Friday, July 15, 2005

A harsh world

The morning after 9/11, I was at a meeting where no one really knew what to say. One learned man asserted that we will now embark on massive racial profiling, something that he suggested we were very good at. This turned out to be standard leftist silliness. Almost everyone has by now witnessed the TSA charade at U.S. airports. Old ladies in wheelchairs are searched, etc. Europeans as well as Americans are trading political correctness for security.

Charles Krauthammer explains that there is now a civil war within Islam that necessarily involves the rest of the world. Christianity's reformation and counter-reformation, coming about when the religion was approximately as old as Islam is now, were also long and bloody.

The recent Pew survey of Muslim attitudes is hardly comforting; the LA Times reports: "Poll Finds Less Support for Terrorism". Even then, the newer numbers on how many Muslims assent to the use of terror and suicide bombings denote much more than just a fringe -- 57% in Jordan, 39% in Lebanon, 25% in Pakistan, 15% in Indonesia, 14% Turkey, 13% Indonesia. That is a lot of people.

When large numbers of people cope badly with the modern world, there is, unfortunately, no simple way to bring them into modernity. The Bush people have a plan and there are many reasons to be skeptical of it. Yet, I have heard nothing from the other side -- except perhaps the admonition that we go easy on the profiling.