Friday, March 23, 2012

Different Strokes

Even after all we've learned in the last couple of decades about how people in the rest of the world live their lives, there are still some liberal-minded folk who like to tell us that we in the West shouldn't think that our way of life is superior to that of people living elsewhere around the globe. All cultures and ways of life are equally worthy of celebration, the multiculturalists and cultural relativists insist, we're all patches in the brightly colored quilt of human expression and no patch is of better quality or more importance than another.

This sentiment makes for warm feelings in university faculty lounges and classrooms and may prompt us to break into a treacly chorus or two of Up with People or We Are the World, but it's an awfully hard belief to maintain once we start looking at how so many of the world's people actually live.

We've spoken on numerous occasions here at Viewpoint, for instance, about honor killings, a practice that occurs throughout the Arab/Muslim world. Women who've in some way "dishonored" their families, usually by seeing men of whom the family disapproves, are murdered, often in brutal fashion and with the tacit consent of the community, by male relatives.

Recently Al Arabiya reported that there were almost 1000 such murders in Pakistan alone last year. This tally is up from almost 900 in 2010. Here are some "highlights" from the Al Arabiya story:
At least 943 Pakistani women and girls were murdered last year for allegedly defaming their family’s honor, the country’s leading human rights group said Thursday. The statistics highlight the growing scale of violence suffered by many women in conservative Muslim Pakistan, where they are frequently treated as second-class citizens and there is no law against domestic violence.

Despite progress on better protecting women’s rights, activists say the government needs to do more to prosecute murderers in cases largely dismissed by police as private, family affairs. “At least 943 women were killed in the name of honor, of which 93 were minors,” wrote the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan in its annual report.

Seven Christian and two Hindu women were among the victims.

The Commission reported 791 “honor killings” in 2010. Around 595 of the women killed in 2011 were accused of having “illicit relations” and 219 of marrying without permission. Some victims were raped or gang raped before being killed. Most of the women were killed by their brothers and husbands.

Only 20 of 943 killed were reported to have been provided medical aid before they died.
Contra the multicultis, we need to affirm that in fact some ways of life really are better than others and some cultures are quite simply degenerate. A society which treats the rape, torture, and murder of its young women as nothing more than a private domestic squabble is, not to put too fine a point on it, depraved.

I urge anyone still in the grip of the multicultural fantasy to rent the movie The Stoning of Soroya M. which is based on a true story. Watch the film and then see if you still think it's all just a matter of "different strokes for different folks".

Botched Job

Sunday was the anniversary of the Obama administration's decision to intervene in Libya under the guise of protecting Libyan citizens from Col. Qaddafi's threats to destroy them. The anniversary passed with little comment from the president's spokespersons and for good reason, I suppose.

This intervention followed hard upon our political intervention in Egypt taking the side of those who wished to depose Hosni Mubarak. That intervention followed our refusal to intervene to help the pro-democracy demonstrators in Iran who were being shot in the streets by thugs loyal to Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. All of these preceded (still with me?) our refusal to intervene in Syria where yet another tyrant is slaughtering his people by the thousands.

Perhaps there's a coherent foreign policy here, but if so it's difficult to say what it might be. What are the principles which govern Mr. Obama's decisions about whom to help and whom to let die? Why did we have a "Responsibility to Protect" Libyan civilians but no such responsibility vis a vis Syrian civilians?

Where we did intervene, of course, we made a mess of things. Egypt is now being ruled by Islamists who are hostile to both their own Coptic Christians and the Israelis. They're merrily murdering the Copts, burning their churches, and threatening to murder the Israelis.

Libya is governed, if one can call it that, by rival militias who've smuggled guns and other weaponry to Islamic insurgents in Mali, a country on Libya's southern border which had been a firm ally of ours in the war on terror. Now the military has deposed the government in a coup, and soldiers and others are plundering the capital. A relatively stable African country is in chaos largely as a consequence of our intervention in Libya.

Remember how the Democrats derided George Bush for commending his FEMA director for a job well done in the wake of Hurricane Katrina when by all appearances the director had botched the job? The mockery went on for years. When will the Democrats start deriding the Obama administration for a feckless, helter skelter foreign policy that has botched North Africa far worse than anything FEMA ever did?