Understanding Arabic Helps When Trying To Understand Arabs

September 27, 2007 § 5 Comments

Something for the Osama bin Laden really does have a strategy file.

It may be comforting to think that the people who attacked us “hate us for our freedoms”, and that they have nothing more in mind than opportunistically striking when they can out of some kind of blind undirected rage. Alternatively it may be comforting to think that the people who attacked us did so because of our meddlesome foreign policy.

Unfortunately, “comforting” and “true” are not always the same thing.

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§ 5 Responses to Understanding Arabic Helps When Trying To Understand Arabs

  • Rodak says:

    If Islam is eternally antagonistic to all but Muslims, then: 1) We can fight them forever; or, 2) We can convert to Islam; or, 3) We can convert all Muslims to other religions.That said, the most likely positive outcome for our side would be to do everything in our power to foster the growth of a prosperous middle-class in Muslim countries; a class which would have the resources and clout to take political power, and share our endless pursuit of creature comforts and material possessions emblematic of status and “class.”Should that be accomplished, we can be sure that the vast majority of Muslims everywhere will honor their religion mostly in the breach, like American Christians, and avoid all those parts of their scriptures which would do damage to their safe, cushy lifestyles.

  • Lydia McGrew says:

    My perspective is blogospheric rather than TV-educated, since I don’t have TV channels. But the little I’ve seen seems to indicate that the people who say “hate us for our freedoms” are saying something more easily compatible with the truth as indicated by this data than the people who say “it’s because of our meddlesome foreign policy.” From “hate us to our freedoms” to “hate us for being infidels” is not a long walk. In fact, the two are actually compatible, since our freedom in the U.S. to do all sorts of things–including perfectly harmless and even virtuous things and also wrong things–are tightly bound up with our not being Muslim nation. I’m sure there are plenty of people who tout the “hate us for our freedoms” line who would be very convincible that this is part of global jihad, and others who already believe it. The “hate us for our meddlesome foreign policy” crowd, on the other hand, consider that they’ve already investigated the matter and have it all figured out, and they are unlikely to budge from there. In fact, if they acknowledge the reality of jihad and that it has some relevance to the U.S., they will still tell you that we are somehow making it noticeably _worse_ by our meddlesome foreign policy, though it seems like it should be hard to make a jihadist determination to hurt and/or take over the biggest infidel foreign power around _stronger_.

  • Rodak says:

    Our brand of “freedom” entails a wide spectrum of *libertinism* which gives rise to all manner of vices which Christians, if they *lived* their religion, rather than just bowing and curtseying to it on weekends and/or major holidays, would be making “jihad” against, every bit as much a the most wild-eyed Talib. “I’m OK, you’re OK” is not good Christian doctrine. A devout Muslim acknowledges that he is the slave of Allah. He is free to obey, or to disobey. What freedom does a Christian possess qua Christian, that is any different than that?Our first problem is that we cannot comprehend people we are actually living and dying by their religion, as revealed to them, rather than modifying their religion to suit their comfort level. Our second problem is that their religion commands them to eliminate folks like us.To end the war, we must corrupt them, and go back to watching the next gripping mini-series in peace and contentment.

  • c matt says:

    But does our meddlesome foreign policy help matters? If it doesn’t help, or is neutral, then why do it – because even if it is neutral on the “jihad” issue, it seems to drain us of blood and treasure, which cannot be helpful.Unless a meddlesome foreign policy actually helps, and helps beyond what it costs, then it seems the reasonable thing to do would be to drop it.

  • Lydia McGrew says:

    C Matt, well, sure. I just tend to think not much good is served by implying that we cd. help our terrorism woes in this way. For one thing, I suspect it isn’t true and that our terrorism problems are determined by other factors so that changing our meddlesome foreign policy wouldn’t make a noticeable difference. For another thing, even if it would, that might not be reason enough not to do this or that. In other words, “this might prompt attempts at domestic terrorism” isn’t automatically a reason not to do “this,” depending on what “this” is.But I’m no fan of many meddlesome foreign policies. I just tend to think that the idea that this is _why_ the jihadis are after us is more or less propaganda from the jihadis themselves.

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