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October 05, 2001

They Hate These Cans!

In the immediate aftermath of the September 11th attack on the United States many of the groups and individuals who find it intellectually fashionable to hate America wisely chose to remain silent for fear of an outraged backlash to their rhetoric. Alas, the silence was merely a tactical decision rather than evidence of a deeper re-examination of their strategic beliefs. We are now hearing from the salons and cafes of the Left, and their message is the same tired arguments wrapped in shiny new declarations of alleged patriotism.

The notion currently popular is that America has brought this attack upon itself through imperialist foreign policy initiatives over the last several decades, exacerbated by its dogged attempts to spread virulent capitalism throughout the world. Even conceding for the briefest of moments the characterization of America required to make these assertions, the "logic" of America's culpability in these attacks is akin to the argument that women are somehow at fault for rape. I, however, am not willing to concede much of anything to the Far Left on this point, nor much else right now.

Despite overwhelming evidence that yes, the militant Islamists wish to destroy western civilization, the Left instead chooses to provide an account of these actions that would have all the comedic entertainment of The Jerk were it not for the fact that real people have died, and more will die in the months ahead.
For those of you who haven't seen The Jerk (the movie, not your brother-in-law), Steve Martin plays a rather dim bulb who continually misinterprets the world around him. In one memorable scene, he is working at a gas station when a crazed loon who picked his name out of the phonebook decides to kill him. The first shots miss and hit several pint cans of oil next to Martin. Martin initially believes the cans to be defective, but when his boss points out the sniper Martin jumps to the logical conclusion that the would-be assassin hates cans. Everywhere he runs trying to hide from the sniper, there are cans... and while he escapes unscathed, it never actually dawns on him that the loon was shooting at him.

The first thing we often hear as an excuse for terrorist attacks against the United States is our support of Israel. The poor downtrodden Palestinians have been subjected to the uncompromising and hateful occupation of their homeland by war-mongering Israelis for over five decades, and America props up and supports this invader at every turn. Or not. You see, the Palestinians have never once demonstrated any peaceful intent to co-exist with Israel... not in 1947 when a Palestinian homeland was first offered (the Palestinians opted for exterminating Israel... bad choice), not in 1978 when autonomy was offered (and rejected by the PLO) as a part of the Camp David peace process that ended the state of war that existed between Israel and Egypt, and certainly not in 2000 when Arafat didn't even bother to respond to an offer from Israel that would have given the Palestinians their own state, including a shared Jerusalem as capitol. Oh, and let us not forget the two regional wars (neither started by Israel) involving Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, and support from the other Arab nations that were launched to exterminate the state of Israel. In both of those wars, Israel not only was able to defend itself effectively, but also knocked back the invaders to the point that they lost territory to the country they were trying to invade. in a show of magnanimity no other in that region would demonstrate, Israel returned the vast majority of that ground in an attempt to live peacefully in the region.
Despite the fact that Israel has been under continual attack from suicide bombers and terrorists for the last year, it has shown restraint borderng on the absurd. You can rest assured that if Canada started sending suicide bombers into America every other day and lobbing mortars continually across the border, they would be rolled into the arctic or the sea in two days. Israel should have kicked Arafat and his Palestinian Authority (and the PLO prior to that) into the sea 30 years ago.

As for the laughable accusation that America is an imperialist nation... perhaps the Left should head down to their local coffee bar and book club, order a latte and peruse a dictionary. I'm unclear as to where exactly our vast empire is on the map, and I must've slept through the wars of aggression we've engaged in over the last oh, say, 150 years to gain territory and conquer recalcitrant unbelievers in Pax Americana. In fact, at last count we have engaged in four military engagements over the last decade that had no other purpose than to protect Muslims. Did we annex Kuwait while I was reading my latest issue of The Economist in the toilet? Were we exchanging land for food in Somali? Did we at least get the pleasure of conquering the people of Bosnia? How about Kosovo... can't we at least do some raping and pillaging there to burnish our imperialistic credentials?

