July 09, 2005

Hitchens Kicks Ass (tip to LGF)

On the MSNBC show that Ron Reagan, Jr. co-hosts, Hitchens kicks ass in a debate over terrorism. Hitchens points out that terrorists aren't being provoked into attacking us because of Iraq or Afghanistan but have been attacking for years before that. He expertly points out that you cannot elevate this terrorism into reasonable demands or rational actions; they are for their own sake. The attacks are not means justified by good ends (Israel out of Palestine, US/UK out of the Mideast, Russia out of Chechnya, India out of Kashmir, blacks out of Sudan, etc.) but are the ends in themselves. The pain and suffering inflicted is enough to commit the attacks for the monsters who do these acts; they have larger agendas but they need no further justification to do it.

The UK was not attacked because of its presence in Iraq and Afghanistan; terrorists had been plotting a chemical attack on the UK several years ago before either venture. It's certainly reasonable to say that engaging the enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan can make the US and UK a bigger target, but we were both already targets. Just because engaging evil potentially makes you more noticeable to evil doesn't mean that not engaging evil is better - and it certainly doesn't make it safer.

The US was already a target before 9/11 when the WTC was bombed, when the African embassies were bombed and when the USS Cole was bombed. The Islamist violence targeted on London or New York or Madrid is not deserved any more than schoolchildren in Beslan deserved to be murdered or young women in Darfur deserved to be raped and mutilated. These attacks are not about capitalism, the West or Israel; the victims of Islamist violence are of every income from the poorest Africans and Asians to the richest Anglo-Americans, of every race from black African to white English, and every religion from animist to Orthodox to Protestant to Hindu.

Hitchens is right to put Ronny Reagan in his place, because it's politically ignorant and historically illiterate to argue that terrorism is committed by rational men committed to reasonable goals. Don't delude yourself into thinking that terrorists commit bad acts for good reasons, because they don't share our views that all religions and races are deserving of tolerance. They are nothing more than bigots with bombs who will use any excuse to perpetrate violence. Separate whatever good goals that reasonable Muslims might have from the self-justified violence of Islamic terrorists.

PS - Reagan is very smarmy and hard to watch or hear. He sounds like a nagging schoolmarm when he says "Christopher." He sounded better when he argued directly instead of by innuendo and inference and sarcasm. He was definitely outmatched by Hitchens and only Reagan's interruptions did anything to stop the hemorrhaging.


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