Esmay: Do Facts Matter?

posted at 11:39 am on September 28, 2006 by Bryan

I wouldn’t even respond to this, except that a) it’s the second time in a week Dean Esmay has tried to mug Michelle Malkin and/or Hot Air, and b) it got linked over at InstaPundit so it’s probably gotten a little more visibility than Dean’s blog usually enjoys.

So Dean, since you’re in such a fightin’ mood, fight to find a few things. For instance, find one post on this blog or Michelle’s in which either she or I or anyone outside the comments suggests that the US should “declare war on the entire Muslim world.” Ok? Go back to JunkYardBlog if you want, too, since that’s where I used to write and from which you once accused me of making up a story out of thin air–remember that, Dean? I was proven right that time, and I don’t recall ever getting an apology from you. Since you’ve levelled this new charge at us, of pining for all-out war against all Muslims and being aligned in thought with al Qaeda in that wish, it’s on you to provide evidence of our guilt. So I challenge you to do so, with quotes and specifics, or kindly go away. If you level the charge but can’t provide specifics to back it up, you’re only making a fool of yourself and anyone who links to your diatribe.

While you’re at it, please deal with the Abdul Rahman case. He was set to be executed by the post-Taliban government of Afghanistan for the offense of converting from Islam to Christianity. His execution was rooted in the country’s law, not “radicalism” or “terrorism” or anything on the fringe–just its constitutional Islamic law, which is also practiced in one form or another in Pakistan, Iran, the new Iraq, etc, two of those three being our allies in this war. Pressure from around the world, including a few blogs, saved that man’s life. Should we have remained silent and let Abdul Rahman die? Or should we have allowed Islamic sharia law to have his head, in a country we liberated? Should the hard facts of the Rahman case, the fact that average Afghans promised to kill him if the government released him, and the dozens of other cases like it that take place year in and year out across the Islamic world, shape our understanding of the religion and culture of the region, or not? No arm-waving, Dean–just kindly and with specifics answer the questions.

While you’re at it, if you’re going to accuse people of “anti-Islam” sentiment or whatever politically correct term happens to be your favorite today, please do offer up specifics–you know, links and quotes to back up your claims. Generalizations indicate either laziness on your part, or incompetence at researching your topic, or ignorance of the topic, or a hair-trigger reflex to smear others who disagree with you, or some combination of all of that. Specifics are your friend, er, if the facts are on your side. And you claim, without providing a shred of evidence, that the facts are on your side in your fight against “friends” you accuse so often and so baselessly (for the record and speaking for myself, you haven’t earned the title of “friend” in my book. Hint: friendship isn’t usually the product of tossing around baseless accusations. Also for the record, I don’t consider you an enemy, either. I don’t recall considering your opinion worth seeking on any matter in years). So let’s have specifics, or kindly go away. And if you’re going to accuse us or anyone else of cherry-picking from the Koran, it really is on you to refute what we’ve said, quoted or interpreted, with specific facts to prove us wrong. Hand-waving generalizations and spittle-flecked name calling just make you look silly and add nothing to the reasoned discourse you claim to want. When you call your own co-blogger a “traitor” and say you’re just keeping him around to prove your own points, you come off as an unpleasant demagogue, not a reasonable debater. Substituting four-letter words for debate makes you look childish and lacking self-control, not reasonable and in command of the facts.

And finally, I note that you’re a strident critic of Robert Spencer, who now hosts a show on Hot Air. If you have an argument against anything he says or shows in that show, offer it. With specifics and facts, naturally. Or kindly go away.

Since you’ve publicly called Michelle (and by extension Hot Air) out with a raft of accusations, answer this reply with specifics and facts, or I’ll dismiss you for a jackbooted ninny. That is a title you will have undoubtedly earned.

More: Michelle responds.


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A compelling argument Bryan. Let’s see how/if he reorts.

GregH on September 28, 2006 at 11:42 AM

It’s probably not worth mentioning that I banned a whole raft of people not long ago for their “let’s carpet-bomb Iraq” comments. Oh, and that I warn each and every new commenter that if I hear any “nuke Mecca” nonsense out of them, they’re gone. Which, in fact, happens to be the only ideological constraint I place on them.

Not important, I guess. Hey, caricatures are fun!

Allahpundit on September 28, 2006 at 11:50 AM

And I have put that same constraint on comment applicants too. Not that facts matter in Dean’s World.

Bryan on September 28, 2006 at 11:59 AM

Er…never heard of him.

However, I did press the link and his site is a mess. His middle comment column cuts off the first and last letter of each sentence, maybe even whole words. Also, there’s something creepy about someone who writes about himself in the second person.

moonsbreath on September 28, 2006 at 12:03 PM

I’ve been reading Esmay for quite a while. I like him a great deal personally, but I have noticed a couple of things about him: 1) He’s a hothead. Very often, it seems, his posts are motivated by anger, and I think it gets in the way of his thinking clearly, and 2) Once he’s become convinced of something, it’s almost impossible to budge him. So, he’s become convinced that Michelle is an islamophobe. It’s going to take a great deal of effort to move him from that opinion. Y’all can judge for yourself whether or not the effort is warrented.

Now, his opinion about Michelle not withstanding, he does have a point about some of the awful rhetoric at places like LGF and the Jawa Report. I cringe when I read some of that stuff.

Farmer_Joe on September 28, 2006 at 12:18 PM

BTW, nice to be here!

Farmer_Joe on September 28, 2006 at 12:19 PM

Well done Bryan!
and welcome Farmer Joe

Defector01 on September 28, 2006 at 12:31 PM

Islamophobia is pretty common now. It can’t be helped, as we see nothing but violent Muslims on TV and the mind makes associations.

I’ve tried to play up stories on my own blog of heroic Muslims when I encounter them, but I’m not sure where to seek out more of those.

frankj on September 28, 2006 at 12:35 PM

Nice smackdown, Bryan.

