This blog initially set out to focus primarily on Islam and the Islamisation of the UK. However, since that time the subjects covered have broadened. They now include (amongst other things): IQ tests, Jean Baudrillard, global warming, sociobiology, Marxism, Trotskyism, David Cameron, Foucault, Nazism, Ralph Miliband, economics, statistics and so on. - Paul Austin Murphy
I've had articles published in The Conservative Online, American Thinker, Intellectual Conservative, Human Events, Faith Freedom, Brenner Brief (Broadside News), New English Review, etc... (Paul Austin Murphy's Philosophy can be found here.)

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Chomsky Believes the Sunni-Shia Conflict Began in 2003


 



In a recent interview (3.10. 2014) with Chris Hedges ('Chris Hedges Interviews Noam Chomsky'), Noam Chomsky blames the“Sunni-Shia conflict” on the “U.S.-British invasion of Iraq”.

Then again, Chomsky also blamed theSyria civil waron global warming. (See this link.) And, of course, anthropogenic global warming is itself - according to Chomsky, Naomi Klein and virtually all Leftists – a consequence of capitalism.

In his own words, Chomsky says:

Well, the U.S.-British invasion of Iraq is a textbook case of aggression. And one of the things it did, one of the crimes was to ignite a Sunni-Shiite conflict which hadn’t been going on."

Noam Chomsky is aManicheanhater of capitalism: it is the source of all evil. Or, instead of using that theological term, let's say that - in psychological terms - Chomsky has a monomaniacal hatred of capitalism. (Ironically, or predictably, the term 'Manichean' is nearly always aimed at American conservatives by Leftists.)










Chomsky believes that capitalism is quite literally responsible for all the evils of the world. (Though, understandably, if that were put to him in such a direct manner, he'd probably deny it.)

The Manichean nature of Marxism or socialism is no exaggeration.

Leftists - such as Chomsky - believe that capitalism is directly responsible for all wars, poverty, racism, sexism, misogyny, hatred and even selfishness.

It's therefore quite predictable that Chomsky should blame the entire situation in Iraq on capitalism; or, at least on “Western imperialism” and“colonialism”; as well as on the “capitalist state” that is the United States.

Marxist Analysis

What happens when it comes to Leftist/Marxist analyses of Iraq is precisely what happens when Leftists analyse the “capitalist nature of war”, or the“capitalist nature of prostitution”, or selfishness, or racism, etc. That is, they focus exclusively on what they take to be the capitalist aspects of wars, racism, poverty, prostitution, etc. and more or less ignore everything else (whether that something else is found in history, religion, philosophy, biology/human nature, etc.).

Thus Marx himself concentrated on those features of prostitution, for example, which only occurred under capitalism or which were specific to capitalism. And that meant, absurdly, that he claimed that prostitution(“the oldest profession in the world”) was quite literally an invention of capitalism. (Marx and Engels also deemed marriages –though not their own of course – to be forms of “bourgeois prostitution”.) But when Marx focussed exclusively on the 19th-century – therefore capitalist - aspects of prostitution, that didn't stop it from being the case that prostitution has always existed in human societies and civilisations. Marx certainly didn't demonstrate that prostitution was invented, as it were, by capitalism.

This anti-capitalist monomania also applies to Marxist analyses of Nazism and Jew-hatred.

Marxists historians and theorists have tied the whole thing to capitalism and ignored the hundreds of years of of anti-Semitism in Europe which pre-dated the Nazis. They also – predictably - ignored the socialismof National Socialism; the actual socialist policies of the Nazis when in power (health services, child and pensioner care, environmentalist/Green legislation and policies, animal rights, etc.); those German conservatives and industrialists who didn't support the National Socialists; the Jew-hatred of the International Socialist/Marxist tradition (which pre-dated the Nazis by some 60 years); and so on.

And the same is true of Chomsky's Manichean view of Iraq.

Chomsky ignores all the history and events (or sometimes simply downplays them) which can't be directly tied to contemporary Western capitalism or to historical colonialism. He also completely ignores Islam itself and the pre-2003 history of the Shia-Sunni conflict. Chomsky even conveniently forgets everything Saddam Hussein did before 2003; unless, of course, what Saddam did can itself be tied - in some indirect or tangential way - to Western capitalist states.

That's what a lifetime of Leftist/Marxist theory does to the mind. Leftists/Marxists become political Manicheans and psychological monomaniacs; as well as socio-economic determinists.

The Sunni-Shia War in Iraq



Noam Chomsky says that the the “U.S.-British invasion of Iraq” managed to “ignite a Sunni-Shiite conflict which hadn’t been going on”.

