Day By Day

Monday, July 25, 2005

Fareed Zakaria Channels Churchill

The London bombings seem to have energized liberals throughout the West to an extent the 9/11 catastrophe never did. Then it was possible to blame the US or Bush or some such nonsense, but now, after Spain and London, it is clear that those old explanations will no longer suffice. Fareed Zakaria, after years of hemming and hawing around finally gets it. He writes:
What this is about, as Tony Blair has argued, is fanaticism. Radical ideologies of hate and violence have often seduced disaffected young men searching for some great cause. Forty years ago they would have embraced Leninist revolutionary dogma, with Che Guevara as the bin Laden of his day. Today, for Muslims, it is a violent interpretation of Islamic fundamentalism. Born in the Middle East, it has spread like a virus across the Muslim world and into the Islamic diaspora in the West.
He also cites the director-general of Al Arabiya:
"Extremism, like many other diseases, is an infectious one," [the director] continued. "A small dose of carriers can spread the infection like wildfire, establishing a community full of destructive thoughts and practices." It isn't the only answer, but let's start by making life as difficult as possible for the carriers of this virus.
Read it here.

The virus analogy is apt and reminiscent of Churchill's famous characterization of Lenin as a "plague bacillus" unleashed upon Russia.

Let us all welcome Fareed with open arms. He is a bright and articulate spokesman with a major forum from which to speak. It is good that his eyes have finally opened.

Oh, and his advice for halting the spread of the infection within Islam -- "We must present a positive vision for Muslim societies, be seen as a friendly and progressive force by them and thus strengthen the moderates and liberals."

Now isn't that precisely what Bush is trying to do in Iraq? Of course it is! Maybe the President knew what he was talking about all along.

Welcome to the real world, Fareed.

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