JammieWearingFool on September 28, 2006 at 12:39 PM

This may be the lamest excuse ever when being challenged to provide evidence:

Dean Esmay:
I tried to search her site but I could not find it. It’s not easy. I can only search my memory, which was when she said she gave up on “euphemisms” like Islamo-fascism or “Islamic radicals.” It was recent but I can’t find it. So you’ll just have to take my word for it.

It must be seared, seared into his memory.

JammieWearingFool on September 28, 2006 at 12:44 PM

I never heard of him either, and I think for good reason. Having read the link (and a couple of his other posts), having read his reader’s comments, and having read Dean Esmay’s responses to those comments, I have to say that Dean Esmay is not just a “hot head”, he’s got mental issues. He should buy Prozac by the barrel.

I read several liberal blogs, ones that are intelligent and not full of hate. Anger is one thing, pure hate is another. Dean Esmay will probably remain one of my “blink and you’ll miss it” one-time driveby’s. IMHO, he’s a loon and honestly, I don’t know why Michelle (or anyone) would even bother giving him the time of day.

Be that as it may, nice response Bryan. Right on the money.

SilverStar830 on September 28, 2006 at 12:47 PM

It seems this bloggers anger is misdirected. I don’t think it is necessary for everybody to adopt the phrase Islamo fascist when referring to the terrorists or the group of extremist that are attempting to blackmail and and threaten the rest of the free world. Maybe when this guy is called on to make appearances on national shows because of his opinions regarding the current state of affairs with the Muslim community he can hurl barbs towards Michelle. The use of the word Islamo fascist should be used when appropiate but should not be used as a broad brush. I can understand his frustration with finding the mythical “moderate” Muslim, but since most of them have death warrants on their heads and they are living among the extremists it is a little different.
Do I wish that the Muslim communities in free western countries would be more vocal and show more outrage at the radical band of brothers who are representing their religion in such an extremist way? You betcha. I also understand that most of those from the Middle East come a culture of tribal loyalties, which we in the west have a hard time comprehending. In it’s most simplistic form think of it as the difference between being a NY Yankees fan and a Boston Red Sox fan. While each can be fanatic when their teams are playing each other, that does not prevent them from interacting at anytime. In the Arab world and the Muslim culture this switch can be turned on and off. They have lived this way for thousands of years and it is not going to change quickly.

LakeRuins on September 28, 2006 at 12:56 PM

“You’ll just have to take my word for it.”

Pardon me while I laugh.

Bryan on September 28, 2006 at 12:58 PM

In the Arab world and the Muslim culture this switch can NOT be turned on and off.
(Corrected
Copy)

LakeRuins on September 28, 2006 at 12:59 PM

Bryan,
Why do you bother? Just let him have his little rant. we know better over here at HotAir.
xoxo

pullingmyhairout on September 28, 2006 at 1:04 PM

SilverStar830, I think you’re jumping to a conclusion based on too-little evidence. Dean does not, as far as I know, have mental problems. He’s a good man, who is very passionate about his opinions. He also has a far bigger readership than the relatively small number of comments on his site would seem to indicate. To the extent, I would characterize his blog as “liberal”, it would be in the classical sense (which is how he means it in his site’s description), as opposed to “leftist”.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Dean is very wrong on this particular issue. I frequently disagree with him. However, I’ve always expressed my disagreements with him in civil terms, and I’ve found that he’s generally inclined to do the same when confronted with that approach.

I don’t want to get too much into defending him – he can do that himself – but I hate to see him mischaracterized just because he’s made some less-than-flattering comments about Michelle (however mistaken I believe those comments to be). He’s a good man, and I think people should give him a chance.

Farmer_Joe on September 28, 2006 at 1:14 PM

Dean has been doing quite a bit of this lately. If you’re going to condemn someone, you’d damned well better be able to quote them. Dean can’t because he’s just making it up as he goes along.

His attacks on Robert Spencer were nothing less than pathetic. Robert won that battle with a single two word challenge that Dean just couldn’t meet: “Quote me.”

He’s been romping his way around the ‘sphere on his moral high horse slinging cow chips for some time now. This is just more of the same. Anyone know what got into him?

Pablo on September 28, 2006 at 1:31 PM

I got as far in his post as:

This very statement–that Islam is incompatible with democracy–is why I fight so hard with many of my friends on the Right: accepting that statement means we have to declare war on the entire Muslim world if we’re to hope for human freedom to survive.

To me it would be akin to, in World War II, declaring ourselves at war with “Germanic People,” “Latin People,” and “Southeast Asians.” Not Nazi Germany and Mussolini’s Italy and Tojo’s Japan. No, we would have declared that we were at war with anyone of Germanic or Latin descent, and anyone who happened to be short, yellow, and slant-eyed (to put it rudely and crassly).

before choking….

Uh… Islam is not a RACE its a RELIGION. If you don’t know the difference then please hang up your keyboard.

And in WW II we did declare war on a sort of religion: Facism – as represented by the Nazi Germany, and Mussolini, and Tojo.

In many ways we are still fighting this war against Islamofacist.

CrazyFool on September 28, 2006 at 1:44 PM

Sorry but I have to put my two cents in on this Dean is a nice guy but misunderstood schtick.

Merely scroll on down to his comment section.

Dean,

This is like the tenth person that you mischaracterized their position and then attacked. You never provide specifics because if you did you couldn’t support your assertions.

There are other ways to fight the intolerant nature of Islam than all out war on every Muslim on the planet at once. That’s stupid and Malkin never asserted that position. You really seem to have no concern for the truth what-so-ever.

Does the fact that there a billion muslims make their ideology ethical and something to be lauded or just something to be feared?

The US has had to deal with Islamic trouble in the past. We dealt with it without having to take on ever Muslim on the planet, just those attacking our interests and the countries that harbored them. We didn’t go into fits of political correctness to accomplish it either.

Naturally Dean responds in a calm and rational manner to this comment.

Brian: You lying traitor. I have provided specifics time and time again, and all you have offered in response are vague handwaving generalizations and out-of-context, cherry-picked quotations of the Koran.Indeed, intellectual coward that you are, you have not answered my specifics, such as why you do not acknowledge Muslims like Hamid Karzai and Nouri al-Maliki as our allies. You do not do that, because you can’t: you’re such an intellectual lightweight that you say nothing about them—you God-damned Benedict Arnold turncoat traitor.

Oh, but you have some cherry-picked, out-of-context quotes from the Koran, which you use to spit on our Muslim allies, you God-Damned traitor son of a b#$@h.

I hope you know I only keep you around to help emphasize my point: there are people on the Right who are f@#$%^g traitors, which is what you are.

Until you acknowledge and embrace our Muslim allies, that is all you will ever be: a f#$@%g traitor [spit] .

Not content with the amount of spittle flying over his keyboard Dean lets loose with some more of his patented self-righteous venom further down. Responding to a person politely asking Dean to chill…gets you this. You remember that personal attacks thingy I asked you to remember? Isn’t this a cute way to reinforce that?

Sean: No I will not chill, dude. I’m mad about this, and I will not stop being mad about it.These are our allies. If you cannot acknowledge them as our allies, then you’re a God-damned traitor, and I hate your f%$#@g guts.

Having had to deal with this maniac before he is anything but a nice guy. Please excuse the profanity but it was required to make the point.

Sorry but this guy is a maniac who doesn’t really have a point at the end of the day. But he gets really upset when backed into a corner.

http://pierrelegrand.net/2006/03/27/pierre-legrand-responds-to-a-near-slanderous-personal-attack-by-dean-esmay.htm

PierreLegrand on September 28, 2006 at 1:48 PM

Bryan, your retort is kinder than Esmay deserves. His straw-man rant is out of control. I love how he demands an aknowledgement that Karzai is an ally, accompanied by a video clip that I know i first saw on HotAir in a post that parised him for his take down of the foolish reporter.

He’s a nut.

coondawg on September 28, 2006 at 1:53 PM

Yes, we did have that clip up not too long after it aired live. I saw it live and emailed Allahpundit about getting it posted, and he was already working on it. Just a couple of Islamophobes at work, I guess.

Not that facts matter in Dean’s World.

As to why bother taking him on, I hope it will serve as a lesson. If you’re going to take the trouble to smear other bloggers, at least take the trouble to back up your smear with a fact or two. If you don’t, it can get embarassing.

Bryan on September 28, 2006 at 1:59 PM

Esmay is seriously out of control. Push 5mgs Haldol- Stat.

Valiant on September 28, 2006 at 2:01 PM

He is a nut, he’ll even tell you so. Why people pay attention to him is beyond me. Maybe because he has been around for so long. Even his wife chopped him off at the knees about his apologist remarks — online.

I described a muslim protest, with thousands of Hezbollah supporters, that I attended in Dearborn where things started to get a little scary and Dean said that it didn’t happen — he didn’t see it. Nevermind that even the MSM had people there.

Moron.

mesablue on September 28, 2006 at 2:03 PM

Yes, we did have that clip up not too long after it aired live. I saw it live and emailed Allahpundit about getting it posted, and he was already working on it.

Heh.

Stupid facts.

Pablo on September 28, 2006 at 2:04 PM

I saw that earlier. And especially after reading the comments, I was reminded of the type of person who drives around with muffler cutouts.

He believes everyone is thinking, “How cool”, when everyone is actually thinking, “No Class”.

I don’t think I’ll be back to his blog, Instapundit, or no.

dinasour on September 28, 2006 at 2:09 PM

And if you’re going to accuse us or anyone else of cherry-picking from the Koran, it really is on you to refute what we’ve said, quoted or interpreted, with specific facts to prove us wrong.

To sidestep Esmay’s cherry-picking arguments completely and focus on matters of actual import, I wonder what he has to say about Islamic jurisprudence and the united voice with which they speak to all of the important topics: jihad, dhimmitude, slavery, individual rights and so on.

And: I thought phobias are irrational fears. (“Naziphobe! Islamophobe!”)

RD on September 28, 2006 at 2:20 PM

Question I’ve been wondering for a while – why do liberals use so much more profanity in normal conversation than conservatives? Is it considered “progressive?” I’ve always just thought it was lazy, for a variety of reasons. But I continue to notice that it’s a left/right thing.

World B. Free on September 28, 2006 at 2:23 PM

He’s been romping his way around the ’sphere on his moral high horse slinging cow chips for some time now. This is just more of the same. Anyone know what got into him?

This is sort of his pet issue so I don’t know if anything’s “got into him” so much as it was just time for another round. His larger point is well taken, salutary, and indisputable; there are plenty of Muslims who eschew violence and want reform in the Middle East. No one who supported the war in Iraq and pinned their hopes on democratization can reasonably believe otherwise. Of course, Michelle supports the war in Iraq, but let’s forget that. Like I said earlier, caricatures are much more fun.

Dean’s problem is that in positioning himself as the anti-Islamophobe-in-chief, he tends to go to the opposite extreme — i.e., “my Muslim friends are all chill and humane, ergo, most Muslims are chill and humane.” Maybe, maybe not. I’ll tell you a story. A friend of mine who works in the security industry has a young co-worker from Yemen. Nice guy, chill and humane. One day the two of them and a bunch of co-workers were sitting around at lunch and the topic somehow turned to 9/11, and I guess everyone started swapping stories. At which point the Yemeni guy interjected to ask the group if they knew that 4,000 Jews were absent from the Towers that day because they’d been warned beforehand.

Chill. Humane. Anti-semitic conspiracy theorist kook. How representative is that guy? Not sure, but if I had to bet, I’d bet — fairly.

So somewhere between Dean and Islamophobes lies the correct answer. Hopefully it’s close to Dean’s side than vice versa. I won’t offer my own opinion, because after all, I don’t want to be “a God-damned traitor” whose “f%$#@g guts” he hates.

Allahpundit on September 28, 2006 at 2:33 PM

Honestly, I read dean daily, and this is not characteristic, GENERALLY, or how he is. He does have a few hot buttons and this is one of them. I just tend to leave these issues be on his site, and move on. No good to come about razzing him about them other to extend the length of the silly discussion.

He is typically quite a bit more on the level.

buddyellis on September 28, 2006 at 2:46 PM

I’ve been reading Michelle’s blog for a few years now, and I’ve been checking out HotAir for months now, and in no case have I ever seen AllahP, Bryan, Michelle or anyone for that matter suggest we ‘wipe out all Muslims’ or that ‘all Muslims are our enemy’. I’m not sure where the hell he’s reading that, or where he gets that impression. One of my best friends is Muslim and he lives in Montreal. He’d be the first one to tell you there’s Islamofacists (extremists) out there who want us all dead, INCLUDING moderate Muslims because they are not on *their* side of this war of civilizations and terror. A Muslim recently wrote in (I believe) the New York Post, and apology abotu 9/11. Not about it happening, but about not standing up and decrying the bastards who did it. About not speaking out against terrorism and denouncing radical islamic facists sooner. He admitted that there are enough violent verses in the Koran for anyone to pervert to his own ends. He’s not who we’re fighting. My friend is not who we’re fighting. We’re fighting against those who use verses in the Koran as excuses for barbaric behavior, murder, rape, violence, and more. THOSE are who we are fighting. The inconvenient fact is, they are also Muslim.

DakRoland on September 28, 2006 at 3:01 PM

I have never seen anything like those charges from Michelle or anyone associated with HotAir.
I have made stronger, more directed comments than any one of them! It is more often the case that one of them is chiming in to tell one of the commenters to COOL IT on the bashing or threats.
I read that entire post from lalalandguy. He has NO facts..nothing to back up those incindiary charges. Baseless and reprehensible and I bet VERY CALCULATED to get just this sort of reaction (and blog hits).
Still, I appreciate Bryan and AP calling HIM out!

labwrs on September 28, 2006 at 3:13 PM

Dean’s problem is significantly encapsulated here:

This very statement–that Islam is incompatible with democracy–is why I fight so hard with many of my friends on the Right: accepting that statement means we have to declare war on the entire Muslim world if we’re to hope for human freedom to survive.

To me it would be akin to, in World War II, declaring ourselves at war with “Germanic People,” “Latin People,” and “Southeast Asians.” Not Nazi Germany and Mussolini’s Italy and Tojo’s Japan. No, we would have declared that we were at war with anyone of Germanic or Latin descent, and anyone who happened to be short, yellow, and slant-eyed (to put it rudely and crassly).

Democracy or genocide? No other choices? Why is there no middle ground between apocalyptic war or “democratizing” a billion people? Let’s say maybe it is incompatible–let’s just say–can’t we just largely separate the West (in an ideal world, I mean, not necessarily politically feasible in this one) from the Islamic world? Stop immigration, encourage emmigration?

I’m afraid Dean’s reasoning lingers around even the arguments of less sanctimonious democratize-the-world hawks as well. No one wants to be at war with a billion-plus people, a point everyone is always making. But what’s democratizing a billion-plus people?

The interesting thing about Dean’s WWII analagy is this: he says we’re at war with just Nazis and Fascicsts, not Germans, Japanese, Italians… But who’s he kidding? We destroyed Germany and Japan, then rebuilt them, the innocents were considered . The analagy to “islamofascists” is destroying the Muslim world, then rebuilding it. But we don’t want that, right? War with a billion people all that?

And finally, the full analogy would be that during WWII we also allowed massive immigration from Japan, Germany and Italy into the Allied countries. Doesn’t make sense, because they were kinda doing that anyway through military force? Ah, but we weren’t at war with all Germans et al, right? We could have let the democracy-loving ones immigrate…

Bottom line is, war-on-some-Muslims-for-democracy versus apocalyptic-war-on-all-Muslims is a false choice.

Alex K on September 28, 2006 at 3:20 PM

Never heard of him… guess that’s a good thing…

E L Frederick on September 28, 2006 at 3:27 PM

sorry, broken sentence in my last post, should be:

“…the innocents were considered collateral damage, we didn’t think of ourselves as having to kill them all.”

While I’m at it, a losse analogyu could work like this: we were at war with Germany and Japan…we are in danger from Islam. After WWII, we were not at war with Germany and Japan and the same people we were at war with (or their descendents) were our friends and nothing fascist or nazi about em… After we are no longer in danger from Islam we could be friends with them, nothing radical or dangerous about em.

In other words, even if we were to say “Islam is the problem”, it doesn’t even mean it will always be the problem, or that the people haeve something fundamentally wrong with them… but it does mean that Islam is not Germany and Japan in abstract, but Germany in Japan in the 30s…

Alex K on September 28, 2006 at 3:31 PM

I am guilty of being anti-Islamic, and not making clear the differences between our friendly Muslims and our enemy the Islamic Terrorists.

I really don’t have a defense for that. It would be nice if the friendly peace loving Muslims could be heard more. It is groups like CAIR, and those Muslims protesting and yelling about how Hezbollah is their army in Dearborn that give the rest of Muslims a bad name.

E L Frederick on September 28, 2006 at 3:34 PM

AP: “Oh, and that I warn each and every new commenter that if I hear any “nuke Mecca” nonsense out of them,they’re gone.”

I’m not quite sure what’s wrong with a “nuke mecca” statement. Especially if made in context of a retaliatory strike if one of our cities gets “nuked”. These islamic radicals put islam above all else so destroying one of their so-called “holy places” sounds logical to me.

darwin on September 28, 2006 at 4:17 PM

Bryan,

I admit I am one of the guys Dean is talking about. I won’t apologize for it. It has nothing to do with Michelle or Bryan, or Allah. If you read what I write and believe, you will find I don’t want to kill all Muslims, but if they succeed in blowing up one US city with a nuclear device, then I am all about Old Testament retribution. Mecca and Medina won’t be the end of it. And I believe in warning them ahead of time so they won’t look surprised when the sky falls on them for failing to get their miscreants in line.

