ABOUT TOM WOODS

Thomas E. Woods, Jr., is the New York Times bestselling author of 12 books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History and Meltdown (on the financial crisis). A senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Woods has appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, FOX News, FOX Business, C-SPAN, Bloomberg Television, and hundreds of radio programs... (Read More)



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The Present State of Islamism

14th November 2011      by: Tom Woods     

The always interesting Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA’s Osama bin Laden unit and author of Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror, Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam After Iraq, and Osama bin Laden, has published a useful summary of recent events in the Muslim world. A sample:

The revolt in Egypt perhaps provides the finest example of America’s educational disaster. For 18 days we in America and the West watched the activities of 200,000 Egyptians in Tahrir Square. Over the course of those days, CNN, ABC, NPR, and FOX reporters interviewed a few score young, educated, well-groomed, English-speaking, middle-class, and professional Egyptians who spoke the lingo of democracy. The journalists then read the pro-democracy emanations of these young people on FACEBOOK and TWITTER and decided, in their always superior wisdom, that this small sample proved that the nearly 90 million Islamically devout, Arabic-only-speaking, and mostly illiterate Egyptians — living under a pervasive faith that brooks no separation between church and state — were thirsting for and capable of secular democracy. The reporters, in short, exchanged their journalistic credentials for those of cheerleaders in Egypt, and then they did the same in Libya where they portrayed the birth of secular democracy via the activities of a resistance movement whose military power depended exclusively on the combat skills of former mujahedin and U.S. and NATO air forces directed by their political leaders to intervene and bomb yet another Muslim population whose country possesses impressive oil reserves.

Now, no one can ever lose money by betting on the jejune, superficial, and arrogant reporting of Western journalists, or on their willingness to report as hard fact the views of people who say what they want to hear, and their performance and commentary in Egypt and Libya were more or less par for the course. The shock comes, however, when we hear Barack Obama, John McCain, Nicholas Sarkozy, Lindsey Graham, David Cameron, Steven Harper, Susan Rice, and Hillary Clinton all jump on the journalists’ ass-backward, democracy-mongering band wagon and predict in certain and glowing terms the beginning of secular democracies across the Arab world. Products of Harvard, Yale, Oxford, and Annapolis, in other words, attested to the ludicrous and genuinely demented idea that the Egyptians in Tahrir Square accomplished in 18 days what America, Britain, and Canada have been working on since the events the culminated in Magna Charta in June, 1215, nearly 800 years ago.

Read the whole thing. (Thanks to John Frahm.)

Unlearn the Propaganda!

  • Greg

    the media is stupid but the British government is not (i don’t know about France).  William Hague perfectly understands that there is a high risk that the revolutions might result in extreme theocracies which will be just as bad as the old dictatorships but also much more hostile towards the west.  

    the problem is that the revolutions happened so fast that we had no time to do anything about it.  more importantly if we were to support the old regimes and they were then overthrown we would be in a much worse position.  so the safest option is to go along with the revolutions hoping for the best but at the same time also inserting spies in the right places and collecting incriminating information on the revolution leaders which then can be used to control them.  it is now important to make sure that old contracts are honoured, property of our companies respected, and any rogue elements of old regime and the new regime are observed and dealt with.

    free trade and exchange of ideas is what will bring peace in the long run.  but no european farmer will ever support getting rid of the tariffs and the new regimes are certainly not liberal in their economic policies (they are mostly left wing, pro corporatism and trade unions).  so for the time being we just have to make sure we have control over them and can push them around if we need to.

