Monday, October 14, 2002
When Israel was the one being hit, some said the reason was the "occupation," so the rest of the world needn't worry - indeed, we'd do well to push Israel to do more to end the occupation, and so end terrorism.
When America was the one being hit, some said the reason was "imperialism," so the rest of the world needn't worry - indeed, we'd do well to push America to pull out of the Middle East, and so end terrorism.
This weekend the ones hit were partying tourists of various nations in the nightspots of Bali. Indonesia is a predominantly Muslim but multi-religious and multi-ethnic society that has been dragging its feet in supporting the war on terrorism. Bali is a tourist island of no religious significance to Muslims, of no political or military significance, with no outstanding grievances against foreign powers. Tell me: what message were the terrorists trying to send this time? Which policies should be changed to satisfy them, and so end terrorism?
An Australian calls Bali "As Australian as meat pie." Think about that statement. We, Western countries like Australia, are the ones who identify with a diverse, multi-religious world where different folks can live lives as they choose. Bali is a Hindu island in a Muslim archipelago. It's a favored tourist destination of Australians. The terrorists murdered all these innocents to say: Hinduism in a Muslim land is unacceptable; Western tourism is unacceptable; parties are unacceptable; good relations between Western and Eastern societies are unacceptable.
That's what this war is about. Anyone who doesn't understand that this is a war of all civilized countries against an absolutely evil movement - any left-winger who thinks George Bush is the biggest threat to the world today rather than a nuclear-armed militant Islam - would rather be dead than think. After September 11th, there's no excuse for anyone like this in the United States, and anyone who says these kinds of things should have no credibility not only on anything related to national security but anything at all. I don't want to buy a used car from someone who would rather be dead than think!
I just hope every nation on earth doesn't have to go through a September 11th - or worse - before they join the fight.