2003 June 04 Wednesday
Pat Buchanan On Islam And Democracy

Pat Buchanan says an ancient religion that has successfully resisted Westernization of its lands has believers who are probably going to use democracy in ways we will not like.

If a democratic referendum were conducted today from Morocco to Malaysia —and monitored by the National Endowment for Democracy—on the proposition: “Resolved: Israel should be erased from the map of the Middle East and Israeli Jews sent back where they came from,” how do you suppose it would come out? Those who would extend the franchise to the masses should perhaps discern first what it is the masses want.

While I do not agree with Buchanan on whether it is necessary to pursue the strategy of preemption the creation of benign secular democracies in the Middle East is a highly problematic undertaking. The neoconservatives setting policy or serving as the cheerleading squad for the current policy makers who believe otherwise are setting us up for very serious problems down the road.

Update: Coming from a different perspective than Pat Buchanan, Godless Capitalist has popped up again on Gene Expression arguing that since the Palestinians and the Arabs are not going to accept the existence of the state of Israel it makes sense for Israel to just expel the Palestinians from the West Bank.

The fact is that Israel will expel the Palestinians, or it will die, and the region will sink into the same depths of barbarity and backwardness that characterizes the rest of that region of the world. If that dark day ever comes...Israel will take its murderers with it.

Certainly the unmentioned "elephant in the room" of most discussions of the Arab-Israeli conflict is that the vast bulk of the Arabs simply do not recognize that Israel has a right to exist. They hate it and not just for the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. A few Arab states have limited forms of diplomatic relations with Israel. But their recognition is grudging and the attitudes of their press and populaces speak more about their views than their official diplomat postures (which anyway can be abandoned the moment it becomes advantageous to do so).

I think Israel has to physically separate itself from the Palestinians. It has to stop using Palestinian labor in Israel and build a wall to totally separate themselves from the Palestinians. The difference between myself and Godless is that I think the wall ought to be built closer to Israel proper. Israel ought to abandon the remote settlements on the West Bank, let the Palestinians have the bulk of the West Bank and build a wall that makes the border between Israel and the West Bank that is straighter and hence easier to monitor and defend.

Israeli Jews who want to keep the West Bank as part of their God-given land are opposed to such a solution. Plus, business interests in Israel want to be able to continue to use cheaper Palestinian labor. Also, some think that the West Bank under total Palestinian control will be used as a base from which to build up a military force to attack Israel. But Israel could attack immediately and retake the West Bank fairly quickly if tanks or other more substantial military equipment started showing up in the West Bank. The security argument only holds weight with regard to terrorist attacks. But by not having a wall Israel is currently leaving itself open to many more attacks and it is allowing vulnerable settlers to build settlements deep inside the West Bank.

Regardless of where the line is drawn between the Palestinians and the Israelis the line really does have to be drawn. The Arabs as a whole and Muslims beyond the Arab lands are going to continue to be at best indifferent toward Israeli deaths and in many cases gleeful about them. At the same time any Palestinian death at the hands of the Israelis and any rule of the Palestinians by the Israels will be seen by the Arabs and most Muslims as enormous injustice. Muslims hold to a double standard in judging what non-Muslims do to Muslims versus what Muslims do to non-Muslims. This basic fact argues against trying to have Muslims and non-Muslims co-exist in the same society where the disagreements about fundamental issues are so strong. There is just little chance of coming to a reasonable compromise given the double standard about non-believers that is built into the base text of Islam.

In the comments section of the post Godless responds to another paleoconservative to explain why he even cares about the fate of Israel. He sees Israel as the canary in the coal mine:

I'm concerned about Israel because I think they're the canary in the coal mine. I know a lot of paleos don't have much love for Israel, but I think it's even stranger to side with the Arabs/Muslims if you're a fan of the West. Al Qaeda threatens us, fundamentalist Muslim immigration threatens Continental Europe, and the Palestinians threaten Israel. They are all faces of the same Islamist threat. It's naive in the extreme to say that the median Muslim would "like us" if only Israel weren't around...Islam has bloody borders (India, Israel, Russia, Sudan, etcetera...), and their animosity for Christians (and infidels in general) predates the existence of Israel by hundreds of years.

Whatever Israel's faults, they're a lot closer to the Western tradition than the Arabs/Muslims are. That's clear because even paleos judge them by a Western standard. The summary executions of Arabs by the dictators of the region elicit Africa-like levels of "they're barbarians, what do you expect" nonchalance. Yet Israel's targeted assassinations of known terrorists - when they could just wipe out blocks in airstrikes - are condemned because they don't live up to (non-wartime) standards in the West.

He doesn't mention Indonesia. But in terms of a model of how Muslims treat non-Muslims under their rule in terms of the sheer number of people being treated unfairly it is probably the worst place going. If some reports are to be believed tens of thousands of Christians there have been killed and hundreds of thousands have been driven from their homes and made into refugees while the government has been either indifferent or has allowed factions within it to support the Muslim paramilitary forces that are doing the persecution and killing. Yet what is happening there does not attract even 1% of the media coverage that the West gives to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Go figure.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 June 04 03:23 AM  MidEast Arabs Versus Israelis


Comments
wretchard said at June 9, 2003 5:32 PM:

To a certain degree, people have things the wrong way around. It is Islam that is in danger of extinction. Consider Indonesia: it's better than even odds that Indonesia will break up within the next ten years. East Timor has already separated. Watch the Melanesians leave next, then Aceh, them Ambon.

