9/11: It's all our fault? Like hell it is!greenspun.com : LUSENET : Current News - Homefront Preparations : One Thread
Ralph Reiland Column By Ralph R. Reiland Monday, September 9, 2002
"A liberal," said Robert Frost, "is a man too broad-minded to take his own side in a quarrel."
It's like that chicken-rights lady who said the number of people who died at the World Trade Center was nothing compared to the number of chickens we kill every day. She won't, as Frost said, take her own side, won't say she's better than a termite. In her broad mind, all those guys, collectively, coast to coast, who order wings tonight with their beer are a million times worse than al-Qaida.
Similarly, applied to nations, that relativist mind-set refused to say that American capitalism was morally superior to Soviet communism. It could talk on endlessly about Jefferson's slaves but couldn't manage a peep about how collectivism killed 100 million people.
Today, that paradigm of moral equivalency refuses to acknowledge that America is better than Iraq. It says, for instance, that we're rich because we're crooked, and that Iraq is poor because we're oppressive. Taken further, it says the Third World is poor because the West is rich, that we're on top only because of bombs, slaves, greed and theft.
Our politically correct response, then, given the right mix of relativism, anti-Americanism, bad history and multiculturalism, is guilt and sorrow. It's our fault, in other words, if they smash a passenger jet into the World Trade Center, because we're too successful, we trade too much, and haven't redistributed enough. The United States, explains columnist Barbara Ehrenreich, had a commanding position in creating "the vast global inequalities in which terrorism is ultimately rooted."
The message? Build a rich and free society and expect to be attacked by people who live in caves. Pursue happiness and expect the miserable to retaliate. And more than that, be fair-minded and empathetic and buckle under to the assaults. Don't fight. Be, as Frost says, broad-minded. Ask, "Why do they hate us?" Cough up some foreign aid.
Along the same lines, columnist Mark Steyn recently reported in The National Post on the politically correct reaction to a group of Lebanese Muslim gang-rapists in Sydney. In what Steyn characterizes as a "Why do they rape us?" commentary, Monroe Reimers offered the following analysis of a Muslim gang rape in the Sydney Morning Herald: "As terrible as the crime was, we must not confuse justice with revenge. We need answers. Where has this hatred come from? How have we contributed to it? Perhaps it's time to take a good hard look at the racism by exclusion practiced with such a vengeance by our community and cultural institutions."
Ah, yes, as terrible as the crime was, 14 rapists calling a woman an "Australian pig" and then again and again assaulting her, it's best to take a good, hard look at how well the audience is ethnically balanced at the opera house.
Steyn points to a similar focus on "root causes" in Norway: "Five days before Sept. 11, 2001, the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet reported that 65 percent of the country's rapes were committed by 'non-Western' immigrants — a category which, in Norway, is almost wholly Muslim. A professor at the University of Oslo explained that one reason for the disproportionate Muslim share of the rape market was that in their native lands 'rape is scarcely punished' because it is generally believed that 'it is women who are responsible for rape.'"
The professor's solution? Tell the Muslim immigrants that things are a bit less archaic and sexist in Norway? Not exactly. "Norwegian women must take their share of responsibility for these rapes," explained the professor, i.e., the way they dress is viewed as too provocative by Muslim men. "Norwegian women must realize that we live in a multicultural society and adapt themselves to it."
The insight from the university: The women should adapt, not the rapists. Wear short sleeves and expect to be raped. In Manhattan, build a skyscraper and expect Mohamed Atta to come calling.
Says Steyn: "What's interesting is how easily even this most extreme manifestation of multiculturalism is subsumed within the usual pieties. Norwegian women must learn to be, in a very real sense, less 'exclusionary.' Lebanese male immigrants, fleeing a war-torn wasteland and finding refuge in a land of peace, freedom and opportunity, are inevitably transformed into gang rapists by Australian racism.
"After Sept. 11, a friend in London said to me she couldn't stand all the America-needs-to-ask-itself stuff because she used to work at a rape crisis center and she'd heard this blame-the-victim routine a thousand times before. America was asking for it: Like those Norwegian women, it was being 'provocative.' My friend thought the multicultural apologists were treating America as a metaphorical rape victim. But, even so, it comes as a surprise to realize they do exactly the same to actual rape victims. What we've seen since Sept. 11 is that multiculturalism trumps everything. Its grip on the imagination of the Western elites is unshakeable."
How we win? Stick to your guns and tune out any elites who say the answer is longer sleeves.
Ralph R. Reiland, the B. Kenneth Simon professor of free enterprise at Robert Morris University, is a local restaurateur. E-mail him at email@example.com.
-- Anonymous, September 11, 2002