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Reader comment on item: Merkel's Historic Folly

Submitted by James Luce (Spain), Aug 24, 2017 at 02:37

Dear Mr. Pipes,
Your interview with Ms. Enghusen presents the best statement of the threat of Islamism I've seen. It remains a mystery as to why such clarity of thought remains invisible to Western policy makers.

Two comments:

1. There is a precedent for what you observed happen to a once prosperous and peaceful Finland and to the decline of Western Civilization in general...the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Guilt was not a factor, but otherwise the causal chain is almost identical.
a) Declining population (leading to the necessity to hire mercenaries and also to economic decline);
b) Unchecked "barbarians" (i.e non-Romans then, non-Europeans now) pouring over the borders;
c) A new religion (in the case of Rome it was Christianity: in the modern West it's radical Islam) attacking traditional values and bringing religious leaders into politics...ultimately leading to a loss of secular control over government;
d) Rise of a rival power in the East that competed with the West for resources. In the case of the Western Empire, it was the Eastern Empire. In the case of the contemporary West it's China;
e) Increased corruption and stagnation in government at all levels.

2. Islamism is indeed the greatest threat to Western Civilization, whereas global climate change and overpopulation are global threats that may bring down all civilizations in the not-too-long term. There is not much we can do about the two global threats short of a general nuclear war that drastically reduces population and also creates an atmospheric cloud so dense that it blocks much of the solar energy that's a major cause of our overheating. A global nuclear war would certainly reduce carbon emissions for the simple reason that there would be no functioning modern industry and less human activity in general adding carbon to the atmosphere.

Thus, Islamism is the only major threat to Western Civilization that humans have any chance to counter (absent the aforementioned nuclear winter). If not quelled in the short term certainly Islamism will bring down the West long before climate change or overpopulation will do so.

Yours, James Luce


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Daniel Pipes replies:

The basic difference between the Roman case and our own is that the Romans were beaten militarily.

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