Andrew Lilico is a Director and Principal of Europe Economics.
There’s always one. Whenever there’s a terrorist atrocity in the West perpetrated by Muslims or Arabs, there are always some folk who’ll tell you that it’s happened because of Iraq or Afghanistan or Israel or Israel or Israel or, most probably, Israel.
They reach for Israel quite quickly, once the epic fact-free nonsense of blaming Iraq or Afghanistan is exposed by noting that the World Trade Center bombing of 1993 was way before 2001 let alone 2003. Or that the bombing of the US embassy in Kenya in 1998 was way before 2001, let alone 2003.
Or even that the fatwa placed on Salman Rushdie and the Satanic Verses and the subsequent bookstore bombings in Berkeley, New York, Charing Cross, High Wycombe, Guildford, Nottingham and Peterborough, and the murder of the novel’s Japanese translator and stabbing of the Italian translator, the burning to death of 37 Turkish intellectuals, and the shooting of the novel’s Norwegian translator began in 1988 and thus was way before 2001 let alone 2003; et alia ad nauseam.
But, to state what is obvious to anyone competent to walk and chew gum at the same time, terrorist atrocities committed upon the West are absolutely nothing to do with Israel. Westerners blaming Western foreign policies for terrorist attacks upon us are like a battered wife who thinks the right answer is to agonise over “What did I do wrong to make him justified in beating me?”
He beats you because he’s an evil scumbag, who satisfies his own perverted cravings and sense of power and ethics of domination by beating you. The answer isn’t to change your behaviour in some way so as to make yourself more acceptable to him. It’s to have him punished, locked up.
The basic error of those who blame “Israel” or “US foreign policy” is that they believe in the following reasoning pattern:
- They must have a reason
- A “reason” = “Something that makes it my/our fault”
But they’re wrong. We are the ‘Good Guys’. They hate us precisely because we are the Good Guys. They want to kill us because we are the Good Guys. They don’t need another reason than that.
Furthermore, we have to act to frustrate them because we are the Good Guys. We have to prevent them from murdering the Jews, Yazidis, Maronite Christians, gays, feminists, cartoonists and so on because we are the Good Guys.
We can’t stand idly by and leave them to terrorise folk in Israel/Iraq/Afghanistan et al because we are the Good Guys.
If we let the Islamists murder all the Jews in Israel – quite apart from that being a horrific and morally disgusting piece of Rwanda-style passivity in its own terms that no-one should contemplate – that would only whet their appetites for more blood.
They would say: “Ah, the fools don’t care whom we murder and they’ll let us get away with anything. Whom shall we slaughter next?”
One of the more depressing things about these debates is that in the cases of many of those that claim terrorist attacks are something to do with US foreign policy or “Israel” (except insofar as that’s just another way of saying “We get attacked because we are the Good Guys and being the Good Guys means we can’t stand idly by but instead are involved in the world, which makes the Bad Guys hate us” – well, duh!), I have ceased to believe they are expressing any genuine opinion of their own – they don’t really believe “Israel” has anything to do with it.
They are simply engaged in their own version of West-hating, venting their own psychological weaknesses without thinking through what that means for Israelis that just want to get about their lives in peace and safety. Their “arguments” are barely worth a rational reply since their “arguments” aren’t real arguments at all but merely the cries for help of their personality disorders.
Here’s how it is. We are the Good Guys. As the Good Guys we are not – except for where we have no option or where (as in, say, Rwanda) we have much-regretted moments of moral weakness – going to sit around watching evil flourish in the world without trying to do anything about it.
We are not going to accept that Israel has no right to exist. We are not going to accept that women are denied education, artists are imprisoned, political dissidents are tortured, homosexuals are castrated, Muslim apostates are executed without “interfering”.
We are never going to simply “mind our own business”. The business of the whole world is our business because we are strong and good and it is our duty and imperative to “interfere”.
We are not hated and attacked by terrorists because we interfere in other parts of the world. We are hated because we are the sort of good people with the sort of good values that mean we have no moral choice but to interfere. We are attacked because our virtue and flourishing makes us a threat to them.
The answer is not to ask “What bad thing did I do?”. The answer is to find that terrorist and punish him.