Saturday, July 14, 2007

Ungrateful Wretch

The kidnappers of Alan Johnston, which included al-Qaeda operative Qattab al-Maqdesy, are unhappy the BBC correspondent did not thank them for the hospitality he received at their hands, according to the Times of London. (Hat tip: National Review)



The kidnappers expressed bizarre resentment that Johnston, 45, had done nothing to thank them for their hospitality while they held him at gunpoint in a tiny cell.

“We used to give him everything he wanted,” Abu Zobayer, an aide to Dagmoush, said. “We spent £70 on his food every week. The Matouk restaurant [one of the best eateries in Gaza] got rich because we had to feed him.” Johnston has said that he fell ill from the food he was served. Zobayer commented: “It’s not our problem that we gave him everything and he only ate a little.”

“We had people with him all the time to try to help him to relax,” said Zobayer. “We gave him a radio so that he could listen to his own channel. I myself sat with him to try to make him feel comfortable and feel that he will be released.”

This tells you a lot about the infidel's place in life. Don't try to rise above your station. Be glad you were not painfully decapitated.

11 Comments:

Blogger Harrison said...

Coincidentally, that was what the Iranian students who had held the American embassy and its occupants hostage had also insisted on: that those allowed to return would emphasise on how 'well' the hostage takers treated them, presumably as a sign that the hostage takers had treated them as humanely as possible - all the while missing the point that their initial act warranted almost certainly the negation of any form of neutrality or good will towards these scumbags who violated international law so blatantly.

The physical pains and torturous conditions that Johnston might possibly have had to endure while in captivity is nothing compared to the terrifying prospect of being decapitated while alive, or executed in various perverse methods which the hostage takers might have found gratifying. Having no clue as to whether he would ever be released, convinced that death was lurking around every corner, the feeling of perpetual dread - that the sumptuous food might have been poisoned, or that he would be shot in the back while enjoying the spread at the table - how could one feel grateful towards the inordinate intensity of foreboding that the entire predicament seemed to relentlessly weigh upon his shoulders day and night?

I bet the people who had been asked to keep Johnston company were armed with handguns, and that he was allowed to hear the radio broadcasts only because his captors wanted him to realise the dire circumstances and see for himself that his government was entirely incapable - or perhaps indifferent to his fate - of locating and rescuing him, or negotiating his release. All psychological attacks to reduce him and finally make him confess the 'crimes of the West' in some propaganda beheading video.

7/14/2007 06:21:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Terrorists who have grown up in the authoritarian, brutal atmosphere of the Middle East probably come from a different psychological starting point than most Westerners. They expect to be tortured, brutalized and humiliated by their foes. Their treatment of Johnston, while completely unacceptable by Western standards, is probably so far above the standard that they feel more than a little hurt at not being congratulated for his treatment.

And when such terrorists encounter a foe who is literally compelled by his procedures to handle a Koran with white globes it probably fills the hard cases with contempt more than gratitude for his enemy. And so the comedy of errors is complete. The Western liberal expects "gratitude" for his moral superiority and gets scorn; while the Jihadi expects gratitude for the moderation of his brutality and gets disgust. They deserve each other.

7/14/2007 06:41:00 AM  
Blogger Harrison said...

Apologists who tend to equivocate about the humane-ness which the terrorists treat their own draw their own warped conclusions via the prism of moral equivalence. While, as you pointed out, the jihadi tempers his bestial nature in order to distort the true picture, the apologist jumps at the opportunity to point out that this civilised manner of treatment must be the exact type terrorists dish out to their parochial rivals at home, and that any deviation from the 'norm' must be an anomaly that can surely be rationalised.

Moral superiority and moral equivalence aren't necessarily mutually exclusive, however. Hypocrites abound within the ranks of sympathisers of our enemies who pretend to understand the reasons behind their savage natures and then go all out to justify their barbaric actions. They believe terrorists need men of higher standing and greater intellectual and oratorical propensity to express their ideological ideas better i.e. to dress it in less extreme vernacular and disguise its true intentions.

Condescension runs hand in hand with conspiratorial complicity.

7/14/2007 08:06:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

The attitude put on display by the kidnappers of Alan Johnston is quite similar to the one copped by many in the US when discussing the invasion of Iraq. Never mind that the invasion was both illegal and immoral in the first place, why can’t those ungrateful Iraqi people understand that the US is offering them a better way of life? Just like Alan Johnston picked at the delicacies that his kidnappers brought to him from that famous Gaza culinary temple The Matouk, the people of Iraq don’t seem to be digging into all the great things their occupiers are bringing them either.

