Saturday, March 11, 2006

Are We Pavlovian?

Something I wrote in the previous post got me to thinking (which is going to get me in trouble again). Why was there such a huge backlash on the terminal deal with Dubai? Was it xenophobia as the Republicans state? Is it a knee-jerk reaction to anything Arab? Or are we just so hyped up on anything that has to do with the Middle East we reject it out of hand?

In many respects, it's probably all of the above and then some. We have been conditioned through so many events since 9/11 that we are suspicious for all of the right and wrong reasons. It's no wonder given the current state of the world.

I believe it's our wonderful media's coverage of the Middle East and Islamic related events that shapes our opinions and perceptions. After all, if it bleeds, it leads, and there is a lot of blood being shed in the Middle East and elsewhere. Couple this with the anti-American sentiments being displayed on the 6 o'clock news & fearmongering from various political concerns, and the Dubai deal was doomed to fail as will any other large business venture with a Middle Eastern concern or company.

The other half of this is the continued violence worldwide that is linked to the Islamic religion and the Middle Eastern countries that the criminals are citizens of. The tolerance of many people & governments is being stretched to the limits with various reactions ranging from appeasement to defiance. For instance:

  • Since 9/11, terrorist attacks attributed to Islamic extremists have taken place in Spain, France, and England.
  • Immediately after the 9/11 attacks, our media showed people dancing in the streets in several Arab countries, chanting "Death to America."
  • Riots in France have been linked to out of work Islamic youth.
  • Iran has stated repeatedly that they want nuclear weapons, and have threatened violence if they don't get them. One does have to wonder why they need them.
  • Terrorists from Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and other countries are in Iraq fomenting unrest and attacking our soldiers.
  • Reaction to the Mohammed cartoons has been outrageous considering that the same or worse critical cartoons have been leveled at the Jewish and Christian religions.
  • The kidnapping and execution by beheading of innocent civilians continues.
  • Reports of attacks upon non-Muslim women by Muslim men have been reported. These attacks include beatings, rape, and murder.
  • European countries are caving in to Islamic demands for censorship of their media where their religion is concerned.
  • Many of the countries of the Middle East are ruled by kings, despots, & dictators, and the populations are mostly uneducated.
  • Most of the time when the media shows pictures or video of the Middle East or other Islamic countries, we are shown killings, bombings, and violence with the requisite puddles of blood splashed liberally across the screen. Additionally, radical Imams are quoted with hate speeches calling for the killings of all non-Muslim people.

Where this ends up is that many people are afraid. Yes, afraid of what these people are going to do next in the name of their religion. While there are fanatics everywhere, none have proved to be as frightening or as widespread as these. While 9/11 was primarily a terrorist attack, do not forget that the religion of Islam was used to provide the attackers with a reason to kill themselves and as many others as they could. It does not make us xenophobes, racists, or bigots, it just makes us extremely careful almost to the point of paranoia.

Was I in favor of the Dubai company running the terminals in six ports? Not really, but I honestly don't know if it would make any difference. There are other foreign countries such as Communist China that have contracts running terminals, so what is the difference between China and Dubai? Probably none, although the political climate would not permit it at this time. Personally, I would like to see American companies running the terminals, but we are in a global economy, and that's a topic for another time...


Mike's America said...

That censorship of the European media is also a problem here.

Whether it's the subliminal censorship of papers that refuse to run the cartoons, or the overt censorship, as in the case of the Daily Barometer, a student newspaper at Oregon State University.

Validating the outrageous demands of extremists by being "sensitive" to offending them is a mistake of the first order.

It's a shame that so many of those who were upset about the Dubai Ports Deal couldn't channel their energy into dealing with the real extremists, IN OUR OWN COUNTRY, instead of fussing about imaginery ones in the UAE.

shoprat said...

The thought of China running our ports is not exactly what I would consider encouraging either. They, over the long haul,could prove to be far more dangerous than the UAE.

Gaius Arbo said...

Oh hell, Tom. There you go making sense again....

The fools in the multi-culti media may be badly overplaying their hand. They refuse to call a terrorist a terrorist, using terms like "insurgent" instead. But they show repeated outrages committed in the name of Islam. I think the average American can tell a terrorist act when they see one. By denying the problem, they continue to destroy their credibility.

Tom said...

Mike: We know how hypocritical the media is. They would only run articles or the cartoons if 1) they thought they could get away with it; & 2) their ratings would climb. I wonder what they would do if the Jewish & Christian communities got their act together & raised a fuss (non-violently, of course) over some of the anti-Jewish and anti-Christian crap they seem to publish most of the time.

Shoprat: I agree - China, in my mind, is a begger threat to us in the long run than the UAE or a bunch of terrorists.

Gaius Arbo: Sorry, but "sense" is in the title of the blog, so I do have to try & live up to it... The media is losing credibility by the day. Terrorists prey upon the innocent, insurgents attack the governments & military of the country.

Tim said...

Oh well, in 20 years China will own our country anyway, all with the help of W and co., so who really cares what the Muslims do? I hope you are learning Mandarin, Tom.

Tom said...

tim - I believe that Slick Willie had a lot to do with it too, giving China the Most Favored Nation trading status. Politicians, in general, have done a wonderful job in selling out themselves and the country.