Somewhere on A1A...

Thursday, April 10, 2003


This column by Mark Goldblatt is a little harsh, but he's right about delusion being a two way street.

On Arab Jihadis joining Iraq to battle the coalition:

The thought that a dozen or so yahoos in me-go-boom vests could have an effect on coalition forces is rife with pathos, a squadron of gnats buzzing across the desert to stop a herd of charging elephants, but beneath the pathos lies a critical delusion -- a delusion that, one way or another, must be dispelled if a lasting peace in the Middle East is ever to be achieved, and the war on terrorism concluded.
The delusion, of course, is that there's such a thing as "Arab and Muslim land."

On the Palestinians:
Nevertheless, the delusion persists. Even though they have as much chance of resurrecting the extinct glories of Medieval Islam as they do of summoning up the lost continent of Atlantis, Saddam Hussein calls for a holy war against trespassing infidels on Pan-Arabist grounds, and Osama bin Laden calls for a holy war against trespassing infidels on Islamist grounds... as though such calls will deter the Anglo-European civilization which, literally, left Islam in the dust half a millennium ago. But the calls go out, and the Palestinians, always the hapless, deluded Palestinians, answer: Allahu akbar!

On ending the war on terror:
The war on terrorism, in other words, cannot end with a surrender treaty; it can only end by compelling vast numbers of people to change their minds, to recognize their most heartfelt aspirations as impossible fantasies and to cut them loose. The war on terrorism can only end with an outbreak of mass sanity in the Islamic world.

On treating Arab delusions:
So how do you convince a million or so murderous fanatics to forsake their delusions? The short answer is you don't. You deal with them as you would deal with a cancer; you cut them out of the body politic and hope to minimize collateral damage to the surrounding tissue. But this becomes problematic when the body politic refuses treatment, when indeed it curls up with the cancer in its midst.


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