7/14/2007 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Harrison, wretchard, there is another aspect to the argument and that is that subhumans deserve nothing, so anything should engender feelings of gratitude.

7/14/2007 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Kevin is a stunning example of moral equivalence. ONLY the West is unable to act in defense. ONLY America is "evil" and so on.

With Saddam in a constant state of war with the US, helping 9/11 at critical points, giving Zawahari a check publicly (with photos and everything) for $200K in his office months before the Cole, and his inability to adhere to prior agreements, everyone should have expected the Iraq War.

What Kevin REALLY objects to is fighting our enemies in any way. It means HE and those he aspires to join (wealthy aristos) will have to share power with ordinary people who will be asked to sacrifice. Note the emphasis on "morality" which is typical for the priesthood. What is unique about the new feudalism and nobility is the total devotion to the priesthoods: "journalist" and "entertainment" and best of all "activist."

Kevin's objections are nothing more than the age old hatred of the corrupt priesthood which hates the soldier and common man. God forbid the people defend themselves! Better to have the people erased than share power with them. Particularly since the Priests have no problems acting as pets for the new overlords.

[I fail to see why "morality" would enter into the Iraq War. It is either a wise exercise of power to remove a threat and provide a compelling example for others or an unwise sideshow distracting us from bombing the hell out of Pakistan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia till their people live in misery and are forced to come to terms, i.e. surrender unconditionally to us and cease making war on us. "Morality" is like screaming about the morality of your medical treatment: it either works or it does not.]

7/14/2007 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

I'll bet the dirty little ingrate did not leave them a tip, either...

7/14/2007 01:27:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Aha. Must be 5 million dollars of monopoly money. Plus a million fake Kalinikov rounds.

7/14/2007 06:54:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Kevin is a stunning example of moral equivalence. ONLY the West is unable to act in defense. ONLY America is "evil" and so on.

This sentence is contradictory. Either I practice moral equivalence (i.e. compare the kidnapping of Alan Johnston to the invasion of Iraq) or I am a moral exceptionalist (i.e. ONLY the West is evil, etc.)

With Saddam in a constant state of war with the US, Yeah, we were attacking his country, great justification for an invasion helping 9/11 at critical points, no evidence giving Zawahari a check publicly (with photos and everything) for $200K in his office months before the Cole, Forgeries and of course unknown at the time of the invasion and his inability to adhere to prior agreements, well in fact the one thing about the invasion is that it showed that Saddam did in fact adhere to his agreements to disarm everyone should have expected the Iraq War.

Well in the spirit of moral equivlance couldn’t the Al Qaida reps in Palestine who kidnapped Alan Johnston just give equally weak-ass justifications for the kidnapping and you would have to accept them or resort to moral exceptionalism? You know, the BBC is hostile to Palestine, the British allowed all those Jews there in the first place; everyone should have expected the Alan Johnston kidnapping?

What Kevin REALLY objects to is fighting our enemies in any way. It means HE and those he aspires to join (wealthy aristos) will have to share power with ordinary people who will be asked to sacrifice. Note the emphasis on "morality" which is typical for the priesthood. What is unique about the new feudalism and nobility is the total devotion to the priesthoods: "journalist" and "entertainment" and best of all "activist."

Yes, this is Schopenhaurer’s stratagem III, take a particular statement (The war in Iraq is immoral) and exaggerate it (All wars the US takes part in are immoral). But then it gets interesting, in your world only “aristos” care about morality, the common man is apparently a savage with no moral compass at all. And yet tomorrow you will be railing against multi-culturalism because is disallows the very moral judgements that you claim only “aristos” care to make. In other words only the “aristos” care about morality but yet it is they who have created multiculturalism in order to deny themselves morality. Huh?

Kevin's objections are nothing more than the age old hatred of the corrupt priesthood which hates the soldier and common man. God forbid the people defend themselves! Better to have the people erased than share power with them. Particularly since the Priests have no problems acting as pets for the new overlords. Oh yeah, you were able to extrapolate all that from my saying the Iraq War was immoral and illegal. But even if we run with your argument is It even true that priests (writ large) have traditionally been hostile to soldiers are war? I think not, quite the opposite in fact.

