Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hit or Myth?

One might think that the title of Robert Wright's New York Times column, "The Myth of Modern Jihad", would signal his argument. And that argument is that the hostility currently directed at the U.S. from the Muslim world is mostly defensive, rather than offensive in nature. That Muslims are mostly reacting to the violence we are visiting on them, rather than initiating it on us as a necessary consequence of Islam's ambition and intention to rule the globe, which is the substance of the "myth". For your average Muslim terrorist, it's more about revenge, and therefore justice, than it is about naked aggression.

But Wright never actually makes that case. Instead, he merely asserts it and then places one of his principal antagonists, an advocate of the "myth", Daniel Pipes of the Hoover Institution, on the couch and psychoanalyzes him. You see, Pipes, and by extension all of us who insist on confronting these Muslim murderers directly, suffer from an extreme form of cognitive distortion. Wright argues that "Once you decide that some group is your implacable enemy, your mind gets a little warped. Virtually all incoming evidence is thereafter seen as consistent with that model."

And that "model" is of course, the "myth". As a result, when we witness the Iranian hostage crisis, the bombing of the Marines barracks in Lebanon, the first Twin Towers bombing, the USS Cole, 9/11, etc. etc. etc., we distort these facts and images in order to force them to conform to our misplaced notion that these bad guys are in fact really bad guys.

Well, allow me to place Mr. Wright on the couch for just a moment. My diagnosis is that he shares a "sickness unto death" with, unfortunately, millions of other self-loathing liberals. These are people who always interpret an insult, coupled with a slap in the face, as somehow their fault. No, that's not quite right. They interpret it, rather, as their conservative neighbors' fault, for which they still justly suffer, but are somehow made morally superior thereby.

God help us.

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