  • Greg

    the media is stupid but the British government is not (i don’t know about France).  William Hague perfectly understands that there is a high risk that the revolutions might result in extreme theocracies which will be just as bad as the old dictatorships but also much more hostile towards the west.  

    the problem is that the revolutions happened so fast that we had no time to do anything about it.  more importantly if we were to support the old regimes and they were then overthrown we would be in a much worse position.  so the safest option is to go along with the revolutions hoping for the best but at the same time also inserting spies in the right places and collecting incriminating information on the revolution leaders which then can be used to control them.  it is now important to make sure that old contracts are honoured, property of our companies respected, and any rogue elements of old regime and the new regime are observed and dealt with.

    free trade and exchange of ideas is what will bring peace in the long run.  but no european farmer will ever support getting rid of the tariffs and the new regimes are certainly not liberal in their economic policies (they are mostly left wing, pro corporatism and trade unions).  so for the time being we just have to make sure we have control over them and can push them around if we need to.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s the problem: the Muslim Brotherhood is, in its own words, dedicated to destroying and eliminating Western civilization from within.

    To me it seems like Michael Scheuer understands this. So why keep on buying into the way these orthodox Muslims present their case – i.e., as if their jihadism is nothing but a response to US interventionism – when we and Mr Scheuer know that they will keep coming, even after the destruction of Israel?
    Having said that, I am in complete agreement with Michael Scheuer’s take on the so-called Arab Spring and the neo-con artists’ way of parading this Muslim Brotherhood ascent to power as a victory for democracy. This is an outrage and so is the hubristic way the realpolitik was ditched to give way to the fantasy of global democratic harmony, at the behest of US interventionism.

    Yet, I’d wish that Scheuer would also pay a little more attention to Islam’s own doctrinal agenda, which is independent from any foreign power’s interventionism. But my guess would be that he’s still operating within the PC boundaries of the Bush/Blair/Obama doctrine and would solemnly join this choir and declare that “Islam is a ROP”.

    In conclusion: I think it’s more than a bit rich for Michael Scheuer – his spot on remarks about the “Arab spring” notwithstanding – to have so much studied disregard for 1400 years of mandatory and “divinely” sanctioned jihadism, and exclusively focus on US meddling as the one explanatory factor. I’d say that’s some American hubris to match that of the neo-con democracy swindlers.

    Kind regs from Amsterdam,
    Richard

  • Greg

    you are a neo-con.

  • http://tomwoods.com Tom Woods

    Let’s please make distinctions. Not everyone who holds a less than rosy view of Islam is a neocon. That would have made the American founding fathers neocons. Richard favors getting out of the Middle East.

    I repeat that the noninterventionist position does not commit its supporters to any particular view of Islam.

  • Anonymous

    “You are a neo-con”, says Greg.

    – No, I’m not.
    [pronounce like John Cleese when he reacts to the accusation of being gay, in MP’s Holy Grail]

    Neo-cons will all try to sell you the PC slogan that “Islam is a religion of peace”. I don’t subscribe to such a-historical, ill informed nonsense. Besides, I don’t believe in US neo-Wilsonian, progressivist peace-mongering and empire, pardon, “nation” building. There you go, two reasons as to why I’m not a neo-con. Oh, and I’d love to see the FED (and all central banking) abolished.

    So that’s three reasons already, and counting..

    But please, feel free to elaborate on your astute observation, sir. Perhaps read
    my comment once again and chew your food a tad bit better before you swallow ;)

    Cheers,
    Richard

  • Anonymous

    Many thanks Tom

    And while we’re at it, let me repeat that non-interventionism should indeed not commit its supporters to any view of Islam.

    That view should be informed by doing one’s own research (i.e. read – for starters – the doctrinal sources of Islam: Koran, Hadith, Sirat). You make it sound as if actual knowledge of Islam’s “struggle for peace” isn’t all that important in a foreign policy context. I think it is vitally important in that field, and even more so with regard to immigration policies enforced by representatives of the managerial state.

    Living in small densely populated countries over here in Western Europe, the people have far more direct experience with Islam exerting its influence than average Americans may have. So I understand why your focus would be on foreign policy issues with regard to Islam. But I don’t like this pro or con neo-con dialectic of false choices re: Islam. Both of the parties involved subscribe to the false politically correct ROP doctrine, at least, that’s my semi-informed gut feeling.

