribly maiming thousands more, that Israelis in large numbers were shaken from their Oslo fantasies. For others, it required the Hezbollah terror that followed on Israel’s full withdrawal from southern Lebanon, and the intensified Hamas rocket barrages that followed Israel’s evacuation from Gaza in 2005, to disabuse them of their Oslo delusions.

The United States has, of course, experienced some additional carnage since 9/11 and numerous near misses. And many in America are open-eyed about the broader threat those incidents represent. Many were not only outraged by Nidal Malik Hasan’s murder of 13 at Fort Hood. They were hardly less disturbed by the pathetic failure to stop Hasan when there were so many indications of the danger he posed, by the flacking for him in the military, by the refusal in both government and media circles to acknowledge his more than obvious motives and the significance of his beliefs and his actions.

Much of the public reacted similarly to the government’s handling of the would-be Christmas bomber: the failure to use available intelligence to stop his attempted mass murder; the rapid granting him Miranda rights; the reluctance to acknowledge his Jihadist agenda; the unsupported assertions that he acted alone; the claims that his failure to destroy his plane demonstrated “the system worked.” So too did the public react to the equally ludicrous, similar, and similarly dangerous, initial government and media responses to the Times Square bomber – the initial reluctance to associate the act or its perpetrator with any broader threat, the absurd grasping for alternative explanations of his motives, again the claims that his attempted mass murder failed because “the system worked,” the ongoing refusal to name the actual threat.

But clearly public concern has not reached the level of effectively pressuring the government to abandon its prevarications and its apologetics and indeed its sympathies vis-a-vis the enemy. It is only to be wished that it won’t require a disaster on the scale of 9/11 to rouse the public to that greater determination to bring about a change in government policy.

One element of promoting that determination is not only to speak to the public about the nature of the threat but to demonstrate vividly the threat. This can be advanced by disseminating to broader audiences such works as Fitna, the documentary Obsession, and other films that offer footage both of Islamist leaders explicating their murderous agenda and Islamist cadres acting on that agenda.

Roger Simon notes that the Internet, which could be an effective tool for getting out the truth about the Islamist threat despite mainstream media silence and obfuscation, has actually largely cut the other way by being used to promote the Big Lie about the threat, the denying it and rationalizing it and prettifying it. The Internet is also used by the Islamist enemy to recruit to its cause. But the new media could be used to expose more effectively the Big Lie, with images. I agree with Roger Simon on the repellent non-response of Obama to last June’s mobilization of the freedom movement in Iran. The snapshots and film images captured on cell phones of the popular uprising and the regime’s brutal response were seen around the world, and brought home to many the nature of the Iranian branch of the enemy and the moral bankruptcy of Obama’s response.

Images of events in Darfur can also be mustered to convey the counter-message to the Big Lie. The people of Darfur, like those in the streets in Iran, are Muslims, but their tormentors, the rulers of the Sudan, are closely allied with the Iranian branch of the Islamist threat – its chief boosters are drawn from Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah. Sudan’s rulers enjoy as well the unanimous backing of the Arab League, the friendship of Erdogan’s Islamic government in Turkey, and the support of additional non-state backers such as Al-Qaeda. Many on this roster, including the Sudanese government, are the object of Obama Administration blandishments and outreach and offerings of carrots, even as the slaughter in Darfur, and indeed in other minority areas in Sudan, goes on unabated. Images, in photos and film, of what is actually happening there can help promote public eye-opening to the broader threat and impatience with our government’s fecklessness.

Those who speak the truth, or convey it in photos and video, will be demonized, as Robert Spencer says. That is, indeed, the Islamist way, and leftist way. But one can challenge the censors. If their counterparts in Europe, including the indicters of Wilders, are largely able to escape serious challenge, we’re not obliged to give the censors a free pass here.

Material demonstrating the threat – in the words and deeds of the Islamists themselves – can be offered, in universities and elsewhere, as material to be discussed and debated. If it contains errors, let the critics demonstrate it. Those who refuse to allow the discussion, in whatever venue, should be called out for violating the norms of a free society, whether they are motivated by fears of the physical retaliation supporters of the Islamist threat so widely employ, or by fears of being labeled “racist” or “anti-Muslim,” or – as the anecdotes cited by Robert Spencer effectively convey – by refusal to recognize the nature of the threat because it is too daunting and upsetting.