There isn't a single Muslim country in the world, with the possible exception of Turkey, which isn't on the brink of catastrophe. We all know that the stats. The Muslims are increasing in number while their economies are tanking. Saudi Arabia has half, yes half the per capita income of Israel and that ratio is falling fast. Anyone who wants France to fall should hope that it becomes Muslim. Islam is to culture what Africa is to geography: abandon hope all ye who enter.

Back in 1949 and 1956, the Islamic world hoped to drive Israel into the sea. In 1973 they would settle for the Sinai. Today, they will dance in the street if they can kill a half dozen Israeli soldiers. How the mighty have fallen.

Palestine, not Israel, is facing catastrophe. A whole genration is growing up without basic education. It's a holocaust of sorts, and entirely self-inflicted. Islam is not going to take over the world. It threatens to bring down large sections of the world with it. Saudi Arabia is the canary in the coal mine.

John said at September 25, 2003 5:26 PM:

There will never be peace in the middle east without the elimination of all the terrorists including arafat. Period. End of story.

albert said at January 25, 2004 4:42 PM:

THERE WILL NEVER BE PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST AS LONG AS YOU HAVE, JEWS BORN IN BROOKLYN, AND MOSCOW WHO COME OVER AND SETTLE ON STOLEN ARAB LAND. DOES A JEW FROM NEW YORK OR RUSSIA HAVE MORE RIGHT TO LIVE IN PALESTINE THAN PALESTINIANS WHO HAVE BEEN THEIR FOR CENTURIES. NO ONE WANT'S TO EVER ASK THAT VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION. THEY ALLWAYS BRING THE ISSUE OF WILL THE ARABS EVER EXCEPT ISRAEL AS A JEWISH STATE, OR WILL THEY EVER PUT A STOP TO SUICIDE BOMBINGS. THE FIRST SUICIDE BOMBING EVER WAS IN 1994, NOT 1948, NOT 1967, NOT 1973. THERE WAS ISRAELI OCCUPATION BEFORE THERE WAS SUICIDE BOMBINGS. SUICIDE BOMBINGS ARE ONLY A REACTION TO THE BRUTAL ZIONIST OCCUPATION. ZIONISM IS AT FAULT HERE. LET THE PALESTINIANS HAVE THEIR TANKS HELLICOPTERS GUNSHIPS, AND THEIR F16's WOULD THAT MAKE YOU ZIONSIT SCUM-BAGS HAPPY, BECUASE THEN YOU WOULD NOT NEED SUICIDE BOMBERS.

Bruce said at June 4, 2005 8:46 AM:

A history check, just so you know. If you do a little research you will find that probably 99% of Palestinian's are Jordanian by birth, blood or lineage ... the "land of Palestine" is ficticious, check your history and you will find that it has never REALLY existed - the only place it has existed is in the minds of the fanatics ...

Terry Senum said at August 10, 2005 3:02 PM:

I am reading the article by Patrick Sookhdeo in The Statesman magazine July 30/05 issue"How to change Islam". I am a christian who studied with Muslims in Edmonton,Alberta, Canada. I have no contempt for the Muslims and Arabs as a people. I know for a fact that they have but one goal and that is world domination, in Europe, N.America etc. They despise everything we stand for. Our religion in particular. Their religion is not based on christianity but of the god of this world(the devil).The adversary of Almighty God Himself. Islam was founded by Satan himself, the prince and power of spiritual darkness. Until christians fully comprehend this their will never be peace in this world. Their is a spiritual war going on in the heavenlies(light versus darkness). Jesus is the light of this world and Satan lives in darkness. He is a deceiver and the father of lies. The Bible says so. I stand upon the Word of God. It liveth and abideth forever.

Buchanan Supporter said at February 8, 2006 4:21 PM:

I am not a fan of either Israel or the Arabs. The Israelis are perhaps overstepping their boundaries in the area, but, it seems that at least they have made something out of the land. The Palestinians have accomplished nothing. Arabic culture has accomplished nothing and if not for the fact that oil lay under their land, they would probably have had to abandon their territory by now. I feel the US dropped the ball by establishing relations and support with both sides. Israel does nothing for us, it is a one-sided relationship, we give and they take. Whereas the Middle East does provide us with cheap oil, but with the negative externality of having to associate with a backwards and abusive society.

Solzanna said at November 25, 2007 7:06 PM:

I support Buchanan on most of his American Cause agenda. I don't understand why people like Albert, when given a choice to defend either Israeli's or Islamists, ignore the similarities between non-Muslim, Palestinean, Islamic Israel and our own Western civilization, culture and life as we know it. HEAVEN IS NOT A WHOREHOUSE, ALBERT! It simply doesn't make sense to side with any one single person who believes that it is. PERIOD.


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