...at NRO today. First up is Andrew McCarthy's take on critics of "profiling" in the war on terror. Part of the problem, McCarthy suggests, is the refusal of opponents to acknowledge the nature of the war:
The vast majority of the terrorism committed in the world, and virtually all of the terrorism targeted against the United States for the past dozen years, has been spawned by radical Islam.
This is obviously why the interest groups are trying mightily to alter the underlying assumptions of counterterrorist theory. Terrorism, they insist, is a reaction to political conditions; it is not doctrinal in nature. But this conflates context with cause. On the same account, one could argue that, say, mafia racketeering is an economic phenomenon, unrelated to any sort of criminal culture.
McCarthy points out that "just as we know the militants are Muslims, so, too, we know that the vast majority of Muslims are not militants." Properly done, profiling is an important weapon in this struggle; it's time to recognize that we are in a war, and start acting like it.
On a more lighthearted vein, Windsor Mann looks at the aging rockers of the Senior Rock Tour, those fading stars who look for any way to stay in the glare of fame. Their latest trick is bashing Bush without mentioning him by name. (Hey, conservatives buy CDs, too! Ironic that comemrcial interests can trump even political ones. Of course, they've learned well the art of plausible deniability from their political mentors.) There's something almost poignently pathetic about seeing these folks, so desperately trying to keep the spotlight shining on them, looking for any angle to latch onto. But no matter how hard they try, as Mann points out, they're only postponing the inevitable:
Nevertheless, it is probably safe to assume that those who today are "rocking against Bush" are not too far off from the day when the only rocking they'll be doing is in rocking chairs.
As aging hipsters transition from their glory days to their final days, dropping no longer acid but instead Centrum Silver, they should consider whether taking Parthian shots at neocons is really the cure they need. Because, as Francis Bacon once said, sometimes the remedy is worse than the disease. Therefore, rather than spending the remainder of their musical careers searching for hipness, maybe they should start looking for what they really need: hip replacements.