Saturday, September 04, 2004

children and terrorists

I've been debating whether to write about the slaughter in Russia. The grief and frustration become overwhelming, and it's easier for me just not to think about it. But that can't be the right response. If everyone just ignored these things, nothing would be done to stop them. There is one thing I can do to help prevent this from happening again: vote for George Bush.

The Democrats have accused Republicans of exploiting the 9/11 tragedy for political gain. I expect that if any Republicans mention this crisis they will do the same over it. But is it cynical to point to the problems that you want to solve? Is it heartless to talk about tragedies when your point is how you are going to prevent them from being repeated?

Suppose there were two politicians running for mayor. One wants to modernize the fire department and the other doesn't. A tall building catches fire during the election and dozens of people are killed because the fire department doesn't have ladders that reach the top floors. Is the politician that has been arguing for modernizing the fire department exploiting the tragedy when he brings it up? Only in the most pickwickian sense. He has a right --no, a responsibility-- to point to the consequences of ignoring his recommendations.

John Kerry doesn't want to modernize the fire department. Well, he does, but what he means by that isn't better equipment. John Kerry wants to hire more women fire fighters so the proportions are fair. He wants to landscape the fire houses so they aren't such an eye sore in the neighborhood. He wants to give sensitivity training to the firefighters so they are better-liked. John Kerry wants to make things nice. George Bush wants to make things work.

And that's why the Republicans should bring up the tragedy in Russia. This is visceral stuff. It reminds us of the forgotten outrage of September 11. The Republicans need to remind the country that the Islamists want to do the same thing to your kids. Al Qaeda would like nothing better than to slaughter a nursery-school-full of American toddlers. That's who we are fighting.

John Kerry wants us to be sensitive. He doesn't want us to annoy the French over this. He doesn't want people to resent us. Well you know what? If the French would rather side with child-killers to get cheaper oil, then screw them. Why should I want to be liked by people that I have nothing but contempt for?

This is who we are fighting people. They celebrate when one of their own children dies and takes a few Jewish children with him. They danced in the streets when three thousand Americans were slaughtered. They shouted in outrage when thirty million Iraqis were liberated. They cheered when hundreds of Spaniards were slaughtered. And now they've sent people to gun down hundreds of Russian children.

We don't need a president who'll try to make friends with these people. We need a president who'll stop them.

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