Really?

Is that why Saddam Hussein gassed the Shia Marsh Arabs and devastated their lands; killed and deported Shia Faili/Feyli Kurds in the 1970s and 80s; and virtually excluded all Shia from his government and from Iraq's civil services? (Between 2% to 10% of Iraqi Kurds are Shia.)

In a certain sense, Saddam Hussein did indeed keep the Sunni-Shia civil war under control– though only to a degree. (Chomsky himself admits that “there w[ere]... various kinds of tensions”; though apparently no“conflict”.)

Saddam Hussein kept the Sunni-Shia conflict partly under control through his dictatorship: by closing down Shia mosques, banning Shia celebrations, arresting Shia clerics, torture, chemical and biological attacks and his secret police.

Does Chomsky think all that was a good thing compared to what happened after 2003?

I know that Chomsky himself has praised various totalitarian regimes for the great things they did for “justice”, “equality” and for the quelling of what Chomsky calls “tensions”. As for Saddam Hussein, he too could have completely quelled the Sunni-Shia conflict (or Iraqi tensions) by killing or imprisoning every Shia in Iraq. Indeed, at various times, he came close to doing that.

And if the Sunni-Shia conflict in Iraq is all down to the “US-UK intervention” in 2003, then what about that conflict's reality, current existence and history in Turkey, Syria, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran (both on its borders and within) and Lebanon? (It's no doubt the case that in at least some of these cases – especially Syria – Chomsky will also blame it, somehow or other, on Western capitalism or on what some “imperialist state” did in year nth.)







In actual fact, Mr Chomsky, the “Sunni-Shia conflict” (in Chomsky's own words) dates back to 656AD– some 1,358 years ago. There have been countless battles, massacres and oppressions/persecutions within this Islamic civil war– all of which occurred before 2003.

Conclusion

Chomsky is a revolutionary socialist. Sure, he's called himself a “libertarian socialist” and even an “anarcho-syndicalist” (in order to distinguish himself from Marxist automatons) in the past. However, nothing Chomsky has previously said, and none of the regimes and causes he has supported in the past (from the Khmer Rouge to Chairman Mao's China) have distinguished him from any other intolerant and totalitarian Leftist.

Chomsky also offers us some very hedged criticisms of Marx. However, that means very little if we bear in mind that most contemporary self-described Marxists criticise – or at least silently jettison – certain of Marx's theories and ideas. Indeed this attitude towards Marx can even be found in the works of Vladimir Lenin.

What is important is that Chomsky still adheres to the fundamentals of Marxism.

And what can be more Marxist than seeing everything in the entire Sunni-Shia war in Iraq and elsewhere (as well as all the expressions and misdeeds of contemporary Islam) as mere “epiphenomena of socioeconomic conditions”? Indeed as nothing but Marx's “sigh of the oppressed creature”?And because of that, Chomsky still has a Marxist/Manichean view of capitalism, its nature and its place in the world.

Thus, in Chomsky's Marxist - and therefore Manichean - worldview, literally every evil (a word Chomsky would never use, of course) must be the fault of capitalism. By inference, literally everything bad that has happened and is still happening in Iraq simply must be due to what capitalist states – i.e. the US and the UK – have done in that country.

To Chomsky, it really is that simple.

If Chomsky didn't see things in such a simplistic way (despite the tedious - “death by footnote” - academic minutia you find in some of his books), he wouldn't have become a prophet to those thousands of white, middle-class students (as well as ex-students) who've forsaken all other religions only to embrace Chomsky's Manichean Leftism.

                                     *********************************************

Note

“In other words, the sectarian conflict was not as prominent pre-invasion, and after the invasion it was greatly inflamed and exacerbated. So what Chomsky said was correct.” - Drawler

Yes, I said that in my reply and it says the same in the article too. Though, to repeat, the conflict was kept under wraps through a dictatorship. And all sorts of problems can be solved through dictatorships. I'm just surprised that Chomsky seems to either accept that or simply overlook it.


“Had Iraq developed outside the backdrop of an illegal invasion that tore the country's secular institutions to shreds...”

“Secular institutions”? Do you mean a Baathist socialist dictatorship, with a secret police, torture chambers and which, at one point, was dispatching 30,000 Iraqis a month? Yes, in a sense I suppose it was “secular”. (Is that why so many Western Leftists aren't that keen on criticising the collectivist Saddam – unless they can tie him to “Western colonialism” or Western capitalist states?)