    Where we differ, is in our assessment of the way non-interventionism is sometimes presented by Ron Paul. In my opinion it is quite unfortunate that US interventionism is allowed to come across (in connection to 9/11 for instance) as if it were the sole reason of Islam’s antagonism towards the West. That allows for the implicit view that Islam is not a problem, whereas I’m of the opinion that this established neo-progressive (i.e. neo-con) dogma should be strenuously opposed, based on actual knowledge of Islamic doctrine itself. I’d like to take people who think along these ROP-lines on a little trip through some of the islamized neighbourhoods here in Amsterdam (Theo van Gogh was slaughtered just a few blocks away from where I live) to give them a feel for the real threat to our way of life.

    Kind regs from Amsterdam,
    Richard

  • John

    Wow Greg, you speak of inserting spies and controlling foreign leaders… and you called Richard_Ran a neo-con???? LOL, free trade and exchange of ideas is what will bring peace…but not yet, we need to spy on them and push them around a bit first? We’ve been pushing them around for 60-plus years, so what makes you think that just a little more pushing and controlling will bring about free trade?

  • Greg

    i agree i agree.  but my point is that unless public opinion changes and we can get tariffs abolished and resolve all the crap we caused (many MANY conflicts around the world right now are a direct cause of our interventions) we would be stupid not to at least keep an eye on what is going on right next door to us (europe is only 100 km from libya).  so planting spies is a worth while thing to do.  

    i certainly want to move to free trade and peach but the transition is going to be very bumpy (and we are not even moving in that direction at this moment) so it worth while for us to smooth out the transition and make sure the other nations don’t do anything without us at least knowing about it.  don’t forget that the other governments around the world are spying on us too.

    having good intel and a few options is always good

  • Greg

    i agree i agree.  but my point is that unless public opinion changes and we can get tariffs abolished and resolve all the crap we caused (many MANY conflicts around the world right now are a direct cause of our interventions) we would be stupid not to at least keep an eye on what is going on right next door to us (europe is only 100 km from libya).  so planting spies is a worth while thing to do.  

    i certainly want to move to free trade and peach but the transition is going to be very bumpy (and we are not even moving in that direction at this moment) so it worth while for us to smooth out the transition and make sure the other nations don’t do anything without us at least knowing about it.  don’t forget that the other governments around the world are spying on us too.

    having good intel and a few options is always good

  • Greg

    you are paranoid when it comes to islam.  there is no global islamic conspiracy going on.  if anything there is a american evangelical conspiracy.  Netherlands, France, Germany and Italy are not good places to look at when it comes to learning how to deal with immigrants.  UK is much better.   

    I presume you are american.

  • Anonymous

    First “a neo-con”, now “paranoid about Islam”, says Greg.

    Almost tempted to bounce that one back with: “spoken like a true neo-c..”

    But no, let’s not fall for that. Let’s see what Greg has to add besides these rich observations:

    “I presume you are american”.

    Wrong again Greg. And to think that I made it so easy for you. I’m Dutch, you see: “regs from Amsterdam”?

    So, to recap, I’m a US neo-con who is paranoid about Islam. Can’t wait to hear some more sublime deductions from this UK citizen. Bring it on Dr. Watson ;)

    Kind regs from Amsterdam, Holland (as in Netherlands),
    Richard

    P.s.: oh and Greg, when I write Islam, I am referring to Islamic doctrine, not “immigrants”, capice?

  • Greg

    you are american.  you use anachronistic forms of politeness (use of “Sir” for example).  you do not have to be dutch to live in amsterdam.  

    your paranoia about islam is not warranted.

  • Anonymous

    “you are american.  you use anachronistic forms of politeness”, Greg insists.

    LOL, oh boy, this is actually startin’ to get funny! Well.. kinda.

