An Autumn Of War

Our visionaries must be far clearer about the nature of our struggle. In their understandable efforts to say what we are not doing—fighting Islam or provoking Arab peoples—they have failed utterly to voice what we are doing: preserving Western civilization and its uniquely tolerant and human traditions of freedom, consensual government, disinterested inquiry and religious and political tolerance…. We must cease the apologetic tone we have developed with the Arab world, and make it clear that their ministers who hector us are not legitimate without elections, their spokesmen are not journalists without a free press, and their intellectuals are not credible without liberty. The right to admonish Americans on questions of morality is not an entitlement, but something earned only through a shared commitment to constitutional government.

An Autumn of War, Victor Davis Hanson, as quoted in “9/11 Lesson Plan” by Thomas Friedman

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