The silent city
Bush in Israel says "Masada shall never fall again." And he adds, "Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: "Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided." We have an obligation to call this what it is -- the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."
Obama says, how dare you speak of me in that way?
Peter Wehner at Commentary says:
Obama’s faux anger in reaction to Bush’s speech is ludicrous. For one thing, the President did not even mention Senator Obama in his speech. What the President was rebutting was a (fairly prevalent) cast of mind, one which is shared by Obama but by many others–including Jimmy Carter, who just returned from the region, as well as a people serving in Bush’s own State Department.
Be that as it may, it's even money that a considerable number of pundits will be demanding an apology and that there will be no shortage of Republicans who will turn out in sackcloth and ashes to recite the mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.
I think it fundamentally wrong to think that love and admiration for totalitarianism died in the Fuherbunker with Adolph Hitler. It almost immediately shifted its affections East to Uncle Joe. For him, no sacrifice was too great. Did America have atomic secrets? The highest duty of the most enlightened was to share them with Joseph Stalin in the interests of world peace.
Nothing can disguise the fact that six million Jews died, not in the Middle East, but in ovens which burned in the very heart of Europe. In countries that prided themselves in culture; that listened to Mozart; read books and vaunted their universities. When Golda Meir said with relief, on the occasion of the foundation of Israel that "For two thousand years we have waited for our deliverance. Now that it is here it is so great and wonderful that it surpasses human words" she was speaking of escape from a darkness within the very center of Western civilization.
Yet nothing great or wonderful is safe forever, and that darkness, that love for savagery, that admiration for the brutal, that was believed to have died beneath the ground in 1945 is on the march again. It is crawling out of books, lofty towers, places of culture in precisely the manner Camus warned us against. He said that the evil may be beaten, but it is rarely beaten forever; "that the plague bacillus never dies or disappears for good; that it can lie dormant for years and years in furniture and linen-chests; that it bides its time in bedrooms, cellars, trunks and bookshelves; and that perhaps the day would come when, for the bane and the enlightening of men, it would rouse up its rats again and send them forth to die in a happy city."
But we may not speak of it. And therefore it begins.
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