|Daniel Pipes is truly great -- for a conservo-progressive. But I think he gives way too much credit to Bush and way too little to Kerry.|
Osama changed the world with 9/11. He's the radical -- not Bush. Bush's reaction to this horror was very normal, predictable, and mindless -- and virtually ineluctable. Bill Clinton, Al Gore or John Kerry would have done pretty much the same.
In many ways we should thank our fine feathered friend Osama: he pointed out the evil to us of islam. Still, we Westerners have a long way to go here. Even if the jews or christians nuke New York or Los Angeles -- which eventually they will, in my opinion -- I still doubt if we'll "get it." God is the great devil of our time, and no-one has a clue. (Well, maybe current author Sam Harris of 'The End of Faith.')
The only answer here is straight-up philosophy with regard to the natural-but-annihilating, historical phenomenon of religion. And this new and better philosophy has to be sound, insightful, wise, ingenious, etc. with no excuses.
Bush only seems radical with his mostly-bluffing rhetoric about "pre-emption" and "no harboring of terrorists" stuff. But he hasn't broken relations with Mid-East despots, nor apologized for vast US evil in the past on this, nor made more than a microscopic movement in these two badly needed directions. Still less has Bush threatened to nuke Saudi Arabia or Iran, or made even the slightest move to reclaim our oil from these historical and metaphysical losers.
So we have a long way to go here.