The Role of Doctrinal Motivation in Empire Building
A Revised Report on the Banality of Evil
[Abridged Version - Introduction Only]
From Islamic Fundamentalism to Imperial Mobilization: Deconstructing the Intellectual Underpinning behind Islam Bashing
Let us recall from Chapter 1 what ZB so very insightfully observed of America:
“More generally, cultural change in America may also be uncongenial to the sustained exercise abroad of genuinely imperial power. That exercise requires a high degree of doctrinal motivation, intellectual commitment, and patriotic gratification. ... Mass communications have been playing a particularly important role in that regard, generating a strong revulsion against any selective use of force that entails even low levels of casualties.” (The Grand Chessboard, pages 211-212)
Now let's ask the following questions:
Those maligning Islam these days in the guise of scholarship, the Bernard Lewises, and the Fouad Ajamis, the Judith Millers and the Steve Emersons, the Robertsons and the Grahams, the FOXs, the CNNs, and the CBNs, what do they hope to gain from this? They can certainly discover Islam from the sources. It is not a secretive or particularistic religion. Why would they conveniently omit the lofty ideals and moral teachings of Islam from their farcical renderings on Islam? Why would they display the miserable plight of the Muslims today – indeed largely of Muslims' own making, for we willingly slave under the yoke of dictatorships in neo-colonial client-states of the Western hegemons who subsequently bring us 'democracy' – as the “Crisis of Islam”? Why would they vilely project the havoc being wrecked by Zionism and American Imperialism in the 'Muslim world' as the clash between Islam and Modernity as if something has gone wrong with Islam itself: “What Went Wrong? – The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East”, and which is leading to the inevitable “Clash of Civilizations”?
After all, America is the bastion of scholarship and information technology today, their erudite scholars must surely know better? Even if we account for the Orientalism of the yore and its prejudicial translations of Eastern religions and literature, especially Islam, by British imperialists when Westerners' access to Arabic and Persian languages was difficult and most had to go by whatever the British Empire translated for them, that isn't the case today. Arabic and Persian languages and literature are even taught in many of the top universities in America. There are also plenty of knowledgeable and un-jaundiced Muslim scholars living in America and the West. They can easily be sought out for help in understanding Islam if acquiring an understanding of the religion is indeed the goal. With all the world's information on America's finger-tips, why do America's scholars persist in weaving a tortuous context for Islam that is brazenly inimical to Islam, and yet get so much prominence in the intellectual elite circles, in think-tanks and universities, in the press and television, that their distorted works become guiding beacons for US foreign policy initiatives? This can't be just Alice in Wonderland! So, what's up doc?
As a critical reader, do you see any connections between this and the “doctrinal motivation” needed in ZB's plan for enabling the sustained exercise of “Imperial power” abroad? What better “doctrinal motivation” than reviving the “Crusades” against the infidel terrorists? That word even slipped out of President George W. Bush's mouth. Inadvertently, or not, is immaterial. We directly see the philosophical underpinnings of this in the intellectual discourses of famous IVY scholars from Princeton, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and a number of other prestigious universities in America.
My reaction to their Islam bashing is very strong, not only as a Muslim whose religion is being attacked, maligned, and vilely mis-represented, but as an intelligent person seeing such monumental distortions that it boggles the mind how they are allowed to be so openly perpetuated – until one recalls the first principles of Propaganda from the Third Reich.
Propaganda and doctrinal warfare is always aimed at the masses, the approximately 75-80 percent of the general public who know very little about the subject matter in question, and who don't like to think even if their lives depended on it. Philosopher Bertrand Russell had insightfully observed of this behavior: “Many people would sooner die than think. In fact they do”. Dr. Joseph Goebbels capitalized on that sociological observation of a general population distribution to domestically sustain Hitler's international quest for Lebensraum. In Mein Kampf, Hitler had accurately recognized that the key to the domestic success of “imperial mobilization” was to directly influence “the mob of the simple or credulous”:
“Journalistic circles in particular like to describe the press as a 'great power' in the state. As a matter of fact, its importance really is immense. It cannot be overestimated, for the press really continues education in adulthood. Its readers, by and large, can be divided into three groups:
First, into those who believe everything they read; second, into those who have ceased to believe anything; third, into the minds which critically examine what they read, and judge accordingly.
