But if terror groups are to be defeated, it is national governments that will have to do so. In nations like India (and the United States), governments will have to call on the patriotism of citizens to fight the terrorists. In a nation like Pakistan, the government will have to be persuaded to deal with those in their midst who are complicit. This can happen if those nations’ citizens decide they don’t want their own country to be dishonored by allegiances with terror groups. Otherwise, other nations may have to act.Such is Kristol's response in his oped today to Jim Leach who posted some thoughts on the terrorist attack on Politico over the weekend. The short entry is worth reading, if only to allow for a full understanding of what it is that Kristol is taking an issue with. This bit I thought was particularly noteworthy:
Patriotism is an indispensable weapon in the defense of civilization against barbarism. That was brought home over the weekend in an article in The Times of India on Sandeep Unnikrishnan, a major in India’s National Security Guards who died fighting the terrorists at the Taj hotel. The reporter spoke with the young man’s parents as they mourned their son: “His father, dignified in the face of such a personal tragedy, was stoic, saying he was proud of his son who sacrificed his life for the country: ‘He died for the nation.’ ”
.. a response that is the least nationalistic is likely to be the most effective. Accordingly, the civilized world should announce a oneness with the citizens of Mumbai and all the innocent victims of this unconscionable act. The challenge will be to hold accountable those responsible without escalating vengeful violence against innocents anywhere. If the goal of a hateful few is to precipitate a wider conflict, isn't it self-evident that the best way to debase their efforts is to insure that a response is comprehensive as to individual accountability but does not itself spark a war on the Indian subcontinent?
Kristol's response, seemingly triggered by the first sentence about nationalism, suffers from the casual substitution of the words nationalism, national and patriotic, which is somewhat of a hallmark of the post-9/11 neocon worldview. Beyond that, I can only imagine Kristol stopped reading, distracted by crafting a punchy response in his head. Or else are we really to believe that the appropriate response is to infuse the problem with even more nationalistic overtones when the two countries most directly involved both possess nuclear weapons?