Monday, September 27, 2004

Michael Ledeen gets it, too.

Over at National Review, Michael Ledeen makes the point that I've been making for some time now: The brutal murders by sawing the heads off innocent and helpless people are not meant for blackmail or extortion. They are not meant to make as afraid.

They are meant to impress other Arabs and/or Muslims. And it seems to be working too.
The beheading films are recruitment tools. They've been around for a long time, part and parcel of the first generation of "jihad" home movies, circulated mostly in North Africa to excite homicidal fanatics and lure them into the Islamist bands. The main difference between then and now is that their marketing and distribution have improved, thanks to their comrades at al Jazeera and al Arabiya, and the Internet.

We should have no trouble understanding this and drawing the proper conclusions. A movement that draws its foot soldiers from people who dream of beheading one of us is clearly a barbarous phenomenon, one that puts the lie to the notion that our enemies in this terror war are human beings driven to desperation by misery and injustice. Not at all: The recruiting films are aimed at subhuman homicidal maniacs who revel in bloody brutality.
And what do we do in the West? We try to explain it away by finding excuses, reasons even where there cannot possibly any. THERE IS NO REASON TO TORTURE PEOPLE TO DEATH. As a matter of practice. The only reason is demented depravity, which appeals to equally sick individuals (which sadly can be found in abundance in the Muslim Middle-East).
Given the human capacity to rationalize most any ghastly behavior, some of the killers' supporters — even in the Western intelligentsia — include misguided souls who are so confused they can accept and even justify barbarism in the name of the cause of the moment. There is nothing new in invoking ends to justify dreadful means. But in this case, the means — the beheadings — define our enemies and their followers.
In a way, it serves as a compliment that we wonder to ourselves "What did we do that so upset these people that they do these horrible things? There MUST be a reason?". I hear a lot of people think this way. But when I ask them to thing of something that could make THEM act this way, towards innocent people who have NOTHING to do with whatever conflict you're in, they fall silent. We are incapable of imagining ourselves so debased.

For Al-Zarqawi, it's no big thing. And many, many others admire him for what he does.

It is the difference between barbary and civilization. Between them and us.

Ledeen makes another very good point.
It follows that there is no policy that will successfully end their jihad against us short of total surrender and mass conversion to their brand of Islam. They see us, quite explicitly, as animals who deserve slaughter. The terrorists' recent response to Tony Blair's statement that he would not negotiate with them was eloquent: We are not interested in negotiations, they said. Either the British withdraw or we will slaughter the hostage.
We have to win this conflict, this war. We have to kill all those who see us this way. They are not Germans that - in the end - are really quite like us, and we can live together again. This evil has to be eradicated.

read it all.


Post a Comment

<< Home