Friday, February 10, 2006

History is Not a Cartoon

The deluded here might believe that the divide is a moral one, between a supposedly decadent secular West and a pious Middle East, rather than an existential one that is fueled by envy, jealousy, self-pity, and victimization. But to believe the cartoons represent the genuine anguish of an aggrieved puritanical society tainted by Western decadence, one would have to ignore that Turkey is the global nexus for the sex-slave market, that Afghanistan is the world's opium farm, that the Saudi Royals have redefined casino junketeering, and that the repository of Hitlerian imagery is in the West Bank and Iran. The entire controversy over the cartoons is ludicrous, but often in history the trivial and ludicrous can wake a people up before the significant and tragic follow...."Losing Civilization,"Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, 2/10/2006

Victor Davis Hanson's article is so good that you should just go read it.

Millions of brave reformers in the Muslim world are trying each day to create a tolerant culture and a consensual society. What those in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq and Egypt want from us is not appeasement that emboldens the radicals...but patient, careful and firm explanations that freedom is precious and worth the struggle....

Where are European and American elites on this? I realize in the context of this Blog that the question is rhetorical. However, wasn't there a time when most of them, including their Leftish clubs, were in favor of destroying fascism, overthrowing medeavalism, building democracy and supporting free markets unsubsidized by either governments or by the expenditure of troops? It seems they were and not only Western commentators thought so. Mao Tse-Tung said of General MacArthur's democratization of Japan in the late 1940s that the old General did more to transform that country that the communists had achieved in China -- a vast understatement, though one doubts that the late Chairman Mao would have acknowledged that.

What is this strange love that so many in the elites of Europe and the United States have for the hypocritical pathology of radical Islam? Or is it, after all, as Hanson suggests, a case of lovers of the easy life figuring if they kowtow to the right people that nobody will take away their sports cars and beach condominiums?

Pierre Laval and his friends in France felt that way about the Nazis in 1940, one suspects. But they also figured something else, well documented in dozens of histories: if they surrendered to their worst enemy abroad, then they could get even with their worst enemies at home. Is that what explains, for instance, why an ex-President of the United States acted like a gigolo talking to a rich woman when he remarked that Denmark's newspapers were culturally insensitive? Does he, or his ghastly wife, assume that surrender to the monsters who drive the hate speech and hate acts of radical Islam across the world will guarantee that their enemies will be vanquished at home, the Red states under the heel of Al Qaeda? Or in the ashes of the Iranian Bomb?

It's hard to find any other reason, other than the money, of course.


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