Saturday, December 8, 2007

“Roobart Sbunsar”: Cyber-Mujaheed


For a change today, I will not be berating Robert Spencer or Hugh Fitzgerald for any slip-ups or erroneous interpretations. Instead, today’s post will recount the recent demise of a regular Jihad Watch commenter—who went out not with a bang, but a whimper. As of this morning, I noted with pleasure that Spencer summarily banned that commenter, who called himself “Roobart Sbunsar”, with eminently and deliciously justified reason.


But we get ahead ourselves. Let me backtrack a couple of days, and begin there.


Two days ago, on December 7, Robert Spencer posted on Jihad Watch a symposium about the fanatical puritanism of Iranian laws that was cross-posted from a FrontPageMagazine.com article. Aside from Robert Spencer, the symposium featured Steve Schippert and Nancy Kobrin, as well as the regular moderator at FrontPageMagazine.com, Jamie Glazov.


Somewhat past the halfway mark of the symposium, the topic derailed onto the broader issue of criticism of Islam, with Steve Schippert expressing his politically correct indignation at both Spencer and Kobrin for their articulate critiques of the various aspects of Islam that contribute to so many sociopolitical pathologies around the world—pathologies that are either unjust (as with the theme of the symposium, Iran’s puritanically fanatical law enforcement) or dangerous (terrorism, etc.), or both.


When Schippert’s turn came up, after Spencer and Kobrin had offered their insights criticial of Islam, he forthwith re-directed the focus onto the faults of Spencer and Kobrin, essentially “scolding” them (as Kobrin aptly described it) for their “insensitivity” to the totality of Muslims whom they were, according to him, collectively impugning. At that point Glazov, then Kobrin, came to Spencer’s defense. Schippert’s next response only served to ratchet up his uncomprehending and passive-aggressively arrogant disapproval of the others, coupled with his irrational need to defend Muslims and Islam axiomatically. It continued this way until the end of the symposium, and it was a welcome diversion, for it provided Spencer, Kobrin and Glazov a nice opportunity to see, and to deftly diagnose and counter-argue, the politically correct multi-culturalist psychopathology of the likes of Schippert—which, alas, is all too common in our era regarding the problem of Islam.


What does all this have to do with “Roobart Sbunsar”—and who or what is he, anyway?


I’m getting to that. Bear with me please.


Later that same day, it turned out that Steve Schippert posted on his own blog a snippy reaction to what had devolved at the symposium, directing his politically correct crankiness at Spencer specifically. Spencer posted this on Jihad Watch, along with his own responses, in a post entitled Schippert strikes back!

It was in the comments field of that post where “Roobart Sbunsar” made his appearance with a couple of comments.


Who or what is he or she?


“Roobart Sbunsar” is a person who, over the past few months, has contributed many comments in the comments fields of many different Jihad Watch articles. Mostly, his comments have had a distinctly anti-Islamic tonality, though he rarely fails to inject a Leftist bias that he seems incapable of suppressing for too long—either to indulge in a little Bushbashing here, a little generalizing about the evils of neo-cons and Christians there, or more than a little eye-poking here and there of fellow Jihad Watch commenters whom he tends to treat as odiously right-wing. Some of these fellow Jihad Watch commenters have conjectured that this “Roobart Sbunsar” is the new name of one or more former troublemakers in previous comments fields on Jihad Watch—a new anonymity either to mask his previous identity and convey the impression of multiple views where there is only the one eccentric crank, or to revive that cranky eccentricity after having been previously banned, or a combination of the two. (One such possible former identity was as “GetBornAgain”—a commenter who comes across, in this comments field from last summer, for example, as highly confrontational and contrarian in his Leftist bias and his affectation of being the only liberal in a hostile environment of right-wingers all around him. If that commenter was indeed “Roobart Sbunsar” in his former life, he was being less careful and clever than he has been under his new name, and perhaps he got banned for being so. It does seem likely the two are the same, for “GetBornAgain” made a similar protestation in the above noted link that I have noticed “Roobart Sbunsar” has made many a time, to the effect of “Yes, I am a liberal and I hate Bush, but I also hate Jihad like you guys. . .” And there is something about the general tenor of the former’s writing style and attitude that seems consonant with that of the latter.)