If Michelle doesn’t like it, ban me. If Allah doesn’t agree, kick me off. I accept that fate. That is their privilege. If Dean doesn’t like it, then I feel like I’m doing my job for the day, because anyone who thinks like he does needs to have his ass kicked anyway. The First Amendment protects you from the government. It don’t do anything about protecting you from me. If you disparage the things I have given my life to, I’ll exercise my right to give you a good old country ass kicking. By God. (With thanks to Trace Adkins for putting that sentiment to music.)

And since we’re all commenting on a blog anyway, how serious an ass kicking can Dean Esmay get from me that he wouldn’t feel a whole helluva lot more likely to get from a terrorist in the Middle East who don’t like him because he’s “Amrikan”.

Feel free to grow a backbone and take your lumps, Dean. This is between YOU and ME, boy.

Subsunk, waiting to be booted off. Out.

Subsunk on September 28, 2006 at 4:28 PM

Once again I think the real story here is Glenn Reynold’s mindset. Prior to the instalanche Dean Esmay didn’t even exist for much of the ‘sphere. Why does Glenn link to an unhinged hack in the first place? And I do notice that there’s an awful lot of linkage to DailyKos at Instapundit, too, interspersed with some, “I agree with Markos,” which doesn’t come along as tongue-in-cheek that much.

Mark my words, come 2008 we’ll see a major “conservative” blogger do a Sullivan and defect the Bush doctrine. In that scope Dean Esmay is less than a minor distraction. He’s being used by Glenn to see how the war on the war on terror currently polls.

Niko on September 28, 2006 at 6:18 PM

Esmay?

Is that pig-latin?

Umbday uckfay must be his middle name.

Honorary Captain of the Duck, Dodge & Hide Strawmen Intramural Spitball Brigade.

profitsbeard on September 28, 2006 at 6:46 PM

SilverStar830, I think you’re jumping to a conclusion based on too-little evidence. Dean does not, as far as I know, have mental problems. He’s a good man, who is very passionate about his opinions. He also has a far bigger readership than the relatively small number of comments on his site would seem to indicate. To the extent, I would characterize his blog as “liberal”, it would be in the classical sense (which is how he means it in his site’s description), as opposed to “leftist”.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Dean is very wrong on this particular issue. I frequently disagree with him. However, I’ve always expressed my disagreements with him in civil terms, and I’ve found that he’s generally inclined to do the same when confronted with that approach.

I don’t want to get too much into defending him – he can do that himself – but I hate to see him mischaracterized just because he’s made some less-than-flattering comments about Michelle (however mistaken I believe those comments to be). He’s a good man, and I think people should give him a chance.

Farmer_Joe on September 28, 2006 at 1:14 PM

Farmer_Joe: I can appreciate your defense of your friend. While it is true I have never visited his weblog before, that is my justified first impression of Dean Esmay after reading the linked post, with comments, and numerous others on his weblog.

I am assuming he’s a grown man and not a 12-year old, although his behavior and treatment of his guests on his weblog suggests differently. When a grown man is reduced to hurling venomous insults and immature pedantic rants upon people who simply disagree with him or intelligently present nonconfrontational comments which oppose Dean Esmay’s opinions, and for their efforts to participate in his discussions they are bombarded by:

You lying traitor… intellectual coward that you are… you’re such an intellectual lightweight that you say nothing about them—you God-damned Benedict Arnold turncoat traitor… Oh, but you have some cherry-picked, out-of-context quotes from the Koran, which you use to spit on our Muslim allies, you God-Damned traitor son of a bitch… I hope you know I only keep you around to help emphasize my point: there are people on the Right who are fucking traitors, which is what you are… fucking traitor [spit]… If you cannot acknowledge them as our allies, then you’re a God-damned traitor, and I hate your fucking guts… So you’ll just have to take my word for it… What, did you think I was making this shit up?? Like it was some paranoid fantasy I had? … [Redacted by SS830] has been running around in the Dean’s World comments for the last week badmouthing Muslims at every opportunity. He deserves all the contempt I’ve heaped on him and more. I’m probably stupid to even allow the traitorous lying crapweasel to keep commenting here…

…he makes my case. Shall I go on? I’ll spare us all the quotes and links to other posts and comments sections. They’re there for all to peruse. I don’t see anyone would even bother commenting on his weblog, much less reading it, unless they’re of the same ilk I suppose.

Furthermore, his reasoning process and lack of factual basis for most of his maniacal ravings (ie: he can talk the talk, but he can’t walk the walk) suggests he simply has a screw loose. For example:

Reader comment: Certainly a predominately Islamic country can have a working democracy IF they do not base their legal system on Islamic law, because, frankly, Islamic law is anything but democratic.

Dean Esmay’s retort:

Hahahahahaha. This is the exact opposite of the truth. It’s far more democratic than many other forms of law; this is why Islam is so decentralized and has no formal clergy: people in Islam follow whichever leaders they want, and (except in Iran and Saudi Arabia) no religious authority has any formal power to speak of.

Portions of Islamic law are embedded deeply in Indonesia’s legal system–and Indonesia is a liberal democracy, and the largest Muslim nation on Earth. It is not the only such example, either.

Haysoos! I wonder what color the sky is on the planet Dean Esmay’s from! Of course, Indonesia is a paradise on Earth filled with loving caring leaders. No despots there!

So, Dean Esmay goes on to say:

I’ll respond to Bryan and Michelle in due time.

Frankly, I think his response will fall on deaf eyes ears because as anyone can see, he’s on the borderline of the lunatic fringe and simply has personal issues. Maybe he’s not mental and I was too judgemental on that, but he has definitely got issues. My first impression of this grown man, and a self-confessed Narcissistic Attention Whore is that he appears to be suffering (to me anyway) from: Narcissism (duh); Cognitive Dissonance; Pompousassity; Projection : Counter-Projection; and a debilitating case of Blame the Victim Syndrome.

