Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Jon Carroll uncomfortable about missing airliner

Since he's a lifelong liberal in good standing, Chronicle columnist Jon Carroll is uncomfortable (That plane? Still gone. Film at 11.) with the news about that Malaysian airliner that has disappeared:

Could we perhaps dial it down on the coverage of the missing Malaysian airliner? It's a story with very few facts and an enormous amount of speculation, much of which will turn out to have been groundless. If indeed we ever learn a single thing more about the flight.

Carroll wants the story to go away. He would be a lot more comfortable if the wreckage is found, and the black box and other evidence shows that it wasn't brought down by "terrorism," i.e., Islamists.

Now, it may be some kind of accident and terrorism had nothing to do with it, but that seems unlikely.

The word "Islam" doesn't appear in the column, because most of all Carroll hopes Islamists aren't responsible. That would make him even more uncomfortable. (Recall that last year, before we knew who bombed the Boston Marathon, David Sirota wrote Let’s hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American.)

If this turns out to be another Islamic terrorist attack, it will make a lot of liberals/progs uncomfortable, because they insist that, like George Bush, Islam is a "religion of peace," and Moslems are an essential part of their delusional version of multiculturalism (e.g., recall the kerfuffle a few years ago over those anti-Jihad ads on Muni buses.):

Right-wing media are pushing the terrorism angle. Perhaps they are even linking it to Benghazi---I don't know. But the point of terrorism is to terrify. You run the plane into the building, and people are afraid. But ditching a plane in the ocean to make a political point, when you haven't even said what your point is, would be foolish.

Like a lot of well-intentioned liberals, Carroll is conflating political motives with religious motives. Calling a would-be Islamic terrorist "foolish" doesn't come close to covering the motives, which are essentially religious. It's really a form of homicidal, suicidal madness, Islam as death cult. These lunatics consider killing infidels a Good Thing that their swinish divinity approves. Ditching a plane in the ocean will kill a lot of infidels, which is the main thing. The "point" will also be received by everyone around the world who travels on airliners.

Liberals/progressives have a hard time getting their minds around this form of evil. They seem to be able to ignore the daily accounts of Islamic terrorism against other religions, the attacks on girls' schools, the bombs in marketplaces, the "honor" killings, etc.:

But also: People are nervous about terrorists. The events of Sept. 11, 2001, shook the sense of security that the oceans surrounding us have long provided. And yet we've still been blessed. So very few bombings on our soil---and some of them were caused by homegrown terrorists.

Actually, there have been a number of Islam-based attacks in the US, many of them unsuccessful, fortunately. (See a summary of such attacks right after the Boston Marathon bombing.) Many of these are what's called "individual jihad" attacks, and the perpetrator has little or no contact with terrorist organizations. The Boston Marathon bombers learned how to make their pressure cooker bombs on the internet.

But we're talking about Moslems and China here, since almost all the passengers were Chinese. Uighurs are increasingly violent in China and would be high on the list of suspects---or just Moslems sympathetic to their cause. The pilot of the airliner of course is/was a Moslem.

But Carroll goes off on tangent, as if it's all about the United States, though this is a Malaysian airliner with mostly Chinese passengers:

But, you know, we Americans, we like to be liked. We're considered overeager in that regard by much of the world, but that's our national character. We see the wave of anti-American protests, and we realize that they've been going on for quite some time, in different places at different intensities. Those of us who have disagreed with American foreign policy for ever so many years share the anger of the protesters. We see the point they are making. We see the United States military advancing American commercial interests. This strategy began in the 19th century and continues today.

What "anti-American protests" is he talking about? There haven't been any in years, except for the ritual "death to America" demos in Iran and North Korea.

But this is the great delusion of this country's liberal/left---that Islamic terrorism has something to do with politics or foreign policy, that if, say, we would only stop supporting Israel, Islamic terrorist attacks would stop.

Richard Dawkins worries about this delusion, which he calls "a betrayal by my own people, the nice people."

Sam Harris calls this explanation a "ruinous self-deception":

At moments like this, we inevitably hear—from people who don’t know what it’s like to believe in paradise—that religion is just a way of channeling popular unrest. The true source of the problem can be found in the history of Western aggression in the region. It is our policies, rather than our freedoms, that they hate. I believe that the future of liberalism—and much else—depends on our overcoming this ruinous self-deception. Religion only works as a pretext for political violence because many millions of people actually believe what they say they believe: that imaginary crimes like blasphemy and apostasy are killing offenses.

Christopher Hitchens---he's missed at times like this!---was right when he warned the world that these fanatics will keep coming at us: "The battle will go on for the rest of our lives."

During the Danish cartoon riots in 2006, Carroll's employer published an editorial on the issue but of course didn't publish any of the cartoons, which you can see here. The city's so-called alternative media didn't even do that.

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At 11:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this.

At 7:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob, thank you for being just about the only person that discusses this type of topic. Regardless of the outcome it seems that innocent people are always the target of extremists. They do not bring their forces to bear to armies, but to those least able to defend themselves. I am sick that anyone would perish in this way, and add to this two infants whose lives may never be realized. I am truly sick.


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