The day the world changed. And then, very quickly, changed right back again.
TOM CLANCY WAS RIGHT: (Reposted from earlier today) And we’re living one of his scenarios right now. Not much is known for sure, but it’s obvious that the United States is the target of a major terrorist assault. There’s a lot of bloviation on the cable news channels, most of which will turn out to be wrong or misleading later. Here, for your consideration, are a few points to be taken from past experience:
The Fog of War: Nobody knows much right now. Many things that we think we know are likely to be wrong.
Overreaction is the Terrorist’s Friend: Even in major cases like this, the terrorist’s real weapon is fear and hysteria. Overreacting will play into their hands.
It’s Not Just Terrorists Who Take Advantage: Someone will propose new “Antiterrorism” legislation. It will be full of things off of bureaucrats’ wish lists. They will be things that wouldn’t have prevented these attacks even if they had been in place yesterday. Many of them will be civil-liberties disasters. Some of them will actually promote the kind of ill-feeling that breeds terrorism. That’s what happened in 1996. Let’s not let it happen again.
Only One Antiterrorism Method Works: That’s punishing those behind it. The actual terrorists are hard to reach. But terrorism of this scale is always backed by governments. If they’re punished severely — and that means severely, not a bombed aspirin-factory but something that puts those behind it in the crosshairs — this kind of thing won’t happen again. That was the lesson of the Libyan bombing.
“Increased Security” Won’t Work. When you try to defend everything, you defend nothing. Airport security is a joke because it’s spread so thin that it can’t possibly stop people who are really serious. You can’t prevent terrorism by defensive measures; at most you can stop a few amateurs who can barely function. Note that the increased measures after TWA 800 (which wasn’t terrorism anyway, we’re told) didn’t prevent what appear to be coordinated hijackings. (Archie Bunker’s plan, in which each passenger is issued a gun on embarking, would have worked better). Deterrence works here, just as everywhere else. But you have to be serious about it.
As Glenn says, these predictions have held up dismayingly well—which has demonstrated just how “serious” we really were, and remain. Now, hopelessly enmired in two bootless attempts at nation-building, trying to establish “democracy” and “freedom” in places where the primordial inhabitants want nothing to do with either, we’re reminded of just how much of the latter we’ve abandoned ourselves, and just how thoroughly we’ve shit on the former.
Now we’ve learned how to “absorb” another Muslim terrorist attack on our own soil every other month or so. We docilely stand in hours-long lines while watching the TSA crotch-grope grandmas from Wyoming or Mississippi at our airports while letting visibly belligerent, thobe-clad, military-age Muslim males pass unmolested; sit idly by while Leftist morons (including women and gays, hilariously enough) trash Christianity while insisting we “respect” Islam as one of the world’s “great religions” in the next breath; have had to endure a Republican President lecture us all on how Islam is a “religion of peace”; have been unctuously instructed that we are NOT to refer to Islamic terrorism as anything more sinister or preventable than “man-caused disasters”; are treated to the ludicrous and sad spectacle of the FBI declaring itself “baffled” after each and every ALLAHU AKHBAR-yodeling terrorist atrocity as to what could POSSIBLY have been his motivation for it; are treated to insulting declarations of concern over Muslims as the real victims after each incident, because of “Islamophobia”; and import them by the millions into the very heart of the West without asking for even the most token or insincere nod towards assimilation or respect for our culture from them.
And the Muslim call to prayer—”the most beautiful sound in the world,” according to our previous President—is heard over more American cities with every passing day, doing what it always does in every part of the world in which it’s been allowed to ring out unattenuated by staunch resistance: drowning out the shrieks of the murdered, muffling the sound of freedom, and giving voice to the barbaric hooting of the victors as they gloat over those they’ve vanquished.
Mission accomplished. Looks like we’re all “America Strong!™” now.