What is even more amazing is the man who penned it. Ben Stein is probably the smartest man alive today in the United States. His command of the English Language is masterful. As with most truly great writers, his prose is simple, elegant, and eminently understandable. Go read it. Now.
Ben says, in part,
If we don’t win this war against the terrorists, there’s not going to be business as usual ever again. If the terrorists get to their goal, there’s not going to be a stock exchange or hedge funds or Bain Capital or the Carlyle Group or even Goldman Sachs. If the terrorists get their way — and so far, they’re getting their way — there’s not going to be business, period.That describes my understanding of this war, and far more elegantly than I can say it. I believe that we are engaged in a war with Islamic jihadists and that the stakes are Western Civilization. Everything should be focused on the fight and everything else. Everything else. Everything else should be subservient to the goal of winning this fight. Everything else.
That includes all domestic considerations. If an asset is valuable in both foreign and domestic policy, then the use of that asset should be dedicated to defeating Islamic Jihad. If there is extra money available in the budget, then that money should be allocated to the war against Islamic fascism.
Some people believe that Islamic jihad isn't a threat here. Their memories are short, and they aren't listening to what the jihadis are telling us. They intend to conquer us and to impose a world-wide Islamic caliphate. That is their stated goal, and they are willing to do it incrementally, slowly, with great patience.
I would like, more than anything, to be left alone. To work my job, to help my children, and grow my grandchildren. To save my money, to work my little projects, to live out my life in this country I call home. Islamic jihad wants to change all that and it pisses me off. It's personal. They've told me they want to change my life.
Islamic jihadists have launched attacks against my country. They use American dollars to further their interests. They intend to bring our government to its knees and impose their will on our citizens. This war is intensely personal.
We can't even decide if we are willing to win.