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But something central is Overlooked

Reader comment on item: Immanuel Kant vs. Israel

Submitted by Ron Thompson (United States), Aug 17, 2010 at 18:27

This thesis has some interesting points, but it stunningly overlooks one colossal fact, namely the intellectual, emotional,demographic, and threatened and actual violent physical assault on the West by Islam. Although the 'paradigm shift' described by Hazony started earlier than the rise of an Islam more lunatic than its previous historical surges, that rise is so discordant with the supposed virtues of the international, post-nation-state paradigm, that instead of adjusting to it in a realistic way, it has gone into a kind of massive Denial, at least among the elites who lack the martial virtues of the earlier generations that fought WW II and then the nerve-wracking, multi-decade Cold war.

At least for a passing moment, they can be forgiven thinking and hoping that an era of near-universal peace had arrived, particularly after the two remarkable years of 1989 and 1991.

But, unsurprisingly to those who love its study, History did not 'end', but re-emerged with a new threat of universal violence and darkness. Small wonder then that this widespread, dare I say it, elite wimpiness looks with something like hatred on the one Western nation that is (for the most part) unapologetically willing to act in its self-defense, even preemptively - as it very likely to have to do again soon.

And when even the United States, with its clumsy and incompetent attempt at unilateralism over the last decade, calls our new universal opponent a "great and peaceful" religion, how can we possibly focus on the inevitable challenges ahead. So the times seem more and more like the late 1930's, a parallel used wrongly to justify the invasion of Iraq, but all too appropriate now for the risk posed by Iran and the likelihood that it will both use nuclear weapons when it has them, and disseminate them to Islamic terrorist groups

If the parallel fits this time, it is Israel in the role of Winston Churchill - except even Israel is not ready to identify the core teachings of Mohammed as the true enemy. (And, one might argue, its historic core failures as well,namely the utter failure to surmount certain ethnic, clan, and tribal values

which, instead of being transcended, were jet fueled with the peculiar and unique energies of the darkest strains of monotheistic belief) It's startling to realize the new dynamics that might result worldwide if some segment of the Western elite recovers its backbone and gives voice to the feeling that is already more widely spread among ordinary citizens both in Europe and in the United States.

To take just one instance, who knows, we might have half the Moslem World on our side within a short time. I refer of course to the half of the population that is female, and for all practical purposes about as suppressed in the core 90-100%

Moslem countries of the Middle East as slaves were in the American South 150 years ago. (This is true even if most Moslem women with genuine opportunities in the West shamefully prefer to defend the image of Islam rather than do or say anything in behalf of their submerged and cowed tens of millions of 'sisters' back in the core Moslem countries) Who can say what might happen if one American or other major Western leader, as DeGaulle would say, "stands up, takes a firm stand, and faces events."? That stand, one of several candidates, might be, "Islam's suppression of women is an unforgivable sin, and we cannot call great any religion that has this practice at the core of its identity.

If Moslems can't purge themselves of this injustice against half their population, they should consider finding a new source of morality." (as Ayann Hirsi Ali and a handful of other self-emancipated women from Moslem lands have done, so far with almost no response or resonance from the, how else to say it, cowardly West).

So there's some food for the intellect here from Hazony's article, but almost nothing for the emotions, especially the emotions that are needed to confront the new universal opponent we are faced with, which somehow Hazony failed to work into his essay.

Ron Thompson

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