Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Strike three. . .








From the same comments field of a Jihad Watch article whence we culled our first and second strikeswe complete our 3-part series of egregious boners from the figurative pen of Robert Spencer.

About me (aka
cantor) he wrote:

Oh, and by the way, I am told he keeps whining that he is banned here, but he is not banned. If he keeps up this sort of thing, he will gain a reputation for honest dealing to rival that of "An American."

Now this is what Spencer said to me (aka cantor) a couple of months ago in March of this year in the comments field of a Dhimmi Watch article:

You are an irritant, a poor thinker, and an unfair judge. I have banned you several times, and probably will soon do it again. Cordially Robert Spencer

At this point, do we need to call the umpire over? For, you see, Spencer is being scrupulously careful to be technically correct. It may therefore be technically true for him to say about me that he is not banned. But this would be to ignore the context of trying to have a mature and intelligent discussion with someone who

1) has the power to ban you


2) by his own admission has banned you
several times before

and

3) was, the last time I thought I got banned (as well as previous times when he actually did ban me), threatening to ban me yet again if I didn
t behave.

Is it any wonder that, at that point
with this threat looming over my head, and with the experience of actually being banned by him in the past for similarly prickly, paranoid and irrational reasons, I felt increasingly nervous and uncomfortable about speaking my mind openly and freely and therefore soon thereafter decided to pack up and leave?

I posted one more comment after that, to which Spencer replied in prickly hostile fashion, again threatening to ban me:

. . .are you really interested in truth here, or just in playing prosecutor? If the former, then answer my other questions first. If the latter, then go away, which, if you keep this up, you will be doing soon (again) anyway.


Another poster observed a little while later, after I had not responded, reasonably inferring (as I had done):

I think Cantor's been banned again.


To which Spencer replied:

Cantor has not yet been banned again. But apparently, in what is perhaps not a surprising move in light of his his [sic] mean-spiritedness and "Gotcha!" mentality, he has withdrawn when called out on what he is doing.

That would be the mean-spirited and uncharitable way of interpreting why I left. Spencer seemed (and continues to seem) oblivious to the fact that, with his power to ban and his previous actual bannings of me for dubiously rational reasons, makes the atmosphere highly uncomfortable, if not hostile, for me to have a
good-faith discussion with him in a free and open manner. Just because, while I maintained the discussion, I remained forthright and did not back down from my conviction with regard to the issue I was trying to probe, that is no reason to characterize me as mean-spirited. Rather than deal with the actual words and argument presented to him, Spencer immediately jumps the gun.

His first words of
response to me on that thread were:

I know from experience that you are a relentless and indefatigable fault-finder. . .


What kind of way is that to begin a discussion? Even if he thinks that is true about the past, what does that have to do with the argument I was presenting to him at that present time? Spencer has done this to me many times before, and to other commenters who broach anything hinting at criticism of him, which is tantamount to the way the Muslim apologists treat Spencer about which he rightfully complains: instead of dealing with his arguments and evidence, they engage in irrelevant ad hominems. Compounding this tactic, Spencer also retorts to criticism with mere assertions of how bad and wrong his challengers are, without supplying actual counter-arguments
again, another tactic the Muslim apologists use against him.

Consider how he deals with a mature and intelligent criticism more recently from a reader named anonymous in the comments field of the article about the Koran-shooting /Koran-kissing incident in Afghanistan (only comments in brackets are mine):

[first anonymous quotes Spencer:]

If he knew what the book was, the soldier was stupid, because even if it is true that the Qur'an contains mandates for violence against unbelievers, and it is true, doing something like this will only turn into enemies some people who might otherwise not be your enemies.

[then writes:]


Anyone who shows himself as our enemy as a result of someone shooting at the Qur'an is already our enemy, as that person in effect has demanded of us to respect the scriptures of his so-called religion, or else. Our failure to comply merely makes the person reveal himself as our enemy. Thus, the Qur'an shooting should be a good thing, as it will provoke our enemies to reveal themselves. I'm surprised that Spencer considers this Qur'an shooting incident an "unnecessary provocation", since it is no more an "unnecessary provocation" than the Danish Mohammad cartoons were, and Spencer apparently has no problems with posting these on his site.

