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What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

On Choosing One's Battles

Far be it from me to inveigh against The American Conservative for any light and transient cause, especially after defending the redoubtable Daniel Larison in these pages (though he is more than capable of defending himself), but a couple of TAC's contributors have managed to lash themselves into a tizzy over Nick Griffin, and his recent appearance on the BBC, as well as Geert Wilders, who was finally permitted to enter the UK.

First, David Lindsay expressed his support for the initial ban, and then proceeded to opine that the ban should be extended to other ideological undesirables likely to disturb the public tranquility:


I fully supported the ban on Geert Wilders from visiting Britain, as he was finally permitted to do this week. He is in the Pim Fortuyn tradition of opposing Islam so that the Netherlands can remain a drug-addled, whore-mongering country where the age of consent is 12, contrary to the wishes of its general public either in the staunchly Protestant north or in the devoutly Catholic south. That is not any West which I for one wish to defend. But then, it is not in fact the West at all. It is only the most extreme, and in that sense logically consistent, manifestation of the pseudo-West proclaimed by the neoconservative movement, or what’s left of it these days.

I could perceive this as a reasonable criticism of Wilders, as he does seem to defend a sort of Netherlands that no conservative should be keen to uphold. But questions stubbornly persist. Is it possible, politically speaking, to prioritize either the struggle against hedonistic liberalism or the struggle against Islamic immigration, regarding one as more exigent at this moment? After all, transforming the decadent Dutch culture would be a multi-generational project, mainly apolitical in nature, while turning round the immigration problem could be accomplished straightaway were there any will to do so. Is it not obvious, moreover, that the reasons for the initial ban of Wilders were that his presence in the UK might inflame the Muslim mobs, and that his message would fall afoul of Islamophilic sentiment in the establishment? It is all well and good to advocate the banning of hedonists, but that is not what happened.

Dear reader, there is yet more.

On TAC's main blog, Freddie Gray offers his opinion on the controversy surrounding the BBC appearance of Nick Griffin:


The country has worked itself into an absurd state of mass hysteria about this televisual showdown. Upper lips are wobbling throughout the Isles. There have been long and exhausting debates about whether the Beeb should let such a notorious creep espouse his unpleasant party’s policies on the air; nervous spokesman are warning of riots in the cities.

Well, I'd certainly like to know what, precisely, is so horrible about the BNP's policies, aside from the awkward and superfluous membership restrictions. Is it the openness to nationalizing some industries? Surely this is a trifle by comparison to the impending obliteration of a national identity. Is it the celebration of Northern European 'folkish' elements? Must we have yet another discussion of hypocrisy and double standards? As Richard Spencer observed over at Taki's, Europeans are now expected, not only to affirm the Other in all of his unassimilable Otherness, but to loathe themselves:

When I was at grad school, I met a dumb woman who once taught at a British public school and told me that for a summer project, she had her students make evil “Nazi” advertising posters in which the ultimate form of beauty was light skin, blond hair, and blue eyes. It was, of course, drilled into the students how absolutely immoral and disgusting it would be to value these distinctive features of Northern Europeans. Only Nazi bogeymen would do that!

Now, as some readers will remember, my wife is Russian/Georgian/indeterminate Central Asian. She is one-quarter Georgian, some small percentage Asian, and mainly Russian; but she looks Georgian, with some slight Asian features. I look Irish, though I'm probably no more than one-quarter Irish, and half-Polish. My eldest son, however, inherited from his maternal grandmother the fair skin, light blond hair, and light green eyes of.... those detestable Northern Europeans. So let us not speak falsely now: many multiculturalists no longer enjoin us to be open to the Other and his culture, and to value his ethic identity, but to hate ourselves, in some sense, to hate people who look like my son, and to regard them with suspicion, as symbols of a hated ethnocultural identity.

Shouldn't this be frightening?

Finally, in a post entitled Nazi News, David Lindsay, taking aim at Nick Griffin's invocation of Churchill on the aforementioned BBC appearance, dredges up the evidence of Churchill's period ethnic insensitivity, and declares that the BNP can have the old, dead bigot.

Honestly, dealing with this material is quite tiresome, so I will not belabour the point. Instead, I will pose a simple question: What is really more frightful, the prospect of Europeans preserving the ethnic and cultural identities, or the sort of world in which, as Brenda Walker observes, they may be threatened with death for doing so:



Muslim fury against Wilders is evident in a video making the rounds: Muslim protestors insult Geert Wilders. Young Islamic men with British accents professed their loyalty to principles of sharia law, which they say requires his execution:

"We're here to protest against this man, Geert Wilders, who insulted the message of Mohamed, [blah blah aleikum Islam]. We're here to give him a message that, like he's doing his interview today holed up, he'll remain holed up, because he obviously knows that in Islam, the punishment for the one who insults the prophet is capital punishment. And he should take lessons from people like Theo Van Gogh and others who faced the punishment. So obviously we're here to warn him and remind him that he's going to remain holed up as long as he insults Islam and Muslims.”

