Friday, July 22, 2005

Hanson: Enough is Enough

AJStrata alerts me to this op-ed by the great Victor Davis Hanson, a fiery polemic that reveals an exhaustion with excuses that is certainly familiar to me. I've argued before that it is a fool's errand to try to be tolerant with the intolerant, particularly if the intolerant are intent upon your death. We cannot state enough that our battle is not with Islam as a whole, lest we be misunderstood, but it is with a branch of radical Islam, and the mainstream must become more vocal in its condemnation, or face the consequences.

Hanson puts a fine point on it:
The killers always allege particular gripes -- Australian troops in Iraq, Christian proselytizing, Hindu intolerance, occupation of the West Bank, theft of Arab petroleum, the Jews, attacks on the Taliban, the 15th-century reconquest of Spain, and, of course, the Crusades.

But in most cases -- from Mohamed Atta, who crashed into the World Trade Center, to Ahmed Sheik, the former London School of Economics student who planned the beheading of Daniel Pearl, to Magdy Mahmoud Mustafa el-Nashar, the suspected American-educated bomb-maker in London -- the common bond is not poverty, a lack of education or legitimate grievance. Instead it is blind hatred instilled by militant Islam.

Civilization has only two choices. It can continue appeasing these murderers, looking in vain for "root causes" of the mayhem. Maybe Mohammed Bouyeri did not have equal opportunity in the Netherlands? Maybe $50 billion in past American aid to Mohamed Atta's Egypt was too little? Maybe Britain was too insensitive to its Muslim minorities? Maybe the price paid for Middle East oil really is too low?

Or the United States and its allies can deny suspect Middle Eastern males entry into the West while distancing themselves from all Middle East dictatorships, which neither punish nor even shame thousands of their citizens whose money and psychological support fuel murderers across the globe.

We wait for a Western leader with the intellectual integrity and guts at last to say, "Enough is enough."
Clarity is needed: we are at war, with or without Iraq, and only a fool would continue to keep his eyes closed...but oh, how many fools there are...

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