Monday, April 28, 2008

Europe, That Shitty Little Civilization

Shinkwrapped Ponders The Europe Question

A few years back Daniel Bernard, the French Ambassador to Britain, was famously overheard at a cocktail party, referring to "Israel, that shitty little country." A short while later, Newsweek questioned Israel's continuing viability as a state. Tony Judt also famously pondered the Israel question in his tract, published by New York Review of Books, "Israel, The Alternative."

In fact, it has become downright fashionable for leading intellectuals on the left to question whether Israel has a right to exist.

Not wanting to be outdone, now, it seems, leading bloggers on the right have decided to put the Europe Question on the table. Does Europe possess the cultural strength to ensure continuing viability in the face of Islam? If Europe refuses to pick iself up and fight off those who would assail them, is there any reason for us to help? Does Europe have a right to exist?

Shrinkwrapped throws his hat in the ring. His piece is (which diagnoses Gates of Vienna as suffering from a "regressive" reaction to the anxieity brought on by Islmization), ostensibly, a criticism of an article which appeared at Gates of Vienna, pondering the question of genocide as a response to Islamization in Europe. While I don't think genocide is a necessary, desirable, or excusable response, and while I do believe there is a campaign towards dehumanization of Muslims by certain forces in the counter-Jihad, I do not think Shrinwrapped arguments, in response to the Gates of Vienna piece, are credible.

In fact, why don't we take a look at Shrinkwrapped's arguments with the name of Israel replacing the name of Europe:

He posits Islam as an existential threat to Israel (Europe) and from that first
assumption, several other assumptions and their attendant conclusions
follow. A second assumption is that Israel (Europe) has specific cultural and
ethnic attributes that must be preserved at all costs. He then
assumes Israel (Europe) has no ability to defend itself culturally or

Israel (Europe) is deeply troubled by the tensions between the native, now
cosmopolitan pan-Israelis, and the unassimilated and angry Muslims within their
midst. Yet if we have learned nothing from the war in Iraq, we should have
at least been able to recognize that Islamism does not represent the future of
Islam. Everywhere that the Islamists have been able to temporarily gain
control, they have quickly become hated and their religious views
repudiated. This is as true in Iran under the Mullahs as in Fallujah under
the tender ministrations of the butchers of al Qaeda in Iraq.

Islam will adjust to modernity or marginalize itself. Israel (Europe)
will recover its history and culture, begin to reproduce, or go the way of other
failed civilizations. Israel (Europe) may yet commit cultural suicide, but
genocide as a defense is indefensible.

Once again, my point is not to defend the Gates of Vienna piece, or to defend genocide as a solution. I believe that, as a civilization, we hold to the principle that all men are created by a God who has infused us with an equal dignity. As such, I am in agreement with Shrinkwrapped on his final point; that is, I do not believe that the wholesale rounding up and murdering of entire groups of people is defensable.

The problem is, Shrinkwrapped, here, posits the question of Europe's continued existence, and he frames the question upon a Darwinian notion of cultural natural selection, rather than on moral grounds.

The European people have a developed system of law. Their laws ought to be respected, whether Muslims outbreed them or not. To question Europe's continued viability on the grounds of Darwinian natural selection is to play politics by will to power. Nazis and Islamists play politics that way. Western Civilization is built on the idea that the one is as important as the many. That the weak deserve protection under the law, just as the strong do.

Furthermore, it seems to me Shrinkwrapped perspective here flies in the face of the case made by writers like Mark Steyn, Bruce Bawer, and Robert Spencer.

Shrinkwrapped criticizes the Gates of Vienna piece, saying, "He posits Islam as an existential threat to Europe and from that first assumption, several other assumptions and their attendant conclusions follow."

Islam is an existential threat to Western Civilization. To posit that idea as the first assumption of an argument is hardly basing one's case on sandy soil. The problem with Gates of Vienna's piece, is not its assumptions, but the conclusions it leaps to based upon those assumptions. The problem is one of logical syllogism, rather than foundational assumptions.

But, back to Shrinkwrapped. Shrinkwrapped, apparently, questions the idea that Islam is an existential threat. Have we rejected Steyn's thesis, that European civilization is existentially threatened by Islam, leaving America with the possibility of a future without its European allies?

