Kathy Kinsley does some Thinking Out Loud on the subject of blind spots.
"It's pretty obvious to me that they are a warrior culture, and simply cannot conceive that a culture which prefers peace could possibly counterattack the way we did. That's one blind spot I see in them. That warrior mindset is also what makes them believe that the US rules Israel (or vice-versa). Someone must always rule... Can we use that? Make them worry about each other more than us?Funny Kathy should bring that up. I was thinking along the same lines yesterday, on the subject of hatred, which is one of the things we have a hard time conceiving. We in the Land of the Free have actual legislation against "hate crimes" and we have innumerable talking heads on the terriblevision decrying "hate." What we don't have is a conception of what real hatred is. When we do get that conception, we do our best to shake it off as quickly as possible. We do have our loons - assorted Nazis, Klansmen, and such, who try to fall into the Timothy McVeigh/Matthew Shephard category. Most of us "hate" the thugs who perpetrated 9-11. But with the exception of some (not even all) of the Nazis/Klansmen/such we don't approach the hatred our enemies are capable of perpetrating. It's a cultural thing, one that's always been there but which has grown more pronounced since the end of WWII. We've taken the concept of chivalry to heart and extended it to all of the earth. All men are America's brothers. This has been a good thing, as we've absorbed a larger than usual number of immigrants, some of whose cultures have been disturbingly different, and we've made them our own with more apparent success than Europe has done.
They may be evil, they may be perpetual victims. They may be evil victims. But, whatever they are, they are damned good at finding our blind spots. We need to find theirs."
The Other Side makes me think there's a defect in the English language, one that should be fixed. Our concept of hatred is different from theirs. We may "hate" injustice, for instance, but we don't think in terms of ripping its guts out. They do. We simply aren't very good at dehumanizing our enemies to the point we regard them as vermin to be exterminated. They are.
Consider, today Muslim-Muslim hatred led to a Shiite mosque being bombed and a dozen or so women were killed, and more were maimed. The Palestinians took revenge for the killing of one of their al-Aqsa heroes by killing three collaborators. The festivities included putting cigarettes out in the bullet holes and fathers bringing their kiddies to watch the show. When Israeli soldiers were trapped and killed by Palestinians last year their killers and their friends lined up to smear themselves with the blood of the dead, a badge of "honor.". These degrees of depravity are beyond the understanding of most of us; the "hatred" is of an entirely different caliber.
Will the grandchildren of today's Islamothugs inherit the ability to dehumanize that way? Not once we've beaten them. The grandparents of the Japanese raped Nanking, yet today Japan is a decent and civilized nation. The grandparents of the Germans perpetrated the most horrific campaign of extermination against a people since the Mongols were building pyramids of skulls. Today Germany, too, is a decent and civilized nation. But the grandchildren of today's Islamists won't have the chance to be decent and civilized if we can't keep our level of hatred high enough to destroy what the Other Side is trying to build. More to the point, if we let them succeed, our own grandchildren will feel perfectly free to regard those they don't agree with as subhuman and to treat them accordingly.