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Wednesday, February 25, 2004

More on "the threat"

I'm still pondering the "threat."

Thanks to a faithful reader, I just finished reading a book review by Pat Buchanan at the American Conservative website. While discussing An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror by David Frum and Richard Perle, Buchanan writes this:
In the worst of terror attacks, we lost 3,000 people. Horrific. But at Antietam Creek, we lost 7,000 in a day’s battle in a nation that was one-ninth as populous. Three thousand men and boys perished every week for 200 weeks of that Civil War. We Americans did not curl up and die. We did not come all this way because we are made of sugar candy.

Germany and Japan suffered 3,000 dead every day in the last two years of World War II, with every city flattened and two blackened by atom bombs. Both came back in a decade. Is al-Qaeda capable of this sort of devastation when they are recruiting such scrub stock as Jose Padilla and the shoe bomber?

In the war we are in, our enemies are weak. That is why they resort to the weapon of the weak—terror. And, as in the Cold War, time is on America’s side. Perseverance and patience are called for, not this panic.
More than one lefty blogger has said this lately, but it feels odd agreeing so openly with Buchanan.

And he has more good stuff:
In 25 years, militant Islam has seized three countries: Iran, Sudan, and Afghanistan. We toppled the Taliban almost without losing a man. Sudan is a failed state. In Iran, a generation has grown up that knows nothing of Savak or the Great Satan but enough about the mullahs to have rejected them in back-to-back landslides. The Iranian Revolution has reached Thermidor. Wherever Islamism takes power, it fails. Like Marxism, it does not work.

Yet, assume it makes a comeback. So what? Taken together, all 22 Arab nations do not have the GDP of Spain. Without oil, their exports are the size of Finland’s. Not one Arab nation can stand up to Israel, let alone the United States.
Buchanan even quotes FDR, approvingly! "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."

Incidentally, the Frum-Perle book is apparently pretty scary -- calling for a sequence of wars with a variety of enemies: North Korea, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran!

Buchanan writes a scathing and intelligent review. He's clearly neither a neo-con nor a progressive internationalist!

Heck, read the entire review.

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