Friday, March 24, 2006

Why Would Terrorists Hate On Little Ol' Us?

ABC News is still somewhat unclear on this whole jihad concept:

[Christian Peace Teams] has called for an end to what it still calls the occupation. [...]
All this might have persuaded insurgents and terrorists that CPT should be left alone to work for the withdrawal of coalition troops, but that hasn't been the case for CPT or other foreign groups with similar aims. It is still unclear why four members of CPT were kidnapped four months ago by what the U.S. military has called an insurgent kidnapping cell.

Unclear? Because they're infidels, same as us red state knuckle-draggers. This episode illustrates what I've been telling progressives for years: The jihadis do not care how much you hate Bush or conservatives or AmeriKKKa. They will kill you as quickly as they will the next Westerner, your usefulness for their propaganda purposes aside.

So, dear progressive reader, now that you know that you are as much of a target as anyone else, answer this: what would it take for progressives to lay aside their presumptions of moral and intellectual superiority, and make common cause with their fellow Americans against the terrorists?

No, Bush is not a terrorist. No, you are not living in a theocracy, nor a police state, nor are you in danger of doing so. Trust me: living in a theocratic police state involves much more irksome inconveniences than finding a Bible tract under your windshield wiper, or not being able to hear a shock jock drop the F-bomb on the radio. Striking such postures here at home is no braver than taunting a stuffed teddy bear.

So, what would it take? Having our troops in close combat with our terrorist enemies isn't it. Too often, civilization's enemies are progressives' mascots. 9/11 wasn't it. The fires weren't out before we were reading ridiculous think-pieces in the monthly glossy opinion journals about how we provoked it, how we deserved it. So, tell me. What?


  1. Back away from the strawprogressives there, please, or I'll haul out right-wingers offering defenses of the Oklahoma City bombing. If you want to engage actual progressives, you might try to understand how upset many of us are to have diverted from chasing Al Quaida into the Iraq war.

    Not all the forces fighting us in Iraq are jihadists. Those that are, think just as you describe, except that it's not clear why they'd have left these guys alive for that long. There are also good-old-fashioned fascists (folks that thought Hussein's government was just fine), folks that are trying to get an edge in the Sunni/Shia/Kurd civil war that they're hoping will ensue, and several other factions.

    Any of those groups might have different goals. Knowing which groups are currently more powerful and which groups less is certainly worth knowing, don't you think?

  2. Straw? No. I toss around the label "progressive" a lot here, rather than the broader "liberal". Here's what I mean by it.

    I well remember how the transnational Left, people like Arundhati Roy, Katha Pollitt, John Pilger, and any number of academics and entertainers--you can google 'em up as well as I can--stoutly resisted the idea of America As Innocent Victim, and of any military retaliation against the terrorists. Many of the same people who now deplore what they consider the distraction of the Iraq war were simply never on board with the WOT in the first place. The isolated counter-examples of leftists like Todd Gitlin and Christopher Hitchens were startling because they were isolated. Their erstwhile vanguard-mates just couldn't bring themselves to give aid & comfort to the Bush adminstration.

    Besides, I've got pictures. A smallish gathering, sure. But this is Georgia. I doubt that the West Coast lefties were less prompt, or less numerous.

    As for who the kidnappers were in this CPT incident, read what The Belmont Club has to say.

  3. Of course such people exist, just as do right-wing zealots who thought the Oklahoma City bombing was justified. Labelling them progressives is both silly and obnoxious--that's the same label that's currently being tossed around by liberals afraid of the label. (For the record, I'm a liberal--I think the current label-shuffling is silly. Running from a proud tradition that runs back seventy years because we're afraid that Republicans might call us names is obscene.)

    The correct term for the folks you're describing is "leftists" (or, if you want parity with what the equivalent folks on the right are called, "left-wing zealots") Noam Chomsky is a leftist, not a progressive or a liberal. My annoyance at you calling them progressives is roughly equivalent to what yours would be if I used the term "conservative" to describe the collection of militia types, skinheads, would-be religious theocrats, and survivalists that lie off to your right.

    Your link was interesting, thanks! Did you notice this bit:

    He provided details of the semi-rural area north-west of Baghdad where he was held and confirmed that his captors were criminals, rather than insurgents. Their motive was believed to be money."

    If that's true, doesn't that completely invalidate the key point of your original post? ABC was asking exaclty the right question--to which the answer was "these weren't insurgents orjihadists, merely criminals taking advantage of the chaos. They didn't deserve your derision. It's always the right idea to figure out what's going on in any situation, before deciding to react to it, because the solutions are different.

  4. I did notice that bit. Further in, the blog host "Wretchard" mused on some problems with that identification.

    It's a viper pit, to be sure.


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