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Old 02-03-2009, 11:30 AM   #1
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My How We Progressed- 7 Yr Anniversary

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Daniel Pearl and the Normalization of Evil
When will our luminaries stop making excuses for terror?Article
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By JUDEA PEARL
This week marks the seventh anniversary of the murder of our son, former Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. My wife Ruth and I wonder: Would Danny have believed that today's world emerged after his tragedy?


Reuters/Corbis
Jimmy Carter.
The answer does not come easily. Danny was an optimist, a true believer in the goodness of mankind. Yet he was also a realist, and would not let idealism bend the harshness of facts.

Neither he, nor the millions who were shocked by his murder, could have possibly predicted that seven years later his abductor, Omar Saeed Sheikh, according to several South Asian reports, would be planning terror acts from the safety of a Pakistani jail. Or that his murderer, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, now in Guantanamo, would proudly boast of his murder in a military tribunal in March 2007 to the cheers of sympathetic jihadi supporters. Or that this ideology of barbarism would be celebrated in European and American universities, fueling rally after rally for Hamas, Hezbollah and other heroes of "the resistance." Or that another kidnapped young man, Israeli Gilad Shalit, would spend his 950th day of captivity with no Red Cross visitation while world leaders seriously debate whether his kidnappers deserve international recognition.

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No. Those around the world who mourned for Danny in 2002 genuinely hoped that Danny's murder would be a turning point in the history of man's inhumanity to man, and that the targeting of innocents to transmit political messages would quickly become, like slavery and human sacrifice, an embarrassing relic of a bygone era.

But somehow, barbarism, often cloaked in the language of "resistance," has gained acceptance in the most elite circles of our society. The words "war on terror" cannot be uttered today without fear of offense. Civilized society, so it seems, is so numbed by violence that it has lost its gift to be disgusted by evil.

I believe it all started with well-meaning analysts, who in their zeal to find creative solutions to terror decided that terror is not a real enemy, but a tactic. Thus the basic engine that propels acts of terrorism -- the ideological license to elevate one's grievances above the norms of civilized society -- was wished away in favor of seemingly more manageable "tactical" considerations.

This mentality of surrender then worked its way through politicians like the former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone. In July 2005 he told Sky News that suicide bombing is almost man's second nature. "In an unfair balance, that's what people use," explained Mr. Livingstone.

But the clearest endorsement of terror as a legitimate instrument of political bargaining came from former President Jimmy Carter. In his book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," Mr. Carter appeals to the sponsors of suicide bombing. "It is imperative that the general Arab community and all significant Palestinian groups make it clear that they will end the suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism when international laws and the ultimate goals of the Road-map for Peace are accepted by Israel." Acts of terror, according to Mr. Carter, are no longer taboo, but effective tools for terrorists to address perceived injustices.



Mr. Carter's logic has become the dominant paradigm in rationalizing terror. When asked what Israel should do to stop Hamas's rockets aimed at innocent civilians, the Syrian first lady, Asma Al-Assad, did not hesitate for a moment in her response: "They should end the occupation." In other words, terror must earn a dividend before it is stopped.

The media have played a major role in handing terrorism this victory of acceptability. Qatari-based Al Jazeera television, for example, is still providing Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi hours of free air time each week to spew his hateful interpretation of the Koran, authorize suicide bombing, and call for jihad against Jews and Americans.

Then came the August 2008 birthday of Samir Kuntar, the unrepentant killer who, in 1979, smashed the head of a four-year-old Israeli girl with his rifle after killing her father before her eyes. Al Jazeera elevated Kuntar to heroic heights with orchestras, fireworks and sword dances, presenting him to 50 million viewers as Arab society's role model. No mainstream Western media outlet dared to expose Al Jazeera efforts to warp its young viewers into the likes of Kuntar. Al Jazeera's management continues to receive royal treatment in all major press clubs.

