Dan Greenfield offers helpful advice to non-violent protestors which could save their lives.
The following is intended to serve as a useful guide to various activists, protesters and other completely non-violent folk who happen to be packing knives, guns, rocks and grenades. You will encounter various law enforcement and military personnel– this is how not to get shot by them.
First of all it’s important to remember that if you attack an armed man in a uniform, he will very probably shoot you.
Even given the most restrictive Rules of Engagement in the world which forbid him from opening fire unless he is outnumbered 600 to 1, and only when he has been given specific authorization by the UN to use deadly force– there will still come a time when he will open fire on you. This will occur when he feels that he or his comrades are in danger. At this point there will be bullets headed your way, and no matter what you learned at your Madrassa or in Protest Studies at Evergreen State High University, you are not bulletproof. Really, you’re not.
The good news is that there is a very easy way not to get shot.
Step 1. Don’t attack soldiers.
Step 2. When in doubt, see Step 1.
That means not trying to disembowel them with your peaceful knife and not throwing rocks at their head. Because while you might think that legal activism includes attempted murder, the men in uniform think that attempted murder should result in sudden death. And when that happens you will realize that fanatical passion for your poorly thought out cause and a medieval weapon are no match for trained soldiers who have guns and know how to use them.
David Gutmann thinks he has figured out the Arabs’ real problem, why they are continually being moved to murderous rage.
I do not agree with many hawks that Islam by itself is the prime mover of Arab violence. When I consider the obsessions, the language and the actions of the extremists, it becomes evident that, perhaps even more than religion, overlooked aspects of national character contribute to the fevers of jihad. As a Jew who owns a Koran (Oh Imams, is this permitted?) it appears to me that the more lurid stanzas of that generally inflammatory text are being used, by Islamic extremists, to rationalize their fury over perceived insults that have nothing to do with Islam per se.
That fury is not a product of the Koran. Rather, it has to do with a prior, psychological cause: the vulnerabilities of Arab national character, which is centered on the maintenance of honor and the avoidance of shame. Some readers will probably accuse me of psychobabbling. Note, however, that some very smart observersâ€”the Israeli anthropologist Rafael Patai, for instanceâ€”have already documented the Arab phobia against the experience of shame.
That sensitivity is now at fever pitch. The Arab world is suffering a crisis of humiliation. Their armies are routed not only by Americans, but also by tiny, Jewish Israel; and as Arthur Koestler once remarked, the Arab world has not, in the last 500 years or so, produced much besides rugs, dirty postcards, elaborations on the belly-dance esthetic (and, of course, some innovative terrorist practices). They have no science to speak of, no art, hardly any industry save oil, very little literature, and portentous music which consists largely of lugubrious songs celebrating the slaughter of Jews.
Now that the Arabs have acquired national consciousness, and they compare their societies to other nations, these deficiencies become painfully evident, particularly to the upper-class Arab kids who attend foreign universities. There they learn about the accomplishments of Christians, Jews, (Freud, Einstein, for starters) and women. And yet, with the exception of Edward Said, there is scarcely a contemporary Arab name in the bunch. No wonder, then, that major recruitment to al-Qaeda’s ranks takes place among Arab university students. And no wonder that suicide bombing becomes their tactic of choice: it is a last-ditch, desperate way of asserting at least one scrap of superiorityâ€”a spiritual superiorityâ€”over the materialistic, life-hugging, and ergo shameful West.
But this tactic is not, I suggest, a product of Islam. Rather, it is a product of the bruised Arab psyche. Remember that the Japanese also turned to suicide tactics in WWII to evade the humiliation of defeat. Though their religion was Shinto rather than Muslim, they too constituted a paradigm shame/honor culture, and defeat brought about, as with the Arabs, a furiously suicidal/homicidal response. After their armies had been defeated, their fleets sunk, their cities set aflame, and their home islands invaded, they launched the kamikaze bomber offensive, thereby committing a hi-tech form of hara-kiri, their usual remedy against intolerable shame. It is in this way that the modern Arab world resembles the Japan of World War II. In both cases it is not religions but psychic wounds, the wounds inflicted by defeat and evident inferiority, that inspire suicide bombers.
It is often asserted that the changes set in train by modernization are particularly toxic to the Arabs. No doubt this is true. But if we are going to be therapeutic, our diagnoses need to be more specific; we need to identify the particular pathogens that are released by modernization. Besides sharpening their sense of inferiority relative to the West, modernization threatens to bring about the liberation of women (as in Afghanistan and Iraq). I say “threatens,” because the self-esteem of Arab males is in large part predicated on the inferior position of their women. The Arab nations have for the most part lost their slaves and dhimmis, the subject peoples onto whose persons the stigmata of shame could be downloaded. But anyone who has spent time among them knows that Arab males have not lost their psychological need for social and sexual inferiors. In the absence of slaves and captive peoples, Arab women are elected for the special role of the inferior who, by definition, lacks honor. Arab men eradicate shame and bolster their shaky self-esteem by imposing the shameful qualities of the dhimmi, submission and passivity, upon women. Trailing a humbled woman behind them, Arab men can walk the walk of the true macho man.
