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Reflections on the Barbarians By: Myles Kantor
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, September 26, 2001


  • SEVERAL of the September 11 mass murderers plotted less than 10 miles from me, my family, and friends. I or someone dear to me might have occupied the same space with one of these savages in a Barnes and Noble or supermarket.
  • John Locke observes in The Second Treatise of Civil Government: "[O]ne may destroy a man who makes war upon him, or has discovered an enmity to his being, for the same reason that he may kill a wolf or a lion, because they are not under the ties of the common law of reason, have no other rule but that of force and violence, and so may be treated as a beast of prey, those dangerous and noxious creatures that will be sure to destroy him whenever he falls into their power." Locke’s logic holds. We do not try to reason with wolves because they are not rational creatures. They are reflexively aggressive, and those driven by aggression appreciate discourse and tolerance as much as a shark appreciates Shakespeare. The barbarians of September 11 and their barbarian sponsors are irrational beings who consider slaughter glorious. The only way to deter them is to destroy them.
  • Those asking America to avoid war do not comprehend that war has been imposed upon America. When someone attacks you or your family, they create a state of war in which you either capitulate or fight back. The state-sponsored mass murderers perpetrated an exponential instance of this on September 11. The issue is not whether we can avoid war but whether we will prevail in the present war.
  • The elimination of Osama bin Laden and his thugs is insufficient. It would be like chopping off a branch and expecting a tree’s roots to wither. A pandemic, institutional anti-Americanism fueled the truculent cabal of two weeks ago, and confining retaliation to bin Laden would be ruinous myopia. It is imperative to recognize that much of the world not only does not share our values but also seeks their annihilation. America’s existence is a provocation to the world’s legions of despotisms, our tenets nothing short of toxic to tyrants such as Saddam Hussein and the Taliban.
  • Afghanistan, Iraq, and Middle Eastern regimes in general hold all or part of their populations in captivity. More plainly stated, slavery predominates in this region. Can we be surprised when these slave pens prove to be complicit in September 11’s carnage? Totalitarians are vigorous exporters of savagery.
  • I fear some Americans have been duped by autocrats’ pseudo-condolences, e.g., Yasser Arafat’s donation of blood, Fidel Castro’s offer to send doctors. These are fraudulent professions, and it is easy to ascertain their fraudulence. In Arafat’s case, juxtapose his blood donation with this response to September 11 in the Palestinian Authority’s official newspaper: "The suicide bombers of today are the noble successors of their noble predecessors…These suicide bombers are the salt of the earth, the engines of history… they are the most honorable among us." With Castro, juxtapose his humanitarian affectation with Oscar Elias Biscet, Francisco Chaviano, Angel Moya Acosta, Julia Cecilia Delgado, Jorge Luis Garcia Perez, Vladimiro Roca, the many more prisoners of conscience, and their muzzled, enslaved countrymen. Humanitarians don’t exalt mass murder and treat people like chattel. If Arafat and Castro want to prove their indignation, they should renounce tyranny and embrace the modern world. Their ilk prefers artifice to authenticity, though.

Myles Kantor is a columnist for FrontPageMagazine.com and editor-at-large for Pureplay Press, which publishes books about Cuban history and culture. His e-mail address is myles.kantor@gmail.com.


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