In one, by Newsweek editor Fareed Zakaria, we have the quintessential Progressive approach. The other, by Mark Steyn, shows the foolishness of that line of non-attack.
Don’t Panic [title]Tell that to the jihadis' victims. Note in the following the usual Progressive trust in the wisdom of 'experts', of which we apparently have no shortage. He says:
How our frenzied response to terrorism only feeds it. [subtitle]
"In responding to the attempted bombing of an airliner on Christmas Day, Sen. Dianne Feinstein voiced the feelings of many when she said that to prevent such situations, 'I'd rather…overreact than underreact.' This now appears to be the consensus view in Washington, but it is quite wrong.
"If we are not terrorized, then the attack didn't work."
Is there some sensible reaction between panic and passivity? Philip Zelikow, the executive director of the 9/11 Commission and later a senior State Department official in the Bush administration, suggests that we should try to analyze failures in homeland security the way we do airplane catastrophes.Of course, consistent with the Administration's line that this is no more than a technical problem, a "man-made disaster", all we need do is tweak the knobs on the machine of State a little, in the way the wise witch doctors employed by Attila decide, and all will be well. Or, at least tolerable if we radically lower our expectations about public safety to a 'realistic' level.
When an airliner suffers an accident, major or minor, the National Transportation Safety Board convenes a group of nonpartisan experts who calmly and methodically examine what went wrong and then issue a set of recommendations to improve the situation.
[See Thomas Sowell's new book, Intellectuals and Society for details. Also, see Ayn Rand's For the New Intellectual for a discussion of the relationship of Attila and the Witch Doctors (as well as the source of the fundamental errors troubling Western civilization in the past 2,000 years).]
Deeper, observe the fundamentally mistaken outlook, signalled by the false alternative "panic" vs "passivity." It's not panic on the public's part to demand that the Federal government do properly and well one of the few things legitimately within its scope of authority.
Of course, Zakaria himself suggests that these are not our only alternatives. But he betrays his error when he suggests (a) treating this like an ordinary plane crash, and (b) that, if we react with strong emotion, we're necessarily being irrational. Fear, anger, disgust, and outrage are all perfectly rational responses not only to the event, but to the reasons it occurred and — even more so — to the Feds' responses to date.
By contrast, a very welcome contrast, read what someone not polluted by Progressivism and therefore genuinely concerned about American security has to say:
This is not to say (to go wearily through the motions) that all Muslims are potential suicide bombers and axe murderers, but it is to state the obvious – that this "war" is about the intersection of Islam and the West, and its warriors are recruited in the large pool of young Muslim manpower, not in Yemen and Afghanistan so much as in Copenhagen and London.And, Steyn shows that — contrary to the Progressives' fantasy that they alone are members of the "reality based" segment of society — it's men like Steyn who are actually willing to call a
But [Obama] cannot say that because he is overinvested in a fantasy – that, if only that Texan moron Bush had read Khalid Sheikh Mohammed his Miranda rights and bowed as low as Obama did to the Saudi king, we wouldn't have all these problems.
So now Obama says, "We are at war." But he cannot articulate any war aims or strategy because they would conflict with his illusions. And so we will stagger on, playing defense, pulling more and more items out of our luggage – tweezers, shoes, shampoo, snow globes, suppositories – and reacting to every new provocation with greater impositions upon the citizenry.
Not long after the Ayatollah Khomeini announced his fatwa against Salman Rushdie, the British novelist suddenly turned up on a Muslim radio station in West London late one night and told his interviewer he'd converted to Islam. Marvelous religion, couldn't be happier, Allahu Akbar and all that.Evidently, so do leftie Newsweek editors.
And the Ayatollah said hey, that's terrific news, glad to hear it. But we're still gonna kill you.
Well, even a leftie novelist wises up under those circumstances. Evidently, the president of the United States takes a little longer.