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Demonizing Your Enemy, Exhibit 2: Milblog Edition

(To read the rest of our posts on language and war--our “Getting Orwellian” series--please click here.)

To prove that many (too many) Americans demonize our enemies, we’re listing examples, starting last week and continuing today, of examples of hate speech against Muslims. What better place to do that than with conservative milblogs?

In the minds and words of some milbloggers, Muslims aren’t human. They’re barbarians, primitives, or savages. In other words, they’re less than human. We’ll detail why--on moral, ethical and practical ground--this language is unacceptable in later posts. Today, consider this post to be the proof, slaying the “straw man” ahead of time.

Without further ado, the hate, uncensored:

Barbarians

They are ruthless barbarians who boast about killing those they have taken hostage.

- The Jawa Report, “Beheading Desecration Video of Dead U.S. Soldiers Released on Internet by al Qaeda

It is high time for Pakistan to decide whether it belongs to civilization or to the barbarians.

- The Captain’s Journal, “When It Comes to Pakistan, We Just Can’t Handle the Truth

They are barbaric and full of hatred and vile for this country, regardless of whether we’re following the rules or not.

- A Soldier’s Perspective, “Take Off The Gloves

 “Feel better now you sub-human swine?...F**ing animals!

        - Blackfive, “Our Barbarian allies Kill UN Workers in Kabul

I hope the stars stay aligned for more operations against these barbarians.”  

- This Ain’t Hell, “US Marines free German ship from pirates”

Primitives

The primitive peoples of the middle east are perhaps the most gullible ethnic group on the planet.

        - Blackfive, “Squandering Our Victory”

Savages

So let me say that the proper response is not to look deep inside our souls and reflect on how it is that we could have done something to not offend these savages.

- Blackfive, “It’s not you, it’s me...

We are driving down the road of appeasement in speaking with savages that understand only one thing; power.

        - Blackfive, “1979 Anyone?

“...let's not let a bunch of marginally-civilized savages screw around with international shipping.

        - Blackfive, “Taking down pirates the hip thing to do

(For more examples from Blackfive, please don’t click here, here, here (also a Washington Times op-ed.) or here.)

Yeah, well, here’s the thing; these goat roping 6th century savages are going to attack us no matter what we do – remember the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the attacks on our African embassies, the attack on the USS Cole, the attacks on 9/11?

- This Ain’t Hell, “Peace talks inspire more terrorist groups”

“...goat-humping, 7th century, savage...

- This Ain’t Hell, “Ask an Infantryman”

Have you considered what would happen if the US and NATO declared victory and left your backwards-assed, 7th century collection of savages that you call a country...”

- This Ain’t Hell, “Just a Friendly Note to President Karzai from Col. Nathan Jessup

- “The Democrats recommend that we negotiate with 12th Century savages who are still cutting off hands and executing criminals in public. Savages who deny that there were millions executed in Europe because of their religion and sexual preferences in the last century.

- This Ain’t Hell, “Jack Reed; this drawdown is not a drawdown

Two thoughts: one, which century are these savages actually from? The sixth, the seventh or the twelfth? Finally, This Ain’t Hell has two more examples of using “savages” here and here.

23 comments

These statements are even scarier than from the last post.


“In the minds and words of milbloggers, Muslims aren’t human.”

You could be more precise than to write “milbloggers” only.

I’ve looked this keyword (“Muslim”) up on my Milblog and found I hardly ever mention faith. It played a major role in a mere three of 1,400+ blog texts.


@ SO – My apologies. We’ve edited the post to reflect that this only applies to some milbloggers, that particular strain of milblogger that serves the lowest common denominator. We certainly weren’t writing about you.

Great point, our apologies.


You should check out the comments on my “Enough with the infidel stuff” post. It’s a magnet for fun.


Don, we have and it is.


This is an utterly dishonest post. First, the bloggers in question aren’t referring to all Muslims. Second, why is it wrong to call out people who purposely target civilians for beheadings and other brutalities for what they are?


Iowa Guy, they are terrorists in many ways but barbarians in none.


@ Iowa Guy – The only dishonest thing is pretending like these people aren’t referring to all Muslims. I’ve finally gotten around to reading American Sniper. Within two pages, he refers to all of his enemies as savages. Anyone with any knowledge of counter-insurgencies knows how silly that is.

