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Column: So-called liberals need to address the facts about terrorism

I'm proud to be a liberal. I've been a liberal all my life, espousing civil rights, environmental protection, fiscal prudence, energy independence, gun control, educational uplift, stands against military dictatorships, etc. I believe firmly in individuals thinking of causes greater than their own and translating such impulses into public policies to change society for the better.

Which is why I have been appalled, disgusted, and ashamed at the direction so many liberals have taken in the weeks and months since Sept. 11. Almost immediately, many left-wingers blamed America or Israel for the attacks (some still do). When idiotarian's canards of the CIA or Mossad being responsible were shown transparently absurd and asinine, these same people blamed U.S. policy with respect towards Muslims or Israel as the root cause for the attacks, conveniently forgetting the attacks were hatched while a U.S. president worked harder and engineered a better deal than anyone in history for a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and that same president had staked American blood and treasure for no material interest to protect Muslims in Kosovo, Bosnia and Somalia, while the so-called "guardians of Islam" behind Sept. 11 did nothing. American attacks on al Qaeda and their Taliban hosts continue to be met with loathing and outrage that the U.S. government would take action to meet its primary responsibility--protecting its citizens. Any U.S. military action now is tarred with accusations of imperialism.

So-called liberals who mindlessly chant these taunts should reflect on facts. Who targets innocent civilians, whether in hijacked planes, office towers, Hindu shrines in India, Christian missions in Pakistan, discos and pizza parlors in Tel Aviv, beach resorts in Bali, theater-goers in Moscow or Kenyan embassy workers in Nairobi? Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. What is the agenda of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists? It's not difficult to find out. Read the words of Osama bin Laden's fatwas, the International Islamic Front, Mohammed Atta's farewell letter or the sermons of countless imams and clerics in the Middle East. Unlike liberals, they think not in terms of today or tomorrow, but have objectives over the next 50 years: destroying Israel, shattering India, neutralizing Europe, crippling the United States and forming an Islamic caliphate state based on sharia modeled on the Taliban from Andalusia (the Arabic word for conquered Spain in the Middle Ages) to the Philippines, with world conversion to their perverse brand of Islam to follow. It's not an implausible scenario, considering their access to oil money and brainwashable young men, Israel's existential struggle against terrorists within and hostile armies surrounding it, America's porousness, proliferation of nuclear weapons, the death of a thousand cuts being inflicted on India and Europe's demographic and moral implosion. There is a term for this-imperialism, Islamic fundamentalist imperialism.

When liberals denounce the United States for the regrettable but minimized and unavoidable civilian casualties of U.S. action in Afghanistan, do they consider the consequences of the Taliban regime to Afghans, let alone Americans? The Taliban slaughtered 1.5 million Afghans in their reign's 5 years; US action stopped an annual murder of 300,000 Afghans, and allowed girls to go to school without being beaten! Why do liberals now defend one of the world's most repressive regimes, Iraq, which has slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Kurds and Shiites, used chemical and biological weapons on its own people and seeks nuclear weapons to expand a reign of terror? Why do liberals"whitewash the world's most illiberal regime, Saudi Arabia, which institutionalizes gender apartheid and stoning of gays while banning freedom of speech and religion? Why do liberals turn a blind eye in the name of multiculturalism and relativism to the sharia laws that mandate stoning of women who have children out-of-wedlock (even if due to rape) in Nigeria or to similar laws that give women half the legal credibility of men in Pakistan? Is the answer a covert racism that Muslims are incapable of freedom, democracy and knowing right from wrong? Why are liberals eager to pin the root causes for Sept. 11 on the United States, but dumbfounded when asked for the root cause of Daniel Pearl's murder? It recalls Stalin's remark, "The death of one is a tragedy, that of a million a statistic."

It takes true courage to be a dove, but no honor accrues to being an ostrich. The Procrustean logic of blaming all the world's ills on the United States blinds these liberals to real evil. Shredding facts to fit pet notions is a poor alibi for the cowardice of willful ignorance of reality. I implore fellow liberals to think of the consequences were Islamic fundamentalist imperialism to succeed. The test of truth is not which is the conventionally weaker power nor is the measure of morality zealousness for suicide; only intellectual sloths fail to grasp that. Clemenceau said "He who is not liberal in his youth has no heart; he who does not become conservative with age has no head." Sadly, too many liberals have lost not just their heads but their hearts, for in trying to be kind to the cruel, they have been seduced by the self-serving sirens of Islamic fundamentalists, becoming cruel to the kind. Saying America deserved Sept. 11 is every bit as repulsive as saying a rape victim "asked for it." It's tough enough to be a sane liberal as it is these days; I think I speak for many in hoping not to have to be a recovering liberal.


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