Two by Mark Steyn
Election protest shows why Dems don’t count points out that
Two plausible parties are necessary for a functioning democracy, especially in war, especially in a long war which will inevitably have to be fought by presidents both Republican and Democrat.
What was it the Romans said? “If you seek peace, prepare for war.” It’s truer than they know. It’s because Australia’s prepared for war that it can do all the feelgood humanitarian stuff – such as landing 10 army engineers in Banda Aceh to attach a mobile filtration system to the decrepit mains pipes and thereby not merely restore the water supply but improve it.
But it goes beyond that, beyond even John Howard’s spectacular billion-dollar pledge. Most citizens in the West look at the tsunami’s victims and recognise our common humanity. When a chap is pulled down from a tree to survey the wreckage of his home and learn of the loss of his family, we see him first as our fellow man – a man in need. And if, afterwards, we happen to spot the sopping Osama T-shirt, we tactfully agree to overlook it – which is why I haven’t seen that Sri Lankan AFP photo in any Western newspapers.
By contrast, Muslim leaders divide the world into the Dar al-Islam and everybody else. Yet the deaths of 100,000 members of the club in Banda Aceh alone isn’t enough to catch the eye of the big shots in the Arab world. The Arab world’s principal contribution these past two weeks has been the usual paranoia: “Was it caused by American, Israeli and Indian nuclear testing?” wondered Mahmoud Bakri in the Egyptian weekly Al Usbu. “The three most recent tests appeared to be genuine American and Israeli preparations to act together with India to test a way to liquidate humanity.”
Speaking of the tsunami, don’t miss Arthur’s Monday tsunami updateI agree with Arthur that In the end though, free trade, and political and economic reform are the best aid we can give to the developing world.