Shrinkwrapped's re-presentation of the existential threat posed by Islam flies in the face of Mark Steyn's book America Alone. As such, it is, in my opinion, a paradigm shift, if we are to take his position seriously.

The truth is:

1) Islam is an existential threat.

2) Europe does have specific cultural and ethnic attributes that must be preserved at all costs. That is not to say that I believe industrialized genocide is needed, nor that it ought to be entertained as a solution. That is not how we would have to fight the war. However, I would say that I do believe it is likely that we will find ourselves having to fight this war as mercilessly as we fought World War II. We have often been accused of genocide for our prosecution of that war. Atomic bombs and firebombing of Dresden are cruel methods. But, that's what we believed we had to do to save civilization. And, there are people in the Pentagon right now who are working on such plans with regard to this war.

3) Europe does seem to demonstrate that it has almost no ability, at this time, to defend itself culturally or demographically. And, I am not willing to sit idly by and let it go the way of other failed civilizations.

Additionally, I have deep misgivings with Shrinkwrapped making statements such as the following:

1) if we have learned nothing from the war in Iraq, we should have at least been able to recognize that Islamism does not represent the future of Islam.

Oh really?!? If anything the lesson of Iraq is exactly the opposite. Iraq is now an Islamist government and the Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee the country. Does Shrinkwrapped not care that an Islamist government has tolerated, and likely even encouraged, religious cleansing?

2) Many Muslims around the world may cheer when Israeli, American, or European infidels are murdered in the name of Islam but the vast majority have no interest in entering an existential fight they know they would lose.

I don't think the lesson of the war, thus far, is that Muslims would lose. They have, instead, made progress. Muslims have considerably more power in Europe than they did a few years ago. And, in American, now Condi Rice and the State Dept won't even allow the word Jihad to be used. In the UK, in the span of one week,
a) the government declared that Islamic terrorism should be called anti-Islamic activity,
b) the government decided to pay welfare benefits to the multiple wives of Muslims, and
c) the Archbishop of Canterbury floated the idea of combining Sharia law with British law. Additionally, the EU is attempting to declare criticism of religion to be racist hate speech.

I could go on and on. You know the stories. You read them here.

How is it that Shrinkwrapped believes that his complacent paradigm ought to be the rule for all of us? If not, we are suffering from regressive response to anxiety? That is absolute unmitigated bullshit.

Islamophobia is a natural response.

I would remind you, there are no moderate Muslim political organizations, media outlets, academic institutions, or governments anywhere in the world of any appreciable size.

3) Fundamentalist Islam's rigidity means that it is fragile.

This is the kind of Natan-Sharansky-happy-talk that brought us to approve of the election of Hamas in Gaza. Furthermore, Islamic fundamentalist rigidity has allowed Islam to thrive as a source of fascist power for 1300 years, going so far as to have dominated Western civilization for about 600 years.

4) apostates are now routinely being spared the death penalty Islam has traditionally demanded, women who have been raped are not being stoned to death, and FGM (female genital mutilation) is being increasingly criticized from within Islam itself. Further, there is an immense fifth column living within the heart of Muslim populations that, once engaged and exploited, will destabilize Islam as never before.

I would like to believe this is true, but instead, FGM is gaining ground in Europe and the Americas.

5) Europe will recover its history and culture, begin to reproduce, or go the way of other failed civilizations.

Easy for him to say. Impossible for me to say, without choking on my own bile.

Shrinkwrapped is overstating his case as a reaction to El Ingles going over the line. That he says the things he says does not make them true. At the risk of indulging in the kind of cheap psychoalaysis by proxy of which Shrinkwrapped is guilty, only children and schizoids believe that their words have a magic power to create reality.

Shrinkwrapped has crossed the line, and I am here stating my case so that, hopefully, fewer people will buy his.

The phrase "existential threat" means that we may be extinguished. In this case, we are talking about the possibility that the entire European culture may be extinguished.

When Iran threatens Israel, saying Israel must be "wiped off the map," we understand that as an existential threat. Israel may go to war with Iran over just that threat. In fact, according to our President George Bush, the United States may go to war with Iran over the threat to Israel. "All options are on the table."

Were Iran to actually follow through on their threat, we would expect Israel to do whatever they had to do to avoid being decimated.

