The Limits of Freedom

Gerard Henderson writing in the Sydney Morning Herald argues liberals and those over-concerned with civil liberties are interfering in the fight to end terrorism. He cites recent examples in London and Glasgow of the need to place certain liberties on the side while we concentrate on ending terrorism.

After every bombing, one hears a similar perspective. The assumption is that terrorism is a real threat to our survival as a free society, and many like Bush make comparisons to World War II. America and its allies in WWII confronted powerful German and Japanese armies as well as the Japanese navy. Terrorists can kill and frighten people, but they are incapable of defeating anyone. Their best hope is so frightening people that it results in voluntary abandonment of our liberties.

The fight against terrorism will be long in duration. Dozens, hundreds, and perhaps thousands may die, but 30 million died in WWII. Our best hope of victory is remaining a free society which serves as a beacon to the world. To place limits on freedom is to limit our chance for victory because we are fighting an ideology as much as terrorists.