THE THREAT OF TERRORISM….This excerpt from James Lileks was posted at Instapundit yesterday and subsequently picked up by a bunch of other bloggers as well. Here’s what he says:

[Tony] Blair is, at heart, a socialist; I?ve no time for half the stuff he wants and most of the stuff he?d agree to. But he?d get my vote. We can argue about the shape and direction of Western Civ after we?ve made sure that such a thing will endure.

I dunno. I take terrorism seriously, and I also take seriously the threat of terrorists and unstable states getting hold of weapons of mass destruction. But what can you say about this kind of talk? Do Lileks and the rest of the prowar crowd seriously think that Osama and his ilk have made it doubtful whether western civilization will endure?

To me that just sounds crazy, and I guess maybe that’s at the core of the schism in America today. Lileks and his compatriots think the terrorists have the power to bring western civilization to its knees, whereas I think of them as simply a threat that we will rather quickly and efficiently dispatch. They may be scary, but in terms of actual power they are the merest flea on the back of the United States and the rest of the western democracies.

I wonder what it is that causes such vast gulfs in instinctive reaction between people who probably more or less agree on the actual nature of the threat itself?