Six weeks after…. I grew

Six weeks after…. I grew up watching the Vietnam War over dinner — when we were allowed to see the blood and the fear, not just green blobs on a nightvision screen — and that’s one reason I declared myself a pacifist at an early age. It was easy then. It was a cause. Vietnam was an unjust and just stupid war; I hadn’t seen a just war in my lifetime. Back then, when I announced my pacifism as only a dogmatic kid can, adults would, of course, challenge me with Hitler and I’d blather my way around it. But now we post-World-War-II children are facing our Hitler in Bin Laden and his cult of killers. We are facing the urgent need to end an evil before it attacks anew. We are in a just war that I know we must win not for justice or even revenge but for protection. We have not seen war on our land before and we have not seen war like this, a war without even the rules of war and certainly without the rules God or Allah, take your pick. This is a war of hate and there is no rational way to fight that. We have only one response: to protect our children, to fight and win. So I look up today, after the mass murder at the World Trade Center, after the start of biowar on our shores, after the start of an epoch of fear, and I realize that I am a former pacifist.

I hope the item above amounts to something more than this, but still I note this line from Andrew Sullivan today: “A reader points out that it is now a commonplace notion that a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged. Well, America has been mugged.

- Netzeitung — the very cool online-only newspaper in Berlin, does a story on this the warlog trend: this one, Matt Welch’s and others.

- Why the stars are meaningless: Shannon Elizabeth on Access Hollywood just now: She has gas masks. She’s looking for gas masks for her dog! She has an escape plan to Wyoming. Osoma doesn’t give a damn if he hits you, honey.

- None of the Post Office’s hints to find poison pen letters would have caught the anthrax letters actually sent.

- Fatwa defending despots.

- Just what the world needs: Al Sharpton on a mission to Israel.

- NY Times on new anthrax deaths: “Prompt Response for Politicians, a Slower One for Postal Workers.” Washington Post: “Workers Question Response; CDC Says Policy Evolving“. More.

- Times of London on Osama and nukes. Islamic fatwa on nukes: “…in case these nuclear weapons are used against Muslims, it becomes permissible for Muslims to defend themselves using the same weapon.”

- Debka: “America Faces a Long, Harsh Winter in Afghanistan”

- The anthrax letters.

- Watch for gigantic increases in postal costs, end of Saturday delivery, delayed mail…. fax machines look good.