Victor Davis Hanson has written the article, "And Then They Came After Us" as one of the most clear, thought-out summaries of the situation that I have seen to date. FYI -- he's not Jewish. In fact, he didn't meet his first Jew until he was 18 years old.
But back to his article...
First the terrorists of the Middle East went after the Israelis. From 1967 we witnessed 40 years of bombers, child murdering, airline hijacking, suicide murdering, and gratuitous shooting. We in the West usually cried crocodile tears, and then came up with all sorts of reasons to allow such Middle Eastern killers a pass.
He goes on to chronicle Yasser Arafat's duplicity, the pass he got from Europe, how the West Bank has nothing to do with anything, etc. He then went more in-depth with that way of thinking... he dissected the myth behind national aspirations being an excuse for homicide bombings.
When it was pointed out that Germans were not blowing up Poles to get back lost parts of East Prussia nor were Tibetans sending suicide bombers into Chinese cities to recover their country, such analogies were caricatured.
And we all know why. It doesn't fit into the narrative of the underdog that Europe, the far left, etc. like to believe and cling to for dear life. I'm especially fond of the next two paragraphs.
When the call for a “Right of Return” was making the rounds, few cared to listen that over a half-million forgotten Jews had been cleansed from Syria, Iraq, and Egypt, and lost billions in property.
When the U.N. and the EU talked about “refugee camps,” none asked why for a half-century the Arab world could not build decent housing for its victimized brethren, or why 1 million Arabs voted in Israel, but not one freely in any Arab country.
OK, so this info isn't that newsworthy to regular readers of the blogway. But it is powerful, listing fact after fact after fact like this for people who aren't exposed to this information -- or even resist it.
Next he tackles the security barrier.
The security fence became “The Wall,” and evoked slurs that it was analogous to barriers in Korea or Berlin that more often kept people in than out. Few wondered why Arabs who wished to destroy Israel would mind not being able to live or visit Israel.
Such a simple thought and yet -- it is rarely addressed. Why DO they want in so bad? There are several reasons. The most obvious would be to kill Israelis but for many Palestinians, their only hope of making a living (at the moment) is working in Israel. Not like the PA has lifted a finger to develop any real, honest jobs for its people.
VDH then goes on to discuss how the West fooled themselves into thinking this was just Israel's problem. Europe continued to favor the Palestinian thugs over the liberal democracy in Israel. The problems, such as they were, were simply Israel's doing and her fault. Money poured into the PA and its Arab neighbors yet none of it ever seemed to go towards making the lives of everyday Palestinians any better. And the terror continued.
Then the Islamists declared war on the United States. A quarter century of mass murdering of Americans followed in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, East Africa, the first effort to topple the World Trade Center, and the attack on the USS Cole.
We gave billions to Jordan, the Palestinians, and the Egyptians. Afghanistan was saved from the Soviets through U.S. aid. Kuwait was restored after Saddam’s annexation, and the holocaust of Bosnians and Kosovars halted by the American Air Force. Americans welcomed thousands of Arabs to our shores and allowed hundreds of madrassas and mosques to preach zealotry, anti-Semitism, and jihad without much scrutiny.
What was the thanks we got? September 11.
Suddenly, the prior cheap shots at Israel under siege weren’t so cheap. It proved easy to castigate Israelis who went into Jenin, but not so when we needed to do the same in Fallujah.
He's got that right.
Apparently, the hatred of radical Islam was not just predicated on the “occupation” of the West Bank. Instead it involved the pretexts of Americans protecting Saudi Arabia from another Iraqi attack, the United Nations boycott of Iraq, the removal of the Taliban and Saddam, and always as well as the Crusades and the Reconquista.
But Europe was supposedly different. Unlike the United States, it was correct on the Middle East, and disarmed after the Cold War. Indeed, the European Union was pacifistic, socialist, and guilt-ridden about former colonialism.
July certainly proved that theory wrong.
Hundreds of thousands of Muslims were left alone in unassimilated European ghettoes and allowed to preach or promulgate any particular hatred of the day they wished. Conspire to kill a Salmon Rushdie, talk of liquidating the “apes and pigs,” distribute Mein Kampf and the Protocols, or plot in the cities of France and Germany to blow up the Pentagon and the World Trade Center — all that was about things “over there” and in a strange way was thought to ensure that Europe got a pass at home.
Payback came hard.
After Holland, Madrid, and London, European operatives go to Israel not to harangue Jews about the West Bank, but to receive tips about preventing suicide bombings. And the cowboy Patriot Act to now-panicked European parliaments perhaps seems not so illiberal after all.
So it is was becoming clear that butchery by radical Muslims in Bali, Darfur, Iraq, the Philippines Thailand, Turkey, Tunisia, and Iraq was not so tied to particular and “understandable” Islamic grievances.
It'd be great if people could learn that there is no way to "understand" why terrorists terrorize... understanding won't make it stop. Their demands can't be met, unless you're willing to not breathe. I know I'm not willing to do that for them.
VDH goes on to ponder why China, with its ruthlessness against Muslims as well as India, also a nuclear power, have not been targets. On this, he and I disagree. His hypothesis is as follows.
...Islamicists are selective in their attacks and hatred. So far global jihad avoids two billion Indians and Chinese, despite the fact that their countries are far tougher on Muslims than is the United States or Europe. In other words, the Islamicists target those whom they think they can intimidate and blackmail.
Nah. I don't think so. The reason those two countries are off the hook with Islamicists is that they don't have troops in "Muslim lands" -- therefore thwarting their attempt to overthrow Muslim governments they don't approve of like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, etc. Other than that, I think he's right on target with his analysis of the situation, including his conclusion.
Unfettered immigration, billions in cash grants to Arab autocracies, alliances of convenience with dictatorships, triangulation with Middle Eastern patrons of terror, blaming the Jews — civilization has tried all that.
It is time to relearn the lessons from the Cold War, when we saw millions of noble Poles, Romanians, Hungarians, and Czechs as enslaved under autocracy and a hateful ideology, and in need of democracy before they could confront the Communist terror in their midst.
But until the Wall fell, we did not send billions in aid to their Eastern European dictatorships nor travel freely to Prague or Warsaw nor admit millions of Communist-ruled Bulgarians and Albanians onto our shores.
Amen to that. Here's to relearning lessons.