Date: Jan 29, 2007 6:30 PM
Subject Overreacting

Well, the struggling LA Times has seen fit to print an op-ed by David Bell (history prof., Johns Hopkins and contributor to The New Republic magazine) — scolding America for “overreacting” to 9/11.

Mr. Bell admits that “the people who attacked us in 2001 are indeed hate-filled fanatics who would like nothing better than to destroy this country.” He acknowledges that “Islamist extremists can certainly do huge amounts of harm around the world.” But then he says, “It is quite different to suggest that they can threaten the existence of the United States.” Americans “particularly on the right have failed to make this distinction,” says the enlightened professor.

Mr. Bell says: “Of course, the 9/11 attacks also conjured up the possibility of far deadlier attacks to come.” But, writes he: “Islamist terrorists have not come close to deploying weapons other than knives, guns, and conventional explosives. A war it may be, but does it really deserve comparison to World War II and its 50 million dead? Not every adversary is an apocalyptic threat.”

Yup. That’s it, folks. The terrorists — they just hijacked a few planes, they sent them into skyscrapers, they murdered thousands, and they crippled our economy. And those of us “particularly on the right” — why, we dared support all-out war over these mild infractions of civility. Yes; we overreacted.

Mr. Bell’s mindset is the same mindset that underpins the Democrats’ cut-and-run defeatism, and which infects the Drive-By Media: America is the world’s evil. It’s the very mindset which underestimated terrorists in the first place, leading to 9/11. Of course, it’s found particularly on the left. The lesson: America needs to be taught a lesson!