Monday, July 4, 2011


Whatta lovely July 4th weekend. The Anti-Jihad blogosphere has been at daggers drawn about a who-said-what-when debate, based on the need/lack of need to purge the English Defence League of anti-Jewish elements...Like the gigantic bulk of those elements aren't already happily working for/with the jihad already.

If anyone should care, I had a clear idea early on who was more sinned against than sinning in this recent unpleasantness, but felt the difference was relatively petty, and therefore neccessitated no real comment. I did put up identical cautionary posts on both AtlasShrugs and GatesofVienna, but they were ignored, in spite of my excellent advice:

A useful, please pardon my French, French expression, which has never got a lot of support in the blogosphere:
"Words are silver, but silence is gold."

Another, this one from Oliver Cromwell: "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken."

Another, from Boston pol Martin Lomasney: "Never write if you can speak. Never speak if you can nod. Never nod if you can wink."

What is not said need not be explained, or explained away.

Also: Today's burning news is tomorrow's fishwrap.

Remember that one beautiful, cardinal word, my CounterJihad comrades, one single, precious word: Solidarnosc.

A little while later, a correspondent whom I'll call the Atlas Mega Fan (AMF) emailed me to urge me to support her. I think my responses to AMF, with appropriately redacted portions for AMF, will give a fairly good idea of my perspective:

AMF, I can do no better than Henrik Clausen at EuropeNews:
In recent days, the situation in the EDL has drawn a bit of commotion in the blogosphere. The latter of these articles is woefully uninformed, as the concerns raised there have been addressed a year ago, including on this video The John Snowy Shaw Show. Some of these articles are superficial, some are an avalanche of details of questionable relevance. One can pore over these for hours, trying to figure out who did Right and who did Wrong. But quite honestly:
Why waste your time nit-picking when the house is on fire? For as Reagan is often quoted for:
The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally — not a 20 percent traitor.
The bottom line: The English Defence League is the most broadest and most effective anti-Jihad and anti-Sharia movement on this side of the Atlantic Ocean. It has achieved much in a mere two years, and continues to operate in spite of government harassment and systematic slander from the establishment. The EDL deserves emulation – the highest form of flattery - not vilification.

As bad as it is here, in Europa the house truly is on fire. We need to be very careful with our criticisms so as to not give aid & comfort to the enemies.

Then, a little while later:

AMF, last night a poster wrote about "sand niggers" on Pam's blog--I called him on it. It is still there today.

Does that mean Pam condones it? No, nor does it mean AS2K is racist. The Net is an incredibly fluid, uncontrolled place, esp in the big, active sites.

I think both sites over-reacted, and Pam over-reacted without adequate evidence. GoV over-reacted by going public, in a confrontational way. Oh, well, Pam will get over it, she's a big girl with a big site.

I don't have time nor inclination to get outraged over such nits, indeed like firefighters screaming at each other over who overcooked the casserole while the house is burning down. It boggles my mind to see such time/energy put into it.

AMF: "then, call for a cessation of hostilities."

I thought I VERY clearly did that, from Day 1.

AMF:"... without adequate evidence ... ." [Edited riposte referring to T. Robinson's confirmation of problems in the EDL]

I think her concerns could & shd have been made much less counterproductively than they were by publishing this:

"Now that the person whom I most trusted in the EDL, Roberta Moore, has resigned, as she was increasingly uncomfortable with the neo-fascists that had infiltrated the administration of the group, I too am withdrawing my support from the EDL. I hope that genuine anti-jihadists in Britain will also leave the EDL and work with Roberta on starting a new group that will resist definitively and firmly all attempts to divert it from its mission of fighting against jihad and for human rights."

AMF: "Pam thought the situation amenable, capable of being rectified, so, she addressed the issue. Tommy Robinson replied, substantiating her concerns."

Again, a grossly counterproductive way of "addressing the issue." How hard wd a private inquiring email to TR have been? As it is, her friends at LGF (and more important media) have a lovely idiotic set of statements to throw at anyone who cares to defend the EDL in the future.

Pam has a tendency to shoot from the lip, as they said about Reagan, she even publicly accused me of denying the Armenian genocide [!!]. Nobody's perfect. But because she has such a large, influential blog, I think she needs to think twice, nay, thrice before calling on people to abandon one of the few active CJ orgs across the pond. Ned May didn't make her do that.

