Victor Davis Hanson evidently doesn’t like Europeans and some Americans and he’s isn’t afraid to say it. You see, according to the one article, many Muslims are anti-Semites and the Europeans (along with select Americans) are “indifferent” to Muslim anti-Semitism, even though many if not all EU countries actually criminalise anti-Semitic speech and acts as hate crimes. One might actually object to such criminalisation of speech on the basis that it infringes on free speech, which has lately become the fashionable idol before which American conservatives throw themselves, but it remains unclear how the Europeans enable rampaging anti-Semitism. Oh, that’s right–they disagree with Hanson on foreign policy, so ipso facto….There are apparently Americans who are also doing this, because some attempted to have a conversation with Ahmadinejad (how dare they!).
In the other, we are told that Europeans are “traitors to the Enlightenment.” Well, maybe, but if they were actually traitors to the Enlightenment why would that necessarily either be a bad thing or reason for an ostensibly conservative person to complain? Oh, yes, now I remember–they have allegedly lost faith in Reason, which is the other idol to which we on the right are now supposed to bow. There is good reason to lament cases where Europeans cave in to Muslim intimidation, as happened with the Berlin opera, but it is by no means a universal phenomenon. When Muslims were rioting and protesting the Danish cartoons, German government officials, among others, expressed support for free speech and several European newspapers republished the cartoons to state their support for free speech. When Van Gogh was murdered, after Fortuyn had already raised the problem of Muslim immigrants’ assimilation to Dutch norms, such as they are, the Netherlands started taking a hard look at the problem of how or whether such people could be integrated into Dutch society if they are unwilling to accept the norms of that society. When Muslims were rioting and protesting Pope Benedict’s speech, Aznar came out in support of the Pope and invoked the example of Ferdinand and Isabella–hardly the squeamish whinging of an appeaser.
Europe is one of the topics of debate which made me realize that there's a huge gap between the neoconservative unconservative view of the world and my own. The Europeans are not my enemies. Their societies and cultures are not distant from my own. I'm increasingly thinking that people want us to see the Euros as enemies are fools or worse. Why do they want us to believe this? Near as I can tell they do not like the more critical views of Israel that pertains in much of Europe and so they want to drive a wedge between the United States and Europe in order to decrease European influence over US foreign policy. Pushing apart Western societies is unwise.
The neocons are the ones whose views of Islam are incredibly lame. While many European governments are making moves to keep out Muslim immigrants many neocons want us to believe that the problem with Islam is just some Westernized radical strain of it that is aping mid-20th century European fascism. The term "Islamo-fascist" makes no sense. Real Burkean conservative John Derbyshire agrees.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2006 October 05 10:56 PM Europe and America|