The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Five Years

Thousand of articles have been written commemorating this 5th anniversary of 9/11. Among the most compelling, is a piece (I urge you to read it in its entirety) by Wretchard of the Belmont Club which concludes with the following:
But the greatest event of all of the past five years has been the slow hardening of the human heart, as each of us sets his face against the unknown, our household goods and gods sheltering pitifully behind; an event undetectable save for the slow, crepitating sound of walls setting solid across the expanse of our global and tribal world.

Intellectual disgrace
Stares from every human face,
And the seas of pity lie
Locked and frozen in each eye.

And with the pity, the hate. That was ever man's tragedy: an angel, but a killer angel.

Hate does lie at the core of the evil that we face. Hate so focused that it is exhausting and frightening to contemplate. Hate so encompassing that it is taught to children in Madrassahs across the Moslem world. Hate so profound that it is difficult to defeat.

But what causes this hate? That’s the real question … the core of the issue … the key to our understanding. Many believe that our (the West's) actions are the cause of this hate. They are monumentally incorrect, but it doesn’t matter—they believe. Our actions have very little to do with it, but our existence does.

Of all of the stupidity that has passed for morality over the past five years, the thing that bothers me most is the comment that “we are the ‘root cause’ of Islamofascist terrorism.” It’s actually a very cowardly (or maybe ‘frightened’ is a better word) statement. It implies that our actions have created the Islamofascist monster and our subsequent actions can somehow appease it, that by being modern, we have offended and humiliated Islam, and terrorism is a natural consequence. It assumes that in this dangerous, chaotic world, we have supernatural control to sway a deeply ingrained religious ideology that is driven by hatred, taught since a tender age, and encouraged by religious leaders.

But why call it a cowardly or frightened statement? The world is a scary place and each of us would like to think that we can control the forces that threaten us. If we can control them, then we can answer positively when the MSM repeatedly asks the inane anniversary question, “Are we any safer today than we were on 9/11?”

By suggesting that our actions are a “root cause,” the speaker suggests that changing our actions will moderate Islamofascist behavior and thereby increase our control over the threats we face. Certainly, it’s easier than blaming uncontrollable, irrational, third-world religious extremists, because if we do that, we have almost no control. And that is scary – the specter of ‘no control’ is truly frightening.

Blaming ourselves is a lot like keeping a small night light on in child’s room. It illuminates very little, but it does make the child feel less frightened of things that go bump in the night. It allows the child to believe that he has control over the dark, and that’s a good thing. The problem, I suppose, is that we don’t stay children forever.