Thursday, July 15, 2010
THE CULTURAL denial of the threat we face will be overcome in one of two ways. Either it will be changed by the nation being subjected to sufficient additional carnage to force it awake or – obviously preferably – it will be abandoned in response to a sustained effort to saturate the public consciousness with images that effectively convey the threat, convey it to the point where fewer and fewer are able to cling to their denial of reality.
Roger Simon notes that the Internet, which could be an effective tool for getting out the truth about the Islamist threat despite mainstream media silence and obfuscation, has actually largely cut the other way by being used to promote the Big Lie about the threat, the denying it and rationalizing it and prettifying it. The Internet is also used by the Islamist enemy to recruit to its cause. But the new media could be used to expose more effectively the Big Lie, with images. I agree with Roger Simon on the repellent non-response of Obama to last June’s mobilization of the freedom movement in Iran. The snapshots and film images captured on cell phones of the popular uprising and the regime’s brutal response were seen around the world, and brought home to many the nature of the Iranian branch of the enemy and the moral bankruptcy of Obama’s response.
Images of events in Darfur can also be mustered to convey the counter-message to the Big Lie. The people of Darfur, like those in the streets in Iran, are Muslims, but their tormentors, the rulers of the Sudan, are closely allied with the Iranian branch of the Islamist threat – its chief boosters are drawn from Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah. Sudan’s rulers enjoy as well the unanimous backing of the Arab League, the friendship of Erdogan’s Islamic government in Turkey, and the support of additional non-state backers such as Al-Qaeda. Many on this roster, including the Sudanese government, are the object of Obama Administration blandishments and outreach and offerings of carrots, even as the slaughter in Darfur, and indeed in other minority areas in Sudan, goes on unabated. Images, in photos and film, of what is actually happening there can help promote public eye-opening to the broader threat and impatience with our government’s fecklessness.
Those who speak the truth, or convey it in photos and video, will be demonized, as Robert Spencer says. That is, indeed, the Islamist way, and leftist way. But one can challenge the censors. If their counterparts in Europe, including the indicters of Wilders, are largely able to escape serious challenge, we’re not obliged to give the censors a free pass here.
Material demonstrating the threat – in the words and deeds of the Islamists themselves – can be offered, in universities and elsewhere, as material to be discussed and debated. If it contains errors, let the critics demonstrate it. Those who refuse to allow the discussion, in whatever venue, should be called out for violating the norms of a free society, whether they are motivated by fears of the physical retaliation supporters of the Islamist threat so widely employ, or by fears of being labeled “racist” or “anti-Muslim,” or – as the anecdotes cited by Robert Spencer effectively convey – by refusal to recognize the nature of the threat because it is too daunting and upsetting.
During the late thirties, Churchill was censored. He was virtually blackballed by the BBC and demonized by other major media. They were afraid to have his message aired, afraid of its implications. When Chamberlain brought “peace in our time” back from Munich, Churchill was denounced as a warmonger for criticizing Chamberlain’s capitulation to the Nazi threat.
But we do have tools to circumvent the censorship of the appeasers, and only through those tools can we hope to break the dominant self-delusion by means that will spare the nation a ruder awakening via future 9/11’s.
The above is a quote from Dr. Kenneth Levin, a clinical instructor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, a Princeton-trained historian, and a commentator on Israeli politics. He is the author of "The Oslo Syndrome: Delusions of a People Under Siege."
Read the whole conversation: Symposium: The Fear that Wilders is Right.