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:: Friday, October 03, 2003 ::

This is well worth reading.
Victor Davis Hanson on War on National Review Online
It starts off slowly, but picks up momentum as it goes.
What then are the ultimate aims of terrorists and state killers? What exactly does a crackpot Iranian mullah, a crazed Taliban, the sons of Saddam, or one of bin Laden's executioners really want with us? A sort of alternative existence to the West, upon which they both feed and prey, like some sort of toadstool that, with sufficient rain and neglect, sprouts up amid an otherwise lush green lawn.
Bin Laden (construction money), the Husseins (oil money), or the Taliban (drug revenues) all found ways to buy appurtenances of the good life from the West, even as they imported weapons to kill us, and crafted terrorist strategies to keep us from interfering in their kleptocracies or primordial theocracies, spinning myths all the while about a glorious Dark Age past or a sensuous paradise to come.
Whether terrorists are true Islamic fascists right out of the ninth-century or goofy modernist killers like Saddam, the Assads, or Khadaffis, their methods are the same, and their hatred of the West similar. Both count on an illiterate and impoverished citizenry — that famed Middle East Street whose misery-driven fury can always be deflected by a parade of shiny imported missiles, a blood-curdling lie about the Jews, or a half-educated rant about some American-inspired conspiracy to infect the water or carry off their women.

As Mr. Hanson reaches his conclusion, he invokes the spirit of Thomas Paine when he declares:
...Mr. Bush's hunch is that the tragedy of September changed us all, and his own resoluteness will prove the better hand. In other words, as polls drop and sunshine supporters fold, he senses that America — and with it civilization — will still win, and in a very big way, thus ending for good this awful contest of the last quarter-century.

Just on the off chance that this does not bring the words from the opening paragraph of Paine's imortal "American Crisis I" to mind, I have included them here.
THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but "to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER," and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.

:: Mark 11:45 AM [+] ::
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