Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Where You Stand Depends on Where You Sit

The American Left might have a different attitude toward preemptive defense, surveillance, aggressive interrogation, "secret" prisons, and the Patriot Act if it took the threat seriously. That's the point I take from a post by David Bernstein at The Volokh Conspiracy:
. . . I predict that Israel will strike Iran within the next few months, with the goal of disrupting or terminating Iran's nuclear program. . . . I just returned from Israel, and I found a remarkable consensus in favor of doing whatever is necessary to stop Iran (a consensus no doubt solidified by Iranian threats to annihilate Israel, and recent vicious anti-Semitism emanating from the highest rank of the Iranian government). One leftist member of my wife's family told me that the IDF will do whatever is necessary. When I expressed concern that Iran will retaliate through Hizbullah, he replied that the Lebanese government will stop any large-scale retaliation, or the ramifications will be disastrous in and for Beirut. Other leftists of my acquaintance were equally inclined to support vigorous action against Iran, and equally confident of the government's ability to manage the situation. Given that the anti-Iranian consensus is so solid even on the Left, I would be very surprised if the Israeli government fails to follow through on its promise to prevent Iran from acquiring atomic weapons--assuming, of course, that Iran isn't stopped by other international forces.
The American Left of today resembles the Left of the 1930s. In spite of 9/11 and the bombings in Madrid and London, the Left still refuses to acknowledge the threat to America and America's well-being. Peace in our time will come simply by wishing for it.