[he quotes Spencer again:]

D'Souza in that is asking us to ignore and deny the truth, which is never an effective strategy in wartime or peacetime.

[then writes:]

I'm glad to hear that Spencer has now realized that ignoring and denying the truth is never an effective strategy. Since Spencer's repeated challenges to Muslims to work for Islamic reform have in fact been expressions of Spencer himself outwardly ignoring and denying the truth, as they have suggested that Islamic reform is possible when in reality this is not the case (something Spencer himself undoubtedly realizes), his recent epiphany suggests that the nonsensical challenge is now a thing of the past, at least if Spencer will practice what he preaches and not merely continue to ignore and deny the truth against his own better judgement.

Posted by: anonymous

_____________________________


[Spencer opens with a snotty salute and an irrelevant ad hominem:]

Anonymous: Hi! I know who you are, but never mind.


[Spencer then quotes
anonymous:]

I'm glad to hear that Spencer has now realized that ignoring and denying the truth is never an effective strategy. Since Spencer's repeated challenges to Muslims to work for Islamic reform have in fact been expressions of Spencer himself outwardly ignoring and denying the truth, as they have suggested that Islamic reform is possible when in reality this is not the case (something Spencer himself undoubtedly realizes), his recent epiphany suggests that the nonsensical challenge is now a thing of the past, at least if Spencer will practice what he preaches and not merely continue to ignore and deny the truth against his own better judgement.

[then writes:]


I see you've been reading Lawrence Auster, a man who relentlessly attributes to me positions that I do not hold, and who professes to know what I believe better than I do. That's his business, but in any case, there is no denial of reality by me here at all. This is what is known as calling a bluff. I explained here what I am doing when I call for Islamic reform: http://jihadwatch.org/archives/020749.php

Cordially
Robert Spencer


_____________________________


[another reader, “Darcy” wrote:]

Yeah, hi, Mohammedan al-"anonymous." RS is all about Truth. You are all about "taqiyya." Bravo Mohammed cartoons! MORE Mohammed cartoons! Because: They tell the Truth about evil Islam.

_____________________________


[And Spencer replied:]

Darcy:

"Anonymous" is not a Muslim, but someone who has been misled by some people who appear bent on portraying me, for some reason, as an enemy, and in doing this have not hesitated to stoop to attributing to me beliefs and positions that I do not hold, and hunting for "contradictions" in my positions that do not actually exist.


Cordially

Robert Spencer

_____________________________


[Darcy again:]

OK, RS. He's a Muslim Apologist. I get it. Could it be Esposito? Karen Armstrong? Dhimmi D'Souza? Doug Hooper? Whoever it is, can't be too bright. Obviously.

_____________________________


[Spencer again:]

Darcy,

No, no one like Esposito or Armstrong either. This person is from the group that believes that because I do not say that all Muslims are evil, I am soft on jihad, and they pretend that I say we should not resist jihadist activity in the U.S., but should rather wait passively for Islamic reform, which is so far from what I actually say as to border on libel.

Cordially

Robert Spencer


_____________________________


[
anonymous then responds to Spencer:]

Spencer provides me with a link in which he quotes himself saying the following:

"Many strange things have happened in history
and I would never say that Islamic reform is absolutely impossible" (my emphasis).

Here, Spencer explicitly admits that he would never say that Islamic reform is impossible, meaning that he does claim it could be possible, even as he admits that it is not likely. For the record, I don't actually believe that Spencer himself personally has any hopes for Islamic reform to occur - on the contrary, someone with as much knowledge of Islam as Spencer necessarily has to know that Islamic reform is impossible. Which begs the question why Spencer is so reluctant to actually admit that this is true. Instead, rather than stating in unambiguous language that Islamic reform is impossible, and that no matter what they say or do, so-called Islamic reformers will necessarily leave us disappointed since as Spencer undoubtedly know there is no potential for reform in Islam, Spencer first informs us of the unlikelihood of Islamic reform, but then all of a sudden challenges Muslims to work for Islamic reform, thereby suggesting that however unlikely it may be, Islamic reform is possible! Ultimately, the issue is not about whether or not Spencer believes that Islamic reform is possible, but about why Spencer insists on challenging Muslims to work for Islamic reform when the challenge itself implies that Islamic reform is possible or else would be meaningless, and why Spencer persists in doing so even after he has been made aware of these implications.

