Monday, October 02, 2006

Fouad Ajami on Islamic terrorist

There is a strand of liberal thinking that aims to explain the terror and succeeds only in explaining it away. Terror is justified if we drown it in the search for "root causes" or if we insist that the terror sprang from "legitimate" grievances. In this vein, nowadays it is maintained that Islamist terror was fed by the rage over the American invasion of Iraq. This argument is off the mark, the product of naivete' or of a determined opposition to the war. We should know better. The trail of radical terror, emanating from Islamic lands and Islamic movements, predates the Iraq war. We have three decades of this kind of terror behind us. Our consolation perhaps lies in the fate that awaited the original cult of assassins. In their time, they had fame, and their potential victims feared them. But the world of organized states in the end triumphed, and the fury of the zealots was no match for the determination of mainstream society to shake off the assassins and to defend the normal order of things.(Click on the title for a link to the US News and World Report column)