Friday, May 11, 2007

Victor Davis Hanson on War on National Review Online

Victor Davis Hanson on the War with Islamism

It is not easy, after all, for a region to turn twenty million $65-barrels of oil sold each day — found, developed, and handed over by someone else — into a recipe for utter catastrophe.

Worse still, not only does the jihadist place the blame on those who are more successful, he learns much of his strategy of victimization from our own postmodern Western Left. We saw that clearly enough in the videos of the clownish Zawahiri and bin Laden that cite by title and author leftwing attacks on the United States by kooky Chomskyites. Nothing is more absurd than a bearded, robed imam dryly reciting from his mud-brick hideout why America needs to implode — due to our sins of global warming, environmental desecration, and our lack of campaign-finance reform.

The third impetus for the idiosyncratic jiahdist is the lack of any consequences. Or rather, he shares a general perception — never mind whether it is a misconception — that the European and American criminal-justice systems will not promptly find, arrest, indict, try, convict, and sentence wannabe jihadists. Our popular culture instead emphasizes more the injustice of Guantanamo Bay, our shame over the sexual grotesqueries of Abu Ghraib, and the worry over the excesses of the Patriot Act than the need to show no mercy to the radical Islamist on our shores.

Indeed, the jihadist believes the West in general cares little about its own sense of citizenship. He knows that we ask of the legal immigrant little familiarity with our language, history, or culture, and even less of the illegal immigrant.

With 12 million here illegally from Mexico, why would any visitor think we could or should enforce the law? A jihadist must think it an ideal spot a country where it was deemed more illiberal to turn in an illegal alien than to be one.