The working theory among the think-tanks, academic campuses, newsrooms and diplomatic offices is that terrorists are just like us. Except depressed and insecure about it. Filled with self-loathing and in desperate need of anger management classes. If only some kind soul could plop them down on an analyst's couch and stuff them chock full of Prozac or Paxil, hug them without letting go, while reading passages from Jonathan Livingston Seagull-- then they'd be just as right as rain. And twice as wet.
Oregon Christmas Tree Bomber, and diagnosed him as suffering from his parent's divorce and vicious Oregonian college bullies. Sure Mohamed O. Mohamud might say he's a Muslim terrorist who wants to kill Americans-- but the good people at NBC know better. He's not a terrorist. He's just misunderstood. Deep down inside him, there's gushing oil wells of untapped good.
Mohamed O. Mohamud joins Fort Hood terrorist Major Nidal Hassan (who came down not with Muslim Murder Madness, but a virulent airborne form of PTSD) and Times Square bomber Faisal Shazad (suffering from uncontrollable Foreclosure Fever) on the analyst's couch. Another misunderstood victim of poorly articulated rage that led him to snap and try to kill a whole bunch of people, who coincidentally happened not to be Muslim.
For a depressing stretch of the 20th century, sociologists insisted there was no such thing as a criminal, only a set of responses to social inequities. Robbers, rapists and murderers were just lashing out because of social discrimination in an unfair class system. They weren't depraved, they were deprived. The solution was not to put a beat cop on every street. What was the use. You couldn't fight 'crime' anyway. No more than you can fight 'terrorism'. All you could do was expand welfare programs, pour money into the inner cities and turn a blind eye to crime. Then the improvements in social conditions would end crime naturally.
At some point after the millionth mugging victim and Dukakis getting taken down by Willie Horton, the Democratic party finally realized that no amount of Donahue and Oprah was going to counter the popular demand to get tough on crime. But what didn't work for crime, is now being put to work for terrorism.
Terrorists are never terrorists. And never Muslim. Even when they're both. They might dress up like Osama bin Laden, quote from the Koran and curse the Great Satan-- but the blowdried anchors in their dollhouse news sets will still blame the whole thing on teenage bullying or PTSD in the water. And who are you really going to believe, the terrorists who happily explain their motives, or a newscaster with two advanced degrees in reading things off a teleprompter?
And so it turns out that the terrorists are human beings just like us who never got enough love. Who are too insecure not to be terrorists. Our job is to make them feel more comfortable and give them a confidence boost. Pat them on the back and tell them how wonderful Islam is and how superior Muslim culture is to our rotten degraded lifestyle. "No need to feel bad, Ahmed. I only wish I could murder my own sister every time I catch her talking to a man." "Leila, I would give up my career and the freedom to travel without a male guardian's permission in a split second just to be able to wear a bag on my head all day."
Because what terrorists need most is appeasement. Appeasement is apparently Muslim Prozac. Give them enough of it, and they'll no longer want to behead us or blow us up. Or so the politically correct theory goes. And there you have our international affairs in a nutshell.
This February, Senator John Kerry met with the Emir of Qatar, whose family is intimately tied up with Al Qaeda. And whose government is directing millions of dollars a year to Al Qaeda. Naturally the Senator from Massachusetts didn't waste his host's time on anything as picayune as a request to please stop funding the terrorists who are murdering Americans. We are talking about the nation's premier windsurfing cheese-eating boarding-school attending diplomatic Frankensenator here after all. Instead he wanted the good Emir's help on resolving that whole Middle East peace thing between Israel and the Muslim terrorists.
And the Emir, in between mailing off the latest check to "Sheikh Usama, Forbidden Cave of Mystery, Afghanistan, 90210", was more than happy to oblige.
Painstakingly the Emir explained that Hamas was actually ready to make peace with Israel. But it couldn't come out and say so. Then it would lose popular support and be overthrown. Israel would just have to go ahead and appease Hamas anyway-- and Hamas would pretend not to notice, but really it would notice, and stop the violence. The Emir of Qatar was actually saying that Hamas is more moderate than the average Palestinian Arab Muslim-- a scary, but not particularly surprising revelation.