That's what we do in a war.

In World War II we dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, and we firebombed Dresden. In the Civil War, we burned Atlanta to the ground. Victor Davis Hanson has written on the subject of what kind of overwhelming force is needed to win wars.

That does not mean that we need to be planning a genocide where we round up and kill Muslims en masse. However, I believe we understand here that Islam is an existential threat to Western Civilization. The testimony of experts on our own Congressional floor has repeatedly told us that it is highly likely that America will be hit with nuclear weapons in the next twenty years.

I believe we would be fools to step back and say that Islamic conquest is not a mortal threat. And, if we are hit with ultimate weapons, I would hope that we would fight back in kind.
In my opinion, Shrinkwrapped is preparing us for a deadly complacency as surely as El Ingles is, apparently (I say "apparently" because I did not read El Ingles' essay), preparing us for genocide.

Since I started writing on this subject in April 2002, one of the things I have worried over is that Europe would go fascist in response to Islam. I worried that the longer they waited to start fighting back, the more likely fascism would arise as a response.

I believe that my worries are being confirmed in front of my eyes.

But, I must say, that the overriding theory behind all my worrying is that I consider Europe to be an indispensible ally. I believe Europe is the father and mother of the United States. We don't want to lose our heritage.

That Shrinkwrapped would say what he says in this essay, and that he would be quoted on it in a positive light, profoundly disturbs me.

I am quite as incapable of making my bed with people who would consider Europe to be dispensible as I am of sitting with people who think that Ethnic Nationalist parties are the solution to our confrontation with Islamofascism.

Shrinkwrapped has gone over the line. I believe he needs to be condemned as clearly as does the Gates of Vienna piece in question.


Always On Watch said...

Hear, hear!

Shrinkwrapped basic assumptions--the craziest one perhaps that Islam is not an existential threat--are way off the mark, IMO.

Now, I admit that I've never before read Shrinkwrapped's blog. In fact, the only reason I've read it at all is that LGF posted on it--seemingly in agreement with it (or at least a portion of it).

Just now, I checked today's posting over at Shrinkwrapped and read this:

Europe can win its future and do its part to preserve Western civilization if and when it decides to enforce its own laws equally.

Is that support for Europe not being a shitty civilization?

I think that SW was a bit taken by surprise at all the comments at the previous post there. Maybe SW got so many comments because of LGF's posting? I note that a quick survey of other postings there shows not nearly as many comments.

Pastorius said...

I have never read Shrinkwrapped's blog, and I don't think I will be reading it, unless he posts a clarification which serves as an apology for his loose language.

Epaminondas said...

SW has hope that 'other' is reasonable. That's all that is. HOPE is not a plan.

But the entire issue is moot

We can do NOTHING to help Europe if they maintain their present birth rates.

Walter Laqueur a well known Euro counter jihadi, counter terrorist of LONG standing, HERE cites some truly frightening post Steynian census lines which show Italy and Spain with 30% or so of the current euro population by the end of this century.

That means that even with NO MUSLIM issue, they are dead. France declines slowly, everyone else goes faster, but with the exception of France no European nation has 50% of its current European population by the end of the century.

Except for Americans resettling Europe what CAN we do?

More, while we recognize the death threat the Muslim infusion THEY BEGAN for reasons of needed labor in the 1970's represents, if the Europeans don't rouse themselves to legislatively END all immigration, what CAN we do?

These issues, having more kids, and turning off immigration are not in American control. We can't even control our OWN border, or apparently, the sidewalk in Bklyn.

Either way, take Islam out of the picture and the solutions for europe are still the same. Islam and it's insistence on makign the world Islamic just makes the situation worse, and accelerates the immediacy of the crisis.

Epaminondas said...

More on this SW post here

Pastorius said...

There are two ways to ask the question, "What can we do?"

We can ask it and throw our hands up, or we can ask it, bound and determined that we are not going to let that which appears to be happening happen.

I vote for the latter.

At this point, there are things Europe can do. For instance, they can declare Sharia sedition, and then they can punish all those convicted of sedition with their choice; life in prison or deportation to a Muslim country of their choice.

Epaminondas said...

Indeed, but again, these are things THEY have to do. IF they can rouse themselves, any number of solutions can be found.

