“There is nothing too dangerous to talk about.” Spoken by the actor who plays Stephen Hopkins, Rhode Island’s member of the Continental Congress, in the musical 1776, I have long thought the phrase should be added to the Great Seal of the United States. Historically, Americans have taken these words as a guide. When they have not, trouble has ensued. Recall, for example, the animosities stirred in the 1840s when a gag rule prevented debating slavery in Congress. The ensuing bitter, daggers-drawn silence deepened sectional animosities and contributed to getting America to the catastrophe of civil war in 1861. So, with the advice of Hopkins in mind, let us talk briefly about America’s interests in the Israel-Palestine issue, and let us use American history as our guide.
The word “accountability” is always bandied about in Washington as the solution for the woes brought on America by the current governing generation. Impassioned calls for accountability from presidents, senators, congressman, as well as media, academic, and social elites are heard whenever disaster hits America. The accountability police then swing into gear and invariably fail to find any senior, politically influential, well-paid individual accountable for anything. Generally, junior, politically impotent, just-making-ends-meet officials are found culpable for failure.
Mr. Rockwell’s suggestion that I review the reviews of my book, Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terrorism, gives me a unique opportunity to evaluate the success of the book in prompting and influencing debate on the nature of America’s war on Islamist militancy, as well as to survey the range and content of the reviews the book has received.