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The Political Will of Western Civilization

Reader comment on item: White House Nonchalance toward the Middle East

Submitted by van der Ley (Canada), Mar 23, 2006 at 16:36

I am proposing yet another "must read" article, this time by Thomas Sowell. The link to the original text is: http://www.townhall.com/opinion/columns/thomassowell/2006/03/07/188869.html

I took the liberty to extricate the passages which I believe are pertinent to the current discussion:

"We are also living in a free society without the faith that built that society -- and without the conviction and dedication needed to sustain it. (…) In crisis, some have to put their lives on the line, as fireman, policemen and people in the military still do. But, for that, you have to believe that the institution and the society are worthy of your sacrifices.
We have now been through at least two generations of constant denigration of American society, two generations in which cheap glory could be gained by flouting rules and mocking values.
Is it surprising that we seem to have dwindling numbers of people willing to take responsibility and make sacrifices to preserve the social framework that makes our survival and advancement possible? (…)
There was a time when being at war meant accepting a great weight of responsibility, even among politicians. After Wendell Willkie waged a tough presidential election campaign against Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940, winning more votes than any Republican ever had before, nevertheless after it was all over, he became FDR's personal envoy to Winston Churchill.
In the midst of war today, we see former presidents and defeated presidential candidates telling the world how wrong we are -- sometimes collecting big bucks in foreign countries for doing so -- and members of Congress playing demagogic party politics with national security.
We still have the cathedral of freedom but how long will it last without the faith?"

I am convinced that these paragraphs reflect very well the opinions and ideas of many of you, who regularly post at Dr. Pipes' forum. In particular, it strikes on a very important chord and begs the question: do people at large (western society) have the political will to face current challenges by fully embracing our culture and values (built over millennia on Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian traditions)? Or have we (western society) passed the point of no-return?

In essence, one of the fronts in which the war is being fought is before our very eyes, and has nothing to do with winning the hearts and souls of the militant Muslims, but, rather, winning the hearts and souls of our friends and neighbours. It is about applying, for once, "Chomskyan" activism to a worthy cause – rescuing our civilization from the invading barbarians.

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