Interviewer: Is that going to be construed a threat, what you just said?

“Well, obviously I'm saying, I'm not saying that I'm personally am going to carry out, but, he needs to know that there are Muslims in every corner of the earth, and these people they all have the love for the message of Mohamed [blah blah aleikum Islam]. And in the message of Mohamed he said, 'the one who insults any of the prophets, kill him.' That is a capital punishment. Not necessarily that personally I'm going to carry it out, but he should be warned that, you know, of the consequences of it.” [VDARE.COM note: Transcript here, the "blah blah" being the transcriber's substitute for whatever the fellow is saying when he's not speaking English.]

It's interesting how Wilders is seen as a threat to public order because of telling an unpleasant truth. But the truly dangerous Muslim mobs who crowd British streets with death threats are apparently regarded by British officials as incidental.



Nick Griffin may be a buffoon, for all I know, and Geert Wilders a libertine. However, if we are incapable of distinguishing between folks who want to employ immigration policy to preserve ethnic and cultural identities, and raving mobs calling for the execution of those who "blaspheme" the "prophet" Mahomet, then we have a serious problem, an inability to discriminate between problems internal to our own civilization and problems we needlessly and stupidly import.

Comments (67)

Amen.

Btw, I've not been following, but wasn't one of the original objections of "dissident cons" (a new phrase I just picked up in the earlier thread) precisely that the "neo-cons" didn't care enough about preserving their ain folk? When did this get totally flip-flopped as seen in these quotes?

I honestly don't know when this got turned around. I suspect that it has something to do with the tight association of neoconservatism and the campaign against Islamization; in spite of the "religion of peace" meme, the perception was created that those favouring the struggle against encroaching Islam were also bellicose nationalists who advocated senseless foreign wars. Oppose the wars; oppose the conception of the threat, I suppose. There is no nuance in these associations, any appreciation that, while there exists a threat, it is much more a matter of immigration than foreign policy. Perhaps there is also something of that "co-belligerence" strategy some have advocated, according to which social conservatives of all religious and cultural affirmations will ally against the secular West.

I'm not a fan of that one.

David Lindsay makes a good point about the company we keep. Wilders is David Duke in lavender and represents a West stripped of any spiritual substance or identity. Any association with him is self-defeating and likely to taint the immigration restrictionist cause to which Lindsay belongs.

Perhaps there is also something of that "co-belligerence" strategy some have advocated, according to which social conservatives of all religious and cultural affirmations will ally against the secular West.

The Dinesh D'Souza/Peter Kreeft approach. But somehow I doubt that TAC would be advocating that. Still, if it serves one of their writers' purposes to bring in the decadence of the Netherlands, he'll do so.

Nor am I a fan of that strategy. Hence the phrase "incommensurable evils" that I've often used. Christian conservatives will have few allies in the fight either against Islam or against secular liberalism.

Wilders is David Duke in lavender

Oh, sheesh.

Excellent post, Maximos.

Apparently the BBC's smear campaign has backfired:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/8323638.stm

So let us not speak falsely now: many multiculturalists no longer enjoin us to be open to the Other and his culture, and to value his ethic identity, but to hate ourselves, in some sense, to hate people who look like my son, and to regard them with suspicion, as symbols of a hated ethnocultural identity.

Shouldn't this be frightening?


My daughter looks that way, too, and yes, it frightens me. It is cultural expropriation intended to make way for material expropriation. Marxism has been replaced by third worldism, with white folks ("white folk's greed runs a world in need," Mr. Obama) as the bourgeois and everyone else as the proletariat.

David Lindsay makes a good point about the company we keep. Wilders is David Duke in lavender and represents a West stripped of any spiritual substance or identity. Any association with him is self-defeating and likely to taint the immigration restrictionist cause to which Lindsay belongs.
Give me a break. This sort of nonsense makes me fume, not least because Lindsay's immigration restrictionist cause is, to the extent that it will not make the sort of ethnic and frankly racial distinctions between immigrants, simply incoherent as restrictionism. Whatever he thinks he believes, his non-discriminatory 'restrictionism' ends up in the replacement of the English, Welsh, and Scots by foreigners. The only question is which groups of foreigners will do the replacing. But at least he wasn't racist, which is to say that he didn't take a stand on a position that would actually accomplish what he professed to wish to accomplish. No, he was just another of R.L. Dabney's Northern Conservatives, his purpose being merely "to give enough exercise to Radicalism to keep it "in wind," and to prevent its becoming pursy and lazy ,from having nothing to whip."

Wilders and Griffin both are buffoons, apparently, and as such they are in good company with the ridiculous parliamentarians of their ridiculous countries. See, for instance, the ridiculous 'Conservative' David Cameron. Were buffoonery a disqualification to office, there would be no one left. So let us not speak of buffoonery.

Wilders is David Duke in lavender and represents a West stripped of any spiritual substance or identity

Geert Wilders does represent a West denuded of its spiritual substance; but he still represents what is, in essence, a Western cultural heresy, which is to say that the debate between Wilders and traditionalists remains a strained family feud. The debate between Islam and the West, to the extent that the West even rouses itself to prosecute its own case, is between antithetical civilizations. My point, succinctly stated, is that as loathsome as Wilders' culture is, it is preferable by far to deal with that culture in isolation than with the complicating factor of incompatible cultural substances; it should not be forgotten that the dominant faction of the cultural left aligns itself politically with the Other, so as to extirpate more rapidly the indigenous cultures of the West. It is not, after all, Wilders' cultural radicalism that the left finds abhorrent, but his defense, however compromised, of Western identity; that is the thing that enkindles the wrath of the left, and there is no mitigating that fact.

And so far we've only answered the "in lavender" part of Kevin's nonsense. The "David Duke" part is even more ridiculous. I sincerely doubt that he could find a parallel statement made by both Duke and Wilders that I would be inclined to agree is outrageous, compromising of conservatives, horrible, etc. He'd probably find it difficult to find a significant parallel statement, period. Of course, perhaps from Kevin's perspective someone with my opinions on, say, Muslim immigration is also "David Duke in electronic bits" or something like that.

So let us not speak of buffoonery.
Does that mean Blut und Boden played to a techno-pop soundtrack with abortuaries in the background is off limits?

Lindsay is opposed to open borders, and unless you think the Cornish and Celts are being barred from returning to their native lands, I am not sure what your point is. The West's major disease is spiritual and hard to see how either skinheads or men in spandex are the basis for a revival.

Below, by the way is his remedy;

We need to re-learn the value of structured daily prayer, of setting aside one day in seven, of fasting, of almsgiving, of pilgrimage, of the global community of faith as the primary focus of personal allegiance and locus of personal identity, of the lesser outward and greater inward struggle, of the need for a comprehensive and coherent critique both of capitalism and of Marxism, of the coherence between faith and reason, and of a consequent integrated view of art and science.

The answer to the challenge of the Sunna is Sacred Tradition. The answer to the challenge of the Imamate is the Petrine Office. And the answer to the challenge of Sufism is our own tradition of mysticism and monasticism.

Who says by shunning Wilders, secular rightists and Mosleyites, we can't also be opposed to mass immigration and Islamic cultural intrusions?

Sounds like a replay of the '30's, when panic led many to rush towards a movement claiming to be a "bulwark against Bolshevikism".

Who says by shunning Wilders, secular rightists and Mosleyites, we can't also be opposed to mass immigration and Islamic cultural intrusions?
You'll be a great deal more effective if you make common cause with people who are on your side, to the extent that they are on your side. If someone is against unassimilable immigration, then he is my ally to that extent. We can fight over libertinism (a battle I believe we have utterly lost) later on. I want to save what we can.

Kevin writes: "Wilders is David Duke in lavender."

Well. Wouldn't it be simpler, Kevin, just to have done with it & call him a fag?

Oh, & btw - I have yet to see anybody producing any justification whatsoever for describing Geert Wilders as a "buffoon." So far as I can tell, he's a genuinely courageous man, who really is, for once, "speaking truth to power."

So it goes without saying that all the dunces (including our local ones) are in league against him.

Steve,
First, plenty of people who are gay are not lavender in their worldview, and don't think human society should alter its institutions to accomodate their sexual urges.

Second, if Wilder is such a fine representative of Western civilization, perhaps you can invite him to your local church, show his wonderfully nuanced filmed,quote his most stirring passages in defense of Western values and get back to us on the reaction.

Glad you enjoyed the Jonathan Marcus parody.

Kevin: the Jonathan Marcus parody was, indeed, well done. Thanks for owning up to it.

Sounds like a replay of the '30's, when panic led many to rush towards a movement claiming to be a "bulwark against Bolshevikism".

This is a great point, I think. Personally, I have a lot more respect for ordinary Muslims, who revere something, than I have for nihilistic secularists and liberals, who revere nothing and despise all reverence. But why ally to either of them? What is there to be gained from it? The verdict of history will be kindest on those who refuse to be drawn into either form of ersatz solidarity. And the verdict of history matters. God knows, whoever the enemies of the Church are fifty years from now, they'll use any pandering to either doctrine (Fortuynism or Islamism) as evidence against Catholicism. In the long term, the best strategy is to ignore strategy and stick to principle, swerving neither to the left nor to the right.

Steve, thanks, but couldn't carry guilt around any longer.

