JS-Kit/Echo comments for article at http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2007/09/we-will-be-left-alone-when-we-leave.html (12 comments)

  Tentative mapping of comments to original article, corrections solicited.

jsid-1189090157-579721  Breda at Thu, 06 Sep 2007 14:49:17 +0000

I worry for the author now. Why are they showing her face on television? Its as good as walking around with a target painted on her back.

jsid-1189093822-579724  Sarah at Thu, 06 Sep 2007 15:50:22 +0000

Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Netherlands are facing the exact same problems as Belgium.

Some of the Catholic churches in Belgium and Holland are actually giving aid and comfort to these people, offering asylum to subjects of deportation and one bishop suggesting that Christians refer to God as Allah, as he does.

Interfere, and they hate you. Help them, they devour you. You think isolationism will work, Matt? America tried it, more than once, and you already know what happened.

jsid-1189097583-579728  Henry Bowman at Thu, 06 Sep 2007 16:53:03 +0000

Well, actually, I think that in a sense we would indeed be left alone if "we" left "them" alone. However, I see no possibility of such occurring, for the mere existence of western culture in conjunction with global communication systems means that we will always be in their face, like it or not. So, even if we think we are leaving them alone, they won't see it that way.

jsid-1189108672-579741  Sarah at Thu, 06 Sep 2007 19:57:52 +0000

That's more or less the argument Dinesh D'Souza makes with his latest book. The West aggressively exports its (secular/liberal) culture around the world, which to traditional people is a culture of depravity. This is perceived as an attack on traditional cultures, i.e. Islam. So, yeah, we're not leaving them alone, because the TV, music, movies, it's all out there, it's aimed at young people, and it's very seductive. D'Souza's argument is kind of complex, but it explains why it's not the old fogeys who are being radicalized.

jsid-1189109552-579745  Robin S. at Thu, 06 Sep 2007 20:12:32 +0000

Of course our enemies would leave us alone if we left them alone. If we left them alone to murder us as they please, then the time would come when there would be none of US left, and they would, by necessity, leave us alone.

Sarah, we don't aggressively export our culture (well, not in the sense you meant; we ARE doing some of that in Iraq right now, and we have done it in the past when rebuilding a country after a war). The television, music, and movie industries don't go shoving their wares down the throats of foreign nations -- the people of those nations aggressively (and very, very willingly) IMPORT our culture. What radicalizes a lot of "traditional" people in those cultures is the fact that the cultural values that they are importing from us are a lot more appealing than the "traditional" values they profess.

jsid-1189145431-579767  Sarah at Fri, 07 Sep 2007 06:10:31 +0000


I was speaking in terms of how the radicals view it, not how we view it. They see the existence of this easily accessible stuff that is appealing and seductive, and morally depraved, as a purposeful and aggressive affront to their culture. Islamists are concerned that this vacuous crap coming out of the Western entertainment industry is usurping moral authority and destroying a cultural foundation that has stood for hundreds of years. What you are seeing, among other things, is a typical fear reaction.

This will probably get me flayed alive here, but there is a small (very small) part of me that sympathizes with them. When I see the insane, utterly disgusting stupidity of a culture that obsesses over brainless sluts like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, and what kind of effect this is having on young people -- well, I understand where the fear reaction comes from. I sure as hell don't condone it, but I understand it.

This is what D'Souza says Islamists and Westerners alike fail to understand. The Islamists fail to see that America is deeply divided, and that what they are reacting to is but one facet of our culture. The good things our soldiers are doing in Iraq represents the other facet. Many Americans seem also to not understand this even though bin Laden explicitly said in his letter after 9/11 that he was repulsed by the depravity that was embodied by the Clinton presidency.

There's much more to D'Souza's argument, and I'm probably not doing it credit here. He of course does not excuse our enemies, who have done despicable things, and leaves no doubt that we are in a deadly struggle that we must win. But you have to know your enemy, and so far I'm not convinced that most Americans do.

jsid-1189175973-579783  Markadelphia at Fri, 07 Sep 2007 14:39:33 +0000

I agree. We do not know our enemy. But I suspect that our agreement is very different in perspective. Would I be correct, Sarah?

jsid-1189178067-579787  OtherWhiteMatt at Fri, 07 Sep 2007 15:14:27 +0000

I have not had a chance to watch the video yet (busy with work), but yes, ***non-intervention*** (NOT isolationism) will work. We can still have interaction with other countries. But if we killed them, and interfere in their affairs, they of course will want to kill us. Let them alone, and they will let us alone- for the most part. Its not perfect, of course. They still may try a few things. But its hard to get many people motivated when the terrorists can't show pictures of dismembered women and children caused by US bombs.

I'll post a follow-up when I get a chance to watch the video.

jsid-1189189982-579802  Sarah at Fri, 07 Sep 2007 18:33:02 +0000

Probably, Mark. My view is that we need to understand our enemies in order to overcome them, not to accomodate them. What's your perspective?

jsid-1189193331-579811  Markadelphia at Fri, 07 Sep 2007 19:28:51 +0000

Actually, I agree that we need to overcome them. Perhaps we disagree in the ways to overcome them. Although, I have to say, you mentioned several here that I wholeheartedly agree with. I think people in that part of the world would like a Coke on a hot day. I mean this, of course, as a metaphor for Western Culture. Some of their fanatical leaders, of course, don't want them to have a Coke so that's one of the reasons why they are pissed off and I think unrightfully so. Although, I think we should offer them the Coke NOT force them to have it. If they say no, we repsect that.

I think that we need to really learn about how and why they think the way they do so we can continue to prevent attacks from happening. We need human intelligence, well versed in the ways of Islam, on the inside disrupting their activities. That is worth more than any occupying army.

Matt, you are dead nut correct. Non-intervention does not mean not defending ourselves.

jsid-1189196640-579820  Kevin S. at Fri, 07 Sep 2007 20:24:00 +0000

Please define defending ourselves, since obviously chasing down and killing terrorists who attack us does not meet with your approval. Harsh language,perhaps?

jsid-1189205618-579838  Markadelphia at Fri, 07 Sep 2007 22:53:38 +0000

Kevin S,

You are incorrect. Chasing down and capturing/killing terrorists does meet with my approval. I fully supported the Afghanistan War, would support any action in Pakistan, and would seriously consider action in Iran. That's where the terrorists are!

Iraq, however, did not attack us on 9-11 and did not have Al Qaeda there until we showed up. The Al Qaeda that is there now is much less capable of doing us damage then the main bases in Pakistan. Recent arrests in Germany prove my point on this one. They all went trained in bases in Pakistan, not Iraq.

Defending yourself is what Israel is doing. People want to annihiliate them because they are Jewish. Period. What the US is doing is much different.

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