Friday, June 14, 2002

Charles Krauthammer writes about the effect that terrorism has on daily life. It's easy to criticize Israel for its violent responses to suicide bombings, but I doubt that the U. S. would tolerate this level of lawlessness for very long.

I feel a growing apprehension that there will have to be a confrontation with Islam, since its moderates seem unwilling or unable to counteract its radicals. Saudi Arabia is the nexus of evil, since it uses its wealth to spread the intolerance of Wahabism. The West has a philosophy, won through centuries of religious conflict, of religious tolerance. But Islam has as one of its most basic beliefs that Muslims have a divine right to rule the world. Tolerance can only occur once non-Muslims submit to Islamic law. If God were truly guiding the religion, it might be tolerable, but Islam is dominated by demagogues whose ambition and overheated emotions seem to spread through the populace like smallpox.

Religion has been coopted by mortal men, who deny that God speaks anymore, and, if a true prophet showed up, would kill him forthwith. The Catholic Church is suffering today from this phenomenon, although it has been present since Constantine: the idea that God has handed over the right to direct his gospel to mortal men and has no more interest in seeing that it is done right. This is an insult to God, and leads to cynicism and despair.

The war is coming in much greater intensity than we have experienced thus far. America must toughen up and quit dithering about our silly preoccupations with privacy, civil privileges, environment, discrimination, etc. and pull together.
Every war before has started by exposing the weaknesses in our defense and our military, after which the good leaders came to the fore. In peacetime, the bureaucrats and the technocrats take over because the real doers are interested in being where the action is. But in war, the bureaucrats won't cut it. We can't afford to be hamstrung by foolish consistencies like lax security at airports because we're afraid of the racial profiling charge, or handcuffing the FBI because we refuse to give up privacy even to protect ourselves from evil.


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