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Ed Driscoll


April 22nd, 2013 - 7:29 pm

Last night at the gym,  I listened to the Ricochet podcast recorded this past Friday featuring Mona Charen and Jay Nordlinger of NRO interviewing Victor Davis Hanson. (Wait, isn’t this the sort of thing that everyone listens to while they’re on the treadmill?) In contrast to all of the self-imposed cluelessness on the left, at one point, VDH posited a fascinating hypothesis on the push-pull nature of Muslim immigrants who are attracted to America because of its freedoms and liberal nature (the old school definition, not necessarily liberal=leftist), and then become repulsed by that very freedom and liberality and retreat by returning to Islam and becoming radicalized:

VDH: We’ve seen 40 or 50 of these foiled plots and isolated, lone-wolf killers. And 75 percent seem to be angry losers, usually male, usually  between, I don’t know, 18 and 30, and usually returning to Islam, or adapting Islam. I’m thinking of the guy in Seattle that shot up the shopping center. I’m thinking of the Iranian guy at North Carolina campus. The person who attacked the Jewish Center in Seattle. John Muhammad, that was executed, the sniper.

They’re not coordinated with Al-Qaeda. I think I wrote a couple of articles for NRO titled “Al-Qaedistic” or “Al-Qaedist.”  Al-Qeada resonates to them in a spontaneous fashion.

CHAREN: Yes. Isn’t it fair to say that none of them was married, so they felt unsuccessful in their romantic lives. They were unsuccessful in their professional lives in some way or other. Although in the case of [US Army Maj.] Hasan, it’s a little bit of a two-way street. That is, his accelerating craziness on the subject of religion impeded his professional advancement somewhat, though he still had a pretty cushy position in the US military.

VDH: And they generally tend to interpret liberality or kindness by the society at large as a sign of decadence or weakness. They resent the hand that feeds them. They feel that, “you people don’t have any standards. You don’t have any hierarchies, you don’t have any traditions. Therefore, I love to come to your country, compared to the misery that I left. However, once I got here, I’m finding myself becoming like you, and therefore, I’ve got to go back to Islam.”

But it never makes sense. When I heard that one of the terrorists that was killed was going back to Chechnya, I thought, well, wait a minute: we offered him asylum, on the premise that it was too dangerous for him to live openly there. So he had to flee to the United States. And he gets here – and then we gave him a visa to go back there. Why would he go back if he was endangered there in the first place?

That’s obviously – not obviously, but likely where he got his training to do this stuff that  he did.

CHAREN:  We have to be a little cautious, because all of this is very new, and truth is the first casualty, and all of that. A lot of this is very preliminary information. But based on what I have seen today, the older brother tweeted some of the exact things that you’re talking about, Victor. He tweeted that he has no American friends, he doesn’t understand them, people have no standards anymore.  And he doesn’t drink and he doesn’t smoke [because] Islam forbids this.

And I thought, what kind of a twisted imagination – and it isn’t just this individual, it afflicts, alas, millions of people. What kind of a twisted moral system allows you to conclude that you are the moral superior of people who are sexually loose? Who allow dancing between men and women; allow a lot of things that many of us probably disapprove of. But nevertheless, approve of blowing up eight year olds and innocent at a marathon. It’s just mindboggling.

VDH: Especially [GARBLED DUE TO CROSSTALK]  that the culture that welcomed here. I mean, there is this old, ancient idea of ingratitude.  I mean, he could have easily stayed in Chechnya if it was so wonderful, and dealt with the Russians, but his family chose not to. So they came out to an embracing, affable society that allowed them a second chance in a way that millions would have only dreamed of. And then his reaction is to do that to the society that nourished him.

And it’s disgusting, but it’s almost as if, the more that he sees this popular culture that we’ve been talking about. And then he sees the official reaction: “man-caused disasters,” “overseas contingency operations”;  can’t use the word “terrorist”; can’t use the word “Islamist”; gotta create an idea of “workplace violence” for Maj. Hasan. He gets the other message that we’re sort of so easy-going that nothing really gets us upset. And instead of having respect for that liberality, he grows contemptuous of it.

As Tobin concludes his post at Commentary:

The desire to deny that Islamism is the driving force behind homegrown terrorists and their crimes is rooted in the myth of a post 9/11 backlash against Muslims. That entirely fictional idea that Muslims were subjected to widespread discrimination has no basis in fact, but it is an article of faith in certain sectors of the left and in the mainstream liberal media. It is one thing to try and delegitimize pro-active vigilance against Islamism by falsely alleging bias in the actions of the government or even the general population. It is quite another to deny, as even leftist comedian Bill Maher pointed out last week, that “There’s only one faith that kills you or wants to kill you if you renounce the faith.”

If even Bill Maher can figure it out, why can’t the rest of the left?

Some thoughts on why can be found here.

Related: Tim Blair asks, “How confident was the Sydney Morning Herald that the Boston bombers were associated with the Tea Party? So confident that last Friday it ran this teapot terror image.”

(Thumbnail on PJM homepage based on a modified image.)

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Question of the Day:
Is being a Moron a pre-requisite for employment at PMSNBC?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Perhaps an overexposure to the Boston area’s ugly modernist architecture triggered their attack:..Considering the socialist and “Progressive” origins of modern architecture, and its disastrous impact on public housing, run with that explanation for the Tsarnaevs’ radicalism, leftists."

See Tom Wolfe's From Bauhaus to Our House for a very readable treatment of this topic,
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You are overlooking the one unifying element among all the “deniers” they themselves don’t believe in anything and can’t imagine anything as “foolish” as religion actually animating ones actions.

