The-Camel-Ate-My Homework Theory Of Culpability


Ilana Mercer

The Fourth Estate has moved the country into the Third Dimension. The media lie so much, that when stuff happens that scares them, they no longer know where to turn for the truth.

For now, mainstream media have stopped meditating on Charlie Hebdo, and moved on to the weather and other woes. But something changed after this month’s strike, carried out by French recruits to Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, on the offices of Charlie Hebdo.

The frightful events that unfolded in Paris seemed to have triggered something of a come-to-Jesus moment among members of the media. For example, before Charlie Hebdo, supernova Megyn Kelly’s everyday “expert” on Islam was one Brooke Goldstein. Unless good looks qualify one to expatiate on Islam, Goldstein was—still is—gormless about the vexation that is the Muhammadan faith.

However, right after Charlie Hebdo, Kelly traded Goldstein for Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who is both victim of and expert on Islam. Even CNN’s Anderson Cooper quit beating about the bush. Cooper listened without interruption when Hirsi Ali mentioned the “absolutely immoral” proclivities of “the Prophet Muhammad, especially in his years after Medina.”

Lo and behold, Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch made the rounds, myth-busting about the aforementioned muses for murder: Islam and its Prophet. The New York Times was really running scared: Its editors solicited a piece from the pen of Marine LePen, leader of France’s rightist Front National. While she did not quite counsel pulling the drawbridge up, LePen questioned the wisdom of inviting “waves of immigration, both legal and clandestine” into the West.

Like lab rats, media are maze-bright, no more. Other scribes found solace by levitating in the Parallel Universe, pretending that in the Hebdo massacre we had a Whodunit to unravel. “Both the motive and the identity of the perpetrators are still unknown,” intoned a cipher at Slate. For a while, Wolf Blitzer of CNN was all wide-eyed wonderment, too. Across the pond, the constabulary in Hamburg, north Germany, informed its citizenry that the motive for an attack on the Hamburger Morgenpost, a newspaper that published the Charlie Hebdo cartoons, was “still under investigation.”

Just as some mediacrats still pretend the phrase “radical Islam” is not a redundancy—Islam is radical!—others make believe that the motive for shooting up a place of business while yelling praise for the Prophet Muhammad is a mystery. Unless authorities say otherwise.

Disaffected, disadvantaged, disenfranchised is how progressives prefer to depict the Muslim murderers in their midst. After all, progressives hail from the school of therapeutic “thought” that considers crime to have been caused, not committed. Misbehavior is either medicalized and outsourced to state-approved experts, or reduced to the fault of the amorphous thing called society.

The most famous advocate of the-Camel-Ate-My Homework theory of criminal culpability is Barack Obama. Obama’s flabby assumption has it that the poor barbarians of France’s burbs have been deprived of fraternité. “Europe needs to better integrate its Muslim communities,” lectured the president.

Also guilty of a social determinism that flouts their philosophy of individual freedom are libertarians. For the sins of man, hard leftists blame society and libertarian saddle the state: U.S. foreign policy, in particular. A war of aggression, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and torture are thus “principal catalysts for this kind of non-state terrorism,” argued Ray McGovern.

“The-state-made-me-do-it” argumentation apes that of the left’s “society-made-me-do-it” argumentation. Both philosophical factions, left and blowback-libertarian, are social determinists, in as much as they implicate forces outside the individual for individual dysfunction.

Myself, I despise U.S. foreign policy as deeply as any Muslim. But it would never-ever occur to me to take it out on my American countrymen.

In the context of free will, and in a week in which we remember the Holocaust, Viktor E. Frankl rates a mention.

Dr. Frankl came out of Auschwitz to found the Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy. The philosopher and distinguished psychiatrist said this of his experience in the industrial killing complex of Auschwitz-Birkenau: “In the camps one lost everything, except the last of the human freedoms, to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

To plagiarize another Jews (myself): “You can see why liberals have always preferred Freud to Frankl [my family included]. They retain a totemic attachment to the Freudian fiction that traumatic toilet training is destiny.”

Dr. Frankl lost his beloved young wife in Auschwitz, yet told poignantly of finding her, if figuratively, in a tiny bird that flitted close by. If this man was able to discover the reality of free will and human agency in a laboratory like Auschwitz; so too can Muslims find the will to respond adaptively to events that enrage them and are indeed unjust: Western foreign policy.

The idea that the Brothers Kouachi and thousands of their coreligionists in the West who’ve joined ISIS were driven by “disaffection” to do their diabolic deeds conjures a skit from the “Life of Brian,” John Cleese’s parody of Judea under Rome.

