Tuesday, July 12, 2005

NYT and "We're Not Afraid" Website

Gratuitous Home Improvement Update: Bill and I completed laying the Pergo floor (except for a few pieces of quarter round molding). We’re now packing up the old place and will move soon. Enough of that, here’s some real content.

I read an editorial disguised as an article in today’s New York Times (registration might be required). It’s not about guns. Bill and I try to keep Ten Ring on focus, but sometimes you just have to rant about something else.

The article by Sarah Boxer is part of “Critic’s Notebook,” an art feature. It discusses a website, We’re Not Afraid, created in response to the terrorist bombings in London last week. The editorial article explains how We’re Not Afraid started and says it is similar in concept to the site Sorry Everybody in which Americans apologized to the world for Bush’s re-election.

Boxer complains that "We’re Not Afraid" has a very different tone and effect from "Sorry Everybody." She doesn’t say what the different tone is, but I’ll read between the lines so you don’t have to. It’s defiance. It’s telling the terrorists, sometimes with conspicuously raised middle fingers, that they ain’t going to win.

Boxer implies that "We’re Not Afraid" began with the best of intentions, but as more people posted pictures, the focus seems to become frivolous. She describes a few silly pictures, but I thought art was all about self-expression. I wonder if she complained about silly pictures in the Sorry Everybody site.

I went though several pages of photos until the site stopped loading—its popularity is overwhelming its servers. I didn’t see frivolity, but I saw anger, sadness, and celebrations of life; but, most of all I saw defiance. There were even a few pictures of American soldiers, taken from news sources, showing terrorists what they need to fear.

Finally, Boxer shows her true colors. She criticizes pictures of people in their cars and vans or on vacation. She describes it as “a brutish flaunting of wealth and leisure.” Brutish, what the hell is brutish about enjoying life? If you own a sports car, what’s wrong with taking a picture of you and your spouse in it and telling these nasty, cowardly, life-destroying, pleasure-hating, misogynistic, homophobic, hate-filled, sons of pigs, anti-Semitic terrorists that you’re going to enjoy life in spite of them? What’s wrong with showing yourself at leisure? Does Boxer ever take a vacation?

Boxer thinks she answers these questions. She says, the site “…seems to be turning into a place where the haves of the world can show that they're not afraid of the have-nots.” Have-nots???!!!! These terrorists are not have-nots. Bin Laden is filthy rich (or just filthy now), his inner circle came from the Middle East’s middle and upper classes, and Mohammed Atta was from a prosperous Egyptian family. Many people who blew themselves up in Israel have been students with a good future, engineers, and other professionals. Terrorist cells have plenty of money for explosives, travel, computers, cell phones, and everything else they need.

Boxer makes a fundamental mistake when she refuses to understand that we’re not fighting an economic war. Likewise, we’re not fighting a war as we know it against a nation with an army and a diplomatic corps.

Instead, we’re fighting a war against ideologues who’ve perverted a religion, one in need of reformation and enlightenment. Their perverted concept of Islam allows them to target civilians. To them we’re all soldiers; every man, woman, and child is a legitimate military target in their eyes.

Boxer and her ilk think that we need to be humble, that we need to negotiate, that we need to “understand” these people and their demands. And, that we need to share our wealth with the world.

I understand our foes and I don’t fear them. I know they’ll fail when the world finally unites against them. Such unity will happen when the left, people like Boxer, finally gets it. When the left learns that there is no negotiation and realizes that terrorists don’t envy us for our possessions, that they hate us for standing in the way of a world-wide caliphate governed by Sharia.

The left will learn this lesson when enough blue cities have enough bomb craters. When they do, they’ll be first in line calling for destruction that fifty years from now their intellectual heirs will cite as an example of American perfidy just like when Democrats decided to drop two atomic bombs on Japan.

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