On a friend’s Facebook page recently, I found a videoA which turns out to be from a hearing of a Heritage Foundation panel on the Benghazi attacks on June 17, 2014
How The Numbers Show That Ms. Gabriel Should Care (About All Moderates)
First, A Fact Check
Apparently Ms. Gabriel missed a few of the world’s sources of intelligence. On the first page of my Google search I found a site that raised serious questions about the methods of those making such outlandish claimsA and at least one sourceA who claims that less than one percent of Muslims in their area “are at risk for becoming radicals” (emphasis added).
The Infamous Blue Taxi
Next, although the math used in my argument can be broken down to basic fractions, it is foreign (no pun intended) to many people. Specifically, I will be using the same reasoning used in the well-known story of the blue taxi cab, as presented by Presh Talwalkar in the Mind Your Decisions blog. I suggest you check out that article. If the math and logic makes sense to you, then continue here, where I will explain how that reasoning applies to this situation.
Before I start this particular line of reasoning, I would like to point out that there are several reasons, whether religious, ethical, or just pragmatic, to treat your neighbors with respect. Note that political correctness is NOT on this list of good reasons. Nothing I say here should be taken as trying to discount those other legitimate reasons in any way.
In the story of the blue taxi cab, a witness identified a blue taxi as the culprit in a hit-and-run accident late one evening. Even though the witness was 80% reliable in identifying the color of taxis at that late hour, in this case it was shown that he was most likely wrong. In jumping to conclusions, most people don’t realize there are two situations in a case like this that one needs to consider: the obvious situation is the likelihood that the witness correctly identified the blue taxi (which was pretty good, actually). What most people fail to consider is the likelihood that the witness incorrectly identified a different-colored taxi as blue. Because of the scarcity of blue taxis where this story took place, the second consideration proved to be the most significant factor.
Changing Muslim Minds
Since moderate Muslims are irrelevant, there would be no reason for Ms. Gabriel to treat them any different from the ones out to terrorize America, which means you can expect her to treat all Muslims very badly as part of her ”war on terrorism”, as you can see in the first video. How many terrorist minds do you think she will change? Although they technically wouldn’t qualify, I’ll let you count the ones she kills. If she gets half of them the first year (being grossly optimistic), that would represent less than one half of one percent of all Muslims, so let’s say eight million “converts to Christianity”. Since all Muslims look the same to her, we can assume a similar number of moderate Muslims will bite the dust.
Making More Terrorists
Just like the blue taxi cab witness, the reason Ms. Gabriel is wrong is that she failed to consider the taxi cabs that aren’t really blue. In English, that means if she really wants to win the war on terrorism, she needs to consider the non-terrorist – the moderate Muslims – that she so willingly threw under the bus. In that first year that Ms. Gabriel killed those eight million terrorists (and luckily only eight million innocent bystanders), which represents half of all the ‘known’ terrorists in the world, it is unlikely that she converted a single surviving Muslim, terrorist or not, to Christianity. It is much more likely that she converted many more moderate Muslims into “terrorists”. And it doesn’t have to be at the same rate at which she “converted” the terrorists (50%), it doesn’t have to be even one tenth of that (5%). If Ms. Gabriel radicalizes Muslim’s at only one hundredth of the rate at which she eliminated them, she (and we) are in deep trouble; there will be more terrorists at the end of the bloody year than there were at the beginning. In the next year, when Ms. Gabriel gets even tougher on these heathens, the results are guaranteed to be worse.
And Then There Is Israel
If you think this couldn’t or wouldn’t happen, consider Israel. They have been battling the “terrorist” Palestinians for over fifty years. When Palestinian teenagers throw rocks, Israeli soldiers call in the tanks. When a genuine Palestinian terrorist fires a crude scud missile that falls harmlessly to the side or is destroyed by Israel’s advanced missile defense, the Israelis fire a dozen high-powered smart missiles to obliterate whole communities of women and children (the going rate for an Israeli casualty was only 30 Palestinians during the last war, down from the 100 lives for each Israeli that has been their tradition). When the Palestinians aren’t fighting back, the Israelis put up road blocks and check points everywhere and even build large walls through the middle of Palestinian communities. They set up a blockade to keep the regular Palestinians from rebuilding and moving on with their lives. How many Palestinians do you think have converted to Judaism in those last fifty years? While I suspect that the Israelis have killed enough people to account for the original terrorists many times over, there are (surprisingly?) more genuine Palestinian terrorists today than ever before.
Don’t Try This Trick At Home, Kids
A rational person might be asking “After fifty years, why are the Israelis still using those same failed tactics (after all, they’ve got to be smarter than Cubans, right?A). The truth is, the Israelis aren’t looking for converts. The Israelis aren’t looking for peace. The Israelis are apparently only looking for cheap land. Since our goals are not the same as the Israelis (we already stole all the cheap land we could possibly use), and since we don’t have another country subsidizing our war effort, we cannot afford to follow the same tactics as the Israelis. We should, however, take advantage of the results of their little experiment in how (not) to modify human behavior.
So Now What?
All I know for sure, after doing the math and studying world history, is that Ms. Gabriel’s approach is doomed to failure. But history has given us other (even successful) examples. Do some research (must I do all the heavy lifting?). Maybe we could learn something from Gandhi, for example. It’s possible that Ms. Saba Ahmed’s idea (from the first paragraph above) about an ideological war (whatever that means) could have merit. Another Book on human behavior comes to mind which contains wisdom that has stood the test of thousands of years – yes, I’m referring to the Bible. Taking the higher moral ground has repeatedly shown definite positive benefits (and I’m not referring to the Hereafter). So re-read the Book; take notes this time – but if you’re not planning on using your Bible, maybe you could get a good price for it from Ms. Gabriel’s converts. Since we apparently have no further use for the Statue of Liberty, I’m sure the Republicans have already started looking around for a potential buyer so they can further cut taxes on their poor rich buddies. Maybe they could gather up a few million “like new”, very lightly used Bibles to sweeten the deal.
I am actually concerned about the citizens of the United States of America abandoning the values that made this country great. I’m concerned about the apparent dumbing down of America. Those factors could be related. It seems like the pace of this decline may have picked up after “9/11”. I’m reminded of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s remark “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”D. If I get a chance, I may try to answer the questions “What the hell was he talking about?” and “Why the f*& should we care what some dead President had to say?” Future articles may also address our education system. An even more timely topic would be “What to look for when deciding which politician to vote for”. Unfortunately, I don’t yet have a definitive list of the important characteristics (and the least important characteristics), so all I can do for now is to encourage you to stop being so shallow. Stay tuned.
I did not post a comment on the Facebook page which had the video mentioned in the first sentence. That friend happens to be a high school math teacher (and by all accounts, a very good one). As far as I know, we are still friends.