    Ok Sherlock, see if you can decipher this:

    Prima meneer, als u denkt dat ik een paranoïde Amerikaan ben, woonachtig in Amsterdam, dan moet u dat maar fijn blijven geloven. Komt wel een beetje dom over hoor, maar da’s juist leuk. Meer entertainment graag, meneer.

    Please, don’t be fooled by the linguistic acrobatics many Dutchies are quite adept at.

    Some German perhaps?
    Also gut mensch, versuch’ ich’s mal auf Deutsch, damit Sie mich für ein Berliner halten können..

    Salutions cordiales d’Amsterdam, monsieur Greg,
    Richard

  • RFN

    You lost me at “but the British government is not”.  

  • RFN

    You lost me at “but the British government is not”.  

  • RFN

    So, intervene more, to help reverse our previous interventions?  Why, it’s diabolical in it’s originality.  

  • RFN

    So, intervene more, to help reverse our previous interventions?  Why, it’s diabolical in it’s originality.  

  • RFN

    Um, how is he a neo-con?  He doesn’t wish to dabble in democracy building or nation building?  That’s the neo-con’s thing.  BTW, neo-con and modern (il)liberals are basically the same thing.  

  • RFN

    Um, how is he a neo-con?  He doesn’t wish to dabble in democracy building or nation building?  That’s the neo-con’s thing.  BTW, neo-con and modern (il)liberals are basically the same thing.  

  • RFN

    Well, well said, Richard.  Islam is it’s own worst enemy.  But, you have to understand, there are a lot of Jew haters in the Ron Paul camp.  A lot.  I am certainly not describing Tom Woods or Ron Paul, however.  And since they hate the Jews (them nefarious bankers!), they give plenty of latitude to the poor swarthy people.  It’s very Rousseau, don’t you know.  Half of the people in here, or any other libertarian leaning blog or website, have no clue as to the origins of Islam or of it’s 1,400 years of sanctioned violence against it’s enemies.  Educating that ignorance is of utmost importance.

  • RFN

    Quit slumming, Richard.  It’s beneath you and your inauthentic nationality :)  Let Greg skulk off somewhere and be alone with his pleasant thoughts of an Islamic masseuse named Mohammed.

  • Anonymous

    Point well taken, RFN :)

    From the slums of Amsterdam..

    Take care,
    Richard

  • Mike

    Yeah. Isn’t that kind of like saying that to prevent debt and inflation we must spend even more and print more money?

  • Mike

    Well sadly, some people think “The Jews” are responsible for all evil just like some people think “The Catholic Church” is responsible for all evil. This is why I snicker at conspiracy theorists. Many of them want to blame one people or organization for the creation of all ideologies and evils in history. It’s sheer silliness.

    I know a woman who thought that the Catholic Church created Islam, Mormonism, Communism, Fascism, National Socialism, and has “controlled” the United States from the beginning. There are many more. I’m guessing he’s a Jack Chick follower. His stuff is so paranoid its laughable.

  • Anonymous

    Yes exactly. Or kinda like them managers of the welfare state saying that they’ll handle the problems with multiculturalism* (read: islamization). Problems that the welfare state establishment itself created in the first place.

    Cheers,
    Richard

    * You know, Nick Sarkozy, Frau Merkel and Dave Cameron all solemnly declaring that “multiculturalism has failed”.

  • Anonymous

    “But, you have to understand, there are a lot of Jew haters in the Ron Paul camp.  A lot.”

    I understand RFN. With this in mind, I found it rather troubling to see how Michael Scheuer reacted to an obviously anti-semitic comment by some radio-listener. In fact, he didn’t react to it at all (that for me tarnished any valid point that he might have made).

    Some of the accusations though, are i.m.o. habitually hurled at the Ron Paul camp so easily that I can’t help but think there’s some deal of mud slinging behind it. It is still common practice to brand someone an “anti-semite” for just failing to automatically elevate Israel to a favoured position on the US foreign policy agenda. I wonder how many of these people voiced support for Serbia when it was vilified by the US progressivist lobby, directly responsible for creating an Islamic state within Europe (Bosnia).

