Current stance, after a few weeks of contemplation. was Re: Why Do They
Wed, 31 Oct 2001 02:01:51 -0600
For once, I agree with Paul. At the risk of being a labeled a cultural
bigot --- and with the defense that these things *can* be measured
quantitatively, via economic quality-of-life metrics --- it's become
entirely clear to me over the last several weeks that the current culture,
sociopolitical context, and economic impact of same that the Taliban (and,
more generally, the "extremist" or maybe really the mainstream
man-on-the-street fundamentalist Middle Eastern Islamists) endorse is
fundamentally incompatible with the things we hold as fundamental and dear
principles in the West.
We are engaging militarily in order to discredit / defeat / destroy ---
however impractical this may be --- a way of life and set of memes that
poses a fundamental threat to "our" (i.e. our culture's) own continued
existence. Radical, political Islam is a cancer which Western civilization
must cut out in order to survive. Let us hope it has not metastasized too
thoroughly to be eliminated.
We can namby-pamby around the issues in an attempt to avoid the perception
non-PC cultural myopia and to give lip service to multiculturalism, but
indeed doing so may be engaging in even more dangerous cultural myopia. At
the end of the day I have come to believe that this is a clash to the death
of cultures, secular-Western vs. Islamist-Eastern. Islam per se may not be
a "killer religion" as Howard Bloom and others have labeled it, but
Islam-meets-government in the seething cultural stew of the Arab world has
*clearly* evolved to become a killer memetic culture medium. Note that
this isn't a slam against Islam, rather a slam against what "street Islam"
has become in many nations of the world for any number of reasons. (For
the record, I believe Zionism and puritanism are equally dangerous though
perhaps just slightly less directly threatening.)
Having said that, let me say that I still think ethnic profiling at
airports is foolish and ineffective, and that I still think we need to hold
the Israelis to the same humanitarian standards that we hold others, and
give some hard and critical thought to our policies there.
Paul Prescod wrote:
> Kris Ganjam wrote:
> >....It and these articles ,
> > put forth the case that the underlying strategic reason for our
> > overthrow of the Taliban is so US oil interests can more easily build
> > pipelines from the Caspian to Central Asia via Afghanistan.
> I think that the "underlying" reason for our overthrow of the Taliban
> should be equally obvious to those with or without an understanding of
> oil industry economics. Oil companies may be rubbing their hands
> together in glee but that doesn't really change the reason that the
> military is there.
> Paul Prescod