Can someone explain what Senator Lieberman could possibly mean when he says the following:
“I’m worried that too many people, both in politics and out, don’t appreciate the seriousness of the threat to American security and the evil of the enemy that faces us — more evil, or as evil, as Nazism and probably more dangerous than the Soviet Communists we fought during the long Cold War,” Mr. Lieberman said.
First, there’s no antecedent to the word "threat" or "enemy" so we have no idea what threat he’s referring to. Is it al-Qaeda alone? Al-Qaeda plus Hezbollah and Hamas, plus Syria and Ahmadinejad? Or that thing out there that
Little Green Footballs the President now calls "Islamic fascists"?
Who knows. But under any possible definition of "threat" or "enemy" it cannot possibly be as dangerous than the Soviet Union at the peak of the Cold War, with multiple thermonuclear devices pointed at every one of our cities and towns. And, I don’t know exactly how to score "evilness," but not much matches Hitler. I suppose in some way bin Laden and Zawahiri’s hearts may be as filled with evil as Hitler’s or Stalin’s, but they don’t have the SS and Luftwaffe at their disposal. Maybe they would send us all to concentration camps if they controlled half of Europe, but thankfully, they live in caves and can’t use the phone. Is Ahmadinejad "more evil, or as evil" as Hitler? Maybe the potential is there, with his holocaust denial and all that, but so far it’s mostly talk.
I’m sorry, but this is just a deranged, or at best deeply confused and manic, thing to say. It shows a lack of perspective and reality and responsibility, even in its lack of clarity about what exactly the threat is and how to defeat it. Why does anyone accept that this kind of blather can be considered taking the threat more "seriously"? It’s not. It’s hugely unserious in its trivialization of the great moral challenges of the Twentieth Century and it’s bald politicization of the current challenge.
And I’m interested in examples -- I know there are people from Paul Berman to the Malkin wing of the right blogosphere who like to say that Islamic extremists are sort of like fascism, or there’s a debate going on now on National Review Online about whether "Islamo-Nazi" is a better word than Islamofascist. But is there anyone else who has used that framework: "more dangerous than the Soviet Communists" or "more evil, or as evil, as Nazism."??
This is a man who has become so deeply unserious that I don’t think he should be a U.S. Senator, from either party.