The Official Blog Of Edward Cline

The Associated Press’s Blanking Out

In
Eleanor H. Porter’s 1913 novel, Pollyanna,
the title character, a child, adopts an unreserved, delusional perspective of
optimism. When given a pair of crutches instead of a doll for Christmas, she
proclaims she is happy because she didn’t need them. From that point forward,
she turns all bad things into good things.

The
Associated Press (AP) this year is one hundred and sixty-seven years old. As a news
gathering and distributing organization it is not a child and presumably is not
staffed by children. Yet, it has adopted an even worse delusional perspective
than Pollyanna‘s
on how to encounter bad things, such as Islamic jihad and illegal immigration. It has excised the terms Islamist and illegal
immigrant
from its style
book
. It will no longer accept copy containing those terms. In effect, the
policy isn’t merely one of turning bad things into good things. It simply
eliminates knowledge of bad things from one’s consciousness in an attempt to
remake reality. No good things replace the bad things.

It
is an exercise in what novelist/philosopher Ayn Rand called “blanking
out.” Discussing the source and power of evil, John Galt, the
scientist/philosopher of Atlas Shrugged,
said:

Thinking is
man’s only basic virtue, from which all the others proceed. And his basic vice,
the source of all his evils, is that nameless act which all of you practice,
but struggle never to admit: the act of blanking
out
, the willful suspension of one’s consciousness, the refusal to
think—not blindness, but the refusal to see; not ignorance, but the refusal to
know. It is the act of unfocusing your mind and inducing an inner fog to escape
the responsibility of judgment—on the unstated premise that a thing will not
exist if only you refuse to identify it, that A will not be A so long as you do
not pronounce the verdict “It is.”

Non-thinking is
an act of annihilation, a wish to negate existence, an attempt to wipe out
reality. But existence exists; reality is not to be wiped out, it will merely
wipe out the wiper.1.

The
AP’s action invites ribald mockery and loads of satirical comments. Jay Leno
scoffed that from now on he will use the term “undocumented
Democrats,” referring to the Democrats’ support of illegal immigrant
amnesty as a means of recruiting millions more voters in future elections. Another
organization said it will employ the term “illegal invader.”

However,
the AP’s action is symptomatic of a seriously flawed mental condition. Both
instances are examples of an
evasive psycho-epistemology, or voluntary blind-sidedness. Or, again, of
blanking out. Islam, Islamism, and Islamists, as Daniel Greenfield explains in
his column, “Talking About Terrorism,” will no more conform to a name
change than the tides obeyed King Canute and ceased to come in.

The first rule of the Jihad Club is that there’s no talking about it.
For the second rule, see the first rule. The culture of silence and terrorism
denial is sometimes well meaning. Since the Bush days, experts on Islam have
warned that the best way to defeat Islamic terrorists is to undermine their
claim to fighting on behalf of Islam by refusing to call them Islamic.

The average Al Qaeda recruit is utterly unaffected by whether the White
House press secretary calls the group Islamic, Islamist or terrorist or
militant. He similarly does not care whether Nidal Hasan’s shooting rampage at
Fort Hood is called an act of terror or workplace violence. Such concerns exist
only in the bubble of experts who offer shortcuts to fighting terrorism that
don’t actually involve killing terrorists.

If the AP or CNN truly wanted to push back against
Islamist violence, instead of censoring the Islamic part in the vain hope that
their followers might not then identify the Muslim Brotherhood or the Islamic
Jihad with Islam, they would challenge their premises by telling the truth
about Islamism and Islam.

 And if President Obama truly
wanted to fight Islamic terrorism and defeat Islam, would he have ordered the
redaction and discarding of all training materials for intelligence and law
enforcement agencies that identified
Islam as the prime mover of Islamic terrorism? Quoting from The Daily Caller,
Raymond Ibrahim of The Middle East Forum, in his November 2011 article, “Obama
Administration Bans
Knowledge
of Islam,” wrote:

The move comes after complaints from advocacy organizations including
the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and others identified as
Muslim Brotherhood front groups in the 2004 Holy Land Foundation terror
fundraising trial. In a Wednesday Los Angeles Times op-ed,
Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) president Salam al-Marayati threatened the
FBI with a total cutoff of cooperation between American Muslims and law
enforcement if the agency failed to revise its law enforcement training
materials. Maintaining the training materials in their current state “will
undermine the relationship between law enforcement and the Muslim American
community,” al-Marayati wrote. Multiple online sources detail MPAC’s close
alignment with CAIR. In his op-ed, Al-Marayati demanded that the Justice
Department and the FBI “issue a clear and unequivocal apology to the
Muslim American community” and “establish a thorough and transparent
vetting process in selecting its trainers and materials.”

What explanation does the AP
offer for blanking out the term Islamist? In 2012 it defined an Islamist
as precisely what it is now denying one is.  

