Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Should We Laugh? Or Be Afraid?

Yesterday, on his blog, David Horowitz put up a "letter" he claims is from someone in the "Intelligence Community."

If this is a sample of the people working in American intelligence today, we really have need to be afraid--though the letter is idiotic, laughably so.

There are things in the letter that make me think that it is not written by anyone connected with intelligence--of any sort. Given Horowitz's penchant for playing fast and loose with the truth, I wouldn't be surprised to find he had written it himself.

Why? Because some of the statements come right out of his stock of memes. For example, the letter says:
Were I D/CIA General Hayden, I`d take a page from the Left`s book and conduct a rather exhaustive purge.
That's Horowitz all the way, connecting the left today with Stalin, a hoary untruth that he hits as often as he can.

Here's another bit that could come straight from Horowitz's mouth:
One thing does perturb me (and a friend who is in the process of deserting the Left)...
This makes left and right seem like teams or armies--something Horowitz tries to make them into--rather than generalizing labels for complex sets of beliefs. Few people view left and right as simplistically as that--except those, like Horowitz, who want to reduce everything to "us" versus "them."

I don't know if Horowitz actually wrote the letter himself--I certainly wouldn't put it past him (and he has used faked sources before)--but I do not believe that it is by anyone in the intelligence community.

Why?

Because of this (which is the scary part, if this peson really is involved):
I am afraid that if we wish to prevail, we may have to return to the firebombing, area bombing attacks we employed against the Axis powers during WWII. I fear that only if we threaten the Islamic world with its very survival can we induce Muslims to control their Jihadist impulses. And if they cannot, we may have to at the very least consider some form of "Cordon Sanitaire" or a more dire solution that I hope remains unmentionable.
This was written by a person with no understanding of World War II or the impact of Allied bombing campaigns (showing just the sort of surface misreading that Horowitz is often associated with). It shows no understanding of human nature, especially where religion is involved (you are not going to bomb anyone to the point of inducing them "to control their Jihadist impulses"). And the "unmentionable," the threat of nuclear first-strike, is no more a solution than is hitting one's thumb with a hammer to relieve the pain of a hangnail.

I refuse to believe that anyone could work thirty years in intelligence (as the "letter writer" claims) and have learned so little, have remained so stupid.

So I have to see this simply as pathetic, laughably so.

The only alternative is to see it as insane, dangerously so.

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