In what is a typically Jewish dialectical session, Reg and his band of anti-Roman rebels are debating the merits and demerits of the enemy. So, “What have the Romans ever done for us?” asks Reg. “The aqueduct,” ventures one rebel. “Sanitation” pipes-up another: “Remember what the city used to be like?” A third praises the roads. A fourth, the public baths. Exacerbated by the growing list of Roman improvements, rebel-in-chief Reg responds: “All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health—what have the Romans ever done for us?”

By the same token, what have those “cheese-eating surrender monkeys” ever done for their Maghrebian immigrants (les beurs, as they are known)—apart from replacing the mud huts of their ancestors with subsidized housing and modern plumbing, giving them schools, job-training institutes, cradle-to-crypt welfare, health care and, my personal favorite, the Musée du Louvre?

While Obama sounded a bum note, British Prime Minister David Cameron acquitted himself well with this take on criminal culpability: The Muslim murderers in our midst “have had all the advantages of integration,” they’ve “had all the economic opportunities that our countries can offer.”

Indeed, Western foreign policy is a necessary but insufficient reason for Muslim aggression.

ILANA Mercer is a paleolibertarian writer, based in the United States. She pens WND’s longest-standing, exclusive paleolibertarian column, “Return to Reason.” She is a contributor to the preeminent libertarian site Economic Policy Journal and to Junge Freiheit, a German weekly of excellence. Ilana is a fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies, an award-winning, independent, non-profit, free-market economic policy think tank. Ilana’s latest book is “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South Africa.” Her website is www.IlanaMercer.com. She blogs at www.barelyablog.com.

2 comments

  • The illusion of the “neo con” policy was (and is) that the problem of the Islamic world is a handful of nasty dictators plus a few “radicals” who have “perverted a great and peaceful religion”.

    People who knowledge of religion is limited to Methodism (it is often forgotten that George Walker Bush and Hillary Clinton are both Methodists) are apt to see religion as naturally peaceful – and, when it gets involved in the world at all, being about “helping the poor”. So people cutting heads and so on must be “perverting religion”.

    As for Barack Obama – being from the Marxist tradition (from Frank Marshall Davis, and his own mother and so on) he regards all believers in the supernatural as hopelessly stupid (like the ordinary folk he and Rev Wright manipulated with “Black Liberation Theology” at Holy Trinity for 20 years).

    So the American elite is utterly clueless when it comes to mainstream Islam – either holding that it “must be” nice (with just a few nasty “radicals”), or “must be” dominated by stupid people (as all religious people are “stupid” – the Marxian line).

    People with any practical experience of the Middle East who express some doubts? Who suggest that rather a lot of the followers of Mohammed (like Mohammed himself) are both highly intelligent and utterly ruthless (indeed cruel).

    Well we are “racists” of course…….

    As for free will (agency – the capacity to make real choices, to do other than we do) – a central point of Jewish theology, but one that mainstream Islam (and rather a lot of other people – including people on this site) rejects. Holding that “freedom” is just an absence of external restraint (like water bursting out after a dam has been blown up – not a good thing, indeed something to be suppressed, as Mr Hobbes would point out) and that the pre programmed flesh robots mistakenly called “people” do not make real choices (are not moral agents – capable of telling moral right from wrong, and capable of choosing right against the desire to do evil).

    The debate on this matter is without end.

    By the way….

    Western foreign policy is NOT a “necessary” condition for Islamic attacks – there have been Islamic attacks for more than a thousand years. Attacks come when the forces of Islam (or factions of them) believe themselves strong enough to attack. Bulgarians, Romanians and Poles (and so on) seem to understand this better than most British people – even though there were Islamic slave raiding attacks on these islands (indeed as far north as Iceland). I suppose large scale formal invasions (repeatedly over the centuries) and endless slave raiding, are rather hard for even the P.C. elite to shove down the “Memory Hole”.

    For example the followers of Mohammed who attack non Muslims on the streets of Swedish cities are not protesting about the (Jimmy Carter style) foreign policy of Sweden.

    No election in Sweden of course – as the people might vote the “wrong way”.

  • “Indeed, Western foreign policy is a necessary but insufficient reason for Muslim aggression.”

    I entirely agree. The moral agents raised on Islam will choose freely to employ their agency violently, not as some mindless reaction to American and British foreign policy. Though I’m sure it gives more manipulative people the ammunition they need to inflame the easily angered – under-alcoholed, under-sexed – to do horrid things.

    The religious leaders they’ve learned from have taught them that good things can come to them by abrogating other people’s liberty (their right to be left alone in peace) and so while I would say they are more inclined – the religion itself plus manipulative leaders (Al Baghdadi for example) – therefore to be evil, that it is only evil because they choose the way of violence against others.

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