What’s At Stake in the War Against Terrorism

by | Sep 11, 2004

Q: You say that if–when this country is attacked again–John Kerry would probably call the U.N. and “scream for help”. But Kerry told the people of the U.S. that if it was attacked again he would respond or react. So why do you say that he would appeal to the U.N. for help? I think […]

Q: You say that if–when this country is attacked again–John Kerry would probably call the U.N. and “scream for help”. But Kerry told the people of the U.S. that if it was attacked again he would respond or react. So why do you say that he would appeal to the U.N. for help? I think he would as well, primarily because I don’t recall him using the word “retaliate”. Is that the same reason you think he wouldn’t?

A: No. The reason I think John Kerry would call the U.N. and scream for help is that he has made “sensitive and intelligent” warfare a centerpiece of his contradictory campaign. When pressed to explain what “sensitive and intelligent” means, Senator Kerry almost always refers to his desire to “consult” with our allies. This means, in practice, an abdication of responsibility for the United States’ defense of its interests both at home and abroad.

This also means, in practice, further appeasing the terrorists. The world has been in the business of appeasing terrorists since 1972, when Israeli athletes were attacked at the Olympics. Most European countries respond to terrorism by negotiating with it. For the most part, the U.S. has done this since the escalation of terrorism began in the late 1970’s. Kerry, by allying himself so closely with the European policy, means to say that we will do the same. He knows that he cannot get away with openly acknowledging any of this since he’s counting on swing/moderate voters to put him into the White House, and swing/moderate voters are not as pacifistic as this policy (and Kerry’s voting record in Congress over the years) suggests. Therefore, he throws in a bone for those moderate-semihawks by promising to respond if attacked.

Evaded in all this is the fact that we have already been attacked. We have every right and need to get rid of every terrorist sponsoring state on earth and to be prepared to use any means necessary to do so. I hope that it will not go nuclear, of course, but in all honestly I believe that it eventually will. If it’s true, as President Bush seems to assume, that the peoples of the Middle East desperately want secular, democratic republics and all we need to do is liberate them, then I can see a rosy picture sooner rather than later. Clearly, as events in Iraq have made all too clear, the picture is not nearly so rosy, and this has made President Bush a highly vulnerable incumbent candidate against his much more moronic opponents. This is not merely politics; this is very serious business.

I see no reason to assume that most people in the Arab part of the world are interested in establishing Thomas Jefferson-like republics which absolutely respect the separation of church and state. Not all of them are as bad as the 9/11 terrorists, of course, but I can’t see how any of them are anywhere close to being dedicated to freedom as they need to be. This is why this war against terrorism still has a long way to go. President Bush is at least asking some of the right questions and doing a couple of the right things along with many wrong things. Senator Kerry would take us back to the years before 9/11, essentially pretending it never happened and hoping for the best.

We’re in enough danger as it is without adding to this danger even more. Never, ever underestimate the irrationality of religious hatred. As much evil as there has been in the world–Communism and Nazism, to be sure–we have not yet seen the full power of this all-encompassing hatred unleashed. Despite the flaws in his policies, President Bush has, in some measure, succeeded in taking the war against terrorism out of the U.S., for a time, and back into the Middle East. It’s a start though I concede not nearly enough, and not sustainable. Keep in mind the nature of this Islamic hatred against the secularism of the West. It’s not the sort of hatred that seeks power, as Nazism and Communism did; it’s the sort of hatred that seeks outright destruction of life on earth. It’s the opposite of everything the United States stands for and values, whether you consider yourself religious or not; whether you consider yourself liberal, conservative or otherwise.

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at: www.DrHurd.com.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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