Hence the relative lack of material achievement by Arabs: the Arab world has stunted the female half of its brain pool, while the men acquire instant self-esteem not by real accomplishment, but by the mere fact of being men, rather than women. No wonder, then, that the Arab nations feel irrationally threatened by the very existence of Israel. Like America, the Jews have brought the reality of the liberated woman into the very heart of the Middle East, into dar al-Islam itself. Big Satan and Little Satan: the champions of Muslim women.
The Onion has figured out the answer of how to achieve an enduring Middle East peace.
NEW YORKâ€”Marking the latest and most ambitious attempt to bring stability to the region, the United Nations announced Wednesday that every single person in the Middle East will receive his or her own sovereign nation as part of a historic 317,000,000-state solution.
The broad and extensive compromise, which affects more than 3,000,000 square miles formerly occupied by the territories of Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Oman, Yemen, Egypt, and Jordan, will reportedly draw over 750,000,000 new borders in what experts claim will help drastically curb sectarian violence.
â€œGiven the incredibly complex and volatile sociopolitical landscape throughout the Middle East, a 317,000,000-state solution is the only realistic means of achieving lasting peace,â€ said U.N. Security Council president EugÃ¨ne-Richard Gasana, noting that the treaty was reached after lengthy negotiations, which brought together each of the more than 300,000,000 independent factions. …
â€œWe are confident that with every man, woman, and child possessing his or her own autonomous area of sovereignty to run as he or she sees fit, we will avoid many of the conflicts that have plagued this part of the world for centuries and left countless dead,â€ Gasana added. â€œThis is a bright new future for the Middle East.â€
According to U.N. officials, the newly demarcated Middle East now consists of 8,000,000 independent Jewish states, 4,000,000 independent Palestinian states, 112,000,000 Shiâ€™ite Islamic republics, 156,000,000 Sunni Islamic republics, and 19,000,000 Kurdish nations, as well as approximately 18,000,000 territories that include various Christian, BahÃ¡’Ã, Druze, Zoroastrian, and secular countries.
Ron Paul admits Gingrich told the truth but argues for timidity. Romney agrees and names-drops the Israeli PM to buttress his personal authority. Gingrich sticks by his guns, notes that Ronald Reagan provoked important changes in the world by defying similar demands for more diplomatic statements and declares that he’s a Reaganite. Gingrich wins.
As boatloads of American humanitarianofascists, including Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein, and the Obamishly hued novelist/poet Alice Walker, steam toward Gaza, one proud GOP operative, Josh Trevino, assures Israel:
Dear IDF: If you end up shooting any Americans on the new Gaza flotilla — well, most Americans are cool with that. Including me.
That’s what I call thinking out of the box. I mean, hey, when American citizens get all uppity about human rights–ask a foreign power to murder them.
Walter Russell Mead rants brilliantly on the subject of Barack Obama’s singular ineptitude at framing American Middle Eastern policy: “As so often in the past, but catastrophically this time, he found the â€œsour spotâ€: the position that angers everyone and pleases none.”
I had never thought there were many similarities between the pleasure-loving Charles II of England and the more upright Barack Obama until this week. Listening to his speeches on the Middle East at the State Department, US-Israel relations at the AIPAC annual meeting and most recently his address to the British Parliament the comparison becomes irresistible.
â€œHere lies our sovereign king,â€ wrote the Earl of Rochester about King Charles:
Whose word no man relies on.
Who never said a foolish thing
Or ever did a wise one.
This seems to capture President Obamaâ€™s Middle East problems in a nutshell. The Presidentâ€™s descriptions of the situation are comprehensive and urbane. He correctly identifies the forces at work. He develops interesting policy ideas and approaches that address important political and moral elements of the complex problems we face. He crafts approaches that might, with good will and deft management, bridge the gaps between the sides. He reads thoughtful speeches full of sensible reflections.
But the last few weeks have cast him as the least competent manager of Americaâ€™s Middle East diplomatic portfolio in a very long time. He has infuriated and frustrated long term friends, but made no headway in reconciling enemies. He has strained our ties with the established regimes without winning new friends on the Arab Street. He has committed our forces in the strategically irrelevant backwater of Libya not, as he originally told us, for â€œdays, not weeksâ€ but for months not days.
Where he has failed so dramatically is in the arena he himself has so frequently identified as vital: the search for peace between Palestinians and Israelis. His record of grotesque, humiliating and total diplomatic failure in his dealings with Prime Minister Netanyahu has few parallels in American history. Three times he has gone up against Netanyahu; three times he has ingloriously failed. This last defeat â€” Netanyahuâ€™s deadly, devastating speech to Congress in which he eviscerated President Obamaâ€™s foreign policy to prolonged and repeated standing ovations by members of both parties â€” may have been the single most stunning and effective public rebuke to an American President a foreign leader has ever delivered.
Netanyahu beat Obama like a red-headed stepchild; he played him like a fiddle; he pounded him like a big brass drum. The Prime Minister of Israel danced rings around his arrogant, professorial opponent. It was like watching the Harlem Globetrotters go up against the junior squad from Miss Porterâ€™s School; like watching Harvard play Texas A&M, like watching Bambi meet Godzilla â€” or Bill Clinton run against Bob Dole.