Mangan’s false attack on me

When I responded yesterday to John Derbyshire’s remarks about me at Dennis Mangan’s site which a reader had sent me, I had not read the rest of the Mangan entry, entitled, “There Is Only One Explanation, and Auster Is Its Prophet.” Now I have. It consists of an all-out attack on me by Mangan and his commenters for my statement in the entry, “Why Darwinian materialism is useless when it comes waking up the West to the Islam threat” (see also this) that Mangan in a November 7 entry had endorsed the sexual frustration theory of the Fort Hood massacre. Mangan claims that I ignorantly or deliberately misrepresented his position. He says in part:

There’s no doubt in my mind that Islam is the paramount explanation for Hasan’s act of terrorism, and I said so loud and clear, here (ironically, in the very post that contains the comment which Auster thinks so damning—but I guess he didn’t read it), here, and here. I also elaborated, in A Sexual Theory of Terrorism, on what I saw as the dynamic behind much Muslim terrorism, and clearly Islam is by definition behind Muslim terrorism. So, in essence, Auster sets up a straw man when he says that my explanation for Hasan’s deeds has something to do with (lack of) sex; but Auster doesn’t possess much subtlety. As a commenter said, “Heaven forbid, Dennis, that you should argue for more than a single variable in human behavior!”

Unfortunately for Mangan, it is not true that he said loud and clear in the first linked entry (that is, the November 7 entry I had commented on) that Islam is the paramount explanation of Hasan’s act of terrorism. In that entry, he quoted from a New York Times article the reactions of Muslims at the mosque in Killeen, Texas who excused Hasan for his act of mass murder, then he offered his own response. Here I quote just Mangan’s responses to the Muslims’ excuses:

Right, so there’s, what, 1.5 million men in the American military, and it’s a Muslim who “snaps” and commits a massacre. Like I said, excuses….

Still calling him “brother” after he’s murdered thirteen people, then blaming the command. I agree with him in blaming the command, but for an entirely different reason….

So, Muslims believe that they have the “right to retaliate”, and according to the speaker’s words, he believes that Hasan, as a Mohammedan, had the right to commit mass murder for the alleged and likely wholly imaginary sins of his commanders. Leaving to one side the notion that murder is a suitable and proper response to some sort of harassment, every one of these followers of the Religion of Peace offers no evidence for any ill treatment. Because there is none.

So there’s a mosque in Killeen, Texas, filled with people alienated from American society and who make excuses for a murderer. That’s what this so-called nation has come to.

Mangan’s focus here is on the excuses Muslims make for a fellow Muslim who has committed mass murder. He says nothing about Hasan’s motivation, except, later in the thread, to state his agreement with the idea that Hasan was driven by sexual frustration.

Further, when Mangan agreed with the theory, he did not qualify the theory and say, “Well, that may have been an aggravating factor, but obviously this man was primarily motivated by Islam.” Instead, he supported the sexual frustration theory, without adding any qualifications. Any person reading that entry would believe that Mangan agreed with the sexual frustration theory of Hasan’s act, and not just as some add-on to some other explanation. And a reader influenced by that argument would have been among the 49 percent of Americans who, according to the Fox News poll I discussed here, think that Hasan was an unhinged person on a killing spree rather than a person enacting jihad war against infidels. Exactly as I said.

Thus Mangan’s claim that he said “loud and clear” in the November 7 entry “that Islam is the paramount explanation for Hasan’s act of terrorism” is false. Therefore his statement that I dishonestly or lazily ignored his supposedly “loud and clear” view that Islam is the paramount explanation for Hasan’s act of terrorism is also false.

In the next entry which Mangan links where he says he expressed “loud and clear” his belief that Islam is “the paramount explanation for Hasan’s act of terrorism” (I have not read the entry before this), Mangan quotes Gen. George Casey’s notorious statement about diversity being more important than protecting his troops. Mangan adds:

He’s asked his officers to be on the lookout for a “backlash”; meanwhile, it looks like he never asked anyone to be on the lookout for jihad.

