Six U.S. military men have been murdered by Afghan security forces seized by what may be labeled Quran-Burning Rage.
Quran-Burning Rage follows Pastor Jones Rage, which, after a Florida pastor burned a Quran in 2011, seized Afghan Muslims and inspired rioting. Some rioters overran a United Nations outpost and murdered seven U.N. personnel.
Pastor Jones Rage followed "Fitna" Rage, which seized Muslims worldwide even before the release of Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders' short 2008 film "Fitna." That film sparked rioting, arson, boycotts, death threats and, as a bonus, charges that led to the protracted trial in the Netherlands of Wilders for "insulting Muslims." (He was acquitted in 2011.)
"Fitna" Rage followed Teddy Bear Rage, which, in 2007, seized Muslims in Sudan after a British teacher, whose class named a teddy bear "Muhammad," was sentenced to 15 days for "insulting religion." Ten thousand Sudanese turned out to call for the teacher's head instead.
Teddy Bear Rage followed Pope Rage, which seized Muslims after a 2006 address in which Pope Benedict XVI noted a historic reference to Islam's propensity to spread by violence. Muslim rioting, arson (including church burnings) and the murder of a 65-year-old Italian nun in Somalia ensued.
All of these rages followed or coincided with the most sustained rage of all, Danish Muhammad Cartoon Rage, which, since the 2005 publication of a dozen Muhammad cartoons in a Danish newspaper, has seized countless Muslims in recurring waves of rioting, boycotts and arson. More than 100 deaths have resulted.
I could continue, but I think the pattern is clear. Critical discussion or representation of Islam -- including stated facts; satirical, political or religious commentary; or acts deemed by Islam to be "blasphemy" or "desecration" -- spur Muslims to violence. This violence spurs Westerners to apology. But apology is always an act of dhimmitude: submitting to Islamic definitions of crime or grievance that only under Islamic law require contrition.
Today, the pattern intensifies. Muslim violence is more brazen with the murders of American troops, and Western apologies are more exaggerated. The United States hasn't even quashed Afghan demands for a trial of those who last month disposed of several Qurans.
Meanwhile, the chorus for punishment grows. "After the first step of a profound apology, there must be a second step ... of disciplinary action," Jan Kubis, the United Nations representative in Afghanistan, said this week. "Only after this, after such a disciplinary action, can the international forces say, 'Yes, we're sincere in our apology.'"
Or, rather, yes, we're sincere in our dhimmitude.
Demonstrating his own "sincerity," Kubis continued: "We deeply, deeply, profoundly respect Islam. ... We were very hurt that the international military allowed the desecration of the Quran. We rejected and condemned this act; it doesn't matter that it was a mistake."
Kubis' example is most instructive. Speaking for the United Nations, he mimics the aggrievement of Islam. Indeed, Islam's aggrievement becomes the United Nations' own as it draws power from the demonstrably more kinetic Islamic position.
The fact is, this whole affair, like those that preceded it, is a power play. Feigned victimhood becomes a trap for the "perpetrator" -- in this case, the U.S. military. Falling for the trap means submitting to violent Islamic dictates for exactly the same reason a co-dependent family member submits to dictates of a mentally ill relative -- to stop the outburst, to make it all "better," even if "better" is only a lull before the next power play.
Just as such actions bring a co-dependent family member more closely into the behavioral orbit of the sick family member, they bring the United States more closely into the behavioral orbit regulated by Islamic law. They force the "perpetrator" into accepting the sacredness of an inanimate object; they force the "perpetrator" into accepting the Islamic position that a?Christian or Jew is unfit (unclean) to dispose of the sacred thing without desecrating it. They force the "perpetrator" to accept the Islamic belief that such "desecration" constitutes a crime of literally capital proportions.
They force the "perpetrator" to act Islamic. This is the pattern of dhimmitude, and we must break it.
(Diana West is the author of "The Death of the Grown-up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization," and blogs at dianawest.net. She can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.)