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Monday, July 24, 2006

Sound familiar?

Jihad is carried out almost entirely by young men and the Islamic oil nations have a vast supply of young men with no other job opportunities except service in Jihad. Their despair at the prospects of their societies must be great, and easily converted into aggressive rage. Plus, they are given huge inducements to believe that this employment is a holy mission, and fabulous promises of deferred pay in the form of early retirement to paradise and the consort of lusty virgins. As Peak Oil becomes more of a reality in the Middle East, I think these societies will only act crazier.
-- That's James Howard Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency, who writes frequently and coherently about the insanity of America's car-crazed culture. Unfortunately, Kunstler likes to play neocon when it comes to foreign policy, as his pro-Israel rant showed last week. But read the paragraph above, replacing "Jihad" with "The Global War On Terror," and "early retirement to paradise and the consort of lusty virgins" with "a college education and the undying respect of their countrymen," and the statement becomes much more true. (Actually, I haven't checked the military's recruiting methods lately--maybe they are promising lusty virgins now.)

Of course, Kunstler is improperly conflating the struggles of Hamas and Hezbollah against the constant aggression of Israel with the more general "war of civilizations" jihad of al Qaeda, which is more similar to our own "few, proud" and "armies of one"--young men (and women) responding to rhetoric of bloodthirsty "patriotism" and "duty" rather than the constant, direct, in-your-face death and humiliation the Palestinians have experienced for decades.

Kunstler also tries to conflate Lebanon and Palestine with the "Islamic oil nations". Neither is an oil nation, and Lebanon isn't even all that Islamic.