It was the great historian Arnold Toynbee who said “Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder.” That puts it very well, and takes the blame off the Islamists or the Mexicans, and puts it squarely on ourselves. If this country, this civilization is going to perish, then it will be because we sacrificed our values, and laughed at our principles — not because a few thousand terrorists or a few million Mexicans crossed our borders.
Which brings us ... to fear.
Isn’t “fear” just another name for “understanding consequences”? When you see a child playing with matches, are you afraid because you are a right-wing extremist, or because you understand the potential consequences to your house, your neighborhood or your national forest if the child is not stopped?
Is it fearmongering when the National Park Service hands out those brochures about grizzly bears when you drive into Glacier Park? Or is it merely an attempt to avoid the unpleasant task of scraping up bear scat for signs of human DNA after a couple of campers go missing?
Many of the people who complain most loudly about “fear, fear, fear” being the tactic of the “extreme right” are also the first ones to tell you that we are all going to die a horrible death from global warming. No fearmongering there. Just good, calm rational thinking about how the “extreme right” is trying to kill everyone off, including their own families, for the sake of a little filthy lucre.
What about the liberals’ fear of the Forest Service, and its long-standing policies to ensure that America’s national forests are utilized as a renewable resource rather than as a source of fuel for forest fires? Is fear OK for liberals, but not the rest of us?
What about the often repeated bromide that the Bush administration failed to sufficiently scare people prior to Hurricane Katrina’s devastating arrival on shore in 2005? Is ramping up fear OK for the “extreme right” in some cases, but not in others? Is there a double standard for fear? Will the “extreme left” admit that it is deathly afraid of wiretaps, timber companies, trans fat and Christian values, and hopes to spread that fear from sea to shining sea?
And perhaps most importantly, will the “extreme left” ever take responsibility for its strategy of “deny, defy, decry” as it tries to shut up those of us clamoring to save Western civilization? Will it accept the blame for the fall of Europe to Muslim domination 50 years from now because they pooh-poohed the warnings of people like me as “peddling fear”?
Do they have any idea of what “rough beast,” as the poet Yeats said, “slouches toward Bethlehem” to be born? Do they live in this same 21st century as you and me? Do they remember 9/11? Do they remember the Taliban destroying the giant Buddhas of Bamiyan?
Ah yes, that is a story the Islamo-fascists will tell their grandchildren with glee. The two megalithic statues were built on the side of a cliff more than 1,300 years ago and survived intact until the year 2001 when the Islamic Taliban regime in Afghanistan bombarded them with artillery and dynamite for more than a month to dismember them. Why did they do it? Perhaps just to prove their passionate intensity, or just to prove their disdain for all things that are not Islamic. All we know for sure is that a panel of fundamentalist clerics ruled that all statues are idols, so they had to be destroyed regardless of their artistic and historic and cultural importance.
What do you think will happen to Florence when it falls under sharia law? What will happen to the David of Michelangelo? What will happen to Botticelli’s “Adoration of the Magi”? What will happen to “Il Duomo” — the domed cathedral at the heart of the great city of the Renaissance? Will they be destroyed piecemeal? Or will the entire city have to be pulverized with an atomic blast? One idol after another, one Christian sculpture, one painting, one church after another? How else could it be cleaned up so that no Muslims are offended? Blow it all up.
Of course, Italy only has about a 1 percent population of Muslims now, but that will change [it’s now 2.6 percent]. France already has a population of 10 percent. Many other countries in Europe have between 3 and 6 percent. It doesn’t sound too threatening, but the fact of the matter is that in a generation or two, unless something is done to prevent the suicide of the West, these numbers will shift dramatically, and then it may be too late to save the Louvre or the Uffizi Gallery or the Prado.
If you do not think so, then you should read the words of the great Italian author Oriana Fallaci in her book “The Rage and the Pride,” written as a jeremiad to warn the world after September 11. Look it up for yourself online at http://italian.about.com/library/fallaci/blfallaci01.htm and if you read it with a clear mind you will understand that this is not the time to wonder how we can get along better with our Muslim friends. This is the time to worry about how we can survive our Muslim enemies.
Am I afraid? Of course I am afraid. The question is “Why are you not?”
Frank Miele is managing editor of the Daily Inter Lake. If you don’t like his opinion, stop by the office and he will gladly refund your two cents. E-mail responses may be sent to email@example.com