Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Very little insight on "Insight" 

Just finished watching "Insight" on SBS with a forum on whether Australia should stay involved in Iraq. What a depressing viewing. All the isolationist, anti-American, realpolitik, and head in the sand cliches under the sun were on show tonight from the "focus group" of average Aussies as well as from our home-grown security experts. It's unsettling to see that two and a half years after September 11, so many citizens and residents of one of the freest and most educated country in the world still don't get it:

- "what have we done to bring this [terrorism] on?" - it's somehow always our fault; the terrorists - poor chaps - are only reacting to something that we've done. The only solution then is to actually stop doing things that offend the terrorists and give in to their demands. So let's be culturally sensitive and stop defending such Euro-centric concepts like democracy, freedom, human rights, toleration, and equal rights for women. Then let's order an industrial size drum of vasoline and bend over.

- "America as the source of all problems" - I despair at the soft, spoiled, self-indulgent and self-flagellating Western middle classes who come up with this sort of crap. Only people who've never experienced any real hardship, danger, or persecution in their lives can be so damned delusional. If you really think that if the United States had disappeared overnight from the face of the earth the rest of the world would all be holding hands and engaging in a group hug, you don't deserve to live in a Western liberal democracy. Stop biting the hand that feeds you, move out, and make space for some poor sucker from Iran, Rwanda or North Korea who actually knows what the real problems are.

- "if only we could solve the Middle East conflict the terrorism would disappear" - unfortunately we're dealing with people whose solution to the Middle East problem is to make Israel disappear. It's your call - if Holocaust Part II is a price you're willing to pay for your peace of mind at least be honest about it.

- "there are other, non-military, ways of tackling the terrorism problem" - like appeasement, for example. This one is for people who think that flying airplanes into skyscrapers is an understandable reaction from the poor, oppressed "wretched of the earth". Poverty is not a "root cause" of terrorism. Haitians, one of the poorest people on Earth, do not strap themselves with explosives and detonate in discoteques. Taliban are not angry nutcases because they're poor - they actually don't mind being poor. Poverty is a consequence, not a cause.

- "we've only increased terrorism by invading Iraq" - at the current rate it will take the terrorists hell of a long time to equal Saddam's record of causing between 1 and 1.5 million deaths. But boy, wasn't Iraq so peaceful and stable when he was in power! I've heard similar arguments from the caring and sensitive people who sat on the graves of 60 million and complained that crime really got out of hand since the Soviet Union collapsed.

But enough said for tonight.


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