This North Korean nuclear test is bad in every respect but one. At least a nuclear explosion in North Korea may help rouse the West from its folly of weakness and denial. The war on terror is running on two separate tracks right now. Our confrontations with North Korea–and with Islamists across Europe and the Middle East–are going poorly. This has emboldened the forces of appeasement and denial in the West.
Yet the rising tide of everything from Spain’s appeasement to Van Gogh’s murder, to Geert Wilders and Hirsi Ali being forced into hiding, to the Paris riots, to the cartoons, to Ahmadinejad’s mad threats and Holocaust denial, to the war in Lebanon, to the London airplane plot, to the Pope, to the Mozart opera, to NATO’s shirking in Afghanistan, to Redeker, and now to the open advent of a Korean nuclear bomb is seeping into the public’s consciousness and forcing us confront the profundity of the threat we face. Yes, 9/11 by itself ought have been enough. Yet the sad fact of the matter is that many have hoped and believed that 9/11 was a fluke (or conspiracy), rather than the signpost of an emerging challenge to the very existence of the West.
The doves are in full cry. Yet a simmering sense of frustration, anger and alarm at Islamist-NK intimidation, and Western weakness, is slowly building to a boil among a goodly portion of the broader public. I can’t say when this anger and alarm will break into the open (perhaps when that bomb goes off in North Korea), but I think a new wave of fed-up ultra-hawks is in the making.
Ah, I see that Jim Geraghty over at TKS is making a similar point.