soon and very soon

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

For old times sake, the last paragraph of David Brook's immortal piece "Among the Bourgeoisophobes". It's becoming more and more clear to me that post-9/11, the conflicts of the future will pit the United States (and some Brits and Aussies) and Israel against the rest of the world. The combination of Muslim extremeist barbarism and socialist European (and to a large extent American liberal) apathy will only result, in my estimation, to the further cultural and ideological division within American society and within Western Civilization and a larger confrontation with the Muslim World...

"Because the striking thing is that, for all their contempt, the bourgeoisophobes cannot ignore us. They can't just dismiss us with a wave and get on with their lives. The entire Arab world, and much of the rest of the world, is obsessed with Israel. Many people in many lands define themselves in opposition to the United States. This is because deep down they know that we possess a vitality that is impressive. The Europeans regard us as simplistic cowboys, and in a backhanded way they are acknowledging the pioneering spirit that motivates America--the heroic spirit that they, in the comfort of their welfare states, lack. The Islamic extremists regard us as lascivious hedonists, and in a backhanded way they are acknowledging both our freedom and our happiness.

Maybe in their hatred we can better discern our strengths. Because if the tide of conflict is rising, then we had better be able to articulate, not least to ourselves, who we are, why we arouse such passions, and why we are absolutely right to defend ourselves. "

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