Friday, July 08, 2005

Village people

Jarvis bloviates in the wake of yesterday's horrific bombings in London:

Here's the elephant in the world that we too often don't dare address in our PC era:

Are Muslim terrorists a Muslim problem? And should the Muslim world -- its religous and political leaders and its citizens -- be fixing this problem by condemning and hunting down and jailing and stopping those who murder innocents in their name?

Then he goes on to approvingly quote Thomas Friedman, who obviously thinks the answer to these questions is "Yes!":

[I]t is essential that the Muslim world wake up to the fact that it has a jihadist death cult in its midst. If it does not fight that death cult, that cancer, within its own body politic, it is going to infect Muslim-Western relations everywhere. Only the Muslim world can root out that death cult. It takes a village.

What do I mean? I mean that the greatest restraint on human behavior is never a policeman or a border guard. The greatest restraint on human behavior is what a culture and a religion deem shameful. It is what the village and its religious and political elders say is wrong or not allowed. Many people said Palestinian suicide bombing was the spontaneous reaction of frustrated Palestinian youth. But when Palestinians decided that it was in their interest to have a cease-fire with Israel, those bombings stopped cold. The village said enough was enough.

The Muslim village has been derelict in condemning the madness of jihadist attacks....

So let's blame the village then, eh? Nothing like a little collective punishment to make us feel better, but a fat lot of good it will do. Holding a billion people responsible for the actions of what can't amount to much more than ten thousand terrorists is pretty fucking stupid.

Do the math--what are the chances that your average Muslim even knows someone who's crazy enough to blow him or herself up for Allah's greater glory, if the occurrence of an Islamist terrorist is only about 1 out of every 100,000 believers? Want to be charitable and say that there are 100,000 potential suicide bombers out there? Fine. So it's 1 in 10,000. A million? 1 in 1,000. Unless you live in a mighty large village, you're not even going to rub shoulders with one of these bonafide nutjobs.

And yet somehow al-Qaeda is their problem? Give me a break! It's like blaming a Quaker for the actions of the Ku Klux Klan... the Palestinian analogy here is complete and total bullshit, because in that case the radicals were people who lived down the street, one's brothers or sisters, cousins, aunts, or uncles. These guys did share a village, so when it became necessary for the village's survival to rein in their militants, they could and did.

Chances are most Muslim communities don't have someone with radical enough beliefs to qualify even for the Islamofascist minor leagues, let alone the big time, although that doesn't stop paranoid Crusaders from looking at every mosque as if it were Sauron's Dark Tower. They have no more leverage over a global terrorist organization with its own radicalized ideological agenda than Jeff Jarvis or Tom Friedman, and it's just plain silly to think that al-Qaeda would suddenly cease their operations if only enough Muslims shamed them.

Time for a dopeslap, kids--the key to defeating al-Qaeda is...wait for it...going after al-Qaeda, not creating quasi-democratic satraps throughout Asia and the Middle East. For all your ridiculing of us Lefties for talking about the "root causes" of terrorism, you hawks sure are fond of them these days so long as they suit your agenda and keep the war machine turning.

Defeat al-Qaeda and 95% of international terrorism will go away with it, whether the nations of the world are democratic, theocratic, or plutocratic. Keep stomping around the Muslim world like Godzilla on Viagra in the name of "freedom," however, and things will only get worse, not better. The one thing al-Qaeda didn't have was a honest to goodness war front a la Afghanistan around which they could rally their nutjobs, and in one brilliant tactical blunder our President created exactly that for them.

Now we pour money and manpower into Iraq while leaving our borders and domestic soft spots (and those of our allies) dangerously underguarded. The London tragedy illustrates perfectly what a huge mistake it is to think that just because we can't afford to fight on multiple fronts that our enemy cannot as well. The Iraqi jihad is a freebie for them, drawing radicals from all over the world all to willing to take a crack at humbling the world's superpower, whereas it's costing us a billion dollars a day.

Again, do the math and figure out who's winning this war...

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