Skip to comments.My Gloom-By Daniel Pipes
Posted on 12/20/2005 10:35:53 AM PST by elizabethr
My Gloom By Daniel Pipes FrontPageMagazine.com | December 20, 2005
Unlike most Americans, 9/11 made me feel more secure. Finally, the country was focused on issues that had long worried me.
The FBI is engaged in the largest operation in its history, I wrote in late 2001, armed marshals will again be flying on US aircraft, and the immigration service has placed foreign students under increased scrutiny. I feel safer when Islamist organizations are exposed, illicit money channels closed down, and immigration regulations reviewed. The amassing of American forces near Iraq and Afghanistan cheers me. The newfound alarm is healthy, the sense of solidarity heartening, the resolve is encouraging.
But I agonized whether it would last. Are Americans truly ready to sacrifice liberties and lives to prosecute seriously the war against militant Islam? I worry about US constancy and purpose.
And right I was to worry, for the alarm, solidarity, and resolve of late 2001 have lately plummeted, returning us to a roughly pre-9/11 mentality. A number of recent developments leave me pessimistic. Within the United States:
The USA Patriot Act, a landmark of post-9/11 cooperation between the military and law enforcement, passed the Senate 98-1 in October 2001. Last week, the same bill stalled in the Senate. The mainstream media does not take Islamist aspirations seriously and sees the war on terror basically as over, as shown by Maureen Dowds comment that the Bush administration is trying to frighten people with talk of Al Qaedas dream of a new Islamic caliphate. Harvard and Georgetown universities each accepted US$20 million for Islamic studies from a Saudi prince who overtly promotes his governments Wahhabi outlook, Alwaleed bin Talal. A Florida jury somehow managed to overlook the massive evidence of Sami Al-Arians leading role in Palestinian Islamic Jihad and acquit him on this charge. One leading Islamist organization, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, boasts an endorsement from Wells Fargo Bank, an invitation from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and a letter of congratulations from the presidents brother, Jeb Bush. Another, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, hosted representatives of the departments of Justice and State at a conference last week. Then U.S. foreign policy:
Fixated on the goal of perfecting Iraq, where no major danger remains, the Bush administration seems to be allowing the Iranian regime to build nuclear weapons, stipulating only that the Russians carry out the uranium enrichment, an ineffectual safeguard. Pursuing its democracy campaign to its logical conclusion, Washington is signaling a willingness to deal with Islamists in Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, and elsewhere, thereby bolstering radical Islams power. Then international setbacks:
Elite opinion ascribes the French intifada only to faults in French society, such as unemployment and discrimination. When one leading intellectual, Alain Finkielkraut, dared bring Islam into the discussion, he was savagely criticized and threatened with libel, so he backed down. The July transport bombings in the United Kingdom seemingly highlighted the dangers of homegrown Islamism. Five months later, however, lessons learned from this atrocity have been nearly forgotten. For example, the Blair government appointed an Islamist banned from entering the United States, Tariq Ramadan, to a prestigious taskforce; and it abandoned efforts even temporarily to close down extremist mosques. As Israels population lurches leftward, led by a defeatist government (We are tired of fighting, we are tired of being courageous, we are tired of winning, we are tired of defeating our enemies, declares Vice Prime Minister Ehud Olmert), it forgets the lessons of Oslo, appeases its enemies, and virtually invites more violence against itself. Rudolph Giuliani worries that we are going backward in the fight against terrorism. Andrew McCarthy concludes that the September 10th spirit is alive and well. Steven Emerson tells me that pre-9/11 political correctness has re-asserted itself.
And I worry that not even a catastrophic act of terror will return a desensitized West to its post-9/11 alarm, solidarity, and resolve. John Kerrys notion of terrorism as a nuisance similar to prostitution or gambling has taken hold, suggesting that future acts of violence will be shrugged off. And, even if mass murders do wake the public, a next round of alertness will presumably be as ephemeral as the last one.
