One of the most brilliant analysts of the world in the past few years has been David Goldman, who wrote pseudonymously for several years as "Spengler," at Asian Times. He now has a regular column at PJM, and an outstanding discussion on the jihad and conflicting strategies, tactics and assumptions thereunder was had there just over the past few days. I added the following few words, but I wd commend the entire thoughtful, collegial conversation, "Bernard Lewis' Valediction," to anyone with a few minutes and an interest in the subject:
1–If we HAVE a strong strategic view (i.e., Islamic culture/civilization as Lewis has identified it is a world-historical and strongly negative phenomenon, comparable to communism except that it has endured and spread for 20 times as long), then it makes perfect sense to defend dissidents and minorities within that culture. And to refrain from making their positions intolerable by crude calls for all-out conflict. Subtle calls are quite sufficient.
2–The revanchist brand of Khomeinist Islam arose almost parallel with the collapse of Western cultural self-confidence. The caliphate had been shrunken, slashed and divvied up by the infidels for ~200 years before WWI–as late at 1920 Winston Churchill was planning (perhaps over-optimistically) to liberate Constantinople. So this entity is obviously not unbeatable. Basically, for ~50 years, WE’VE BEEN BEATING OURSELVES.
3–The Darwinian genius of Islam has been it’s social dynamic, enshrined in the shariah laws, whereby over time the incentives, both negative and positive, are all but irresistible for infidels TO BECOME MUSLIMS. Then they’re indeed sucked into the Borg-ian maw, and their strengths are turned into the conquest/conversions of OTHER infidels. This entire process is supported by laws of inheritance and legal supremacy tiers that make apartheid look like a children’s game. To say nothing about the universal death penalty for leaving the faith.
4–The weakness of this system is its hostility to human intellect, and happiness. That is why science and technology are snuffed out wherever Islam grows, while refugees increase. Before the advent of the scientific revolution, such societies could not flourish in terms of numbers, as famine and disease stabilized them. But since ~1850, it became possible for a rather small # of foreign technicians to provide technology for sanitation and medicine to enable a population boom. As long as food cd be expanded (also supported by foreign technology), an “Islamic” society cd grow in numbers without reforming its anti-intellect roots. (BTW, prior to the scientific revo, Islam WAS able to expand, via the ancient Arabian technique of pure plunder).
5–We have been living in a unique interim for ~50 years, whereby our superior-in-all-forms-of-strength civilization hs chosen to go hands-off, except to help Muslim states, with the only requirement being a steady oil-flow from the Persian Gulf. Oh, hands-off except for the continued development of hospitals, agriculture, water plants, even a few weapons factories. This cd have gone un indefinitely had the Islamic world managed to keep its hostility under wraps.
6–The Internet now allows dumb shmoes like us to see directly this hostility. We do not like it. These people come into our living rooms and kick over the furniture and rape our daughters and throw gasoline all over the house before lighting it on fire, and then leave and boast about how they will destroy our “decadent” civilization…We don’t like it.
The breaking point is approaching. The interim is fading. Westerners are slowly, slowly coming to understand that this ancient, barbaric civilization is simply incompatible with our own. Or any other.