Yesterday's bombing of the HSBC headquarters and the British Consulate in Istanbul left me saddened, and as I read the initial opinions stated (on the Beeb's website) in this morning's "Having Your Say" topic on the Beeb's website (Thoughts on Istanbul Suicide Bombers), I worry about those well-meaning but ultimately idiotarian anglos who think that if you just take the time to piously examine and humbly address the root causes of Islamist resentment, all these pesky, inconvenient attacks would cease and "peace" would rule the day. If it were that simple, folks, these attacks would have long since ended the moment Bill Clinton and friends assumed the executive branch. That and the nefarious dictatorship of North Korea would be singing "Kumbaya" around permanently dismantled nuclear reactors.
In attempting to be inclusive in their thinking, these naive people commit the gravest error of politically correct thinking: they apply Western standards to non-Western peoples.
Addressing "root causes" is the current obsession of the anti-war Left, and will be their undoing. Islamist extremists are not concerned with root causes - nowhere in the Koran is there any allusion to root causes. Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups may pander to Western sensibilities in claiming that "bias towards Israel" and "double standards" form the core of their discontent. Former US President Bill Clinton and former Israeli PM Ehud Barak gave Yasser Arafat a more-than-generous settlement in the Wye Valley Accords, and Arafat turned them down flat. Once again, America, Britain and Israel were thwarted in their efforts to bring peace to the Middle East, and no amount of attention to the root causes of Palestinian discontent would change that fact.
While we dither over "root causes", the Islamic world continues to fester in its' hatred of all things secular and inclusive, and has addled Western thinking in its' deft manipulation of our desire to make up for the supposed wrongs of our foreign policies. This combined with strict adherence to the more violent and xenophobic tenets of the Koran has led us to where we are today, and it is foolhardy to assume that if we were somehow 'kinder' or more considerate towards countries that support terrorism, groups like Hamas, Al Qaeda and Abu Sayaf would lay down their guns and embrace peace.
This war will only be won when we think like they do, not as they would want us to.