During the late thirties, Churchill was censored. He was virtually blackballed by the BBC and demonized by other major media. They were afraid to have his message aired, afraid of its implications. When Chamberlain brought “peace in our time” back from Munich, Churchill was denounced as a warmonger for criticizing Chamberlain’s capitulation to the Nazi threat.

But we do have tools to circumvent the censorship of the appeasers, and only through those tools can we hope to break the dominant self-delusion by means that will spare the nation a ruder awakening via future 9/11’s.

FP: Thank you Kenneth Levin. Robert Spencer, final thoughts?

Spencer: It is indeed, as Roger Simon, a global psy-war, and it is by no means over. We have the truth on our side, and as Kenneth Levin ably adumbrates, we have the alternate media – which is still very small compared to the mainstream media, but it is growing apace as the frustration of people who realize they’re being lied to increases. The biggest challenge we face is that all too many people who no longer buy the lies of the Left still allow themselves to be cowed by this psychological manipulation, such that they’re afraid to speak out for the truth themselves, or afraid to venture outside the bounds of what the Left has delineated as acceptable discourse. The hardest obstacles to clear away are not the Left’s control of the mainstream media, but our own mind-forged manacles.

As for Obama, no one should be surprised by what is happening. As Pamela Geller and I show in our book The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War On America (coming July 27 from Simon & Schuster), he is not only presiding over America’s decline, but is in a very real sense the apostle of that decline. The course he is taking as President could have been predicted by anyone who knew the activities and associations of his earlier career, as we outline in the book. And so it is no surprise that the list of his anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic appointees and associates just keeps growing: not just Reverend Wright, but also Samantha Power, Robert Malley, Rosa Brooks, Chuck Hagel, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and more. Likewise also his appointees who wish to give international law precedence over American law: Harold Koh, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, John Holdren, Carol Browner – on and on.

In light of all this and more, the situation is very serious, and the time for appeasement, and what Levin terms “the censorship of the appeasers,” is over. William Jennings Bryan said it in 1896 in a vastly different context, but every word applies to conservatives today:

We do not come as aggressors. Our war is not a war of conquest; we are fighting in the defence of our homes, our families, and posterity. We have petitioned, and our petitions have been scorned; we have entreated, and our entreaties have been disregarded; we have begged, and they have mocked when our calamity came. We beg no longer; we entreat no more; we petition no more. We defy them!

We beg no more. We entreat no more. We petition no more. We defy them. We are not the aggressors. We are not haters. We are not racists. We are not bigots. We are not neofascists. Those who claim otherwise are knowingly or unknowingly abetting a monstrous evil. We withdraw our sanction from them. We must no longer treat journalists as if they were objective reporters when they are ideologues and propagandists. We must constantly call them out on their game. And refuse to play it ourselves.

FP: Roger Simon, Robert Spencer and Kevin Levin, thank you for joining Frontpage Symposium.

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  • bill49

    Yes. We must resist. I am glad Liberty Clinger quoted Churchill. Churchill was a very imperfect man who would never have become Prime Minister in peaceful times. He suffered from depression and mood swings, Some say bi-polar and some people have suggested HDD. He drank expensive booze nearly around the clock. Like Hitler he imagined he was a great military strategist, which he was not. Yet he was a great fighter, a great leader, a great networker and inspirer of men an women. He may not have been a great impromptu orator BUT HE WAS A GREAT WRITER AND A GREAT ACTOR, READING HIS OWN MAGNIFICENT SCRIPTS.
    Churchill today would have been despised and ridiculed as Geert Wilders and Benjamin Netanyahu are today. Churchill was an imperfect warrior like Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Geert Wilders and Benjamin Netanyahu, We must stand firmly behind the imperfect men and women with Churchillian chutzpah and perhaps Churchillian faults.They are standing up to and fight against the darkness from the Middle East. Somebody needs to lead and we must not assassinate them from behind.