Sorry Bobcat!

No, it's not a great point, because it is a pretty unpleasant and gratuitous attempt to associate Wilders and anyone who has anything to do with him with Nazism. Let's not miss that. And I say this as someone who agrees that in general traditionalist American conservatives may have fellow travelers but will have few real allies.

And I still haven't noticed, Kevin, your "David Duke" quotation for Wilders. But that was just another similar bit of joie d'esprit, I suppose.

The analogy that Maolsheachlann O'Ceallaigh (love the name)liked, works because it points out the tragedy that awaits those who in a time of crisis subordinate their faith to ideology. Crises are tests. If you think standing shoulder to shoulder with Wilders is a way of passing it, feel free, but at least share some of his social views with the rest of us.

"I don't hate Muslims, I hate Islam". Subtle. "Don’t forget some people were very angry when I made the comparison between Mein Kampf and the Qur’an." Very effective. Forget conversions, winning hearts and minds is for wimps, let's just crank up that war of civilizations.

Wilders has your same penchant for nuance, and though in any other context, you would be calling him a "pro-death neo-pagan", or the like, when it comes to Islam, we're supposed to put that all behind us, and sign-up for Geert as; "Defender of the West" the modern day Charles Martel.

Go ahead. Bring him to your hometown. Stand by your man.


Because of the unrestricted migration of Muslims into Europe, men like Wilders have to travel around with bodyguards and sleep in army bases, while the useless immigrants live off the Europeans' jizya. It was Wilder's ancestors that built Holland for good or ill. He is defending his own patrimony, which among other things gives him the right to say what he wants without having to fear for his life. The same patrimony made Holland a tolerant haven from the time of Erasmus and Spinoza. As is amply clear, that right is under grevious threat from a combination of Muslim fanaticism and leftist agit-prop. Wilders has girded his loins for his the fight of his life. Those who are not man enough to support him, should at the very least step aside and not be a hindrance.

Sure. The choice is between the culture of death and Islam. Choose wisely.


No there is a third way, the way of the toad in the forest. Stay still and hope that everything blows over.

All I've known about Geert Wilders, hitherto, was his position on mass Muslim immigration.

So when David Lindsay's remarks suggested that Wilders supported, for example, sex for 12-year-olds and recreational drugs for all, I assumed that this was true. And when Kevin insinuated that he was gay, I assumed that was true, too.

Turns out this is all nonsense.

If you google "Geert Wilders" + "age of consent," you will find that the only person connecting the two is...David Lindsay. It turns out that these remarks of his at TAC quoted above by Maximos are a more-or-less verbatim reprint of a comment that he posted at several blogs way back in February.

When he posted it at Daniel Hannan's blog, somebody replied that the age of consent in Holland, as in most of the EU, is 16 - not 12.

And I can't find anywhere that Wilders has expressed any particular position on the issue.

So that was just a smear.

As for recreational drug use, I learn from Wikipedia that Wilders calls for "a far stricter policy."

So that was another smear.

And it turns out that Wilders is married (though, for security reasons, he can only see his wife about once a week).

So that was yet another smear.

Disgraceful. Shame on David Lindsay, and shame on Kevin.

Many thanks, Steve, for sorting out and posting the packet of smears that have been laid upon Wilders' back.

Hey - it gets even better! (or, rather worse)...

According to a Reuters report from 2006, when the Dutch "Charity, Freedom and Diversity" party called for the reduction of the age of consent from 16 to 12, "Right-wing lawmaker Geert Wilders...asked the government to investigate whether a party with such 'sick ideas' could really be established."

Geert Wilders is no Pim Fortuyn.

Thank you, Steve. Hey, while you're at it, can you find out if he is pro-choice on abortion, which Kevin has also brought up? Mind you, I suspect he is, and while it would certainly prevent me from voting for him for President (which is a moot point), it wouldn't prevent me from inviting him to my local university to speak on the threat of Islam. _But_ if it were another smear, that would be richness upon richness.

Lydia - so far as I can tell, neither Wilders nor his "Party for Freedom" take any public stand on abortion. It doesn't seem to be a politically controversial issue in The Netherlands.

It's interesting, by the way, that although Dutch abortion law appears fairly similar to our own, the *rate* of abortion is much, much lower there: about 4 per 1000 women, compared to 13 per 1000 for American whites, 33 per 1000 for American Hispanics, and 49 per 1000 for American blacks.

Geert Wilders is no Pim Fortuyn.

I will not gracelessly weasel out like Lydia does on another thread and resort to the lame "I was only repeating a commonplace" defense. Nor will I make any sneering references about his bouffant and quirky entourage. (I can't wait until Lydia has them over for a rally- if she thought us Buchananites were bad...)

I apologize and retract my comment about Wilders being personally lavender, when more accurately his politics can be described as such. He is not Pim Fortuyn, but adheres to the Fortuynism of nationalism, social libertarianism and anti-Islamism.

neither Wilders nor his "Party for Freedom" take any public stand on abortion. It doesn't seem to be a politically controversial issue in The Netherlands.

You mean you embraced a man and party without knowing where he and it stand on abortion, euthanasia, gay rights, prostitution and drugs? Sounds worse than knee-jerk to me.
Turning to Wilders and his ilk in order to save the house from being taken over by new occupants is akin to pouring more termites into the foundation and walls. Islam's threat is the consequence of a spiritually hollowed out West. Fortuynism is more cause than cure - as you should know from your vast video collection. Soon we'll be hearing how all the great social issues are settled and no longer "politically controversial". That day will be hastened by the mind-boggling brilliance of those who thought it wise to ally ourselves with a toxic, deChristianized ideology of national self-identity and selfishness.

Now, Steve given your fastidiousness regarding Wilders, do you think you might apply your principles to those who are yelping about the Jesuits as "running dogs of Communism" elsewhere?

Nobody "embraced" Wilders, much less an entire party, Kevin. You are just the king of exaggeration, aren't you? What we've implied here are things like a) we think it was crazy for the UK to ban him from coming to their shores, b) we think he's on the right track about Islam, c) we think the Islamic response to him was frightening and horrifying and shows what we in the West are up against, d) some of us would be happy to hear him talk about the threat of Islam. I mean, for crying out loud. Your exaggerated statements are getting positively silly. Or maybe "getting" is too kind.

Kevin, you really are a piece of work. Thanks for reminding me of why I banned you from commenting on my posts.

(1) It's not as if you *could* defend your slur of Wilders on the grounds that you were "only repeating a commonplace," for the simple reason that *it's not a commonplace.* You seem to have come up with it all on your own. Based, I guess, on his hair style.

(2) My "embrace" of Wilders & his party consisted in this statement: "I have yet to see anybody producing any justification whatsoever for describing Geert Wilders as a 'buffoon.' So far as I can tell, he's a genuinely courageous man, who really is, for once, 'speaking truth to power.'" I stand by that statement. And no: I didn't have to check out his positions on abortion, euthanasia, gay rights, prostitution and drugs before making it. 'Cause it was entirely based on his stand against continuing mass Muslim immigration into Europe, for which he has had to suffer everything from all-too-plausible Islamist death-threats to shameful slanders at the hands of ignorant and malicious internet trolls.

(3) As for "those who are yelping about the Jesuits as 'running dogs of Communism'" - no idea what you're talking about. Guess I'd better go catch up on comments on some of my earlier threads.

Oh, OK Kevin - found it. So it's the comments thread following one of Ed Feser's posts, which I hadn't yet found time to read, that you're complaining about.

WhatEVer.

I never said he should be banned, nor did he deserve the death threats that have come his way. I simply said he is should be avoided as he is emblematic of a spiritual malaise that is at the root of our problems. Nothing written here since has contradicted that statement. And anyone who thinks statements like; "I don't hate Muslims, I hate Islam" or comparisons of the Qur’an to Mein Kampf constitutes a right track on Islam is more an albatross than an ally. Period.

"...he is emblematic of a spiritual malaise that is at the root of our problems."

Well, OK...so help me out, here, Kevin.

Is that because, contrary to your abortive smear, he's married to a woman?

Or is it because, contrary to David Lindsay's equally abortive smears, he strongly opposes the lowering of the age of consent in the Netherlands, and wants to crack down on recreational drug use?

Or what?

I'm genuinely at a loss to understand why you persist in this fatuous campaign.

Here it is for you one last time Steve. You can't beat something with nothing, and nothing is all that Fortuynism brings to the table. A battle between the Hollow Men and Islam is a nightmare that could lead to unthinkable acts; Gaza writ large.

Let's look at your political maxim;
"Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing."

Here's my spiritual one; any civilization that does not place Christ at its center will inevitably sink into hedonistic nihilism maintained by an omnipotent state, or capitulate to Islam.

Rally around Geert and the boys if you must, but the good news, based on his last foray into New York, is you will be largely alone.

You want to know who else compared the Mein Kampf to the Koran? Winston Churchill. It's in the first volume of his The Second World War, where he reports his reaction to the former work, at a time when almost no one else in Europe cared to actually learn what the German lunatic thought. I'll wait patiently for Kevin's anathema of Churchill.

Maybe we could reproduce some comments from Charles Martel or Don John or the Polish king who relieved Vienna (whose names escapes me at the moment) on the subject of the creed of the Crescent; then we can all watch as Kevin the traditionalist hurls anathemas against these great heroes of Christendom.

Then we'd know for sure who the buffoon is.

Jan III Sobieski (No, I don't know why "III" comes between the other two names.)

Oh great, so tell us; should we prepare ourselves for the gassing of Iraqis as Churchill did? A reprise of the carnage of 1939-1945?

We've gone down this path before Paul, 2009 is a vastly different terrain than the one Martel and Don John fought on. If you think otherwise, then elaborate on what your Crusade entails, the means you'll employ, as well as those you will eschew, who it is you will follow and on what basis.

The soft on Islam charge is tough to make stick, but feel free to try. Just be careful, since I won't be the only Christian you hit.

Mr. Cella, I don't think that Kevin, despite all of the faults he may have evinced in this thread, can justifiably be accused of defending Islam. Saying that the Koran should not be compared to Mein Kampf (whether correct statement or not) hardly constitutes an endorsement of the teachings of Mohammed. Something can be evil and dangerous without being related to Nazism, and Kevin's statements to the effect that the fight against Islam requires the right kind of defense (that is, one rooted in Christ) leads me to believe that he would not disapprove of Martel and other Christian heroes.

But maybe I'm too sympathetic.

But actually, there _are_ very strong anti-semitic statements in the Koran and the hadiths. The comparison is actually pretty apt. The real problem comes from evaluating statements on the basis of whether they are "helpful" and the like--with, apparently, an implicit assumption of some sort of dialogue with Islam lurking at the back, a dialogue to which some public figure's comment might or might not be "helpful"--rather than whether they are _true_.

I doubt that we have gone done this path before. Because if we had, you would not be demanding the details of my proposed policy vis-a-vis Islam, those details being readily available in the categories labeled "Islam" and "the Jihad."

Indeed the terrain is different. Only an imbecile would argue otherwise.

You write that "Islam's threat is the consequence of a spiritually hollowed out West"; and the very differences in terrain you refer to blow this claim to pieces. Islam was a threat long before the spiritual hollowing out of Europe. The Latin Christianity of North Africa (which evidenced enough spiritual health to raise up Saint Augustine) was extinguished in its infancy by Islam. The Greeks of Byzantium fought against the protean armies of Islam for centuries before spiritual torpor took them.

But the fact is that Islam is a threat because of what Islam is, not because of what we are. The nominalists whose estimate of Islam must always depend on the character and vigor of the West -- be they neocons preaching democratic imperialism or traditionalists preaching quietism -- have fallen into grave error.

Well, anti-semitism is not synonymous with Nazism, which propagated its own unique, modern race-based form of anti-semitism. But I'm not denying that the Koran is comparable to Mein Kampf (I have no clue), I'm just pointing out that such a denial is not necessarily a descent into Islamic apologetics.

And the "helpful" talk I took to mean "helpful in convincing others in the West of the danger of Islam" as opposed to some sort of conciliatory notion of dialogue with extremists. Not that that makes it any more defensible, just different.

My own impression is that Wilders is being pretty successful at convincing other Westerners of the danger of Islam--at least those who are at all convincible. That's why they're trying to shut him up with "hate speech" laws. He's telling too much of the truth, and people might listen.

Here is the Churchill quotation:

All was there [in Mein Kampf] -- the programme of German resurrection; the technique of party propaganda; the plan for combating Marxism; the concept of a National-Socialist State; the rightful position of Germany at the summit of the world. Here was the new Koran of faith and war: turgid, verbose, shapeless, but pregnant with its message.

The comparison, in a word, is literary.

I doubt that we have gone done this path before.

Actually we have, on a previous thread where I was reminded (oddly I thought) about ages past and my spiritual lineage. A lineage which Wilders was born into, but ultimately rejected. He may quote rhetoric from Don John's day, but he is estranged from the essence behind it. The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary accords the victory of Lepanto to Mary, and I celebrate it at Our Lady of Victory on William Street. Not Wilders and his kind. So spare me the cheap; "Kevin is a buffoon turning on his ancestors" nonsense.

But the fact is that Islam is a threat because of what Islam is, not because of what we are.

By every conceivable index of cultural health and social, material progress the Islamic world of the Middle East is a shipwreck. The ominous potency of the contemporary threat is a result of our inner sickness and not any strength residing in Islam. The West can lay claim to being the most technologically advanced region of the planet, yet here we are bleeding away at the hands of brigands from the 7th Century in Afpak and Iraq. We counterpoise an Islamized Rotterdam, with propose Amsterdam, and somehow expect something other than a human disaster.

or traditionalists preaching quietism

I've called for cultural containment, dialogue and conversion and hardly think this qualifies as escapism, as just the opposite is true. Self-examination, spiritual rejuvenation, patience and creative statesmanship strike me has heavy-lifting and I hope we are up for it. It do concede it lacks the visceral satisfaction of shouting; "We don't hate you - just the belief system that gives you identity and your life meaning", followed by a cacophony of discordant and contradictory noises.

Prudence is required in dealing with a quarter of the world's population and while hard truths will have to be spoken, timing, tone and the credibility of the speakers is vital. Ahmadinejad's situation is just more evidence of deep cleavages within Islam that are ripe for exploitation by self-confident men and woman pursuing a transcendent vision and a just outcome.

This current conflict with Islam will not be decided on the field of battle, but in the realm of the spirit. And it is this simple, but harsh truth that causes so much consternation and frustration.


It is best to let Kevin have the last word for otherwise the man won't get any sleep.

By every conceivable index [. . .] material progress the Islamic world of the Middle East is a shipwreck

The misanthropy is consummated at last. In the end Kevin must point us to "material progress" in order to downplay the threat.

This current conflict with Islam will not be decided on the field of battle, but in the realm of the spirit.

Horsepuckey. It will be decided in both. That the battlefield may be the office building where any of us works, because the enemy is honorless and fears to face our fighting men, in no way diminishes its nature as a battlefield.

The misanthropy is consummated at last. In the end Kevin must point us to "material progress" in order to downplay the threat.

Very, very dishonest. The threat isn't downplayed at all and misanthropes invariably angle for bloodshed with a host of rationalizations. And in no way did I subordinate the material to the spiritual; as you affirm by your very next quote;
This current conflict with Islam will not be decided on the field of battle, but in the realm of the spirit.

Oh and no lectures on buildings where we work since 9-11 did not occur on my TV set, and few in the NYC area hold any illusions about radical Islamists from either Saudi Arabia or those nurtured in our prisons. Instead, people are confused, knowing taunts about Mein Kampf are meaningless, the two current wars are blunders, but unsure of where the antidote can be found. The faith Wilders abandoned is the cure, but the sacraments have fallen into neglect so dubious substitutes emerge in their place.

You have both downplayed the threat and propagated numerous illusions about "radical Islamists." The very phrases you use betray your illusions. Are there non-radical Islamists, about whom we should have no concerns?

We are treated to the usual tropes of nominalists: as the modifiers accrue, the threat recedes, and we can all go back to denouncing European patriots. Senator McCain's preferred euphemism last year was most amusing to me: "radical Islamic extremists." Pile up the qualifiers and everyone can sleep more soundly.

You say Wilders has abandoned the faith of his fathers. Whether this is true is anybody's guess; on the evidence upthread, where you have been none-too-careful to avoid repeating lies about him, I have my doubts. But even if it is true, patriotism is admirable in its own right, which is why even Christians have no trouble admiring the Deists among the Framers for their patriotic example.

The Christian faith is the ultimate cure for all human failure and sin; but in this world there is no evidence that strong Christian faith is any antidote to the armed doctrine of Islam.

Do you suppose that if Europe enjoyed an sudden and shining revival of the Catholic faith, more deference who be shown to the creed of Mohammed, and tension in Europe would diminish? Perhaps you have forgotten the obscure passage, "I came not to bring peace but a sword."

Recently the multiculturalists in Spain tried to stamp out the practice of burning the Prophet in effigy in memorial to the Reconquista of southern Spain, which was not exactly a gentleman's war. Don John cut his teeth as an infantry commander fighting the Moriscos. Again, if I adopt your cringing approach to this ancient antagonist of the Faith, I should cast the bastard Austrian prince from the annals of Christian heroes for his work putting down those insurrections.

And I'm sorry to have to say it, but some of the most devout Christians nowadays are not the wisest about Islam. I have no doubt whatsoever that Mr. D'Souza and Prof. Kreeft are really devout Catholics, but they don't know what they are talking about concerning Islam and strategy. I could give, alas, other similar examples. That is one reason why we need to speak directly about the threat of Islam, even at the risk of bothering people like Kevin with our "lack of nuance," and even if for whatever reason we sound more like Geert Wilders than like Kevin's preferred Catholic leaders, rather than simply trying to get everybody in the West to become good Christians and assuming that the rest will follow naturally.

This current conflict with Islam will not be decided on the field of battle, but in the realm of the spirit.

Horsepuckey. It will be decided in both.

The Christian faith is the ultimate cure for all human failure and sin; but in this world there is no evidence that strong Christian faith is any antidote to the armed doctrine of Islam.

I suppose that depends on what one means by antidote. It is an antidote for the doctrine; it is not an antidote for the armies. Even winning the battles is no guarantee that one will have won the war, for, "What does it profit a man to win the whole world and lose his soul"? In order to win, must not only defeat the men, one must defeat the ideology. The only way to do that is to either kill of of the men who hold the ideology or reclaim them for Christ.

The Chicken

end blockquote?

This should read (pushed the post button too fast);

The Christian faith is the ultimate cure for all human failure and sin; but in this world there is no evidence that strong Christian faith is any antidote to the armed doctrine of Islam.

I suppose that depends on what one means by antidote. It is an antidote for the doctrine; it is not an antidote for the armies. Even winning the battles is no guarantee that one will have won the war, for, "What does it profit a man to win the whole world and lose his soul"? In order to win, must not only defeat the men, one must defeat the ideology. The only way to do that is to either kill of of the men who hold the ideology or reclaim them for Christ.

The Chicken

Wilders has your same penchant for nuance, and though in any other context, you would be calling him a "pro-death neo-pagan", or the like, when it comes to Islam, we're supposed to put that all behind us, and sign-up for Geert as; "Defender of the West" the modern day Charles Martel.

Whoever said that you have to remain an ally? Why is it inconceivable to fight together, and the moment that that bigger battle is over, turn on him and his faction? Christian Romans sided with pagan Romans against threats like barbarian invasions, after all.

The Christian faith is the ultimate cure for all human failure and sin; but in this world there is no evidence that strong Christian faith is any antidote to the armed doctrine of Islam.

There certainly is evidence that a bunker buster dropped on the Ka'ba would do the trick...

Where is this rhetoric going? The conflict with Islam? What exactly is this? Where is this battlefield? What exactly is the Netherlands supposed to do about their Muslims? Expel them? Kill them? Or leave them alone, but tear down the mosques and ban the religion? Or nothing? Should the borders be closed to immigration from Muslim countries? Should this apply to all countries, even former colonies and countries that have no terrorist connections? If the Koran is like Mein Kampf, then is a 'demuslimification' program needed similar to the denazification after WW2?

I consider myself pretty conservative, but when it comes to the anti-Islam fervor I'm...skeptical.

What exactly is the Netherlands supposed to do about their Muslims? Expel them? Kill them? Or leave them alone, but tear down the mosques and ban the religion? Or nothing? Should the borders be closed to immigration from Muslim countries?

Expelling them is a viable solution. It's certainly well within the capacity of the Europeans to do so with minimal violence. They could likely get rid of most of them by just stripping them of their citizenship, if they have citizenship (which is not automatically the case with their kids, since European immigration laws are very different from American immigration law), and buying them a plane ticket home. For countries like France, it would even be cheaper to offer them a first class ticket, 3 new sets of clothes, a full medical check up and €5000 than to keep them there or process them out the hard way.

Oh, Kevin - you increasingly unsurprising man.

From what I've read in the past few days, I gather that Wilders is, personally, like me, an agnostic. But, again like me, he whole-heartedly believes in preserving & strengthening the Judaeo-Christian foundations of Western culture and society, in Europe and America.

I'm sorry if that's just not good enough for you.

Matt Weber: oh, for goodness sake. The positions of Geert Wilders and his Freedom Party are easily findable on the web.

*Of course* he doesn't call for killing Holland's Muslims. (Even though many of them call for killing him!)

Why would you even suggest that he might?

Mr. Cella, I don't think that Kevin, despite all of the faults he may have evinced in this thread, can justifiably be accused of defending Islam.

Zach: I have hardly accused him of that. My specific accusation is that he downplays the threat from Islam and perpetuates illusions about it. My more general complaint is that as a commenter Kevin can be an insufferable misanthrope.

Matt Weber: I would encourage you to examine this website's categories of "Islam" and "the Jihad," or just use Google. Many specifics can be found there. Here is one example:

http://www.whatswrongwiththeworld.net/2007/07/the_jihadsedition_law.html

Paul's jihad sedition position makes good sense to me. I take it to be both Constitutionally sound and defensively prudent in ways that few other proposed policies have been or can be.

Meanwhile, God preserve Wilders. He has identified a threat, perhaps the greatest threat Europe ever faced, and publicly and graphically described its intentions and methods for us. He has done so with insight, courage and purpose. I applaud him for it. The reactions of those to whom he is opposed do little more than prove him right.

My more general complaint is that as a commenter Kevin can be an insufferable misanthrope

While denouncing misanthropy in bitter terms...

This sort of thing is what happens when the elites wring their hands and don't do what they ought to do on subjects like this...

Steve: I wasn't talking about Wilders specifically. Like you said, if I wanted to know about him, I'd just google it. I am more concerned with deciphering the rhetoric surrounding Islam.

I don't think anyone would support killing the entrenched Muslim population of any nation, but there's nothing like a suggestion of mass murder to get people clarifying their positions fast.

Paul: That's an interesting proposal. I haven't had the chance to read any more of the posts, but would you say you are primarily concerned with political expressions of Islam, or 'Islamists', rather than Islam the religion and the masses who practice it? Is it ok for a Western nation to have a significant Muslim minority if Islamist political expression is repressed?

Mike T - thanks for the link. I think it's ridiculous to describe Griffin as a "neo-Nazi" - but otherwise it struck me as a pretty good report.

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