And thanks for mentioning killing civilians. If any fighter that knowingly kills civilians is a savage, then what are drones strikes that have killed thousands of civilians?


@Austin Bodetti

You must have a different dictionary than I do, because both barbarian (of or relating to a land, culture, or people alien and usually believed to be inferior to another land, culture, or people) and barbaric (possessing or characteristic of a cultural level more complex than primitive savagery but less sophisticated than advanced civilization) are both apt descriptors used in the above examples.


@ Eric C

Well, they certainly don’t refer to “all” Muslims in the above posts. If you have evidence to the contrary, I would suggest you post it. If not, I will assume you want to ascribe positions to them based upon your own inherent biases.

As for Chris Kyle, who cares if he refers to the his enemies as “savages”? Were they not savages? It is also laughable that you think that it somehow would hurt the efforts at putting down the insurgency. Those at the “pointy end of the spear”, so to speak, were the ones who knew the most about who we were facing in Iraq and what motivated them.

As for your last comment, I am not sure if you are being serious. We don’t purposefully target civilians in our drone attacks, whereas the enemy does. Trying to draw some sort of moral equivalency between them doesn’t make sense.


@ Iowa guy – We’re not going to agree, on probably anything. I try not respond to negative comments, because the back and forth tires me. But…

The sixth quote reads “The primitive peoples of the middle east are perhaps the most gullible ethnic group on the planet.”

I think that incredibly racist, offensive quote indicates the author’s feelings for all Muslims. Definitely for those living in the Middle East, at least.


It seems to me this series of posts is all about Western academic sensibilities being offended. “How could you call somebody a barbarian?! It just isn’t done!” It is done, in some cases it isn’t warranted and in some it is more that warranted.

In the case of the Pak Army/ISI it is warranted. They have created over the decades a takfiri killer monster they can’t fully control. That monster is beyond barbaric and the general sahibs in ‘Pindi have to decide at some time to fight and kill it or support it. They won’t be able to have it both ways forever.

(By the way, through their monster the Pak Army/ISI has killed rather a lot of Americans. Michael C probably knew some.)


Carl and Iowa Guy, have you met these savages/takfiri killer monsters? There is a difference between meeting them and shooting them in the face.


AMB:

Nope, never met one. But I have met people who have and have seen their work, not too close but I’ve seen it.

If I do meet one I hope I get a first shot in and it’s a good one because he probably won’t give me a chance for a second. They really honest to goodness would kill me if they got the chance. You too believe it or not. That kind of thing and those kind of people really do exist in the world.


AMB:

A reporter named Foley met the takfiri killers. The culmination of his meeting was on youtube recently I believe. Quite barbaric it was.


Carl, there is no need to remind me. I research the Iraq Crisis and the Syrian Civil War. Many of my friends knew Foley, but I still refuse to use the words barbarian or takfiri killer. There are more intelligent ways to describe murderers and terrorists.


AMB:

You call ‘em like you see ‘em. I’ll call ‘em like I see ‘em. Murderers does the trick nicely.


Sure. It’s much better than takfiri killers.


AMB:

I still like takfiri killers better, greater impact in my opinion. That is important I believe. So I’ll keep using it. But murderers will do, especially if spoken and the proper tone and emphasis is used.


With all this talk about emphasis, tone, and wording, you would make an excellent novelist.


AMB:

Ok, you just made my list of favorite people.


Here is an interview done by Joel Wing over at Musings on Iraq.

http://musingsoniraq.blogspot.com/2014/0..

Reading the interview it seems the fine young enthusiastic men of IS have re-instituted the slave trade, selling captured Yazidis in the Mosul souq.

Now tell me how that can’t be accurately described as savage and barbaric.


Here is another article about the Islamic State re-instituting the practice of slavery.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morni..

It occurs to me the point of this post is somewhat lost given the actions of the enthusiastic lads of the Islamic State. Hard to argue against calling them savage barbarians given their actions.

It also occurs to me that a large part of the appeal of the Islamic State to young men is their savagery. Figure it this way, it is sort of like the series Spartacus come to life. You get to run around and shoot guns and win some battles. You get to stab people you don’t like, just like on tv. You get to order people you capture around, line them up and shoot them-kill them-just like on tv. And to top it all off, you get to keep the women you catch or they give you some if you fight well, just like on tv. It is Spartacus come to life, and I don’t know of any recent tv show that so appealed to young men as Spartacus.