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Jihadists' contempt for us is increasing

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Suicidal Appeasement Heartens Enemy

Jihadists’ contempt for us is increasing

With every crisis in the war against Islamic jihad, the West displays a suicidal appeasement that heartens the enemy and lessens any chance of victory.

The absurd “cease fire” the UN recently hammered out between Israel and the murderers of Hezbollah is a case in point. The resolution forces Israel to suspend its destruction of Hezbollah’s terrorist infrastructure in southern Lebanon, while at glacial speed an international force is assembled and then deployed. This means one thing and one thing only: Hezbollah will rebuild that infrastructure and thus undo the considerable damage to it achieved by Israel. Despite UN Resolution 1559, which in 2004 called for disarming Hezbollah, no one made the slightest attempt to enforce its provisions, forcing Israel to deal with the problem of murderers lobbing missiles into its territory. And no one entrusted with enforcing the cease-fire called for in Resolution 1701––neither the international troops nor the Lebanese army––is any more able or willing to prove that the UN means what it says, that its resolutions are anything other than diplomatic fig leaves hiding the West’s failure of nerve.

Consider the surreal lunacy of this new resolution and its “cease fire”: under its terms Hezbollah is to disarm and vacate southern Lebanon, and no weapons from Iran and Syria are to be allowed in. But the French, the Lebanese, and other potential enforcers of the Resolution have stated explicitly that they will not disarm Hezbollah, which has made it clear it has no intentions of abiding by those terms of the resolution. In other words, the enforcers of a UN resolution have said they will not enforce the terms of a UN resolution.

In the short term, Israel is the loser in this diplomatic shell game. The damage done to Hezbollah’s ability to attack Israel, achieved at the cost of Israeli blood and treasure, will be quickly repaired as arms pour into Lebanon from Iran and Syria––under the noses of whatever UN force (if any) is finally put in place, and with the likely complicity of the Lebanese army. Worse, the UN and Lebanese troops will now be shields for Hezbollah, for if Israel attempts to resist the rearmament they will have to fight around these forces. I can already see the CNN footage of dead UN “peace-keepers,” proving once again the liberal media’s scenario of Israel’s callous indifference, its willingness to do anything to hang on to the lands it “stole” from peace-loving Arabs.

In the long term the West loses, for once more it has allowed the jihadists to manipulate our weaknesses to achieve their aims. One has only to look at Western media coverage of the conflict to see how the moral confusion of many Westerners has left us vulnerable to jihadist fanatical certainty. Western reporters were completely manipulated and managed by Hezbollah, who told them where to go, where to point their cameras. and when to turn them off. Pictures were doctored and “atrocities” manufactured, such as the highly suspicious number of children killed at Qana, which recalls earlier frauds such as the Jenin “massacre.” Understanding the Western media’s appetite for photogenic suffering and their dislike of Israel, Hezbollah brilliantly provided the raw material for validating Western received wisdom, the sanctioned narrative of Arab innocence and Zionist neo-colonialist wickedness.

This same loss of Western nerve is also on display in the response to the plot by British Muslims to blow up several airplanes. Recently while traveling through London’s Heathrow airport, I watched as elderly European and American women were aggressively frisked and their shoes swabbed for explosives residue. Massive and intrusive screening of people from demographics never associated with terrorism continues to cost billions of dollars and disrupt the travel of millions. Why? So that young Muslim men, the demographic that does provide all the terrorists, aren’t “profiled” and their feelings hurt. This is as silly as the police rounding up elderly black men when they are searching for a teen-aged white rapist.

Apologists and supporters of Islamic jihad, however, know exactly which cultural dysfunctions to exploit in order to achieve their stated aim of replacing liberal democracies with a caliphate governed by Koranic sharia. Our obsession with “racism,’ based on white guilt and noble-savage idealizations of the dark-skinned “other,” is itself a sign of Western malaise. Having been told by professors and intellectuals that their culture is depraved and oppressive, many Westerners are eager to atone for presumed historical crimes and prove how sensitive they are to superior non-Western cultures. Rather than accepting and asserting the superiority of Western ideals of freedom and individualism and showing a willingness to fight for them, instead these tinhorn Hamlets bend over backwards to accommodate people who explicitly have said they hate the West and want to destroy it, even as they flock to the West to enjoy its freedom and prosperity.

Make no mistake, every such attempt to show the jihadists how much we respect their wonderful faith, how eager we are not to hurt their feelings, how sensitive we are to our own historical sins that supposedly account for their faith-driven violence, does nothing but increase the jihadists’ contempt for us and a culture so depraved that it will grovel before those who want to destroy it. They see this despicable cowardice as proof positive that the Western way is doomed to fall before Allah’s chosen people, and that we Westerners have three options: die, convert, or live on as oppressed dhimmi.

Reprinted with permission from CaliforniaRepublic.org.

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Mr. Thornton is a professor of classics at Cal State Fresno.

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