Sunday, July 31, 2005

Important Article!

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.

20 Comments:

At 2:28 PM, Blogger RomanWanderer said...

I usually appreciate his articles..he kows how to say it.

 
At 2:40 PM, Blogger drummaster2001 said...

"...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..."

as far as attacks on india and china, i agree that jihadists do avoid them. however, india and pakistan tensions were at a near boiling point around 2000. that's when both nations developed nuclear weapons which they each tested and threatened each other with. although after the threats, nothing really happened, but you never know what will happen next.

 
At 5:17 PM, Blogger SEAWITCH said...

VDH has a powerful and eloquent voice against terrorists.

 
At 5:42 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Isn't Hanson's article great!

Yes, there are some of us Gentiles who "get it."

 
At 5:55 PM, Blogger Esther said...

Me too, RW.

So true, DM2001. But actually, lots of things have happened -- they've killed a lot of people in Kashmir.

I agree, seawitch.

AOW, LOL!!! That wasn't exactly my point...that a gentile can "get it" but rather that someone other than a Jew was sticking up for Israel. ;)

 
At 6:39 PM, Blogger drummaster2001 said...

i didn't know that something actually did happen. when that happened, i really wasn't too into world affairs and govt and politics. thanks for informing me. i know i have got to make up quite a few years of info.

 
At 6:50 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Esther,
I know you weren't calling us Gentiles stupid. I had a good LOL out of your comment, too.

 
At 7:11 PM, Blogger John Walter said...

This is a terrific summary and analysis, Esther. One of these days, people are going to realize that the Iraq War and the Palestinian terror war are merely two parts of the same conflict. I think the only reason President Bush doesn't aknowledge it is because he values being able to stage troops in Arab countries.

 
At 8:57 PM, Blogger Esther said...

DM2001, Pakistan and India have been pickin' at each other in skirmishes/battles for years now over the Kashmir region. Do a search on the two countries and the region and you'll see tons of entries listing the dead.

AOW, whew! ;)

John: think the only reason President Bush doesn't aknowledge it is because he values being able to stage troops in Arab countries.

BINGO!!!!!!!!!! And don't forget oil.

 
At 9:46 PM, Blogger patrickafir said...

Good article and analysis. VDH is a world-class military historian and a cogent, lucid, engaging writer.

Interestingly, regarding India, their citizens are killed every day by the Deobandi nutbars (who are said to have inspired the Taliban) et al. in the north. They aren't the large-scale apocalyptic attacks, though, like the mujahideen are constantly trying (with occasional success) to pull off in the West. Nevertheless, Jammu & Kashmir is a nightmarish place at times.

Anyway, the mujahideen are moving beyond their canary in the coal mine experiment in Israel and branching out. And it's kind of starting to look like Europe may not much longer remain the hospitable picnic area of dhimmitude on the road to Khilafah.

 
At 10:21 PM, Anonymous Rachel from the land of Oz said...

"Not like the PA has lifted a finger to develop any real, honest jobs for its people."

- Don't be so judgemental! Suhar Arafat really needs the development funds for an extra pair of shoes and that Versace coat, like, you know?

"Their demands can't be met, unless you're willing to not breathe."

- or conversion... but even then?

 
At 1:39 AM, Blogger Sergeant America said...

A good read ... I'll have to explore this!

Cheers!

 
At 5:39 AM, Blogger beakerkin said...

Esther

Victor Davis Hanson picks part of the problem. I have posted extensively on the idiocy of treating terrorism as a cultural variant.

The unspoken question is how much terror is fed by the narcacistic tendencies that are almost as important as religious fervor. There is an undenniabble evil peverse self absorbed dimension to
suicide bombing. There is the quest for attention and playing god over who will live and die.

The waste of life for zero purpose other then PR is evil incarnate. It is almost as if OBL has taken pages out of Marketing 1001 and twisted it.

We can not obviously ignore this violence. The answer must be to turn up the heat and make it clear that this type of idiocy must stop.

 
At 8:52 AM, Blogger Gindy said...

"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. "

So true. It drives me crazy. It's not about right or wrong, just the little guy.

"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."

The fact that this is never mentioned (or forgoten) everytime the right of return is, is one of the biggest frauds. It is also an inconvienent fact.

"Few wondered why Arabs who wished to destroy Israel would mind not being able to live or visit Israel."

Another great point and a great fraud. One of the main reasons they want the barrier to be destroyed is that it makes it harder for Palestinians to kill Jews.

"In other words, the Islamicists target those whom they think they can intimidate and blackmail."

An obvious point the left tends to ignore. They hunt out weakness.

 
At 9:25 AM, Blogger Raul Riviera said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9:30 AM, Blogger Esther said...

Sorry. Deleted what might be my first post. I deleted it cause all it was was the person's website. Does that constitute spam? Whatever.

Feel free to talk about your site but only if you put a decent comment with it. I'm not into providing ad space for others... especially a site that isn't even up yet.

 
At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Felis said...

"So far global jihad avoids two billion Indians"

I'd disagree on Indias.
E.g. Kashmir.

 
At 11:57 AM, Anonymous Rory said...

Gindy, you're right about the issue of Jews from Arab countries. In fact, I've seen statistics as high as over 900,000 and, prior to the influx of Russian emigres, the largest ethnic group in Israel were the Moroccans. But, unfortunately, the plight of these Jews has never gotten the attention it should have and, in large measure, I'm going to lay the blame on the Israeli government because, while every visiting dignitary was expected to make the requisite pilgrimage to Yad Vashem, none of them were ever encouraged to talk to those Israelis who were forced to flee the Arab countries where Jews had lived for thousands of years, like the Iraqi Jews who can trace their history there back 2000 years before Islam. But where the Israeli government made their biggest mistake was, by only focusing on the plight of European Jews, it seemed to bolster the Arabs' claim that Europeans tried to annihilate the Jews, but it was the Arabs who had to pay the price. The reality is that there was more than enough blame to go around and the Arabs also had Jewish blood on their hands.

 
At 12:11 PM, Blogger Gindy said...

"But, unfortunately, the plight of these Jews has never gotten the attention it should have and, in large measure, I'm going to lay the blame on the Israeli government because"

I could not agree more. I have said time and again that Israel has completely (completely) dropped the ball in the PR war. What is amazing, is that they still don't seem to care. Nor do they seem like they want to get agressive with it. They are getting their butts kicked.

 
At 3:04 PM, Blogger MaxedOutMama said...

It's a wonderful article.

I think it is hard for the West to face the fact that our actions over the last few decades have tended to foster terrorism rather than discourage it.

When doing this gets you money and negotiating power where is the down side? So a whole generation of younger Muslims has been raised with propaganda ringing in their heads.

 

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