Roger L. Simon

Long ball versus short ball

I was impressed by the Fred Thompson interview on (link iffy) because Thompson seems to be playing “long ball.” The Democratic Congress seems to be playing “short ball,” as if the War in Iraq were a thing in itself.

It’s not even remotely. In fact, it’s almost irrelevant whether we get in or out of Iraq. We’re in anyway. We’ve been in for hundreds of years without evening knowing it.

Ayatollah Khomeini knew, of course. When he returned victoriously to Iran in 1979, telling a nonplussed Peter Jennings that coming back to his home country meant nothing to the soon-to-be Supreme Leader. Like most of us, Jennings did not realize at the time that Khomeini was not interested at all in temporal nation-states. Only Allah’s Kingdom was of concern to him – spreading it as far and wide as he could.

Now if you believe … I mean really believe … in the primacy of eternal life over our humdrum reality, then Khomeini had a point. And it follows you can treat anyone who doesn’t go along with you in the tawdry material world as despicably as you wish (just as he, Bin Laden, etc., etc.) have. But if you don’t, you should be thinking about the hundreds of millions of people (far more than ever followed Hitler) who lean in Khomeini’s direction and try to figure out what to do about them.

That’s what I mean about “long ball.” It’s a very hard game, particularly for a politician who is running for office. But, in the age of nuclear proliferation, it has never been more necessary.