Edward Cline is a novelist who has written
an outstanding series on the origins of the American Revolution titled Sparrowhawk
. He is also writing an excellent series of columns on our current predicament. Here is his latest:
With profuse apologies to the late Rod Serling, I don’t believe he could ever have conceived a more bizarrely macabre and surreal script than the one we see acted out every day in the “real” world. If he had, his producers might have accused him of being on drugs, while his sponsors and advertisers would probably have balked at paying for the broadcasting of such a disturbingly depressing story.
Let’s review the script.
Four and a half years ago, the United States was attacked by agents of a totalitarian enemy dedicated to destroying it. To date, the United States has not retaliated against that enemy, but, at great expense of blood and treasure, has sought to plant the dubious seeds of democracy. When “democracy” blossomed in Iraq, its citizens promptly elected a nascent theocracy. Instead of annihilating the enemy, the U.S. has campaigned to convert it to Western notions of peace and plenitude. The enemy is Islam, whose theocratic-political foundation requires submission or conquest in order to establish as much of a global caliphate as feasible. Short of that, Islam would be satisfied with just breaking America’s back and wiping the Mideast clean of all Jews.
In the meantime, President Ahmadinejad of Iran, accompanied by all the hoopla of a Busby Berkeley musical, announced his country’s entry into the family of nuclear nations, and continues to rant against the U.S. and Israel in the grand old style of Adolf Hitler, except in Farsi, and with no tie. His wardrobe is apparently off the rack of a Tehran thrift shop, he sports more facial hair than did Adolf, and evokes the image of a sneering bum. The creature regularly barks to a cringing world its marching orders. Only in fantasy could such a creature rise to become a nemesis. In the real world, he is a nemesis by default.
Another tyrant, Saddam Hussein of Iraq, found in a rat hole, should have been executed shortly after his capture, but is now grandstanding in a “Judge Judy”- style trial paid for by American taxpayers.
At home, the combined overt, covert, and incremental Islamic jihad in America may collide head-on against the very Catholic migration into the country of countless Mexicans who are as ignorant of and indifferent to American political principles as the average gringo high school student, politician, President or executive of CAIR. One must wonder how Islamists plan to convert them to the Koran, when their La Raza-class spokesmen encourage them to retain their Mexican identity, remain loyal to the country they abandoned, and profess “Chicano culture” to be superior to any other, including Islamic culture.
Well, not necessarily “superior,” as “separate.” Islam has produced no Nobel Prize winners in any field, while Mexico boasts of a few third-rate, steam-of-consciousness novelists and some communist muralists. If Mexico has any symphony orchestras or art galleries that don’t promote the myths of Maya or Aztlan, they are emulations of Western ideas. On the whole, the “Latino” version of ethnicity is similar to the Islamists’ preference for an insular identity that refuses to recognize an “infidel” or “European” Constitution. If friction ever occurs between the two “cultures,” which for the moment are allies for “open borders” and for availing themselves of the American welfare state, the sparks will fly. Individualism is not encouraged in either “culture.”
In Washington, President Bush fetes a totalitarian dictator, President Hu Jantao of Red China, and expresses “embarrassment” and “anger” when a protestor interrupts Hu’s speech by calling for religious freedom in China. Bush also stumbled when he referred to Mainland China as “The Republic of China” (forgetting the “People’s”), the formal name of Taiwan. And to top that, during a joint press conference with Hu, he betrayed Taiwan by asserting that he is opposed to Taiwanese independence, and hopes that the Mainland and Taiwan can be reunited peacefully, never mind the armada Beijing is assembling against Taiwan.
Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft and master of the mea culpa, betrayed freedom of speech by assuring President Hu at a luncheon -- doubtless screened to prevent the attendance of any embarrassing protestors -- that it was his belief “that industry and government around the world should work even more closely to protect the privacy and security of Internet users, and promote the exchange of ideas, while respecting legitimate government considerations.”
Which ideas should be “exchanged,’ or how the privacy and security of Internet users can be protected when the thought police are in charge, elude the non-intellectual, pragmatic Mr. Gates. “Legitimate government considerations” is a euphemism for the censorship of ideas Beijing does not wish its dhimmi to consider or exchange. Nor do Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo scruple to facilitate censorship at the behest of China’s totalitarians. Industries and governments that work “closely” to implement official policies constitute fascism. But this fundamental truism is over Mr. Gates’s head.
Russia, our alleged ally against terrorism, continues to provide Iran with nuclear technology and assistance so that Iran may better terrorize the West, and scolds the U.S. for even contemplating sanctions against Iran. Saudi Arabia, another alleged ally, is raking in the revenue from soaring crude prices, even though it has assured President Bush that it will help “stabilize” the market. The Saudis have just signed a trade pact with Red China that includes supplying the Mainland with oil, and in addition expressed an interest in investing in the creation of a Mainland petrochemical plant.
Iran is also courting China, Iraq and India. But our staunch ally Saudi Arabia, which is likely the sugar daddy of CAIR, its U.S. branches, as well as affiliated Muslim activist organizations -- all of them stealthily probing for holes where Sharia law can be established, and busy opposing freedom of speech -- very probably is a partner in a secret entente cordiale with Iran, having put aside for the time being their differences in Koranic interpretation in order to squeeze the West, particularly the U.S., into submission.
Thanks to environmentalism, the U.S. is at the mercy of a polyphony of other noisily hostile oil-producing nations besides Saudi Arabia and Iran: Venezuela, Nigeria, and the U.A.E. Not to mention the whining spokesmen of the protected manatees of the Gulf of Mexico, the whales of California, and the wolves and moose of Alaska.
In the names of “sensitivity” and multiculturalism, the press and news media are not interested in championing freedom of speech, except perhaps the freedom to report the fading of that freedom and the irrelevancy of the First Amendment. Universities, colleges, high schools and middle schools are largely in the hands of pedagogues who not only indoctrinate American children with collectivist ideas, but dumb them down, as well. Businesses and industries spend fortunes on lobbyists and corrupt Washington politicians to stem the flow of regulations and controls, all to no avail, for they are the first to shout that they are in the market as a “public service.”
So, there is the script. Or part of it. The West is laboring under a under siege of its own making, for, as others have noted, it lacks not the means to vanquish its enemies, but the will and confidence in its own value. It has painted itself into a corner of inaction and impotency by relativistic self-doubt and the discarding of reason and the absolutes reason would commit it to.
All in all, it is a grim and discouraging show we are watching, the consequences of the collapse of philosophy, specifically the abandonment of reason.
Beat that, Rod Serling.
For more articles by Ed Cline go to the archives of Rule of Reason
or The Dougout