Monday, July 02, 2007

The doctors' plot 

This news is going to make Britons very reluctant to go to their doctor, at least if he is south Asian:

The suspected al-Qa'eda terrorists behind the attempted car bomb attacks on Britain were almost all foreign doctors working in the NHS, it can be disclosed today.

In a development that will raise questions over the vetting procedures for medics from abroad, it emerged that five of the seven suspects held by police are young Middle Eastern men employed at British hospitals.

One is Mohammed Asha, a "brilliant" neurosurgeon from Jordan.

Fortunately, bomb-making is apparently more like rocket science than brain surgery.

Of course, this ought to put a last bullet in the idea that Islamism is somehow grounded in poverty, lack of opportunity, the existence of Israel, the abuse of the Palestinian Arabs, colonialism, materialism, disrespect of Islam, or small penis size. Islamism is a brutal political ideology that is attractive to certain people, just as fascism and communism appealed to certain people. We did not trouble ourselves to search for the "root causes" of fascism or communism, and neither should we try to understand the appeal of Islamism. We did not try to persuade Italians that their trains needn't run on time, or Russians that they should not take from the able to give to the needy. We just fought them. So it should be with the jihadis. We should oppose them, agitate against them, make war upon them, and destroy them, but there really is no basis to think we can talk them out of extreme Islamism by addressing their concerns.

MORE: Hitchens has more and better along the same vein.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jul 03, 02:22:00 AM:

I respectfully disagree.

Fascism emerged out of the poverty of the Great Depression and the economic devastation that was post WWI Germany.

Communism found its chief supporters in the impoverished masses and landless peasants.

Poverty lends itself to extreme and misguided ideologies- a hungry man cannot think straight.

However, extreme misguided ideologies do not usually find their leaders in the masses from which they derive their main support and fuel. For instance, communism was led by educated members of the bourgeoisie (Lenin, Trotsky, etc.). They see themselves as heroes to the peoples, they see a perceived injustice and they seek to fix it. Because they are educated, because they can fully articulate and comprehend the ideology, and because they have some wealth and resources, they are infinitely more dangerous than the typical member of their movement.

Thus it is that the extreme Islamic ideology may find its primary base in the masses of Gaza and Cairo and Riyadh, but finds its most effective leaders and warriors in the likes of (perhaps by this point former) multi-millionaire Bin Laden, and, in this particular case, immigrant doctors.

We can (and will) continue to fight the fire by killing terrorists and heaping on more security, but we will not prevail until we (or reforming Arabs) take away the fuel, namely the economic, social, and political limitations of the demographically young Arab population, and, in Britain's case, their inability to economically and politically integrate their immigrant populations.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jul 03, 05:33:00 AM:

A small quibble:

Not sure we can rule out small penis size at this point yet...  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Tue Jul 03, 06:54:00 AM:

Mr. Bukharin (great handle, by the way):

OK, there is no question that fascist and communist leaders exploited widespread economy and social misery to their advantage (and I did not mean to suggest that Islamists were not doing the same thing). But that misery was merely the clay to be molded by the totalitarians. There are plenty of miserable people in the world who have not embraced totalitarian ideology -- they have not, because no credible totalitarian has arisen to exploit their misery. Where I think you and I differ is in the solution. You said: We can (and will) continue to fight the fire by killing terrorists and heaping on more security, but we will not prevail until we (or reforming Arabs) take away the fuel, namely the economic, social, and political limitations of the demographically young Arab population, and, in Britain's case, their inability to economically and politically integrate their immigrant populations. Setting aside the peculiar case of social conditions in Britain, I completely disagree. We defeated neither communism nor fascism by curing the social conditions that communist and fascist leaders exploited to their advantage. We did not cure poverty in Russia or solve Germany's economic problems. Similarly, I respectfully submit that it is obvious that we will not defeat radical Islamism by improving the lives of the average Arab. We do not have the resources, understanding, or patience. Rather, I think we will use the same general strategy that we used against communism and fascism: We will discredit Islamism by depriving it of actual successes, and it will discredit itself by failing to live up to its promises. So I suppose I stand by the analogy.  

By Blogger Ray, at Tue Jul 03, 08:38:00 AM:

You know, those doctors could have hurt British society a lot more if they simply poisoned their patients for years, and then confessed to the jihad when discovered.

If discovered.

