Sun Tzu said, “If you know yourself and know the enemy, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.  If you know yourself and not the enemy, for every victory, you will also suffer a defeat.  If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

There have, over the last decade plus, been two wildly divergent views of the Islamic world.  The Left prefers to see the Ummah as a poor, oppressed ethnic/religious minority that needs protecting from the evil American imperialist military-industrial complex.  The Right tends to see it as nothing but a pack of savages, cutting heads off and stoning women.  Both are wrong, if only because they are nothing but emotional reactions.

Shortly after the recent Ft. Hood shooting, while Fox News was repeating that the would-be jihadist who got kicked out of the Army prior to Basic Training was not associated with the shooting, while simultaneously beating the dead horse that “maybe it was,” certain even more low-information types were posting the likes of this:


Yet those who breathlessly report on Islamist atrocities, and then post such morally bankrupt drivel as the above, never get around to seeing this sort of thing:

Yes, the video is Ahrar al Sham propaganda, or perhaps more accurately, Information Operations.  But it is still happening.  Ahrar has been distributing aid to victims of the Syrian Civil War almost since its inception.  There are plenty more videos of this taking place.  At the same time, Ahrar is a hardcore Sunni Salafist organization, a part of Jabhaat al Islamiya, and has been known to conduct its own stonings for violations of Shariah law.

Does the distribution of aid make them good guys?  Do the stonings make them sulfur-breathing demons?  No to both.

The problem with the demonization of an enemy, just like the idealization of the same for purposes of pacifism, is that neither one holds up to reality.  You are then faced with the truth that the pure evil monsters actually occasionally do some good, weakening your argument that they are pure evil monsters, or that your poor downtrodden angels occasionally bury a woman to her waist and stone her to death for adultery, or get a 10-year old boy to chop a man’s head off with a knife.