Dr. Thomas Sowell

John Quayle blueoval57 at VERIZON.NET
Thu Aug 24 21:25:11 MDT 2006

>Point of no return?
>By Thomas Sowell
>Tuesday, August 22, 2006
>It is hard to think of a time when a nation -- 
>and a whole civilization -- has drifted more 
>futilely toward a bigger catastrophe than that 
>looming over the United States and western civilization today.
>Nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran and North 
>Korea mean that it is only a matter of time 
>before there are nuclear weapons in the hands of 
>international terrorist organizations. North 
>Korea needs money and Iran has brazenly stated 
>its aim as the destruction of Israel -- and both 
>its actions and its rhetoric suggest aims that 
>extend even beyond a second Holocaust.
>Send not to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.
>This is not just another in the long history of 
>military threats. The Soviet Union, despite its 
>massive nuclear arsenal, could be deterred by 
>our own nuclear arsenal. But suicide bombers cannot be deterred.
>Fanatics filled with hate cannot be either 
>deterred or bought off, whether Hezbollah, Hamas or the government of Iran.
>The endlessly futile efforts to bring peace to 
>the Middle East with concessions fundamentally 
>misconceive what forces are at work.
>Hate and humiliation are key forces that cannot 
>be bought off by "trading land for peace," by a 
>"Palestinian homeland" or by other such 
>concessions that might have worked in other times and places.
>Humiliation and hate go together. Why 
>humiliation? Because a once-proud, dynamic 
>culture in the forefront of world civilizations, 
>and still carrying a message of their own 
>superiority to "infidels" today, is painfully 
>visible to the whole world as a poverty-stricken 
>and backward region, lagging far behind in 
>virtually every field of human endeavor.
>There is no way that they can catch up in a 
>hundred years, even if the rest of the world 
>stands still. And they are not going to wait a 
>hundred years to vent their resentments and 
>frustrations at the humiliating position in which they find themselves.
>Israel's very existence as a modern, prosperous 
>western nation in their midst is a daily slap 
>across the face. Nothing is easier for 
>demagogues than to blame Israel, the United 
>States, or western civilization in general for their own lagging position.
>Hitler was able to rouse similar resentments and 
>fanaticism in Germany under conditions not 
>nearly as dire as those in most Middle East 
>countries today. The proof of similar demagogic 
>success in the Middle East is all around.
>What kind of people provide a market for 
>videotaped beheadings of innocent hostages? What 
>kind of people would throw an old man in a 
>wheelchair off a cruise liner into the sea, 
>simply because he was Jewish? What kind of 
>people would fly planes into buildings to vent 
>their hate at the cost of their own lives?
>These are the kinds of people we are talking 
>about getting nuclear weapons. And what of ourselves?
>Do we understand that the world will never be 
>the same after hate-filled fanatics gain the 
>ability to wipe whole American cities off the 
>face of the earth? Do we still imagine that they 
>can be bought off, as Israel was urged to buy 
>them off with "land for peace" -- a peace that 
>has proved to be wholly illusory?
>Even ruthless conquerors of the past, from 
>Genghis Khan to Adolf Hitler, wanted some 
>tangible gains for themselves or their nations 
>-- land, wealth, dominion. What Middle East 
>fanatics want is the destruction and humiliation of the west.
>Their treatment of hostages, some of whom have 
>been humanitarians serving the people of the 
>Middle East, shows that what the terrorists want 
>is to inflict the maximum pain and psychic 
>anguish on their victims before killing them.
>Once these fanatics have nuclear weapons, those 
>victims can include you, your children and your children's children.
>The terrorists need not start out by wiping our 
>cities off the map. Chances are they would first 
>want to force us to humiliate ourselves in 
>whatever ways their sadistic imaginations could 
>conceive, out of fear of their nuclear weapons.
>After we, or our children and grandchildren, 
>find ourselves living at the mercy of people 
>with no mercy, what will future generations 
>think of us, that we let this happen because we 
>wanted to placate "world opinion" by not acting "unilaterally"?
>We are fast approaching the point of no return.
>Copyright © 2006 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.
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