"Experts fear 'dirty bomb' attack in U.S., Europe." Thus spake a story
featured Sunday in the Los Angeles Times and headlined on Yahoo News, where I spotted it.
While a dirty bomb "would not cause the death and destruction of a nuclear weapon," experts say it would "produce some fatalities, radiation sickness, mass panic and enormous economic damage."
The story goes on to say that three known Al Qaeda operatives, one of them a son of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman of 1993 World Trade Center fame, "probably would carry out planning for the attack," and that the threat is so high that "a senior European intelligence official said it is 'not a matter of if there is a nuclear-related attack by Al Qaeda, but when it occurs.'"
You'd think this would be big news. Not that it would be healthy to react with panic and demoralization, but that such reports would concentrate the mind wonderfully on the seriousness of the war effort.
But that, of course, is not the case at all. Instead, Abu Ghraib is all the rage. It's a wild circus, 24/7, the images from the prison as sordid and obscene as the faces of the leftist moralists are righteous and haughty.
It's been claimed that liberals can't cope with the reality of evil, hence deny the necessity to fight it. But the existence of evil isn't really liberals' problem; it's that they see it in the wrong places.
Whether it was Vietnam, the Cold War, or now the War on Terror, liberals always shine the spotlight on alleged sins of U.S. presidents or the U.S. military. The names Nixon, Reagan, and Bush are actually talismans of evil for them, but not the savage regimes and movements that they fight.
In fact, liberals will accuse Republican presidents of any evil imaginable. Nixon's 1972 "Christmas bombing" of North Vietnam was, for Anthony Lewis, "the most destructive single episode of international violence in recent history … a policy that many must know history will judge a crime against humanity." Back in the eighties, I had parlor arguments with liberals who explained Reagan's nuclear policy as a desire "to nuke us all." Now, in Iraq, liberals see a war "to make the world safe for Halliburton."
And when America really does screw up -- as in My Lai, or Abu Ghraib -- that's when liberals go wild. At such times you find out how very little they're impressed by things like dirty bombs, Iranian nukes, or Saddam's mass graves. With America and the world facing unprecedented, apocalyptic threats, liberals lust only to topple an admired, experienced U.S. defense secretary of proven effectiveness. Liberals don't believe in evil? No, they believe in it; but they see it in us.
Aliens watching earthly media over the past year or so would conclude that America is a monster waging war on a peaceful, innocent planet. Whether it's the supposed lack of Iraqi WMD, the supposed revelations of Richard Clarke, or now -- for once -- some real abuses of Iraqi prisoners which, however, the army was already taking care of, liberals hound, harry, and harass the Bush administration with committees, hearings, and tribunals. It becomes hard, finally, to believe that they're on our side -- and by "our" I mean, as an American Israeli, not only America but everyone who understands that Islamic fanaticism puts the future in jeopardy and American power and resolve is what stands between the world and catastrophe.
But liberals don't see it that way. The same liberal media that censored the Fallujah atrocities, the Danny Pearl video, and -- soon after the 9/11 attack -- the images of people jumping to their death from the World Trade Center, now floods the world with Abu Ghraib images so relentlessly as to pollute both the public space and our minds. And not for any whistle-blowing purpose, since, again, the abuses had already been investigated and stopped and the perpetrators charged, but to keep driving home liberals' demented conviction that America is evil, its army should be brought home from wherever it is deployed, and its goals and values are best represented by leering louts humiliating prisoners.
And so the Left keeps distorting the public agenda, keeps stoking anti-American hatred, keeps flailing away at those trying to defend us. When Lenin made his famous remark about useful idiots, he couldn't imagine the destructive power of useful idiots armed with 21st-century media technology. But his totalitarian descendants among the Islamists understand it well, and know that they can build their weapons in secret while liberals unleash another dirty bomb of anti-American calumny.