Martin Amis: The age of horrorism

From The Guardian:Amislevene_1

So, to repeat, we respect Islam – the donor of countless benefits to mankind, and the possessor of a thrilling history. But Islamism? No, we can hardly be asked to respect a creedal wave that calls for our own elimination. More, we regard the Great Leap Backwards as a tragic development in Islam’s story, and now in ours. Naturally we respect Islam. But we do not respect Islamism, just as we respect Muhammad and do not respect Muhammad Atta.

I will soon come to Donald Rumsfeld, the architect and guarantor of the hideous cataclysm in Iraq. Secretary Rumsfeld was unfairly ridiculed, some thought, for his haiku-like taxonomy of the terrorist threat: ‘The message is: there are known “knowns”. Like his habit of talking in ‘the third person passive once removed’, this is ‘very Rumsfeldian’. And Rumsfeld can be even more Rumsfeldian than that. According to Bob Woodward’s Plan of Attack, at a closed-door senatorial briefing in September 2002 (the idea was to sell regime-change in Iraq), Rumsfeld exasperated everyone present with a torrent of Rumsfeldisms, including the following strophe: ‘We know what we know, we know there are things we do not know, and we know there are things we know we don’t know we don’t know.’

More here.