If you read the majority of his posts and his replys to his guests in the comments section, as I did, in totality he proves it all beyond a doubt. Sorry, but I can only go by what he presents himself as.

meh… anyway, sorry for the uber-huge response. Dean Esmay will pass into history like a gallstone eventually. People like that can’t be taken seriously.

SilverStar830 on September 28, 2006 at 6:55 PM

I think it’s fairly obvious by now that Dean Esmay will pass into history like a gallstone. It will just be painfully longer for the world than it should be.

Esmay?

Is that pig-latin?

Umbday uckfay must be his middle name.

Opstay! Ou’reyay illingkay emay!

SilverStar830 on September 28, 2006 at 7:11 PM

I would contend if it is the truth, that does not make one anti-anything (be it Islam, Homosexuality, etc) it only makes it the truth. Your opponents make the ad hominem attacks trying to label you; Why waste your time defending baseless charges, it only plays into their hands and allows them to change the focus of action/conversation from where it needs to be.

As to banning people for voicing their opinion on using nuclear options to deal with our enemies, I find disheartening. I do know that as long as we continue to fight a civilized war trying to win the hearts and minds of our enemies, we create a formidable and perhaps nobtainable goal.

As William T. Sherman said, War is Hell, you cannot refine it.

Let us win the war, then we can achieve the peace.

I pray to God we have the resolve to do what is necessary.

MarkB on September 28, 2006 at 7:26 PM

Subsunk if you need backup I volunteer. I am sick of hearing about how moderate Islam is, it isn’t. I am sick of hearing how the vast majority of Muslims don’t agree with Bin Laden’s methods, the polls don’t agree. For one quick instance take a look at Indonesia the most populous Muslim country in the world and purportedly a moderate one at that…in 2003 with the hallowed grounds in NYC barely cold after the murderous rampage of a supposedly radical muslim…a mere 58% of the Indonesian population had confidence in Bin Laden. Luckily for us in 2005 that figure went all the way down to 38% whew for a second there thought they might not like us. Good thing that it is only 38% FREAKING PERCENT OF THE MOST POPULOUS MUSLIM NATION on earth…sorry for the rant. All outlined in this article commenting on the debate at National Review.

Islam and Democracy….the debate on National Review Corner.

Niko I believe you may have a point. War is ugly and not something that most of us are prepared to live with for the length of time it will take to win under the rules we fight.

PierreLegrand on September 28, 2006 at 7:27 PM

Dean Esmay:
Here’s a challenge for you.

Why not try something original. I challenge you to write a post displaying all the links to the quotes of outrage by local, regional, statewide leaders of Islam publicly and strongly condemning the actions of those within their faith who behead, torture and desecrate human beings. I promise you the list of links and quotes will be very short.

Psycotte on September 28, 2006 at 7:31 PM

Reynolds has linked to Esmay from time to time for years. I just did a search on “Esmay” at Instapundit and got about 80 entries, the earliest being Feb. 2003. The search picks up text messages of his name and any links to Esmay’s web site that don’t have his name in the actual text.

I would say that Glenn goes there regularly.

Tom
BizzyBlog.com

Tom Blumer on September 28, 2006 at 7:43 PM

Dean who?

.

GT on September 28, 2006 at 7:45 PM

“Subsunk if you need backup I volunteer. I am sick of hearing about how moderate Islam is, it isn’t.”

PierreLegrand

I’ll backup the backup, or run point if needed.

darwin on September 28, 2006 at 7:46 PM

Now, his opinion about Michelle not withstanding, he does have a point about some of the awful rhetoric at places like LGF and the Jawa Report. I cringe when I read some of that stuff.

As a co-blogger, and sometimes part-time editor-in-chief of the Jawa Report, I must say this.

We have tried IP banning, deleting, editing, and general making fun of the “kill all muslims” commenters on our site.

However, we are working with 2 year old Movable Type 2.64 software. IP banning hasn’t worked, they just get a new one. Deleting makes them mad, which I get a kick out of sometimes, same with editing and general making fun of.

We have lives too. We can’t sit at our computers all day waiting for the next “kill all muslims” commenter to pop up.

As for Esmay’s assertion that he posts in his own comments, that we’re responsible for the opinions of the commenters, that’s just ludicrous. If that’s the case, then we’re also responsible for comment spammers that get through the filters.

So, I can’t speak for LGF, but as far as the Jawa Report goes, we fought, and lost this particular battle. Hopefully, the new blog platform being developed by Pixy (head of MuNu) will help us get rid of these blogtards.

Vinnie on September 28, 2006 at 7:52 PM

I’ll backup the backup, or run point if needed.

Add me to the platoon. I’m just an ordinary soldier willing to do what it takes.

Psycotte on September 28, 2006 at 7:53 PM

I’m happy to stand shoulder to shoulder with Muslims willing to (a) accept liberal democracy as well as ethnic and religious pluralism, and (b) stand up and unequivocally condemn the widespread violence carried out in the name of their faith.

Regrettably, I don’t see much evidence that such individuals exist in significant numbers. So while I don’t see that Islam is inherently incompatible with liberal democracy et cetera, in practice it all too often is. And that sucks, because I’d prefer to avoid a genocidal clash of civilizations if at all possible.

And I honestly look forward to Dean Esmay mustering the testicular fortitude to call me a goddamned traitor, someone no better than the KKK, to my face.

Centerfire on September 28, 2006 at 7:54 PM

For the record, I don’t have a problem with IP linking Esmay. I do sometimes wish he’d be a bit more careful–linking to that particular post gave it far more notoriety that it was worth. But it’s his blog, he can do what he wants with it. And I doubt he’s using Dean for any kind of poll-testing. I’ve had my differences with Glenn here and there, but I don’t recall him ever taking any stance based on what any polls said. If he did that, he wouldn’t be a libertarian at all. He’d be more like…well, Andrew Sullivan.