The fact that violence exists in the foundational documents of Islam is not a notion they will entertain at all.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Islam is an efficient Deductive reasoning machine affecting all topics in life. In the 10th-11th Century (I forgot to make a note of it), upset by the behavior of the Hippie Muslim societies and rulers in Iberia, Baghdad shifted the doctrine a bit. First there was a crackdown to re-energize Sharia compliance by those pesky Westerners. Then there was a little change. Before, a Muslim living in an Infidel land was under suspicion of blasphemy. The change was to consider Muslims living in infidel lands to be colonists and expected to spread the faith and to be ready for work described in the Later Verses of the Koran.

The powerful attraction of some individuals to Deductive reasoning is explored in THE OPEN AND CLOSED MIND, by Milton Rokeach, et. al.

Judeo-Christian folk are nonplussed by actions and search for the source of motivation, considering odd reasons. And recall Winston Churchill saying something like Communism is a riddle wrapped inside and enigma, or vice versa. These clueless attitudes reveal curiosity weakness with failure to ask questions and make good use of one’s library card. What Communism was up to was transparent and detailed by 1920. Islam was fully known much before that.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm an American woman. I didn't VISIT the middle east. I LIVED there for 2 years, with an independent small business, working for the UAE gov't.
Over those 2 years, I saw first hand, WHY they don't like us westerners:
The men despise our western influence on their middle eastern women. Period! It's that simple.
The middle eastern men can interact and form relationships with western women. No problem.
But the middle eastern women better keep those black robes and scarves on...covering their most attractive features...their hair (even their bangs!) and body. That way it's unlikely "their women" will form any kind of relationship with another man.
Hey, wouldn't all you American guys love THAT?! YOU are free to flirt, etc with western women (& flirt they do) while "your women" have to stay covered and have associations with only other women.
Great situation for the guys, huh? No worries.
Then along come us western women...and BAM...their women see our relationship freedoms...and start "acting out"! The male perfect world is shattered...all because of our western influence. Get the hell out of our middle eastern culture!
In a nutshell.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
At this point, if you are not in self-preservation mode, you are likely to become a victim of the Left. And by victim, I mean dead.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Here is an excerpt from The Wikipedia article about the Virginia Tech shooter - South Korean Sueng-Hui Cho. Their reaction speaks volumes about cultural differences and, let me tell you, I prefer South Koreans.

When the citizenship of the shooter became known, South Koreans expressed shock and a sense of public shame,[90] while the Government of South Korea convened an emergency meeting to consider possible ramifications. A candlelight vigil was held outside the Embassy of the United States, Seoul. South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun expressed his deepest condolences.[91] Although Cho came to the US as a third grader and was a permanent resident of the US, many South Koreans felt guilt and mourned because they considered him a South Korean by blood.[92]
South Korea's ambassador to the US and several Korean American religious leaders called on Korean Americans to participate in a 32-day fast, one day for each victim, for repentance.[93][94] The foreign minister, Song Minsoon, announced that safety measures had been established for Koreans living in the US, in apparent reference to fears of possible reprisal attacks.[95] A ministry official expressed hope that the shooting would not "stir up racial prejudice or confrontation".[96] No such incidents were ever reported.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well, now Ed segues from The Far Side, to the post-modern mess we call the "war" on terror, to the Bauhaus. Oy.
Within the realm of modern art and architecture, there was a response to the inherent drabness of the buildings. I followed the link, saw the photo of that drab, dingy-gym-sock-toned building and my mind recalled how the works of Claus Oldenburg added interest and joy even to bland modern vistas. What that building mentioned here needs though is a giant, functioning pressure washer. (Or fill in the "negative space" with traditional materials)
Our politically-correct approach to the "war" on terror needs a good power-scrubbing too.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A: What are you doing?
B: I'm looking for my quarter.
A: Didn't you drop it in the other corner?
B: Yes, but I'm looking for it over here because the light is better.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Generally speaking, people from the Third World, including Muslims, don't come to America for freedom but because, relatively speaking, they can have much more expansive lives due to finances. For people used to nothing in a dog-eat-dog world, coming to America is like shaking a money tree. The very constriction that afflicts their lives in the Third World amounts to a type of training for thrifty hunkering down discipline in America.

If you look at the difference between the response of the Vietnamese towards America and then Muslims towards America pre-9/11, one can presume a certain egoism or even arrogance on the part of Muslims compared to the more pragmatic Asians; America did far worse to the Vietnamese, yet the Muslim anger is far greater.

Generally speaking, Asians, and others, seem to do better in America than people from Islamic countries because of a combination of fewer lofty expectations, lack of political or religious radicalism, more inventive and industrious means of supporting themselves and perhaps more family support.

In short, compared to most immigrants from the Third World, the failure rate of Muslims is perhaps due to disappointment over unrealistic expectations of themselves. Asians don't seem to mind being wrong or failures and simply treat it as a lesson they learn from rather than blaming the culture for racism, etc. Within Islamic cultures, it is notable how often Muslims are simply never wrong compared to other cultures. They have no tradition of tools of self-criticism, having dominated most polities they are in for centuries.

As for Harris-Perry and Dyson, the rhetorical question I have for them is "Do black Americans ever think about anything but black Americans?"

How does one shoehorn "one drop" into this narrative unless your racialized world view consists of razor-thin provincialism?

I dismiss each as racists that don't like white people and who hide behind notions of "justice." People like Maddow, like those two clowns, have no reason to love America's history. The Rainbow Coalition's anti-American rhetoric matches Islam's. Of course these idiots like CAIR more than "terrorist" George Washington.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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