Are false facts a trend?
Published: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 25, 2012 12:10
Today I saw a “cute” cartoon in The Water Tower. The cartoon was of a lone Muslim bouncing a pebble off of a massively armed American tank while meekly asking us not to insult Muhammad. The voice bubbles show the Americans in the tank hysterically yelling that this little pebble is a threat to our freedom.
I get what the cartoon implies — we all do — and it is the hackneyed, academically lazy, yet widespread attitude that the West is always wrong, intruding, killing and bullying the rest of the world and that we see threats where they don’t exist. I would like to explain to the artist of this cartoon that his cartoon is misinformed, misleading and exceedingly naive.
Replace the pebble which the Muslim is throwing with an RPG, and replace the massively armed tank with Ambassador Chris Steven’s car, and we have a less cliché, less comical, but more accurate portrayal of the actual situation.
For those who buy into the old colonial guilt rhetoric that the West can do no right and we had no business in Libya, President Obama made sure to eloquently note in his address following the attack on Ambassador Stevens that Stevens was not in Libya in a tank insulting Muhammad, but was in fact instrumental to building schools and hospitals in a country ravaged by war.
In Pakistan, a 14-year-old girl was recently shot in the head by the Taliban for promoting female education; I don’t think the Taliban threw a pebble at her for insulting Muhammad. But our adorable cartoonist at UVM knows that it’s the West with its huge military which is responsible for the problems in the rest of the world.
What is it that leads many American youths to associate military superiority with the moral low ground, and give military inferiority an automatic moral high ground?
People forget that without the advanced U.S. military machine, low technology killers have butchered thousands with machetes in Nigeria.
And while Israel boasts one of the world’s most modern militaries, two Palestinian teenagers from Awarta slaughtered the Fogel family, including toddlers and a 3-month-old baby with a kitchen knife.
While the cartoon in The Water Tower is trendy, clever and hip, its inaccuracy and the deluded and naive worldview it promotes is an embarrassment to the American youth.
Just today, a would-be Muslim suicide bomber from Bangladesh was arrested planning to detonate a 1,000 pound car bomb in New York: a guy with a pebble, right?
To focus the blame for violence and aggression on the West while ignoring things that are politically incorrect, like saying, “Hey, the Taliban murders women and children,” and “radical Islam is a threat which must be fought,” diminishes us in the eyes of the world, especially when the majority of Muslims in the world are oppressed by radical Islam and stand in solidarity with Ambassador Stevens and the young girl in Pakistan.
So, while these cartoons show just how pervasive and hip this anti-Western sentiment is on U.S. campuses, maybe we should analyze the facts which lead to the conclusion that maybe the West isn’t so bad, and maybe the menace of radical Islam isn’t some little guy throwing a pebble at a tank.
Jeremiah Aryeh Rozman
Class of 2014