  • richard

    how to win when the media is involved in the conspiracy, and from the highest office on down are traitors, conspirators, and cowards?

  • frabul slomn

    If you havent made a personal declaration of war then do so now.

  • frabul slomn

    If you havent made a personal declaration of war then do so now.

    • John Mark

      What's the point of a personal declaration of war? Pointless! Only nations or groups of nations make declarations of war which have any meaning.

  • badaboo

    Churchill was also a stater of profound truisms . He saw and warned of the dangers of Wahabism as far back as 1923 .
    So while we waste time with the usual right and left back and forth , over WHO is to blame [the most ] , it brings to mind a quote of Churchill's regarding Democracies –

    "Democracies do not act until there is blood in the streets "

    And so it will be .

    BTW , frabul slomn – get in line !

    • George

      He also started the "socialized" medicine in Britian….commie!

  • badaboo

    and I might add , although the duped and dhimmi left aren't helping matters , it was right wing idiots who made the deal with the devil back in Afghanistan to get the Soviets to withdraw . Not that the Soviets were so good , but shame on us for not recognizing the mujahadeen were far WORSE . The bloody barbarians are right when they make the claim Bin laden "worked for the CIA " .
    Is anyone here foolish enough to think "November " is going to change any of this ? Well if so you, are deluding yourselves , as one poster already put it , ALL the politicos ARE and HAVE BEEN aware of this threat .
    No matter who wins in November , it'll be just more of the same , partisan enemies lining up , just like a footbvall team at the end of a quarter ….from the opposite sidse of the field .
    Those people better wake up .And fast !

    • Liberty Clinger

      At the time International Communism, based in the Soviet Union, was a much bigger fish to fry than International Islamo-Fascism. Times have now changed, and as we see Communism has not died at all; it is now called by other names, and has in fact formed an anti-American alliance with Islam.

      • badaboo

        bunk ….muslims hate communists because they are atheists

  • badaboo

    Smarten' up …it's later than you think

  • xman

    Jihadis have just murdered over 60 innocents in Kampala, Uganda <url&gt ;</url&gt; for the 'crime' of watching the World Cup Final – further proof, if any were needed, that Geert Wilders is right about the evil and barbaric death cult of Islam, and that his critics are wrong. Will the PC-inebriated West and the sheeple who live in it ever learn, because if they don't, their children will live through this in their own countries at least every other day?

  • xman

    Yep, 9/11, Madrid, Beslan, Mumbai, London, Bali, and we can now add Kampala to that grisluy list of atrocities carried out in the name of that barbaric death cult and its evil and murderlusting followers. For the sake of our own children, the deportations must start en masse.

  • eric

    The US has a "man with the hammer complex" every problem is a nail. Just because you have a powerful military does not mean, every problem can be solved with bombs. There are many moderate muslims who also enjoy modern life and don't want to go back to the 7th century and it would be wise to work together with them to expose and weaken the extremists. Without the moderates the war can't be won however how much troops are sent to muslim countries. The Taliban in afghan. cannot even make one division yet they are tying up 200k troops and winning. Any attempt by US to label Islam the enemy would mean you declare all muslims as the enemy and would have to fight them all, which would exhaust and bankrupt the US. The US can never win this war which will ony be won by muslims with the support of the west confronting and defeating the extremist. Imagine US soldiers in afghan. with no local allies facing hostile population. They would not make it to the next corner of the village. Remember al qaida in iraq was defeated only when the sunni muslims of iraq were sickened by the bloodletting and turned against them. This obsession of the right to label islam and muslims as the enemy will end very badly for the west, in fact it guarantees failure and defeat of the west.

  • Thalpy

    Islam's protective legal status of "religion" must be removed, and that's just the beginning.

    • John Mark

      How do you DO that? Can't think of any way less than war! Conquest would succeed, since the "ideology" of Islam would have tried to prevent conquest, thereby showing that it's not primarily a religion.