How about the charge that we created Osama bin Laden? Well, that would be almost plausible if not for the fact that we weren't the ones invading Afghanistan in 1979... that was the Soviet Union. If we're going to be saddled with the likes of bin Laden, do we get to hang Stalin around the necks of those Leftists who sang the praises of world socialism and communism? Nevermind, I'll do it anyway.

My God, they hate these cans! Well, ok so they don't. What they do hate is the rise of western civilization over the last five hundred years or so. Militant Islamists would like to buy us all one-way tickets on the non-stop silver bullet express headed right back into the middle-ages. They're not interested in sitting by the campfire, holding hands, and singing kumbaya while fingering their peace symbols... they're interested in destroying everything and everyone they disagree with in a petulant attempt to erase history. As with all despotic ideologies, they want to remake humanity into some lesser shadow of itself so that it will fit their notions of what people should be in order to achieve their utopian society. And like every other despot, they are perfectly willing to murder millions, if not billions, in order to make reality fit their beliefs.... willing, in fact, to destroy everything except the flaws in their own beliefs. We are gazing upon a new generation of mass murderers, who more resemble the insanity of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge than the vile racism of Nazi Germany. They hate everyone, including shiny happy Leftists in their encounter groups, because their ideology, dressed in the piety of religion, has no accomodation for modern humanity.

Posted by fallous at 10:50 AM | Comments (0)

Those Lovable Freedom Fighters (or Big Kisses to the Left)

I read with great amusement the decision by Reuters to cease referring to terrorists as "terrorists", since in the grand world of moral relativism one man's(or woman's, let us not engage in rampant misogynism so early in our rant) "terrorist" is another shemale's (the transgendered should not be left out) "freedom fighter." This is a noble sentiment on the part of Reuters, except for one or two niggling issues that I feel somewhat compelled to mention.

One would, on first naive blush, assume that in order to qualify as a "freedom fighter" one would have to, say, fight for freedom. Now thoughtful people can and will disagree on what basic freedoms one should fight for, but one gathers from the statements of Reuters that systematic repression of women, repression of all religions save one, the avowed destruction of all who disagree with one's viewpoint, and murdering innocent civilians whose only crime appears to be members of a far more free and successful society is a legitimate pursuit of "freedom". I beg to differ.