Supporter of government in accord with the laws of Islam. Those who
view the Quran as a political model encompass a wide range of Muslims, from
mainstream politicians to militants known as jihadi.

Which is a very good and
precise definition, indeed. Islam is a political/theological ideology
whose end is world domination and global submission to Islamic Sharia law. However,
now the AP has atomized the concept Islamist and made numerous
unnecessary exceptions to the definition, and advises its writers that an Islamist
is:

An advocate or supporter of a political movement that favors reordering
government and society in accordance with laws prescribed by Islam. Do not
use as a synonym for Islamic fighters, militants, extremists or radicals, who
may or may not be Islamists.

Where possible, be specific and use the name of militant affiliations:
al-Qaida-linked, Hezbollah, Taliban, etc. Those who view the Quran as a
political model encompass a wide range of Muslims, from mainstream politicians
to militants known as jihadi. [Italics mine.]

So, a writer must suborn his
mind and go through mental gymnastics to distinguish between Islamic fighters
who are and are not Islamic fighters, or Islamists. The implication
is that not all Islamic fighters fight in the name of Allah; some might be
fighting in the name of the Elks or Rotary Club or the Egyptian Copts and just
happen to fancy the appellation Islamist. You never know, you never can
be sure. Suicide bomber A can be A and non-A at the same
time. You see, the world is littered with the bodies of Baptist and Atheist jihadis
who blew themselves up in the Mall of America and Afghanistan, the AP has run
dozens of stories about those terrorists, haven’t you read them? Who
knows? The 9/11 hijackers killed 3,000 people and themselves because they may
have been having a bad hair day.

What prompted the AP to change
its mind, and not so much back-pedal on the definition, as dismount from the
bike? Political pressure and political correctness in the form of the
communications director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR),
Ibrahim Hooper. CAIR, an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation money-laundering
case with strong links to Hamas (the terrorist organization which President Barack
Obama is seeking to legitimize, just as he has legitimatized The Muslim Brotherhood),
has acted as the point man in the conversion of the U.S. into a
Sharia-compliant nation. Its brothers in this country are the Islamic Circle of
North America, the Islamic Society of North America, the Muslim Public Affairs
Council, and the Muslim Students Association, all of which have chapters strewn
across the country, in addition to a passel of lesser Muslim organizations.

U.S. News & World Report,
in reporting the pressure Hooper applied on the AP, has taken no chances and
refers to CAIR in deceptively benign terms.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, an American advocacy group
sometimes labeled “Islamist” by
critics
, previously lobbied for the AP to drop the term. In a January op-ed
CAIR’s communications director, Ibrahim Hooper, wrote the term “has become
shorthand for ‘Muslims we don’t like'” and “is currently used in an
almost exclusively pejorative context.”

True, CAIR is just an
“advocacy group.” But, what does it advocate? Compliance with and deference
to Sharia law and Muslim religious customs. In short, submission to Islam. And
CAIR is not “sometimes” labeled Islamist; it is often labeled
Islamist.

Islam is a bad thing. Islamic fighters, militants, extremists or radicals, are all Islamists,
and all bad things, whether or not they are al-Qaida-linked, Hezbollah-linked,
Taliban-linked, Hamas-linked, and etc. Lone wolf jihadi, such as the
French Muslim Mohammed Merah, all acting in the name of Islam, are bad things.
Ibrahim Hooper of CAIR is a stealth jihadist, working to subvert the U.S.
from within per the Muslim Brotherhood manifesto.
He and the Manifesto are bad things. Hooper is definitely an Ikhwani, or Muslim
Brother.

The process of settlement is a “Civilization-Jihadist
Process” with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand that their
work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the
Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house
by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and
God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.2.   

Hooper and his cohorts across the American Islamic spectrum
all pose as “moderate” Muslims, when they are essentially Islamist. Which
means “radical.” Which means committed to the fundamental tenets of Islam.
A very and incontrovertibly a bad thing.  

But, what is a “moderate” Islamist? What
is a “moderate” Nazi, or a “moderate” Communist, for that
matter? The contradictions engendered by the term “moderate” boggle
the mind, as they are intended to, and disarm anyone attempting to grasp
the nature of the evil to which the country is submitting, whether that evil is
Islam or socialism or the rudderless, destructive statism of Obama’s basketball
prowess. Further, anyone charging Hooper and his cohorts with waging stealth or
“civilization jihad” is without fail branded as an
“extremist” or an “Islamophobe.”

All “moderates” of any ideology must ultimately
devolve and default to one of two states: “extremists” or nothing. They
must commit themselves to the entirety of their chosen ideology, or repudiate
it altogether, and become “extremists” (as the neo-conservatives are)
– or become manqués with nothing to say. This is no less true for those who are
“moderates” for freedom, for capitalism, or for the Bill of Rights. There
is no honorable middle ground, compromise, equivocation, or shilly-shallying between
“extremes.”

