The War About the War

The 9-11 attacks did more than start a war; they started a war about the war.  No sooner had the World Trade towers collapsed and the Pentagon burst into flames than two perceptions of the threat began competing for the public's support:Perception One: We're at WarFor the third time in history Islam - or, more precisely, its most radical element - has launched a war whose objective is the destruction of Western civilization.  Our survival is at stake, and despite its imperfections we believe that Western civilization is worth defending to the death.  Moreover, in the modern world - where a small number of people can so easily kill a large number of people - we cannot just play defense; sooner or later that strategy would bring another 9-11.  This conflict really is a clash of civilizations whose root cause is Islam's incompatibility with the modern world.  So we must fight with everything we've got against the terrorist groups and against those governments on...(Read Full Article)