Skip to main content

View Diary: Bill Maher Schooled By His Own Guest For His Ignorant Statements on Muslim Violence & Islam (VIDEO) (123 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  This is snapshot of an ongoing debate (14+ / 0-)

    between Greenwald and Sam Harris, and other new-atheists. Maher is a poor man's Harris and Richard Dawkins, and doesn't hold his own here, but don't let that take away from a serious point of view.

    In a nutshell, you have Greenwald positing a 'Chomskyian' view that American state violence is the root cause for hostilities in the Middle East, versus the Harris-Hitchens-Dawkins of the world that view radical Islam as inherently more violent than other forms of religions, and thus incrementally more dangerous.

    The reason why it's a heated debate at all is because both sides are too darn stubborn to see that both have a valid point. Greenwald is one of the most sanctimonious opinion writers out there, and the new-atheists can be rather condescending.

    Frankly, both of their arguments highlight causal factors of the violence. It's not a matter of who's right and wrong, or winning the debate, but accepting that this is complex problem that requires complex, multiple-facets solutions.

    •  I didn't hear GG say that we are the "root cause (8+ / 0-)

      for the hostilities in the Middle East," but that our imperialist meddling and attempts at control -- for motives such as oil ---- have been a major contributor.  How can any rational observer argue with that?  And I'd expand it backward quite a bit, since in many ways we have just been playing the tag- team successor to the Brits in that regard (and to a somewhat lesser degree the French) going back to at least World War I and even further back in Egypt.  

      I'd say the "root cause" is ethnic/religious conflict unleashed by the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and by the secularizing effects of modernity;  but the Western powers sure haven't helped matters, even putting aside the effects of the establishment of Israel and the results of the 1948 & 1967 Israeli-Arab wars.  For example, the Brits crazily decided to put into one Rube Goldberg country named Iraq the Sunni, Shia, and Kurdish provinces that the Ottomans  had kept administratively separate; and then we crazily decided to invade that pseudo-country to turn it into an American-style democracy, as though we don't have enough problems trying to get our own combination of a neo-Union and a neo-Confederacy to function half-way effectively.  

      "If you don't read the newspapers, you're uninformed. If you do read the newspapers, you're misinformed." -- M. Twain

      by Oliver St John Gogarty on Sat May 11, 2013 at 11:49:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm in complete agreement (6+ / 0-)

        so sorry if I misrepresented Greenwald.

        I'm trying to strike a balance between religious and imperialist causes of the violence. In other words, it's my position that is our imperialist, oil-driven meddling has further exacerbated a region steeped in religious and ethnic tensions and radicalized some of its populace.

        GG and Harris/Maher, in my eyes, are BOTH too singularly focused on their own arguments and causualities.

        •  Yep--while watching, I was alternating between, (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JDsg, poco, lyvwyr101, Moravan

          "Ah, c'mon, Bill. Really?" and "Aw, c'mon, Glenn.  Really?" I normally get a tremendous kick out of Maher's rants on religion.  But when he starts in on his Islam obsession, I just tune him out.  The way he talks about Islam currently having a monopoly on religiously-motivated violence makes it sound as though the Israeli religious right consists only of pacifists,  that the Troubles in Northern Ireland are ancient history, and that our own domestic Torquemadas and Cromwells wouldn't sprout up like mushrooms if the majority of Christian Americans had their way with the First Amendment.  (See, e.g., the recent silliness of the NC legislature).  

          "If you don't read the newspapers, you're uninformed. If you do read the newspapers, you're misinformed." -- M. Twain

          by Oliver St John Gogarty on Sat May 11, 2013 at 01:01:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's not a monopoly, but way ahead of the pack (5+ / 0-)

            You might be threatened with death here in America by Muslim extremists who might find a drawing of Mohammed blasphemous and offensive to their 'belief'. Not likely, I grant you, but it has happened in the west and is still most likely way you might die by religious extremism at this time..

            This makes it admittedly dangerous for the moderates of mainstream Islam to stand up to the assassins as they might literally meet such a threat more than you or I. I'm against any destruction or taking away of someone's rights by any religion. But for you to say that Islam is not the leading contender in the world today for killing someone as a heretic is ignoring the facts.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site