Monday, June 04, 2007

Frum & Perle: Twenty-Seven

AETE pgs 150-150: Muslims are Nazis! They are so subhumanly tribalist that they have no concept of an "innocent victim" who is not a fellow Muslim!

[T]his war of ideas is not primarily a war of words. Our words are convincing, not only because the people of the Middle East do not believe what we say, but also because they and we do not agree on the meaning of the words that make up our moral vocabulary. Both Americans and Middle Easterners may agree, for example, that it is wrong to kill innocent human life. But we do not agree on who is and who is not "innocent." It is striking, for example, that for months after 9/11, American spokesmen continued to claim that the terrorist attackers had killed "hundreds" of Muslims, as Secretary of State Colin Powell said in a speech [...] as late as November 2, 2001. Powell must by then have had a pretty fair idea that this claims could not possibly be true. But Powell must also have understood that a terrorist attack whose victims were not Muslim was much less likely to trouble the consciences of the Islamic world.

It is a sad fact of human nature that we are much more sensitive to our own suffering than we are to the suffering of others. As long as Adolf Hitler killed only Jews, Poles, French, and Russians, he remained remarkably popular in Germany. It was only when the war he started brought British and American bombs tumbling down upon their own heads that the Germans began to curse his name.

In the same way, we must abandon the unrealistic idea that we will win over the Muslim Middle East by appealing to their sympathy for the grief and loss we suffered on 9/11. If terrorist atrocities were enough to discredit a cause, the Palestinians would have lost their constituency in the Muslim world decades ago. For many in the Muslim world, the burning towers of the World Trade Center represent a victory, not an atrocity, and the more we remind them of the suffering and pain of 9/11, the higher we raise the reputation of the man who inflicted that suffering and pain upon us.