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"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
Sir Winston Churchill

9.01.2006

Let's Not Just Talk About It

Victor Davis Hanson:

Meanwhile, we in the West who worry about all this are told to fret instead about being “Islamophobes.” Indeed, a debate rages over the very use of “Islamic fascism” to describe the creed of terrorist killers — as if those authoritarians who call for a return of the ancient caliphate, who wish to impose 7th-century sharia law, promise death to the Western “crusader” and “Jew,” and long to retreat into a mythical alternate universe of religious purity and harsh discipline, untainted by a “decadent” liberal West, are not fascists. It is almost as if Alfred Rosenberg has returned in a kaffiyeh to explain why Jews really are apes and pigs, and why we must recapture the spirit of our primitive ancestors.

Next, in the manner that Hitler was to be understood as victimized by the Versailles Treaty, so too we hear the litany of perceived grievances against the Islamic fascists — George Bush, the West Bank, Gaza, or now Lebanon. But does anyone remember that bin Laden quip, four years before 9/11, when Mr. Bush was still governor of Texas: “Mentioning the name of Clinton or the American government provokes disgust and revulsion.”

Even as we split hairs over whether terrorists flocked to, or were created by, Iraq, the jihadists make no such distinctions between their theaters of operation. Listen to al Qaeda’s Aymin al-Zawahiri: “The Jihad movement is growing and rising. It reached its peak with the two blessed raids on New York and Washington. And now it is waging a great heroic battle in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and even within the Crusaders’ own homes.”

“Even within the Crusaders’ own homes” would include, I think, the planned attacks against opponents of the Iraq war, such as Canada and Germany. Their often shrill, and sometimes blatantly anti-American, antagonism to the 2003 war still earned them no exemption from efforts to chop off the head of the Canadian prime minister or to blow up hundreds of Germans on passenger trains.

Here at home we witness “al-Qaedism” — fanatics shooting Jews in Seattle, murder at the Los Angeles airport, an SUV running over innocent pedestrians in San Francisco or driving over students in North Carolina, sniping in Maryland. And we shrug them all off. Surely such incidents can be explained, are not connected, occur at random — anything other than the truth that the constant harangues of the Islamic fascists really do filter down, even if randomly and spontaneously, to a number of angry and alienated young Muslim males in the West.

Some cling to the notion that Islamic rage is not the manifestation of an elemental hatred, but is merely about land. That’s about what bin Laden said in 1998 when he urged all Muslims to murder all the Americans: “to kill the Americans and their allies — civilians and military — is an obligation incumbent upon every Muslim who can do it and in any country — this until the Asqa Mosque (Jerusalem) and the Holy Mosque (Mecca) are liberated from their grip.”

But the long overdue withdrawal of soldiers from Saudi Arabia (who were out in a godforsaken desert and nowhere near the “Holy Mosque”) had no more effect on al Qaeda than did the Israeli departure from Gaza and Lebanon on Hamas and Hezbollah. As in the case of Hitler’s serial demands for return of the “stolen” German Sudetenland and then Czechoslovakia, land was never the real issue. Perceived loss of pride and status, hatred of the Jews, and unbridled contempt for a liberal West were.

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