December 10, 2008

I've Got A Baaaad Feeling About This


Meanwhile, an area where too many in the mainstream media have been oddly AWOL is in the response to the attack on Mumbai, India, two weeks ago by a squad of Pakistan-based terrorists, who killed nearly 200 people. Reaction in the U.S. was somewhat muted because the protracted standoff occurred over the Thanksgiving holiday, when many Americans were traveling or absorbed in family business. But I was troubled by a persistent soft-pedaling of the identification of the attackers as Muslims --as if the mere reporting of that fact would be offensive and politically incorrect.

Because seven years have passed since 9/11 without another attack on native soil, many Americans, particularly urban professionals, seem to have been lulled into a false feeling of security. But jihadism as a world movement -- even if its membership is a tiny fraction of young Muslim men -- will continue to pose a serious threat to every open democratic society over the next century and more. Anyone who has studied ancient history knows that great civilizations, from Egypt and Persia to Rome and Byzantium, broke down in stages separated in some cases by many superficially tranquil decades. Because of the unprecedented fragility of our intertwined power grid and complex transportation system, the technological West is highly vulnerable to sabotage and chaos.

The tragic fate of so many innocent victims in Mumbai deserves our pity. But what should live in special infamy was the ruthless execution of the Lubavitcher rabbi, Gavriel Hertzberg, and his lovely wife, Rivka, who was 5 months pregnant. These were two idealistic young people of obvious warmth and humanity, who sought only to serve. The rescue by their Indian nanny of their orphaned 2-year-old son, Moshe, crying and smeared with his parents' blood, is already legendary. Was this zeroing in on the Chabad Jewish Center in Mumbai about Israel, or was it simply a gruesome eruption of the medieval tradition of anti-Semitism? Why have Muslim organizations, very quick to protest insulting cartoons, been mostly silent about the atrocities in Mumbai?

The slaughter of the Hertzbergs and other Jews at Chabad House should be a wake-up call to Western liberals who believe that jihadism can be defeated through reason and happy talk. Only other Muslims can launch the stringent internal reform necessary to stomp this barbaric extremism out. But the events in Mumbai confirmed my opinion about the looming problem of a nuclear Iran: I continue to believe that Israel, whose security is directly threatened, has every right to take preemptive military action against Iran.

Pop quiz: Who wrote this? Victor Davis Hanson? Hitch? Steyn?

Nope, Camille Paglia.

Paglia goes off the rails sometimes, but on the long view of history she's solid. (Read the rest of the article. She also pummels people who look down their noses at Sarah Barracuda.)

I flag this today because recently I have started to get a creepy feeling on the back of my neck that we, as a society, are getting lazy and complaisant as 9/11 sinks farther down the memory hole and that this attitude is going to come back to bite us and bite us hard in the not too distant future.

Posted by Robert at December 10, 2008 10:09 AM | TrackBack

Paglia only appears to "go off the rails" when she challenges (some might say "spits on") your world view. The Left is going to say that this piece is an example of her "going off the rails."

Posted by: Zendo Deb at December 10, 2008 11:04 PM