[end correspondence]

I'd like to elaborate a bit here on my critique of GoV and the petition. First, there is absolutely no doubt they had ample cause for such a response--Pam's knee-jerk call for good people to leave the EDL was off-the-charts irresponsible. But anyone who seeks to actually come to an acceptable accommodation with a woman with a strong personality surely knows that the LAST way to get that result is to "INSIST on an APOLOGY." It doesn't matter whether an apology was merited or reasonable--women with strong personalities just do not function that way, even the more so when they are clearly in the wrong! (As Pamela Geller was in this case.) I can hardly imagine that the petitioners were innocently unaware of that apology poison-pill. And surely Pam's strong support of the European resistance over the years was worth a little forebearance--she should have been given the benefit of the doubt. Wouldn't "a prompt correction" have sufficed?

This little bottom-feeding blog has been overwhelmingly supportive of Pamela Geller since 2007--in fact, I wrote what was probably the single most complimentary serious analysis ever of her efforts here. But on those rare occasions when I disagreed with her (for example, I've defended Zuhdi Jasser, and Rifka Bary's attorneys, when Pam attacked them), she indeed resorted to ad hominem attacks that were unworthy of her and her talent. She did the same thing to GoV last year. And now look at the comments she is making about people like Fjordman, Tundra Tabloids, Diana West, and the eeeeeevil Baron at GoV:
**the motives of the people in question are so nefarious...
**the Machiavellian plotter behind this attack on me...
**He has posted scurrilous attacks on me and Robert Spencer...
**Perhaps because he has accomplished little, he seeks to attain some sort of notoriety by destroying elements of the counterjihad movement that are more effective than he is...
**Gates of Vienna has become a home for many anti-Semitic rants that are deeply disturbing; not only are these sanctioned by the proprietors, but they’ve added to the chorus...
**Now the “Baron” is urging other bloggers to join him in this campaign of destruction...
**Why would they knowingly propagate falsehoods? What’s their real agenda?...
**are being strong-armed into signing this statement...
**these bloggers are sanctioning this vile racism...
**the signers of this Open Letter are trying to destroy those of us who seek to maintain the proper focus of our mission and the EDL’s mission, which is fighting for freedom...
**the blogwar against Atlas that is being waged by vultures with an altogether nefarious agenda...
**these bottomfeeders just bang keyboards and jockey for position on the bottom of the food chain...
**This campaign to gang up on Geller by small "counter-jihadists" trying to make a name for themselves clearly is motivated by something enitrely different. Something very ugly and transparent...
**I am not sure who he is working for or why, but it's not kosher...

Good grief. This is an unfortunate and self-limiting habit, and she would do well to refrain from it in the future, at least when she is arguing with people who are fighting the counterjihad fight with the sincerity, if not the effect, she has.

Diana West came out with a great book a few years ago, "The Death of the Grown Up." I gotta say, the internet is conducive to certain habits of writing and thinking that effectively overrun or obliterate sober and mature discussion. Oh, well, if we truly seek to move beyond a marginal effectiveness based only in cyberspace, we need to clearly remember to behave, both online and off, like grown-ups.

And NEVER--EVER--forget that one beautiful, precious word we all learned from Lech Walesa: solidarnosc.


Dymphna said...

Indeed. Silence is golden. You're right.

Only thing is, our friends are priceless. So keep the gold, silence and all.

The Europeans wrote that letter as a group effort because they were concerned about the continued existence of the EDL.

This is deja vu...LGF-like replays. I remember when he bashed the Sweden Democrats and Vlaams Belang. At the time they only two 'righist' political parties in Europe. Bashing on the EDL is no different.

Now SD is in Sweden's Parliament, in the person of the fellow who asked Charles to look at their record. A Swedish Jew, btw. One of life's litle ironies.

And VB still continues on, despite the cordon sanitaire set up by other political parties in Belgium. The Orthodox Jews in Antwerp know who their friends are, though. And when an Israeli delegation came to Parliament, which was the ONLY poliitcal party to welcome them? The others left in a huff.

VB delegates have been made welcome in Israel...Paul Belien, lately of Brussels Journal, is married to a VB parliamentarian.

The shadow of Jewish genocide still hangs over Europe. Ppl on this side of the Atlantic take adavantage of that to demonize groups they don't understand. I can still remember "Dr. Sanity" asking if Europe was a country...

