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Blood in the water
Ralph Peters, in his column today enumerating recent good news and bad news
in the War, concludes:
Bit by bit, the Western mood is turning from disbelief regarding the "terrorist threat" to hard-knuckled realism about extremist Islam. 9/11 taught the terrorists little of use and many wrong lessons. It may be hard for some of us to discern what's really happening, but the Islamists are resurrecting a militant, ruthless West.
Although too much of his evidence for this conclusion is more hopeful than realistic (is the West really able to finesse the Shia/Sunni rivalry?), his assessment of what we're up against couldn't be more clear.
I have my own reasons, though, for thinking the mood has changed visibly, and they are based, not on what I hear coming out of Western capitals, but on fan behavior in U.S. sports stadiums. I don't think its a stretch to say that something has changed in America when baseball fans start throwing opposing teams' home-run balls back onto the playing field instead of keeping them as souvernirs. (I've been to a few ball games this summer and know whereof I speak concerning the breakdown of fan behavior
.) Does this mean that Islamic fascists are, in Peters' words, "reviving the West's thirst for blood"? Maybe, maybe not. In any case, partisan fan impatience in the stands is showing; the mood is becoming more public, more acceptable. I have to think that a lot of those fans have spent innumerable hours on airport security lines.