September 6, 2004

Naming Names

Mark Steyn writes:

"I remember a couple of days after September 11 writing in some column or other that weepy candlelight vigils were a cop-out: the issue wasn't whether you were sad about the dead people but whether you wanted to do something about it. Three years on, that's still the difference. We can all get upset about dead children, but unless you're giving honest thought to what was responsible for the slaughter your tasteful elegies are no use. Nor are the hyper-rationalist theories about 'asymmetrical warfare'."

And a few paragraphs later, goes on:

"So the particular character of this 'insurgency' does not derive from the requirements of 'asymmetrical warfare' but from . . . well, let's see, what was the word missing from those three analyses of the Beslan massacre? Here's a clue: half the dead 'Chechen separatists' were not Chechens at all, but Arabs. And yet, tastefully tiptoeing round the subject, The New York Times couldn't bring itself to use the words Muslim or Islamist, for fear presumably of offending multicultural sensibilities."

He's incisive, as usual, and even nuanced, in the rest of the piece.

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