Thursday, August 10, 2006

O tempora! O mores!

All right, twice now I've written posts about today's foiled plot to bring down six to ten jetliners using liquid explosives in carry-on luggage. The first time, my kid deleted it to play some game or other (why again did we buy him a GameCube for his last birthday?). The second, I got caught in a Blogger planned outage and didn't save the whole thing quite in time, and the part I did manage to save before the outage was the link-free intro. Darn it.

I'm too tired now to recreate the links. The point was this: I woke up this morning and flipped on the TV, something I seldom get to do, and - holy cripes, a monstrous plan to kill thousands, caught apparently just in time, disrupting air travel in the UK and the US in ways we haven't seen since 9/11. Surely, I thought, this near-miss will have a salubrious effect on the Left, in spite of their foolish triumphalism about Lieberman, one of dang few Democrats with any appeal to the center.

But no - the two dominant memes I've seen on the big sinistrosphere blogs have been these:

1. I Question The Timing! or, isn't it conveeenient that this plot is disrupted right after the Lieberman-Lamont primary? (No kidding. That really is one of the nutty ideas floating around out there: that the Rovian Right was willing and able to create a fake plot that would cause the British government to shut down Heathrow and US travel authorities to cause parents to drink their babies' formula in front of a security officer in order to bring it aboard, yet for reasons known only to them, delayed it until after Lamont won, as a kind of "told you so" to the anti-war anti-forces. No kidding. No kidding.)

2. Nothing to see here..., which describes the way Kos was treating it. Two pages into DailyKos, no story or commentary. A few diaries addressed the plot, over in the right sidebar (which may be no coincidence... though they seemed largely to conform to either my #1, above, or #3, below), but Markos apparently didn't find the situation compelling enough to talk about.

3. This plot demonstrates the failure of Bush's War on Terror! or, as a Protein Wisdom commenter noted, apparently the new standard for success in the War on Terror is that no terror attempts - nay, no terror plans - occur. I guess the idea is that Bush thought we were so convincing that a group of people who, like medieval Europe, are living only for the rewards of the afterlife, in the space of three to five years (depending on when the Leftish speaker believes Bush started screwing things up), should have abandoned their pursuit of Allah's glory and their own paradise in favor of a Prius and a bargain on a Super Tuscan.

I actually saw one Left-side commenter referring to Bush's Iraq policy as "short-sighted." "Short-sighted": a generational plan to recast the Middle East in a more liberal image. I also read one blog, apologies that I can't recall which one, in which the writer mused about a definition of intelligence s/he had read: (paraphrased, but accurately) the ability to hold two opposing views in mind simultaneously. I certainly hope that that writer meant "to consider" rather than "to hold," which IIRC was in fact the word used (I can say definitely that it wasn't "consider"), because otherwise what we're talking about is not intelligence but cognitive dissonance, the resulting imbalance from which can lead to awful and nonsensical rationalizations.

Such as, for instance, "The Bushies are stupid doofuses who masterminded the 9/11 attacks." Or "The interruption of a plot to kill thousands, which resulted in inconvenience to many more thousands of travelers but no loss of life, was [take your pick here] a Rovian plot to spank the righteously angry anti-war netroots, or a failure." Or "Portraying Joe Lieberman in blackface is not at all antithetical to our liberal commitment to tolerance and proportionate ethnic diversity in the public and private spheres, but rather simply political speech that really doesn't concern you Republicans, since it's internecine." Or "Israel is committing genocide(!) [do they even remember what 'genocide' means?] by attacking the sources of rockets being fired at civilian targets in Israel by an organization pledged to destroy Israel as a nation and Jews as a people, because those sources are placed deliberately in civilian neighborhoods in Lebanon."

I thought - I hoped - that the good that could come out of this foiled plot, besides the fact that thousands who might have been killed will not be, would have been that the Democratic party would wake the hell up and realize that Islamism really doesn't give a flip which American president is in office: the aim is to destroy the West because of its liberal, to some observers libertine, ethos. And the people most vilified by Islamists are the ones the Democratic party claims most especially for its beautiful organic-cotton vegetable-dyed rainbow tent: atheists. Gay people. Feminists and other uppity women. Jews. Fornicators and the debauched of all stripes (which we might call "people who believe in bodily freedom," perhaps).

Wake up. The important common denominator among us in the West is not which groups we embrace or identify with - it's which philosophies we embrace and identify with. And the greatest of these, the one that changed everything and continues to inform our lives daily, is:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...

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