The Corner

Fear-Mongering

More live-blogging: Obama has repeatedly referred to fear-mongering. This grates on me. Analysts strive to be accurate and precise. The greatest handicap analysts face is projection: Assuming everyone in the world thinks like we do. Multiculturalism is more than drinking mojitos with our sushi, however. When partisans dismiss security concerns as fear-mongering, they are in effect displaying ignorance about the outside world. What one experiences in the cafes of Paris, the conference centers of London, or the beaches of Cancun is a sharp contrast to what one sees in southern Lebanon, the hills of Yemen, or the villages of Afghanistan. It is important to recognize that these threats exist. It is the ultimate arrogance to sit in Washington and simply dismiss as exaggeration any threats because from one’s own limited experience, they can’t fathom that Hezbollah seeks genocide, millions of Islamists seeks eradication of Western culture, or North Korea negotiates insincerely.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly.

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