2002 November 22 Friday
Mark Steyn On Cultural Weakness And Islamic Threats

This is one of the best columns I've read by Mark Steyn. Attempts to appeal to Muslims to show them we are not their enemies are self-defeating. We ought to be demanding that they demonstrate the same to us. Read the full article. Appeasement doesn't work when your enemy holds you in contempt:

This is the real war aim -- or it should be, if we're to have any chance of winning this thing: We have to change the hearts and minds of millions of Muslims, too many of whom are at best indifferent to great evil. "Changing" isn't the same as "winning the hearts and minds," which is multiculti codespeak for pre-emptively surrendering and agreeing not to disagree with them. For over a year now, nothing has been asked of Muslims, at home or abroad: you can be equivocal about bin Laden and an apologist for suicide bombers, and still get a photo-op with Dubya; you can be a member of a regime whose state TV stations and government-owned newspapers call for Muslims to kill all Jews and Christians, and you'll still get to kick your shoes off with George and Laura at the Crawford ranch.

This is not just wrong but self-defeating. As long as Dubya and Colin Powell and the rest are willing to prance around doing a month-long Islamic minstrel-show routine for the amusement of the A-list Arabs, Muslims will rightly see it for what it is: a sign of profound cultural weakness.

As long as Western Civilization doubts itself in the face of such hostility from Islamic Civilization we are not going to demand their respect and we are not going to demand that they change in ways that will make them less of a threat to us.

Update: Victor Davis Hanson makes a similar argument:

Either we can accept that the United States is a more moral and decent culture than the tribal world of the fundamentalists and dictators, and thus must not lose out to their medieval visions or in our self-doubt and moral conceit we can worry endlessly over why we are not liked as we would wish, and therefore choose to feed both our fears and their audacity. The former and harder course will lead to acrimony and caricature in the present, but victory and security in the future. The latter, easier way ensures that we will be for a time tolerated by the U.N., Europe, and the Arab states publicly, but privately despised as not only crass, but also weak, as we not they descend into a constant war of attrition from terrorist attacks and lunatic dictatorships armed with frightful weapons.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 November 22 05:30 PM  Civilizations Clash Of


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