Gutsy honesty on 9/11
Government spokesmen have responded with their usual cant of “cowardly attacks” by “terrorists” who “hate democracy and freedom.” Rubbish. A fanatic who is ready to die is the opposite of a coward, and nobody can “hate” such abstractions as “democracy and freedom” with that kind of intensity.
It’s dangerous to belittle your enemy, especially when his courage and cunning have already proved as formidable as his hatred and cruelty. The first question you should ask about your enemy is why he is your enemy in the first place.
You may be deluding and flattering yourself if you assume he hates you for your virtues. But our “leaders” assure us that our enemies are unnaturally evil people who hate us only because we are so wonderful. And they manage to utter this nonsense with an air of tough-minded realism.
True realism, on the other hand, doesn’t mean blaming Americans for bringing these horrifying and truly evil acts on themselves. It does mean trying to imagine alien perspectives from which our government’s conduct might appear so intolerable that some people might be driven to take atrocious revenge.
Joseph Sobran, 9/11/2001. It took some courage to say things like that on that day.