Claire Berlinski, ultra-moron

(Note, May 15, 5 p.m. More comments have been posted.)

Scott B. writes:

At the Ricochet website (where posters and commenters include Peter Robinson, Mark Steyn, Jonah Goldberg, John Yoo, and David Limbaugh), a poster started a thread with a reasonable, to-the-point question, “Why Not Ban Muslim Immigration?” There followed some depressing responses along the lines of, “A provocative post, Kenneth, but provocative for its own sake, and purely rhetorical.”

I haven’t read through all the comments yet, but Claire Berlinski began a new thread in response to the original one, with this infuriating, staggeringly stupid opening statement:

Why Not Encourage Muslim Immigration?
Claire Berlinski, Ed. ยท May. 11 at 5:37am

Sitting here in Turkey, I can promise you this: The people here who are friendliest to the United States are the ones who have actually been there.

Have a look at this website. These are two Turkish guys who both studied in the US. They came back and decided to open a Mixed Martial Arts academy in Istanbul. Now why does that make America safer? It makes it safer because they could no more believe the more egregious nonsense some people here believe about America and Americans than I could believe the more egregious nonsense some people in America believe about Turkey. They’ve seen the place with their own eyes. They brought some of it back.

You’d have to really lack confidence in America not to believe that most people, no matter where they come from, will visit America, be pretty impressed with it, and think, “maybe some of the things they’re doing here would work well back home.”

Have some faith in the seductive power of the West and the American Dream.

LA replies:

Here are previous VFR discussions of Berlinski.

- end of initial entry -

David B. writes:

I went to the Ricochet blog and saw Claire Berlinski’s picture on her posts. She has the idiot grin that “conservative” immigration enthusiasts usually have.

A.M. writes:

Some time ago I spoke to Miss Berlinski privately for half an hour or so. When I asked why not simply close the United States to Muslim immigrants, she said it would be a great loss to both countries, were the flow of men between nations to cease. A pardonable offense, perhaps, except that she became emotionally distraught over my mere proposal of separation. Her spirit simply couldn’t bear it. It were as if her entire identity were staked upon her life as an expatriate, and for America to separate from Islam is to rend her apart.

Ken Hechtman writes:

Call her a moron if you like. I think she’s got a point. I have talked with people who have never been to America, who have never talked with anyone other than me who has, who believe things about the place that are provably false. If they hear from people they know and trust that those things aren’t true—for instance, most Americans do not in fact have sex with farm animals—then everybody wins.

Having people all over the world, who know us, who know what we are and what we’re not—that has value. There’s always going to be the high level policy stuff that people around the world are going to disagree with. That’s never going to go away. But let’s deal with the easy stuff. We don’t have sex with chickens. Anybody who knows us knows that.

LA replies:

Do you actually think it’s helpful to Berlinski at this venue for you—a leftist who openly seeks to create “one world, one people” and the disappearance of the historic Western nations through open borders and multiculturalism and the establishment of sharia law—to agree with her?

Berlinski believes that Muslim extremism will be lessened if we increase the number of Muslims immigrating to America, because they will learn to love America. How would she (or you) explain Sayyid Qutub the leading theoretician of modern Islamic jihadism and advocate of aggressive jihad against all non-Muslims (spent a couple of years in America as a student), Nidal Hasan the butcher of Fort Hood (born in America), Faisal Shahzad the Times Square would-be mass murderer (spent ten years in America, became a citizen); Anwar Awlaki the terror master (born in America), the 9/11 hijackers (spent many months in America prior to 9/11), and innumerable other Muslims who either were born in America or spent years living here and who committed or attempted to commit jihad mass murder against us? How do these facts fit with Berlinski’s confident theory that living in America will make Muslims love us?

Just wondering.

Garrick writes:

Why do unattached women travel abroad? To get boinked by the natives. I guarantee you she is presently having sex with Turkish Muslims and this accounts for her moronic, breezy attitude. Her website photos say, “I am available.”

LA replies:

I hadn’t seen these photos before. Unbelievable that a supposed intellectual would post such photos of herself at her website, photos that say that all she cares about is … what you said. This is a risibly unserious person. What she’s actually interested in is attracting men; and her writing and intellectualizing is just a front for that, the small talk she uses in the singles bar. That’s how much value her pronouncements on Islam and immigration have.

J.S. writes:

Berlinski’s example of Turkey is rather amusing considering that nation has been moving away from a secular society to a religious Muslim one for a decade at least.

Roland D. writes:

Would it be churlish to point out to Berlinski that all of the 9/11 hijackers spent quite a bit of time in the U.S., and didn’t seem impressed with much except the strip clubs in Vegas?

Just asking.

LA replies:

Your comment is almost an exact paraphrase of my own comment which was posted just as your comment came in.

Roland D. replies:

Great minds think alike.

May 15

Ken Hechtman writes:

I don’t expect you to listen to me because I share your goals. You know I don’t share them. I expect you to listen to me if and when I’m right.

I did say that the foreign policy stuff—invading this country, propping up that dictator—is always going to be there. I’ll say it again. It’s always going to be there. Amateur goodwill ambassadors are not a silver bullet. They can make some people hate us less. And that’s worth doing. They can’t make everyone in the world stop hating us completely. Like most things in politics, it’s about persuading the persuadables. You’re looking for a degree of perfection here that you wouldn’t demand from a policy that was in line with what you want.

