Defending the virtues of liberty, free markets, and civilization... plus some commentary on the passing scene.

Freedom's Fidelity

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Closer to Ruthlessness

Like the hostage theatre situation in 2002 this Russian hostage crisis again ended in barbaric tragedy. Expressions of shock at the over 340 innocents killed echo throughout the media, as though somehow the previous victims of terrorism were in some small way culpable. That is one of the hallmarks of terrorism though as the Belmont Club notes in the context of the French journalists kidnapping:
The most diabolical aspect of the terrorist's cruelty is that they have placed the symbolic dagger of execution into the hands of the French themselves. The French open their schoolday with the the subconscious understanding that upholding the headscarf ban may end the lives of two men. This tranferrence of guilt is terrorism's greatest lie: that the ultimate responsibility for a hostage's death lies in the failure of his loved ones to capitulate fully to their monstrous demands. It is a lie which the Left never tires of repeating but it is false all the same. Albert Camus once wryly wrote in the Rebel that "on the day when crime dons the apparel of innocence -- through a curious transposition peculiar to our times -- it is innocence that is called upon to justify itself." He was referring to Stalin, but alas, both for the world and for France, the evil the Left worshipped never died.

The scene in Russia was one of chaos and horror as fleeing children were shot in the back. This is nothing new, but rather another in a long line of displays of the inhuman cruelty that the enemies of civilization are capable of.

Understand, if we fought the Islamo-fascists with the same morality (or lack there of) that they fight us Tehran, Mecca, Damascus, and more would be parking lots shaded by mushroom clouds. Perhaps the crowning jewel of civilization is our collective ability to show restraint from acting upon our intrinsic violent nature. It is our culture of tolerance, our institutions, and society writ large that manages to slow this impulse. But what happened in Russia inches us away from such restraint. For it is not the resolve of the West that is weakened by such ruthlessness, but rather, with each attack it is a piece of our collective civilized sense that is whittled away, towards a more nuke 'em all response. As I have said before it is not a question of who will win this war, but rather which parts of the earth will be scorched and how many innocents will die. Time is the enemy of us all. Will the Middle East get on a path of reform, where the murderous gangs of Islamism are marginalized, or will one of them manage to detonate a nuclear or chemical device in a populated area causing us to respond in kind? But, it won't even take that, for as compassionate as one may be and as much one may find comfort in the romantic belief that violence is never the answer, you need only to look to yourself and ponder this, what will you do when they come for your children?


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