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Thursday, May 06, 2004

Those Pictures
Cal Thomas comments on the pictures of the treatment of some Iraqi prisoners at the hands of some American guards. He makes two great points in this paragraph - 1) those who hate us and want to kill us will feel the same whether we treat them well or ill, and 2) see sentence in bold:
This is one of the great fallacies in dealing with such people: that what the West does influences how they think and their course of action. It is a self-seduction when we in the West believe that acts of kindness, generosity and "evenhandedness" will change people who believe we are infidels, bound for hell and deserving of that final destination (and some think they have been divinely appointed to send us and the Israelis there). We should be kind, generous and humane because that is who we are. But we should not labor under false assumptions that such values alone will change minds and hearts poisoned by years of political and theological propaganda.
And, we do not humiliate them, they humiliate themselves.
Some Arab commentators are repeating the myth that the West has, once again, humiliated Muslims. If there has been humiliation, it isn't the fault of the West. It is Muslims' fault. They took trillions of dollars in oil money, and instead of building a culture dedicated to elevating their people, including women, they have squandered it on agendas and adventures that had the opposite result. Like communism, which blamed the West for its failure to produce a better life for people forced to live under that system, Arab dictatorships must have an external enemy to keep people from blaming their leaders for the misery they have created.
The greatest cost of these pictures will be here at home, the measure of that cost will be seen at the polls in November.

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