Numerically, the first group is by far the largest. It consists of the great mass of the people and consequently represents the simplest-minded part of the nation. It cannot be listed in terms of professions, but at most in general degrees of intelligence.
To it belong all those who have neither been born nor trained to think independently, and who partly from incapacity and partly from incompetence believe everything that is set before them in black and white. To them also belongs the type of lazybones who could perfectly well think, but from sheer mental laziness seizes gratefully on everything that someone else has thought, with the modest assumption that the someone else has exerted himself considerably.
Now, with all these types, who constitute the great masses, the influence of the press will be enormous.
They are not able or willing themselves to examine what is set before them, and as a result their whole attitude toward all the problems of the day can be reduced almost exclusively to the outside influence of others. ...
Today, when the ballot of the masses decides, the chief weight lies with the most numerous group, and this is the first: the mob of the simple or credulous.” (Mein Kampf, pages 240-242)
Just like Zbigniew Brzezinski's masterful sociological observations of the American masses some seventy five years later also concluded that the “chief weight” for “imperial mobilization” was with the “most numerous group”, as “democracy was inimical to imperial mobilization”:
“It is also a fact that America is too democratic at home to be autocratic abroad. This limits the use of America's power, especially its capacity for military intimidation. Never before has a populist democracy attained international supremacy. But the pursuit of power is not a goal that commands popular passion, except in conditions of a sudden threat or challenge to the public's sense of domestic well-being. ... Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilization.” (pages 35-36, see Brzezinski excerpts in Chapter 1)
And the Third Reich had indeed mobilized on precisely such acute psychological observations, diabolically fabricating the “conditions of a sudden threat or challenge to the [German] public's sense of domestic well-being” with Operation Canned Goods which gave the German public their own “pearl harbor” and Hitler “a propagandist reason for starting the war”. Hitler, by his own admission, well understood the age old victor's prerogative which can never imagine defeat at the peak of its hubris: “the victor will not be asked afterward whether he told the truth or not. In starting and waging a war it is not the right that matters, but victory” (as previously quoted from William Shirer in the Introduction Chapter). Hitler had also mastered the art of propaganda very well:
“All propaganda must be popular and its intellectual level must be adjusted to the most limited intelligence among those it is addressed to. Consequently, the greater the mass it is intended to reach, the lower its purely intellectual will have to be. But if, as in propaganda for sticking out a war, the aim is to influence a whole people, we must avoid excessive intellectual demands on our public, and too much caution cannot be exerted in this direction. ...
The art of propaganda lies in understanding the emotional ideas of the great masses and finding, through a psychologically correct form, the way to the attention and thence to the heart of the broad masses. ...
The receptivity of the great masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan.” (Mein Kampf, pages 180-181)
The American hegemons have been inflicted by exactly the same hubris and the same psychological cataracts! The unchallenged sole superpower has its victory too guaranteed to feel inhibited in its use of lies, deception, propaganda, and the most barbaric aggression against the 'untermenschen'. For who is to ever challenge the supremacy of the sole superpower at some Nuremberg? There are no rivals. Whereas Hitler still had rivals in the British and American Allied powers, and even that hadn't inhibited him!
So, inventing their own “new pearl harbor” as the “catalyzing event” to match Hitler's Operation Canned Goods, and harvesting the core “doctrinal motivation” under cultivation at least since 1990 to launch their “imperial mobilization” by employing the simple propaganda slogan of “War on Terrorism against Islamofascism”, is right out of the pages of the Third Reich. All other propagandistic mantras for each specific warfare in the lifetime of World War IV then easily follow on its heal once the core premise is accepted by the masses and becomes the axiomatic “truth”. It then forms the presupposition for all further news and policy debate, dissent as well as consent, in short, for the entire social discourse on the 'war on terror'! This is Machiavelli at its finest, for it automatically synthesizes consent even in its dissent!
Thus, absurdities like: “WMD” in Iraq imminently threatening the United States, is a simple stretch once the core axiom of “Islamofascism”, of Bin Laden doing 911, is established as the core untouchable truth. I.e., an external enemy, ubiquitous, powerful, mysterious, jihadist, militant, triumphal, suicidal, and “irrational” enough to take down America's mighty towers in its most guarded heartland killing 3000 of its citizens without fear of consequences to themselves, is an unpredictable enemy that can strike at any place at any time, and therefore must be dealt with preemptively!
