17 januari 2006
Being a citizen in the new "cold" war
Read this first before you continue reading.
I don't know what most scares the hell out of me: Wretchard's prospect of a new, but much "hotter" "cold" war between the "West" and the "jihadi's" or the author himself not blinking an eye while telling it.
It is easy to say: "You are out of your mind", "you are fit for a mental hospital", upon which that person would almost certainly respond: "I am not the one living in a fantasy world, you are!" And, although it is hard, even for me to accept, because denial is so much more comfortable, I think he is right (and for our own sake more people should be convinced of that). It would be understandable to feel a bit ridiculous for thinking so, but just maybe, that reluctance proves one's seriousness.
But the consequences of accepting are enormous: for the coming time (and who knows how long that will be), nothing will be more important than this and everything else will seem petty. Not only for politicians, but for every citizen, because it could affect every aspect of one's life: the relations with our Arab neighbours in the street, our friendships, the way we participate in our societies, how we value family, our professional choices, for who we vote. It has the potential to pervade, subconsciously or deliberately, your entire being.
But that is not necessarily bad: there is a choice between madness and awareness.
At the one hand, it could consume you, eventually turning you into exactly that what you are fighting. Or, at the other hand, you could fight being aware of and in accordance with our core value of freedom, from which all others spring. The difference between both is whether we disconnect from ourselves or not, whether we will still truly remember what we are fighting for or not. It is a very difficult exercise, but if we pull it off, we will come stronger out of it, making it worthwhile. The line between both is probably blurred: sometimes we will be forced to choose the lesser of two gruesome evils, but, if you accept reality as it is, we cannot avoid making hard choices, even if they imply great suffering.
I expect very testing times.