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Jewish World Review Sept. 20, 2001 / 2 Tishrei 5761

Don Feder

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America's home-grown suicide cult -- AMERICA'S survival is threatened by a fundamentalist cult -- not the nutcases who sacrifice themselves flying planes into buildings, but another gang of fanatics who are bent on suicide and determined to take the rest of us with them.

Instead of quoting the Koran, they recycle Vietnam-era anti-war slogans.

Liberalism's collective wisdom on last week's horror consists of pacifism, obsessive whining about nonexistent threats to civil liberties, explaining the root causes of terrorism, blaming America first and blaming Israel second.

Pacifism -- Here's a comforting thought: The American Friends Service Committee vows to "educate about finding peaceful solutions in the face of these terrible acts of anger and hatred."

I'd love to hear their peaceful solution to Osama bin Laden's boys -- drop Woodstock videos over his Afghan bases, teach terrorists to sing old Joan Baez protest songs?

Civil liberties scare tactics -- People for the American Way warns against "pundits and political leaders" who suggest "the fight against terrorism requires us to sacrifice constitutional liberties."

Who are these would-be tyrants preparing to puree the Bill of Rights? No one in a leadership position has suggested curtailing anyone's legitimate privacy rights. Attorney General John Ashcroft's request for wiretap authority in cases of suspected terrorism is no threat to civil liberties.

Conspiracy theorists believe the FBI and CIA are automatically suspect, that any type of surveillance of political or religious fanatics presages the advent of a police state. In their paranoia, they would sacrifice innocence rather than let security agencies do their job.

Explaining root causes -- The Institute for Public Accuracy, a lefty group that pesters the media with its experts, offers the keen analysis of "Rabbi" Arthur Waskow (of the deconstructionist branch of Judaism). Waskow explains that the "rage" which begets terrorist acts "must be calmed" and "the pain behind them must be heard and addressed." Let the healing begin -- after the cruise missiles strike.

Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun Magazine and once Sen. Hillary Clinton's guru, says we need to ask, "What is it in the way we are living, organizing our societies and treating each other that makes violence seem so plausible to so many people?" It's all our fault.

Among the sources of angst Lerner identifies are "one out of every three people on this planet does not have enough food" and "globalization with its attendant inequalities of wealth." Like bin Laden, who comes from a super-rich Saudi family, ever went hungry. For the left, evil is invariably reduced to socio-economic conditions.

Blame America First -- Writing in The Nation, Robert Fisk finds the roots of the crisis in "U.S. missiles smashing into Palestinian homes." Lerner castigates Americans for not feeling "personally responsible when an American corporation runs a sweatshop in the Philippines or crushes efforts of workers to organize in Singapore." Yes, indeed. As the planes they hijacked slammed into the World Trade Center, the terrorists were chanting: "No more sweatshops. Take that, Kathy Lee Gifford!"

On the left, hatred of America is so ingrained that with thousands of Americans buried beneath tons of rubble, liberals' gut reaction is to censure our society for the alleged sins of multinationals and not having a foreign policy shaped by Ralph Nader. Blame Israel Second -- Fisk tells us none of this would have happened if not for "the 34 years of Israel's brutal occupation of Arab land." How can a nation "occupy" its own territory? There has never been a sovereign state on the West Bank.

As Israel must be condemned, the Palestinians must be absolved. Fisk claims that Palestinian celebration of the New York death toll is "a symbol of their despair, as well as a sign of their political immaturity." No, it's a sign of the celebrants' utter depravity. Give these swine their own state, and, in no time at all, we'll have another Afghanistan on our hands.

A nation that will not fight back in the face of evil seals its fate. Those who twist logic to find excuses for terrorists or their supporters have lost a survival instinct. Liberalism, as it's mutated since the end of World War II, is a cult that preaches national suicide.

JWR contributing columnist Don Feder's latest books are Who is afraid of the Religious Right? ($15.95) and A Jewish conservative looks at pagan America ($9.95). To receive an autographed copy, send a check or money order to: Don Feder, The Boston Herald, 1 Herald Sq., Boston, Mass. 02106. Doing so will help fund JWR, if so noted. He is also available as a guest speaker. To comment on this column please click here.

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© 2001, Creators Syndicate