Just saying ...  

By Blogger Purple Avenger, at Tue Jul 03, 09:37:00 AM:

really is no basis to think we can talk them out of extreme Islamism by addressing their concerns.

Just convert to Islam and adopt Sharia. See? That was simple. All is forgiven now.  

By Blogger SR, at Tue Jul 03, 09:43:00 AM:

Shortages of medical care in Britain makes necessary the use of doctors like these. Somebody once said that if you think medical care is expensive now, just wait until it is free. These guys really are "Sicko."  

By Blogger Georg Felis, at Tue Jul 03, 09:49:00 AM:

Do you think this will discourage a certain political class that wants to import Britain’s Socialist medical system to the US?
Thoughtful Comment:
RB, you have an absolutely brilliant comment, but I would add two words. “Perceived” and “Self-Imposed” The young Arab population in Britain and elsewhere are fed a line of (censored) about how their problems are all caused by (fill in Evil third party here) and how they will never be able to succeed because of it. Add in the forced removal of half of their intelligent labor pool from the skilled labor pool because of gender, stir in a dash of racial prejudice and superiority, add a giant blob of oil money in the hands of the elite, mix well and you have… well, you have the present Middle East.

An absolute key part of the insurgency in Iraq is the belief that they *can* win at least one battle, which is why the US is very careful to hammer in the faces of any force that tries. As long as the insurgency believes that they will be defeated in every fight, they will carry that thought with them into battle as a self-realizing prophecy.
So you're both right. (no matter how Moderate that sounds)  

By Blogger Christopher Chambers, at Tue Jul 03, 11:13:00 AM:

TH--first, as someone who hears his father talk of South Asian docs here in the States, you and your...deary me, is the word "fascist" yeah, fascist commenters should understand that "socialist" medicine doesn't bring these folks here, nor will it bring more if something like that's the rule. They come to make money, and they come because our schools don't seem to have a pool of "natives" who wantto treat people without getting paid. See, a doc in India or Jordan or pakistan or Poland for that matter, is going to make more being rude to poor folks in an underfunded clinic here than in his/her land,and our citizens don't want to work in the places with the most need, and don't want to incur the student loans to do it and some are too busy detailing their hoopdy, or prepping for the Tequila Sprints at Tiger Inn (I blame myself...and one other person...for that) to get the grades necessary for med school and beyond. The south Asian and Arab docs fill that void.

As for the root causes, Lord Jesus that IS the most important thing! These guys arestudents, even doctors, and why? Because they literally hate themselves to death. So much for being a part of a Western culture that they pereive as being out to get them--no matter that they are reaping tghe fruits of that culture by emigrating to it. That's not "politics" or "Islamism" (Jeez, you got to have a catch phrase for everything to make the talking points exchange easier, or distract the Ricky Bobby Talledega Nights folk?). That's straight up psycho-pathology. It IS a dick size thing, take to a paranoid/delusional extreme and these poor/dispossed among them "back home," and the perceptions/myths that swirl out of that terrible condition only fuel the pathology. Couple that with their isolation even as doctors/professionals (hell even Indians tell me they are afraid of whitefolks now so they keep to their own community) and bingo, you have big problem. You want to fight and condemn your children to endless rancor, fine. Me, I'd rather do stuff like understand wy the ants are coming into my house rather than spray for generations and poison everything. Indeed, maybe if I clean up the goddamned crumps and spilled honey in my cupboard, that might help things. I mean, when Tim McVeigh--soldier, God-fearing man--parked a van in front of a federal day care window, all I heard from the right were calls to "understand the forces of why a man would do such an awful thing." Bill Clinton, liberals, Godlessness, blah blah was at the "root." No one, like righties back then or now with anything this Administration does, is trying to make excuses like children on a playground. I'm saying you attack this pathology, you may have a chance at finding a solution.
And just a word--"fascism" was present in Spain, too. Chile. Argentina. All right wing-spawned. And, as in Germany, it truly didn't take off until the middle classes and the Church (be it Catholic, Lutheran, etc.) bought into it. Why? Fear, paranoia, racism, small dick size. Now I'm willing to concede that there are a couple of queen aunt tools out there in the Muslim world trying to manipulate this. But you can'tdo that unless you have the psychological pathology boiling over in people. Think World War Two could have been avoided by killing Adolph Hitler or a few generals in Tokyo? I'm not so sure.

