Ignorance is Bliss

By Matthew Yglesias



Fred Kaplan discusses Rudy Giuliani's decision to go for the big bucks rather than help his country out with the Iraq War, and then segues into the larger point that Giuliani has no idea what he's talking about with regard to national security and terrorism, his alleged area of expertise. Why, I recall back in August '04 writing:

What business, exactly, does Giuliani have being the featured speaker on the convention night that's supposed to be especially dedicated to security concerns? We're threatened, after all, not by squeegie men (people who try to clean your windshield when you're stopped at a traffic light in New York, demanding money for their services) but by Islamist terrorists, a subject Giuliani would seem to know no more about than anyone else who watched events unfold that fateful morning almost three years ago.



Note that this is essentially true across the board. Consider, if you will, this slide from Mitt Romney's PowerPoint of Terror:

romney.png

Considering that "fundamentalist Islam" as understood by a Sunni and as understood by a Shia are going to be incompatible, it's hard to see this as a common goal. Nor does asserting that Islamism writ large represents an attempt to "defeat the Modernity" seem like an especially cool, calm effort to face reality. Indeed, if we were faced with a genuinely anti-modern movement -- an Islamic version of the Amish, say -- we presumably wouldn't need to have any quarrel with people like that or anything in particular to fear from them.

His next slide is a picture of a bumper sticker bearing the slogan "The Global War on Terror is NOT a Bumper Sticker" as if to perfectly illustrate the point that "war on terror" has become a vapid exercise in sloganeering.

Photo by Bill Fish used under a Creative Commons license

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2007/06/ignorance-is-bliss/42849/