From: Ryan Kennedy (e-mail him)
Recently I watched the PBS NewsHour
and at the tail end of the show that had an interview with a New Yorker magazine reporter/author Lawrence Wright who has covered the Mid-East extensively over his adult life and was on to plug his new book, The Terror Years.
[Understanding the rise of the Islamic State,
September 30, 2016] A few things really jumped out at me. He said he visited Syria after the US invasion of Iraq but before Syria descended into chaos. He did so specifically to try to understand Syria and its people and gain some insight into why it was in his words, it was, "the dog that didn't bark" that is, be a relatively tranquil oasis in the Arab tempest of violence and intrigue.
His observations on the nature of Syrian culture begins at min. 3:00
, ”...and physical abuse was a common element. Everybody I met had been beaten. By their parents or their school teacher or the police. You know, it was a culture that had already suffered an enormous amount of trauma. And my fixer (local producer), this lovely young woman, her parents had both been in political prison, her mother for two and a half years, her father for 13 years. He had been tortured, he had been locked in isolation. And so he came home and what did he do? He beat her up, he locked her in her room. That was a common tale. And it's, I think a lot of times that America wanders into regions it so poorly understands. We don't know what we're facing. Iraq was a classic example of us becoming involved in a culture we totally didn't understand."
What struck me about this is he was describing Syrian society as endemically violent BEFORE it descended into chaos. And the west is hell bent on importing hundreds of thousands of them into their respective societies AFTER these people have lived through this hellish war. How do we think this is going to turn out? He implicitly chides the US (as well he should) for "wandering" into cultures it totally doesn't understand. But it works the other way too. When tens of thousands of Syrians "wander" into the US, how can this end up any other way than badly. It's crazy because here in America we live in a soft tyranny so aptly described by Tocqueville.
The modern feminist movement has made casual violence against women something of a high crime when in most Third World societies it is par for the course.
What happens when we have these people come in significant numbers and live in our society?Ryan Kennedy has written us many letters and articles. He lives in Anchorage, Alaska.