He criticizes Casey for not being on the lookout for jihad. Clearly, then, Mangan thinks that jihad is something that ought to be looked out for. But Mangan doesn’t actually say that jihad is what motivated Hasan’s attack, let alone does he say it “loud and clear.” His principal focus throughout these discussions has been, not on Hasan’s motivations, but on the excuses that Muslims and Americans have made for not looking critically at Hasan.

In the final entry linked by Mangan (which I also have not read before), Mangan’s focus is again not on Hasan’s motivations, but on the Army’s political correctness in declining to investigate or discipline Hasan because of its cult of diversity. He mentions that Hasan gave various warning signs, such as “arguing that unbelievers should have their heads cut off and boiling oil poured down their throats” and “made contact with a radical Muslim cleric who lives in Yemen,” then comments:

If these aren’t warning signs, I don’t know what would be, and they weren’t “missed”—many people noticed them.

The answer is that Hasan was a diversity hire, that his colleagues were reticent to report him for fear of the repercussions to themselves, and that the American military, while seemingly pretty skilled at killing people and breaking things, reflects the general incompetence and obeisance to diversity of the federal government.

Clearly, Mangan thinks that if a Muslim officer in the U.S. armed forces threatens non-Muslims with having boiling oil poured down their throat, and if he contacts a radical imam in Yemen, that’s something that ought to be looked into. Mangan is not denying that there is something dangerous about Islam. But, as with the previous discussions, his focus is not on Hasan’s motivations, but on the reasons that Americans decline to look into a dangerous Muslim, and that reason is the “general incompetence and obeisance to diversity of the federal government.”

To recap: in the November 7 Mangan entry which I criticized, a sexual frustration theory was proposed by a commenter, and Mangan expressed his agreement with it and did not qualify it in any way. He didn’t say, “Well, sexual frustration may have been a factor in driving Hasan to become a jihad mass murderer, but the main factor is his own belief in Islam.” Mangan didn’t say anything like that. So for him to claim that I have woefully ignored his own statements is a gross untruth. I correctly presented his position as presented in that entry. And, as I’ve said, any reader reading that entry and being influenced by what he read would have come away with the impression that Hasan was not a jihad warrior but an unhinged person on a killing spree. Therefore my criticism of Mangan’s remarks in that entry stands.

But, now, if you care to, look at the outpouring of personal attacks on me that Mangan’s false reply to me unleashed among his commenters. It’s evident that Mangan is playing to an audience consisting of people who are hostile to Christianity and hostile to me personally as a critic of Darwinism and its material reductionist view of humanity. Compare my brief remarks about his position yesterday with the wave of vitriol against me at his site.

There was nothing personal in my entry on Mangan. I dealt with ideas. I pointed to his commenter’s and his statements in the November 7 entry, and showed that they would tend to support the 49 percent of Americans who believe that the massacre was a killing spree rather than an act of terrorism or jihad. I added that the Darwinian/HBD view, by downplaying the Islamic motivation for Islamic acts of violence and looking for biological or genetic causes instead, ends up on the same side as liberals who deny that Muslim violence against non-Muslims is motivated by Islamic doctrine. That’s all I said.

Finally, what does Mangan believe? it’s the usual Mangan mush, he sort of believes this, and he sort of believes that, but tends to comes down on the HBD side. The only point in this discussion where he stated clearly that “that Islam is the paramount explanation for Hasan’s act of terrorism” was in his response to me yesterday. Left to his own devices, and absent my criticism, he didn’t say it.

- end of initial entry -

LA writes:

My two entries in which I criticized Mangan’s support for the sexual frustration theory of Hasan’s act of mass murder amounted to (apart from quotations) 320 words.

Those brief remarks, which dealt only with ideas, not with personalities, have unleashed (as of 6 p.m Sunday) a 6,740 word long thread at Mangan’s consisting in large part of personal attacks on me (including at least one anti-Semitic attack which Mangan approved for posting). I dislike the expression and I don’t think I’ve ever used it before, but now I will: don’t these people have a life?

