Gut Check: Evil Dreams Big
Evil never takes a holiday; in fact, it capitalizes on them. Evil sees a busload of tourists as a piñata it would like to see burst.
Evil has no picnics planned, no three-day weekends fishing at the cabin, no trips to the shore with drunken alums.
There are no charity fun-runs for the devil.
What is the devil, these days?
We've realized it's not the one of old--the one we grew up thinking was evil. As a tyke, I looked to the USSR for my example of wretched godlessness. As a bloated state intent on expansion, it certainly was the devil to its people, burying tens of millions of citizens under the thumb of coercive progressivism known as communism.
But it wasn't a death cult that projects its blood lust on others, at all times. Brezhnev never sent planes into our buildings. Something tells me that sort of thing would even turn the belly of a socialist (unless they're currently teaching at one of our campuses).
Optimism over the decline of al Qaeda is folly. For as we've come to understand over and over again, they only need to succeed once to make it hurt. And given the new weapons at their disposal, succeeding once could end it all, for good.
Incidentally, President Obama undermined his own claims about this so-called decline as he sought to explain the data collection by the NSA. If terror is behind us, why is "meta-tracking" in front of us? I'll get to that in a moment.
Now, you can think that a random beheading or a sloppy bombing is proof of this decline. As hijackings are now made improbable, if not impossible, we've forced evil into less efficient modes of terrorizing--the kind that kill less, but maim more.
I'm wrong. To use a health metaphor: a cough can be only a cough. But it can also be cancer. Not that I'm a hypochondriac, but when it comes to terror, I'm a terrorchondriac. If I see something evil, I do not run from the diagnosis. Just because only three die instead of three thousand, the will for ill is still alive and kicking.
We look at 9/11 as a "never again" event. And Islamic supremacists agree. My guess is, they're onto bigger and better things. Screw planes--what we need is a nuke! A dirty bomb! A poisoned water supply! Evil is happy with the little crimes, but it tends to dream big.
And they will succeed as long as we rely on the same old model of security.
Despite the ingenuity of the American people, Islamic Supremacy can succeed on the horrifying reaction time of the American political machine--a thing that only springs into gear after the fire has hit the fifth alarm. Unless they're expanding government in the form of pointless programs, our politicians are as nimble as glaciers.
Any doctor will tell you that preventive health care can do a lot of things--often more than the treatment you'll get once an illness kicks in. So what is the preventive medicine against terror?
There are three things, I think.
1. We need a change in attitude toward the false God of tolerance, a beast that guts our ability to engage the enemy. We need, brazenly, to call evil by its name, in public squares--everywhere; for doing anything less allows the vile to take action without penalty. We need to expose them, mock them, and laugh at their threats. No more enabling those who think a death cult is the solution to their own personal failings.
Yes, you can mock Christians over clinging hilariously to their Bibles and bad haircuts. You can bravely condemn Fred Phelps and his gruesome family--even brag about renting a house nearby to harass them, to the glee of the media. Brave indeed. You can imprison a filmmaker over a bigoted, anti-Muslim film.
But compared to Muslim supremacy with hate in its beating heart and a dirty bomb in its sweaty hand, your outrage is misspent. Radical Islam is the hate crime to end all hate crimes.
Undergrads can march against hate of the white, redneck variety. You can fabricate hate-graffiti to draw attention to yourself and/or your plight. You can preach divestment from oil companies on campuses. You can make movies that foster hysteria about fracking, gaining support from the usual peanut gallery of self-involved gasbags. But your actions are a joke, until you face real evil. Until then, you only make evil smile at your pitiful obsession with romantic distractions.
2. And that leads me to my second point: we must no longer be at the mercy of the modern environmentalist, who puts us at the mercy of states that sponsor terror. For decades they whined about becoming energy independent--but only when it meant purchasing windmills and solar panels from their pals. Now we've got the ability to give the finger to OPEC, thanks to a boon in natural gas--and we have chucklehead celebrities throwing up roadblocks, lying about risks, trumpeting false data. A terrorist smiles every time Matt Damon demonizes fracking. he less we come to rely on that other part of the world where hate reigns supreme, the safer we are.
We've denigrated the word "war" by attaching it to unwinnable things. But the war on terror should be real, because the terror is real. And each American is more than equipped than our politicians to fight it. In the end, it's Americans who win wars, not the politicians.
You saw Boston. You saw the beheading in London. Help only comes after, when it's too damn late.
3. Which leads me to my third point.
If the NSA data collecting program was in place prior to 9/11, would 9/11 have occurred? Maybe not.
And if 9/11 didn't occur, would we have bothered to create this NSA program?
Which I guess would have allowed for 9/11 to happen...then.
Which, of course, would ignite this discussion as to whether, if a program like that was in place prior to 9/11, would 9/11 have occurred?
Does your head hurt? Mine does. And I can't blame my hangover this time. But you see the circular argument over preventive applications against terror. How do you solve that conundrum?
Well, you must be honest with yourself about your own reactions had a terror attack occurred that killed your loved ones. And that perhaps intelligence gleaned by our government from scads of data could have flagged the perpetrators beforehand.
Before you think I've gone pinko, remember that I feel the same way about interrogation tactics. Nothing is off the table if a loved one's life is on the line.
The NSA data mining is not on par with IRS targeting, as much as some would like you to think so. It's like comparing a security camera in a hotel lobby to a weaponized private investigator. One passively collects data, none of it used, until we need it. And then with data mining, you have to jump through the requisite legal hoops. But the IRS scandal? That's an arm of government refashioned as ideological henchman. To them, you're the evil.
Collecting phone call traffic is no different than a garbage truck picking up trash. It's only after a crime is committed that the cops have to sift through the mess at the dump.
Thanks to modern technology, our ability to connect the dots has vastly improved, and it cannot be ignored. If the world is now a battlefield, then gathering communication (without reading it) seems necessary to root out those involved in ending our way of life. And, right now, only our government can do it.
You might say it's too big a price to pay, but something tells me you'd change your mind if it were suddenly September 10th, 2001, and you had the option.