Thursday, May 19, 2005

Lest We Forget -- Never Again

[revised from earlier post]

David Brooks , who I bash on this blog a lot, had a version of the quote below in today's Times, along with his admonition to cool it, professional terrorists know what to do with magazine stories. That is how they come to be professional terrorists. It was ever thus. If it hadn't been Newsweek, it would been something else. Last weekend was just a good time to blow things up and kill people. Americans are the good guys, terrorists are the bad guys.

Andrew Sullivan posted a larger portion than I am now.

A Sheik gave a sermon a few days ago, televised on Palestinan television. Here is part of what he said:


"With the establishment of the state of Israel, the entire Islamic nation was lost, because Israel is a cancer spreading through the body of the Islamic nation, and because the Jews are a virus resembling AIDS, from which the entire world suffers.
You will find that the Jews were behind all the civil strife in this world. The Jews are behind the suffering of the nations...

"We have ruled the world before, and by Allah, the day will come when we will rule the entire world again. The day will come when we will rule America. The day will come when we will rule Britain and the entire world – except for the Jews. The Jews will not enjoy a life of tranquility under our rule, because they are treacherous by nature, as they have been throughout history. The day will come when everything will be relieved of the Jews - even the stones and trees which were harmed by them. Listen to the Prophet Muhammad, who tells you about the evil end that awaits Jews. The stones and trees will want the Muslims to finish off every Jew."


When people on the left wonder how we few remaining pro-war left-wingers find their sustenance, this is a huge part of it.

Here in the outer-boroughs, I am not alone. With apologies to my friend in Ohio, when you scratch your head and wonder how Bush won Ohio, some of the margin of the vote in Cleveland, driven by this issue, had to factor into it. Despite my own fears and misgivings about Kerry, I felt that as an American citizen, my choice to vote against Bush was clear. I have no regrets. However, anyone who voted for Bush on this single issue, and I know many of them personally -- well, I understand their torment.

In the big cities, even in my place of work, in midtown Manhattan, almost all Jews, I have to pull my punches, although no one who has asked me directly doubts where I stand. We were right to go in, we didn't need the charade of WMDs to add to the obvious reasons, we have to remain there, probably indefinitely.

There is a coherent pro-war left-wing argument. Hillary Clinton is the most high-profile person making the argument, although Senators Schumer and Lieberman are amongst others who make it. Al Gore says it best. If Gore said it more then, he might be President now. Ah well.

It says that the need to fight the war on terrorism abroad need not be a smokescreen used to limit freedom at home. This world view may never get a lot of traction, because it requires, in these highly polarized times, splitting the difference on a lot of issues. But after spending a year or more being disappointed with David Brooks, I am glad that he can make me smile again. :-)