Captain Ed: It’s not a War against Terror…
… It’s a War against Temper Tantrums. The Captain writes:
[E.J.] Dionne argues that everyone who craves a liberalized Islam should scold the Pope for inciting riots. However, that’s exactly backwards. Any liberalized version of Islam has to afford people the right to criticize Islam without resorting to intimidation and violence in response. How can Islam reform when the entire world enables its temper tantrums? Does appeasement ever work?There’s the neocon mindset for you, in its ineffable, Captain Ed version. Neocons, unlike the left, have enough sense of reality to recognize that we have an enemy who seeks to harm us. But, being liberals, neocons refuse to recognize the true nature of this enemy, which is Islam, because that would mean regarding a vast part of the human race as our permanent adversaries, which in the neocons’ minds would be tantamount to a kind of super-racism. Also, if the source of the Muslims’ animus against us is the 1,400-year-old religion of Islam itself, rather than a temporary state of irrationality that Muslims are experiencing, then any liberal “reform” of the Muslims is out of the question.
Such is the schizoid regime—half-realistic, half-escapist—under which we have lived since 9/11. The neocons have grabbed us collectively by the collar for the last five years ranting incessantly in our faces that “We’re in a war, a war in which we must not flag or fail, a war that is the great struggle of our century, war, war, war!” … And at the same time they tell us that our enemy in this great war, the enemy we must defeat at all costs, the enemy we must not appease for even a single second, is … people having temper tantrums.