Bryan on September 28, 2006 at 8:16 PM

I was not trying to say that Glenn is a weathervane guided by poll results, but that he’s rather trying to find a window of opportunity to publicize his “second thoughts” about the Bush doctrine, and Dean Esmay is being just a useful idiot in that scheme. Same with his participation in and linking to so-called “bi-partisan” efforts around the ‘sphere. They’re not a bridge, but an escape route for when finally in 2008 America’s lack of willpower is exposed he can happily claim he’s been “critical” of Bush all the time, and really been aligned with libertarians much more than with neo-conservatives.

Niko on September 28, 2006 at 8:45 PM

For what it’s worth, Robert Spencer has the correct question,

I wouldn’t have noted it at all except that his initial sally was linked at Instapundit, which demonstrates that despite all of Esmay’s frothing hysteria and foaming-at-the-mouth slanders and distortions, some people evidently still take him seriously. How anyone could possibly do so after his foul-mouthed raging in the comments that Michelle Malkin links to is a mystery to me.

No, it’s not much of a mystery. The answer is right there, monstrous as it may seem.

Niko on September 28, 2006 at 8:51 PM

Vinnie –

As a co-blogger, and sometimes part-time editor-in-chief of the Jawa Report, I must say this.

We have tried IP banning, deleting, editing, and general making fun of the “kill all muslims” commenters on our site.

I understand completely. I still read your site despite the antics of some commentators. I still read LGF, too. It’s unfortunate that that stuff is out there, but I don’t think it necessarily destroys a site.

Farmer_Joe on September 28, 2006 at 8:52 PM

And finally, I note that you’re a strident critic of Robert Spencer, who now hosts a show on Hot Air.

This has to be why he’s showed up on your doorstep. Congrats – you’ve attracted a turd for life! :-)

Some favorite takedowns on the subject, most by HotAir’s very own Robert Spencer:

The evidence points to the truth — and to Roobart Sbunsar

Francis W. Porretto – To Those Visiting Here From Dean Esmay’s Site

Esmay speaks

On assertions without evidence

Anybody seen Dean Esmay?

Should one ally with those with whom one disagrees?

Esmay’s dismay, and his response

[SilverStart830] … honestly, I don’t know why Michelle (or anyone) would even bother giving him the time of day.

Agreed! Robert Spencer reluctantly makes the case for why in his response(s).

RD on September 28, 2006 at 9:34 PM

Just for the record, my ginormous reply to Farmer_Joe several posts up didn’t show up when I hit the ‘Submit’ button. It wasn’t there after a bit of a wait plus a reboot either. I assumed it disappeared into the interweb abyss, hence, the short one right after it. Note to self -KISS-

Apologies.

SilverStar830 on September 28, 2006 at 9:57 PM

SilverStar830 –

Your opinion is certainly justified by what you’ve quoted. Dean has done this before. Like I said, he’s a hothead, and he does tend to let anger get the better of him. From what I’ve seen, he’ll go on these angry tears for a few days at a stretch and then he’ll calm down again. It’s unfortunate, and it does hurt his credibility. I’m not claiming that he’s been “misunderstood” or anything of the kind. He’s surely stepped in it, and unfortunately, this dustup seems to be getting around the sphere. He’s made his own problems, and he’ll have to deal with them.

I think it’s a shame for a number of reasons, but mostly because it’s difficult to watch a friend make a fool of himself in public.

Farmer_Joe on September 28, 2006 at 10:18 PM

Vinnie’s telling the truth about the Jawa Report–we’ve exchanged many emails about some of the (extremely persistent) morons that show up in the comments there. With the traffic Jawa gets, you’re going to have all kinds of commenters. Funny how Dean doesn’t seem to notice the leftist commenters there–the ones who believe this is Bush’s fundie war against brown people. Wouldn’t they be just as indicative of “The Jawa Report” as any other commenters, by his logic?

Another point which I would raise at Dean’s, but I have a hunch I wouldn’t get a logical, honest (not to mention respectful) answer: How does he think all of our moderate Muslim “allies” feel about American foreign policy on Israel? What other country is as much a friend to us? Should we NOT support our own interests? Should we only support Muslim “allies,” but not Israel or others?

I don’t read his site much (I read Rosemary far more often), so I don’t know his opinion on our foreign policy re: Israel. If I had to guess, based on his extremist rhetoric on the war, I’d guess he’s probably got a touch of Stockholm Syndrome from his apparently slavish devotion to Islam. Or maybe he just gives them a pass. That’s his business, but as for me, I don’t trust people that long for the annihilation of Israel (Ahmadinejad isn’t the only one). So we have Muslim countries as allies, sure. But when it comes down to it, “trust, but verify” applies.

And this:

To me it would be akin to, in World War II, declaring ourselves at war with “Germanic People,” “Latin People,” and “Southeast Asians.” Not Nazi Germany and Mussolini’s Italy and Tojo’s Japan.

So what DOES he think this war is about? If you take that argument strawman to its logical conclusion, he would have to be against the war altogether because we’re not at war with any specific country. (But WHO said we’re at war with Muslims, anyway? What a crock!)

Why Michelle Malkin? Why today? Why not take on everyone who unapologetically says “Islamofascist?” Does he have a better, more technically correct term? Does he even read Malkin or any of the other writers he calls bigots? It sure doesn’t look like it.

bamapachyderm on September 28, 2006 at 10:45 PM

Why Michelle Malkin? Why today? Why not take on everyone who unapologetically says “Islamofascist?” Does he have a better, more technically correct term? Does he even read Malkin or any of the other writers he calls bigots? It sure doesn’t look like it.

Michelle’s always the lightning rod. If you’re going to pick a fight, you might as well pick it with her.

