Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Mark Steyn: Mugged by reality?
The Australian ^ | July 25, 2005 | Mark Steyn

Posted on 07/25/2005 12:32:02 AM PDT by Tom D.

Mark Steyn: Mugged by reality?

July 25, 2005

WITH hindsight, the defining encounter of the age was not between Mohammed Atta's jet and the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, but that between Mohammed Atta and Johnelle Bryant a year earlier. Bryant is an official with the US Department of Agriculture in Florida, and the late Atta had gone to see her about getting a $US650,000 government loan to convert a plane into the world's largest crop-duster. A novel idea.

The meeting got off to a rocky start when Atta refused to deal with Bryant because she was but a woman. But, after this unpleasantness had been smoothed out, things went swimmingly. When it was explained to him that, alas, he wouldn't get the 650 grand in cash that day, Atta threatened to cut Bryant's throat. He then pointed to a picture behind her desk showing an aerial view of downtown Washington - the White House, the Pentagon et al - and asked: "How would America like it if another country destroyed that city and some of the monuments in it?"

Fortunately, Bryant's been on the training course and knows an opportunity for multicultural outreach when she sees one. "I felt that he was trying to make the cultural leap from the country that he came from," she recalled. "I was attempting, in every manner I could, to help him make his relocation into our country as easy for him as I could."

So a few weeks later, when fellow 9/11 terrorist Marwan al-Shehhi arrived to request another half-million dollar farm subsidy and Atta showed up cunningly disguised with a pair of glasses and claiming to be another person entirely - to whit, al-Shehhi's accountant - Bryant sportingly pretended not to recognise him and went along with the wheeze. The fake specs, like the threat to slit her throat and blow up the Pentagon, were just another example of the multicultural diversity that so enriches our society.

For four years, much of the western world behaved like Bryant. Bomb us, and we agonise over the "root causes" (that is, what we did wrong). Decapitate us, and our politicians rush to the nearest mosque to declare that "Islam is a religion of peace". Issue bloodcurdling calls at Friday prayers to kill all the Jews and infidels, and we fret that it may cause a backlash against Muslims. Behead sodomites and mutilate female genitalia, and gay groups and feminist groups can't wait to march alongside you denouncing Bush, Blair and Howard. Murder a schoolful of children, and our scholars explain that to the "vast majority" of Muslims "jihad" is a harmless concept meaning "decaf latte with skimmed milk and cinnamon sprinkles".

Until the London bombings. Something about this particular set of circumstances - British subjects, born and bred, weaned on chips, fond of cricket, but willing to slaughter dozens of their fellow citizens - seems to have momentarily shaken the multiculturalists out of their reveries. Hitherto, they've taken a relaxed view of the more, ah, robust forms of cultural diversity - Sydney gang rapes, German honour killings - but Her Britannic Majesty's suicide bombers have apparently stiffened even the most jelly-spined lefties.

At The Age, Terry Lane, last heard blaming John Howard for the "end of democracy as we know it" and calling for "the army of my country ... to be defeated" in Iraq, now says multiculturalism is a "repulsive word" whereas "assimilation is a beaut" and should be commended. In the sense that he seems to have personally assimilated with Pauline Hanson, he's at least leading by example.

Where Lane leads, Melbourne's finest have been rushing to follow, lining up to sign on to the New Butchness. "There is something wrong with multiculturalism," warns Pamela Bone. "Perhaps it is time to say, you are welcome, but this is the way it is here." Tony Parkinson - The Age's resident voice of sanity - quotes approvingly France's Jean-Francois Revel: "Clearly, a civilisation that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself."

And yet, The Age's editor Andrew Jaspan still lives in another world. You'll recall that it was Jaspan who objected to the energy and conviction of certain freed Australian hostage, at least when it comes to disrespecting their captors: "I was, I have to say, shocked by Douglas Wood's use of the 'arsehole' word, if I can put it like that, which I just thought was coarse and very ill-thought through ... As I understand it, he was treated well there. He says he was fed every day, and as such to turn around and use that kind of language I think is just insensitive."

