Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Did the Pakistanis know that Bin Ladin was hiding in their country?

Last night, the wife interrupted Jon Stewart to ask me if I thought the Pakistanis knew that Bin Ladin was hiding in their country. I have no idea of course, as I know next to nothing about Pakistan, but I did come up with an analogy*. Here's what I said:
Suppose Teaneck, NJ  was uniformly MO Zionist. And suppose Baruch Goldstein fled to that Teaneck after committing the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre. Finally, suppose that Saudia Arabia or Syria was seeking him. Do you think the people of MO Zionist Teanek would turn him over? 
Now before you stroke out on me, listen to the caveat:

I am NOT NOT NOT saying that Goldstein and bin Ladin or Syria and Teaneck are moral equivalents. They aren't. (Please read that sentence 5 times before continuing)

I am simply pointing out that moderates of all creeds tend to support and protect their own psycho-extremists. Normal conservatives defend Glen Beck. Normal liberals defend Noam Chomsky.  Normal Catholics defend Pius 12. And normal MO Zionist Jews defended Baruch Goldstein.

So why should it surprise** us to learn that normal Packistanis protected bin Ladin? There were normal MO Zionists who defended Goldstein and described him in favorable terms. Had Goldstein chosen to hide among those (otherwise) normal MO Zionists I have no doubt that they would have protected him -- especially had he been hiding from a government/culture the MO Zionists already distrusted

This, as I finished explaining to my wife, is why I won't be surprised to learn that some of bin Ladin's neighbors knew he was there, but chose to look the other way.

*Arguments from analogy are inherently fallacious. I am not attempting to make an argument here. I am trying to deduce something specific about Packistanis based on a true observation about people on general.

** Please note that "surprise" is not a synonyn for "cause to feel happy and satisfied." I am saying I expect to learn that normal Packistanis protected bin Ladim. I am not saying this will please me, nor am I saying I approve of their behavior.

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