My thanks to the handful of commenters at Mangan’s who have argued against the Manganite tide.

Ferg writes:

I came of age in pre pill America. Sexual frustration was the norm for young people of that period. Despite that, they did not go on mass killing sprees (even though you could mail order guns delivered to your home). In fact I never heard of a mass killing spree by anyone in the U.S. prior to the sexual revolution of the mid to late sixties, (and prior to the gun control act of 1968 which forbid the mail order delivery of firearms to your home). It was in the 1970s that killing sprees began to make the news. So, where is the connection?

LA replies:

My first answer: you’re speaking common sense! Common sense is not allowed.

My second answer: When sex was liberated, it wasn’t just liberated, it was divinized. And if sexual fulfillment is God and the greatest good, then lack of sexual fulfillment is the devil and the greatest evil. This is a dominant theme, even the signature theme, of our culture. How many movies have been centered on the idea that repression of sex (Fifties) keeps people in a non-human state, and liberation of sex (Sixties) makes them human, creative, even holy? The HBD’ers over at Mangan’s don’t realize it, but they are products of a liberal, Adorno-esque cultural programming which equates lack of sex with narrow-mindedness, racism, bigotry, and, as the culmination of all those liberal sins, mass murder.

Ferg replies:

Bravo! Beautifully said.

November 23

Laura Wood writes:

This reminds me of Wilhelm Reich’s words:

Sexuality … is the productive vital energy, simply speaking. Its suppression leads not only to medical damage, but also quite generally to damage in the basic functions of life. The essential social expression of this damage is purposeless (irrational) action by human beings: their insanity, their mysticism, their readiness for war etc … The core of life’s happiness is sexual happiness.

Reich would have seen Hasan as an unfulfilled sexual genius.

LA writes:

Here are my own statements that set off the furor at Mangan’s.

In the entry, “The mass murderer Nidal Hasan followed Islam by the book,” I gave three examples of opinions that denied that the attack was a jihad attack, among which was:

According to the Human Biodiversity blogger Dennis Mangan, Hasan carried out the attack because, being unable to find a Muslim wife, he was sexually frustrated….

Later in that entry, documenting the above point, I quoted the two comments at Mangan’s by commenter “J,” who proposed the sexual frustration theory, then I said:

Does Dennis Mangan express any skepticism about the notion that the self-described jihadist Nidal Hasan’s act of mass murder, the possibility of which he had darkly hinted to the Army for months (remember his warning in his PowerPoint presentation about the “adverse consequences” of requiring U.S. Muslim soldiers to fight against Muslims?), was caused by sexual frustration, indeed, that it was really a “crime of passion” during which Hasan may have sexually climaxed? Nope, Mangan doesn’t question it at all. To the contrary, he agrees with it.

Then, after posting the Fox poll showing that a plurality of the American people (49 to 44 percent) believe it was a killing spree rather than an Islamic act, I returned to the subject of Mangan. In the entry, “Why Darwinian materialism is useless when it comes waking up the West to the Islam threat,” I wrote:

Also, when we consider Mangan’s position in light of the depressing opinion poll showing that 49 percent of Americans believe the massacre was a killing spree by an unhinged individual and only 44 percent believe it was an act of terrorism, we see that Mangan is on the side of those seeking to persuade the public that it was a killing spree. It’s interesting that the liberal view and the Darwinian/Human Biodiversity view of Islamic jihad are the same. Both liberalism and Darwinism reduce the jihad attack at Fort Hood to a meaningless, random event.

I believe that everything I said about Mangan in the above comments is true, correct, and fair, with one exception. It was not fair to say that “Mangan is on the side of those seeking to persuade the public that it was a killing spree.” That wording suggests a deliberate intent on his part to back up a certain side of the debate, when in reality all he was doing was agreeing with his commenter J. So it would have been better if I had said, “Mangan agrees with those who say it was a killing spree.”