And heaven forbid we're insensitive about terrorists. True, a blindfolded Wood had to listen to his jailers murder two of his colleagues a few inches away, but how boorish would one have to be to hold that against one's captors? A few months after 9/11, National Review's John Derbyshire dusted off the old Cold War mantra "Better dead than red" and modified it to mock the squeamishness of politically correct warfare: "Better dead than rude". But even he would be surprised to see it taken up quite so literally by Andrew Jaspan.

Usually it's the hostage who gets Stockholm Syndrome, but the newly liberated Wood must occasionally reflect that in this instance the entire culture seems to have caught a dose. And, in a sense, we have: multiculturalism is a kind of societal Stockholm Syndrome. Atta's meetings with Bryant are emblematic: He wasn't a genius, a master of disguise in deep cover; indeed, he was barely covered at all, he was the Leslie Nielsen of terrorist masterminds - but the more he stuck out, the more Bryant was trained not to notice, or to put it all down to his vibrant cultural tradition.

That's the great thing about multiculturalism: it doesn't involve knowing anything about other cultures - like, say, the capital of Bhutan or the principal exports of Malaysia, the sort of stuff the old imperialist wallahs used to be well up on. Instead, it just involves feeling warm and fluffy, making bliss out of ignorance. And one notices a subtle evolution in multicultural pieties since the Islamists came along. It was most explicitly addressed by the eminent British lawyer Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws, QC, who thought that it was too easy to disparage "Islamic fundamentalists". "We as western liberals too often are fundamentalist ourselves. We don't look at our own fundamentalisms."

And what exactly would those western liberal fundamentalisms be? "One of the things that we are too ready to insist upon is that we are the tolerant people and that the intolerance is something that belongs to other countries like Islam. And I'm not sure that's true."

Hmm. Kennedy appears to be arguing that our tolerance of our own tolerance is making us intolerant of other people's intolerance, which is intolerable. Thus the lop-sided valse macabre of our times: the more the Islamists step on our toes, the more we waltz them gaily round the room. I would like to think that the newly fortified Age columnists are representative of the culture's mood, but, if I had to bet, I'd put my money on Kennedy: anyone can be tolerant of the tolerant, but tolerance of intolerance gives an even more intense frisson of pleasure to the multiculti masochists. Australia's old cultural cringe had a certain market rationality; the new multicultural cringe is pure nihilism.

Mark Steyn is a regular contributor to The Australian.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: islam; islamic; marksteyn; steyn; terror; terrorism
"[M]ulticulturalism is a kind of societal Stockholm Syndrome. Atta's meetings with Bryant are emblematic: He wasn't a genius, a master of disguise in deep cover; indeed, he was barely covered at all, he was the Leslie Nielsen of terrorist masterminds - but the more he stuck out, the more Bryant was trained not to notice, or to put it all down to his vibrant cultural tradition."

Steyn pops 'em again.

1 posted on 07/25/2005 12:32:02 AM PDT by Tom D.
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Tolik; CHARLITE; tiamat; Squantos; mhking; Travis McGee; Eaker

holy CRAP!


2 posted on 07/25/2005 12:38:53 AM PDT by King Prout (and the Clinton Legacy continues: like Herpes, it is a gift that keeps on giving.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tom D.
First posted HERE.
3 posted on 07/25/2005 12:45:04 AM PDT by jigsaw (Only morons believe the root cause of terrorism is our fight against terrorism.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tom D.
And, in a sense, we have: multiculturalism is a kind of societal Stockholm Syndrome.

Some have actually speculated that this type of 'multiculturalism' is precisely what made Rome internally weak and no longer able to hold off the Barbarians. Roman Legions lost their internal cohension or that which had defined them as being a 'Roman'. It appears that once again the more things have changed the more they have stayed the same. So the West has a weakness and the Barbarians are exploiting it.