Some American pundits and TV anchors didn't seem much different from Al Jazeera in their analysis of the recent war in Gaza. Bill Moyers was quick to lend Hamas legitimacy as a "resistance" movement, together with honorary membership in PBS's imaginary "cycle of violence." In his Jan. 9 TV show, Mr. Moyers explained to his viewers that "each [side] greases the cycle of violence, as one man's terrorism becomes another's resistance to oppression." He then stated -- without blushing -- that for readers of the Hebrew Bible "God-soaked violence became genetically coded." The "cycle of violence" platitude allows analysts to empower terror with the guise of reciprocity, and, amazingly, indict terror's victims for violence as immutable as DNA.


– Robert C. PozenWhen we ask ourselves what it is about the American psyche that enables genocidal organizations like Hamas -- the charter of which would offend every neuron in our brains -- to become tolerated in public discourse, we should take a hard look at our universities and the way they are currently being manipulated by terrorist sympathizers.

At my own university, UCLA, a symposium last week on human rights turned into a Hamas recruitment rally by a clever academic gimmick. The director of the Center for Near East Studies carefully selected only Israel bashers for the panel, each of whom concluded that the Jewish state is the greatest criminal in human history.

The primary purpose of the event was evident the morning after, when unsuspecting, uninvolved students read an article in the campus newspaper titled, "Scholars say: Israel is in violation of human rights in Gaza," to which the good name of the University of California was attached. This is where Hamas scored its main triumph -- another inch of academic respectability, another inroad into Western minds.
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Danny's picture is hanging just in front of me, his warm smile as reassuring as ever. But I find it hard to look him straight in the eyes and say: You did not die in vain.

Mr. Pearl, a professor of computer science at UCLA, is president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation, founded in memory of his son to promote cross-cultural understanding.
Thank you Jimmy Carter and other Sympathisers..You Go!

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Old 02-03-2009, 12:57 PM   #2
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diamond, does this situation remind you at all of a certain book that I had you read, but, I believe, you disliked? Because, I'd say, it deals with this very subject about the state of American higher education, and with a good level of detail and some nuance that I think this article lacks.
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Old 02-03-2009, 12:59 PM   #3
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Yeah, I guess Danny's dad -an educated professor is an imbecile.

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Old 02-03-2009, 01:12 PM   #4
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Yeah, I guess Danny's dad -an educated professor is an imbecile.
Did I say that? No.

Actually, my point was that this article and that book are generally in agreement, I'd say. That's why it's all the more interesting that you disliked it. My main point of contention is that this article is heavier on emotion, which I dislike, rather than the high level of erudition in the book.
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Old 02-03-2009, 01:22 PM   #5
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Did I say that? No.

My main point of contention is that this article is heavier on emotion, which I dislike, rather than the high level of erudition in the book.
Well, errrr...maybe there should be some leniency for emotion in the article, after all it was his son that had his head chopped off.

or should we intellectualize that away too?

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Old 02-03-2009, 01:36 PM   #6
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diamond, does this situation remind you at all of a certain book that I had you read, but, I believe, you disliked?
I think this article lacks.
Melvis-

I suspect the *only* reason you were enthralled with Allan Bloom's book is because he was Gay.

It blew your mind when I agreed to read this 400 page vacuous oddessy of the author's worshipping of anogtisic and athetist great thinkers.

I also suspect you would have never picked up the book if it were my an ordinary Straight conservative such as WH Buckley or Clarence Thomas-but hey the guy was Gay so you gravitated towards it.

That said you also welched on our agreement and never read the book that I recommended.

Please advise.

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Old 02-03-2009, 02:48 PM   #7
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I knew it was a mistake to enter this thread. Unless someone enters your threads in 100% agreement with you (isn't it funny that we're mostly in agreement about the article in the thread?), you are incapable of anything except ad hominem attacks. I have no time for this, so consider this my last response here. To any future readers who wish to respond to a diamond thread, all I can say here is caveat lector.

For the record, considering the state of the Western world, I work long hours and don't have time to read books. Period. Bloom's book was the last thing I've read. And it's funny that you invoke Buckley, considering that this anti-intellectual, hysterical strain of conservatism that you ascribe to would have driven him mad.

