Germany was raping, pillaging and killing thousands in Europe in the 1930s, and it was obvious that eventually Adolf Hitler and his heinous Nazi crew would have to be stopped. Did anyone ask then what people such as Americans, Britons, French and Scandinavians had done to make the Germans feel so hostile to everyone? How they had been so goaded into their behavior?
Japan launched its attack on the United States at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, after years of brutal conquest and annihilation in places such as China. Did anyone try to explain why the Japanese had been "disrespected" and aggravated by the attitudes of others against them? Why did they feel so outside the mainstream?
We now see so much attention focused on all the real and imagined things that America and its people have done in the past to trigger the current war on terrorism. As if we deserve it. We had our disastrous 9-11 incident and in no time at all there were those, too many of them Americans, trying to explain that the Islamic terrorists' rage was understandable because of all the horrible and inconsiderate things we had done in the past.
The current world war with terrorists, and it is that, is judged by some to have begun with 9-11, but actually it all was triggered in 1979 with the Iranian seizure of American hostages in Tehran. The handwriting was on the wall then about what was shaping up even though most of us were too blind to see it.
Where were all the apologists for the Germans and the Japanese in the 1930s and 1940s, bleating as we hear so often now about how the United States, and allies such as Britain, brought all this on themselves because of shabby treatment of others? The handwriting was on the wall then, too. It said we had to triumph or be subjugated and slaughtered. We are challenged again, and dredging up guilt trips is not the answer.
Note the heritage of the people suspected of the recent bomb killings in Britain. The majority of them were homegrown, reasonably prosperous, far from the sad, uneducated fanatics who are profiled by some. They had not seen troubled masses in other Islamic countries, but nonetheless decided they would nobly compensate for such mistreatment. Once again, there were apologists.
Comments the Chicago Tribune:
": the debate about whether U.S. policies in Iraq or elsewhere are to blame for suicide bombings or other terrorist acts is largely misguided and futile. It not only blames the victim for the crime, but allows the terrorists to dictate American foreign policy and specify the terms upon which they may be persuaded to stop the attacks. :
"But it's worth noting that suicide bombers attacked this nation on Sept. 11, 2001, long before Iraq or Afghanistan. And terrorists who decry the mistreatment of Muslims in one part of the world say nothing while Muslim insurgents slaughter Muslim civilians day after day in Iraq. :
"If in some Muslim hearts suicide bombers are heroes, that is not the case for the bewildered and grieving Muslim families or their victims. Still, this war of ideas won't be won until suicide bombers occupy a place of contempt in Islamic culture somewhere below child molesters."
Fewer apologies and rationalizations, please, and more unity and ferocity in dealing with our sworn enemies, the same as we displayed in the 1930s and 1940s, with more emphasis on the welfare of victims rather than the terror denizens.