July 16, 2005

That's exactly what's wrong with the liberal project

A reprint from our post "Nobody can justify this" last fall: A blindfolded Margaret Hassan, the Irish-born head of charity operations of Care International in Iraq who was kidnapped in Baghdad October 19, has been shot dead in the head by her hooded captors. Not wishing to offend the delicate sensibilities of its viewers, Al Jazeera is refusing to show the video. Isn't that sweet? Her image should forever haunt all who would excuse terror for "root" or any other causes. She was a mere prop in an adolescent control fantasy.

"Well what the hell do they have to be angry about? They're fed. They're free. They're educated. They have health care. They can say and go where they want. Having problems with bullies on their playgrounds, are they? Well, don't we all?" writes an exasperated Jeff Jarvis, fed up with the willful refusal of the left's flagship rag, the New York Times, to acknowledge that the emperor is wearing no clothes:

But we don't turn into Columbine killers or London bombers or Baghdad bombers who target children or the perpetrators of September 11th. Nothing justifies that. Nothing makes that understandable.

Well, today, the Times tries to continue portraying them as angry young men.

Now it's fine to understand these acts insofar as it helps stop them. Yes, we must understand our enemies to defeat them. And, yes, sometimes we must understand the causes to eliminate those causes -- and I'd argue that supporting democracy in the Middle East is just that.

But that's not what's happening in the efforts to understand why these young men did this terrible thing in London. This is not a military analysis aimed at finding and killing the enemy before he kills again. This is a sociological effort to understand them. And it begins with the presumption that we should accept their anger as real.

We totally agree with Mr. J. in this way. These homegrown Brit Islamicists are sociopathic thugs and should be treated as such by the larger society. At the same time, Jeff is such an earnest, good-hearted fellow -- that rare thing, a liberal we totally respect -- that he misses the point about what's bugging these evil doers. These are big-time losers unable to make it in the mainstream of British life. As we wrote awhile back re Islamicists in general:

We agree they're ghouls, but they are not without a kind of perverted honor of the sort discussed by Dr. Peter F. Rowbotham in his 1992 essay "The Importance of Being Noticed," where he talks about the unorthodox bonding rituals of Hell's Angels and British Soccer fans as examples of a "system of honor that is an alternative to mainstream moral orders In some groups of young Muslims," say Dutch intelligence sources, "the wish to take part in jihad appears to be part of youth culture . . . It definitely can't be ruled out that some of these youths just want to make an impression on their peers with radical behavior and statements."

That's why Jeff's analysis is only half right. It's true these folk are psychopaths who must be rooted out and brought to justice, but it's naive to believe they should be content to have physical comforts handed to them on a welfare platter. No man -- no creature worth its salt -- can bear the shame. Come to think of it, that's exactly what's wrong with the liberal project.

Posted by Sissy Willis

Posted by Tammy at July 16, 2005 07:16 PM