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Posted: 10/22/2002 2:13:40 PM EDT
The Wall Street Journal Europe October 22, 2002 Bali Has Changed the World Too By STEPHEN POLLARD http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB1035235871997764911.djm,00.html September 11, it now almost goes without saying, is a date on which the course of world history changed -- the day on which the forces of civilization realized that they had no choice but to fight back against terror. But what about October 12? The day of the Bali bombings may have a less directly transformative effect on global affairs. The impact of the murders, beyond the sheer tragedy, will be just as significant, however. Bali has long been the ultimate Generation X paradise -- the place where 20-somethings disappeared for months on end to "find themselves." Young men and women whose motto was "stop the world, I want to get off," looked to Bali as their haven. No more. The Bali bombs have destroyed the notion that it's somehow possible to opt out of the fight, let alone to opt out of the world itself. No group has been more jolted in into such an appreciation of reality than those very "stop the worlders." Last Wednesday, the British pollsters ICM posed a question they have been asking regularly throughout 2002: "Would you approve or disapprove of a military attack on Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein?" Amongst 25 to 44-year-olds -- the "Bali generation" -- the percentage voicing their approval has never been higher than the mid-30s. Two weeks ago, on Oct. 8, the last time they were polled before the Bali bombings, only 35% approved of action against Iraq. Bali has changed everything. When ICM asked the question again to the same age group last Wednesday, the percentage in favor of military action had risen to 52%, a quite astonishing leap in support. The young are almost always in the vanguard of peacenik agitation, their sometimes touching naivete unchecked by exposure to reality. But that naivete is not always so touching; there is often an air of moral superiority amongst the backpack generation, as they leave behind what they see as the materialism of capitalism to indulge in the purity of life on the beach or amongst basket-weavers. Indeed, they often sneer at those they decry as warmongers -- of which U.S. President George W. Bush and those countries which shoulder their obligations against terror are the main examples. Often, they swallow the facile lie that victims of terror are somehow culpable. Bali is prompting some second thoughts. None of the victims in Bali were "to blame" for their death, just as none of the American victims were "guilty" of anything, except being American. There are no "root causes." There is evil. As Hussein Massawi, the former leader of Hezbollah, has said: "We are not fighting so that you will offer us something. We are fighting to eliminate you." Each of the victims in Bali had their own moving story. Young lives, full of hope, full of promise, full of joy. Their contemporaries have now -- as the ICM poll shows -- had a terrible wake-up call. They now know that President Bush is not a warmonger. They know that the fight against terror is not a fight of aggression, but a fight to save our -- and their -- skins, and the very freedoms which they will no longer take for granted. Mr. Pollard is a senior fellow at the Centre for the New Europe, a Brussels-based think tank.
Link Posted: 10/22/2002 2:21:22 PM EDT
Yes the Muslims made a BIG mistake in hitting a target with few Americans and Israelis. As long as they can cast this as strictly a contest between them and the Americans and Jews that the young Europeans don't like anyway they can be sure of support. But more of this will change that completely.
Link Posted: 10/22/2002 2:46:02 PM EDT
Nothing like a dose of reality for people to pull there head out of there asses! Warmongering, what in the hell does that mean anyway, warmongering. Must be some new politically correct word! The only thing seeking peaceful ways to end terrorism will get you is dead, plain and simple, warmongering[rolleyes]
Link Posted: 10/22/2002 2:49:36 PM EDT
I think it was a great choice for a target. Destroy Indonesian tourism, 4th biggest industry. Hit other targets, ruin the economy, send all those unemployed, hopeless Muslims men into the arms of the radicals who will tell them the crappy economy is America's fault, and the only way to get Indonesia on its feet again is to overthrow the government and install a Shi'aa state based on Islamic law.
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