There are things one reads that uplift one; things that bore one; things that irritate one.
And then there are things that make you want to hunt down the author and slap the taste out of his or her mouth.
Such was WaPo editor Fred Hiatt’s panegyric to the last misbegotten ten years of Treasury-draining wars of choice, planned well in advance, and for which the pretext was a terror attack that would have been best dealt with as a crime, not a casus belli and a curtailing of civil liberties:
ON THE 10TH anniversary of al-Qaeda’s attack on New York and Washington, the conventional wisdom seems to be evolving from “We will be hit again” to “Osama bin Laden won by provoking us into a decade of overreaction.”
The feeling is understandable but incorrect, and it would be dangerous if it took hold. Yes, the nation made big mistakes over the past decade. When has America ever geared up without excess and error? But the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon alerted Americans to genuine dangers that only a relative few had previously noticed. We have lived safely for the decade since not because we misread those dangers but because we responded to them in a manner in which, on balance, Americans can take pride.
Hey, Fred, here’s a handy way to test that statement of yours:
1) Find somebody willing and skilled enough to translate it into Arabic for you. (I can recommend this guy.)
2) Hop on a plane heading to Baghdad, taking the translation with you.
3) Hire a driver or eight to take you to Fallujah.
4) Read the speech aloud, preferably in one of the spots in town still without water or electricity after half the city got hyper-Lidiced in the wake of the killing of four US-paid Blackwater mercenaries.
Bet it’ll go over really well there.