Monday, November 21, 2005

The Grand Vision Of The War On Terror Part III

Pastorius' Greatest Hits here. I wrote this post for the Internet Journal of Public Policy several months back. However, in light of current events, I think it deserves revisiting.

Today Iraqi President, Jalal Talabani, called on the American people to please stick with the Iraqi people as they formed their constitutional democracy and fight off the enemies of Human Rights who do not want to see them succeed:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iraqi President Jalal Talabani urged the United States on Friday not to withdraw hastily from Iraq and said U.S. forces should be reduced gradually over the next two years.

“For those who call for an immediate pull-out of American troops, we say that we honor the sacrifices the United States has made,” Talabani said in a speech at a Washington hotel. “A withdrawal of American and multinational forces in the near future could lead to the victory of the terrorists in Iraq and create grave threats to the region,” he added.

Talabani pleaded for the American people to stick with it for two more years, and indicated that he has as much to fear from his neighbors as he does from the Jihadis within his borders:

“Not only would we need American forces to fight against terrorism, we need some of them to frighten our neighbors and prevent them from interfering in our internal affairs,” he said.

Talabani complained of interference from Syria and “terrorists” infiltrating Iraq. He also blamed the Arab media “without exception” for supporting terrorism.

It would seem that Talabani understands American society better than many of it's citizens. The idea that anyone, in a PC society such as ours has to defend helping brown-skinned Islamic people gain freedom from their oppressors shows how paradoxical, strange, and hollow many of our values are.

The other day, Jeff Wheeler was interviewed by Jamie Glazov of Front Page Magazine, and he shed a little light on the strange working of the American psyche which bring us to such a paradoxical value system:

... the liberal left is motivated by the fear of being envied. It is a very ancient and primitive fear, exactly the same as a primitive tribesman’s fear of envious Black Magic or a peasant villager’s fear of the envious Evil Eye. People in our society who are susceptible to this fear – such as heirs who inherited rather than earning their wealth and Hollywood celebrities who do so little to earn their millions – become liberals as a psychological strategy to avoid being envied.

Liberalism is a not a political philosophy. It is the politicalization of envy-appeasement. Thus liberals are masochists as well – for the more one fears being envied, the more one is driven to masochistic self-humiliation in attempts at envy appeasement. Liberals have a compulsion to apologize to those that envy them, apologize for being white, for being male, for being successful, for the success of their country, their culture, their civilization. This renders liberals incapable of passionately defending America.

Wheeler's thoughts have the ring of truth. However, I think it is deeper than that. Many on the Left may be afraid of the evil eye of envy, but that doesn't explain why they would then turn against the brown people who envy them.

A simple answer would be to say the Left don't really care about brown-skinned people, that when it comes right down to it, they believe brown-skinned people are primitives, who want nothing more than to live under the boot of a radical Islamist government which controls every portion of their lives. But alas, I don't think it's that simple.

Certainly, we've heard arguments from the Left which seem to go in that direction. We are sometimes lectured by peaceful people who tell us that we can't force Democracy down people's throats. We can't force people to be free. That, if Iraqis, and Arabs in general want to live in strict Islamist societies they have the right.

But, these are the same people who had been lecturing that America was propping up oppressive Middle Eastern dictatorships, in the years leading up to 9/11. So, what is it? Were we propping up dictatorships which the people of the Middle East did not want, or are we now making war against dictatorships which the people of the Middle East did want after all?

The answer is not complicated. It is not a little of both. The answer is that the Left has quite a bit in common with those Middle Eastern dictatorships.

Let's return to the Jeff Wheeler interview:

FP: Who are the jihadists and what do they really want? Do you see Islamism as being a cousin of Fascism and Communism?

Wheeler: We should call this The War on Jihadism. The crux understanding of Jihadism, or Moslem Terrorism, is that it is a form of envious rage. All three of the great barbarisms of modern times have been pathologies of envy. Nazism, preaching race-envy toward “rich exploitative Jews”; Communism preaching class-envy toward “rich exploitative capitalists”; Jihadism preaching culture-envy toward “rich exploitative America/Israel/the West.”

A clear example is the Nazi-type hatred Arabs have for Israel. The root cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict is envy. The Jews created a civilization out of the wilderness and a garden out of the desert, while the Arabs – even with their centibillions of petrodollars -- continued to mire themselves in medieval tyranny and poverty.

Israel is a fount of creativity and achievement, a bastion of Western Civilization built by scratch out of a desiccated wasteland, sparsely populated by Arab nomads herding sheep, goats, and camels. And that is why the descendants of those nomads hate and envy it so much. It is also why they hate America so much.

Jihadis do not hate America for its vices but for its virtues, for its freedom, its prosperity, for its cultural success. Just as Nazis hate Jews for their success, just as Marxists hate capitalists for their success, so Jihadis hate America, Western Civilization, Judaism and Christianity for their success.

Jihadism, Nazism, and Communism are all totalitarian ideologies masochistically obsessed with destroying what they are envious of. Jihadists may claim their goal is a Salafist Caliphate, just as the Nazis claimed about a 1,000 year Reich, and the Communists a New Socialist Man. These are utopian pretexts to hide the fundamental goal of annihilating the object of their hate.

That’s always the pathology of envy: the willingness to destroy yourself as long as who you are envious of is destroyed as well. The suicide bomber is an ultimate expression of envy.

Jeff Wheeler reduces it to envy. But envy, like it's twin, anger, is a two-step emotion which only finds meaning in following through, in shooting it's load, so to speak. Envy may be motivated by feelings of inferiority, but once inculcated - locked and loaded - envy must discharge itself by taking away that which it is envious of.

It would be easy to look at the contrast between the average American and the average person from the Middle East and say they are envious of our material wealth. Yes, they are envious that we always have food on our plates. They are envious that we have the latest in technology, the shiny, new cars, the fashions, the fragrances, the fantasms of capitalism.

But, what are all these things?


These baubles are truly weightless. They are nothing more than what they represent to us, the feeling the give us.

In fact, the Jihadis and the Left will both tell us that they have very low regard for our baubles. They don't like our materialism, our erotic fashions, the technology we create which only serves to spread our influence across the planet. No, the Left and the Jihadis hate these things equally.

So, as I say, I don't wholly agree with Jeff Wheeler. Instead, I think both the Left and the Jihadis hate what these things represent. And what is that? All our fashions, fragrances, fun and frolic, all the baubles, bangles and beads, represnt one thing:

That we think we can do whatever we damn well please.

They represent Freedom. And the Jihadis and the Left have one thing in common which overrides all that they do not share, and that is, they both loathe the idea that people ought to be able to do whatever they please.