The goal of any organized terrorist attack is to goad a vastly more powerful enemy into an excessive response. And over the past nine years, the United States has blundered into the 9/11 snare with one overreaction after another . . . much of what [Bin Laden] has achieved we have done, and continue to do, to ourselves.
--Ted Koppel, 9.12.10
[Islamic] terrorists regard themselves as “jihadis” - heroic Islamic warriors and conquerors. They see their enemies as “infidels” - enemies of Allah. Yes, the jihadis and those who support them have grievances against America, Europe and Israel. But resolving policy differences is not their goal. Their goal is to defeat the West, and to restore to Muslims the power and glory they enjoyed in the past and which they are confident they are destined to enjoy again.
Iranians are paying members of the Taliban to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan. Think about that: Iran’s rulers are collaborating with the Taliban, an affiliate of al-Qaeda. Political leaders . . . ought to be pondering what . . . it will mean if Tehran succeeds in acquiring nuclear weapons. . .
-- Clifford D. May, President, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, 9.11.10
It takes a high IQ to evade the obvious.
--Thomas Sowell, 9.7.10
Why are intellectuals such as Ted Koppel so determined to downplay the serious, ongoing threat we face from Islamic extremism? Does a high IQ really lead people to evade the obvious?
Most Muslims aren’t “jihadis,” but the minority who are jihadists threaten peace more than any other group of believers practicing politics/terror today. Most Soviet citizens longed for peace; those who didn’t fought in Spain, signed a non-aggression pact with Hitler that while enabling Hitler to invade Poland and start World War II, led to U.S.S.R. seizure of eastern Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, war with Finland, the eventual conquest of Eastern and Central Europe and creation of a satellite empire, the creation North Korea and the invasion of South Korea, theft of A-bomb secrets and a subsequent Cold War that threatened the entire planet.
A significant minority of American intellectuals supported the U.S.S.R. in the 1930s, a big majority during World War II when the Soviet Union was an ally, smaller numbers wanted to “ban the bomb” in the 1950s and found sympathy with Castro in the early 1960s. As a result of America’s Vietnam debacle, the intellectual left gained control over the Democratic Party in 1968, forcing Democratic President Lyndon Johnson from office. Since then, Democrats, led by its intellectuals, have generally opposed U.S. military action abroad, favoring big government at home, a small military footprint overseas.
Republicans, junior partners in big government/big military coalitions led by Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson from 1941 to 1968, are now the party of national security; the only unified political force still focused on overseas threats. And making the separation complete, Republicans now strongly believe in small government at home.
The division shapes our deeply contrasting visions. To intellectuals, smarter than the rest of us, it’s obvious Islamic extremism doesn’t threaten our way of life—homegrown poverty, racism, poor education and health, religious superstition, and polluting businesses pursuing short-term profits do. We can fix our problems by having intellectuals spend money wisely at home.
Here’s what the rest of us realize. Intellectuals are so focused on their domestic enemies, the ones trying to downsize all the government programs they lovingly put together with their own hands, that they refuse to see bad people who don’t like us will take us down unless we fight back, and it’s urgent we beat the bad guys to the punch. We won World War II because we fought back, but at great cost—we could have begun earlier and saved millions of lives. We won the Cold War by fighting back each step of the way, having learned our lesson in World War II. Now, post-9/11, we’ve got another war to win.