Thursday, January 06, 2011

The original war on terror . . .

REASON.COM has a great book review by Brian Doherty, "The First War on Terror", which is a review of "The World That Never Was: A True Story of Dreamers, Schemers, Anarchists, and Secret Agents", by Alex Butterworth, Pantheon Books.

It's worthy of your attention, as the efforts of the Anarchists of the 19th century are compared and contrasted with those of today's radical Muslims.

To the powers of the time, the anarchist threat was not to be downplayed or doubted. After the anarchist-linked Leon Czolgosz assassinated U.S. President William McKinley, McKinley’s successor, Theodore Roosevelt, issued a pronouncement that presaged George W. Bush’s rhetoric about the post-9/11 threat of radical Islam: “When compared with the suppression of anarchy, every other question sinks into insignificance.” Collaborations of national secret police agencies created an ad hoc global force to fight the nonexistent global anarchist conspiracy, and the very advocacy of anarchist ideas was outlawed in most of the West.

As history has shown, Roosevelt was wrong about the significance of the anarchist threat. So was George W. Bush when he used the jihadist threat as an excuse for policies that may have done far more to damage America and elsewhere than they did to prevent attacks.

1 comment:

Informed Despite Education said...

All men will suffer when the selfish aims of a few men outweight the interest of many.