Difference Without Distinction
America has long been enamored with the concept of "shades of grey," that is to say that the concept of "good" and "evil" are determined in such an infinitely gradated scale that the distinction between the two are nearly imperceptible. In fact, the very use of the term "evil" has been frowned upon in some quarters.
This dangerous sophism simply will not do. We are in a black and white situation in which our choices could not be more clear. There are simply two sides; us and them.
Sarah Honig has a wonderful column in the Jerusalem Post entitled "Another Tack: Objectively Pro-Terrorist" in which she makes a similar point. Her subject, of course is Israel's ongoing struggle for survival in the face of the onslaught of Islamic terror, but we share a common enemy and the effects are the same. She says, in part:
Incongruously militant and aggressive "peaceniks" unhesitatingly knew whom to blame for the blasts which last week took so many soldiers' lives at different ends of the Gaza Strip. They didn't blame the terrorist perpetrators. They didn't blame savages who used a severed head as their football.
It was a screeching chorus of calculating left-wing politicians, Four Mothers in an opportunistic sequel, posturing political objectors and demagogic draft-dodgers, all lustily pointing fingers at - you guessed it - Gush Katif settlers and the Likud voters who refused to uproot them. Mass hysterical sanctimony can be politically profitable and intoxicatingly invigorating, even if it intentionally ignores the facts.
Soldiers searching for rocket and mortar factories, or for tunnels under the border with our Egyptian peace-partners, were doing precisely what they would have been doing had Likud opinion swung the other way and the settlers evicted.
Rocket fire from and weapons smuggling into Gaza would have still plagued us even if we ditched the settlements. Probably much more. With Gaza's terror fiefdom rewarded and emboldened, search-and-destroy missions would, if anything, only become more frequent. They aren't conducted for Gush Katif's sake but for Sderot, Ashkelon and nearby kibbutzim.
These are the facts. But propagandists don't like facts. War propagandists normally lie to raise morale. Our self-professed peaceniks do so to lower morale, facilitate retreat and further their defeatist agenda.
Back in 1942 George Orwell pointed out matter-of-factly that "so-called peace propaganda is just as dishonest and intellectually disgusting as war propaganda. Like war propaganda it concentrates on putting forward a 'case,' obscuring the opponent's point of view and avoiding awkward questions. The line normally followed is 'those who fight Fascism become Fascist themselves.'"
Just substitute "terrorist" for "Fascist."
Many people have railed against President Bush's assertion that "you are either with us, or you are with the terrorists." That's unfortunate. In these times when obfuscation has become a second language of many politicians, statements such as these provided a clear line of demarcation between good and evil, a line whose existence some refuse to accept.
To argue against the war in which we are involved (of which Iraq and Afghanistan are integral parts) is to argue against survival itself, for war has been declared on us - not the other way around. Reasonable people can argue on any number of ancillary subjects surrounding this fact. It is however, totally unreasonable to dismiss the central fact that we are involved in a war with people who wish our destruction and they will settle for no less. Those who refuse to accept this simple truth are simply either fools or purposely and malevolently obtuse.
Again, Our enemies want no less than our subjugation. Last night, I reread Patrick Henry's stirring 1775 speech. Much of the speech is applicable to the situation in which we currently find ourselves, particularly:
It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace--but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?
Yes, there is no peace. We have but two options, to fight and win or to willingly sacrifice our civilization on the alter of tolerance and prostrate ourselves before an enemy who is the very embodiment of intolerance. Those who choose the latter don't just disagree, they are on the other side.