Recently that orange media-circus Donald Trump was used as a propaganda piece in an Al-Shabaab recruitment video, and as is protocol with anything Trump, this was all the left-wing media needed to vilify him some more. Hilary Clinton went so far as to call Trump “ISIS’s best recruiter”. The implication is that his remarks—and according to Obama, any criticism of Islam in general—is recruitment propaganda for ISIS. Oh, and also fascist.
But as is visible to anyone with a pair of ears and a set of eyes, the recruitment video was echoing the exact same rhetoric and sentiments of the left-wing media and its credulous parrots. Yes; according to both Al-Shabaab and the left-wing media (within which I would also place social media), Trump is some fascist monster akin to Hitler who is destined to enslave Muslims, toss them into concentration camps, and undoubtedly commit future holocausts. Of course, none of this has yet happened, and nothing shows that it might, but we can vilify him for thinking and saying some certain things which we would deem thought and speech crimes. And even though he explicitly expressed the exact reasons for wanting to halt Muslim immigration—to figure out what was going on, a declaration of ignorance and stupidity on his part (all the more reason not to vote for him)—many attributed his remarks to some specious form of bigotry or racism that would surely lead to atrocity if carried out. Besides refuting him we should ruin him. It makes for good entertainment. None of this according to any facts, mind you, but according to consumer demand.
It is no strange wonder that Al-Shabaab expresses the exact same rhetoric as the posts I just described. Though Trump was ridiculed by the left as having his face and soundbites shown in the video (apparently as the “poster boy for Al-Shabaab” as the DailyMail put it), his face and soundbites were used in the exact same manner as the left-wing media has always used them. Now if the propaganda put forth by the left-wing media happens to be nearly identical to the arguments of Al-Shabaab, I might have to question who ISIS’s best recruiter really is.
The American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who makes a posthumous appearance in the video, describes along with another Islamist the coming Muslim holocaust with emphasis on America’s history of race relations, the plight of blacks and minorities in that country. He is right in regards to the history of atrocity, of course, but about the present he was silent. How far the West in general has come, especially to minorities, is unprecedented in the history of the universe. Hate crime is rare, and for the most part, results in no more than simple vandalism. And despite the fact that according to law and principle American minorities are considered in the exact same manner as American majorities—as fellow citizens and comrades, something Al-Shabaab could never say about itself—western Muslims and blacks will undoubtedly face persecution and concentration camps at the hands of white Christian and western powers hell-bent on religious persecution. Sound familiar?
I wonder where Al-Shabaab and al-Awlaki get the ideas for their propaganda from. How do they even know who Trump is? Why would they care about America’s immigration and demagogues, when countries like the Gulf states have not lifted one finger to their theological brethren in search of asylum. Maybe these scholars have read up on their world history, studying the legacy of western society and its core values, which, though not without its own treachery, seems to be a little more inclined to notice and correct it. Or, as is more likely, they too use Twitter and gorge on Salon articles, or in the case of Anwar al-Awlaki, get a good progressive education. Either way, it must be encouraging to Al-Shabaab that many western intellectuals, progressives and talking-heads, agree with them on nearly every point, and indeed, tend to point out the same unsubstantiated irrational fears in order to bolster their political agenda towards their own recruitment and conversions.
The truth is what matters, is it not? And this is why it is Orwellian. Orwell wrote about something reminiscent to the sort of propaganda we see today:
“I suppose it would be agreed that Nazi Germany represented reaction in its worst form, or one of its worst. Well, the people in this country who gave most ammunition to the Nazi propagandists during the war are exactly the ones who tell us that it is “objectively” pro-Fascist to criticise the U.S.S.R. I am not referring to the Communists during their anti-war phase: I am referring to the Left as a whole. By and large, the Nazi radio got more material from the British Left-wing press than from that of the Right. And it could hardly be otherwise, for it is chiefly in the Left-wing press that serious criticism of British institutions is to be found. Every revelation about slums or social inequality, every attack on the leaders of the Tory party, every denunciation of British imperialism, was a gift for Goebbels. And not necessarily a worthless gift, for German propaganda about “British plutocracy” had considerable effect in neutral countries, especially in the earlier part of the war.”
