Alan Greenblatt is a GOVERNING correspondent.E-mail: email@example.com
Here's my nominee for worst column of the year.
Last week, Stu Bykofsky of the Philadelphia Daily News, noting that the anniversary of 9/11 is coming up, wished for another 9/11. "I'm thinking another 9/11 would help America," he said.
His argument, if you want to call it that, is that the country has become too splintered and has lost its focus on the real enemy. "Iraq has fractured the U.S. into jigsaw pieces of competing interests that encourage our enemies," he writes. "We are deeply divided and division is weakness."
Bykofsky's cure for this weakness is another major, horrific attack. It's going to happen anyway, so why not put it to good use, he suggests. He even offers up some good targets: "The Golden Gate Bridge. Mount Rushmore. Chicago's Wrigley Field. The Philadelphia subway system. The U.S. is a target-rich environment for al Qaeda."
I'm tempted to add -- Stu Bykofsky's house. But I suppose that would be an example of the internal diviseness he has already warned us against.
This column has drawn considerable heat from the liberal blogosphere. Many such writers have pointed out examples of leftist voices who made much less provocative statements and were accused of being traitors, while Bykofsky was respectably received when invited to repeat his argument on Fox News Channel. "I think it's going to take a lot of dead people to wake America up," said host John Gibson.
Without getting into that kind of deeply tiresome "the other side is hypocritical" mudfight, it seems clear to me that wishing for a terrorist act to bolster the fight against terrorism is simply ludicrous on its face.
And his underlying premise, that unity is best achieved through hatred of a common enemy, has led to more violence than just about any other factor in human history. It's certainly worked for Islamic terrorists.
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