Allahpundit on September 28, 2006 at 10:51 PM

Yeah, I guess so, especially when you’re looking for a lot of attention. ;-)

But jeez, she doesn’t even have comments there to blame on her! HAHA!

bamapachyderm on September 28, 2006 at 10:59 PM

Subsunk, waiting to be booted off. Out.

Subsunk on September 28, 2006 at 4:28 PM

Subsunk, I hope you resurface soon :) I belong to a submarine club in San Diego, as a special member (not having been a submariner, but admiring all who have and are).

Entelechy on September 28, 2006 at 11:02 PM

I’m confused as hell here. I’ve known Dean for many years, and this kind of linkless memory-based attack is out of character.

I think Dean usually serves a good purpose… checking the far-right blogs that cross the line, but now he’s just plain making stuff up.

I’ve already explained, in my original posting, that Michelle and others like her frequently simply characterize “Muslims” as the enemy.

Provide a link. I’ll help you on your search. Let me know when you find something.

And yes, they regularly play host to vile Islamophobic commenters and say nothing at all to discourage those.

This is simply untrue. AllahPundit is usually the one playing moderator here, and I know for a fact that he’s warned and/or banned many commenters for anti-Muslim sentiments. If there are still some comments standing, let him know. This site gets hundreds of comments daily. There are too many to read them all.

Mark Jaquith on September 28, 2006 at 11:22 PM

Thanks, Farmer Joe.

Vinnie on September 28, 2006 at 11:27 PM

Well I sure got here late on this one. I’ll have to go back to read all of these in a minute. My first thoughts were that this Esamy guy ( I have never heard of him) is a bit of a parasite, kinda like our new troll/parasite Greg. Greg sits and waits for the newest article to come out on HotAir so he can post first. Whether hes a troll, driveby, lib, wacko, I dont know. I think its his lone marketing plan. MM & HA got pretty big and he’s sponging off the sitemeter, just trying to get anyone to link thru….DONT DO IT.
I also think Esmay is much the same but there is so much more narccisism going on with him. “Calling Michelle out”???
What does he think? He can get on Fox or something? Sounds like undocumented accusations and unprovable rhetoric. He can only have one thing in mind…HIMSELF and trying to stealsome pub, maybe a few hits. It worked, I went there for about 12 seconds.
Its frustrating at the top MM, B, AP, and your team. There is much more history here than I know, but “Shoemaker, stick to thy last” or something like that. Keep up your honor and your chins, you are not a trashbag site and you have decent rules and ethics.
He (esmay) will TRY to defend himself, but then he will fade away. They always do. -now to read all of this above, hope I wasnt too redundant-

shooter on September 28, 2006 at 11:28 PM

8…9…10…YER OUT!!! *DING* *DING* *DING*
The winners and still champeens….Michelle, Bryan, AP, and HOTAIR! Wuuzzdis’ guyz’ name agin’?

Seriously, although Michelle need hold tryouts for an adequate verbal sparring partner, I volunteer to be her Champion, if she wants one.

There’s this story about flipping a VW Bug on its side that just follows me around…

tormod on September 29, 2006 at 6:18 AM

And in WW II we did declare war on a sort of religion: Facism – as represented by the Nazi Germany, and Mussolini, and Tojo.

True. And if Hitler had announced he was a god and his Naziism was the one true religion, we would have still been at war with it.

Perchant on September 29, 2006 at 9:59 AM

I would hope is not banning anyone for so called anti-muslim sentiments.

MarkB on September 29, 2006 at 12:30 PM

Great post Bryan. Good work.

Cary on September 29, 2006 at 1:20 PM

Sifting through the link to Esmay’s essay there is one legitimate point that he has that does need to be addressed in depth. Many may disagree with me here, but to understand the continuing culture war we are in we must clearly identify who the opponent is. Not all Muslim’s are our enemy.

I can clearly see where a genuinly good person by most American’s standards of Islamic faith would immigrate to another country and be a perfect model citizen. This family would be pleasant, hard working, make genuine efforts to assimilate, contribute, and integrate into the nation they immigrated to. They would have strong devotion to God and their understanding of his presence. In every way this family would seem to be the perfect immigrant and a welcome addition to the nation.

The problem comes about because of unchangeable or unmodifiable tentants of the Islamic faith that are, for all practical purposes, written in stone and in direct conflict with modern Western values. The specific issues revolve around a lack of tolerance for other faiths, a fundamental conflict between unchangeable Islamic rules or laws and progressive social change (especially with women), and a lack of tolerance of free speech and discourse that does not agree with their beliefs.

The result is those perfect Islamic immigrants bring with them a doctrine that is, essentially, incompatable with democracy and freedom of religion. The “moderate” Muslim adjusts their actions to not participate in violence but to some measure, almost always, supports the basic concepts behind Jihad due to the tenants of their faith.

This perfect immigrant family raises children who embrace their relationship with God – and run right into the conflict between tenants of their faith and western values and laws. The children and grandchildren of those Muslim immigrants often become radical Islamofacists who become obsessed with the destruction of the nation their parents have immigrated to.

This state of affairs did not show up yesterday, it has been a conflict for hundreds of years. The issue is how to deal with it when ANY set of beliefs, including Islam, is not tolerant of others and is unwilling to change.

I am coming to the conclusion that the “moderate” Muslim is very rare and is being confused with the “inactive” or “dormant” Muslim. Hershi Ali is an example of a “moderate” Muslim – and you can see what the reaction to her beliefs are.

Suggestion: This topic of understanding who the “enemy” is, what is a “moderate” Muslim, and the basic conflict with the Islamofacist deserves in depth coverage. Perhaps Hershi Ali would be of great benefit in this discourse.

omegaram on September 29, 2006 at 2:50 PM

Thanks for taking the high road, Hot Air (and Michelle). Stay there! Esmay has lost it, and you don’t want to get down in the mud with him.

You know what they say about wrestling with a pig: You’ll just get tired and dirty, and the pig actually enjoys it.

idgit on September 29, 2006 at 10:30 PM