Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Let's abandon the "blame the victim" mentality

One of my regular visitors has been leaving polite, impassioned comments at my blog arguing that world terrorism is all the U.S.'s fault, because we invaded Iraq (which ignores all acts of terror predating that invasion) and because we're not taking the Ghandi-an approach of meeting terror with peace (which I argue works only if you have an innately blood-averse "enemy"). I found myself writing a longer and longer comment what I perceive as a "blame the victim" attitude, so I decided just to bring my comment up to text. Basically, I think there are a few good articles to read out there today, which will help articulate my view point. The first I stumbled across is this column, which tackles the attacks on Bali -- attacks that are inexplicable if one hews to the world view that can, I think, be summed up as it's "all America's fault." The column explains that Bali doesn't fall into the attack America (directly or indirectly) camp, since Bali is a peaceful little island situated near a Muslim democracy. Only by examining the attacker's motives, rather than the victim's role, can one appreciate what's going on here. Another thing to read is this neo-neocon post, which in turn links to a Christopher Hitchens column in Slate. Both make the same point -- radical Islamists are killers, and they go after victims, not because of what the victims have done, but because the victims' death and or the terror those deaths inspire, are necessary to achieve ends utterly unrelated to the corpses they leave behind. I'm sure that those blaming America would never make the mistake of accusing a rape victim of being at fault for an attack. I wonder why they can't extend the same reasoning to nations that are under violent, brutal, non-Democratic attack.