Thursday, December 18, 2003

The LOTR saga is an interesting allegory on current world events. It becomes more clear every day that America, and perhaps the entire world, is splitting between two groups. On one side are those who believe that there is evil in this world and that it needs to be confronted aggressively. On the other side are those who don't believe there is evil, those who think that we are equally evil or more evil than those who oppose us, and those that deep down know there is evil, but choose to ignore it because it either does not suit their political motives, or because they are afraid of the inevitable sacrifice and pain that would result from confronting evil. This last group, of course, is the most wretched of the bunch. While it can be frustrating to deal with someone who can look at the current state of the world and not see evil plainly before their eyes, I can still have a modicum of respect for them if they have arrived at their opinion with logic, no matter how ideologically tainted it may be. However, the person who sees evil for what it is and uses it as a means for political gain or develops a worldview whose main purpose is to rationalize his own fear and cowardice; these are the most dangerous people in the world. Certainly, their actions often seem benign on the surface and are commonly done in the name of peace, but their overall effect is to slowly rot the core of a nation from the inside to the point where once it becomes obvious what has been happening it is too late to correct the problem.

Like the Hobbits in LOTR (save for the main characters), the left is content living in their shire, ignorant or ambivalent of the evil that threatens the very way of life they cherish. The Hobbits are more suspicious of Gandalf, their powerful ally, than of any distant threat from another land. In Europe, the biggest shire in the world, many see the United States as a bigger threat to their way of life than Al Qaida. The situation there is so bad that it is difficult to imagine the European population caring enough about anything to actually put down their cigarrettes and take up arms.

If it can be said that anything good came from the attacks of 9/11, it is that these events woke us from the same dream that the Europeans are living in. Like the struggle in LOTR, what's at stake here is far more important than personal emotions or temporary political advantage. What's at stake here is, quite simply, everything.

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