Recently, at Georgetown University, former President Bill Clinton provided the terrorists with what amounts to a rational for their heinous acts – they were repaying “us” for “our” treatment of blacks and Indians earlier in America’s history. He said that America is “paying a price today” for past slavery and for “looking the other way when a significant number of Native Americans were dispossessed and killed.”
Clinton then continued to give aid and comfort to the enemy by reminding his impressionable young audience that “In the first Crusade, when the Christian solders took Jerusalem, they first burned a synagogue with 300 Jews in it and proceeded to kill every woman and child who was a Muslim on the Temple mount. I can tell you that story is still being told today in the Middle East and we are still paying for it.”
Clinton’s historical facts were essentially correct; his interpretation and application of them borders on the treasonous. To suggest that the wanton slaughter of thousands of innocent people in three airplanes, the Twin Towers and the Pentagon is somehow explained by the Crusades, the pioneer’s treatment of Indians, and an earlier America’s treatment of slaves, is reprehensible. That was then, this is now. Granted, all of the acts cited by Mr. Clinton were indeed evil in their time – as was the slaughter of thousands of Christians in the Middle East by Islamic conquerors. That’s what led to the Crusades.
Liberal Apologetics for Terrorism
No matter what ugliness happens in the world, liberals are always quick to explain it on grounds of negative social conditions and psychology. During and following World War II, there were those who created a vast literature to “explain” the Nazi “mind” and how it could produce such horrors as the Holocaust.
A similar body of literature was produced during the 70’s when Europe was beset by terrorism.
Following the Oklahoma City bombing, there was another flurry of apologetics attempting to “explain” and “understand” how someone could do such a thing. They treated it as a psychological issue rather than as a moral one.
Today’s intellectual liberals are busily creating a literature of apologetics for the terrorist’s barbarous acts of September 11. The Press and Media are filled with such drivel. As Thomas Sowell recently wrote, “The media seem to be doing a major part of the terrorists’ work for them.”
Once, in a more naïve time, I was enamored with liberalism. I believed that at least it was compassionate, concerned about the human condition, anxious to heal the wounds of mankind. Today, I have the opposite view. As does philosopher John Searle, I see it as evil. Leftism in this country is a deadly enemy. It daily chips away at the very foundations and values upon which this mighty nation was so painstakingly constructed. It consistently provides aid and comfort to America’s enemies – no matter whom they may be at the moment. Each generation of liberals seems to produce its “Hanoi Jane’s.”
If allowed to flourish unchecked, liberalism – better yet, Leftism — in this country would inevitably lead to the repudiation of the Constitution, and the creation of a socialist Big Brother state from which there would be no turning back. Worse, that state could and probably would then be folded in to a UN-created global tyranny in which the light of political freedom was forever extinguished; all of course in the name of “peace.”
Somewhere along the line, if we are to survive, America must rediscover the meaning of good and evil in the world. We must stop justifying present evils by the sins of previous generations. We must cease psychologizing and explaining criminal and barbarous behavior and begin to label it for what it is – evil. Then we must deal with it accordingly.
It is one thing to understand evil behavior, and quite another to justify or rationalize it. Terrorism can never be justified. It cannot be explained away on grounds of the crimes of history. What a small group of Islamic fanatics did to thousands of lives on September 11 cannot legitimately be attributed to America’s treatment of Indians and slaves in past centuries. As Benjamin Netanyahu, former Prime Minister of Israel — and no friend of Bill Clinton’s — wrote in his book Fighting Terrorism (p. 22), “The citizens of free societies must be told again and again that terrorists are savage beasts of prey, and should be treated as such. Terrorism should be given no intellectual quarter.”
I couldn’t agree more.