ìFinally, Good News In Mideast: The Israeli fence is helping, and the debate is shifting,î by David Brooks, New York Times, 22 May, p. A25.
ìThe Search For P.M.D.ís: It takes an Iraqi to know who doesnít belong,î by Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times, 23 May, p. WK11.
David Brooks is coming around on the Israeli security fence. Expect many more pundits to do so. It is the future of the security solution that will lead to two states, one wall, and one long babysitting job for U.S. troops along withóhopefullyóa fistful of our closest great power friends.
Friedmanís piece had this great paragraph I just have to quote (heís talking about suicide bombers showing up in Iraq in big numbersói.e., Persons of Mass Destruction):
ìWe donít know who these people areóalthough reports suggest they are coming from Europe, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, and Saudi Arabiaóhow the underground railroad that gets them from their local mosques to Iraq operates, how they connect up with the operating cells in Iraq and how they get wired and indoctrinated for suicide missions.I have always said, if you want to understand how to recruit terrorists, watch ìFight Club,î the movie, or read the book. Itís all about connecting young men disconnected from their desired futures to a larger meaning or goal that gives these guys a sense of personal accomplishment that consumes their personal rage against life in general. Itís not about being poor or uneducated. Itís about diminished expectations. Itís about being disconnected by life from the future you assumed was yours.
[hereís the para I really like]
ëI donít think the P.M.D.ís are really a product of local Iraqi resentment against us,í says Raymond Stock, an expert on Arabic literature and media based in Cairo. ëThey are main imported cookie-cutter killers, created by a combination of Arab mass media, certain extremist elements in Muslim culture, and some very shrewd recruiting by Al Qaeda and its ilk. When young, angry, futureless, sexually repressed people are taught that death is a permanent vacation of guilt-free pleasure, and they see it glorified in countless videos, all you need is a willing truck driver to ferry them over the border from Syria, Jordan, Turkey or Saudi Arabia, and prestoóa human bomb.î
That guy is ready made to be a terrorist. Heís got nowhere else to go.