Monday, November 27, 2006

Dalrymple on the Suicide of the West

I missed this in September when it was first published but it is brilliant (from the good Dalrymple). It captures brilliantly how the extent of the Islamist threat renders Steynesque caricatures utterly unnecessary.
"This is not a strong position from which to fight people who, by their own admission, hate you and are bent upon your destruction, brought about preferably at your own expense. First, you can't take them seriously; second, you suspect they might in any case be right."

"Both Bawer and Berlinski insist that one great difference between Western Europe and America is the survival of religion in America, which gives Americans a moral backbone (for want of a better term) that Western Europeans do not have. For myself, I am somewhat skeptical of the strength of American religious feeling compared with the breadth of the religious affiliation that they claim. If Americans were to experience a loss of confidence in their country's power, whether objectively justified or not, the crisis of meaning and purpose might strike them too. After all, pusillanimity is not even now confined to Western Europeans, though it is no doubt at its worst among them; the American response to the Danish cartoon crisis was little short of disgraceful, both in the government and the press. Indeed, the French for once were considerably less cowardly."

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