“What you and the author seem to want to do is just write away all the responsibility the U.S government has and glibly attribute all the problems of the region to the Sunni-Shia conflict, which isn't nearly as important a force in the Muslim world as you make it out to be.”

No; though Chomsky and you want to do the opposite. That is, to erase Islam entirely from the equation (which is a historical Marxist position).

So let me strike a deal here with both you and Chomsky.
I will admit that everything that has happened in Iraq post-2003 is not all the result of Islam if Chomsky and yourself will return the favour and say that it's not all the result of capitalism and the actions of "capitalist states" (the US/UK).

Deal?


I, for one, have never said that it's all about Islam. Nothing in politics is ever all about one thing. Chomsky, on the other hand, does say that it's all about capitalism and/or the actions of capitalist states in Iraq. That's why he's a Leftist.

"Its [Islam] value as an explanation for the conditions of Muslim world is nil.... On the other hand, the global distribution of wealth and power, and Western colonialism is a very good one.”

You are, then, a pure Manichean disciple of Chomsky. You say that the nature of Islam “as an explanation” is “nil”. And capitalism, or Western colonialism, is 100% of the explanation. That is predictably Marxist.

And since you have ignored the points which show that the Sunni-Shia conflict pre-dates “Western colonialism” by some 1,350 years or more –what can I say?

Friday, 2 January 2015

How What'sUpWithThatWatts Argues Against Global-Warming Sceptics


 



I choose this particular website piece – which was written against my American Thinker article 'Yet Another Hottest Year Since 1880?' - because it reflects the zealotry and intemperance which is quite common amongst those who accept the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory. It appears that the transcendent importance of the cause – saving the world from capitalists and other devils – warrants (at least in this case) such unrestrained language.




The website is called What'sUpWithThatWatts and it's obviously deemed by its owner to be the pro-AGW antidote to Watts Up With That? (“the world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change”); which is run by the meteorologist Anthony Watts. What'sUpWithThatWatts is not unlike, therefore, the website Skeptical Science (which will be mentioned again in a few moments); whose blurb says that it is “getting skeptical about global warming skepticism”.


My bet is that the owner of this website choose the name 'What'sUpWithThatWatts' partly because he guessed that when you Googled 'Watts Up With That?' - the AGW scepticism site - you'd also probably find (which you do!) What'sUpWithThatWatts; just as when you Google “global-warming scepticism” and suchlike, the well-known website against global-warming scepticism - Skeptical Science– ironically always comes up literally on top.



The owner of What'sUpWithThatWatts (he doesn't give his name) describes his site in the following manner:

This website is both my personal learning project and my contribution in the struggle to confront the ongoing attacks on rational science and objective learning, that are the hallmarks of the faith-based 'skeptics' movement.”
 
Shout!

I wasn't particularly offended by the vituperative and sarcastic language (in the piece 'American Thinker: Another hottest year since 1880, Murphy Say What?') because the writer seems to use it against everyone else who dares to disagree with him on global warming.
 
For example, at random, I found comments such as this: “Another irritating part of Anthony's blog is how he tries to come across like some fair minded person...” And elsewhere on his blog:

Unfortunately the Lord [ Monckton]....presents an advocates sales pitch. His science is cherry picked and distorted with a fiction writer's zeal.”
 
 
The latest diatribe I found against such evil “deniers” was dated the 22nd of December 2014. It reads as follows:
Mr. Steele.... considering your noble sounding appeals to Carl Sagan's advice and a 'civil' debate, I'm appalled at the ease with which you lie about scientists, their science and Earth observations.”
 
 
In other words, the zealous language he uses against me is exactly replicated against all his other opponents. Indeed his sounds like a AGW inquisitor.
 
This man - for whatever reasons - has an extremely high opinion of himself. He also has a very strong conviction that everything he says – at least when it comes to global warming - is the absolute truth (even if that truth is borrowed from scientists he agrees with). He's also convinced – judging by the immoderate language - that those who say otherwise are devils (a word he no doubt wouldn't use).
 
Scepticism About Global-Warming Scepticism?
 
 
The writer tells us that “SkepticalScience.com” (in response to something I wrote about that website) contains “threads” which are “civil, informative and remain on topic”.
 
 
He has a few things to say about true scepticism too. In his own words:
Skepticism is about asking questions and wanting answers and being open to best information available, even when that information steps all over pervious understanding/belief. It's not about winning or ego, it's about learning. Skepticism is about not fully trusting anyone, not even yourself. Skepticism is about weeding though nonsense and allowing the evidence to dictate what one trusts.”
And elsewhere he tell us that “skepticism is a joke without an honest desire to learn; keep in mind one directional skepticism”.
 
