Friday, November 21, 2003

Lileks. Again.

Damn, James is good today.

He starts out nice 'n' family man, talking about his daughter:

Okay, one more toddler moment: we read a book this morning, and I gave it a theatrical reading worthy of Patrick Stewart. Gnat was impressed. “I love you, Daddee,” she said, and of course I said I loved her too.

"No. Call me dottor."

"You’re my best daughter only and ever."

Big hug. She looked at the TV, at the pictures of the wreckage in Turkey.

"I don wan news. I want Blues Clues."

But then he downshifts into rhetoric that makes you wanna yell "Damn Straight!"

You know what? Michael Moore is right. There are many Americans who are ignorant of the world around them. And they’re all TV news producers. Two big bombs in Istanbul, and what’s the big story of the day? Following around a pervy slab of albino Play-Doh as he turns himself into the police.

. . . .

It’s going to take another attack to convince the fence-sitters: I hear this all the time. I don’t think that’s the case. I think the next attack on American soil will jolt whose who’ve moved on, who’ve forgotten the aching, clammy dread we all felt after 9/11. But others will believe that we brought it on ourselves. You already read it around the web - the bombings in Turkey were a response to Britain’s assistance for toppling Saddam; what did we expect? In other words: if we fight back, we get what we deserve. If we do not fight back, and we are attacked again, you can blame it on the crimes for which we have not yet sufficiently atoned. The only proper posture for the West is supine. Curl up and let them kick until they’re spent. Give them Israel and New York and perhaps they'll go away.

This is either going to end on their terms, or ours. Which would you prefer?

Oh, there you go again with the us vs. them, the good vs. evil, the with-us-or-with-the-terrorists. But these aren’t my definitions; these are the definitions of the enemy. (Eyes roll; “enemy.” How dramatic.) They certainly believe it’s a matter of us vs. them; they’ve been acting that way for years before we caught on. They certainly believe it’s a matter of good vs. evil, although they believe they are Good. No - correction. They believe they are righteous. They obviously believe that sides have been drawn, allegiances chosen; why else kill Turks, for heaven’s sake? Yes, the attacks in Turkey were aimed at Jews and Crusaders, but they obviously knew there would be massive numbers of wounded Turks, and they didn’t care. (The ones who are truly callous about the fate of other Muslims are the Muslim extremists. But, well, Muslims don’t kill Muslims, so the Mossad must have bombed the synagogues. QED.) I repeat: their terms or our terms.

I wish I could write like him.


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