[then quoting “Darcy”:]
Hey al-"anonymous." I've bought a little paperback Koran. And I can do ANYTHING I want with it! So, I'm your enemy! Good! COME AND GET ME!

[
anonymous continues:]

Darcy seems to have misunderstood my message completely. What I was trying to convey was that I believe that Spencer is wrong when he claims that the Qur'an shooting will "turn into enemies some people who might otherwise not be your enemies". The way I see it, anyone who starts behaving as our enemy as a result of our failure to show respect for the Qur'an was already our enemy, and only revealed himself as an enemy when we faildc to act in accordance with his implicit demands. Bravo Mohammed cartoons! MORE Mohammed cartoons! Because: They tell the Truth about evil Islam. I agree.

Posted by: anonymous


_____________________________


[Spencer again:]

Anonymous:

Evidently, you, like your friends, do not know the meaning of the phrase "calling a bluff." Meanwhile, I understand the competition for market share, but I myself have an immense distaste for friendly fire. I do not engage in criticism of those with whom I share a general vision, even if we disagree on some particulars. While I have no hope that you, Auster, or Cantor/Television/Remote etc. etc. etc. will ever get a clue that the jihadists, rather than me, are the ones we should directing our efforts against, I will say that your commenting here -- while you are not and will not be banned -- is not particularly welcome. No one is forcing you to read this site, and I encourage you to go elsewhere.

Cordially
Robert Spencer


_____________________________


[
anonymous Quoting Spencer:]

Evidently, you, like your friends, do not know the meaning of the phrase "calling a bluff."


[
anonymous then writes:]

And I have tried to explain to Spencer that whatever the intent of his challenges, they have the unfortunate effect of suggesting that Islamic reform is possible. If Spencer does not in fact intend to suggest such a thing, he should consider rephrasing his frequent challenges so that they no longer contain this suggestion. Spencer seems to think that my motivation for posting at this site is to "compete for market share" and points out that I should direct my efforts against the jihadists instead of him, but he seems to have missed the purpose of my presence here in the first place. Generally, I believe that the counterjihad movement should strive for clarity, and whatever Spencer may think of my comments here (and other comments in a similar vein), they do nevertheless suggest that his writings are not always sufficiently clear. Since Spencer is such a prominent and important figure in the counterjihad movement (indeed, he may be the most important of them all), pointing this out is not insignificant and annoying nit-picking, it is an attempt at encouraging (or even provoking) Spencer into striving for clarity in his writings, for the potential benefit of the counterjihad movement. Therefore it is deplorable that Spencer himself has shown himself to be negative towards those trying to convince him, though to be fair I have to give him credit for not doing a Charles Johnson and ban anyone on a whim. Speaking of clarity, if we are to take Spencer at his word that he "would never say that Islamic reform is absolutely impossible", then it would be immensely interesting to hear from Spencer himself exactly what it is about Islam that makes him unwilling to rule out the possibility of Islamic reform altogether. (Since the weekend is over and I don't really have much time to participate in this discussion, I think this'll have to be it for me for now.)


Posted by: anonymous

_____________________________


[As Spencer did not respond again,
anonymous added a little while later:]

Although I've withdrawn from this discussion, I'm still watching it as I'm waiting for Spencer to address the following: "Speaking of clarity, if we are to take Spencer at his word that he "would never say that Islamic reform is absolutely impossible", then it would be immensely interesting to hear from Spencer himself exactly what it is about Islam that makes him unwilling to rule out the possibility of Islamic reform altogether." Even if Spencer says that I personally am not "particularly welcome" here, his answer to this question could be of interest to all of his readers (including those who are in fact welcome here). Therefore I hope Spencer could take the time to answer it (or at the very least tell us why he doesn't want to do so if that's the case).

