I forgot to post this earlier. It was my entry for the tenth anniversary of 9/11.
When you feel sick, you visit the doctor.
There’s a reason for this, of course. A visit to the good doctor allows us to identify what it is, exactly, that’s ailing us. It could be serious, after all. Continued vomiting could be an indication of a stomach ulcer, for example. Persistent lethargy could be an indication of depression, for another. A diagnosis, which is what we seek, naturally, is a form of identification, is it not? It’s what allows us to assemble the tools and arsenal we need to fight whatever it is that is harming us. Better to identify sooner, rather than later, your body’s enemy, right?
As it happens, we here in America are confused about what ails us. Troublingly confused. Because their movements are filled with emoters, as opposed to thinkers, both the extreme right and extreme left have not been able to identify the country’s mortal enemy. And until they get on the bus, and start thinking rationally, we’re going to have a problem on our hands.
As you’ll recall, no doubt, the dreadful Pat Robertson, along with his counterpart, the late and decidedly UN-great Jerry Falwell, blamed the massive, bloody attacks that transpired ten years ago today on homosexuals and those who believe a woman should have the right to choose to terminate her pregnancy.
As you’ll note, too, if you’re intellectually honest, that is, The Left in this country seems to be just as morally confused. They, and apparently no less than the Vice President of the United States himself, think Republicans and Tea Partiers are terrorists (especially because of recent debt negotiations).
What dangerous bunches–both of them.
Firstly, we have dozens of videos of the perpetrators of the 9/11 (as well as other) attacks showing us precisely who they are and why they do what they do. If your enemy self-identifies, believe him. It should be common sense.
Secondly, both extremes play a dangerous game that will, no doubt, result in the even greater loss of innocent life. In case we ‘ve forgotten, that’s something we generally want to avoid.
Note: when you refuse to identify accurately who your enemy is, you give him an invaluable advantage. While you’re demonizing people who stand as impediments to your legislative agenda, he’s out murdering hundreds, if not more likely thousands, of innocents, many of whom will inevitably be children. This isn’t taxes or affirmative action we’re talking about; it’s life and death.
The truth is that, until we learn to identify who our enemies are, we will not be able to fight them as efficiently and intelligently as we need to.
Having said that, sometimes uttering the diagnosis itself can be difficult. Saying it makes it real, and forces you to then contemplate deeply painful and difficult decisions, ones that almost always include some kind of loss. That’s okay. This is the business of life. Be morally courageous and give it your best. When you do, you increase your likelihood of success.
In point of fact, it is not ALL Muslims who pose a threat to America, democracy, women’s rights, LGBT rights and human rights. A supermajority of Americans recognize this fact.
To Ultra Conservatives: to argue such a thing would be positively absurd, not to mention untruthful and destructive. It’s lonely there in the margin; do your country a service and join the rest of us here in reality.
It is, however, an increasingly militant, fanatical strain of Islam that does pose an existential threat.
To The Left: please stop emoting and start thinking. Speaking the phrase “militant Islam” will not make you racist or Islamophobic. It will make you smarter and a greater force against evil. Your values include sexual freedom and a woman’s right to choose to abort. If these are your values here in America, then they must be your values everywhere. You don’t do women and gays (who get treated brutally in the Arab world) any favors when you turn a blind eye to the rampant sexism and homophobia in the Middle East. Base your values on a well reasoned, consistent set of principles–not on tribe. You lose credibility when you do.
Moreover, believe it or not, your time is better spent joining mainstream conservatives fighting militant Islam abroad than Pat Robertson here. No matter how ugly a figure the man is, and he is, indeed, the worst he can do is speak for the most part. Choose to do what’s harder, and simply ignore him. Direct your monetary and intellectual resources, instead, toward identifying and fighting your enemy. The instant you do, you will then able to highlight untrepidaciously forced female genital mutilation, selective and (also) forced abortions (clue: it’s always the girls), and the torture of gays simply for being gay. You have far more in common with conservatives than you realize when it comes to militant Islam and the deep and abiding threat it poses to that which you hold dear.
So as we exchange platitudes on how the attacks altered our perception of the world and so on and so forth, let us remember that in order to triumph over those who wish to dismantle our entire way of life, we must first be clear on who to fight.
They’re not gays and “abortionists” and they’re not conservatives and “tea baggers” either.
The enemy consists of a small and rapidly growing band of fanatical Muslim thugs that wishes to silence everyone who favors life over death, and basic human rights for all irrespective of differing faith, sex or sexuality.