Wednesday, July 03, 2002

Brilliant stuff from Micheal Wolff about the need for a narrative clouding realistic portrayal of both the danger and the conflicts involved in the current War on Terrorism. The only way I could have been more impressed is if Wolff made the (seemingly obvious) leap to the realization that this is basically a widescale adoption of Huntington's Clash of Civilizations, but the parallels that Wolff highlights between the seemingly identical threats of international communism and international islamism are insightful and provokative.

It's important to remember not to blow things up into something that they aren't; not to indulge in paranoid fantasies that turn the mundane into the exotic, and the merely distasteful and disturbing into the horrific and profane. This is true whether one is really in a fight or not...after all, what good is a soldier who expends all his ammo shooting at shadows, animals, and decoys? The belief that one is surrounded by enemies is a good way to ensure that the real enemy will likely look on in stunned amusement and then calmly dispatch you.

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