But the final paragraph is were you reveal all. I fail to see why "morality" would enter into the Iraq War Here you clearly place yourself in the Realist camp and by doing so explicitly accept the founding document of those who reject moral judgements on war, The Melian Dialogue with its famous line spoken by the Athenian as they tried to convince the representatives of Melos to surrender:

For ourselves, we shall not trouble you with specious pretences- either of how we have a right to our empire because we overthrew the Mede, or are now attacking you because of wrong that you have done us- and make a long speech which would not be believed; and in return we hope that you, instead of thinking to influence us by saying that you did not join the Lacedaemonians, although their colonists, or that you have done us no wrong, will aim at what is feasible, holding in view the real sentiments of us both; since you know as well as we do that right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.

This is exactly the creed of Al Qaida. The jihadi holds the sword and the weak suffer what they must. Many, many people in the past have fallen into the realist trap, the most well-known case in America being Henry Kissinger. Typically however America ways attempted to base its actions at on morality. It’s your choice Whiskey_199 to reject morality; I cannot do anything to stop that. But I grew up in a working class family and I can assure you my very non-aristo parents did everything they could to instil a moral code into me so please don’t go around insulting my people by saying we are immoral apes. And don’t come back tomorrow with any pathetic moral judgements against Islamic militants, those who reject morality for themselves reject it for everyone.

7/14/2007 11:28:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Kevin,

Seems your orbit is further and further from the sun. My feeling is that you're attracted to wholly different gravitational bodies. As such, this would classify you as a foreign object. A foreign object on a path with a trajectory for a direct collision.

7/15/2007 07:09:00 AM  
Blogger Dr. Ferris said...

These allegations of bias are levelled against an ideological camp, not an individual. For example, many Leftists called the presence of UN troops in Vietnam "illegal", but were quiet about the massacres precipitated by the US leaving Indochina, both in Vietnam and in Laos, perpetrated by Marxist "good guys". And so on.

Now we see a linkage between Muslim terrorists taking hostage a British journalist and Coalition troops overthrowing a secular Ba'athist socialist despot in Iraq. The action is further 'linked' to that of the Athenians during the latter part of the Peloponnesian War - in particular, the mass annihilation of a neutral Greek city-state. And so on, and so forth.

Can Leftists simultaneously practice moral exceptionalism and moral equivalence? Frequently they do, sometimes in the same paragraph. Since the Leftist narrative is divorced from logic or empirical evidence, it need not conform to any rational means of discourse. It is meant to achieve a political end, nothing more. Since the Left is presently allied with Muslim radicalism, Leftists frequently whitewash the terrorism of these extremists or describe their actions as 'responses' to Western atrocities. If there is a falling out between the two factions in the future, Leftists will become much more attentive, and much less apologetic, regarding these Muslim factions. We saw similar behavior during the Russo-German Pact era of 1939-41: first rhetoric condemning Nazism, then an almost complete blackout of such rhetoric (or comments that Nazi acts were the fault of the West), and hten, following Operation Barbarossa, even more virulent rhetoric not only condemning the Nazi regime, but reversing their heretofore "pacifist" stance.

I am not a Leftist. Thus, my analysis of the Middle East situation is a bit different. From my Armenian heritage I am already aware of what happens when a people behave as Muslims and Marxists dictate. We have already enjoyed the perculiar, self-serving interpretations of 'justice' from both sides. My question is, after the bloodbath of the 20th century, after already seeing scores of entire peoples massacred by Muslims and Marxists alike, is it so surprising to see socialist atheists and religious extremists united in common cause? Is it so odd to us, given so many Leftist lies of teh past, that Saddam Hussein is now described by Leftists as not only a creation and past ally of the US, but as a devout Muslim as well? Is it so strange to see Leftists claim that the US armed Saddam, even as we see all the Soviet-era equipment in his arsenal, including the chemical weapons distribution equipment the Soviet Union gave his regime back in the late '80s? Does anyone still recoil in shock, when Left-wing 'anti-nuclear' activists defend Iran's nuclear weapons program?

I don't react with moral outrage or horror when Kevin says what he says. I expect him to behave so. He only voices the stances of his particular faction, and so when he fibs I'm not especially surprised at all. It's expected, from Jeremy Glick calling Taraki of Afghanistan a 'popularly elected' official, to Noam Chomsky trying to hide the Khmer Rouge killing fields (then later blaming them on the US).

So what are the rest of you in such a flurry about? Public debate is just another forum of conflict for the Left. If Leftists could self-justify killing over 100 million people in the last century to forward their aims (or lie about doing it, or claim that the killings were done by 'state-capitalists'), what makes you think they'd shy away from a few deliberate deceptions in a public forum?

C'mon kids.

7/15/2007 06:46:00 PM  

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