In view of the Orlando shooting, I pause again at Obama’s reluctant response, composed of sentences with falling intonation and resigned indifference: what a difference in zeal and energy compared to his “police acted stupidly” speech and “Trayvon Martin could have been my son” White House proclamation! He did speak of “an act of terrorism,” but also added that the cause cannot be identified and that guns are the problem. What would President Trump have said?
The reason is the ideology of RADICAL ISLAM, the mess in the House of Islam, and guns may be the problem, but if so – the guns are also the solution. What would have happened had there been one trained armed “marshal” or police officer or even a gun-trained citizen in that club…?
In reaction to President Obama’s speech, within minutes thereafter, ISIS claimed responsibility for the shooting. We also know that a similar shooting was planned for the gay parade in LA. Was this a coordinated attack?
What we know for certain is that the FBI knew about this person – he had been on the “FBI watch-list” three times in the last three years! They also knew that he had repeatedly proclaimed allegiance to Al Baghdadi, traveled to Saudi Arabia, prayed in the mosque with Jihadi history, and shouted “Allah is Great” while killing innocent Americans in the Orlando gay club (most of them, sadly, liberal Obama voters…).
Once again, Obama (and his lapdogs on the NBC) will speak of a “tragedy” and the need for “gun control.” So far beyond recognition has their mental process been altered by political correctness that they are probably not even being conscious of deflecting attention from the real problem. Indeed, words matter!
What is a “tragedy?” A tragedy is when a whole family dies in an unfortunate car accident. A tragedy is when a child is diagnosed with cancer. A shipwreck is a tragedy. What is not a “tragedy?” How about a “man-made disaster?” Well, I visualize something like a collapse of an unfinished building due to builders’ negligence, a negligently constructed bridge falling down… those are man-made disasters – not a mass shooting, an event instigated by evil, ideological, willful motives.
FBI said that there are “indications that the gunman had radical Islamic terrorism LEANINGS.” This is a carefully couched PC statement because the noun “leanings” is the end-weight object of the sentence (verb complement) which carries the meaning, and is further pre-modified (determined) by the adjectival phrase “radical Islamic terrorism.” Compare the sentence above with this sentence: “(There are) indications that the gunman was a radical Islamic terrorist.” What is the difference?
As the famous linguist J.L. Austin (the author of the theory of “speech acts”) would say: there is a world of difference – because we do not “say” things but we “do” things with words! When the shooter shouted “Allah is Great” while killing innocent people – and when his Muslim brothers and sisters in mosques around the country are doing the same on daily basis – we must ask ourselves: What are they DOING with these words? They are praying. This prayer is a performative act of allegiance to Islam. What then is the difference between the same phrase uttered by a radical Islamist and an “ordinary” Muslim? If there is a difference in meaning – and the cause-effect chain caused by the sentence in the performative act – it should be reflected by the language. It is not.
Notice also that, pressed by Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton finally uttered the words “Islamism” and “Islamist terrorism” – immediately adding her what-difference-does-it-make phrase: “What does it matter what we call them?” As Sean Hannity correctly pointed out, she did not even say “radical Islamic terrorism” – she said “IslamISM.” Indeed, she mangled the adjective “Islamic” into “Islamist” and instead of the noun Islam, she said “Islamism.”
Have you noticed the fondness with which the modern New Left and socialists turn everything into an ISM? Why? Because they love abstractions – and every ISM is an abstraction, impalpable doctrine, surpassing the individual.
Grammatically, ISM is a suffix which denotes the “doctrine of” or “practice of.” Capitalism “practices” free market economy and acquisition of capital. Socialism practices “social justice” and redistribution of wealth. Islamism practices Islam. It denotes to the followers of Islam and those who practice Islam (compare: Calvinist, idealist, impressionist…).
IST means “skilled in” and the “one who practices” a certain occupation, profession, philosophy. Thus, we speak of a violinist, Calvinist, loyalist, socialist, capitalist, masochist, etc. It may also be a person skilled in certain trade or occupation, e.g. a typist. Thus, an “Islamist” is he who practices Islam (not merely some radical member of ISIS – everyone!).
Language is the house of Being, said the Austrian logician, philosopher of language Ludwig Wittgenstein. When we speak, we do not merely express ideas – we express our wishes, wants, commands… we are DOING things with words; and, what is more, we are creating our Being. Every sentence we utter expresses us as we are and as we want to be: Americans, speaking English, identifying as One Nation, united in our fight for national security and better future.
Thinking about and describing how we speak and what we say is important for us in order to analyze and reflect – and grow intellectually. However, it is not as important as the actual words and what we do with them. Austin suggested that we play “language games” in order to realize the concepts behind our actions: for example, what the cognate of “tragedy?” Cognate means an associated word of similar meaning. In literature, a tragic act is a sad event which purifies our soul (Aristotle calls this “catharsis” in his famous Poetics) – think of Romeo and Juliet. Our contemporary use of “tragedy” has been modified by Hegel, Nietzsche and the modern concept of drama, which often includes absurdity, embarrassment and sometimes even a happy ending. It often means no more than a pessimistic play.
Pause now, and try to come up with three words associated in your mind with “tragedy.” I think of: sadness, misfortune, hardship, perhaps calamity and heartbreak. Let us think about the cognates of the word “atrocity:” massacre, brutality, barbarism… We instantly see the difference.
The words “Allah is great” are accompanied by the act of killing and suicide, which are supposed to turn the Jihadist retard into a tragic hero. Our death is their purification. How can we turn this tragic anti-hero into a positive character?
I wish I knew the answer… What I do know is that we must focus on what the words DO. Let the act define the word. Let us return to C.S. Peirce and William James. Let us think of ourselves again as true Americans, pragmatists who conceive of being as sum total of the effects of our actions. Whosoever would be an American must understand words as effects – because we are a Nation of Doers, not talkers!
Political correctness excuses Islamism as not “real Islam.” We are offered excuses: they are supposed to be “misguided youth” with “insufficient job opportunities” or suffering from some bipolar disorder… Such excuses count upon our humaneness, willingness to forgive and understand. They are also expressions of political pressure transformed into politically correct language, which mangles our English.
Sure, we understand that many Muslims suffer because of the acts of a few Muslim fanatics… However, as long as they all (terrorists, radicals, moderates – all) say: “Allah is great!” in their prayers five times a day, they all identify with the Jihadi killers through the words that do the act. They are all Islamists. They are complicit in the act, and they give us no reason to doubt that they all feel good about someone else doing the dirty work of killing the infidel, as their “holy book” prescribes.