Now let’s consider the context of my remarks about Mangan. Ever since the Fort Hood massacre, we’ve been living through an unprecedented event showing that the country is more leftist and more politically correct than ever before. A self-declared pious Muslim in the U.S. Army had repeatedly expressed in word and deed his Islam based animus against the United States; had plainly stated and avowed the Islamic doctrine that non-Muslims must be punished with terrible punishments, had declared repeatedly and with great urgency that if the non-Muslim country fought against Muslims then a Muslim member of the army of the non-Muslim country could not and must not fight; had warned of “adverse consequences,” specifically murder by Muslims against American soldiers, which have resulted and will result from the U.S. requiring Muslim members of the U.S. armed forces to fight against Muslims; and then, when he himself despite all his protests was required to serve with our forces fighting against the Taliban, he launched his own jihad mass murder raid against U.S. soldiers. All these things happened, the facts are plain as day. Yet the entire media and political establishment of the U.S. has been denying reality and attributing the attack to some psychological breakdown or madness. And then, in the midst of this disaster, I saw Dennis Mangan agreeing with the same kind of argument, that the massacre was the act of an unbalanced man, rather than of a Muslim acting in the name of Islamic commands, and that’s why I brought out what Mangan had said and showed its significance.

In response, Mangan posted an entry with a title that cast me as a self-styled dictator, claiming that I had terribly misrepresented and mistreated him, and inviting his commenters to engage in yet another ridiculous anti-Auster fest, which totals, as of noon, November 23, 8,200 words not counting Mangan’s initial entry, as compared with the 207 words I wrote directly pertaining to Mangan’s agreement with the sexual frustration theory. In that huge thread I am repeatedly accused, among other things, of “dividing” the conservative cause, of “alienating” my allies with my “vicious” behavior. Yet who has caused more division here, I with my brief comments on Mangan’s agreement with the sexual frustration theory, or Mangan and his dozens of commenters joining together in denouncing me for my supposedly terrible behavior and character? If Mangan and his commenters don’t want to create divisions, why have they launched and sustained this attack? Obviously their desire is not to avoid division and ill-will amongst conservatives, since they have been creating vastly more division and ill-will than I have done; their desire is to discredit me for exposing the fact that their rejection of religion and their ideological focus on biology renders them unable and unwilling to recognize without evasion and escape hatches the plain truth about the Islam threat. That is what they can’t stand about me. It’s laughable that many of these supposed wounded “allies” of mine, who complain of my offenses against the common conservative cause, are themselves bitter enemies of religious belief and Christianity. So how do they come off calling themselves my allies or the allies of any conservative? As I’ve said for many years, people who hate and seek to discredit Christianity are, by definition, not conservative. This is not a matter of my opinion that I am imposing on people, but of the nature of things and the meaning of words. A person who expresses hostility toward and seeks to discredit Christianity is no more a conservative than a 10,000 pound animal with four trunks and a proboscis is a house cat. Open adversaries of Christianity may have conservative positions on various specific issues, but they are not conservatives.

Also, more particularly, since when is Dennis Mangan my ally? Mangan himself ended any friendship between us three months ago when he began a campaign of lies and smears against me. I regretfully mentioned the lies and smears at the time and had nothing more to say about it. Yet now, in Mangan’s weird construct of the world, he and I are somehow buddies and if I engage in legitimate criticisms of his statements, then I have somehow violated our compact and deserve the harshest denunciations.

Finally, it’s ironic that Mangan describes me as a self-styled Muhammad, since he’s the one who considersd my legitimate intellectual criticism of him to be such an outrage that he launched a jihad against me with the support of his army of commenters, many of whom are virulent anti-Christians. Mangan is doing the very thing he falsely accuses me of doing: acting like a tyrant, slapping down someone who dares criticize him.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 22, 2009 04:25 PM | Send

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