    • lies

      The scorpions/moslims of serb bosnian in the east beheaded a lot of man. Nobody writes about it, but people know and talked also with me. And now they are complaining about srebenica where these scorpion men were killed and that the dutch is guilty of murdered them. Eventhough the muslims/scorpions started the killings. They wanted a muslim state with sarajevo. Yes international press was honest about that. Dutch even had memorials today about srebenica. What the fuck. You think i am stupid. Dutch government that i believe the fairytale you told in 1995. NO i have other resources. We the people all know about the scorpions and beheading and soon coming to europe. I am glad the muslims of srebenica are dead!! kill them all

  • badaboo

    keep on dreaming Eric .the so called "moderate muslims " living in the west have done NOTHING to dissuade their bretheren from jihad , they have done NOTHING in the way of public condemnation of their barbarism , they have done NOTHING in the way of turning in bthose they know to be terrorists , they have done NOTHING in the way of changing their attitudes towards honor killings and abuse of women , they have done NOTHING in the way of condemning bthe preaching of hatred towards all other religions , and that is because there are no "moderate muslims " it's a term of wishfull thinking .
    And yes , EVENTUALLY we will have to fight them all anyway , because this TRULY IS A WAR WITH ISLAM .. the sooner we stop kidding ourselves about this , the better.

  • badaboo

    guess what ? islam is at war with us , it is at war with the west , it is at war with all non-muslims . why do you think that the world ,is in their minds , divided into two , Dar-al Harb and Dar -al Islam

  • Beth

    Hi John,

    All of the leaders of the different branches of 'Christianity' have claimed that "Islam is a religion of peace". (They've done many other peculiar things also)

    I don't believe this war – that Islam declared – can be won without using the Scriptures (of the Bible). But I also believe the weapons that were given to us (the Scriptures) are looked down upon. We're going to lose this war John.

    It was 'scriptures' (the Koran) that created this mess. It will take Scriptures (of the Bible) to clean it up.

    The first place to start (which is a checkmate against Islam) is to start 'singing' the song of Moses….as it is written in Rev 15:3 "the saints sing the song of Moses".

    The most depressing thing about that is – most don't even know what the Song of Moses is. Even the so-called 'Christian masters' of this world either refuse to 'sing' it, or don't know it.


    • Beth

      I hope you'll bare with me when i say – i don't have much hope for winning this war.

      Jhn 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world – through Him – might be saved. (key word: might)

      But who really believes? (not this present society) We're not going to win this war John.

    • John Mark

      Beth, you sound dispirited and without hope! Funny how the same New Testament fills me with the belief and hope that the Christian civilization is going to conquer the non-civilisation of Islam, whereas the same Scripture leads you to conclude that "We are going to lose this war, John!"

      It does show that the atheists are right in that one can interpret the Scriptures in many different ways, with each believer utterly convinced that he or she has the absolutely correct understanding.

      For me, the beast, which you mentioned previously, is "the world of Christianised government" and it has risen up out of the sea of all that is not Christianised ever since the Roman Empire, ever since Constantine aligned politics with Christianity.

      This beast of Christianised government is nowadays SO, SO much more powerful militarily than the Islamic militants that, for me, the outcome of the clash is obvious and certain. So, cheer up!

  • Durotrigan

    An excellent article. There is of course no such thing as 'moderate Islam'. Wilders has previously stated that "there is no such thing as moderate Islam, but there are moderate Muslims" is almost correct, but for the sake of clarity I would suggest that we adopt new terms when dealing with the Islamic problem, referring to and distinguishing between 'doctrinaire Muslims' and 'nominal Muslims'. Doctrinaire Muslims are those who actually believe in Islam and the teaching of the Qur'an, whereas nominal Muslims are those born into Muslim families who do not believe in the Qur'an.

    We need to follow Wilders's approach in order to avoid the dreams of the Islamists (as shown in the following clips) from becoming our nightmare reality:

  • LibertarianHomo

    It seems like there is a "surge protector" in the minds of the left or left-leaning that 'dissipates' the energy of inconvenient facts

    While Calvin discourages the "eradicate Islam" description, the clearest way to effect an "ideocide" is with light, ration and – in the end – some measure of coercion. I doubt we will ever eradicate the ideas that sustain Islam, we may certainly diminish them.

    Unfortunately for the West, we have mostly lost our Faith. In God, in our Nation and ourselves. Can that be rekindled?