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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

4 memes re: the cause of 9/11

There are four principal memes re: the cause of 9/11.

The “Churchill” meme is that America has caused so much pain around the world, and been a force for evil so long and consistently, that 9/11 was inevitable and deserved. Future 9/11 attacks can be prevented by changing America, which is something we should do anyway.

The “Blame Wahabism” meme holds that 9/11 is the climax of the Fox afternoon special: “When Good Muslims Go Bad.” This meme contends that Muslim extremism combined with decades of post-colonial tyranny and humiliation have led the basically decent folk of Pan-Arabia to follow a path similar to that walked by the post-WWI Germans. The way to stave off future attacks is to change the region by liberating it from the evil ayatollahs and strongmen that have dominated it for so long. This meme must not be confused with the “Those Arabs Are Nuts” meme.

The “Those Arabs are Nuts” or “Look Mom, I’m a Racist” meme holds that 9/11 was the result of the fact that Arabs (and don’t give us that ‘we’re not Arabs, we’re Persian’ crap, what’s the difference?) are sub-humans who do crazy shit. This explicitly racist meme claims the way to avoid future attacks is Fortress America. Build a fence. Not a literal fence a la Israel but a Platonic ideal of a fence- nobody bad gets in or near or around the US or any of our people or our property and etc.

The fourth meme, the “Blame Clinton” meme, says terrorists rationally calculated that the US would react to terrorism by giving terrorists what they wanted. This calculation was based on America’s limited reactions to previous attacks, and President Clinton’s decisions to 1.pressure Israel into appeasing terrorist Yasser Arafat, and 2.treat the IRA like a political rather than a criminal movement. Future attacks can be prevented by killing all known terrorists, and punishing the countries that support them, regardless of the legitimacy of the terrorists’ beef, so that people considering terrorism will decide it is a dead end.

Of course people can believe in a combination of all four memes. I’m a
3% Churchill,
20% Wahabism,
O% Racist,
77% Blame Clinton

kind of guy. President Bush, I believe, is about
0% Churchill,
50% Wahabism,
0% Racist,
50% Blame Clinton

guy. Thus we didn’t just destroy the Taliban in Afghanistan, we went into Iraq to change the region. Few, if any, adhere to the “Arabs are Crazy or Look Mom, I’m a Racist” meme, but liberals love to claim that conservatives believe in it whole heartedly.

I suspect my liberal friend Dr. M is a
60% Churchill,
35% Wahabism,
5% Blame Clinton

guy, and I look forward to reading his comments.

What are you?


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