Monday, September 11, 2006
"Interconnectedness" is the word used by the late Edward Said, the New York-based Palestinian grievance-monger and eminent America-disparager: A couple of weeks after 9/11, the professor deplored the tendency of commentators to separate cultures into what he called "sealed-off entities," when in reality Western civilization and the Muslim world are so "intertwined" that it was impossible to "draw the line" between them. National Review's Rich Lowry was unimpressed. "The line seems pretty clear," he said. "Developing mass commercial aviation and soaring skyscrapers was the West's idea; slashing the throats of stewardesses and flying the planes into the skyscrapers was radical Islam's idea."There are other clear differences that come to mind today, one standing out above the rest: The President of the United States walks among Americans to commemorate the day and console them in their grief; Osama is nowhere to be found, and Zawahiri pukes up his threats from a hideaway, a seething coward afraid to come out in public to back up his talk.
Hot Air's Bryan Preston draws perhaps the most important line from the point of view of those of us who understand the real threat as opposed to those who would hand victory to the enemy in order to preserve their illusions:
Five years on, a psychosis has gripped millions who can’t and won’t fathom the true nature of the war we are in. For many of them, having been born and raised in an essentially post-Christian West, they can’t imagine that anyone might be motivated to kill and die because of something a warlord wrote down
centuries ago. They cannot imagine any religion other than the one they believe they have outgrown being violent or causing violence. They cannot imagine anyone fighting for a cause that offers no material gains and therefore cannot be negotiated away. In our essentially materialist West, millions lack the imagination to believe that bin Laden’s pining for the return of Andalusia to Muslim rule is in his mind a legitimate reason to wage war on America now. They can imagine their own countrymen being so motivated, though, and I think that’s key to understanding their state of mind. They can imagine the Rotary Club member down the street plotting mayhem because he goes to church and votes Republican, but they can’t imagine that the Muslim in Karachi is a real, live enemy who is actually plotting an attack.
This lack of imagination has bred the anti-war madness we have now. Rather than accept the reality of an enemy that cannot and therefore will not negotiate away what he believes to be the will of God, and rather than accept that this enemy will understand nothing outside total victory or total defeat, and rather than understand that this enemy’s goals include enslaving the entire world in a global caliphate, and rather than accept that this reality necessitates the use of all tools including military might to defend ourselves, millions have embraced an alternate reality.
The reality of the enemy outside the West and its motivations being too terrifying and too far beyond their own control, millions now imagine that the enemy in this war is within. The enemy, to them, isn’t the turbaned man behind the plot to hijack multiple airplanes and crash them into multiple buildings in America. The real enemy, to these millions, is the man in the Oval Office, and the man or men behind him.
Imagining the enemy as a Westerner who has a Western worldview and essentially Western motivations gives these millions the comfort of thinking that they can understand and defeat the enemy easily. They can expose him in the press or on their blog. They can spread the word through a bumper sticker or a sign in their yard. They can vote against him and encourage others to help vote him out. They can impeach him. They can shout and rail at anyone who supports him. They can destroy his political party and ruin his name. They can, in their own minds, win the war on their own terms without exposing themselves to danger. Because they have imagined their own enemy from before that day to be the enemy of civilization. And because it’s not really a war at all, just a made-up threat some evil neocons conjured up to scare everyone into giving them power. And that being the case, the deniers imagine that they can save civilizaton at the ballot box. They don’t have to find out what makes the enemy tick, they don’t have to fight him, and they don’t have to change their fundamental and now obviously flawed assumptions about humanity and the world.
If only it were that easy.
Five years on, the illness of replacing an implacable, indeed alien enemy with one from our own civilizational family has spread and metastasized through the majority of one of our two political parties, and may yet claim a majority of the country itself. History has a way of fading out as the day’s current noise rises in volume, and to them 9-11 is either history or a historic lie. The loudest voice, though not always or even often right, is often the one that gets the last word. And the 9-11 deniers and their allies across the left are nothing if not loud.
Five years on, it’s hard to take a positive look at the war because we are failing to comprehend it. The mass denial of reality is taking half our arsenal of unity and morale away from us. Those of us who see the threat for what it is still say that we will prevail because we are right and because we are America, but that’s just letting the others off the hook. If we’re going to prevail anyway, why should they snap out of their fog? And why should we demand that they do? The truth is, we need the denial to end and we need our countrymen to understand and help, but since we’re powerless to cure it with reason we shrug or laugh at it. But it’s eating
away at our ability to defend ourselves.
Ace adds to the truth that remains incomprehensible to idiots:
Their motives are a mystery only to those who are determined to avoid the motive the murderers proudly declare themselves.
They do not hate you because of Iraq.
They do not hate you because of Kyoto.
They do not hate you because of "US foreign policy."
They do not hate you because of "American hegemony."
They do not hate you because of globalization -- at least as that term is typically understood.
They hate you because their lunatic understanding of their religion compels them to hate you, and to murder you, and to convert the world to Allah, and murder those unwilling to accept his Religon of Extortion.
They hate you because Allah, they believe, has dictated that the most fanatical, most piously murderous of Muslims shall be the kings of the earth and the masters of all creation, and your very existence -- free, prosperous, technologically advanced, happy -- is a blasphemy to them.
They cannot hope to overtake the West, or even the modernizing parts of Thailand, in fifty years, or even a hundred years, or even in five hundred years, through attempts to raise the Islamic world up.
Which means they are commanded to lay the Western world down low.
The West is despised because it offers an alternative to the thuggish, primative, barbarous, woman-enslaving, honor-killing culture-cum-twisted-religion in which they believe.
And which therefore threatens the power of the lunatic theocrats to keep control over their populations.
You can't keep them down on the madrassa once they've seen the big city.
They don't hate you because of your freedom -- not exactly.
They hate you because you are a living demonstration that freedom works, and that their ways are backwards and barbarous.
And they will not stop hating you until you are either dead or enslaved along with them in their dark death-cult.
Truth is, idiots won't get it until the rest of us get it again right in the mouth, another 9/11, after which I pray the idiots will be held to account for their perfidy. And while it won't be pretty, I will sure welcome the correction.