And it is no less true for an ideology. By their
definitions, “moderate” socialism must end up as full-scale, omnivorous
socialism, “moderate” communism must end up with the universal
expropriation of private wealth and gulags, and “moderate” Nazism
must end up with death camps and war. “Moderate” Islam must achieve universal
conquest and the imposition of Sharia law. Else it is not Islam, but instead
just another California cult that worships moons and magical pyramids, and bows
five times a day to totem poles dedicated to halal organic food.

Teri Blumenfeld, writing for The Middle East
Quarterly, discusses how the excision of politically incorrect terms connected
with Islam from the political lexicon, and the desiccated minds which political
correctness produces, made possible the evil of Nidal Hasan and the Fort Hood jihadist
massacre in 2009. She ended her article with:

Islamists often raise the specter of “Islamophobia” whenever
any legitimate question about or criticism of Islam is broached. But real
Islamophobia stalks the corridors of Washington and other Western capitols [sic]:
The fear of upsetting Muslims of any stripe is so rampant that the security of
the American citizenry has been compromised.

Incidentally, it is only government force that can
fuel and sustain political correctness in speech. See my “Speechless
Speech
” and other essays
on political correctness and incorrect speech on Rule of Reason. “Stealth”
censorship can accomplish this if it has a head-lock on a nation’s educational
institutions, as the government now has.

Syme, a character in Orwell’s Nineteen
Eighty-Four
who works on the ever-shrinking Newspeak Dictionary,
remarks to Winston Smith,

“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of
thought?…Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness
always a little smaller….Orthodoxy means not thinking, not needing to
think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness…Every year fewer and fewer words, and the
range of consciousness always a little smaller…It’s merely a question of
self-discipline, reality-control….”3.   

Except that in the AP’s case, words and concepts
are not banished, but smashed into their countless referents and sub-concepts,
with the rule being that they may not be re-integrated again, neither in print
nor in one’s mind, under pain of the politically correct punishment of being
silenced. Reality, however, will not be controlled. It will not conform to the
whims, wishes, or fears of those who blank it out.

When it comes to combating Islam and Islamists,
what you refuse to know will hurt you, later, if not sooner.

1.  Galt’s speech. Atlas Shrugged. 1957 (New York: Dutton 35th Anniversary Edition., 1992),
pp. 1017-1018.

2.  The Muslim Brotherhood
Manifesto, p. 21 of 32 of pdf file. Investigative Project on Terrorism.

3.  Nineteen
Eighty-Four
,
by George Orwell. 1949. Ed. Irving Howe. (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich,
1982), p. 36.

 

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3 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    In the past, the strategy of the Leftists was to imply that “illegal immigrants” were not illegal by using the term “undocumented immigrants” as if they merely had paperwork issues, and to hide the fact that they entered the country illegally. Similarly, they have used the term “militant Islamists” to describe Islamists and “violence” instead of “terrorism” because they wanted to imply that Islam is not militant and Islamists are not terrorists. Now they have shifted gears to pretending that either problem doesn’t exist. Perhaps, in their subjectivist thinking, if they stop using the term “illegal immigrant” and don’t acknowledge Islam as the culprit of terrorism, maybe then they can convince the “racists” who are anti-immigration that everyone is here legally, and that what “Islamophobes” think is terrorism is merely a random act of violence by an individual whose name, nationality, and religion we need not to disclose because it’s irrelevant.

    Ed, the AP has blanked out because they have cowed by political correctness, but Ozero’s motive, I would argue, is simply evil because in legitimizing Islamists he weakens America’s willingness and ability to identify and destroy the enemy. Ozero is anti-American and aligns himself with America's enemies.

  2. Edward Cline

    FrugalFrigate: All points well taken. I didn't dwell on Obama's evil because readers here already know what I think of him. But the press is supposed to fact-oriented and not complicit in the frauds being committed on the country. The AP wouldn't put up much resistance if the government decided to opt for open censorship. This excision of "inconvenient" terms is a step in that direction.

  3. Anonymous

    The issue I see here is whether the press (AP in this blog) can be "objective" and use value-neutral terminology? I doubt the objectivity of the press, and would prefer that each media out-let acknowledge it's editorial stance. FOX news, NPR, NY Times, Forbes each come with editorial biases. Stop pretending to be fiar or neutral. Admit the company (owner's, editor's positions) and use the language that fits that position. Pretending to be neutral, and still using words with connotations toward biases, is merely propaganda. Our local, county newspaper, all of ten to twelve pages long, has a weekly "Unbased Opinion". I rarely agree with the editor's positions, but at least he admits that he is writing what he believes. No sugar coating!
    Oscar
    P.S. What does "moderate" capitalism lead to?

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