Friday, February 09, 2007

Why do we fund Islamic terrorists?

“Hamas and its rival movement Fatah signed a deal on Thursday … hoping this would lead Western powers to lift crippling sanctions imposed on the Hamas-led government …” the New York Times reports. Why is our government contemplating funding these savage Islamic terrorists?

Remember when our government was going to turn over port operations to a UAE subsidiary? There was an instant outcry. How can the media, pundits, and our politicians remain silent as our government contemplates funding bin Laden’s colleagues?

Victor Davis Hansen asks the same question. I asked it long ago. The policy of putting the desires of our most vicious enemies first is clearly the most abject altruism possible. This is what Ayn Rand vilified as a ‘morality’ of self-renunciation and self-immolation. You wouldn’t believe it if it were fiction … well, perhaps a great writer could …

Update: Condi still doesn't get it.

18 Comments:

Blogger Cubed © said...

Jason,

The problem with the notion of "sacrifice" as a "good thing" goes back so far that it has become automatized in many of our cultures and institutions.

A long LONG time ago, we used to attribute all causation to some power outside ourselves (since we had no direct control over things like bad weather etc., we figured it must be under the control of something more powerful than we), a superhuman power, be it a powerful spirit, a god, etc., and we use to try to bargain with the "causer" so it would treat us well by offering something of value to us, up to and including our fellows.

Our remote ancestors figured that if we paid the "causers" enough, they would look more kindly upon us.

This tradition has been very persistant, and as many know, it has been formalized and institutionalized by many religions and philosophies.

In a very real sense, we are applying the principle of sacrifice to the way we deal with Islam today. Somewhere, we draw on the ancient memory and habit of trying to bargain with, or even buy off, destructive forces in the hope that they will take pity on us, or at least regard us as a milch cow or golden goose, and spare us.

If we submit in any way, however small, to the Islamic agressors, we will indeed have renounced and sacrificed everything we have worked for so diligently over the last few thousand years.

All the obstacles that we have overcome will have been for naught.

Sacrifice does not address the cause of the Islamic agression, and it will not effect a cure.

I would actually welcome some enormous disaster that would destroy all oil under Islamic control. This would make go 'bye 'bye the reason we capitulate to sand savages at every turn.

We have the technology at hand to process oil in the oil shale of Colorado and its environs (Canada is already doing so from its far smaller and less productive oil shale fields). Our domestic oil shale fields have more oil in them than all the other known oil fields in the world, so while we would be briefly inconvenienced, it would hardly be a disaster if we were to stop subsidizing our own destruction in a classic act of sacrifice.

2/9/07, 4:40 PM  
Blogger madmax said...

Cubed,

But if we were to reject altruism and approach this war egoistically, we could just confiscate the Arabian oil fields and auction them off to American and Western companies. I think a legitimate tactic of this war would be to annex the Persian Gulf and make it an American lake. There is no reason on this earth to allow the most barbaric people and the most barbaric ideology to have a monopoly on the world's most important resource.

It is only altruism that forces us to enrich our enemies on an almost unbelievable scale.

2/9/07, 6:53 PM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

Cubed, your commentary has great insight into human psychology, its history, and its pathology. But, of course, that’s not the first time. Far from it.!

2/10/07, 8:02 AM  
Blogger Always On Watch Two said...

Hansen verbalized my first thought when I saw this posting:

And does any Reuters reporter grasp the irony that it is precisely the US cut-off of this subsidy that at last has made Hamas pay any lip-service at all toward reconciliation?

But just watch. The United States will cave and will fund our own destruction. And we'll call it "compromise" and/or "reconciliation."

Muslims respect a strong man. The West has shown, time and again, that we don't understand that concept.

2/10/07, 9:16 AM  
Blogger Weingarten said...

"Why do we fund Islamic terrorists?" I submit that, in part, we do so to maintain our denial. The vogue belief is that we are not threatened by aggression, but faced with misunderstandings that can be resolved through dialog and reward. That approach has been used to deal with domestic barbarians for many decades.

It is comforting to pretend that differences between nations are merely misunderstandings. The social-democratic outlook, predicated on the presumption of man’s goodness, views our enemies as ‘people just like us’. It makes an exception, however, for the ‘real enemies’ –- the greedy capitalists (who are to blame for all that goes awry).

To face the reality of enemies committed to our destruction, would require a completely new mindset. This would be extremely difficult, for it would require acknowledging mistakes in cherished views, and rejection of the ‘pundits’ (who have been consistently wrong in supporting policies of enabling and rewarding aggression). This is particularly true for Israelis who, by 'sacrificing for peace', have lost loved ones. They dare not consider that their losses have been in vain.