And that propaganda is incessantly beamed at the television watching “mob of the simple or credulous” to make the imperial “shock and awe” visitation upon innocent civilian populations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and throughout “The Global Zone of Percolating Violence” (ZB, page 53) palatable to the American and Western masses. After all, the public is now made to believe that America is only hitting back either in retaliation (Afghanistan), or preemptively (Iraq), against the most resourceful and “irrational” enemy on the planet! Never mind that it lives in a cave on a dialysis machine and brought the towers down with nothing but box-cutters; or that Saddam's crippled Iraq after 13 years of Allied bombings, no-fly-zones, and economic sanctions had no weapons, and had nothing to do with Bin Laden or 911! Indeed, “those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities”.
The propagandists are thus the first cause murderers.
Islam bashing therefore, as infantile as it is, cannot be ignored. It is in exact realization of ZB's overarching agenda for American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives which “requires a high degree of doctrinal motivation, intellectual commitment,” with momentous consequences for Muslim nations in the twenty-first century. It has to be exposed as an intellectual fraud for seeding propaganda in the service of hegemonic statecraft which spans the gamut of Machiavelli from the highest levels of intellectual circles in America, down to its nitty-gritty lying politicians and left-right-wing scumbags who knowingly parrot mantras for their own narrow selfish interests. Since “Islamic Fundamentalism” is the core axiom of propaganda upon which the entire house of cards for “imperial mobilization” is singularly fabricated, demonstrating it to be just that, a vile propaganda, also brings down the entire house of cards! The following discourse is therefore entirely for the benefit of the unsuspecting American and Western public before whom a daily parade of “experts” is enacted to promote the “clash of civilizations”. The Western world is told to prepare to fight this new “evil” under the stewardship of the lone superpower cop utilizing new bunker busting nukes.
It is now taken for granted in mainstream America that 9-11 was the dastardly act of religious fanatic Muslims who hate America because they are jealous of this country's successes – or want to impose barbaric and antiquated Islam upon everyone. And this isn't just in the abstract rhetoric. Concrete evidence is brought forth of the revival of the 'Taliban', and fears of 'Talibanization of this or that country' at the hands of fanatical and backward firebrand Muslims, to continue fueling the perception of the threat from “radical Islam”. Thus the American public is kept sufficiently motivated into sustaining the never ending war on terrorism because there will continue to be a never ending supply of “terrorists” to defend America against – now that the communist have become defunct. Through fiction or fabrication, synthesis or provocation, by hook or by crook, the infernal “terrorist” is made existential – the military-industrial-Zionist complex and the wet-dreams of the Neocons for “full spectrum dominance” depend on fighting it as “counter-insurgency”.
The mantra is even calculatingly spin doctored as a historical struggle between Christianity and Islam. The Evangelical Christian fanatics grab that “doctrinal motivation” with much “patriotic gratification” in fighting off a “very wicked and evil religion”, as Pat Robertson called it. They can renew their own white man's burden easily if the foe is made out to be especially barbaric, as Shawn Steele, the former Chairman of California's State Republican Party, annotated it: “The Islamic community has a cancer growing inside of it – which hates Jews, hates freedom, and hates western society. The disease of Islam must be rectified – it's kill or be killed”. The politicians grab that theme because it suits their narrow interests or hegemonic plans, as President George W. Bush did: “God told me to strike at al-Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East”, and embark on their new 30 – 50 year lifetime of “World War IV”.
Imagine if American public officials, politicians, and prominent Christian preachers publicly made the same statements about the Jews today! It's not like the Zionists don't deservedly call for rallying such “patriotic gratification” against themselves. Muslims have clearly traded places with the European Jewry of the 1930's when fulminating such hatred against the Jews was considered high patriotism in the service of the Fatherland by the right-wing Nazi Socialist Party.
Only by actively rejecting the absurdity when they are no longer “innocent of knowledge”, can the Western peoples finally stop soaking their hands in the cold blooded genocide of innocent Muslims.