See ya.
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Old 02-03-2009, 02:59 PM   #8
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You'll be back and don't forget-Buckley and I broke bread together many times:metaphorically.

My advise to you can be found here:

Matt 11:15

15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.


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Old 02-03-2009, 04:49 PM   #9
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You know diamond, the patronizing tone really isn't necessary.
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diamond View Post
I suspect the *only* reason you were enthralled with Allan Bloom's book is because he was Gay.
...........
I also suspect you would have never picked up the book if it were my an ordinary Straight conservative such as WH Buckley or Clarence Thomas-but hey the guy was Gay so you gravitated towards it.
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My advise to you can be found here:

Matt 11:15

15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Honestly, diamond, your miserly disregard for empathy makes your posts painful to read at times, and this is one of them. I'm not saying that to scold or be confrontational, I genuinely find it painful to read this kind of petty callousness. You are addressing a human being, not a talking point.

I'm not much of a fan of Bloom, nor am I particularly knowledgeable about 20th century conservative thought, but I don't think you understood him very well if you took him to be some sort of intellectual soulmate of Buckley save for his sexuality and his philosophical atheism. Bloom was deeply distrustful of capitalism and liberal democracy, which he felt tended to pervert the classic civic virtues into a self-interested materialism, and he was also deeply skeptical of the influence of social institutions like church and family, whose commitment to reinforcing traditionalism he saw as a potential threat to the greater quest for truth and virtue. Neither was true of Buckley, let alone Clarence Thomas. To me it makes perfect sense that someone with melon's frequently expressed skepticism towards postmodernism and relativism would find much to like in Bloom, while simultaneously regarding Buckley and his ilk warily, much as Bloom would have.

I don't really have much to say about Judea Pearl's article. It is an excellent characterization of terrorism, "the ideological license to elevate one's grievances above the norms of civilized society." But it is regrettable that he declines to consider how the often essentializing and reductionist ideological rhetoric underpinning the "war on terror" itself contributes to making its own moral cause too easy to dismiss. "Terrorist" too often functions as a facile way of dehumanizing and dismissing fateful collective humiliations and, worse, of denying one's own accountability for upholding a greater moral standard in responding to said collective situation.
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:04 PM   #11
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[QUOTE]
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Originally Posted by yolland View Post
Honestly, diamond, your miserly disregard for empathy makes your posts painful to read at times,



I don't really have much to say about Judea Pearl's article. It is an excellent characterization of terrorism, "the ideological license to elevate one's grievances above the norms of civilized society."
QUOTE]
My intention was to keep the conversation on Judea and his son, not seguing into a book that I read.

That Melon claimed the article lacked in some areas of nuance, I didn't agree-therefore my address to Melon was meant to be satarical in nature only.

Be not dismayed, rocket scientists, brain surgeons and sages are usually the only ones who pick up on the hidden meaning of my posts.


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Old 02-03-2009, 06:17 PM   #12
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That Melon claimed the article lacked in some areas of nuance, I didn't agree-therefore my address to Melon was meant to be satarical in nature only.
Not buying it. melon didn't resort to "satarically" deriding you to make his point about the article, and there's no legitimate cause for your doing so either.
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:26 PM   #13
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The scripture quote was satarical, the other was not.

Melon and I have PM eachother a few times about certain matters therefore I felt comfortable in addressing him the way I did.

My point is-it may look like it was "out of no where" but it wasn't.

It was me attempting to dominate a converstion and I came across as obtuse-based on those posts taken on the surface value only-my bad.

I will think how a post may look publicly in the future-before I actually post it.


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Old 02-04-2009, 12:51 AM   #14
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Satirical.
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Old 02-04-2009, 08:12 AM   #15
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Anyway, having watched the HBO special on Daniel Pearl recently propmpted me to post this article.

I don't think Judea Pearls' grief should be minimized in anyway, which rose my ire earlier in the thread.

I'm also waiting for the Jolie movie to come to me via Net Flix, I hear that movie didn't get huge reviews.

Did anybody see these 2 movies, if so-what are your thoughts?

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