A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Charity and Ingratitude

David Hogberg, Senior Research Analyst at the Capital Research Center and contributor to the American Spectator posted a picture recently on his website Hog Haven of a man wearing an Osama Bin-Laden t-shirt while assisting with the humanitarian efforts in the tsunami zone. As I don`t know how to swipe the picture off his site I am forced to suggest you visit yourselves to see what I am talking about. It will repay you handsomely; Hogberg is an insightful writer (he called the elections on the nose) and his site is both entertaining and informative. Visit it at

Everyone else is talking about Rathergate, or the tsunami (so that`s where Paul Tsongas got it from!), or Abu Ghraib/Gitmo, so I decided to leave these subjects to those better informed (and those who give a rats #&$*% about them) while I would do what I do best-pontificate in a holier-than-thou manner while accelerating global warming with all the greenhouse gasses I can vent out my blow-hole! I directed both of you, my loyal fans, to the picture on Hog Haven because I want to talk about gratitude, ingratitude, and why the United States can`t seem to win the ``hearts and minds`` of our enemies. This seems to really puzzle people here in these United States. It shouldn`t; it is a matter of human nature.

First off, the Islamic world has never gotten over the Crusades. Islam was poised to finish off Christendom and take the whole world for Allah until Pope Urban II answered the plea from Alexius Comnenus at Constantinople, sending out the call for aid against the Turks at the Council of Clermont. The Crusades stopped the expansion of Islam and ushered in the era of European hegemony which has continued until the present day. The Moslems are stuck in the 12th Century, and dream of the day when they can even the score and restore their tarnished glory. How anyone in America or Europe could believe that 900 years of smoldering anger can be extinguished by a little kindness and generosity is beyond me. The hatred is just too deep to overcome easily.

Islam was and is a warrior cult. Most Moslems believe their faith is true because the great conquests made by Muhammad and his followers seemed to have been divinely ordained (I once pointed out to a young Moslem in a chat room that Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Attila the Hun, Ghengis Khan, etc. all had equal military success, but that we don`t worship these guys; my young friend had no response). To the Islamic world strenght and will are the measure of a man, not decency and kindness. The values we hold dear-charity, kindness, mercy, forebearance, forgiveness-are signs of weakness and are roundly despised by the faithful Moslem. The Moslem holds weakness in contempt. They will have far more respect for a Joseph Stalin or Adolf Hitler than for a Mother Theresa. That is why many Moslems cheered when the World Trade Center came crashing down. That is why they were angry with Saddam for being captured so easily-he showed himself weak, and shamed other professed Moslems with his weakness. (I know this because I work with several Moslems who told me this very thing; not that they wanted to see the United States injured but that they wanted to see the representative of their culture and faith put up a good fight to honor their beliefs.) The Moslem respects strength.

Which is part of what is wrong with our whole outlook on this matter. We keep trying to win the hearts and minds of our enemies through charitable acts and decent behavior, and we are continually shocked by the ingratitude and betrayal we are rewarded with. We can`t seem to get it that these people don`t respect our values; they respect strength. They will never love or respect us until we show them the full measure of our strength and resolve. They have to fear us first. It`s the only way we will be able to pacify the region and restructure. We can win their hearts and minds all we want AFTER we put the fear of God in them. (The Bible states that the Fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom.)

Every time we rush in to help, every time we donate money, or send troops, or food, we rub their collective noses in our wealth and success. Human nature is covetous. The rest of the world, and especially our Islamic friends, do not see our actions as attempts at charity; they see them as arrogance and self-satisfied display. Why were we attacked in Mogidishu? Because what we saw as kindness they saw as Imperialist ambition dressed up as humanitarianism. The Moslems do not believe we mean what we say when we claim to be coming to help. Who would do such a thing? Nations are hypocritical, and the United States, being the richest, most powerful nation on Earth simply can`t be acting along altruistic lines. We have to have an ulterior motive. Steal the Oil! Seize bases! Take control of the Middle-East! That is what we really are up to! Then, when we pulled out of Somalia (like we did in Lebanon before) we appeared to them as horrible cowards. Osama Bin-Laden has stated plainly this very notion and it is at the core of his entire grand scheme; he believes that if he hurts us enough we will fold up. He sees us as weak and cowardly, beneath contempt. HE is strong! The Moslem will triumph through will and Allah! (Anyone remember THE TRIUMPH OF THE WILL?)

Which is why we need to drastically change our approach. I`m not advocating barbarism, but we need to be much firmer than we have been. This will not cost us, as so many policy wonks seem to think. The average Moslem will respect us if we show ourselves strong. They will despise us if we don`t. We have got to stop this stupidity of ``winning hearts and minds``. We can do that AFTER they respect us, which will only come when they fear us. We can`t win this war otherwise.



Blogger Tim McNabb said...

If I wqere President, and having the abiolty to see where we are after September 11th, would have nuked Medina, warning that Mecca was next if Bin Laden wasn't produced in 10 days along wqith 1000 of his lieutenants. No warning.

All this baloney would be over.

Tim McNabb

9:49 PM  
Blogger Aussiegirl said...

Thanks, Tim, for that note of sanity in this tsunamic orgy of giving that we have been overindulging in. While our good hearts naturally go out to the people who have suffered this horrible natural disaster, it was predictable that all our largesse would only backfire, end up in the wrong hands and enrage the Muslims and powers of that region as you so aptly stated. As we already see it has resulted in a lot of suspicion and resentment -- much less had the effect of creating all the good will and changed hearts that was so fervently hoped. I get so frustrated with this persistent Charlie Brown attitude of the Republicans that we can make everybody (including liberals and dems and muslims) love us if only we are kind enough to them and show them we have a good heart and will.

As you said - they only respect strength - and view charity with suspicion. Already we have the Indonesian government telling us to get out and take our troops with us as fast as possible (but leave the money, of course) and telling aid workers and journalists that they can only go to a few approved large cities. So much for winning the hearts and minds.

And similarly in Iraq, I think even the good Iraqis are getting to the point where they wish we would get really harsh and just level places like Fallujah rather than pussy footing around doing surgical strikes and fighting this political correct war which is supposed to not "offend". I say offend -- and offend mightily -- with arms and toughness -- until they respect us and fear us.

As Caligula so famously put it: Oderint dum metuant! Let them hate me as long as they fear me. Don't you just love the pithiness of Latin!

4:55 PM  

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