11 September 2005
The dove takes a powder
I wasn't always hawkish on matters relating to the Middle East; the year or so I spent in that general region at the behest of Uncle Sam tended to make me a bit concilatory toward even the more wayward practitioners of Islam.
In fact, I wrote this on 13 September 2001:
The consensus around the Teeming Milieu seems to be that we should call up 1-800-TALIBAN and give them 72 hours to hand over Osama or prepare for involuntary induction into the Rotisserie League. This sort of maneuver is based upon the dubious assumption that all the various Islamic-fundamentalist wack squads are networked for our convenience, and I can't help but think pulling a stunt like this would cost us what few friends we have between Cyprus and Kuala Lumpur.
Then again, I'd pretty much made up my mind that I wasn't going to whine about things either:
Terrorists, by definition, seek to undermine a way of life; the theory is that their cause, whatever it may be, will carry more weight if people are forced to pay attention. Well, attention has been paid, and the way of life has not been undermined. At least, mine hasn't. Neither has yours, I'll bet. Guess what? We won. And while clearly I have my own preferences, I, like the good soldier I strove to be many years ago, defer to the President on the matter of determining how precisely to collect from the losers.
Four years later, I'd fault him for seriously underestimating the sheer quantity of said losers, and I'd fault some of my countrymen for doing their damnedest to make his task more difficult. The political unity we enjoyed after the 11th clearly didn't last. But the vast outpouring of help in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, from people on every point on the political curve, tells me that contrary to what some of the pundits would have us believe, we're not coming apart at the seams, not ripping ourselves to pieces over policy and politics, not turning the whole of the national dialogue into two overlapping monologues. It's simply not happening: we disagree on lots of things, but we still agree on some of the most important ones. And because it's not happening, the score, after four years, remains: Us 1, Terrorists 0.
It's a narrow lead, perhaps, but it's a lead just the same.Posted at 12:13 AM to Political Science Fiction