I deconstruct two provocatively titled books of Bernard Lewis, Professor of Near Eastern Studies Emeritus at Princeton University, a historian of repute in officialdom who is billed as one of the premier “leading Western scholar of Islam” whilst he betrays little visible scholarly command of Qur'anic Arabic or of Islam's primary textual source, the Holy Qur'an, relying almost exclusively on narrative translated works of history and secondary/tertiary sources for his “Islamic scholarship”. I also dismantle the pertinent core of the famous book by Samuel P. Huntington, Professor at Harvard University, a reputed political scientist, whose “Clash of Civilizations” has made that mantra an overt instrument of the hegemonic American foreign policy today. And lastly, I unmask the cleverly masked prejudices of Fouad Ajami, Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the Johns Hopkins University, whose fanatical spin of 'war on terror' on American mainstream television is analyzed through his autobiographical reflections in “The Dream Palace of the Arabs”.
The first two scholars provide the core building blocks for “doctrinal motivation” but are rarely if ever brought on mainstream television as circus clowns. Whereas the latter, as a renegade 'Uncle Tom' from the Middle East, is routinely paraded on prime-time television as an “expert” on the Middle East situation. Propaganda wise, Fouad Ajami is the most interesting of the trio. He is calculatingly brought on mainstream television to willingly parrot the white man's burden when he also honestly affirms in his own aforementioned autobiographical book: “I knew little of religion. My family were Shia Muslims... None of my peers I recall, observed religious ritual or went to the mosque for Friday prayers. We were not a religious breed. Our lodestar was the secular political and cultural world.... Today in Arab World – I left for America a day or two short of my eighteenth birthday, in 1963 – I am a stranger, but no distance could wash me clean of that inheritance.”
With that description of himself, even to present Fouad Ajami as an “expert” on Middle East affairs, never mind as an objective one, patently demonstrates an axe to grind in doctrinal hands. Fouad Ajami provides the much needed blowing to sustain the flames of perpetual war which Brzezinski, Lewis, Huntington et. al. provide the essential primacy motivations and doctrinal ingredients for. The doctrinal craftsmanship of these three prominent imperial scholars whom few in the American academe seem to want to take on in their popular writings – perhaps because of the tacit support from the elites of this country which affords all doctrinal scholarship a protection-jacket that is denied to dissenting voices unless it constitutes controlled opposition – is detoxified in the following pages. I hope that in all fairness of the real right, the freedom to be heard, not just to speak, my Prisoners of the Cave is placed adjacent to Crisis of Islam in popular chains like Barnes and Noble where the voting “mob of the simple or credulous” who might even bother to enter a bookstore can easily find it.
Let's begin, but with a personal note and statement of overarching objective.
Every time I pick up any of their books, or hear their “expert” analyses that is invariably beamed into my living room, even while I am not a scholar by any means, I can call them on a hundred different misrepresentations, half-truths, and omissions. Their vile rhetoric not only angers me as a direct personal attack on me and my family and on all my billion plus fellow Muslims by way of maligning our religion through purposeful intellectual deceit, but also frightens me that they are providing the powerful “doctrinal” basis to wage this “war on terrorism”. They are directly guilty of orchestrating not just the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent Muslims, but also in making tens of millions of mainstream Americans guilty of complicity by way of deceiving them about Islam and generating support for the fabricated “war on terrorism”. These doctrinal scholars are the philosophers outside the Cave spinning the tortuous Alice in Wonderland absurdities for the Cave dwellers.
I make the unarguable case for trying and hanging them as despicable war criminals of no less culpability than the embedded journalists that have already been dealt with earlier. We already have a precedence in the hanging of the chief Nazi philosopher and propagandist at Nuremberg, Dr. Alfred Rosenberg, with Dr. Joseph Goebbels only able to cheat the hangman's noose with some foresight! You, dear reader, can judge for yourself if the American propagandists are anymore innocent of the blood of Iraqi and Afghani civilizations on their hand after you read through this. Also read their cited works with the backdrop of the rebuttal done here and draw your own conclusions. One does not have to be a hoity-toity “intellectual” to reach such conclusions, as that is the sole basis of the jury system in America wherein, just plain ole ordinary citizens sit in judgment over any accused. The world's most powerful people behind their own distinguished garb still remain just plain ordinary folks too – they shit and fart like the rest of us, some do good works serving humanity, and some others only bring infamy and misery to mankind.
The Jewish scholar Hannah Arendt ably demonstrated that in “Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil”. That “banality of evil” isn't just about the “Good German” Nazis who enabled the Third Reich.
It is about the “Nazi” in each one of us which makes anyone a “Good American” United We Stand for the Fourth Reich! It is about boldly confronting all “Nazis” and hanging or neutering them.