– Through a Glass, Rosily (1945)
For some reason it is wrong to criticize Islam and the Muslims who kill and die for it. Apparently by doing so we give them what they want, which according to Obama, is the romantic notion and propaganda tool of a West vs. Islam slugfest. Given the current influx of diverse Muslim peoples into western countries, welcomed into accommodating nd open arms, an argument could be made for the exact opposite. He is quite right. But to go further and deny the theological legitimacy of this species of violence is suspect. With this comes the implication that it is impossible that one would strap bombs to his body because he was promised paradise. It is impossible that Islam has anything to do with the treatment of homosexuals in countries under Sharia law. And even though Islam is the only thing connecting Al-Shabaab, Al Queda, ISIS, the Paris attackers, the 9/11 attackers, the 7/7 attackers, and the folks who throw women into holes and stone them with rocks for being raped, it is impossible that we should criticize them—for it only makes it worse.
“Whenever A and B are in opposition to one another, anyone who attacks or criticises A is accused of aiding and abetting B. And it is often true, objectively and on a short-term analysis, that he is making things easier for B. Therefore, say the supporters of A, shut up and don’t criticise: or at least criticise “constructively,” which in practice always means favourably. And from this it is only a short step to arguing that the suppression and distortion of known facts is the highest duty of a journalist.”
“The whole argument that one mustn’t speak plainly because it “plays into the hands of” this or that sinister influence is dishonest, in the sense that people only use it when it suits them. As I have pointed out, those who are most concerned about playing into the hands of the Tories were least concerned about playing into the hands of the Nazis. The Catholics who said, “Don’t offend Franco because it helps Hitler” had been more or less consciously helping Hitler for years beforehand. Beneath this argument there always lies the intention to do propaganda for some single sectional interest, and to browbeat critics into silence by telling them that they are “objectively” reactionary. It is a tempting manoeuvre, and I have used it myself more than once, but it is dishonest. I think one is less likely to use it if one remembers that the advantages of a lie are always short-lived. So often it seems a positive duty to suppress or colour the facts! And yet genuine progress can only happen through increasing enlightenment, which means the continuous destruction of myths.”
– Through a Glass, Rosily (1945)
Yes; criticize Islam, and be labelled racist and a bigot. Even reformers such as former Muslim Ayan Hirsi-ali, who has a growing list of fatwas against her by “unscrupulous opponents”, have been refused platforms to speak in leftist arenas due to so-called racism and bigotry, a charge that would never pass in anything but a social-media inspired leftist kangaroo court. Even muslim reformers have even been called Islamophobic, that insidious neologism used to reduce criticism of Islam to a pathology. (Think about that for a moment—Islamic Islamophobes). Anyways, dare criticize Islam, and worse, dare be proud of the west and western values, you get thrown into groups with Hitler, Nazis, extremists, and with white supremacists, because really that’s all we’re good for.
Orwell again spoke of this tendency to attempt to silence critics on the same article, predicting the state of political correctness, predicting truth as a micro-aggression in our times by about 70 years, and knowing this, it might do it best to consider his writings further.
“There are always the most excellent, high-minded reasons for concealing the truth, and these reasons are brought forward in almost the same words by supporters of the most diverse causes. I have had writings of my own kept out of print because it was feared that the Russians would not like them, and I have had others kept out of print because they attacked British imperialism and might be quoted by anti-British Americans. We are told now that any frank criticism of the Stalin regime will “increase Russian suspicions,” but it is only seven years since we were being told (in some cases by the same newspapers) that frank criticism of the Nazi regime would increase Hitler’s suspicions. As late as 1941, some of the Catholic papers declared that the presence of Labour Ministers in the British Government increased Franco’s suspicions and made him incline more towards the Axis. Looking back, it is possible to see that if only the British and American peoples had grasped in 1933 or thereabouts what Hitler stood for, war might have been averted. Similarly, the first step towards decent Anglo-Russian relations is the dropping of illusions. In principle most people would agree to this: but the dropping of illusions means the publication of facts, and facts are apt to be unpleasant.”
– Through a Glass, Rosily (1945)
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