Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Moral Appeasement In Today's World

Last week, I noted the deceitful posturing of an Arab commentator who blamed the deaths of Iraqis on the coalition. I said:
Everyday in Iraq, Sunni jihadists target the Iraqi people and kill them by the dozens. It’s Muslims who are killing the people of Iraq and doing it deliberately. This slimy Arab commentator created a complete lie about who’s killing whom in Iraq. We are working hard trying to protect the Iraqi people from these killings.
In the past few days, I’ve read numerous articles addressing the notion that Muslims are outraged at Iraqi deaths. No article explains who targets and murders Iraqis. Yet, these authors purport to shed light of the vast Islamic acceptance of the 7/7 attacks. Yes, despite the condemnations, there is an insinuation that we brought it on ourselves. After perfunctory disapproval, Arab and Muslim commentators – from the Arab intellectuals to the Arab street – talk about how 7/7 is “understandable” given the Iraqis killed on a continual basis – with an implication that they died at our hands. Anyone with paying the slightest attention knows about the daily suicide attacks and car bombs. There is widespread evasion of the nature of the jihadist terrorist attacks in Iraq.

Michael Ledeen makes a similar point in a recent article (subscription required to To The Point):
[W]hen Tony Blair reminded the House of Commons that many countries had been scourged by the terrorists in recent years, he omitted Iraq from the list. … One's instinct is to let it go as an oversight, but there was another country missing from the list, and this case was somewhat less widely noted: Israel.
He gives a number of reasons for the above including political correctness and unwillingness to offend Arab and Muslims sensibilities. He continues:
It is therefore not surprising that Iraq and Israel were omitted from Blair's list; it is a symptom of the corrupt and self-destructive patterns of emotion (I will not call it "thought") that led Great Britain to house a vast terrorist infrastructure. This sickness is certainly not limited to Great Britain; we find it here as well, in such personages as Pat Buchanan and Juan Cole, along with their acolytes.
Ledeen is right, of course. Many in the West refuse to list the Israeli and Iraqi terror casualties as victims of jihadist terror strikes. Nor do they demand that Islamic leaders extend their perfunctory condemnations of terrorism to the attacks on Israeli and Iraqi civilians. But the full absurdity is the Arab commentators who cite the deaths of Iraqis as a motivation for further terrorist strikes in the West. And no one calls them on it!

Multi-cultural moral equivalence allows Islamic commentators respect for their “explanation” which explains nothing. Jihadists are upset at Iraqi deaths – which they have caused! If you don’t understand this, you must be using infidel logic. They perceive the coalition as the occupation and Iraqi deaths as the result of occupation. Multi-culturalism holds that ideas are determined by one’s group identity – not reality. If this is the group’s perception, criticism is akin to racism. We must be sensitive to their cultural delusions.

One of the problems is the equivocation between two different usages of the word understanding. I call the first cognitive understanding and the second empathetic understanding. Cognitive understanding faces the facts and reveals the cause. The cause may be the depravity of an individual like Saddam Hussein. However, no empathetic understanding is warranted in this case.

One sign of our cultural depravity is the notion that no one is responsible for their behavior – all cognitive understanding yields empathic understanding. If you knew what the other person went through you’d understand that he’s human like you and you’d act no differently. When someone says we need to understand what drives the jihadists, they usually intend to explain away (not explain) the responsibility for such depraved character and vicious actions.

Combine the subjectivism of multi-cultural collective-consciousness with the deterministic denial of individual responsibility and you have complete moral disarmament in the face of a vicious ideological movement like Islam. Facts don’t matter – only Muslim perceptions matter. This is why Muslims don’t have to denounce terrorism. We’ll eventually understand.


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