May 2, 2002


Policy Schism Widens Between U.S., Europe : On the eve of an annual summit, friction is apparent on a number of issues, from American support of Israel to steel tariffs. (PAUL RICHTER, May 2 2002, LA Times)
Europeans, whose countries include growing Islamic populations, were notably more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause than to Israel's. Europeans were also highly skeptical of U.S. plans for military action in Iraq.

There's been an unlikely and impressive across-the-board recognition in America that we are engaged in a Clash of Civilizations with the Islamic world. Particularly startling has been the vehemence of Libertarians and the Left who are generally dismissive of Western culture, which with its roots in the idea of Fallen Man is largely antithetical to both their philosophies. Like it or not, when you accept that this is a civilizational conflict and that you think it's important that we win, you accept an awful lot of Judeo-Christian baggage that such folks would not normally be comfortable with. But the exceptional greatness of America lies in the fact that her people are Americans first and partisan ideologues only a distant second. Since America is the ultimate expression of Western ideals, this makes them de facto defenders of Western Civilization.

What is less well understood is that the European hostility to the United States in this conflict is an entirely logical function of their increasing divergence from Western Civilization, which will be followed in the matter of a few years by their absorption into Islamic civilization. Europe has long since ceased to believe in the values that define Western Civilization--chiefly individual freedom cojoined with personal responsibility. They are already arrived at the late stage of deterioration that Alexander Tytler predicted would be the fate of democracy :

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury. From that time
on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always
followed by a dictatorship.

The average age of the world's great civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence:
from bondage to spiritual faith;
from spiritual faith to great courage;
from courage to liberty;
from liberty to abundance;
from abundance to selfishness;
from selfishness to complacency;
from complacency to apathy;
from apathy to dependency;
from dependency back again to bondage.

But in the midst of their selfishness, apathy and complacency, they are in the process of turning their countries over to immigrant populations (mostly from the Islamic world). We can see--and the poor benighted people of France have obviously seen--a day in the not too distant future when France will be a Muslim nation (I believe there are already more mosques than churches in the country). And so France, which has already departed Western Civilization, will eventually be a part of Islamic Civilization.

So why on Earth would America listen to Europe's whining about this war? Not only are they not on our side now, if it goes on long enough (say twenty or thirty years) they'll be on the opposing side soon.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 2, 2002 8:30 PM
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