Despair and Hope
The short and long wars against radical Islam
by Victor Davis Hanson
National Review Online
In the short-term, the ongoing war with Islamic fascists from Afghanistan to Iraq , and in peripheral areas from Canada and Manhattan to Madrid , Bali, and London , seems surreal.
Not to mention frustrating: almost every day the press highlights another furious outburst from some entertainers or intellectuals who are just enough on the fringes of American popular culture to warrant momentary coverage of their lunacy. Neil Young is worried about the reception of his new album? He hypes George Bush’s malignancies. The Dixie Chicks and Madonna are bothered about being pegged abroad as part of George Bush’s empire? Presto, they call Iraq the real problem. The dropout Sean Penn can’t quite shake his off-screen image of Jeff Spicoli? He seeks acceptance from the Western Left as a serious critic of U.S. Middle-Eastern policy.
The largest American aid program since the Marshall Plan has become the receptacle for all the conflicting personal frustrations, unhappiness, and thwarted idealism of Western elites, a sort of scapegoat or totem through which the ennui and angst of contemporary sensitive man can be momentarily excised.
The terrorists in Iraq know this and thus trust that our press corps will harp on the last minutes, rather than the last four years, of the wretched life of the mass-murdering al Zarqawi — did he receive proper medical attention? Was he roughed up by us? Did he die immediately or suffer?
Indeed, the more our own troops are tortured and exploded, the more our own media will rush to judgment on Haditha to assure the world, before an inquiry has even finished, that the U.S. Marine Corps murdered innocents. The more non-uniformed Islamists behead civilians and torture innocents, the more international “rights” organizations will accuse the United States of humanitarian violations in Guantanamo Bay — at least up until the point of calling for the return of such killers to their native countries.
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