Monday, November 21, 2005

"Root Causes"

This piece in the Toronto Sun gets me steamed:
Four years after 9/11 and the "crazy zeitgeist" that permeated the United States, most Americans have still not learned to know their enemies instead of just hating them, U.S. political journalist Chris Matthews says.

In a speech to political science students at the University of Toronto yesterday, the host of the CNBC current affairs show Hardball had plenty of harsh words for U.S. President George W. Bush, as well as the political climate that has characterized his country for the past few years.

"The period between 9/11 and Iraq was not a good time for America. There wasn't a robust discussion of what we were doing," Matthews said.

"If we stop trying to figure out the other side, we've given up. The person on the other side is not evil -- they just have a different perspective."

I beg to differ, Mr. Matthews. Agreed that Osama bin Laden and his ilk have a different perspective - but they *are* evil. And all this talk about trying to "figure out" the other side sounds to me like just another permutation of the "root causes" syndrome that afflicts so many intellectuals. When people start looking for the "root cause" of a problem, it means that they're not willing to take any action to solve it.

Of course, Matthews the patriot goes to Canada to utter this foolishness. He should consider staying. Given the ratings of Hardboiled, nobody would miss him.

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