Enemies List

Apparently Thomas Friedman is unfamiliar with the concept of slippery slopes:

More than just put up walls. We need to shine a spotlight on hate speech wherever it appears. The State Department produces an annual human rights report. Henceforth, it should also produce a quarterly War of Ideas Report, which would focus on those religious leaders and writers who are inciting violence against others…

We also need to spotlight the “excuse makers,” the former State Department spokesman James Rubin said. After every major terrorist incident, the excuse makers come out to tell us why imperialism, Zionism, colonialism or Iraq explains why the terrorists acted. These excuse makers are just one notch less despicable than the terrorists and also deserve to be exposed. When you live in an open society like London, where anyone with a grievance can publish an article, run for office or start a political movement, the notion that blowing up a busload of innocent civilians in response to Iraq is somehow “understandable” is outrageous. “It erases the distinction between legitimate dissent and terrorism,” Mr. Rubin said, “and an open society needs to maintain a clear wall between them.”

I understand that Friedman believes that such a list would only be used for good and not evil, shining a spotlight on those who actively encourage young Muslims to become suicide bombers — but Friedman is an idiot. Look, there are plenty of conservatives who equate any dissent whatsoever with active support for terrorism — anyone who’s paid any attention to the right over the past four years understands this. And I promise you, in some people’s minds it’s a very short journey from Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to Noam Chomsky, and not much further from there to, well, Tom Tomorrow.

And then it’s just a hop, skip and a jump to Thomas Friedman.