I always ask myself--am I just a mirror image of the tools I love attacking, kidding myself that I'm more righteous? These doctors have stripped away the ability to do that. Clearly more than a few commenters on this and other blogs have lost this as well, or never had to develop it and that saddens me...  

By Blogger Purple Avenger, at Tue Jul 03, 01:12:00 PM:

Christopher, your screeds are less penetrable than the Unibomber's manifesto.

Seriously dude - seek help.  

By Blogger SR, at Tue Jul 03, 01:47:00 PM:

Either Chambers didn't take Econ 101 at Princeton (probably too bourgeois for him) or he had a special copy of Samuelson where they replaced the chapter on supply and demand with a chapter by Marx.

Seriously Chris: Have you ever been to a British hospital. The NHS is the definition of shortages and rationing. This includes doctors and other health professionals.  

By Blogger Escort81, at Tue Jul 03, 02:52:00 PM:

With a bit of additional effort, I can understand Christopher's postings. He's just typing fast and not bothering to edit, probably because he posts on many sites and has to move on to the next one quickly. I mean, it's not as if he's submitting a Junior Paper.

Anyway, is there a different version of the Hippocratic Oath or more modern "Lasagna Oath" for non-Western doctors -- isn't there something in there stating, "First, do no harm?" Or does that only apply to patients?

I have witnessed people in an ER stating that they don't want their child treated by an Indian (or possibly Pakistani) doctor whose English wasn't completely fluent, though it wasn't clear to me that the underlying cause was entirely racist or in part a fear that they would misunderstand something. I have no problem being treated by non-Western or non-white doctors (I would happily be treated by a doctor that looks like Parminder Nagra on the ER TV show); my guess is that they are very bright and had to work very hard to get into med school and become a doctor, along with everyone else who follows that path, and being foreign born makes that path a bit harder.

The fact that some white folks have a cracker mentality regarding non-Western doctors is a shame, although I would submit to Christopher that a degree of the same kind of xenophobia might exist among black patients as well (that they'd rather be treated by someone without a strong accent that they can understand fully).

(This same discussion regarding listening to people with heavy accents existed at Princeton with respect to foreign graduate students who were TAs in classes in many courses -- if you missed 10% of what they said, it was meaningful to your understanding of the subject matter. I didn't mind it because I probably wasn't going to get an "A" anyway, and I was pretty good at understanding accented English because of spending time with my European-born grandmother).

I can understand that non-Western doctors can get upset if they feel alienated or dissed by their white patients. That doesn't come close to a justification to engage in terrorist activities.  

By Blogger D.E. Cloutier, at Tue Jul 03, 04:30:00 PM:

This week police arrested a Japanese nurse for tearing off all of the toenails of a patient at a hospital in Japan. The nurse apparently had done the same thing to other patients, too.

The medical profession has its share of crazy people.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jul 03, 05:54:00 PM:

This may be nothing more than lawsuit promotion, but it looks on-point at first blush: More on doctor jihad.  

By Blogger K. Pablo, at Tue Jul 03, 07:28:00 PM:

This "brilliant" thing sticks in my craw. According to the New York Times, Dr. Asha's immunology teacher called him "brilliant" when he was a medical student. "Brilliant" medical students do not always make "brilliant" neurosurgeons.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jul 03, 10:58:00 PM:

It could be argued that we DID beat the Russians by (accidentally) addressing the root causes.

The Russians from the early 20th century beat the Nazi tanks with their bare hands. But after 50 years of dull, crappy, but comparatively non-poverty living they lost all their fire and just surrendered.


If the penis size thing works out it could speed up airport security. "You must be at least THIS big to ride on this plane..."  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jul 04, 06:30:00 AM:

Hey Chambers,

+1 for using all the ten dollar words.

-1 for failing to arrange them coherently.

Breaking even! That's progress.

Anyway, this is my translation of what you wrote:

"white people suck"

Is that the Cliffs Notes version?  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Wed Jul 04, 12:54:00 PM:

"The Russians from the early 20th century beat the Nazi tanks with their bare hands."



Some of the actual weapons (hint:not their hands!) that the Soviets used to win the war, and a link to a description of the Battle of Kursk, the largest tank battle in history and one of the two great turning points on the Eastern Front, along with Stalingrad.  

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