 
His position on scepticism, then, can be more or less summed up in this way:
i) Scepticism directed at the anthropogenic global warming theory is false scepticism (i.e., “one-dimensional scepticism”).

ii) Scepticism which accepts it is true scepticism.

Now bearing all that highfalutin talk about the true nature of scepticism and being “civil, informative and remaining on topic”, this is a selection from what he says about my own American Thinker article (which had irked him so much in the first place):
.... another rambling kindergarden-ish cherry-picking collage”, “... childish reasoning”, “tossing out a bunch of discombobulated strands”, “Is this what Thinking in America has come to?”, “.... someone who's consumed by hustling and playing the 'Number$ game and such”, “All that matters; is turning those numbers into profits”, “an irrational appeal to distrust scientists and ignore the evidence”, “Does that really represent American thinking?”, “Screaming high octane nonsense at hard working professionals so you can ignore their information”, “.... your objections are fabrications and misrepresentations that depend on repeating meaningless talking-point-lies over and over - and then driving home your distraction with personal innuendos...”, “Why do you folks think understanding our climate system deserves such malicious contempt?”, “It's about out-screaming the information that real experts are sharing with us”, “this class-clown”, “Absolute disinterest in understanding stuff. All about playing his crowd and racking political points”, “Keeping the public as confused and apathetic as possible”....
 
 
But my favourite has to be this: “Murphy never got past his name calling.”

Now all that sarcasm and invective can be found in a piece of 791 words – and 149 of them a quotation from my American Thinker article. In other words, there's not much else other than sarcasm and invective.

 
Pure Science


In all honesty, I was going to discuss his points against me one by one. However, beyond the vitriolic and sarcastic language, I soon discovered that there were no points to discuss.
 
In addition, the writer seems to think that if he keeps on using the word “geophysics” (usually “underlying geophysics”) his readers will be na├»ve enough to believe that he's purely and solely on the side of scientific truth. (I mean the word “geophysics” is pretty impressive, isn't it? It's almost as impressive as the later “discombobulated strands”.)
 
The blogger even quotes my article – in some detail - and concludes with the following bit of rhetoric:

What's that all about? What good is tossing out a bunch of discombobulated strands while totally ignoring the underlying geophysics of what's happening?”
Some of his other statements are just inane. For example, he says:
The only message that rings through in this article is an irrational appeal to distrust scientists and ignore the evidence.”
He must surely know that AGW sceptics can cite hundreds of scientists whom they trust – on global warming and on much else. In any case, most AGW sceptics aren't asking people to distrust scientists. They're asking them to distrust some scientists. In fact I suspect that most AGW sceptics wouldn't even use the word “distrust”. They would use the words, yes: “be sceptical”. (Especially if those scientists work for the UN, the IPCC, the EU or for governments.)

 
Politics & Religiosity
 
 
Since this believer seems to see politics in all AGW scepticism, it's easy to see at least some politics in his own words. That's especially the case when he says that people like me (the evil ones) are “[k]eeping the public as confused and apathetic as possible”.
 
Oh, the recalcitrant and uncooperative “public”! You know, all those with false consciousness who've been brainwashed by the media, the oil lobby and nefarious politicians (which politicians?). Or, to use his own words, the “sheople” who “just eat [my words] up”.
 
Now what about AGW religiosity? Take this sad and imploring homily:
Why do you folks think understanding our climate system deserves such malicious contempt? What's wrong with seriously understanding what's happening within this biosphere and climate system that we all depend on for everything?”
So when he's not spitting and hissing at his opponents, he's on bended knee imploring us little devils to just go away.
 
Conclusion
 
 
To be honest, this blogger sounds like he treats all his opponents as convenient and easily-dismissed stereotypes. To put all that in simple words: he never seems to stop shouting.
 
Try to imagine that people like this man actually working for an organisation such as the IPCC or another other governmental/UN institution. Yes, I know, the IPCC would never speak using this man's vicious and flowery prose-style because it would be counterproductive to do so. (After all, the members of the IPCC, etc. rely exclusively – don't they? - on academic and scientific articles; which - by (self)definition - must be objective and entirely free from bias.) It's the IPCC's Green/environmentalist activist and politician proxies who indulge in What'sUpWithThatWatts-style rhetoric and Stalinist tactics.
 
Then again, this particular blogger doesn't supply us with any personal or academic details anyway. Indeed he doesn't even supply his readers with his name. So perhaps that's because he does indeed work for a venerable anti-AGW organisation. Perhaps it's the vicious alter-ego of Al Gore or Dr Michael Mann.