Posted by: anonymous


_____________________________


[END OF TRANSCRIPT]

Conclusion:

That last polite, mature and intelligent request by
anonymous was at 4:00 p.m. Pacific time, yesterday, May 20th. Spencer has not responded, over 24 hours later (as of the time I wrote this on May 21st, 4:30 p.m. Pacific time).

Seeing how Spencer was quick to respond to all of the previous posts by
anonymous (and seeing how Spencer has similarly left a few of my challenges on other comments fields unanswered in the past after having quickly responded to the first few comments I made), we are likely here seeing Spencer doing the same thing he accused me of, which I quoted above and which it is apposite to redirect back at him now:

Apparently, in what is perhaps not a surprising move in light of his mean-spiritedness and Gotcha! mentality, he has withdrawn when called out on what he is doing.

23 comments:

champ said...

erich,

I feel somewhat responsible for Robert's rude comments to you; since I am the one who mentioned "cantor" as possibly being the new mystery poster. Were it not for the fact that I brought up your name in the first place, then what followed never would have been stated.

You have disappeared before, only to come back with a different moniker, so I thought it a real possibility than anonymous might be you. I was simply trying to solve a mystery, not put you in front of a firing squad.

Had I known what his response would be, then I NEVER would have mentioned your name. So I would like to apologize for my part in what happened, and would hope that you could forgive me.

I'm really very sorry, and it won't happen again.

Erich said...

Hi champ, I appreciate your apology, but I really don't blame you at all. Whatever Spencer said was bound to come out eventually anyway; and he has said things like that many times about me in the past. The only thing your comment directly triggered, it seems, was his admission that "somebody" told him I have been "whining" about being banned (I have a hunch it was that charming visitor who came through here like a hurricane a few months ago, since that visitor made ominous statements about how my blog would be "monitored" to see that I "behaved", and Spencer has called that visitor a "friend" more than once). I'm glad he was moved to make that comment, along with his other comment about how me and others like me are not interested in a "good-faith discussion" -- because both these comments of his are so jarringly dissonant with other things he has said.

So I don't fault you at all; I realize your motives were sincere.

Lawrence Auster said...

Erich and Anonymous deserve credit for bringing to the fore the illogic and—in my opinion—the intellectual dishonesty of Spencer's position. For Spencer to say, "Many strange things have happened in history and I would never say that Islamic reform is absolutely impossible," is to portray the prospect of such reform as so unlikely as to border on the miraculous. If it's so unlikely as to border on the miraculous, then it's not something we can expect to happen as a result of some Musims simply wanting it happen. Yet Spencer in his constant challenges to Muslims to make it happen clearly implies that this is something that they could readily make happen if they sincerely wanted to make it happen. And that's the contradiction, as you point out. He then claims, in his defense, that he's just "calling their bluff," smoking out the phony moderates, and that you are clueless in not seeing his brilliant ploy. But as you correctly reply, the message he actually sends is not that he's calling a bluff but that he himself believes that Islamic reform is something that could readily happen. And thus he keeps alive in the Western mind the belief that reform is a REALISTIC POSSIBILITY, the very opposite of what he SAYS he believes. So his position is deeply, maddeningly dishonest.

Spencer as always takes a haughty and superior stand toward his critics, whom he dismisses as unfair, carping, motivated by personal motivations against him, and so on. He never acknowledges that the source of problem may not be in his critics' position, but in his.

awake said...

"That last polite, mature and intelligent request by “anonymous” was at 4:00 p.m. Pacific time, yesterday, May 20th. Spencer has not responded, over 24 hours later."


He responded, albeit not fast enough to suit you.

awake said...

"I would not expect someone of Spencer’s visibility to propose the expulsion of all Muslims from America. That’s too extreme a position at this point and would just get him relegated to the sidelines. But there’s no reason he could not call for essentially all Muslim immigration to stop. I think his description of the nature of Islam and the threat is poses logically requires it."

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 21, 2006 01:43 PM

As is typical, understanding exactly where and when your positions should change to fit into the perfect paradigm of Auster is indeed a daunting task, and one that very few, if any, can achieve.

Since Auster cannot actually refute Spencer for what he says nor can he disprove the possibility of what Spencer suggests can occur, and more importantly needs to occur, he criticizes on the basis of what he deems Spencer's position should be.

