April 09, 2004

Letter to the Paper XVI

David Sucher [see correction below] is a pretty good commentator about architecture and urban development. At least he's a serious one and exposes real issues. Unfortunately, he's usually much shakier when he steps off his home turf. He posits the idea that our oil expenditures are a major reason for the War on Terror. I take him to task in comments and transcribe below:

I'm sorry but the idea that Islamists are after us because of oil requires you to take up their collected writings and speeches and ignore them as the work of morons who do not know their own desires, wants, and goals. This is what we do with small children who grandly announce, in the space of a week, that they will be astronauts, doctors, judges, and gardeners. Whether you meant to or not, you have deeply insulted the maturity of our enemies and infantalized them. It is a deeply bigoted attitude, and one that is widely shared in the West among the left.

I believe that if you read Hitler in the 1920s and 1930s you were perfectly capable of understanding where he was going from there, as was true of Lenin and all the other great 20th century butchers. And if we had treated them seriously, we would likely have a much lower body count in the 20th century because of them.

Islamists are, as human beings, deserving of the same respect we should have given Hitler and now do to his successors. Their proposed end state and goals deserve the respect that we listen to what they say and treat it seriously.

They do not say this is about oil. They have a list of historical grievances and a list of goals for the future. Anybody who claims these lists are false has the burden of proof to demonstrate why what they say is not reality.

This is a burden that the above article utterly fails to even address. It merely (merely!) exhibits a strange paternalistic impulse to explain what these brown savages really want is not what they are clearly saying they want. What they say they want is for all non-muslims to pay the jizyah, entering into the state of dhimmitude, and for all lands that were, at any time muslim to become muslim land once more.

Everything else is secondary, including oil and we should proceed on the basis that they are grown men and mean what they say.

Furthermore, the accusation that the purchase of oil funds madrassas implies that the receivers of oil money have no moral standing. They are legitimate businessmen for the most part, selling a commodity that is not inherently immoral in any way. It is what they do with their legitimate profits after they have received them that is the moral crime. You might as well organize a NYC boycott of Pakistani run bodegas because some of their profits are going to madrassas as well. This way lies madness.

Correction: the post was not by David Sucher but by Francis Morrone. My apologies to David.

Posted by TMLutas at April 9, 2004 10:34 AM