The whole episode of the two Fox News journalists who were kidnapped in Gaza (the videos, the conversions, their release at a media event) was disturbing on many levels. Sissy wondered aloud if it PA government was behind the whole thing. Relapsed Catholic compares the conversion (admittedly and obviously under duress) with Fabrizzio Quattrocchi, the Italian hostage in Iraq:
In contrast to Kenneth Bigley, the British hostage who never let up begging Prime Minister Tony Blair for his life, Quattrocchi refused to be humiliated. "I will show you how an Italian dies!" he declared in the second before terrorists murdered him. Rather than kneel before his grave, he rose in defiance.
David Warren also remembers Quattrocchi's defiance, and he looks at the bigger picture of "chestlessness." He says that we have bred "men without chests, men without character, men who don’t think twice." Warren wonders why "the West is proving unable to cope with a threat from a fanatical Islamic movement, that it ought to be able to snuff out with fair ease." About the videos he says:
"Why did Fatah bother to make the video? Didn’t they realize conversion under duress means nothing? That no one, East or West, would take it at face value?"
"They didn’t make it for face value. They made it to show the whole Muslim world, via satellite television, what wimps these Westerners are. That they’ll do anything at all to save their lives, that they don’t think twice about it. That is the substance of most Islamo-fascist propaganda: that the West consists of straw men, of men without chests, of men easily pushed over."
Next Warren quote come from his earlier essay on the struggle between the West and radical Islam:
"Contrary to generally received opinion, the West is not today under siege from Muslim fanatics because of a resurgence of Islam, but because of the West’s own moral and intellectual decline. Even Osama bin Laden knows this. The West invites attack, and the enemy’s strategy in attacking is paradoxically to hide his own weakness."
"We have a problem in us, not in them. It is the recovery of our own sense of what we are, what we believe, and what we are about, that would defeat Afghan cave-dwellers and shrieking ayatollahs fairly quickly."