Sometimes Auster unwittingly admits that to curb one's words and positions in order to avoid relegation to the sidelines is warranted and proper, as was displayed above. At other times, it is "deeply, maddeningly dishonest" to do so.

It is difficult to keep one's position in perfect lock-step with what Larry believes the position should be at any given moment. Maybe Spencer will try harder in the future.

Unfortunately, without this infantile rift, perpetuated by one side only, there would be no need for this ongoing desperate rant of a blog by an obviously jilted lover.

Sorrow all around.

Erich said...

awake,

"He [Spencer] responded, albeit not fast enough to suit you."

In the years I have been reading Jihad Watch (and believe me, I peruse it and most comments fields , which in the original meaning means "to read thoroughly"), I have never seen Robert Spencer -- in the context of an exchange he is having with a reader in a comments field -- be silent for over 30 hours and then post a response, not to mention that the thread had already gone into archives at that point to boot. This is the first time I have ever seen this happen. Seems kind of coincidental that it happened after my blog essay calling attention to his lack of response to "anonymous". Spencer implied that he has a "somebody" apparently apprising him of my blog, and I know from a past somebody (who stormed in here full of outrageously unhinged paranoid irrational fury and venom who threatened to hunt me down and "expose" me, make public my real name and address and the real names and addresses of my friends and families) who vowed that my blog would be monitored to make sure I didn't misbehave, which misbehavior included in that somebody's words trying to undermine Spencer; and this somebody who did this continues to be counted as Spencer's "friend". With friends like that, who needs enemas.

Erich said...

awake,

Spencer's unprecedentedly belated response to "anonymous" included this ridiculous inaccuracy about Lawrence Auster:

"Lawrence Auster's contention that I am recommending that the West do nothing to defend itself against the jihad and Islamic supremacism beyond passively wait for Islam to reform."

I have never seen Auster say: "Spencer recommends that the West do nothing to defend itself against the jihad and Islamic supremacism beyond passively waiting for Islam to reform". I would like to see Spencer produce evidence that Auster ever said this. What nonsensical tripe.

Lawrence Auster said...

In reply to the commenter named "Awake," my position is straightforward. Far from my demanding that Spencer or anyone conform to my views, I was saying just the opposite. I was saying that I do not expect Spencer to agree with my admittedly radical position that Muslims don't belong in America and that we should adopt policies that will result in their steady departure. I said, rather, that the least strong position that Spencer could adopt that would be logically consistent with Spencer's own view of Islam is that all further Muslim immigration should be stopped.

Indeed for years my position has been, not to demand that Spencer's Islam policy conform to MY policy, but that it conform to HIS OWN analysis of Islam. Given the way he describes Islam, it is rankest contradiction of him not to oppose, and oppose CONSISTENTLY, any further Islamic immigration into America.

Yet "Awake" evidently regards my straightforward position as so internally contradictory that it amount to requiring other people to dance to whatever my contradictory whim of the moment happens to be. The truth is that I have been consistent on this position for years.

Finally, and sadly, "Awake" follows Spencer in replying to my intellectual criticisms of Spencer with a personal attack on me for my divisiveness etc.

Lawrence Auster said...

Here is what "Awake" said about me:

"Unfortunately, without this infantile rift, perpetuated by one side only, there would be no need for this ongoing desperate rant of a blog by an obviously jilted lover."

This is what I mean by the low-level, belittling personal attacks that consistently have been directed at me, by Spencer and his followers, for my intellectual criticisms of Spencer's position. The aim of this type of attack is to marginalize and silence critics. It is a despicable tactic characteristic of the left.

awake said...

Erich wrote:
"I have never seen Auster say: "Spencer recommends that the West do nothing to defend itself against the jihad and Islamic supremacism beyond passively waiting for Islam to reform". I would like to see Spencer produce evidence that Auster ever said this. What nonsensical tripe."

Nonsensical tripe? OK, this is from Larry's own mouth from his own site.


"Notice how Spencer puts the entire burden for the resolution of this problem on the Muslims. If the Muslims face the truth about the Muslim custom of honor killings and do something about it, then that will solve it. But if they don't, well, we just have to accept the existence of Muslim honor killings in our country."