4 posted on 07/25/2005 1:52:16 AM PDT by justa-hairyape
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tom D.
Aha, Steyn is confabulating!

And yet, The Age's editor Andrew Jaspan still lives in another world. You'll recall that it was Jaspan who objected to the energy and conviction of certain freed Australian hostage, at least when it comes to disrespecting their captors: "I was, I have to say, shocked by Douglas Wood's use of the 'arsehole' word, if I can put it like that, which I just thought was coarse and very ill-thought through ... As I understand it, he was treated well there. He says he was fed every day, and as such to turn around and use that kind of language I think is just insensitive."

Noone paid to write can be that daft!

5 posted on 07/25/2005 3:12:56 AM PDT by thegreatbeast (Quid lucrum istic mihi est?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tom D.
Clearly, a civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself.


I'm sorry for slavery ... I'm sorry for shootin injuns ... I'm sorry for cuttin trees ... I'm sorry for SUV's ...


I'm sorry

6 posted on 07/25/2005 4:04:40 AM PDT by G.Mason
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tom D.
It's sooooooo hard to decide, but this could be Mark's best.

"a civilisation that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself."
~Jean-Francois Revel~

"One of the things that we are too ready to insist upon is that we are the tolerant people and that the intolerance is something that belongs to other countries like Islam. And I'm not sure that's true."
~Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws~

Give those two an Honorary Membership in Mensa!

7 posted on 07/25/2005 4:07:07 AM PDT by Savage Beast (Love is the ultimate aphrodesiac!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jigsaw
It bears posting again. So does this:

"Some people have made the slanderous accusation that I have killed my father and married my mother, and I'm not sure that's true."
~Oedipus~

8 posted on 07/25/2005 4:11:11 AM PDT by Savage Beast (Love is the ultimate aphrodesiac!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Tom D.

Ok, excellent beginning, so what is Steyn's final solution?


9 posted on 07/25/2005 4:18:57 AM PDT by wita (truthspeaks@freerepublic.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All

I read sometime back that these murderous terrorists were chosen from the lot of "less than brilliant" young men. OBL probably knew he couldn't get anyone with the brain of a pissant to do his dasterdly deeds.


10 posted on 07/25/2005 4:23:11 AM PDT by Dawgreg (Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Tom D.

The biological equivalent of 'multiculturalism' would be the human body accepting disease instead of fighting it. 'Multiculturalism' will be the death of Western society. We are being tested, as a society, by the terrorists. Will the body fight the disease or succumb to it?


11 posted on 07/25/2005 4:42:05 AM PDT by 6SJ7
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78

PING


12 posted on 07/25/2005 4:45:54 AM PDT by Tolik
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tom D.

Socialism + multiculturalism = no survival instinct.


13 posted on 07/25/2005 5:34:00 AM PDT by johnnyBbad
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tom D.
VIZZINI :Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I'm not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool; you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.

MAN IN BLACK:You've made your decision then? VIZZINI : Not remotely. Because iocane comes from Australia, as everyone knows. And Australia is entirely peopled with criminals. And criminals are used to having people not trust them, as you are not trusted by me. So I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you.

MAN IN BLACK:Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

14 posted on 07/25/2005 5:50:01 AM PDT by isaiah55version11_0
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Savage Beast
It bears posting again.

I agree. I posted a link primarily so Freepers could see other comments already made.

15 posted on 07/25/2005 5:52:26 AM PDT by jigsaw (Only morons believe the root cause of terrorism is our fight against terrorism.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: isaiah55version11_0

From the "The Princess Bride". Great movie.


16 posted on 07/25/2005 6:35:28 AM PDT by KC_Conspirator (This space outsourced to India)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

bump


17 posted on 07/25/2005 7:48:16 AM PDT by eureka! ([under construction])
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thegreatbeast

How, may I ask, is he confabulating?


18 posted on 07/25/2005 9:17:13 AM PDT by mwilli20 (temporarily tagged out...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: mwilli20

It was a joke, dude. Lighten up.


