I wasn’t going to join with every other columnist in commenting on the twin towers bombing. I wasn’t going to mention the tragedy at all, because everybody else is doing a piece on it, most of them better-informed than I on Middle East developments.
However, if I totally ignored what happened and did the story I intended to do the week of the bombing, on how I invented the skateboard, I’d look more trivial than I really am, and that’s pretty awful.
I just want to point out some general truths.
The Palestinians and their Arab extremist pals are clearly the bad guys, if only for the way they fight. Even if both Israeli and Palestinians are guilty of crimes, the Palestinians use of children in combat, as a propaganda tool, is an unusually gutless and vicious way to conduct war. When the children get killed, they generate world sympathy. The Palestinians are using them as pawns—-their own children.
They also use kamikaze truck drivers and pilots.
No semi-civilized nation, not even Hitler, asked his people to die by turning themselves into human bombs. The Israeli’s don’t do that. Which side do you think, at the very least, is the lesser of two evils?
The American people, until now, have been living in a delusional fog, believing that their new god, technology, would make their lives secure. The arrogance of gadgets. It’s ironic that the victims of the bombing were using cell phones to make last messages.
Nothing fails like success. We think we can sip our brew at the outside mocha cafe, dial our cell phones, work our computers, hop in the Mercedes and drive to our aerobics workout class, that that’s what life is.
This arrogance was perfectly expressed in perhaps a Freudian slip by media superstar Tom Brokaw during coverage of the bombing, when he made the inane remark, “we’re not psychologically ready for an attack.” How intellectually, media-elitist of you, Tom. A guy’s hitting you over the head with a crowbar, and you’re not psychologically ready. You better get ready.
American success, the shopping mall, the expensive car given without thought by the spoiling parent to the teenager, the buying of things on credit, designer clothes and social services, have made us soft. Our view of the world has become MTV. But it’s a real dangerous world, with real enemies.
Those crazies over there are tough, smart and unwashed. They know how to exploit our weaknesses, if we let them, and the weak-kneed naysayers among us are already saying, “but we don’t know who to fight. We can’t fight an unknown enemy.”
Our pioneering ancestors walked clear across this country on foot next to covered wagons. They’d know what to do. They had guts.