"Liberals like Lewis and Spencer preclude from the outset even the possibility that we have the right, the duty, and the ability to protect ourselves."

"If Spencer were serious about ending Muslim immigration, then at the end of such an article, instead of giving his conservative readers the helpless feeling that there is nothing we can do about honor killings in America except to hope that Muslims abandon their millennia old customs..."

"Getting Robert Spencer to be serious about ending Muslim immigration is like getting Republican presidential candidates to be serious about opposing amnesty. When put under unceasing pressure on the issue, they will say that they're against amnesty, but they don't really mean it, and they don't follow through."

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 21, 2008 11:09 AM

http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/009728.html

First, these words by Auster directly confirm Spencer's claim against him and refutes yours.

Second, I would like to know what Auster actually views Spencer as, speaking of contradictions.

Is he the disingenuous believer that Islam is unreformable, believes all Muslims are evil but is afraid to admit it?

Or is he the liberal, hang your head in despair hoping that Muslims will reform otherwise we can not and should not do anything to blunt the Islamic onslaught?

Both contentions about Spencer seem patently false to me, but somewhere in Larry's criticisms, some continuity may exist, right?

awake said...

Larry,

That comment about the "jilted lover" and "infantile rant" was directed to Erich and this pathetic blog's attempted dissemination of Spencer and Fitzgerald and the entire JW commenting community.

I thought that was obvious.

Anyway imhave provided your own words about Spencer to back his claim that Erich said can't be done.

So which of the two caricatures that you have accused him of, is he most like?

Erich said...

awake,

You asked Auster:

Is he the disingenuous believer that Islam is unreformable, believes all Muslims are evil but is afraid to admit it?

Or is he the liberal, hang your head in despair hoping that Muslims will reform otherwise we can not and should not do anything to blunt the Islamic onslaught?

Both contentions about Spencer seem patently false to me, but somewhere in Larry's criticisms, some continuity may exist, right?

I won't speak for Auster, but my point has been that it's not one or the other, it's both.

By the words of Spencer, and by the prodigious activity of his "day job" -- amassing the horrible mountain of Islamic data that would move anybody of reasonable intelligence to affirm that

a) one should be anti-Islam because Islam is evil and dangerous no matter how wonderfully diverse in sociology & culture and historically rich Islam is, and no matter how many incidentally good things (like dental hygiene, as Spencer reminded us) happen to also exist in the grotesquely ghoulish cesspool of Islam;

and that

b) the putative existence out there of harmless Muslims, even if we believe in it, is not relevant to what we have to do for our self-defense and therefore we must assume all Muslims are equally suspect --

then both of your positions you described apply. Hence the contradiction I have been talking about in the last dozen fricking essays. Spencer compounds this contradiction by resorting to weaselly, slippery sophistry to try to wiggle out of it when people have challenged him to clarify once and for all his position, and tries to suspend himself at a lofty position two inches above the contradiction, a position that makes no sense because it is not a real position, it is a non-position.

Erich said...

awake, I'll get to your evidence of Auster saying what Spencer claimed he said a little later.

awake said...

..."but my point has been that it's not one or the other, it's both."

Negative.

He is not simultaneously a defeatist liberal and hard-line uncompromising critic.

That is Islamic logic.

His position on reform is clear and has been clarified ad nauseum. You just refuse to accept it.

Auster's words are irrefutable, his sad attempt to deflect criticism of his words by pretending to be offended by ad hominem that was obviously not even directed at him. You can address nothing later for your statement of proof was provided.

Even your own loyal supporters have lauded the discontinuation of this fruitless exercise.

Whenever you attract praise from the likes of Subhani and Sutter, you probably are not getting your point across efficiently.

That's just some friendly advice, for I do not wish you any ill will.

Erich said...

awake,

Erich wrote:

"I have never seen Auster say: "Spencer recommends that the West do nothing to defend itself against the jihad and Islamic supremacism beyond passively waiting for Islam to reform". I would like to see Spencer produce evidence that Auster ever said this. What nonsensical tripe."

Nonsensical tripe? OK, this is from Larry's own mouth from his own site.