19 posted on 07/25/2005 10:16:28 AM PDT by thegreatbeast (Quid lucrum istic mihi est?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: jigsaw

Hey, I appreciate that, JS. I always wondered why people noted that something had been previously posted; now I know, and I appreciate it. ~S


20 posted on 07/25/2005 10:27:42 AM PDT by Savage Beast (Love is the ultimate aphrodesiac!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Savage Beast
See, you're not so savage after all!   I'll bet kittens make you melt.   :)
21 posted on 07/25/2005 10:31:23 AM PDT by jigsaw (Only morons believe the root cause of terrorism is our fight against terrorism.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: justa-hairyape

The Left continues to follow the dictates of Karl Marx..."a people without a heritage are easily persuaded." Under the guise of multiculturalism, the Left is destroying our unique American culture in order to replace it with their own socialist utopia.

When you have a people with no particular allegiance it becomes that much more easier to manipulate them. And it isn't a coincidence that the Left is doing just this, when you see how they not only ignore America's fine attributes, they attack and demean everything from the Constitution to our Founders.

From the attack on G-d to the removal and renaming of public schools, the Left is doing its best to erase our common history; and a people with no history, have no future. Whether it's multiculturalism, tolerance or diversity...these are all code for ways to disassemble our unique culture.


22 posted on 07/25/2005 10:44:32 AM PDT by cwb (Liberal guilt is digging our graves.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: cwb
Karl Marx had a unique talent to convince people to pursue a path that should have obviously appeared to be the wrong path. For example convincing anarchists that a Large governmental structure would eventually lead to No governmental structure. Unfortunately for the followers of Marx, the world eventually discovered that said anarchist made poor workers and even poorer governmental planners. That strategy was designed to fail from the start. He basically convinced people who lacked the talent to manage a large government, that they would eventually have such an efficiently running government that the state would eventually disolve. My guess is Marx knew they would fail all along. The question now is did the creator of the Koran also know such ? Imagine convincing people that by killing innocent woman and children, they would eventually be entered into paradise.

Concerning the left's attempt to erase our history, we should take it as a compliment. Someone once wrote somthing similar to the phrase: Losers spend their time rewriting history, while the winners are spending their time making history.

23 posted on 07/26/2005 2:09:50 AM PDT by justa-hairyape
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Tom D.

bttt


24 posted on 07/26/2005 2:14:37 AM PDT by nopardons
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: justa-hairyape

My Dad said in the 60s that Marx knew exactly what he was doing--he was a superlative con artist that used envy to fuel hate for those that possessed more to take over a country that he and his minions would rule. He suckered the masses into letting the few rule the many with an iron fist. The masses ended up with nothing, while the few on top had everything.


25 posted on 07/26/2005 1:28:58 PM PDT by Neoliberalnot (Conservatism: doing what is right instead of what is easy)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: G.Mason
I'm Sorry Your Sorry, I'm Not, I didn't do it, but I learned from it, and I'm Happy that Native Americans, Injuns as you say, are happy enough with broken promises that they don't do what Islam is doing.

Then I might just be sorry, and of course they would become sorry too, ......or more sorry than they are now.

Of course I see a lot of people in the Midwest right now sorry about the Heat from those SUV's and Trees.
26 posted on 07/26/2005 5:15:52 PM PDT by EmoryC
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Tom D.
When it was explained to him that, alas, he wouldn't get the 650 grand in cash that day, Atta threatened to cut Bryant's throat. He then pointed to a picture behind her desk showing an aerial view of downtown Washington - the White House, the Pentagon et al - and asked: "How would America like it if another country destroyed that city and some of the monuments in it?"

Shocking...I hadn't heard about Ms. Bryant before reading this article. I was on a tour in Ireland the last two weeks and read this article in an Irish newspaper. I was pleased that Mark Steyn is being read in Ireland.

27 posted on 07/30/2005 10:19:37 AM PDT by Dr. Scarpetta
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson