This post was written for Phylax Blog:
As an American I am always saddened by the invective and accusations hurled at the United States, a country that I genuinely love. Hating America and everything it stands for is perfectly understandable when it comes from our enemies. That is to be expected. When that revulsion and disgust emanates from nations and people that America shares so much in common, it is downright depressing and demoralizing. It leads many Americans like myself, to perceive that, in fact, we are isolated and alone in the current struggle for survival. Perhaps this isolation is partly of our own making. I rather think that America's sins as vast as they may be in the eyes of our fellow Westerners, are only partly to blame.
Many years ago I remember watching a old Alfred Hitchcock movie made during World War II. The name of this movie was "Lifeboat." It's about the survivors of a merchant ship that sinks in the Atlantic after being torpedoed by a German U-Boat. They find themselves cast adrift on a solitary lifeboat and coincidentally after the submarine is similarly sunk they pick up a sole survivor, its Nazi skipper. So there they are fighting for survival, but more importantly, fighting each other, which the Nazi takes full advantage of as well as encourages. Eventually they unite and end up throwing the Nazi over board only to have him replaced by another who is just as determined. Truly, an allegory for our times.
As Western civilization is confronted by its greatest challenge, as important as the one faced by a motley collection of small Greek city states about to be engulfed by an expansive Persian Empire thousands of years ago, Westerners spend their precious time debating and pointing fingers at each other. Why are Europeans and Americans, their cultural offspring, so at odds? Is this because, as so many Europeans are apt to think, Americans are stupid? Is it because America, in its lofty, wrong-headed disdain for the rest of the world, misses the essential amid the clutter of its own low culture? Or is it because, at least among those who think about these things, America correctly perceives a psychological flaw at the heart of general European thinking.To Europeans, Americans look like absent-minded bullies, overlooking the rising power of a Europe that demands to be taken seriously. To Americans, Europeans are all talk and no action, with a highly inflated opinion of their importance. The worst of it is that so few of us on either side of the Atlantic discuss this 400 pound elephant in the corner of the room: militant Islam.
Western civilization is in crisis. That crisis emanates in large part from Europe, although in all fairness America has its share of problems, as Demonax correctly points out. Multiculturalism is a European invention. Its cherished values of anti-fascism, feminism, secularism, pacifism, anti-colonialism, were all the product of a European sub-culture of academic Marxists and left wing radicals who were determined to destroy Western civilization, colonialism and capitalism through a cultural relativism. This was in turn taken up by a strongly Left wing media. Although multi-culturalism has crossed the pond and has made inroads in the United States; there are important differences. America has always done a better job of assimilating its immigrants. Europe has made little effort to do so. Immigrants, no matter where they come from can never be considered German or French or Belgians. They are, in fact, isolated in self-contained ghettos where they are supported by a societal safety net that does not even require them to do what they were brought to Europe to do initially, that is, work.
European decline has a number of dimensions including demographic (link), ideological (link) and economic(link). They are too numerous and beyond the scope of this post. Ted and Phylaxians of all stripes have done a superb job of detailing European shortcomings. Unlike many Europeans, who are either afraid to speak out or oblivious to what is happening around them, Phylaxians represent an awakening segment of the West that recognizes multi-culturalism's role in leading our respective societies to disaster. Western multi-culturalism is an expression of self-contempt and self- destructiveness. It is deeply perverse, irrational and requires us to ignore the murderous hatred directed against us by the officially oppressed. It's deeply disturbing that at the same time that many Phylaxians decry American ineptitude with regard to its policies vis a vis Cyprus, the Balkans, Turkey and elsewhere, that they cannot bring themselves to criticize Europe for failing to stand up to the most chillingly fascist phenomena of our time in places like Iraq or Iran.
After World War II, Charles De Gaulle thought to compensate the loss of France's Arab colonies by forming a vast Euro-Arab Mediterranean partnership with free circulation of goods, a common diplomacy, a parliament and a Euro-Arab university. (link) The European Left also strengthened its alliance with Arab states, supporting mass immigration and Arab causes. The spiritual father of this movement was Edward Said, an academic who devoted much of his work to fostering the Arab Muslim perception of history (link). The Left and the Muslim population, natural allies, both share a visceral anti-Americanism and a totalitarian propensity. The Left draws a great deal of political support from Muslim immigrants and has used them in turn to destroy traditional Christian values standing in the way of bringing about an "alliance of civilizations." This is a strictly a European phenomenon.
The United States has problems of its own and I don't want to downplay our own serious issues. The threat of Whahhabism within the US itself radicalizing American Muslims in Saudi supported mosques or schools(link), the attempts by the American Left to follow a similar agenda by adopting the worst aspects of multi-culturalism while simultaneously subverting the struggle in Iraq and Afghanistan, the indoctrination of students by Leftist educators, the failure to control our borders and illegal mass migration coupled with a lack of assimilation of new immigrants, the failure to readjust American foreign policies while relying on the failed policies of the past, and the inability to stand up to Islamic extremism wherever it may emanate.
The biggest difference between the US and Europe is the impact of 911. Part of America woke up on that day. I say part because a substantial portion of the American public and the collective leadership of the Democratic Party, supported in large measure by the mainstream media, has adopted the European approach. This struggle is long term, requires sacrifice and resolve, something that few Westerners understand. Osama Bin Laden is a very articulate and lucid individual who is honest, on the whole about what he wants to accomplish. All we have to do is listen to him. He sees this as a struggle between Christianity and Islam: "In the final phase of the ongoing struggle, the world of the infidels was divided between the US and the Soviet Union. Now we have defeated the more difficult and dangerous of the two. Dealing with the pampered and effeminate Americans will be easy." In his worldview, Americans run at the first sign of trouble, a perception reinforced by the previous American approach which mirrored the European approach to terrorism. No response beyond angry words and misdirected missiles.The response by President Bush came as nasty surprise. It is no accident that there have been no successful attacks on the American homeland. Unfortunately, the current debate in this country between Democrats and Republicans is causing many Islamists to again see the US as a "paper tiger." Part of this is because they fail to understand the role free debate in a free society. The war is far from over and they continue to prepare for the final Jihad and subsequent victory, whereas our side is weak, vacillating and unable to unify against a common enemy because we are too busy calling each other names, but don't worry, be happy. Peace is at hand.