"Notice how Spencer puts the entire burden for the resolution of this problem on the Muslims. If the Muslims face the truth about the Muslim custom of honor killings and do something about it, then that will solve it. But if they don't, well, we just have to accept the existence of Muslim honor killings in our country."

awake: I don't see anything here in Auster's words that say that "Spencer recommends that the West do nothing to defend itself against the jihad and Islamic supremacism beyond passively waiting for Islam to reform". What I see in Auster's words is that Spencer's position (or one of his positions which is incoherently part of his other apparent position on Islam) has the effect of putting the onus on Muslims to reform. Nothing there about Spencer "recommending" anything. Auster (and I and others) are calling on Spencer to take a stand based on his own words, one way or the other. When Spencer says that the millions and millions of Muslims out there who are ignorant of jihad and Islamic supremacism "must be reckoned with", what could that possibly mean in pragmatic terms? When furthermore, he is on record expressing the expectation innumerable times of Muslims (and not merely the "pseudo-reformers") to refute their brethren who are using Islamic tradition to foment jihad and Islamic supremacism, this adds teeth to that "reckon with" statement. Then we have Spencer avowing that he is "not anti-Islam", that Islam cannot be condemned because it is so multifaceted and historically rich, blah blah blah.

"Liberals like Lewis and Spencer preclude from the outset even the possibility that we have the right, the duty, and the ability to protect ourselves."

Yes: preclude by the implications of their words. Auster is not saying "Spencer stood up on the podium and said 'we do not have the right, the duty, and the ability to protect ourselves'." Auster is calling on Spencer to account for his many words of mealy-mouthed equivocation that contradict his otherwise strong language about Muslims, his otherwise potent warnings and diagnoses of Muslim horrors, evils, deceptions, and false shows of reform.

As for the issue of immigration, I go further than Auster apparently; for I recommend that nothing short of total deportation of all Muslims from the West makes rational sense, given all the features I have exhaustively detailed in previous essays concerning the exigencies of our self-defense combined with the singular nature of the menace of Islam in all its varied aspects.

Conclusion: At the end of the day, I suspect that Spencer's actual position leans toward a Christian humanism that recoils from the ruthlessness we need to cultivate in the face of the unique menace of Islam, and that hopes for the conversion of a sufficient number of Muslims to Christianity to "save" us from having to be ruthless in the face of this tragic, horrible problem.

Erich said...

awake,

"Whenever you attract praise from the likes of Subhani and Sutter, you probably are not getting your point across efficiently."

Or people are not reading me carefully, from the likes of awake and others. It's not the fault of my arguments when people don't read them carefully.

awake said...

Your opinion on a moratorium on Muslim immigration and agressive Muslim deportation is noted.

Spencer's positions on the two, although remarkably different than yours and Auster's, is quite clear based on the endless writings of his personal, yet publicly transparent library.

Your challenge was met with the validation of Auster's explicit words regarding Spencer.

The charge of not reading carefully should not be made from one who obviously has not been reading carefully.

Perhaps you don't know Auster and his literary distortions of Spencer and his "deficient, contradictory positions" as well as you thought you did?

Lawrence Auster said...

Thanks to Erich for attempting to explain my meaning to the uncomprehending "Awake." To boil down Erich's point, here's what "Awake" doesn't understand. I was not saying, "Here is what Spencer is recommending, he is recommending that we don't do anything about Muslims." No. What I was saying was, "Here is Spencer's argument about how to persuade moderate Muslims. If we follow Spencer's logic, we end up doing nothing about radical Muslims." It's the implicit and inevitable tendency of his logic I was criticizing, not his explicit statements about policy.

What I often do in my writings is to show the underlying premises of a writer's argument, and to show where those premises really lead. Most writers and politicians, and especially many "conservatives" today, don't think about their premises and where their argument really tends. They just adopt the phrases and slogans of their social or ideological environment. But the language that people use matters. Thus a person who thinks of himself as a conservative, but who employs liberal premises, liberal concepts, and liberal ideals in his writing, is a liberal. For example, I've repeatedly demonstrated the strong liberal elements in Spencer's writings and his stated ideals.

