Sunday, August 29, 2004

David Brooks has a long New York Times Magazine piece this morning. It's about the future of the Republican party, but it's most notable for his clear-eyed description of what the war on terror really is:

The War on Islamic extremism. The first great agenda item has been thrust upon us. This has been miscast as a war on terror, but terror is just the means our enemies use. In reality, we're fighting a war against a specific brand of Islamic extremism, a loose federation of ideologues who seek to dominate the Middle East and return it to the days of the caliphate.

We are in the beginning of this war, where we were against Bolshevism around 1905 or Fascism in the early 1930's, with enemies that will continue to gain strength, thanks to the demographic bulge in the Middle East producing tens of millions of young men, politically and economically stagnant societies ensuring these young men have nothing positive to do and an indoctrination system designed to turn them into soldiers for the cause. This fight will organize our politics for a generation, as the Cold War did.

What do you think the chances are that President Bush will cast the war on terror in these terms?

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