Pamela Geller plays hardball; from here she appears to see the world as a zero-sum game and its wonders as though they're scarce materials that one needs to keep a tight grip on. Wish someone could calm her down & convince her there's plenty for everyone. Really. There is.

The Europeans were right to compose that letter. We were right to post it. The EDL was under attack -- in the same manner as LGF went after the Sweden Democrats. We fought back with the truth and no doubt we will again.

What's she gonna do? Delink us? Call us names? Make spurious claims? Stop sending us money? Or...maybe not send us an invite to join her Anti-Jihad Flotilla sailing from NY on September 11?

Freedom's just another word...

Jewish Odysseus said...

Come on now, Dymphna, how can you possibly respond to this little BFB (bottom-feeding blog) when you and your husbandly partner-in-crime are constantly spinning massive transAtlantic net-spiracies against all that is good and decent? Where do you find the time? Do you guys write simultaneously with both hands, as Walter Williams likes to say about Thomas Sowell? Or have you graduated from some time-management course for nefarious Machiavellis with dubious agendae?!

Seriously, I wd have gladly signed the petition if it had only avoided the "apology" issue. I think Pam has done too much good work for the CJ in Europe not to have earned at least that much restraint. Not every mistake deserves the harshest penalty. And she needs to go a loooooong way down before she'lll be in Charles Johnson's class, come on!

As for your comment about zero-sum game, I was sooo close to charging that, but I have also seen her give generous praise and support to other blogs that "compete for market share"...So I don't think that really explains it.

I think the poster Westward Ho! really had some good insights at GoV.

BTW, as of today GoV is the first blog on my blogroll--I never had one before! [didn't understand it when I started in 2006]. I have great respect and admiration for the work you & the Baron do, tho some of the posters there just need a good clout on the ear. (I didn't like Charles Murray back in the 90s, either.)

Hesperado said...

Jewish Odysseus,

Just wanted to say at the outset, I like your style of argumentation and rhetoric.

More specifically, If you intend to be including in your argument an appeal for all potentially disagreeing individuals within the anti-Islam movement to refrain from disagreement as a general principle, on the basis that any kind of disagreement can undermine solidarity, I must respectfully and strenuously... disagree.

Most people who eschew disagreement as a general principle (rather than on a case-by-case basis) I find have a simplistic monolithic view of disagreement. They seem to think it must always be bad, and cannot ever be good or constructive (at least, they consistently seem to recoil from it in aversion every time it comes up in a substantial way).

I think, however, that there are two kinds of disagreement: healthy and unhealthy. There's no need to run to the hills or shrink timidly back into a hole of a show of anxiously maintained unanimity any time disagreement, or circumstances that portend it, pop up.

If disagreement is pursued in a healthy manner, there's no need to squelch it or sweep it under the rug, for fear that it might morph into some dangerously divisive force. Since disagreement is inevitable (as Dymphna has rightly said more than once), and if there is a form of doing it that is healthy and mature, then we have no choice, sometimes (not necessarily any and every time), but to "let it all hang out" -- and in doing so, try to do that in a healthy and mature way.

This particular case (the Pam Geller-EDL Affair) I believe warrants the expression of disagreement out in the open sunshine and breezy air of open discussion. If Westerners are that frail, that they cannot sustain healthy, yet vigorous, disagreement when it's called for, then I'm not sure they'll be up for the broader more daunting task of fighting Islam in the decades ahead.

Jewish Odysseus said...

"More specifically, If you intend to be including in your argument an appeal for all potentially disagreeing individuals within the anti-Islam movement to refrain from disagreement as a general principle, on the basis that any kind of disagreement can undermine solidarity, I must respectfully and strenuously... disagree."

Ohhh, noooooo, HELL no! I think you put your finger on part of my point, that some disagreements are healthy and NECESSARY, some are petty and meaningless, even counter-productive. But I think both sides here have lost sight of their legitimate concern:
1--For PG, it was to ascertain for herself that the EDL was not compromised by people she finds intolerable. But she truly jumped the gun, when all she had to do was send an e-mail or 2 to T Robinson, privately, and NONE of this silliness (and some measurable, if limited, damage to the EDL) wd ever have happened.
2--For GoV, it was to minimize the damage to the EDL. I don't know if the pubic petition right off the bat was the right way to go, but it was certainly reasonable. But I don't see the need to INSIST on an APOLOGY, as opposed to a correction/retraction, do you? And who (outside the true slimeballs in the LSM) makes a retraction without an apology, anyway? The two go together naturally, organically. So I think the petition, by adding a "poison-pill," needlessly shifted the focus and prolonged a wasteful debate. And notice that she, in effect, DID retract her charge against the EDL...but no apology.