As time has gone along over the past couple of months, and my eye has not been able to help pausing to peruse, rather than darting past, posts bearing the signature of “Roobart Sbunsar”, an intuitive feeling has grown within me that something fishy is going on with this character. As I intimated above, he seems a bit too glib with his anti-Islamic comments; they seem to be more slyly and cleverly interposed, like an agent laying mines, than anything sincere and genuine—almost as though he were trying to create an impression: “Hey, I’m one of you guys, see?” Meanwhile, he is insinuating himself deeper and deeper to lay strategically placed bombs, as it were, bombs of rhetorically destructive (though in reality pathetically inept) criticism of the very foundations of Jihad Watch.


These misgivings of mine have only increased in wariness by clues here and there. One such clue was an interchange “Roobart Sbunsar” had with Robert Spencer himself, in a comments field a couple of months back, concerning his nickname, for it quite specifically references a scurrilously mendacious (if somewhat trivial) smear against Robert Spencer by some pro-Islamic apologists (Dean Esmay, et al.) who claimed (without sufficient evidence, of course) that when Robert Spencer had on occasion transliterated his English name into its Arabic equivalent to be appropriately rendered Roobart Sbunsar, he was in error and this error revealed his ignorance about Arabic which he otherwise disingenuously denies or about which he evades scrutiny. Spencer rightly detected that the reason “Roobart Sbunsar” chose his moniker was in some sense to honor the smear tactics of those aforementioned pro-Islamic apologists (Dean Esmay, et al.). In his initial response to this suspicion of Spencer’s, “Roobart Sbunsar” claimed complete ignorance of the relevance of his nickname. Later on, he claimed that in fact he had chosen it as a show of respect to Spencer and because he liked the name. I find that dubious and disingenuous.


Another clue relates to Robert’s suspicion I noted above, which I share. In some other comments field after the above interchange, “Roobart Sbunsar” picked up on a parenthetical reference to Spencer knowing Arabic, and asked at least twice, with a disingenuously disarming show of sincerity, “Does Robert Spencer know Arabic?” This points directly at the aforementioned dispute between Spencer and those pro-Islamic apologists (Dean Esmay, et al.), and buttresses the suspicion that “Roobart Sbunsar” chose his name as a not-so-subtle dig at Spencer’s credibility as an expert on Islam vis-à-vis his knowledge of Arabic.


It should be noted for the record that Spencer has more than adequately proven that his rendering of his name in Arabic is indeed the proper rendering (for confirmation, just google the appropriate terms and read).


Yet another little clue surfaced when in a comments field the distracting subtopic of the alleged identity between Robert Spencer and Hugh Fitzgerald came up. Initially, “Roobart Sbunsar” slyly remarked, with an affection of facetiousness, that such a rumor is kind of neat in that it “keeps the mystery alive”, and thus keeps readers interested. A few weeks later, he was pressing the issue as though he had never been facetious—thereby unmasking his two-faced agenda—by repeatedly (and pointlessly off-topic) referring to Spencer and/or Fitzgerald as a two-headed entity (“Fitzspencer” and so forth), and at least once insinuating that they were indeed not two persons, but one.


To get back now to the FrontPageMag.com symposium on Steve Schippert: In the comments field of that Jihad Watch post (linked above) dedicated to Steve Schippert’s gripe about Spencer’s “tone”—a “tone” not sufficiently “sensitive” for the precious ears of the vast majority of decent, fragile, thin-skinned Muslims out there—“Roobart Sbunsar” posted this seemingly innocuous observation and claim:


“I think he [Schippert] was referring to the fact that Mr. Spencer kept referring to him by his first name, which can sound patronising at times.


