Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The threat the terrorists pose isn't that big . . .

. . . that we need to have torture and secret prisons.

Sure, there is danger from terrorists. But the danger is NOT that they are going to bring down Western society. The danger is NOT that they are going to "take away our freedoms." They don't want that.

More importantly, they can't do that. What we face is the risk of isolated incidents. Bombings. Hijackings.

Is that so grave a threat that we have to change who we are? Our socieyt is being destroyed not by the terrorists, but by our own leaders.

From 1939 to 1945, the greatest threat to civilization and freedom that ever existed fought a war against the West and Russia.

The Nazis had soldiers in their millions, tanks, bombers, rockets. The Nazis were determined to invade other countries (and did so). For years, tens of millions were enslaved by them.

The Nazis had the real potential to snuff out Western democratic civilization. Not just damage its infrastructure, but erase it completely. They almost did. Until Pearl Harbour, the torch of freedom was carried by Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Only two other democracies existed: the USA and Sweden.

And yet we did not ignore the Geneva conventions.

We did not torture German soldiers.

We did not have secret camps. We did not authorize the President to decide who was an "enemy combattant" who could be sent to a secret prison indefinitely.

We did not suspend Habeas Corpus.

During the Cold War--facing an enemy that could turn our cities to rubble, that could have sent armies in their millions into Europe and potentially into North America--we kept our freedoms. We kept our civil rights.

We kept our decency.

Today, we pretend that the threat of terrorist attacks is greater than the Nazi menace. Than the Soviet menace.

It is not. The great threat we face today is that we give up everthing that makes the West great under the guise of making ourselves safer.

No comments: