Rediscovering the Word “Fire”

Posted: June 2, 2011 in Politics
Tags: , , ,

Imagine a world where the word “fire” was never a word, and no other word had ever been invented to describe the concept of a fire – in fact, inventing that word was somehow abhorrent, even criminal. How would you even begin to rescue people from a burning building? How would you alert them to the danger? Could you even direct rescue workers to extinguish it, if you can’t say what it is they need to look for?

The first task taken to eliminate a threat is to define the threat. This is an impossible task if you are restricted, due to a flawed political-correctness taboo, from using factual and clear language in your definition. Our country is becoming more and more restricted in this way, for either fear or fairness, and the resulting inaction against such an obvious threat is causing many of us to become very alarmed. The Fight of Our Lives, the new book written by Bill Bennett and Seth Leibsohn, tackles both the taboo and the threat that the taboo obscures.

The Fight of Our Lives is no-punches-pulled look at the war against Islamic terrorism. It has a lot of frightening statistics, quotes and information (and proofs against an immense amount of disinformation), all of it publicly available but almost never compiled into one package. By amassing this information and condensing it into this small book, these authors have tried to alert their readers to the patterns, the outline and the sheer size of the threat of terrorism we still face. The most striking indictments are the words of the Muslim leaders themselves.

It reads very much unlike Bill Bennett’s history primers and almanacs, and anyone who has heard Seth Leibsohn speak will recognize his voice throughout. But that could be because this is not a history text, although there is a ton of well-footnoted history. This is analysis, commentary, opinion and debate. They’ve taken the rubber tip of political correctness off the research scalpel to effectively analyze the subject of radical Islamic terrorism. But even as uncomfortable as it might be to speak plainly on this topic, this is not an indictment of a people of faith; it is a clear and unambiguous analysis of the many facets within modern Islam.

What to do with that info? Those who most need to learn this are unwilling to do so. Those who most need to know this are actively trying to prevent such discussions from taking place. They are leveling the charge of bigotry on anyone undertaking a fair examination of the subject, they are automatically asserting that the victims are the aggressors and the aggressors are the victims, they are ignoring the inflammatory words of the Muslim community and they are presuming that the targets of terrorism asked for it and deserve it. The rest of us are weary trying to get them to see reason.

So perhaps this book was written so that we who understand that we are at war will have the words to explain our concerns, our intentions and ultimately our votes. It’s encouraging when someone tells you that when you see a fire you can yell, “Fire!” The good news is that, in this analysis, our country has not yet passed the point of no return.


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