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Monday, August 25, 2008

Are they really after your way of life ?

Meet George, a 35 year old American, living in an American suburb, enjoying his daily frosty cold beer, watching the game...
Meet George, a 35 year old American, living in an American suburb, enjoying his daily frosty cold beer, watching the game on his not-as-large-as-he-would-like TV screen, in the living room of his house with the white picket fence.
Is this generic enough for you ?

Now meet Khaled, a 25 year old Iraqi Muslim living in Iraq, whose only exposure to western culture, is through his 20 inch TV screen. Khaled enjoys watching American TV series portraying people like George, on their everyday life. Khaled will be playing the role of our suicide bomber today.

So far, there doesn’t seem to be much reason for Khaled to go through the trouble of blowing himself up to kill George, right ?

Alright, maybe Khaled doesn’t really like watching American TV series, but happens to think that the explicit imagery displayed in these series is nothing but pure corruption to the minds of the Arab youth. In this case, I have good news for Khaled. First, he can change the channel. Second, most explicit imagery is censored on Arab television. In fact, censorship is so strict, that you wouldn’t even see so much as a kiss on most Arab TV stations. Putting all that aside, if Khaled still insists on blowing himself up to destroy the source of all this moral and social decadence, he would know exactly where to strike. Problem is, when did you last hear of a terrorist attack in Hollywood ?

Perhaps the problem isn’t in the television. Maybe Khaled’s problem resides in the fact that the western bloc (if there is such a thing), represented primarily by the Unites States of America, is expanding both politically and economically and Khaled is afraid that his country would be next on the list of countries to be assimilated. So instead of waiting for his turn to play defense, Khaled thinks his best shot at defending his country is by attacking the lovely people of America before they make their move. And so, this would explain how we got to this point of history, where terrorists are the bad guys from mostly Muslim Arab countries, and the heroic people of the west are merely defending their way of life.

What does this have to do with the Western way of life again ? If anything, this is a struggle for political and economical expansion. Whether or not the terrorist are trying to expand their economy and political domination is beyond my current knowledge, but I know the other side is.

Although, I have to say that given our assumptions, Khaled would come out a complete idiot. Not because by blowing himself up he brought a deadly war to his country and a bad reputation to Arabs and Muslims everywhere, but simply because he was late. If Khaled wanted to score with a preemptive strike, he should’ve done so about 120 years ago, when Napoleon was at the verge of invading Egypt (which he did) simply in the name of expansion. If you would like, you could argue that back then the world was still rather barbaric. Granted. Too easy ? Guess why. Between World War One and World War Two, the Arab world, which was mostly part of the Ottoman Empire (defeated during WWI), got occupied by France and Great Britain, which then led to the establishment of the state of Israel (the agreement on which came long before the holocaust). Much later, came the first Gulf War (led by the US), the embargo on Iraq, and the second Gulf War (turn on the news, it’s still going on).

So next time you wonder why all those people are blowing themselves up, and you hear a politician running for office tell you “they are after our way of life”, remember this slightly long post, and remind him of this:

That’s what you get for poking the bear.

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