    Moreover, while I don’t have the exact numbers – as I imagine you also lack regarding the anti-semites in the RP camp – I could place a pretty safe bet that among his US supporters, there are at least as much people who hate the Catholic Church and “papists”, the way some hate “them Jews”. Me thinks that in the US, anti-Catholicism is about the sole prejudice one can still fairly easily get away with. But of course, that’s only a hunch.

    All the best from Amsterdam my friend,
    Richard

  • Anonymous

    Just to follow up on my previous point..

    What Ron Paul does, in my view not exactly to his credit, is allowing the neo-con progressives (Google: Progressive Party) to pose as fine patriots, acting out their “democratic” fight against terrorists (note that this sanitized MSM description seeks to avoid any reference to Islam), while the general public is given the Foxy impression that they are the ones fighting against Islam (or any one of the fashionable euphemisms, “Islamism”, “radical” Islam, “political” Islam) on behalf of our freedom, which is supremely and doubly misleading, to say the least.

    In my honest opinion, Ron Paul would do better to start by acknowledging that both the history and doctrine of Islam, up ’til today, present us with a serious threat to our way of life, if indeed that way is still based on the desire for actual freedom*.
    With that one out of the way, Ron Paul would be able to make it crystal clear to the public that the neo-con agenda isn’t really about fighting Islam at all, for as we all know by now, it’s about empire.

    After having thus captured the public’s undivided attention for what he really wants to say, he could then proceed to drive home his usual points about non-interventionism, without falling prey to the now defused neo-con booby-trap laid out for him in advance, tempting him to exclusively link 9/11 to US interventionism, and make himself look like some eccentric pacifist, and so make their neo-con day.

    See my point? Just a friendly suggestion.

    Take care,
    Richard

    * because the state-sponsored, soft fascism of the neo-progressive variety is also a choice

  • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

    He sounds like the typical hammer-in-search-of-nails establishment warmonger.  Really, Al Qaida could push the US into bankruptcy?  How can he say that Al Qaida could achieve in a few months what Americans have been working on since Hamilton with a straight face?

  • Greg

    our governments in the past have caused a lot of problems for us today.  we have over reached and got involved in places that we should not have.  to be honest the whole situation in egypt is a direct result of british meddling in 1950s.  a lot of places in central africa are the way they are because of direct french involvement.  we have created threats for ourselves.  whether we like it or not these threats will not simply go away.   

    it remains to be seen how the new north african governments conduct themselves.  there are a lot of weapon systems floating around which can cause a lot of european deaths.  we have to make sure that we track these weapons down and destroy them.  one of the main reasons why are still around in lybia is to make sure that none of the weapons there fall into the hands of IRA or islamist cells in europe. 

    of course i want an foreign policy based on only free trade but the question is how we get to that state of affairs.  we cannot just say “ok we are leaving now, bye”.  we have created far too many orphans and widows and have created a great deal of anger and hostility towards ourselves.  so the best thing to do is to withdraw but at the same time keep a very close eye on what is going on.

    intel is always good.

  • Greg

    MI6 and GCHQ know what they are doing, and they are very good at what they do. 

  • Greg

    you are lumping all muslims into one.  its like me lumping all americans together and thinking of them being KKK.

  • Greg

    und?  ich kann auf deutsch auch sprechen, ohne google translate!!!  deine benutzung von english ist tipisch amerikanisch.  kein niederlander, der ich kenne, sprich auf englisch wie du, und ich kenne viele niederlandern!!! 

    Если ты хочеш, мы можем говорить на русском тоше.

    i don’t speak Dutch.

  • http://www.quranreading.com/ Quran

    Certain time in my life i feel that every state owner, leader, king, queen are same  well they just care about how much money they would get by killing people. by attacking other country, by giving threat to one an other, by other things, commenting or warnings etc. every one is same. they never bother about their people.



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