November 08, 2006

Look on the Bright Side

Here is what the Democrats have to deal with now, and Bush will LONG gone before it fully develops.

Wretchard's famous 3 conjectures, and related posts, talked about the current window of time as equivalent to "the golden hour" during which a trauma patient can still be saved and death averted. This announcement tells us, very clearly and in no uncertain terms, that The Golden Hour has just about passed us by. Welcome to a future in which the use of nuclear weapons in war approaches certainty, followed by the inevitable responses. Welcome, in other words, to Fibonacci's propagating nuclear spiral of a multi-proliferation future. One that features nuclear weapons in the hands of death-cult barbarians, the vast majority of whom grew up in an atmosphere glorifying suicide-martyrdom as mankind's greatest moral achievement.
Well, at least someone gets to use nukes. We sure as heck don't apply.

Oh ya, the Winds link also informed me of a "sequel" to Simmon's Time Traveler. In it, are some very interesting datum, like this.

While Europe Slept…and Slept…and Slept…and Slept:

Bruce Bawer ( While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within) seems to be an unlikely candidate for the labels of "racist" and "bigot" and "fascist" that so many enjoy applying to anyone who warns of the threat of militant Islam.

Bawer is gay and the author of such books as Stealing Jesus: How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity and A Place at the Table: The Gay Individual in American Society and was best known in the United States before publishing While Europe Slept for his outspoken opposition to the likes of James Dobson and his Focus on the Family evangelical political organization.

Previously a lifelong New Yorker (and happy to be so), in 1998 Bawer and his partner packed up and moved to Amsterdam. Almost everything about their adopted country appealed to the two—the human scale of the skylines, the near absence of cars, the Dutch language, the love of books and culture, the European tradition of tolerance so emphasized in the major cities such as Amsterdam, and even the Dutch devotion to gezelligheid (small, daily pleasures)—but even in tolerant Dutch society Bawer and his partner became aware of the tradition of verzuiling, "pillarization," the division of society into religious and ethnic groups, each with its own schools, unions, political parties, newspapers, and even TV channels.

Bawer also became aware of the growing tension in Amsterdam and other European cities between the many groups living comfortably there under the umbrella of tolerance and much of the Muslim immigrant community, which seemed to benefit from, but show little or none of, the tolerance of the larger society around them.

In 1999, Bawer and his Norwegian-born partner moved to Oslo where they were soon legally married. Thanks to Norway’s "family unification" laws, Bawer had a right to residency and even five free months of language lessons (he’s good at languages and feels an obligation to speak the language of whatever country he’s visiting, much less residing in.) In their years together in Europe since 1998, as the dustjacket rather breathlessly explains—

"Across the continent—in Amsterdam, Oslo, Copenhagen, Paris, Berlin, Madrid, and Stockholm—he encountered large, rapidly expanding Muslim enclaves in which women were oppressed and abused, homosexuals persecuted and killed, ‘infidels’ threatened and vilified, Jews demonized and attacked, barbaric traditions (such as honor killing and forced marriage) widely practiced, and freedom of speech and religion firmly repudiated.

"The European political and media establishment turned a blind eye to all this, selling out women, Jews, gays, and democratic principles generally—even criminalizing free speech—in order to pacify the radical Islamists and preserve the illusion of multicultural harmony. The few heroic figures who dared to criticize Muslim extremists and speak up for true liberal values were systematically slandered as fascist bigots. Witnessing the disgraceful reaction of Europe’s elites to 9/11, to the terrorist attacks on Madrid, Beslan, and London, and to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Bawer concluded that Europe was heading inexorably down a path to cultural suicide."

What you may decide after reading Bawer’s book—decide about these extraordinary claims and about Bruce Bawer himself—may be quite different, but both Bawer’s personal anecdotes about gay-bashing from Muslims and his excerpts from various European media reactions and dialogues, especially those following terrorist attacks or the very public murders of Theo van Gogh, Pim Fortuyn, and others, should be of interest.

Early in the book, Bawer underlined the essential difference between the peculiar American form of fantasy-ideology religious fundamentalism he’d long fought, and the more pervasive and lethal Muslim variety he was encountering in Europe—

"The main reason I’d been glad to leave America was Protestant fundamentalism. But Europe, I eventually saw, was falling prey to an even more alarming fundamentalism whose leaders made their American Protestant counterparts look like amateurs. Falwell was an unsavory creep, but he didn’t issue fatwas. James Dobson’s parenting advice was appalling, but he wasn’t telling people to murder their daughters. American liberals had been fighting the Religious Right for decades; Western Europeans had yet to even acknowledge that they had a Religious Right. How could they ignore it? Certainly as a gay man, I couldn’t close my eyes to this grim reality. Pat Robertson just wanted to deny me marriage; the imams wanted to drop a wall on me. I wasn’t fond of the hypocritical conservative-Christian line about hating the sin and loving the sinner, but it was preferable to the forthright fundamentalist Muslim view that homosexuals merited death."

One can argue the cause and motivation for various observations in Bawer’s book, but the observations themselves can not easily be disputed—especially the fact so obvious to anyone who lives in a major European city today or who travels there, of elite, expensive central cities occupied by the natives of that country, but that city center often surrounded by rings of increasingly alien immigrant ghettos, most frequently Muslim immigrant ghettos in which neither the language of the host nation nor the laws nor the cultural mores nor the cultural traditions of that country are honored.

Here is the Link to the Full Message.


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