Monday, October 15, 2007

World War IV

This Cliff May post is stupid on many levels:
This is what bothers me most about Al Gore getting the Nobel Prize. I know that sounds like a non sequitur but consider: Gore’s argument, endorsed by the Nobel Committee and the left in general, is that global warming is the most important crisis of the contemporary era.

By clear implication, the war being waged against us by the Islamists is a second tier issue.

This is the equivalent of political figures in the 1930s telling Churchill that the most critical problem of the day was not the rise of Nazi power but air pollution – and London had a lot of air pollution in the 1930s.

Right now, we are divided in America and in the West. As Norman Podhoretz writes in World War IV: “It is a war in which those of us who see Islamofascism as the latest mutation of the totalitarian threat to our civilization and who insist on the correlative necessity of meeting and defeating it, are pitted against those who think that the threat has been wildly exaggerated …”

One thing that strikes me is Podhoretz's wording in that last paragraph: note that in his conception, "World War IV" is a battle not against "Islamofacism," but against domestic enemies. Interesting phrasing.

This type of talk, from both Podhoretz and May, is of course just the latest in a never-ending series of attempts to equate the war on terror with World War II, the Good War. Silly Al Gore, fretting over London's air quality while Hitler is on the march! The following quote, from State Department official David Long following Clinton's cruise missile attacks on Afghan training camps in 1998, roughly sums up my view:
''This is, unfortunately, the war of the future,'' Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright said.

Terrorism experts applauded the military action as a necessary quick response. But they said the notion of announcing a war against someone like Mr. bin Laden posed problems.

''It's unfortunate that she used the term war, because it's very misleading. Americans like their wars to be short, with no casualties, and then we kick back and watch the Super Bowl,'' said David Long, a former State Department official. ''Flu would be a better simile. Every year there's a new strain of flu, and every two or three years one is lethal. You manage it. You're not going to win the war on flu.'

I think the flu comparison is great. Once you cast this as a war, the only possibility is losing.

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