The Mujahadin were freedom fighters, given that they were engaged in battle with a hostile invader whose prior record of occupation was by no means loving and generous in its support of freedom. Members of the Resistance in France were freedom fighters, battling a hostile invader whose loving embrace was felt by European Jews to the tune of six million dead men, women, and children... all civilians whose crime was to share a religious and cultural heritage despised by the demented leadership of Nazi Germany. The Poles and Czechs were freedom fighters attempting to free themselves from the shackles of governments imposed upon them by hostile invaders (those would be the same kind souls that invaded Afghanistan), and alas there was no quick shipment of weapons and logistical support to them in 1968 prior to the Soviet Army crushing their uprisings.
Across the world and throughout the ages there have been men and women (and I'm sure a few transgendered) who have fought against repressive regimes both native and foreign in order to increase their measure of freedom. I would even entertain the notion that Fidel Castro was a freedom fighter in Cuba (albeit a horribly misguided one) in that he was attempting to replace a repressive dicatorship with a repressive communist totalitarian state, which at least to his distorted way of thinking was an improvement. I am not, however, willing to concede that the Taliban are freedom fighters. They are, in fact, at least as reprehensible as the Soviet puppet government of Afghanistan imposed after the last King of Afghanistan was deposed. You see, the Taliban were not (despite popular opinion by the literati) a product of the CIA's sponsorship of the Mujahadin. Those fighters are by and large either operating with the forces of the Northern Alliance or out of Afghanistan entirely after repression at the hands of the Taliban. No, the Taliban are an altogether different breed of Afghani guerrilla unit.
The Taliban come from refugee camps in Pakistan, where they attended Islamist schools and were indoctrinated in the hatred of the West that occurs in such institutions. Pakistan actively encouraged this breeding of radicals for use in their ongoing dispute with India over Kashmir, and benefitted internally by foisting the blame for the myriad failings of the Pakistani state on evil plots by the West to keep the Muslim states down. Pakistan certainly isn't alone in this deflection of blame game... Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Indonesia, Yemen, and several others are now reaping what they've sown over the years. It seems Muslim politicians enjoy demonizing bogeymen to avoid blame for their own failed policies as much as our own.
To continue our story, the gentle peace-loving Taliban invaded Afghanistan in 1996 with the financial and military support of Pakistan and began rolling back the rather ineffectual government that had been running the state since the withdrawal of the Soviets. The Taliban promised to bring order to society, but apparently were a bit vague on what that actually meant. After disarming the populace (a rather popular move by most despotic governments), they then began to enforce their peculiar brand of Islam. Women were no longer allowed to attend any form of schooling, were forced to cover themselves from head to toe, and cannot receive medical treatment since it is unlawful for any man other than a woman's father or husband to touch her. Viva la Freedom!
The destruction of ancient Buddhist relics made headlines and put the Taliban on the map for most people, but this was hardly the start of their religious intolerance. Once it became obvious to the residents of Taliban-controlled areas that life was not going to be especially bright and cheerful for religious minorities, people started flooding across the border to refugee camps in Pakistan and Iran. This wasn't just Sikhs, Christians, Jews, and Buddhists heading for the border... it was Moslems. You see, the Taliban aren't content just to kill off evil Americans and Europeans (not to mention hundreds of black Africans in bombings against our embassies in Africa), they are interested in killing off other radical Islamists who happen to come from a different religious tradition. Iran, for example, would seem to be a prime choice for Taliban support given their virulent anti-Western views and long-time support of terrorists... but Iran is predominantly Shi'a Muslim, whereas the Taliban are Sunni... and the Taliban doesn't play well with Shi'as. This should provide you endless amusement in the evening when you hear about the latest call from the Taliban for a world-wide Muslim jihad against America.

Now, with such freedom-loving groups as the Taliban one would think it obvious that Reuters could at least contemplate the possibility, however remote, that these individuals are not especially interested in "freedom". Alas, no... and I believe I have some modest insight into why the Taliban can be considered "freedom fighters".

Perhaps you've heard the expression "blacks cannot be racist, because they lack power"? You see, America is an evil imperialist state foisting the evils of capitalism and western values on a powerless world. We are raping the planet with our evil industries and constant innovation of technology, while stealing all the wealth from the poor (as all good Leftists know, economics is a zero-sum game... nevermind that one tends to rob banks instead of bums when looking for cash) and forcing them to wear Nikes, eat McDonalds hamburgers, and drive vile polluting SUVs. The poor oppressed world is perfectly justified in murdering civilians of this country, because those civilians did nothing to support the Left in defanging the American monster.
This is our just reward for decades of opposition to the Left's dictator-of-the-month club, to our ignoring their prescient warning of global cooling (1970s, you remember...), our continuing refusal to embrace socialism despite its demonstrated failure as an economic and social system, and our militaristic attitudes towards those who threaten to destroy us.

Our sins are the litany of the incoherent anti-globalization rioters, radical environmentalists, peaceniks(whose idea of peace is surrender at any price), and the moral relativists. The "freedom" they seek is the freedom from a nation that constantly demonstrates the utter irrelevance and illogic of their beliefs, freedom from being reminded that their ideologies aren't accepted by a majority of people who are free to choose their own beliefs, and freedom from the very words that describe their failures.

So let us eliminate the term "terrorist" from our lexicon, and perhaps some day we will be free to eliminate the term "freedom" as well... it does carry all those loaded moral connotations after all.

Posted by fallous at 10:48 AM | Comments (0)