April 16, 2004

PRIORITIES

My friend wrote me an email and echoed Erik's sentiments in the comments below; her father has Parkinson's, so stem cell research is close to her heart the way national security is to mine. But I did have a quick thought.

Den Beste is not personally affected by the war as a software engineer. Lileks has little chance of seeing an attack near Jasperwood. Amritas doesn't have any friends or family in the military. But all of these men, and countless other bloggers, rate the war on terror as the highest on their list. I've heard that numerous bloggers shifted hard to the Right after 9/11 only based on terrorism. None of their other views have changed, but for these folks -- most of whom don't have a husband who's sitting outside Najaf as we speak -- the war on terror trumps all other hands.

Yes, I have big issues with the current restrictions on stem cell research because I'd really like to see our medical technology move forward. But how can we as a country continue to move forward when an entire section of the globe is stuck in the fifteenth century and determined to convert us to their antediluvian ways? If we did ignore the Middle East and focused instead on new research, we might miss the fact that they were doing research of their own, that which leads them to nukes. A radical Muslim with a nuclear weapon is the most frightening thing I've ever imagined in my life, and I believe this war on terror is aimed at just that fear.

I'd love to focus more on the US and her internal problems. But to me right now that seems like trying to study for a test while someone keeps hitting you with spitwads. Sooner or later you're going to have to go over and deal with the nuisance before he graduates to a slingshot, and studying will have to wait until you can concentrate. I believe the terrorists will never give up or get bored or look for ways to improve their own health care system, so until their threat is abolished we must remain diligent.

That's not just the military wife in me talking.

Posted by: Sarah at 02:08 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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1 Your spitwad analogy is apropos. "antidiluvian"-- You've been listening to that Donovan album, haven't you!? Absolutely right. The bloggers you (and I) read are, I think, a notch above the rest in intellect and mental acuity. That's why we read them. I only hope the rest of the unwashed masses grok. (I used your word!) I'm not sure they do.

Posted by: Mike at April 16, 2004 07:54 AM (cFRpq)

2 I don't know if it really is a question of intellect and mental acuity, so much as a willingness to reassess one's position. Some very bright people seem to just have a non-fact stuck in their head that they cannot dislodge, and which skews their entire worldview. Funny that the simple ability to realise you were wrong should turn out to be so rare.

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