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Sunday, December 18, 2005

And here’s the problem…

A poster “Anonymous” who identifies himself as a law student comments on the war we are in : “Seriously, the war on terror is like the war on drugs, the war on poverty, or a war on …”

You can read the entire post HERE. But it reinforces a comment I made yesterday on another website:

Whenever the JustinKs [an anti-Bush poster] write their comments, the discussion quickly becomes disconnected from reality. Words and phrases creep in that are not fact related - remember the Left claiming that Bush said the Saddam was an imminent threat, when he said the exact opposite? This is usually followed by claims of lying, by claims that the administration acted illegally, that we are heading for a Fascist state (or have already arrived).

In another post a Leftist wrote that Bush was such a liar that he could not be trusted to with the powers to protect the country so - if the power to take appropriate action was taken away and we were attacked - it would be Bush's fault. This is such blatant sophistry that it defies belief.

People like this are not serious. They live in a solipsistic cocoon. It's all about them. There is no war. The images on the screen of people being beheaded, of people jumping out of burning buildings, of the collapse of the Twin Towers, of explosive laden cars exploding have all the reality of the "West Wing" or a Steven Spielberg movie.

For many, it's simply another political contest with the war in Iraq as background noise. They did not die on 9/11 and they really don't believe that there will be another attack - or, if there is - the chances of their involvement are low; rather like being killed in a car crash; no reason not to drive. So the issue of this titanic clash of cultures is unreal. What is real is the politics of the moment.

But it was ever thus. Even in countries where war has come, most people try focus on the things that interest them; unless they are in the path of a bullet or a bomb or faced with starvation. And in America, the reality is that most people believe they are safe; they are well fed and therefore there is no apparent need to rally to the defense of the country.

After 9/11 a part of America woke up from the end of history. Unfortunately, another part never did. They now play word games, or indulge in political sport. They are Liberals who have not been mugged yet.

There is an old saying that it’s the Generals who are always prepared to fight the last war. We give the military too little credit and the younger generation too much. Here we have a young-fuddy-duddy – a student in law school - insisting that we are waging a metaphorical war. His young mind has been trained to think in old ways. That real wars are fought by national armies surging across national boundaries with tanks and planes and troops in uniform. If it isn’t like the World War 2, it isn’t a war. Instead, it’s a metaphor like the “war on drugs.”

3000 dead on 9/11 did not allow him to break out of his mental cocoon. Ditto the attacks in Madrid, Bali or London. Ditto the terrorists in Iraq. But metaphors don’t die and leave widows and orphans. So we have to ask ourselves what will have to happen before this young man breaks his mental shackles. The answer is not obvious. Keep in mind that as the Germans rounded up their Jewish victims and transported them to their deaths, there was little resistance. Except for Warsaw, there was no rebellion even as people knew that either way, they would die.

That is the difference between Todd Beamer and “Anonymous.” Todd Beamer surveyed the situation, gathered some allies, said “Let’s roll” and changed history. “Anonymous” would consider the fact that attacking the hijackers could be considered a crime: assault, interfering with a flight crew. Beamer and his friends broke quite a few rules. “Anonymous” would have sat down and waited for the plane to land and then he would have complained to the authorities.

That’s why we cannot allow “Anonymous” anywhere near the levers of power.

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