Obviously, this approach sometimes enrages the people I'm writing about. They don't like having their premises be identified, especially when those premises lead in the opposite direction from where they imagine they lead. They want their statements to be accepted on face value. They think I'm accusing them of lying. Sometimes people lie. More often, they are blind to their own liberalism, because they are surrounded by liberalism as fish are surrounded by the sea.

awake said...

Lawrence,

Your latest offering is the weakest I have witnessed. It is simply the rationalization of a lost position.

You dare defy your own explicit words regarding Spencer to tell me what you meant by them, like you still attempt to define the true meaning of Spencer's explicit words.

My advice, play the lottery or become a political prognosticator. Endeavor in some field to display your obvious inherent clairvoyance, for debate based on facts, not inference, is obviously not your strong suit.

You, like Erich and this blog, a sad testament to his own frustrition, apparently have no shame and don't mind publicly embarassing yourself further. So be it.

At least you did us all the favor of discontinuing the use of Spencer's quotes, because we both know that avenue has not worked in your favor to date.

Your words however, on your site, which I quickly referenced, and your words wasted here in this continued exercise in futility on this now defunct blog, will prove to be eternal.

To my "uncomprehending" self, a basic logical premise still holds true. I believe a prominent Democrat once said, "You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts."

It seems that is nearly a universal truth, with yourself being the noted exception to it.

Calling Spencer, or myself for that matter, a liberal with no substantive validation behind it, is simply a statement, not a fact.

The Islamists that your profess to detest so vehemently, engage in this sort of disingenuous banter all the time.

Erich said...

awake,

1. Your last two responses only contained assertions (+ sprinkled with other peripheral observations) that Auster's words were not cogent, but you failed to explain why, with an actual argument. (I think the fallacy is that of "labelling", where the person just applies a label on his opponent's words, and assumes that this is enough to refute his opponent's words -- which, of course, it is not. And the simple fallacy of labelling does not magically acquire a transformation into a counter-argument merely by expanding it to several paragraphs, as you did.)

2. My last dozen essays on this blog contain numerous extended quotations of Spencer's words, and then in those essays I analyze them and present arguments for critical positions I maintain about the flaws in some of Spencer's methods and substance. Save for one insufficient attempt, you have never addressed the content of any of those dozen essays, and you have presented not one actual counter-argument based upon them. Instead, you have, as with #1 above, simply made assertions -- absent argumentation and evidence -- about me and my positions.

In sum, what you have presented so far is heavily weighted with assertions and emotional language, but does not pass muster to begin to actually persuade a reasonable person.

awake said...

Erich,

This entire blog is based on assertions. Your analysis of Spencer's writings and apparent contradictions that you believe you have discovered are mere phantoms.

I have not labeled anyone. Larry is the labeler. you asked for proof to support Spencer's claim and I brought it front and center. Debating a point based on written words to support a claim. My point was made whether you care to acknowledge it or not.

I do not feel the need to address your dozens of essays on what you deem Spencer's analytical and methodological flaws to be. Those flaws are assertions, not facts, and you are certainly entitled to your opinion and position, but you are not entitled to define another's position based on what yuu feel it should be or what you think it is, even in light of contradictory written proof that states otherwise.

Spencer is a liberal?

Let's see if you actually discontinue this blog as you said you would and focus on your well-documented "hobby-horse". I am all but certain that you won't, but I have been wrong once or twice in the past.

I will not be responding anymore on this thread (and hopefully not on this blog), so feel free to get your closing talking points in.

Regards.

Lawrence Auster said...

For someone who complains about people making sweeping assertions with no content, "Awake" takes the cake in that department. If he is interested in arguments and not just gassing on about my complete intellectual worthlessness, he could go to my website View from the Right, click on the google utility in the sidebar, and search for Spencer liberal.

awake said...

Larry,

Where do you think I got your quotes about Spencer from?

By the way, what prompted your expulsion from conservative internet news and opinion sources Like FPM, WND, etc., or let me guess, it was strictly by your own volition, wasn't it?

Talk about being relegated to the sidelines.

Is there nary a conservative in this worldly domain worthy of anything but your scorn?