Thursday, July 07, 2005

Milk and cookies

Whenever you try to talk about 'root causes' of terrorism, you are immediately set upon by all the monkeys who are on the RNC's blastfax list for talking points. The attack was designed by Karl Rove (R-felon) and was recently deployed - to outrage - by the man himself. The argument is - 'libs', or 'dems' (or whatever insulting diminutive they choose to deploy) are squishy on terror - they want to 'invite terrorists over for milk and cookies and talk about feelings'.

I've seen this same 'milk and cookies' phrase posted on numerous 'mixed' boards, so the wurlitzer is pumping the meme into the ideosphere.

The canard is a straw man, of course, and it's being deployed because the Right doesn't want any real investigation into the real causes of terrorism. Thus the content-free bullshit like 'they hate us because we're free' claptrap that often emerges from the mouthpiece in the WH.

What the Right ignores, or pretends to, is that the 'root causes' discussion has nothing to do with people who are currently terrorists. This is not about taking people out of al Qaida training camps and putting them into therapy to make them become NON-terrorists. It's about finding out what causes a brand-new baby to grow up to become a terrorist. Because, duh, once you know that, or at least have a selection of causes you can work against, you have some chance of shrinking the future supply of terrorists. So that when the current batch manages to blow themselves up, there will be fewer and fewer to take their place, unlike now, when it's like sowing dragon's teeth.

So why doesn't the Right (and here, of course, I mean the Far Right, as characterized by the leadership of the GOP and the administration) want to know what causes terrorism?

Well, because they have a pretty good idea. And they aren't causes that they want to do anything about. Poverty and ignorance are two root causes. And to irradicate that would require, well, money that's better spent giving tax cuts to your buddies.

A derived cause, of course, is Islamic Fundamentalism. Or to be fair, religious fundamentalism. And you find fundamentalism in poor, illiterate populations. (see my post below about Toyota moving to Canada because of literacy problems in the southern US.) Educated, prosperous people usually don't hold to a primitive theology. The very nature of education makes it unlikely - questioning beliefs and challenging one's hypotheses are not only encouraged, they're required.

Remove the ignorance and you stand a good chance of lessening the hold fundamentalist beliefs have on the population.

And this is one of the prime reasons the American Right will never be in the forefront on removing the causes of fundamentalist-based terrorism. Because it would put them in a catch-22; if they educate and make prosperous -all- the world's people, they lose their base - the 25% or so of the US population that believe a fundamentalist version of Christianity. If they only EXPORT the education and prosperity, in order to preserve the necessary ignorance of their core voters... they create economic enemies who will beggar us (as is indeed already happening.) The only thing the Right has to offer against 'terror' is a policy of smokin' 'em out of caves. And that has been shown to work sooo well.


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