I view our approach as deeply rooted in Judaism and Christianity (J&C). These religions are replete with such nonsense as: man is made in the image of God (as currently interpreted); the greatest virtue is charity; love conquers all; bless them that curse you, do good to those who hate you; turn the other cheek; judge not, lest ye be judged; resist not evil; whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

We must face the fact that J&C has been, and continues to be, the linchpin of social democratic ideology (especially for those sacrificial practitioners who deny that they are religious). This is not to say that J&C are our enemies, but rather that they have let their wishful thinking undermine their higher aspirations of truth, justice, and freedom (let alone the imperative to survive).

The reader may feel that I am speaking out of both sides of my mouth, when I support and attack these religions. In truth, I cannot deny that I have a love/hate relation with them, yet I have it as well with Objectivism, libertarianism, and Austrian economics.

2/10/07, 2:23 PM  
Blogger FreeCyprus said...

Lately some of my Muslim friends have been saying the same thing: "I don't give money to my mosque anymore because I don't know where it goes"

One of my Muslim friends is giving her "monthly charity" to a Toronto shelter during the winter months.

2/10/07, 7:46 PM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

Weingarten’s remarks continue in the same vein as Cubed’s. I was thinking along those lines too and let me add one more dimension to our psychological profile.

Sometimes a victim tries to establish the feeling of being in control by taking the blame. If it is “our fault” then we can do something about it and we’re not helpless. If they are “understandable” and “rational actors” then we can offer them incentives to achieve our security. Kenneth Levin talks about this psychology as applied to Israelis in his book the “Oslo Syndrome” but I believe that Israel is just a microcosm of the West.

It appears that FreeCyrus’ Moslem friends are in less denial than Condi Rice!

2/11/07, 8:04 AM  
Blogger Epaminondas said...

Forget ANY idea that a cut off of aid will change HAMAS.

Israel should already be laying PUBLICLY the groundwork for it's position that WORDS are worth nothing. If HAMAS demonstrates BOTH the actions of an ALTALENA
AND signs a document recognizing both Israel's right to exist, and engages in direct negotiotiations ...THEN there will be the POSSIBILITY for progress.

Of course, in that case, HAMAS is no longer HAMAS and they have given up on the waqf.

Olmert should be publicly telling Condi that HAMAS should formally reject the idea of the waqf, i.e, their entire raison d'etre.

Of course they will never change nomatter what, but at least this coure will pre-expose the fallacy of any peace with HAMAS in existance.

2/11/07, 8:42 AM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

I agree but I wouldn’t ask Hamas or Fatah to change character. I wouldn't even suggest an "if".

They are who they are; just asking them to change character means we’re in denial about what their character is. You ask someone to act within their character’s parameters. As you say "in that case, HAMAS is no longer HAMAS." Exactly! Hamas is Hamas. A is A.

We should state outright that not one cent goes to anyone in Gaza or Palestinian controlled areas. And that includes money sent through UN agencies. We should talk and act in accord with their nature and an understanding that we don’t support Islamic terror groups.

2/11/07, 8:52 AM  
Blogger Weingarten said...

Jason says "They are who they are; asking them to change character means we’re in denial...We should talk and act in accord with their nature..."

This is a fine example of being clear about philosophical principles, and thereby dealing with their reality and ours.

2/11/07, 9:34 AM  
Blogger Cubed © said...

Madmax,

"...we could just confiscate the Arabian oil fields and auction them off to American and Western companies. I think a legitimate tactic of this war would be to annex the Persian Gulf and make it an American lake."

Great idea! Much less disruption for us! Why didn't I think of that? DUH!

Jason,

"Cubed, your commentary has great insight into human psychology..."

Thank you, Jason; I am ever fascinated with the relationship between the brain and its role as the "manufacturer" of the mind.

I've nagged and nagged and nagged about the crucial importance of educating the young from a very early age re: the importance of our ideas and values. As we have seen for generations, if we don't do it, our enemies (like the postmodernists) will. And have.

It's also something that the Islamic aggressors do with great consistency, right from birth. Theirs is a really sh*tty philosophy, not at all consistent with the demands of reality, so ultimately, it will fail, but in the meantime, we ignore our young vis a vis ideas and a proper philosophy at our peril, and it's really hurting us now.

Having some understanding of the characteristics of the neurodevelopment of the brain helps us understand why it's so important to start young, and not to wait until college.

I was a Montessori teacher before I went to med school, and I always thought she hit the nail on the head when a parent with a little child asked her when her child should begin her education. Montessori asked the mother how old the child was, and the mom responded something like "five." Montessori told her (I forget exactly what she said) that she was starting five years too late.

I've always admired and supported the folks who are critical of the "teaching" going on at the university level, but we wouldn't have nearly the problem at that level if we established the proper "mindset" with proper education from K-8.