I don't see genocide, btw.

I see civil war.

And that may turn out to be THE triggering event.

Still want Obama at that moment?


Pastorius said...

Hi Epa,
Genocide is what I don't want to see happen, and that is why I oppose parties like the Vlaams Belang which is made up of founders who supported, and if I'm not mistaken, even helped out in genocide in the past.

That being said, almost anything would be better than losing Europe, as far as I'm concerned.

In 1492, the Spaniards decided that death or mass deportations or were the answer.

Mother Effingby said...

Jaco, I have read and read regularly Shrinkwrapped. Usually, he is on the money, but I am with GoV on the whole posting of El Ingl├ęs' piece. It is a war gaming piece, pure and simple, where every option, every contingency, every likelihood and possibility is explored. That is why it is called war gaming. Like improvising in jazz, a philosophical exercise on one hand and clarity of mind concerning trends and the present situation on the other. The problem is history. The naysayers all forget history, and the war gamers go to history first for possible outcomes. I can't believe the hysteria surrounding this piece, first from LGF, Spencer, Shrinkwrapped and now Pajamas Media. People need to read things in the context in which they were written.

KG said...

"Shrinkwrapped has gone over the line. I believe he needs to be condemned as clearly as does the Gates of Vienna piece in question."

Yet, Pastorius you admit that you haven't read the El Ingles essay!
So why does it "need to be condemned"?
I have--and very carefully. Nowhere in that essay does he advocate genocide. Nowhere.
He suggests that it's one of a number of possible outcomes should the political and bureaucratic elites continue on their present course.

Pastorius said...

Perhaps you are correct. Maybe it ought not be condemned. As I have not read it, I ought not have written that.

However, I will say that GoV's support of the Vlaams Belang, and toleration of commenters who, for instance, call for Jews and Catholics to be denied positions of power in Europe, makes me very wary of anything GoV puts out.

So, I am likely to believe Charles on this.

Maybe I shouldn't have, though, considering he apparently believes Shrinkwrapped's piece is worthwhile.

It is not.

Pastorius said...

Sra. Scherzo,
So, it is a war gaming piece?

Ok, that makes sense.

Let me go back to this; I am not really debating the merits of the GoV piece in this essay. My post here is an attack on Shrinkwrapped post, about which I have deep misgivings.


Pastorius said...

As I said to Sra. Scherzo, my post has little to do with the GoV piece.

Read Shrinkwrapped's piece;

1) he doubts Islam is an existential threat

2) he frames the question of Europe's continued existence in Darwinian rather than moral terms.

Bullshit to both ideas.

Epaminondas said...

1) It certainly is ..can there be any doubt? HOW?
2) Both are true

I was responding to the idea that El Ingles piece was a theoretical exercise on possibilities devoid of any real world results intended. Balderdash.

That's like claiming Alfred Thayer Mahan was pushing rubber duckies around a tub to see all outcomes.

Maybe I should take one of Mrs Epa's emergency salexa's today

Is there a full moon?

Epaminondas said...

Y'know it amazes me what sparks lots of comments.

Pastorius said...

Is there a full moon?

I'm not sure, but I have noticed that a lot of people seem to be in a bad mood the past few days, me included.

Epaminondas said...

Ditto here
But then the Yanks dropped the first 2 to Cleve, and they should have won both (worst of all, now I sound like a Red Sox fan, whining).

Anonymous said...

EPA - kindly check your mail

Jewel said...

Does anyone think the reverse is true? That muslims believe Islam is ascendant and that they would have no problem waging genocide on the najis kufrs of the world isn't incitement? I don't think genocide is a palatable answer, and I hope it would never come to that, but if history is any indicator, the bloodshed in this long war is going to flow like oceans, unless something happens that would prevent that from happening. But the other side has already made plans for our genocide. That much is for sure.

Pastorius said...

The Muslims are already waging genocide on Infidels in the Sudan.

They also have waged genocide on the Armenian Christians, as well as in many other places in the world, throughout history.

So yes, I do worry about the Muslims attempting to wage genocide against us.

Epaminondas said...

Jewel, one thing we know, if we look at the hysterical and ridiculous accusations made against the the west, it is a perfect indicator via projection, of exactly what those people will do in power. As it has been in the past from India to Spain.