Cheat-Seeking Missles

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

New Bush Approach To Terror?

Karen Hughes, long time Bush right-hand and now under secretary for public diplomacy and public affairs at State (i.e., anti-terror PR Czar), writes "Where is the outrage?" in today's USA Today. Good question, especially as one looks at the photo that accompanied the story: All those 9/11 deaths!

Speaking of the increasingly muted response to terror, whether here or in Spain or in Balie or in Russia, she says:
This is not right, or normal, or acceptable, and a much louder chorus of voices needs to join in condemning it. Terrorism threatens all of us. It targets the very foundations of a free society. Yet where are the mothers organizing against terrorism as American mothers did against drunken driving? Where are the fathers promising to teach their sons to choose to live rather than choose to die? Where are the religious clerics and congregations of all faiths arguing that no just and loving God would call on young men and women to kill themselves and others in the name of religion?
She misses several points while getting to her point, including:
Those who speak of a clash of civilizations seem to forget that Islam is part of America, that an estimated six to seven million Muslims live and worship freely in America. America and our international partners went to war to protect Muslims in the Balkans and gave generously to help Muslims rebuild their lives after the tsunami in Indonesia and the earthquake in Pakistan, just as many Muslim-majority countries reached out generously to help Americans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Utterly irrelevant, because her premise is wrong. As Dennis Prager said in his broadcast on 9/11, we are not witnessing a war between civilizations, but a war against civilization. It doesn't matter what civilized Muslims do; what matters is what those Muslims who would take civilization away from us do.

Her solution is based on an earlier time, when thousands in England -- which didn't have slavery -- petitioned against it:
Our challenge is to launch a new grassroots movement across all faiths and continents, a movement that clearly states that no grievance, no complaint, no matter how legitimate, can ever justify the targeting and killing of innocent civilians. A movement that commits to teach our children that life is precious, diversity should be celebrated, and hope can conquer hate.
Spoken like a true PR pro. Certainly, public opinion, particularly in the Muslim world, needs to shift dramatically against terror. But the purpose of that shift is not to stop terrorism as much as it is to allow justification of the elimination of those who don't agree.

We now "eliminate" drunk drivers by putting them in prison for much longer terms. They obviously didn't accept the new public opinion; they drove drunk. And society has stepped up and said, "20 years!" or whatever harsher punishment is due.

Similarly, for Hughes' proposition to work, opinion must be backed with fervent, concerted, diversified action, or it will be no more meaningful than whatever petition Cindy Sheehan is circulating at the moment.

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