Two excellent dissections about the inability of many to come to grips with the reality of Islamism in our society.
First, Victor Davis Hansen: “The Paradoxes of the Boston Bombings”:
A certain American (or for that matter Westernized) resident or citizen — usually male, almost always young, born a Muslim, prone to guilt over temporary secularization or Westernization, as often (or more so) from Pakistan, a Russian Islamic province, the Balkans, Iran, the Philippines, or Africa as from the Arab Middle East, usually failing in American society, always absorbed within American popular culture and guilty over such absorption — at some moment channels his own sense of failure into radical Islam. He seeks some sort of cosmic resonance and redemption for his own personal inadequacies. Presto, a pathetic loser becomes a wannabe bin Laden jihadist, as murder becomes cause for publicity.
The would-be Times Square bomber, Major Hasan, those who killed Jews in Los Angeles and Seattle, and the Salt Lake City shopping-center killer find empowerment in the laxity and tolerance of American culture that seems to grant unlimited rights to the newcomer or second-generation without commensurate responsibilities about learning — and learning to love — the culture and history of their adopted country. We don’t call these killers “terrorists.” We claim that they have nothing to do with al-Qaeda. And yet they give proof that a post-9/11 Islamism energizes their violence — and sometimes enables it by contacts and training.
Like it or not, two half-educated and young killers, at the expense of a few hundred dollars and one dead, with very little capital, shut down an entire city, committed mass mayhem, ruined the lives of hundreds, destroyed the Boston Marathon, and cost the city billions of dollars. But for the chance scans of video cameras, the Tsarnaevs might well have let off more bombs and turned their terror of a day into far greater mayhem of a week. That lesson is not lost on jihadists. To the degree they can enthuse another Tamerlan Tsarnaev in Chechnya or reach a Major Hasan at a mosque or on the Internet, they will continue. I expect more al-Qaedism. […]
Next, John Hinderaker in Powerline: “Why Does Evil Make Liberals Stupid?”:
In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, we are suffering through the inevitable period of liberal hand-wringing. Liberals can’t help themselves: while normal people are reviling the bombers, celebrating their capture or death, and debating measures that can be taken to prevent future atrocities, liberals’ thinking (if you can call it that) goes in a different direction. Liberals call for understanding; tell the rest of us we don’t realize how complex mass murder is; recommend introspection (But why? I didn’t do it.); and warn against various forms of overreaction to the latest terrorist outrage. The reality of evil, a constant in human affairs for millennia, renders liberals not speechless–that would be too much to hope for–but incoherent.
These days there are more such outpourings of liberal feelings than one can count, but let’s note just two, for now. First, Governor Deval Patrick, who appeared on Face the Nation this morning:
The governor of Massachusetts said Sunday that he has no idea what motivated the brothers accused of exploding two bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Really? Hmm. Check out the Boston Globe, Governor. They think Islam might have played a secondary role.
Speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Gov. Deval Patrick said it’s hard to imagine why someone would deliberately harm “innocent men, women and children in the way that these two fellows did.”
It is, indeed, hard to imagine if you aren’t evil. But this is a banal and singularly unhelpful observation. Experience tells us that some people do indeed want to harm innocent men, women and children in this fashion. Muslims alone carry out, on the average, several terrorist attacks a day for the purpose of harming innocent men, women and children, and they are by no means the only source of evil in the world. So our public officials should stop expressing amazement at the existence of evil and start figuring out how to protect the rest of us from it. […]