Without political agenda and related reportage, probably half of Washington, D.C.’s offices would be empty.
What one may have in addition to motives, including patronage from parties that have literally earned the right to pay for influence in no way different from any other political or industrial interest, are the ways and the means.
For the most part, in fact, as much should be expected and welcomed within the framework of debatable ideas and policies.
The democratic open societies prize tough cultural and legislative debates.
However that may be, in addition to tough battles driven by tough questions entertained in open forums, two dimensions in modern life would seem to bear down on Jihad / anti-Jihad tensions:
1) democratic and humanist values and virtues;
2) empirical methods and practices in debate and research.
Out of that intersection may come the observation of “Fair Play” vs “Mafia Tactics” — and fair play, from Pharaoh’s day to this one, is all that all of the the fighting is about from the western values side.
On the other side are myriad sides reflecting both the want of power as well as the lust for power, all of it fractured in expression but all of it also about control, dominance, greed, and sadism: to put the fine point on it, power over others out to the limits of human comprehension and, for those who lose themselves and their humanity in bullying, theft, and mass murder, beyond.
The God Mob, however or wherever it may appear, and from whatever religion it may appear — this is not about Islam only: it’s about what I’m going to call “the humanity of humanity” and the part of it that loses the same or casts it away — needs to be recognized as an established element in some places (“You’re with us, right?” — God forbid one answers the wrong way on that one, for the consequences start with general diminishment, move on to ostracism, and end with death) and as an invasive one in others.
The catch-all signals:
- bribery where the target’s opposed, patronage for the zealot on the right side of the dispensing hand;
- intimidation — like former Egyptian President Morsi’s showing off Mubarak’s torture chambers and then putting them back to use! — that ramps up for the target from intimations to annoyances to threats to violent small crimes to larger ones;
- including murder.
Along the way, one might remind too that as innocuous a thing as flattery never serves the listener although in very small confines and doses the same may keep the peace between boy and girl.
In the Facsimile Bipolar Political Sociopathy psychology that would port clinical narcissism into cultural, political, and social space, the deep manipulation of others in service to the demands for “narcissistic supply” have play. Contempt for others, cynicism, deceptions and lies, malevolent suggestions, “gaslighting” all become part of the repertoire in behavior and method within and around the narcissist’s sphere of power. To cover with a scrim of feigned concern, trustworthy generic comments on many things might work, for a malignant narcissist is not genuinely “in it with the people” or concerned with the constituents but with their own image and associated power.
More genuinely operating may be the “behind the curtains” machinations to arrange things.
That is the land of winks and nods, of under-the-table deals, of the word or two that changes slightly, deviously, a cultural or political landscape.
The world of pleasant surfaces and pleasing reflections belying another of backroom agreements with convoluted and obscured traces is not a good world.
Some among the paranoid would find their way to discovering that world in the most open and transparent of environments, and theirs is another lot, but even the most well grounded of souls might be brought to an abyss where surface separates from underlying forces and some things terribly wrong become visible while leaving much yet to the imagination.
CAIR’s public mission is legitimate, and in public it will win some points within American jurisprudence and policy making and lose some too.
What seems to concern the anti-Jihad and so-called “Islamophobe” community, and will for some time to come, is the assembly of private missions and motivational drivers, many of which would seem at least mysterious, nefarious, or seditious in intents, and it is that part that calls for the slow peeling of the layers of the onion.
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