"But war, in a good cause, is not the greatest evil which a nation can suffer. War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice – a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice – is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other."

Monday, October 05, 2009

The twilight zone

Ladies and gentlemen, we're living in it.

That's the only way to square the circle on the latest from Mohamed ElBaradei, the International Atomic Energy Agency's own Inspector Clouseau. He announced today that it's actually Israel, not Iran, which poses the greatest threat to Middle Eastern stability. "Israel is the number one threat to the Middle East given the nuclear arms it possesses," pronounced ElBaradei ominously from Tehran, where he's currently enforcing the IAEA's official policy of "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil." That's right: a Western-style free market democracy is a greater threat than the various and sundry dictatorships that surround (and have repeatedly tried to destroy) it. It's not basket-case Syria, which recently had its own nuclear reactor deactivated (by the Israelis, who are far more effective at controlling Middle Eastern nuclear proliferation than the IAEA; just ask Saddam. Well you can't, but there's a big hole in the ground where his nuclear reactor used to be). It's not Saudi Arabia, whose princes promulgate Wahhabi terrorism around the globe with their prolific oil revenues. And it's certainly not Iran, whose leaders recently rigged an election, jailed and killed those who refused to go along with the theft quietly, have pursued an illegal nuclear program for many years now, and who have engaged in global terrorism from the first day of their regime's founding. Nope, it's those damn Jews.

Meanwhile, according to the IAEA's own report, Iran may now have the knowledge to build a nuclear weapon and place it on one of its medium-range missiles. Maybe ElBaradei didn't have time to read that appendix on the way to Tehran. I know, I like to sleep on my flights too. And I'm sure the Revolutionary Guard Corps and Quds Brigades will be more responsible with nuclear warheads than they've been, say, with all those EFPs that wound up in Iraq or the rockets that have rained down on Israel for years on end.

This is the system that's supposed to safeguard us from the most terrible weapons of mass destruction. Ladies and gentlemen, I'd sleep with one eye open.

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