If Senator Kerry had managed to hang on to more than one single unbotoxed brain cell in that frightening skull of his, he might have asked what the point of a secret peace agreement is-- when the people on whose behalf you're signing it, can't be told about it. But as a good democrat, he was probably already on the same page as a petty tyrant like the Emir in believing that the ignorant rabble have no business knowing what their enlightened leaders are up to anyway.
Pushing his luck further, Senator Kerry asked the Emir what could be done about the extremists. The Emir told him that if Israel gives the strategic high ground of the Golan Heights to Syria, then Syria will help Hamas leaders "make tough choices". Trying to control the hysterical laughter bubbling up in his throat, the Emir told Kerry that, the "return of the Golan is important not just to Syria but also to Hizballah and Iran". Which it of course is. Not because any of them give a damn about the skiing possibilities of the Golan, but because it's a fantastic position for bombing Israel.
Yet Kerry swallowed all of this. Probably nodded knowingly. Didn't blink when the Emir suggested that Ahmadinejad would suddenly change his tune on Israel if only Syria got the Golan Heights. And went off back to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee he chairs with his information safely tucked away in the recesses of his equine cranium.
The depressing pattern in all this lunacy is that we've decided that the only way to deal with terrorists is to give them things. Give them some land and money, and they'll be your pet terrorists. Then you can take them out for walks, and hug them and kiss them, and give them long baths. But not only do the terrorists need material things, they also need constant reassurance. You can't just negotiate with the terrorists. You've also got to negotiate with the enablers. And the enablers need land and money too. If you want to talk to Hamas, you've got to give Syria the Golan Heights. And then Hezbollah and Iran will want things too.
Negotiating with terrorists is now like signing a crazy reclusive artist to a record label. You have to woo his handlers and stroke his ego. Reassure him that everyone likes him. And that he won't have to "sell out" by promising not to kill people anymore. All he'll have to do is wink and nod, and that'll be as good as a signature.
We've gone beyond appeasement and into pure toadying. Because the poor terrorists with their bruised egos have been hurt too many times. They don't show up at negotiations anymore. You have to pamper them first to even get them to show up. Abbas needs a Settlement Freeze forever, or he won't even deign to arrive and accept the next batch of Israeli concessions. Hamas can't even show up to negotiate, but if Israel throws its most vital high ground to its buddy, the genocidal optometrist in Syria, then maybe Hamas will put a halt to the violence. For a week or two.
Locally and globally, we're deep in the appeasement business. So deep that we've put aside even the appearance of dignity. We're no longer ashamed of flattering and pandering to the murderers of our own people. We're proud of it. Our political and cultural leaders treat such behavior as a mark of sophistication. Only ignorant bible and gun clinging savages want to kill terrorists. The enlightened among us get down on their knees and search for the nearest available Mecca bound posterior.
Discriminated against in airports. Hounded by FBI agents for doing such simple things as trying to maim and murder thousands at a Christmas tree lightning ceremony or outside a showing of the Lion King. Persecuted just for being who they are. It's enough to make even the coldest Amnesty International member with a heart of taffy, weep.
So we've got to make them feel better by constantly praising Islam, letting them build an obscene Victory Mosque near Ground Zero, and jailing anyone who criticizes Islam. Then maybe they'll stop being so insecure and they won't feel that they need to kill us in order to feel good about themselves. Those poor miserable terrorist bastards. Sobbing into their keffiyahs, stuffing the hole in their heart with falafel and C4. Trying to compensate for their unhappy childhood by acting out and killing a few thousand people here and there. How can we not, like President William Jefferson Clinton, feel their pain?
And the answer is so very simple. No one's ever really shown them some love or told them they care. Maybe when we've given up all our freedoms and surrendered all the way. Then they'll finally realize that we mean it after all. That we really truly and completely like them. All the way. When we've appeased them so much, given them so much that we have nothing left to give, then we will finally have atoned for our selfishness, our miserable globalism, our wicked imperialism and consumerism and nationalism, and all our filthy isms. And it's so easy. All we have to do is hug a terrorist. And not mind the bulky dynamite strapped to his chest.