And sometimes, conservatives don’t get it, either

Very early this morning, I wrote a post about Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, and his comments on the 6th anniversary of 9-11 in which he essentially stated that all we had to have done prior to 9-11 in order to prevent the attacks was to have shown some “love” and “understanding” to Islamofascists, and remarked on how this morally repugnant attitude was one, unfortunately, shared by so many on his side of the aisle.

Well, today, via Jules Crittenden, I read that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, considered by Canadian liberals as another “Bush poodle” because he’s a conservative and isn’t reflexively anti-America, made a speech before the Australian Parliament yesterday in which he gave his thoughts on 9-11 and resoluteness in the face of evil:

“The buildings may have been American, but the targets were every one of us: Every country and every person who chooses tolerance over hatred, pluralism over extremism, democracy over tyranny” Harper said Tuesday night in his speech.


“Seventy Canadian soldiers and one of our diplomats have fallen in Afghanistan, as well as a Canadian carpenter, murdered by the Taliban after he built a school for the children of a remote Afghan village” said Harper, who is only the sixth foreign leader to address Australian MPs and senators.

“So, both our countries have been bloodied by terror” he said. “And both of us are doing our part to confront and defeat it … The cause is noble and necessary.”

You’re probably thinking, “ST, what’s wrong with him saying that? He’s clearly got the right attitude towards fighting terror.”

Bear with me, and read on:

Harper said that the 9/11 terrorist attacks showed that “if we abandon our fellow human beings to lives of poverty, brutality and ignorance, in today’s global village their misery will eventually and inevitably become our own.”

If we had a nickel for everytime we heard that nonsense, usually coming from the mouths of head-in-sand lefties, we could all retire in luxury. But if I have to hear it, I’d rather hear it from them, rather than a US ally like Stephen Harper.

Prime Minister Harper, here’s an quick education for you (emphasis added):

(CNN) — With his penchant for bow ties and sport jackets, Dr. Marc Sageman looks every inch the psychiatrist and professor that he is — not the spy he used to be, nor the agent provocateur he is now.

Sageman has emerged as something of an intellectual bomb thrower, producing a groundbreaking study about Islamic terrorists and their terror networks that challenges conventional beliefs.

His research shows that many of these terrorists — including the September 11 hijackers and other al Qaeda members — tend to be fairly well educated and affluent, and don’t come from deeply religious backgrounds.


While teaching at the University of Pennsylvania, Sageman expanded on his research to include 162 terrorists and turned it into the groundbreaking book, “Understanding Terror Networks.” He came across some compelling numbers:

—- About two-thirds of the terrorists went to college, in an area of the world where only about 10 percent of young men get a post-secondary education

—- About 87 percent came from generally secular backgrounds (most of the other 13 percent, who studied at the Muslim schools known as madrassas, were Indonesians)

—- Most came from middle or upper-middle class households

Sageman calls “kinship and friendship” the main reasons young men join al Qaeda, claiming that friends and relatives brought more than 90 percent of the membership into the fold.

This means recruitment is much more personal than previously thought, he says.

He cites several cases, including that of September 11 hijacker Mohammad Atta and the so-called Hamburg cell, consisting of a group of like-minded young men. As their religious views became more extreme, they cut themselves off from the outside world and became involved in terrorist activity.

Even the uber-liberal, anti-war crowd at the New York Times has dedicated some space to discussing how terrorists in general are well-educated, and at the very least middle class – certainly not “poor”:

These terrorists are not desperately poor uneducated people from the Middle East. A surprisingly large share of them have college and even graduate degrees. Increasingly, they seem to be from Britain, like the shoe bomber Richard C. Reid and most of the suspects in the London Underground bombings and the liquid explosives plot.

This has left the public wondering, Why are some educated people from Western countries so prone to fanaticism?

Er – it hasn’t left me, or most of my fellow conservatives, “wondering.” Except for maybe Stephen Harper.

Osama bin Laden himself was well-educated, and has a degree in civil engineering – oh, and he’s from a very rich family, too.

Can we finally lay this silly myth about “poor, uneducated terrorists” to rest? Please?

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