An Everyday Occurrence in Wartime - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
An Everyday Occurrence in Wartime
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What a horrible morning last Sunday morning was. A sick, angry, evil man with guns murdered at least 50 innocent people as they were enjoying themselves at a nightclub in the Happiest Town on Earth, Orlando.

It was, as I said to my wife, almost unbelievable. But then I corrected myself and said, “But it’s an everyday occurrence in wartime.” To kill civilians is just the quotidian business of the day in war. Our enemies do it. We certainly did it by aerial bombing in World War II and Vietnam.

“But,” you might say, “that’s war and this is just a bunch of men and women dancing at a club in peacetime.”

The crisis is that our enemies, Islamic State and Qaeda and other butchers, consider themselves at war with us at all times. We are infidels and we are immoral and our treatment of each other offends them as much as if we bombed them. Maybe more.

And these are smart, resourceful people, these killers. So, what do we do, besides give speeches and light candles and use drones?

I have the dreadful feeling that our whole lives are going to have to change in a big, big way. Bear in mind that our friend and fellow advanced democracy, Israel, lives with threats and reality like this and like 9/11 every single hour of every single day.

How do they deal with it? They become a modern security state. They don’t have the happy-go-lucky way of living we have here. People are searched at theaters. Bags are opened at stores. Questions are asked. Fluoroscopes are lit up. The whole country is a bit like an airport or an airplane. It is a happy security state, but it’s a security state.

Most of all, everyone is on the alert all of the time. I don’t think it’s likely that someone could bring an assault rifle into a Tel Aviv nightclub. The nation of Israel is under unremitting threat and life there shows it.

I am sorry to say that this is now much like where we are going. We are going to have to make people submit to searches when they go into nightclubs. No more Paris. No more Brussels. We have to x-ray people when they go into public buildings. No more Orlando or San Bernardino.

The police have to be free to question and detain people who look suspicious. Yes, this might well involve profiling. Better to profile than to die. Better to profile than to never see your son or daughter come home alive again.

The grim fact is that the world has changed. Hateful, well-armed people are here among us, ready and eager to murder. It’s great to be a free, anything goes society. It’s better to protect our children and grandchildren.

We’re at war. The music does not have to stop. But we have to be a helluva lot more careful as we listen to it. One Orlando is too many. One San Berdoo was too many. One 9/11 was way too many. Let’s wake up.

Ben Stein
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Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes “Ben Stein’s Diary” for every issue of The American Spectator.
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