If there ever was a crisis, it is over. Life is good, dangers are remote, security appears adequate
(Denny Crane: "I Don't Want To Socialize With A Pinko Liberal Democrat Commie.Say What You Like About Republicans. We Stick To Our Convictions. Even When We Know We're Dead Wrong.")
I don't believe this. Major danger stilll remains. Iraq could still spiral into civil war without the steady focussed hand of President Bush.
President Bush will continue as long as necessary. And I don't believe for one minute he is unaware of the dangers in Iran.
Thank you for using "normality" and not "normalcy."
Imagine how even patriots felt after years and years of losing battles in the American Revolution?
We've got to last and endure in our resolve to see this Iraqi war to a victorious end. Everything depends on it. And we are winning!
There is only one way to wake everyone up and it is to call the war by its proper name. Few are brave enough to do that.
Sorry, Danny--I love ya, and I read your Mid-East reports religiously, but I can't follow you there. Sacrifice liberties? I'm willing to die fighting militant Islam, and I'm willing to die fighting government tyranny. And if it has to be one or the other, then I don't much care which it is. As for me, give me liberty or give me death.
In a broad way I agree with this. But I'm not sure how important the Patriot Act is, for instance. It seems to me that Homeland Security is a monstrous, badly run bureaucracy that has done a mediocre job.
It's much more important to weed out all the deadwood in the system. The well-known rogue leftists in the CIA. The corrupt leadership in the FBI. The weasels in the Department of State. The clintonoids in the Justice Department.
It's also time to start holding the press accountable for treason. Maybe they have a right to constantly undermine the country with lies, but they don't have a right to publish classified information. The leftists themselves made that argument with the bogus Plamegate matter. We should hit back where security has actually and flagrantly been violated by the press and those in government who break their oaths by leaking to the press.
Many of these offenders are well known. A list of guilty parties in the CIA was posted here just a couple of days ago.
I know what it would be if I were President, but that's been beaten to death and proposing an overwhelming and final finish to the 1300-year-long war between Western Civilization and barbarism would prevent my election!
The pretense that the UN really had anything to say about whether OIF would go forward is going to end up costing us another 9/11. Once you concede the transnational socialists their worldview (UN has the final say, etc.) then you give an incalculable boost in terms of legitimacy to their entire agenda.
I recommend some background reading:
A parochial view of this war is counterproductive and will get people killed.
Who is this guy? He was HAPPY that we were attacked??!!?
He is not happy we were attacked. What he is saying is that 9/11 woke Americans up. He is gloomy because he sees them going back to sleep. No, people do not want to live in a constant state of fear, but if you don't fully grasp what it is you need to be fearful of, then you can't fight it. I say call it what it is - the War on Islam. Bring the truth of it out in the open. Let's fight this very real war before it is too late.
Welcome to FR, btw...
If possible, could you direct me to that thread?
I'm interested in comparing those named to the public membership roster of the CFR.
I did some searching for it, but I can't put my hands on it at the moment. It was on one of the Plamegate threads, not as the main post but in the Replies. Some blogger had posted the list of names, and someone else and I copied it over as replies on the thread, so the list appeared twice as I recall. I wanted to put it on record somewhere here in case it disappeared at the blog.
Sorry I can't be more help. Maybe someone else will pitch in with the answer.
These guys would know.
Cannot forget the social, cultural anesthesia of the Left's 'political correctness'. . .
There is a difference between "alertness" and "chronic state of terror."
Whether the American people as a whole are prepared to sacrifice anything, is a valid question, considering most of us have not been called to the challenge. Our troops and their families are sacrificing, but many more Americans howl their outrage if they so much as have to stand in line and take off their shoes at the airport.
Like John Kerry, promising to meet any attack with a stern response.
I'd prefer to maintain vigilance and preparedness now, and lessen the chances of having to "deal with" terror again--ever.
He did not say 'happy'. . .and only offers he felt secure in knowing that at last, perhaps; we would be forced to recognize an enemy; that he has long been aware of. . .