Bill Whittle has a new essay, Strength, in two parts: 1 2. It examines the underlying nature of the Terror Wars, including our domestic enemies, and our fundamental strength: the idea of America. Read it all. Here is a small bit on our foreign enemies:
We are a co-operative society. Compromise, agreements and webs of trust run through our culture in mind-blowing levels of complexity. The most virulent Islamist Arabs, on the other hand, live by completely different rules and values, and time and again we who should know better by now refuse to try to see things through Arab eyes because the view is frankly so jaundiced and horrible we really can’t believe what we are seeing.
Honor and shame trump everything in that world. A pithy sentence, eh? So instead, think about what it would take for you to kill your own daughter with a knife, with your bare hands, because she was seen in the company of a man not her husband or a relative? Think about that. Think long and hard. What kind of hatred and shame could drive a human being to do such a thing? What kind of pressures does that society bring to bear on an individual to make him capable of that? How different is their view of women, of family, of honor and shame? What would it take for you to murder your daughter with a knife, or a knotted cord – with your own two hands and against her pleading, her protestations, and her begging for her life? If your response wasn’t “there is nothing that could make me do that,” then stop reading right here and get the hell off my property.
Multi-culturalists will respond that Honor Killings are not the norm and not representative of Islam and life under Shariah. We can debate the exact numbers of these horrors for days, but the fact remains that no matter how many individual cases there are, there is de facto legal protection for committing these crimes. When Islamic schoolgirls attempting to escape a burning building with their faces uncovered were sent back inside to die by the religious police rather than dishonor Islam …well, that is a brush that will carry a lot of tar.
There is a simple enough reason why these Islamists so hate and despise the West, and America especially. It has little to do with our foreign policy. We have taken the side of oppressed Muslims in Kosovo, Chechnya, Kuwait and many other places. We spend billions of dollars a year in aid to Egypt. We’re still waiting for the love to pour in.
No, this is not about reason, as we understand the term. This is about shame, it is about denial, and it is about transcendent revenge. Shouts of Allahu Akbar! were not overdubbed by western propaganda agencies as they sawed through Nick Berg’s throat and twisted off his head. Those are authentic. As they got down to their filthy work they were screaming, over and over in a fit of religious ecstasy: God is Great! Nick Berg was nothing more than an animal sacrifice to them. That is Radical Islam.
The only thing that will appease them is your blood. All of it. Remember that.
Senator Kennedy claims Abu Ghraib is simply Saddam Hussein’s torture chambers “under new management – U.S. management.” Taking him at his word – a somewhat iffy proposition right out of the gate – he apparently cannot see the difference between the humiliation and bullying of enemy combatants, which is shameful, disgusting and reprehensible, and the gleeful, mocking murder, torture and gang rape of over 300,000 innocent men, women and children -- which is something worse. So Senator, here is a helpful analogy which you may find useful: The difference is about the same as pulling over and leaving a young female secretary on the curb in the rain, which is shameful, disgusting and reprehensible, vs. leaving her trapped in the car at the bottom of a river while you look at the bubbles and ponder the political repercussions.
Which is something worse, Senator.
Americans living today have never known torture or oppression or state-sponsored murder, and so it becomes nothing more than a rhetorical concept for most of us. People who defend Saddam and Kim and Castro have no idea at all about what that life entails. None. And so, in their safe and antiseptic little worlds of coffee shops and chat rooms, it all reduces to rhetoric. And since, in the end, it’s nothing but words anyway, they feel they can win an argument because their rhetoric goes up to eleven.
In extreme cases – sadly rising in frequency -- these people not only hate America. They hate everything. They see nothing in American history beyond slavery and the Indian Wars. They often claim to live, or would prefer to live, in more refined, decent and civilized nations, like Canada and Britain and New Zealand: as if white, English-speaking Canadians grew out of the ground like corn on an empty, Indian- and Eskimo-free horizon, or the thousand years of English conquest over India, China, Africa, Ireland, Scotland and Wales was in a parallel universe, or that the warlike Maoris invaded and took over the North and South Islands from the peaceful, indigenous white settlers. As if France were not the most blood-soaked patch of land on the surface of the earth, as if Russia’s leaders never so much raised a hand against its own suffering people, as if Scandinavia was not the epicenter of centuries of rape, pillage, murder and misery, as if the Aztecs said gracias in Castilian Spanish as they cut the living hearts out of their prisoners. As if the Spanish themselves had never known the Inquisition, Italy no Papal Wars or Duces or Ethiopias, as if Belgium had no Leopold and Leopold no Congo, as if Germany…well.
As if African slaves were only held by whites and Christians, as if Japan has practiced nothing but calligraphy and origami for a millennia, as if South America was a spotless white linen of freedom of expression and individual rights, as if China was a champion of democracy and the common man, as if Indians never spat on anyone, as if, as if…as if the entire bloody history of conquest and war and displacement were the unique domain of America alone, or, equally absurd, that we deserve to die for not being born perfect and without sin – as they, in their own self-obsessed, one-person Universes expect everyone else to be.
And so they trot out every single example of human atrocity as if they were Atticus Finch sweating under the heat in that courtroom in their mind; these snipers and critics and ‘activists’ who have no plans of their own, no solutions, no answers to these dirty and difficult and eternal issues, and so sit in the warm cocoon of perfection afforded the man who attempts nothing. And while better men and women – better men and women by every measure – struggle and fight and bleed to make the world a better and safer place, they grow more and more disconnected from the essential ugliness and brutality that is half – and only half – of this flawed and broken and hopeful and noble human existence.
And because we are all born with this legion of devils inside every heart, more than anything else in the world they hate themselves. Carrying all the guilt of the world on their stooped and broken spirits, their eyes cast so far down that they can see nothing of nobility or progress or redemption of any kind, these people are broken. They are miserable, bitter, cynical husks. And we all know what misery craves.
See them for what they are: nothing more than the Comic Book Guy on the Simpsons: Worst. Country. Ever.
They are useless people. They have heeded the last and final boarding call and pushed back from the gate of reality. They have left the building.