Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Victor Hansen on the pathologies of Islam, and us.

Victor Hanson has a superb essay on the Middle East and on our response to Islamic violence and failure.

The world obsesses over Israel and the Palestinians because of the neurotic Middle East. The issue is not really the principle of a divided capital — or Nicosia would be daily news. Nor is the concern over refugees per se, since well over 500,000 Jews were religiously cleansed from the major Arab capitals following the 1948 and 1967 wars. No one cares where they went or how they have fared in the decades since. Is the global worry really over occupied territories? Hardly. Lately it seems that every desolate island between China and Japan is equally contested. Are there special envoys to the Falklands, and do the islanders receive international aid? Will there be a U.N. session devoted to the Kuril Islands? Does Gdansk/Danzig merit summits? We are told ad nauseam that the Arab minority in Israel suffers — would that the ignored Coptic minority in Egypt had similar protections and freedoms. 
The oil-rich Middle East is just different from other regions. We don’t expect another Cal Tech to sprout in Cairo in the way it might in either Bombay or Beijing. Nor do we assume that a cure for prostate cancer could ever emerge from Tripoli as it might from Tel Aviv. The world will not be flooded by Syrian-made low-cost, durable products that make our lives better — comparable to what comes from South Korea. There will be not a Saudi or Algerian version of a Kia. High-speed machine lathes will not be exported from Pakistan as they are from Germany. I doubt that engineers in Afghanistan or Yemen will replace our iPads. The Middle East’s efforts in the production of biofuels will not rival Brazil’s. Libya will not send archaeologists to the American Southwest to help investigate Native American sites. 
In other words, in politically incorrect terms, the world tacitly gives exemptions to the Middle East — and expects very little in return. It assumes that the rules that apply elsewhere of civility, tolerance, and nonviolence are inoperative there — and perhaps have reason to so be. Money is made in the Middle East either by pumping out oil that others have found and developed or, less frequently these days, by catering for tourists who wish to see the remains of what others built centuries earlier. Few foreigners decide to spend a relaxing week in Egypt, or to sunbathe on the beaches of Gaza, or to enjoy the wine and cheese of Libya, or to snorkel in the waters off Syria, or to study engineering in Algiers. How many tourists choose to mountaineer in Afghanistan or visit Persepolis or unwind in Pakistan? 
The world also assumes a sort of Middle Eastern parasitism: Daily its millions use mobile phones, take antibiotics, hit the Internet, fire RPGs, and play video games, and yet they not only do not create these products that they rely upon, but largely have antipathy for those who do. 
Asymmetry is, of course, assumed. One expects to be detained for having a Bible in one’s baggage at Riyadh, whereas a Koran in a tote bag is of no importance at the Toronto airport. The Egyptian immigrant in San Francisco, or the Pakistani who moves to London, expects to be allowed to demonstrate against the freewheeling protocols of his hosts, while a Westerner protesting against life under sharia in the streets of Karachi or Gaza would earn a death sentence...
The latest round of radical Islam arose — in the manner of Nazism in the 1930s, Communism in the 1940s, and Baathism and pan-Arabism in the 1960s — not to address the self-inflicted causes of such failure, but to indict others: Jews, Western democracies and Western capitalists, non-Arabs and heretics, and, above all, powerful Americans...
What can be done?... In the short term, reciprocity would be wise. If violence should continue against American personnel and facilities, we can gradually trim foreign aid, advise Americans not to visit Egypt or Libya, put holds on visas for students from Middle Eastern countries that do not protect Americans or that contribute to terrorism, recall our ambassadors and expel theirs. Reopening our embassy in Damascus and dubbing Bashar Assad a “reformer” did not improve relations with Syria or temper Syrian extremism. A reduced security profile in Libya did not create good will for our ambassador. Two billion dollars in aid to Egypt did not win hearts and minds. The Palestinians are not fond of us, despite millions of dollars in annual aid. 
Having Mr. Morsi on the USC campus did not bank good will for the future, any more than, long ago, Sayyid Qutb’s subsidized travel throughout America earned us a soft spot in the heart of the Muslim Brotherhood. I don’t see how welcoming in Egyptian journalist Mona Eltahawy and giving her airtime on CNN and MSNBC has enriched the United States by providing us a keener understanding of Egypt — not when she uses spray paint to deface public posters that she personally finds objectionable. 
To sum up, the West should just say, “No.”

Hanson's essay is too good to excerpt justly-- please read the whole thing.

We need to respond to radical Islam with defiance. We should strangle it economically, culturally, academically, and militarily. Radical Islam's strength is ephemeral-- it is a primitive theocratic cult with no inherent skill or productivity. It's only real export is violence.

Radical Islam is parasitical on the Christian West, and we need to cut it off.


  1. Clever, to pretend to oppose radical Islam while being a secret Muslim.

  2. While the Middle East has so much oil, and the West is so addicted to oil, there's not much chance that the West can ignore Islam.

    If not because of AGW, reducing the pernicious influence of militant Islam originating from Saudi Arabia is more than an adequate reason for developing other energy sources and weaning ourselves off fossil fuels.

  3. I agree with Bach on this one (minus the AGW plug, of course).
    Oil is a very BIG key to limiting the influence of Islamic powers. We, as a bloc, should be transitioning to other fuels, at least on an industrial level - while using our own oil resources in the meantime.
    Such a reaction may seem to little too late, but it is step towards stemming the flow of wealth into those intolerant and warlike regions.
    It can be done, but not with current policy in place.

  4. Few foreigners decide to spend a relaxing week in Egypt

    Bwahaha. 12% of Egyptians earn a living in the tourist industry. Millions of tourists per year spend relaxing weeks in Egypt. It's good diving in the Red Sea.

    Facts mean nothing to Egnor and his wingnut buddies.

  5. Recently Christian Scientists are declaring that Koran is From Good
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