I just think PG's years of strong support for the CJ in Europe earned her a little less harsh response. Tho I agree that she has been grossly harsh to others she has disagreed with...but that's on her, and we know better. Or we should.

As you can see in my post, I HAVE disagreed w/her on several occasions, so of course I do NOT believe in papering over principled differences. But I think there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it, and I always try to do it the right way.

Dymphna said...

My responses are random...My post of the day was a big, fat FAIL so I've mostly wandered, answering emails, cleaning the bathroom... And then yours came in and I opened the link...and here I am...or was and am again.

Hesperado?! You're everywhere! OMG. This is a plot.

As for our blog,it's not all that big. Ask around. In fact, I'm not sure, let me check-- I never open the stats...

and I shouldn't have. Our moving average dropped from ~7K to around 6K in the last month.

I think it's the swollen comment threads. That's a big drop, no??

But i quit paying attention that time when Pamela got other bloggers to delink us...I decided the #s weren't the point if someone was wiling to play those games.

Our responsibilty is to our community of workers first: the donors of their time, skills, and financial resources. Our essayists, our translators, our transcribers, our video people.

We tithe our donations to our video person, another of PG's victims. But he does great work and he's quick for being self-taught. We rely on his skills. He didn't deserve the cuts.

BTW, an old friend emailed in dismay just now re the comment threads...she declined to jump in such a crowded pool. But I grabbed her signature line to pass along to you:

"Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act."
-----Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Maybe I can incorporate that into my post (one mostly on James Lewis' essay about Obama's Final Solution for America and Israel)Or maybe I'll start something new & go back to that one later. I've been thinking about the mental/emotional "space" an adult must create in order to 'contain' the distress generated by conflict. If we can learn that, then we're grown ups. If we go off the deep end, name-calling and throwing stuff, then we have some work left to do...

So. I don't know if 6K daily is "good" but it's our current visit rate, more or less. IIRC correctly, page views are about double or a little higher. And within a fortnight we'll reach 10 million total.

Do I want more traffic? Not if it brings in more comments. However, imho, traffic is dropping *because* of comments run amok.

Hesperado said...

Jewish Odysseus,

"I don't see the need to INSIST on an APOLOGY, as opposed to a correction/retraction, do you? ...
So I think the petition, by adding a "poison-pill," needlessly shifted the focus and prolonged a wasteful debate."

1. I agree that the initial salvo could have been more gingerly.

Or it could have been ruthlessly parsimonious and economical -- example:

Open Letter to Pam Geller

Recently you wrote this:

[Quote the relevant parts]

We the undersigned respectfully, and urgently, ask you please to provide evidence for the following assertions you made:

- [quote assertion from above relevant parts]

- [quote assertion from above relevant parts]

- etc.

We await your response,

Yours sincerely,

(In addition, a more forceful follow-up letter would have been drafted (but not yet published), only to be published in the event that Geller would have let too much time go by without a response; or with only an inadequate response.)

2. "And who (outside the true slimeballs in the LSM) makes a retraction without an apology, anyway?"

After what I've seen over the years, I am confident that both Geller and Spencer are easily up to the task.

"The two go together naturally, organically."

But sophistry can squirm out of that easily enough -- as long as its purveyors get away with it.

3. While I agree that the way the Open Letter was worded was likely a "poison pill", I don't agree that the ensuing debate has been "needless" or "wasteful". That's where we disagree. I think largely one side of the debate has been conducting healthy disagreement, and that's good enough to make it a worthwhile debate -- as long as the issue or issues clarified by that healthy disagreement are important.

And in this case, they involve

a) the conduct of quasi-leaders of the Anti-Islam Movement, which is an important issue to be aired out in the open, in my estimation;


b) they serve to hold the fire to the feet of Geller, and not permit her to get away with trying to undo, or airbrush out of existence, her initial egregious act.

Jewish Odysseus said...

Hesperado, good points, thank you.