Sunday, January 27, 2002
Thomas Friedman approvingly quotes Adrian Karatnycky of Freedom House comparing the WTC hijackers with the European terrorists of the seventies. And certainly there are a lot of parallels to observe: affluent, educated backgrounds; a long period of subsidized student aimlessness, culminating in a drift towards an apocalyptic, violence-worshipping creed; a foreign country willing to fund, arm, train and shelter them as part of a program of undermining the West's geopolitical reach. So what does Friedman conclude is the motivation for the recent crop of Europe-bred Islamicist terrorists? "[A] poverty of dignity." That's right--he claims that they were "[f]rustrated by the low standing of Muslim countries in the world....and the low standing in which they were personally held where they were living". Does he really believe that if only Mohammed Atta had been more warmly welcomed in Hamburg, there would have been no WTC attack? Does he also believe, then, that Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof turned to senseless violence as a result of their own harsh treatment at the hands of the inhumane German welfare state? Does he even read his own columns?