I read this, and I thought, “Hmm: I suppose he has a minor point, though I’m not sure it’s that important...” I just assumed he was correct, and that Spencer had in fact been calling Mr. Schippert by his first name in the symposium interchanges. At that point, I did not go back to re-check the symposium transcript to make sure. Then, reading further in the Jihad Watch comments, I saw Robert Spencer’s correction:


“Just what are you trying to do? I didn’t refer to him by his first name even once. Are you a complete fool who is unable to read, or a malevolent smear artist?”


So I re-checked the transcript of the symposium—and lo and behold, Robert Spencer was correct! He consistently referred to Mr. Schippert as, indeed, “Mr. Schippert”.


On the basis of this comment alone from “Roobart Sbunsar”, coupled with the subtly, vaguely suspicious nature of many of his previous comments over the past months, I concluded that he was slyly trying to insinuate himself into the Jihad Watch community to poison the proceedings as best he could—but usually carefully sly (often interjecting gung ho anti-Islamic comments just to show that he’s one of the gang). This time, however, he couldn’t help but show his hand.


We are not quite yet done with the Sbunsar/Spencer drama.


After Spencer’s challenge, there were no replies—not a peep—from “Roobart Sbunsar” for over 20 hours. Then, on the next day, on December 8 at 1:13 PM, “Roobart Sbunsar” made a comment about some tangential point completely unrelated to Robert Spencer’s direct question to him some 20 hours earlier.


The ever-vigilant Robert Spencer noted this and approximately 30 minutes later posted:


“Hey Roob,


“I asked you a question. Why don’t you answer it?”


Again, not a peep was heard from “Roobart Sbunsar”—this time for over 24 hours, until, as usual, he popped back into the thread to post a few vacuously barbed comments, including the following roundabout reply to Spencer’s direct question to him—the roundabout offhandedness of his reply reeking of a thinly veiled insolence. But the form here was less egregious than the content:


As for the “question” (are you gonna ask it a hundred more times, or are you actually gonna say something original for once?): I was under the impression that Mr. Spencer addressed his opponent the same way he addresses all his opponents: disrespectfully and in a patronising manner. If this was not the case here (an extremely unlikely scenario, given his history with the likes of Khaleel Mohammed), my apologies.


Again, Spencer was right on top of things, and a little over two hours later, delivered this delicious revenge to the outrageously unacceptable shenanigans of “Roobart Sbunsar”:


“So let me get this straight: you’re now admitting that you have not read this Symposium at all, and made a statement about what I did in it based on what you that I probably must have done it?


“And then you expect to be taken seriously?


“I don’t mind disagreement and I can take a lot of abuse, but I don’t like liars.


“Sir, to be respected is fine, but to be worthy of respect makes it easier. Khaleel Mohammed, as I explained to you before [and here, Spencer references this prevous post from the Jihad Watch archives]. . . was defaming me and trying to destroy my reputation by spreading falsehoods about my work. Do you think that is behavior worthy of respect? Apparently you do, because now here you have engaged in it also, albeit on a smaller scale.


“I don’t like banning people, but I don’t think you’re adding anything valuable to the exchanges here. Goodbye.”


This overall saga has not been without some instructive value, shedding some light upon one type of pro-Islamic troll who haunts anti-Islamic forums and chat rooms on the Net—and upon one special subset of a particular (and peculiar) type of “text jihad” deployed by various cyber-minions of Islam. As with jihad in general, many of these cyber-minions are likely working alone and simply take it upon themselves to do whatever they can for the overall cause. With this “Roobart Sbunsar” character, we have a rather odd cyber-mujaheed who seemed to be trying to disrupt the proceedings in subtle, circumscribed ways—among other things, casting doubt on Spencer’s credibility with regard to his knowledge of Arabic; re-stirring the pot of the rumor of Spencer and Fitzgerald being the same entity; and (the straw that broke the camel’s back) interjecting a bald lie about Spencer’s comportment in the symposium, a lie so casually and cleverly inserted, it had me fooled!



17 comments:

awake said...

Erich,

There is no doubt Roobart and GBA were one in the same. I called him out on that well over a month ago and he did not deny it.

His proclamation about going to study abroad in England sealed the deal for me. That and his eerily similar positions and writing style.

He absolutely was infiltrating with his supposed "anti-Islamic" stance just to put forth his real agenda.

Regards,

awake

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

awake,

My impression is that you're right that "Roob" and GBA were two names used by the same person. A few other similarities: both of them made references to having an adult beverage/alcoholic drink, both showed an inordinate amount of self-reference (e.g., referred to getting himself into character), both made frequent resort to insult with the obvious intent of prolonging or escalating petty distracting disputes, and both showed a strong interest in engaging Spencer to tie him up and take up his time. We've seen this pattern from many posters before, of course. Based on his attack on you, I'd have to say he's pretty disturbed.

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

"We've seen this pattern from many posters before, of course."

...that is, trolls provoking Spencer and the posters.

champ said...

Erich,

You and awake made some on target observations about Roob; and awake, your efforts really paid off because now the man is gone! Lets hope he doesn't come back to disrupt class with more of his toxic jabbering.

And Erich, I concur with awake in that I miss having you on Jihad Watch. I know you've made attempts at rejoining the group, but I for one was sad that Robert banned you and not the Mouth. Most of the time I agree with Robert, but not on this one, because it never made sense to me that he would keep her around but block you - it didn't make sense to several people.

Anyway, at least we can enjoy your other blogs, but if you ever do come back then how will we know it's you? Any hints as to what your new moniker might be?

Take care,
champ

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

Champ,

Spencer (or whoever was the bouncer) really had no choice but to ban Erich/remote on the last occasion (the dust-up with MS). I will not elaborate here. Suffice it to say that if certain groups found out what remote had said in the incident in question, and remote was not banned, it could have, potentially, been a public relations disaster for Spencer and JW/DW.

As for MS, there are probably other connections and reasons as to why she can still post there.

In either case, Spencer is probably doing what's in the best interests of JW/DW. On the two previous bannings that I witnessed, Erich/remote should not have been banned, judging by what is generally allowed on JW/DW. However, the fact that the posts which got him banned on those previous occasions were (a) directed at Spencer, and (b) were critical, is significant.

awake said...

kab-bin-ashraf,

No doubts about Roob and GBA. There were other examples like references to jihadism in Italy being followed by mafia-style whacking.

Also his references to his going to and then being in London studying abroad.

I did extensive research on him for I would not slander someone without concrete proof.

Regarding Erich nad MS:

Morgaan was issued an ultimatum on her behavior on balkan-ralted threads at JW. She rarely comments, but does send news to Robert for articles.

I believe Erich was too critical of Robert and Hugh. By this I mean Erich full understands the problems of PCMC and how it is a vehicle of support to Islamic jihad, and Robert does reference that ingredient often. I am unaware of the specifics, but maybe Erich will elaborate.

Anyway, do you comment at JW and if so, under what moniker?

Regards,

awake

awake said...

Kab-bin-Ashraf,

LOL, please disregard my last question. I see you do post, "as is", at JW.

Sorry for that.

Regards,

awake

Erich said...

awake, Kab and champ:

Thanks for your comments.

As you can see, I have modified the title, and I also made a few minor changes in the essay itself (with only one major change, by expanding the final paragraph).

awake,

If you'd like to provide me any specific evidence (beyond just likely inferences) you have that Roobart and GBA are the same (preferrably with actual links to JW archived comments), I'd appreciate it and might incorporate it into my essay.

Also, are there any other previous troublemakers you can think of from the past that Roobart might have been?

champ, thanks for your support re: the Hurricane. See below in my comments to Kab about that. As to your question about how you would know me if I came back to JW under a new nick -- I suppose if you see some commenter in the future using the term "PC MC" a lot, that would be a dead giveaway! I probably won't use the terms "PC paradigm" or "PC template", however, because Robert's and/or Hugh's nose would sniff that out quickly.

Kab,

You wrote:

"Spencer (or whoever was the bouncer)..."

Spencer is responsible, even if he didn't do that actual banning, since he has ultimate authority.

"...really had no choice but to ban Erich/remote on the last occasion (the dust-up with MS). I will not elaborate here."

I think they did have a choice to be more flexible about it. They should have taken the larger context into account: given the fact that

1) my comments on JW were, for the most part (like the comments of many other commenters on JW) and over a long period of time

a) intelligent

b) maturely phrased

c) not long-winded

d) often provided interesting & helpful insights and information and links,

-- then one day in one moment of understandable frustration with the Hurricane -- in a thread where she was

a) maddeningly infuriating many others

b) outrageously misrepresenting the views of others

c) posting gigantic bloated comments sometimes as long as a thousand words

d) lashing back with paranoid claims of being "attacked" by others while at the same time attacking others viciously, shamelessly and with egregious distortions or outright lies,

-- then I think Spencer et al. should have publically posted a comment after my outburst saying:

"We are going to ban you temporarily for 48 hours until you cool off. Furthermore, and before we ban you temporarily, you must post within the next xxx hours an apology to the Jihad Watch community (including us and your fellow readers -- but you may refrain from apologizing directly to Ms. You Know Whom if you wish). If you fail to apologize within the next xxx hours, we will ban you indefinitely and re-ban you if you try to re-enter under another nickname."

I would have been fine with some flexible approach like that.

You went on to write:

"Suffice it to say that if certain groups found out what remote had said in the incident in question, and remote was not banned, it could have, potentially, been a public relations disaster for Spencer and JW/DW."

I think my flexible alternative to indefinite and complete banning as I articulated above would serve to save JW from that PR disaster (though I think "disaster" is putting it too strongly -- all my outburst was, was an explosion of foul cuss words, something one sees on the Net a billion times a day, and something, furthermore, that I had not done before in JW comments).

"As for MS, there are probably other connections and reasons as to why she can still post there."

Even if there are such reasons that Spencer finds unavoidable, that does not excuse him banning me rather than trying to find a more flexible approach.

"In either case, Spencer is probably doing what's in the best interests of JW/DW."

Correction: what he THINKS is in the best interests of JW/DW -- which is not necessarily always the same as what REALLY is in the best interests.

"On the two previous bannings that I witnessed, Erich/remote should not have been banned, judging by what is generally allowed on JW/DW. However, the fact that the posts which got him banned on those previous occasions were (a) directed at Spencer, and (b) were critical, is significant."

Frankly, I don't think it was any critical jabs at Spencer himself that I did in fact do, that were the main cause of those prior bannings -- though one or another may have been straws that broke the camel's back. The aggravating weight (prior to any particular "straw") that really broke the camel's back was my habit of rather annoyingly repeating (in different flavors and textures) my "hobbyhorses". Every time I saw an angle in a particular JW or DW story or remarks by Spencer or Fitzgerald that I felt provided me a foothold to exploit and thereby to express what I felt were very important aspects of the problem, I would jump in and do so. My language and phrasing were virtually always mature and intelligent, though they were often forcefully (and therefore annoyingly to those who didn't like my "hobbyhorses") expressed.

The first "hobbyhorse" of mine that got me banned, a long time ago, was my insistence that Leftism is the overarching problem that is preventing the West from dealing with the problem of Islam.

After I got banned that time, a few months later I returned under a new name -- and meanwhile, I had undergone a subtle but signficant modification of mind about my "hobbyhorse": I no longer concluded that Leftism is the main culprit, but that there was a fascinating (albeit infuriating) sociopolitical process throughout the West whereby even most people on the political Right and Center were also basically in agreement with Leftists with regard to Islam and Muslims.

So my second "hobbyhorse" bloomed into the problem of "PC MC" -- and I pressed that too forcefully and annoyingly over time, plus the fact that Spencer and Hugh sniffed out that I was the same person as the previously banned guy, plus perhaps a little "straw", broke my back again.

Again, a few months later, I returned under a new name.

But the third time I got eventually banned had nothing to do with any "hobbyhorses" of mine, for I was being careful to suppress myself and not be so annoyingly "hobbyhorsey". The third time was simply that one outburst of extremely foul (but extremely common on the Net) cuss words directed at that personage that seems to have some sort of connections and/or influence over Spencer (it is not outside the realm of probability that had my same outburst been directed at some relative non-entity peon in the comments section who has no connections/influence over Spencer, I might not have been banned).

Any, that third time was the charm, evidently.

awake,

You wrote:

"Morgaan was issued an ultimatum on her behavior on balkan-ralted threads at JW."

Yes, but Spencer quickly deleted his ultimatum. And he deleted her outrageous and unhinged threat to sue him.

"She rarely comments, but does send news to Robert for articles."

She has commented enough times since then to indicate that there are no limitations on her commenting. She might simply be busy with other projects (perhaps constructing elaborate campaigns to hunt down, sue and expose all the people who are "attacking" her).

"I believe Erich was too critical of Robert and Hugh. By this I mean Erich full understands the problems of PCMC and how it is a vehicle of support to Islamic jihad, and Robert does reference that ingredient often."

I felt then, while I was active on JW comments fields, and I continue to feel that Robert and Hugh understand the PC MC problem only one-dimensionally, and they fail at grasping crucial aspects of it. I have documented and analyzed my thoughts on this here at Jihad Watch Watch in at least two or three dozen essays, approaching it from different angles.

I may get back to you with a reference to one of my previous essays here that hits the nail on the head most directly, to save you the trouble of combing back through my archives.

Thanks again all for your interest and insights.

champ said...

kab-bin-ashraf,

Thanks for writing; and JW can ban whomever they want to for whatever reason they choose because it is their forum (Robert's forum), but it doesn't necessarily mean that I think they were being equitable with the decision to ban remote after the incident with said Hurricane.

The notorious poster also threatened to sue me as well - along with 4 or 5 other posters - during a brush fire that SHE started; and then she took things to a whole new level when she started making preposterous threats to sue - which in my opinion definitely TRUMPS a few foul cuss words.

I suppose I should have been banned as well if that is the standard by which someone gets the boot, because I said a few foul cuss words to said female during a heated exchange with her also. She even tried to get ME banned, but for "whatever reason", JW allowed me to stay on board (which probably pissed her off).

From what I remember, remote got banned a third time for defending ""OTHER POSTERS"", which is far more honorable than thrashing about to defend oneself.

But yet a certain someone became vicious and wild, and started threatening to sue several posters for "everything they were worth" in defense of HERSELF, not in defense of other people, but to defend her OWN honor. How noble is that? And to add insult to injury she still remains in good standing with JW. So I just don't get it????

I find it really hard to respect (said poster) for going to the mat with other posters in defense of herself, but I have enormous respect for someone who is willing to take a bullet in defending someone else, which is exactly what remote did during that exchange.

Kab, tell me, who would you rather get stuck in a fox hole with? This is why I support remote and think that the wrong person was banned.

Take care,
champ

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

Erich/Hesp,

1. I agree that MS’s conduct is indeed every bit as bad as you claim. Remember: I was there. I saw it, in the Balkans thread in question and on your blog before you removed it. There’s no question she should have been banned and I made my objections very clear on JW/DW at least twice (one of which was deleted, probably at MS's request, the only time anything I’ve posted has been deleted intentionally by JW/DW).

