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.
The news media has already activated its brilliant powers of long distance psychoanalysis on the 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 lead him to snap and 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. A robber, a rapist or a murderer were just lashing out because of social discrimination in an unfair class system. They weren’t depraved, they were deprived. Their 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.