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

Monday, December 14, 2015

Meming on Memes

My goodness! The memes just keep coming. Over the past few days, I've outlined the many memes floated by the Left as it scrambles to take the public's attention off radical Islamic terror. Their memes aren't working, so now the Leftist memesters are meming on memes.

In a variation of the "motives don't matter" and "fear" memes, Paul Waldman at the Washington Post and Steven Walt at Foreign Policy tut-tut over the "irrational fear" that they claim has gripped the American public. A quote from Waldman (h/t: James Taranto of the WSJ blog) is representative:

We’re afraid that terrorists will kill people. Okay, so how many people? According to the New America Foundation, since 9/11 there have been 45 Americans killed in jihadist terrorist attacks, and 48 Americans killed in right-wing terrorist attacks. Let’s put aside for the moment the fact that even though these two numbers are comparable, we don’t treat right-wing terrorism as something that requires any kind of policy response or even sustained attention. But you can’t argue that jihadi terrorism is something to be concerned about and afraid of because of the damage it’s been doing. An average of about three people killed per year in a country of 320 million is next to nothing.
The core of their argument is that the likelihood of being killed in a terrorist attack is vanishingly small, and therefore, there's no need to expend as much energy as we have on radical islamic terror. Obviously, as leftists, they try to conflate "right wing terror" with terror inspired by radical islam, suggesting that our collective lack of concern for the former should be replicated with a lack of concern for the latter.

Apparently, they reject the notion that a radical Islamic ideology that espouses world domination just might ratchet up the number of attacks and the body count or that a barbaric death cult just might use WMDs against civilian targets in the West. They refuse to listen to the words of Islamist leaders who openly state that "death to America" is their goal.

I have in past posts done a reasonably good job (I think) of demolishing the "motives" meme. To repeat:
The fact that many on the Left have adopted this new meme is telling. In essence, they want us to believe that there is no difference between a mass murder perpetrated by a psychotic individual at an elementary school or a movie theater and a mass murder perpetrated by one of many adherents to a twisted interpretation of a global religion. As awful as the Sandy Hook or Planned Parenthood mass murders were, they are not part of a larger, coordinated effort to terrorize a country.

As reprehensible as the slaughter of innocents at a summer camp might be (an event that happened in Norway), it was not part of a declared war on the Western values, freedoms and culture. Acts of radical Islamic terror are acts of war perpetrated by members of or sympathizers with Islamist groups. They may be conducted by deranged or psychotic Muslims, but they are NOT is any way analogous to random mass murders events. To suggest otherwise is not only intellectually dishonest, but dangerously naive (or knowingly cynical).

Motives. Do. Matter.

And when the motive is terror in the name of Islam, it is reasonable to call it such. It is the duty of national leaders in the West to make a clear distinction between an act of war perpetrated by a global group of Islamic fanatics and a one-off act of murder committed by a a deranged psychopath. There was no intent by the psychopaths at Sandy Hook or Planned Parenthood to destroy the West and subjugate its citizens to a totalitarian religious doctrine. That was exactly the intent in New York, London, Madrid, Mumbai, Ft. Hood, to name only a few, and now San Bernadino.
In a way, Waldman and Walt's convoluted arguments are much like those of the Nazi apologists of the mid- and late-1930s. In that era, many elites suggested that the Nazi threat was small, that their aggression was "contained" and manageable, and that their ideology would implode on its own. They counseled restraint and argued that negotiation was the proper path.

The elites were catastrophically wrong in the late 1930s and as a consequence, 60 million people died. People like Waldman and Walt are just as wrong 75 years later.