2. In response to the problems generated by MS, your choice of phrase involved a particular combination of words (not just any cuss words) that, had Muslim “advocacy” groups found out about it and run with it, would have caused major problems for Spencer and JW/DW. We all know how they take morbid or angry comments from posters and try to present them to the public as something that Spencer permits or agrees with. Suppose he gave you a temporary ban and then let you back in at some later time, say a few months later. Those advocacy groups, who monitor the site, could then exploit that fact to their advantage and to Spencer’s loss—and therefore to the loss of the anti-jihad effort. It’s the sort of thing that could be repeated ad nauseam in the media as a sound bite and would be very damaging to Spencer and the site. In any case, it is a routine matter to ban posters who make those kinds of insults. Although the JW/DW banning policy is inconsistent and haphazard, I do think they were correct to ban you in the case in question. (And I did not realize that until you told me exactly which phrase you used). I suspect that most websites would have done the same.

You wrote:
“Correction: what he THINKS is in the best interests of JW/DW -- which is not necessarily always the same as what REALLY is in the best interests.”

He’s right that banning you for the incident in question was the right thing to do, and in my opinion that was in the best interests of the site. From his perspective, he probably perceives little gain and much potential loss over the outrageous comments of some posters. In fact, I think they are far too lenient with some posters. For example, several of those who made morbid comments on the hajj deaths should have been banned and the comments should have been deleted. If I were running the site, I’d allow posts that made the site look good, calm, reasonable, etc., while keeping the primary focus on the problems in Islam. Anything that made the site look bad would be deleted and posters who continued to violate the rules would be banned.

It is a social phenomenon that the kinds of posts that are allowed affect the kinds of other posts that subsequently get generated. Good posts tend to evoke more good posts; mayhem tends to evoke more mayhem.

3. I think the fact that MS was not banned is also damaging to the JW/DW site. In particular, her attack on Hirsi Ali was damaging to our large cause. If MS and/or her husband are financial contributors to the site, that doesn’t mean that there should be a different rule for MS. She should have been banned as soon as she threatened other posters or caused a disruption. But I believe they bent the rules for MS because she is a significant financial contributor and they did not want to jeopardize that. That’s not excusable, but it is understandable. From a purely pragmatic perspective, JW/DW had to weigh the costs of allowing MS to continue posting versus the likely consequences of banning her.

The costs associated with keeping MS on are mostly absorbed, or expected to be absorbed, by the other posters on the site. As for the attacks on Hirsi Ali, I have gathered that Spencer is not as concerned about this as he should be. Not only should MS have been banned for the comments about Hirsi Ali--which were unsubstantiated rumor--but the posts in question should have been deleted. The costs associated with remote’s comment (in fact, only a particular two-word phrase) could potentially have been damaging to Spencer and the entire site and, therefore, to the anti-jihad anti-sharia effort.

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

Champ,

I agree with most of what you say. For me, the issue of Remote’s last banning hinged on a particular two-word phrase used by him which, if certain advocacy groups found out about it, could potentially have caused a public relations nightmare for Spencer (see my above explanation to Erich).

”But yet a certain someone became vicious and wild, and started threatening to sue several posters for "everything they were worth" in defense of HERSELF, not in defense of other people, but to defend her OWN honor. How noble is that? And to add insult to injury she still remains in good standing with JW. So I just don't get it????”

Believe me, I saw the whole train-wreck. MS is definitely a problem case. The fact that she remained on the site is inexplicable, unless we suppose some plausible scenario such as that she is a financial donor to the site. One may also speculate that, even if she is not a financial donor, she travels in the same social circles as Spencer et al and therefore could cause problems in retaliation for being banned. That still doesn’t excuse it, of course.

”I find it really hard to respect (said poster) for going to the mat with other posters in defense of herself, but I have enormous respect for someone who is willing to take a bullet in defending someone else, which is exactly what remote did during that exchange.”

Me too. I’m also a bit perturbed by the deference some posters show to MS—it’s rather sickening. But I have to criticize Remote on that one particular phrase, not on anything else from the exchange. I also stepped in to defend other posters but they deleted my post.