The other problem here is that jihadists make the news. Amateur goodwill ambassadors don’t. We’re not tuned in to them. Nobody reports the car-bombings that don’t happen. It would be nice if CNN made it their lead story every time these Turkish martial-artist types were sitting in the coffeeshop with their friends and one of them jumped into a conversation with “Listen, you don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ve been to America. They’re really not like that … ” But it doesn’t work that way.

LA replies:

You said:

“I don’t expect you to listen to me because I share your goals. You know I don’t share them. I expect you to listen to me if and when I’m right.”

Of course—as a general matter. But here, your goals are directly relevant to the topic at hand. You want the West to be Islamized and sharia-ized. You’ve said so yourself. For you to agree with a neocon writer who does NOT want the West to be sharia-ized, but who thinks that increasing Muslim immigration will make Muslims like us and make Muslims less extreme, suggests that you approve of her policy because HER policy will help advance YOUR leftist multiculturalist goals. Which obviously does not help her among people who think her policy is ruinous.

Hannon writes:

I think what Ken Hechtman says here makes sense. Americans traveling in the Third World as ambassadors of goodwill, whether incidental or active, is beneficial all around. I suppose that many of those Americans will be proud to reveal themselves as enlightened, intelligent beings while simultaneously bad-mouthing the politics and history of their own country (thus demonstrating their intelligence). In my experience this angst is all too often expressed to those in foreign lands we wish to ingratiate ourselves with. We want them to like us. I can just see Ken explaining the chicken thing and in the next breath apologizing for every moment Bush II was in office.

What is wrong-headed is to extend such reasoning to say that those same foreigners should come here freely as students or workers just because this helps our image (i.e., their understanding of us) around the world. It is the difference between the compassionate act of prisoner visitation versus letting them out so they can experience our benevolence first hand.

Sage McLaughlin writes:

To Berlinski: Please explain the current state of Islam in Great Britain in a way consistent with your view that exposure to Western countries by Muslims make them love it.

To Hechtman: Bronze-Age Muslim countries like Afghanistan are cesspools of bestiality, so I have no idea what you’re talking about re chickens, or why that’s even relevant. The simple point you’re avoiding is that if they weren’t coming here in droves already, their opinions about us would be as irrelevant as they were in 1950.

Such people always try to marshal the same bizarre argument, that the cure for the disease is more of the disease.

Incidentally, I’ve met three different blonde Western women who have visited Turkey briefly. In all three cases they have complained about being virtually accosted in the streets—being grabbed, shouted at, and having obscene gestures directed at them by random Turkish men the entire time they were there. Berlinski is probably foolish enough to think that Turks actually think highly of attention-mongering women such as herself.

D. in Seattle writes:

Ken Hechtman wrote:

“I have talked with people who have never been to America, who have never talked with anyone other than me who has, who believe things about the place that are provably false. If they hear from people they know and trust that those things aren’t true—for instance, most Americans do not in fact have sex with farm animals—then everybody wins.”

I disagree; if there are people out there in the world who are stupid enough to believe that most Americans have sex with farm animals, then let them be stupid and believe that. It is not our duty to eradicate stupidity from the world. Our concern should be to keep such people far away from our shores, not to waste our time and energy teaching them that the world is not flat, or that most Americans do not have sex with farm animals. Let them learn that on their own; they have nothing to contribute at present to the civilized world anyway, as demonstrated by their absurd beliefs.

LA replies:

I never heard of people who think that “most Americans have sex with farm animals.” Why would we want such moronic people to come here, whether we can “correct” them on that point or not? Ken Hechtman wants them to come. That’s how much he thinks of America. He thinks America’s highest purpose is to reach out to sub-morons who hate it, to show them that America is not quite as hateful as they thought. Mr. Hechtman’s view of America is the same as that of Eric Holder, who thought the main purpose of trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in federal court would be to demonstrate to people in other countries that our court system works and is fair. As though we (the presumed bad guys) have something to prove to them. That’s how much Holder thinks of America.

Daniel R. writes:

I think that Berlinski and Hechtman are half right; the Turks or other Muslims who come here are probably more friendly to the U.S. on average than the overall home population, and coming here probably makes the friendly ones more friendly. But how many are unfriendly? By contrast, I suspect that almost all native English and French people who come to the U.S. are friendly towards it, or at least do not think it must be urgently destroyed. I couldn’t say what portion of Turks or other Muslims are unfriendly, but I’m sure it’s more. I also couldn’t say what portion of unfriendlies is too dangerous.

Berlinski’s problem is that she isn’t actually making an argument, she’s citing some evidence: There are at least two Turks who are pretty cool guys. There are probably even more. I think this is a reasonable assumption. Last night I met a pretty cool guy from Lebanon, which has naturally given me all kinds of insights about what our immigration policy vis-a-vis the Middle East should be. I suppose if he had brought a friend I’d have to concede that the very idea of national boundaries is immoral.

May 16

Clark Coleman writes:

Claire Berlinksi’s arguments and examples from Turkey (and Ken Hechtmann’s arguments) actually make the argument for granting tourist visas and student visa, rather than permitting immigration. We need people to come here for a while, find out we have a nice country and we are not demonic or bestial or whatever they have heard back home, and then return home to spread the word. What good can they do back home if they stay here? This also implies that we need a very serious enforcement effort for visa overstayers, which we do not presently have. (She is probably going to argue for that in her next column.)

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 14, 2011 05:34 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):