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“The men of Munich”

Posted by Richard on March 27, 2007

Newt Gingrich's March 26 column is about the people historian William Manchester called "the men of Munich" and their modern-day counterparts:

The news report came about mid-week. Maybe you saw it.

The Associated Press reported that terrorists in Iraq have passed an unthinkable threshold: They used two children to disguise a car bomb.

The car was waved through a checkpoint by American soldiers who could not imagine that children would be in a car filled with explosives. When the terrorists got to their target, they got out of the car and ran. They left the children behind in the car, and then blew it up.

There is a word for people who put children in a car to be blown up. The word is evil.

When I travel around the country speaking to groups of Americans, I often tell the story of a couple arrested last year in Great Britain. They were arrested on the suspicion that they were going to use their eight-month-old baby to smuggle a bomb onto an airplane. They were apparently going to disguise the bomb as baby food. And they were perfectly happy to kill their baby just as long as they killed some Americans in the process.

There is a word for people like this. The word is evil.

It's important that we say this out loud and that we render this moral judgment. Because if we fail to understand that our enemy is evil, we have failed to understand what we are fighting.

We are not used to adversaries who will kill young children — even their own children — just to get a chance to kill us. But we had better get used to it, because this is the level of seriousness in the threat we face — this is the level of its ferocity.

And yet I wonder if some of us are still not prepared to recognize and confront the evil of our enemies.

The rest is about what Gingrich calls "a suicidal inability to come to grips with evil." Go. Read.

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