‘Enor­mous prize’

The Washington Times Weekly - - Culture, Etc. -

“Over the past few months, I have been de­bat­ing Ro­man Catholics who dif­fer from their East­ern Ortho­dox brethren on the na­ture of the Trin­ity, Protes­tants who are will­ing to quarrel bit­terly with one an­other about elec­tion and pre­des­ti­na­tion, with Jews who can­not con­cur about a covenant with God, and with Mus­lims who har­bor bit­ter dis­agree­ments over the dis­crepant in­ter­pre­ta­tions of the Ko­ran. Ar­cane as th­ese dis­putes may seem [. . . ] the be­liev­ers are mod­els of lu­cid­ity when com­pared to the hair-split­ting sec­u­lar­ists who can­not ac­cept that al Qaeda in Me­sopotamia is a branch of al Qaeda it­self. [. . . ]

“Th­ese ob­jec­tions some­times, but not al­ways, amount to the sug­ges­tion that the ‘real’ fight against al Qaeda is, or should be, not in Iraq but in Afghanistan. [. . . ]

“[A]n enor­mous prize is within our reach. We can­not only deny the clones of bin Ladenism a mil­i­tary vic­tory in Iraq, we can also dis­credit them in the process and in the eyes (and with the help) of a Mus­lim peo­ple who have seen them up close.”

— Christo­pher Hitchens, writ­ing on “Fight­ing the ‘Real’ Fight,” Aug. 13 at Slate.com

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