- President Ronald Reagan, 40th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion, Pointe du Hoc, France, June 6, 1984
This Doctrine of Robin Hood competes with that of Peter Pan (the sacred right of perpetual immaturity) for distinction as the foremost tenet of Lefty dogma: poverty justifies any and all depravity. Its influence can be seen easily in wealthy nation’s often impotent response to violent crime; preposterous government social programs; and in virtually every song, television program, film, stage play, and news story produced since 1965. Poor good. Rich bad.
A most extraordinary exposition of this Doctrine of Robin Hood was provided before a live audience of 2,200 at London’s Grand Westminster Hall this past 11 December at the Spectator/Intelligence Squared sponsored debate on “The Future of Iraq.” The results of the debate prescribed yet another bitter pill for the anti-war left as the majority in attendance could plainly see the catastrophe that would ensue were the recommendations of the “Leave Iraq Now” advocates in the debate heeded. This is hardly surprising given the recent momentum of counter insurgency efforts in Iraq under General David Petreaus, and the fact that the majority in the audience still had their brain stems intact.
In his desperation to save the Lefty cause in the debate, however, British socialist icon, the Right Honorable Mr. Tony Benn declared,
“There is no difference between a suicide bomber and a Stealth bomber.”
This evoked the prodigious ire of “gravely voiced” British General Sir Michael Jackson who derided Benn’s comments as, “extraordinary and obscene. A calumny!”
To this Benn responded, “War is the terrorism of the rich against the poor. Terrorism is the war of the poor against the rich.”
Ah there it is, masterfully served up in all its delicious and aromatic Leftism: “Terrorism is the war of the poor against the rich.” You can just see the bumper-sticker manufacturers and pop-song lyricists rushing to their posts to herald this jewel far and wide, can you not?
But, unfortunately for Mr. Benn and his disciples, the Bennites, study after study has demonstrated that terrorists are not poor. For example the 2002 study, “Education, Poverty, Political Violence and Terrorism, Is there a Causal Connection?” conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts concluded:
“No correlation was found between participation in violence and economic depression: violence seems to have increased when local economic conditions were getting better.”
Were it still in existence, common sense might also suggest here that the notion of small nations drenched in oil producing legions of young men driven to acts of unspeakable violence international in scope and often requiring deliberate self-annihilation, merely because they can’t find a decent job is both hilarious and silly. Today, however, this is esteemed as enlightened progressivism.
Right then. Well what Mr. Benn must have meant then was not that the terrorists themselves are poor, but that they are fighting on behalf of the poor. Yes this then justifies all their kidnapping, sniping, raping, torturing, bombing, beheading, and executing of men, women, and children - the vast majority of whom are innocent Muslims - and renders it morally equivalent, if not morally superior to the violence done by Western militaries, does it not?
Afterall, as Lefties so like to point out, squalid living conditions exist across the Middle East due largely to corrupt regimes repressing their people and doing so with the full backing and funding of the free world. Ergo, terrorism is merely our chickens coming home to roost.
Enter Al-Robin Hood and his merry band of Islamaniacs, donning tights and suicide vests, heroically taking not only the money, but also the lives and limbs of the “rich” and giving them to the long suffering poor. (Well not the money so much. The Islamaniacs need that for themselves to fund future poverty-eradicating mass-murders.)
Even to a socialist as far off the scale as Mr. Benn, upon minimal analysis, this must seem a rather counter-productive means of “People’s Revolution” and redistribution of wealth.
Another inconvenient truth for Mr. Benn’s employment of the Doctrine of Robin Hood in defense of terrorism is the billions and billions of dollars in economic and humanitarian aid the U.S. alone has poured and continues to pour into the Middle East (yes, yes, besides Israel). Not to mention the American lives and materials lost in defense of Muslims over the past thirty years. As Dinesh D’Souza points out in his exquisite essay, “Liberal Myths about Radical Islam”:
“Actually America has actively fought on the side of Muslims in several recent conflicts. During the 1970s the United States supported the Afghan mujahedin and their Arab allies in driving out the Soviet Union from Afghanistan. In 1991 the United States assembled an international coalition of countries, including many Muslim countries, in order to drive Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait and restore the sovereignty of that small Muslim country. Later in the decade, President Clinton ordered American bombings and intervention to save Muslim lives in Bosnia and Kosovo.
More recent Muslim wars, such as the Iran-Iraq war, have also produced unbelievable horrors and casualty lists. Over the eight-year period of the Iran-Iraq war, for instance, between 500,000 and 1 million Muslims were killed. Islamic radicals know all this, which is why one cannot find in their literature the kind of indignation over America's killing of Muslim civilians that one routinely finds in liberal magazines, radio shows and websites.”
Furthermore there is the small matter of a rather vigorous shift in policy toward the Middle East inaugurated by the Bush Administration some six years ago when the futility of previous policies was made tragically clear one otherwise beautiful September morning.
This new policy involves a multi-tiered, worldwide, collaborative effort deployed as necessary via a myriad of tactics including diplomacy, financial analysis, criminal justice, intelligence gathering, sanctions, and military intervention. The object of this new policy (also known as the Global War on Terror) is to rid the world of terrorists and those regimes which give them succour. The rationale behind this policy is the notion that by stopping terrorists from annihilating the people and infrastructure necessary for stable economies to exist, we can facilitate the emergence of stable economies where they are not. Rich and poor alike will then have the opportunity to enrich themselves through honest means as they see fit, and thus have a legitimate and personal stake in the upkeep and defense of their economies, communities, and nations. It’s a radical little notion called “free market capitalism” and has met with some mild success where and when applied over the past two or so centuries.
And yet, any and all tactics employed in this endeavor have been relentlessly criticized and condemned by those very Bennites and Lefties who claim so ardently their desire to emancipate the poor. Our diplomatic efforts are “too heavy-handed and saber-rattling.” Financial analysis and criminal justice efforts are “arbitrary and racist.” Intelligence gathering is “an invasion of privacy and an abuse of civil rights.” Sanctions “only add further suffering to the plight of the poor.” And military intervention is, of course, nothing more than “imperialistic mass murder for material gain.” There’s just no pleasing some people. (Note: Add Goldie Locks to our list of Lefty icons: Robin Hood, Peter Pan etc. )
How can this be? Ought not the champions of the poor applaud and support all, some, or even just one of these efforts to relieve the burdens of the oppressed? Of course not, because these champions of the poor couldn’t give a tinker’s damn about the poor. They are well aware of the shrieking fraudulence of their Doctrine of Robin Hood storyline. They spew it regardless, however, for in today’s sentimentalized soft-brained society it serves as a highly effective tool for advancing their true agenda: to discredit, demonize, and destroy free market capitalism and replace it with their beloved socialism.
In the minds of the Bennites then, Islamic terrorists are not savage murderers but agents of change, useful tools in the socialist endeavor to establish their Even-Steven utopia over all the world. That economic theory plays no role whatsoever in the motivation of these terrorists, and that they would just as soon slit socialist throats as capitalists seems to escape them. We are here reminded of Sir Winston’s assessment of the ideology:
“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy; its inherent value is the equal sharing of misery.”
In Iraq today, what is known as The Awakening consists of the Iraqi people’s coming to the realization that terrorism is not “the war of the poor against the rich.” Terrorism is the cause of poverty (not to mention death, destruction, misery, and despair). Consequently their support of, assistance to, and participation in terrorists groups is being voluntarily withdrawn, and they are increasingly getting about the hard work of re-building their own nation the right way. Would that this same awakening could take hold in what’s left of the brains of the Bennites and their Lefty brethren across the Atlantic.