The New True Believers

Here’s another one about the so-called clash of civilizations:

Muriel Degauque: Islamo-fascist, freedom fighter or what?

This 38-year-old Belgian brunette seems to have been one of the new True Believers.

From O’Neill’s article:

“Muriel Degauque did not only blow up herself in Baghdad three weeks ago; she also blew to bits the various stereotypes of Islamic terrorists. Supporters of the war in Iraq and the war on terror tell us that these Islamists, or ‘Islamo-fascists’ as they like to call them, are evil Johnny Foreigners who were likely raised on a diet of falafels and hatred for the West in some dusty hole in Kabul or Cairo. Anti-war activists claim they are resistance fighters, the shock troops for a new ‘anti-imperialist ideology’ (as Loretta Napoleoni says in her recent book on Abu Musab al-Zarqawi); or, like the 7/7 lot, they’re Western-born Muslims so aggrieved by what is being done to their brothers and sisters in Iraq and Palestine that they feel compelled to strike against the imperialist beast.”

In other words, the terrorists become whatever boogeyman you need to move your audience. Whenever someone parrots the moronic statement, “Everything is political,” they mean that they believe everyone has a boogeyman whose invocation causes mass hallucinations.

“…the similarities between Degauque and these other al-Qaeda supporters or wannabe insurgents are more interesting than the differences. Like many Islamist terrorists, she had a good upbringing (according to an interesting study by Professor Marc Sageman, 72.5 per cent of ‘global jihadists’ in or around al-Qaeda are either middle class or upper middle class); she was educated (Sageman found that 71 per cent of jihadists had a college education); and she converted to Islam later in life – many of the Western-born or Western-educated violent Islamists are either converts or became radical in their teenage years or twenties. Could it be that what Degauque and some of these other characters have in common is more a sense of alienation than a shared political or religious project?”

Modern education usually causes cultural dislocation and disaffection. John Dewey thought this was a good thing, and necessary to help people develop a modern system of values. Without an effective nanny state in place, however, it simply creates depression and anger.

“…one study found that ‘the average age of Saudis [fighting in Iraq] is 17-25 and they are generally middle-class or upper middle-class with jobs’; they also tend to have ‘connections with the most prominent conservative tribes’.”

Socioeconomic status supposedly leads someone to “invest” emotionally in the public welfare. However, that requires someone with a cultural heritage as deep as a TV screen. Anyone who feels deeply considers socioeconomic status as a means to an end.

“…Easterners who go to Iraq seem to be radicalised by media images more than by the words of political or religious ideologues. The study found that their ‘feelings’ were ‘intensified by the images of the occupation they see on television and the internet….the catalyst most often cited [in interrogations] is Abu Ghraib, though images from Guantanamo Bay also feed into the pathology’…They seem motivated more by narcissism, a desire to realise themselves and give meaning to their lives in the warzone of Iraq, than by a new ‘anti-imperialist ideology’.”

Narcissism is overwhelmingly the common characteristic of suicidal people. It is only redeemed if someone else’s well-being truly does depend on the suicidal person’s death. That isn’t true for suicide bombers who target civilians.

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Instigate some pointless rambling

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