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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Love Thy Neighbor

It is quite probably impossible to explain what causes terrorism and possibly arrogant to even try. So, why do it?

Some would say to be effective in overcoming terrorism, we need to be able to identify our enemy, and we need to understand why it occurs. "This is not because we empathise with the terrorists or because we want to give in to their demands, but simply because any effective strategy against terrorism requires knowing what motivates this form of violence against innocent civilians."

The "need" to try and identify what causes terrorism is strong and quite natural. It is human nature; this need to "understand". To understand gives us comfort. It gives us hope - sometimes falsely - that we can overcome, or correct, that which is wrong or troublesome. It is no different when it comes to terrorism. We feel "root causes have to be there."
There must be an explanation for the inexplicable: why a teenaged Palestinian girl would blow herself up in an attempt to kill as many Jews as possible, or privileged young men of the Arab world plot to kill themselves while murdering thousands of American civilians. But much as the frequently asked question
(often coming from the Left),
"Why do they hate us?" had flawed premises and yielded flawed answers, framing the question as "What are the root causes of terrorism?" leads too easily to looking at the usual suspects: "poverty," "injustice," "exploitation," and "frustration." Like the man in the parable who looks for his lost keys under the streetlight instead of where he lost them because "the light's better," it's easier to look in these familiar areas than to face and address the real problems.
"Terrorism is born of psychologically warped minds. As John Locke observed, the mind begins like a blank slate. There is no predisposition towards terrorism. But neither is mankind born with natural virtue. Moral acuity and decency must be cultivated to prevent civilization from degenerating into anarchy and a war of all against all. As Hamlet observed, "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."

"It is sparked by indoctrinating Muslims to despise Christians and Jews as infidels, and the United States and Israel as enemy states. Imams in madrassas and mosques around the world regularly instruct their followers in the necessity of jihad. Islamic textbooks frequently teach scorn or contempt for Christianity or Judaism."

"These Islamic fulminations do not ordinarily provoke instant violence. They aim to plant seeds of fanatical hatred in the expectation that time will ripen those vile thoughts into terrorism against the alleged infidels. Those indoctrinated in jihad live in a demented intellectual universe."

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says "we must not merely uproot terror but also plant the seeds of freedom. Only under tyranny can a terrorist mindset be widely cultivated. It cannot breed in a climate of democracy and freedom. In short, the reason why some resort to terror and others do not is not any absence of rights, but the presence of a tyrannical mindset. The totalitarian mind knows no limits. The democratic mind sets them everywhere.

There is a name for the doctrine that produces this evil. It is called totalitarianism. Indeed, the root cause of terrorism is totalitarianism. Only a totalitarian regime, by systemically brainwashing its subjects, can indoctrinate hordes of killers to suspend all moral constraints for the sake of a twisted cause."

What got me thinking about this today was because writer Robert Ringer and author of New York Times #1 best selling book, Looking Out for #1, e-mailed me a piece he wrote entitled "Prerequisite to Loving Your Neighbor."

In it he writes,
From Charles Manson (who orchestrated the brutal and bloody murders of actress Sharon Tate and her friends in 1969) to John Wayne Gacy (neighborhood clown who murdered, then sexually assaulted 33 mostly teenage boys)...

From Jeffrey Dahmer (serial killer and cannibal) to Ted Bundy (smooth-talking, preppy-looking young man who murdered at least 30 women in four different states)...

From Dennis Rader (the infamous BTK serial killer) to Joseph Edward Duncan (vile predator who recently kidnapped and raped eight-year-old Shasta Groene and killed her nine-year-old brother, Dylan)...

Psychologists are pretty much in agreement that all of these less-than-human creatures had, or have, two things in common: a lack of self-respect and an abundance of self-hatred. It seems clear that the inner conflicts and self-hatred of such heinous murderers comprise a significant part of their motivation to wreak vengeance on others."


If a person dislikes himself and has a low regard for his own abilities, he is unlikely to respect others.

This is why self-love (not narcissism!) is the foundation of a peaceful society. If you don't love yourself, how can you "love thy neighbor as thyself"? As Joshua Liebman phrased it, "We must have good domestic relations with ourselves before we can have good foreign relations with others."


Rid yourself of the delusion that people of great wealth and/or fame are superior to you.


A second factor in possessing self-respect is showing respect for others.


Strive to lead a concentric life. By this I mean make certain that your actions align with what you know, in both your mind and heart, to be right. Pretension and hypocrisy are among the most vile human traits, so be vigilant about always displaying who you really are.


Remember, self-respect comes from within. You do not have the right to demand respect from others.


As a general rule, however, the more you demonstrate that you respect yourself, the more likely others are to respect you. Self-respect is an essential component in creating a life worth living. As such, it should be perpetually nurtured.
I see a common thread here to what we are experiencing around the globe with the Islamic fascists and their murderous bombings. A link... a parallel, if you will, as demonstrated by Thomas Friedmans' column where he says,
Some of these young Muslim men are tempted by a civilization they consider morally inferior, and they are humiliated by the fact that, while having been taught their faith is supreme, other civilizations seem to be doing much better," said Raymond Stock, the Cairo-based biographer and translator of Naguib Mahfouz. "When the inner conflict becomes too great, some are turned by recruiters to seek the sick prestige of 'martyrdom' by fighting the allegedly unjust occupation of Muslim lands and the 'decadence' in our own."
A group which sees itself as being tragically oppressed, will seek freedom or prosperity through the annihilation of an 'evil' group of oppressors. This does not mean they are in fact oppressed; but they see themselves as oppressed. Someone "feeling oppressed" certainly is going to feel that they are a victim and will be lacking self-respect. If you feel you are a "victim", there must be a "perpetrator", i.e. the West ..... particularily Israel and the U.S.

If this feeling of victimhood and lack of self- respect (or embarrasment that their culture/religion isn't "measuring up" to other cultures) can be turned into hatred (enter the hatred of the West that is preached by clerics and imams worldwide), bingo; you've now got your army of terrorists.

It would not be fair to say that economics, oppression, and the feeling of hopelessness play no part whatsoever in this complex picture, but there are many more people who fall into this category that do not resort to this sick insanity than those that do. It takes someone to "prime the pump", so to speak. Again, this is where the radical imams and clerics fit into the equation with their desires of a totalitarian theocracy and their indoctrination process to build their army of terrorists.

That is why Dr. Michael Radu is correct in saying “Islamic terrorism, just as its Marxist or secessionist version in the West and Latin America was, is a matter of power—who has it and how to get it—not of poverty.”


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