Boy, I sure feel bad about being an American. Look at the way we treated those prisoners. Let me wallow in the guilt that I should feel.
Let's look at a few givens.
- The abuses at Abu Graib really were unforgivable. Noone can condone that.
- Perusing the Amnesty international web site, or the US State Department web sites that deal with Human rights show that this sort of treatment is fairly typical, for a Middle Eastern nation.
- We didn't behead anyone.
So now we see the beheading. Five Islamofacist cowards in masks beheading a captive. Thanks, guys, you just reminded me of why we're better than you.
How about accountability? Chances are the Americans responsible for the horrible things in Abu Graib will pay. It's just the way our system works. I'd almost be willing to send them to the international court of justice to let them pay for war crimes in the appropriate venue. Sacrifice them on the altar of integrity.
How about accountability for the scumbag terrorists? How do you think Arab nations would deal with terrorists like that? Fairly? Hah.
This got me thinking again. So who are we at war with anyway? This is a common theme in AIM discussions I have with BigHominid and the never pretentious and always humble MaxLeader.
First of all, I don't think the Bushites really know who we're fighting. I think they're trying to use the war on Terror to promote an almost evangelical democritization of the Middle East. Yet, in typical fassion, they didn't really think it through first.
So is this a war on Terror? Yes. But I think it's much larger. I think this may be the first battle in a larger cultural war between Islam and the West. We're seeing two sets of cultural values that seem almost incompatible. First of all, Secular Humanist western values. Oddly enough, these values form the foundation on paper of the United Nations, and most of Europe, yet both the UN and Europe are afraid of standing up for them. On the other side we have the Koran based society of Arab/Islamic civilization.
So can Islam coexist comming in contact, and dealing with a secular humanistic society? I don't think so. Our western values lead to wealth, both national and individual. Our western values lead to a respect for rights, and a higher quality of life. We respect individuality in terms of goals, achievements, rights etc. Can a society based on Islamic values achieve the same standard of living, and the same quality of life? Maybe, but it hasn't happened yet, and there is so far no paradigm for it.
so in Islamic society you have hundreds of millions living in ignorance, oppression and poverty. And what do they see in America? Fat kids and nice lawns. Different values. Their leaders tell them we're satan. We're evil. So there is both hatred and resentment coupled with jealousy. Throw into the mix terrorism.
Now there are hundreds of millions of oppressed, angry, people with no hope, crappy quality of life, no rights, and a world view fed to them by militant fundamentalist clerics, and state controled media run by oppressive dictators. Throw a cultural history of terrorism into the mix, and you have a nightmare.
A kid growing up in America has a broad horizon of possibilities in front of him or her. School is there, the chance for education at every level. The chance to find a job, any job. The possibility of raising kids who can have a better life than you did, which is the wish of every parent. Even those born in the most dire circumstances still have hope.
Now what does a kid growing up in the Arab world have. Upper class kids have a shot at an education. Most girls don't. Most kids grow up in poverty. Again, go to the State Department web site, and look at countries. It'll paint a pretty rotten picture of the state of life for Joe Camel Driver in the Arab world.
What about the Palestinians? What future does a kid growing up in a camp have, when his parents spend their life in a refugee camp too? When people are drilling into your head that your only hope for a good life is to kick Israel out, and occupy land that someone else has lived on for two or three generations? Is there any way out but violence?
Look at the governments in the Arab world. Excepting Israel, which is a western democracy, all arab nations have dictatorships of some form or another. So lets take the viewpoint of the average dictator. The average dictator is rich, having gotten rich on the back of his people. It's in his best interest to keep them oppressed, and keep their anger focused elswehre. IMHO this is where the Pan Arab obsession with Palestine comes in, and the overwhelming focus against us. If Arab nations really cared about the Palestinians, they would help them, rather than help them blow themselves up.
Now consider the globe. Everywhere Islam comes in contact with anything else, there is violence. Judaism, Christianity, Secularism, Buddhism, Hinduism, you name it. Does not play well with others. Islam can't get along with anyone because the Islamists vision is a nation based on Islam. Coexistence is counter to the nature of the faith.
In Europe, we read about growing Muslim populations. What happens in 50 years or 100 years when Muslims begin to outnumber traditional ethnic Europeans throughout the continent? What happens when Muslims realize they are no longer strictly a minority, and begin to try to exercise that power? I'll tell you one thing, if I were a Jew on the continent, I'd begin planning how to get my family accross the atlantic to the US or Canada. If you think it's unfriendly now, just wait. I fear that the dual nature of Antisemitism and appeasement on the continent will lead to even more attrocities against the Jews. And, just you watch... if I'm right, the European governments and general population will condone it. Self Righteous Hypocritical Fuckers.
In summary, where does this lead us? Kinda fucked. Thanks George for making it worse.