”Kab, tell me, who would you rather get stuck in a fox hole with? This is why I support remote and think that the wrong person was banned.”

There’s no question I’d want Remote and others like him on my team and would not want MS anywhere near it. I agree that MS should have been banned, even if that entailed a financial cost. The banning of an unapologetic Islam critic such as Remote on the occasion in question was regrettable, but necessary I think. The fact that a good poster such as Remote was provoked into such a position by MS is yet another reason to ban her.

Erich said...

Kab, champ

Back when all the damning material concerning the MS brouhaha was on my site here in the form of a barrage of comments, I referred the site for the perusal of a friend who is a level-headed intelligent sociology grad student at an American university. This friend read through all the stuff, and concluded about MS:

"Wow, she must be miserably unhappy."

I think that succinctly captures the psychological gist, though doesn't fully explain the phenomenon, for at the central vortex of any hurricane (or tornado) there is probably an insoluble mystery.

champ, Thanks for your support and well-articulated defense of me above.

Kab, I have a couple more things to say as I do not entirely agree with a couple of points in your assessment, but it will have to wait until later today or tomorrow.

champ said...

kab-bin-ashraf,

OK - so you got caught in the cross fire too. Sheesh, how many posters did she-wolf manage to provoke? I called her a bullying-bitch and my comment was deleted in short order; but then she quickly went on to prove my point in spades!

She even tried to smear me with some nonsense about my being a "terrorist plant sent by CAIR". How absurd is that? But that comment was NOT removed, and it remained in place for all the world to see until the thread was archived.

(feel free to delete the "B" word, Erich, I won't be offended :-)

"The fact that she remained on the site is inexplicable, unless we suppose some plausible scenario such as that she is a financial donor to the site."

Wow - if this is true - then isn't she using a form of blackmail on JW? Poor Robert has enough enemies without his "friends" posing problems too. With close friends like that, who needs enemies. I think I would find new contributors!

Erich,

Thanks for letting us vent over the MS-Affair. At least YOU allow us the pleasure.

Erich said...

champ,

Thanks again for your comments and support. It's encouraging to know that others share my feelings not only about MS but about surrounding issues (Spencer's mysteriously passive deference to MS). I think Kab in his conjectures of the latter is leaning generously toward a rational explanation that would reflect most benignly on all parties; but the bottom line is, we don't know, and for all we know it could be a more malignant relationship going on, such as a psychotic person who also happens to have influence and money but for some reason has not been committed, and who is relatively free to be out in the real world with schizoaffective problems bubbling over at odd moments, manifesting in paranoia and rage, etc.; and thus Spencer could simply be afraid (of threats of lawsuits or exposure of his home address, etc.) and not have any recourse except to try to soothe said psycho by placating them.

Kab,

The disagreements I had are important to me, but they do rather seem minor nonetheless, so I'll not delve into them. Suffice it to say that my sense is, that my outburst that got me banned would not have been as serious of a "PR disaster" as you conjecture. I think statements like "Nuke the Middle East" or "All Muslims should die" or "All Muslims are Satanic" etc. would be more in the ballpark of "PR disasters".

champ said...

Erich,

Thanks - I needed a good belly laugh! As funny as you are it is all so true, because she IS certifiable; and if she is well off, then she can certainly afford a proper diagnosis from a team of doctors for her hormone & chemical imbalances.

Those closest to her have my deepest sympathies. :-)

Erich said...

A few weeks ago, the commenter "awake" noted:

"She rarely comments, but does send news to Robert for articles."

Well, so much for that characterization -- check out the comments fields of one of today's JW articles:

http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/019405.php#comments

The Hurricane is blowing through town again.

champ said...

Oh yeah - I watched the Hurricane from a safe distance this morning and decided to stay clear of the flying debris.

She needs to start her own website so she can feed her need for being right and so she can ban posters at will, not without cutting them down to size first and/or suing them for all they're worth.