Monday, November 20, 2006

No Time to Stumble

Victor Davis Hanson on whether Western civilization will rise to the challenge:

We in the West write novels and film scripts about killing our American President, while those in the Middle East plan it, as their latest vows to blow up the White House attest. Better yet, we supposed liberals--not Nazis, communists, or monarchs--now will censor our own cartoons, operas, films, novels, and Pope, as if the Enlightenment was a mere construct. If we find the struggle to stop Islamism is too costly or at least too bothersome, maybe appeasement of it will prove less so.

In short, while the Islamists get bolder and crazier, we become more timid and all too rational, quibbling over this terrorist's affinities and that militia's particular grievances--in hopes of cutting some magical deal with an imaginary moderate imam or nonexistent reasonable militia chief or Middle East dictator.

Well beyond us now is any overarching Churchillian vision of our enemies. We lack the practical understanding of an FDR that all of these Islamists loathe us far more than they despise each other. Their infighting, after all, is like the transitory bickering of thieves over the division of loot that always pales before their shared hatred of the targeted bank owner.

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