Little kids are a whole lot more important in this respect than a lot of people think; there's a tendency to gloss over the very young mind when it comes to complex philosophical issues because it can't really process them, but the importance of laying the proper foundation for philosophy during the early years can't be overemphasized.

Knowing about the brain and how it matures gives us great insight into why it becomes so very difficult to change the mindset of post-pubertal kids if we wait until college. It's not always engraved in stone, but very often, it just about is.

When the brain re-organizes under the influence of hormones just before and during puberty, it changes its organization so that instead of learning at the relatively concrete level we see in children, it begins to learn at the conceptual level that we see in adults; but what people forget is that kids carry forward into "conceptland" an enormous amount of information and attitudes that form the "mindset" or "foundation" upon which the complex philosophy is to be constructed.

So many people think of "philosophy" as a sort of amorphous, whispy, ephemoral thing with little, if any, "practical" value. They say things like "His 'philosophy of life' is 'not to take anything too seriously,'" etc.

Too many people don't understand that philosophy is like math, you really have to work to have a valid one; just what makes one "valid" and "invalid" isn't obvious, and a valid philosophy doesn't just spring, fully grown, out of our heads as adults, like Athena sprouting from Zeus' head.

Gotta lay that groundwork between K-8!

Thanks for letting me blow off some steam...

2/11/07, 10:38 AM  
Blogger Always On Watch Two said...

Cubed,
I've nagged and nagged and nagged about the crucial importance of educating the young from a very early age re: the importance of our ideas and values. As we have seen for generations, if we don't do it, our enemies (like the postmodernists) will. And have.

In the West, educators have compromised the idea of passing on Western culture. The same certainly cannot be said of Muslims.

PS: I love it when Cubed blows off steam!

2/11/07, 10:57 AM  
Blogger Weingarten said...

Cubed, I agree with you about "the crucial importance of educating the young" and "if we don't do it, our enemies (like the postmodernists) will."

Do you believe that this can be achieved in our public schools? Can a government-run venture achieve philosophical clarity, given its presupposition that one can coerce virtue?

A few weeks ago, I described how government schools would have improved upon Patrick Henry's speech. Did you believe me?

2/11/07, 11:37 AM  
Blogger Ann said...

Jason,

"Sometimes a victim tries to establish the feeling of being in control by taking the blame. If it is “our fault” then we can do something about it and we’re not helpless. If they are “understandable” and “rational actors” then we can offer them incentives to achieve our security."

Yes, that really has to be a very big player in the game too. Huge.

As is Weingaten's proposal, "I submit that, in part, we do so to maintain our denial."

Absolutely. It's a kind of "What, me worry?" approach to problems. Hey, if there's no problem, then there's no reason to worry...

2/12/07, 8:08 PM  
Blogger Ann said...

AOW,

"I love it when Cubed blows off steam!"

Thanks so much for being so tolerant of my "steam-blowing!" I know I do a lot of it these days!

Weingarten,

You asked, "Do you believe that this can be achieved in our public schools?"

Sadly, I have to say an emphatic "NO!" It's only sad because most of our schools are under government control, and infested with postmodernism. The problems are so institutionalized that any change will only come with the eruption of Yellowstone or some equally overwhelming natural disaster.

I think that the only solution open to us any longer is through homeschooling and the establishment of private schools, but government works very hard to establish controls over them, too.

While homeschooling, for example, is permitted ("permitted!" Get that - you are "permitted" to educate your own kids! Wow.) in every state in the union, life for homeschoolers in some is very difficult. Pennsylvania probably tops the list in that respect. It's a constant battle to keep that avenue open.

I'm sorry that I missed your "Patric Henry" piece. I'll try to track it down and read it.

2/12/07, 8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S.

"Ann?" It was I, "Cubed," who posted the 8:08 and 8:23 comments.

I'm no techie, so I have no idea why they were posted under "Ann." I'll try to fiddle with this one...

How about "Anonymous" for now?

Cubed

2/12/07, 8:27 PM  
Blogger Weingarten said...

Cubed writes "I think that the only solution open to us any longer is through homeschooling..." This is reminiscent of Karl Popper's view of the backward level of philosophy. His sole recommendation was that an individual tries to reason things out from scratch.
George Orwell's approach was that discussions were so backward that the forward intellectual was confined to restating the obvious.

Next you write "I'm no techie, so I have no idea why they were posted under 'Ann.' " Perhaps the techie has received a public school education, where the sophisticated is lauded, while the basic requirements are not met.

2/13/07, 8:29 AM  
Blogger kevin said...

Guilt. It's just guilt. Americans are supposed to feel guilty for being so rich and powerful. This mentality has lead to giving money to terrorists as the moral equivelent of a robber baron dropping a nickle in a homeless man's cap.

There are other reasons of course, but I believe that is the driving force behind it.

2/13/07, 11:45 AM  

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