Sunday, October 24, 2004

A piece of the liberal puzzle

From Belmont Club, a post about a UK Guardian (who else?) article about a BBC documentary which "claims that the perceived threat [of terrorism] is a politically driven fantasy - and al-Qaida a dark illusion." The gist is that the US government is perpetrating a scam on the world by pretending terrorism is a problem when it's really not.

As some Belmont commenters observe, try telling that to people in Beslan, or Madrid, or Bali, or to Kenneth Bigley, Nick Berg, and Paul Johnson. Again, what is gained by propagating such nonsense? I desperately want to understand this, because it seems common among liberals, and I really do want to understand why they think as they do about such things. We can't get anywhere divided as we have been.

A friend pointed out to me at lunch yesterday that most Americans didn't think WWII was worth fighting before Pearl Harbor. Terrorism today is absolutely a different deal from war then, but the willingness to see a threat where there is not one, and to not see one where there is, hasn't changed. Going on the offense against Islamic terrorism is the harder course, to be sure, but my father always told me that if I had two possible roads ahead, to choose the one that I wanted to take the least, because the harder road would more likely lead to success and fulfillment. Every time I've had a chance to test that theory, he's been right.

And as my lunch friend said, to get what we want in the world today, people have to bleed, and some will never be happy about that no matter what benefit such bleeding brings. Some people really do think that war exists only because we are willing to allow it to exist, and that the more people who abandon violence as a solution, the better we'll all be. I think those people are fooling themselves.

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