Friday, November 04, 2005

The Return of the Madman

Roger Cohen has a long article on immigration and assimilation in the Netherlands at the International Herald Tribune. Some telegraphic excerpts.

Immigration, particularly of Muslims, has long been an issue in Europe ... Islam is now of Europe, a European religion. But ... after terrorist killings ...  more threat than promise ... from its Muslim fringes.

That Europe needs immigrants ... from adjacent ... poor Muslim areas ... to offset a rapid aging of its societies. ...  Fortuyn was first ... in denouncing ... what he called the bigotry of Islam-in-the-Netherlands ...

Dual identity ...  "The country has changed so much in a short time." So has much of Europe. Loss of empire, loss of influence, loss to the European Union of national sovereignty ... "It's funny," said Folkert Jensma, the editor in chief of the respected Handelsblad daily. "We now want to teach immigrants more about our identity, and we discover that we're not sure what's left of it!" 

... Islam, for Aboutaleb, is less the problem than European culture. ... because Europe shuns Islam. "Why," he asked, "is Cohen never questioned on being a Jew?" ... The passing of a so-called Inburgering test, a kind of good citizenship exam ... something along American lines. ... A deep rethinking of European immigration is under way, driven by post 9/11 danger, uncertain identity and the economics of indebted welfare systems. Where it will lead, in the Netherlands and elsewhere, is not yet clear.


In 1882, Friedrich Nietzsche's Parable of the Madman predicted that European civilization was on the threshold of absolute freedom and power, unshackled by any notion of God, who was not only dead, but moldering. And if any worshippers yet remained it was because they had not yet heard the great news.

God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.

"How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed; and whoever is born after us---for the sake of this deed he will belong to a higher history than all history hitherto."

Here the madman fell silent and looked again at his listeners; and they, too, were silent and stared at him in astonishment. At last he threw his lantern on the ground, and it broke into pieces and went out. "I have come too early," he said then; "my time is not yet. This tremendous event is still on its way, still wandering; it has not yet reached the ears of men. Lightning and thunder require time; the light of the stars requires time; deeds, though done, still require time to be seen and heard. This deed is still more distant from them than most distant stars---and yet they have done it themselves. 

At the age of 45, Nietzsche suffered a mental breakdown from undetermined causes, embracing a horse among other things and asking it to sing. Yet even so, he would have been surprised to learn that in barely a century, the European civilization he believed to be on the brink of "a higher history than all history hitherto" -- would have collapsed upon itself, eviscerated by two world wars and terminal demographics; that churches, now called mosques, would be filled with worshippers from Indonesia, North Africa and the Middle East.

If the Madman came to 21st century Paris, he might announce the death of other gods, alike without success. He would have come too early, the harbinger of an event that had not yet reached the ears of men. The tidings he would bring would be unfamiliar, "and yet they have done it themselves".


Blogger enscout said...


The madman invented his own religion, became his own God and abandoned humanity.

Throughout the ages, whenever humankind has chosen subjectivity, the results have been the same.

On the other hand, when he has remained obedient to an objective morality, he has found peace.

11/04/2005 04:41:00 AM  
Blogger Bill Baar said...

Steven Osment wrote in his history of Germany, A Mighty Fortress, that the German Army's two largest printings of paperbacked books for the troops in 1914-1918 were the Bible and Nietzche's Also Sprach Zarathustra.

11/04/2005 05:00:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Depends, of course to which God is ascribed.
God, The Old Man with a flowing beard, sitting atop a cloud, peering down on the mortals below, clip board in hand, keeping score, winners to ascend to a "Paradise".

Gods, a powerful but all to human family, living atop a mountain using mortals as diversions in their domestic quarrels.

A math equation that in a single formula explains it all.

God, An unseen living flowing force that permeates the world, attempting to improve mankind, taking us to a "Higher livel" of "Universal Understanding". Doing battle with other unseen forces that attempt to devalue human life. Each force manifesting themselves through human players.

Egyptian Pharoahs, Alexander and Ceasar. Examples of Men that became Gods. At least for a while.

Each man finds their own God within the confines of their mind. If all the Gods are lost or dead, so most likely is the mind.

11/04/2005 05:14:00 AM  
Blogger Ray said...

The only god that the Madman might claim to were dead in today's Paris would be the god of multiculturalism. To which the Muslims would answer "There is no god but God"

The Muslims have an identity that does not require UN restrictions on films and cultural content to protect. Until Europe rediscovers its real sense of history and self, until it no longers fears American sitcoms and burger stands, how can stand against the alien believer it has introduced into itself?

11/04/2005 05:18:00 AM  
Blogger moderationist said...

IMO the big boys are behind this, and the battle is for Sharia law, with the subjegation of women, the banning of the headscarf, and the brainwashing of future murderous time bombs.

11/04/2005 05:24:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Perhaps Nietsche was driven insane because he understood the 'telegraphic' aspect of his own writing.

The madman that Nietsche describes could well stand for himself. Looking through the maw of the 20th C. and beyond, who would not ask: " How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us?"

But his vision was too early, his time had not yet come. The tremendous event was still on its way.

And yet, one must wonder even now what tremendous event or events await us.

11/04/2005 05:28:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

That people would fear a McDonalds more than a Mosque, thinking that McDonalds would have a greater negative impact on their neighborhood than the Mosque, boggles the mind.
That Super Sizing is considered more dangerous to a society than Submission.

Where is Cardinal Richelieu when Europe needs him?

Where are the Musketeers?

11/04/2005 05:28:00 AM  
Blogger James Kielland said...

It's been a little too long since I've studied European political systems. Seeing comments by France's president and prime minister and other figures, I'm left a bit uncertain as to the power and authority relationships between them.

Can anyone recommend a useful book or other resource that explains the organization structure of both the French government and other Europeans systems? Considering the kinds of misunderstandings that flow from people having no clue as to the relationship of the branches of government in the US, I'd like to have a better grasp on the structures on the other side of the pond in order to better understand this unfolding situation. Thanks in advance.

11/04/2005 05:29:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The question that Fascists love to ask...

Is Paris Burning?

11/04/2005 05:33:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

This still brings to mind....

All of those who go against Israel will perish....

Is this not all because Europe flushed it's jews down the sewer 50 years ago?

The Jews build.... The Jews create.... They turn deserts into forests....

What other people dont/can't do aint the issue.

11/04/2005 06:11:00 AM  
Blogger Engineer-Poet said...

enscout writes:

"On the other hand, when [Man] has remained obedient to an objective morality, he has found peace."

Islam is what is arguably the most rigid moral system of all the world's major religions.  Where is the peace?

11/04/2005 06:11:00 AM  
Blogger JSAllison said...

Where are Richelieu and the Musketeers? Nay, where is Martel?

11/04/2005 06:19:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

within themselves they are at "peace", with their god.
Peace, for the World is obtained when all others submit, or die.
When there are no unbelievers there will be Peace under allah
'til then they do battle for their god and world peace.
Plain as the nose on Dr Z's face.

In Paris last night, riots for Jusice and Peace. The Intafada, all about Peace & Justice. The Taliban,peaceful as can be. They never invaded anybody. Just blew up a few idolic statues and held public floggings and amputations, all in the name of submission to their god and peace.

11/04/2005 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger Bat One said...

The new europeans, those from Indonesia, and North Africa, and the Middle East, have brought with them their own God. The old europeans, meanwhile, having killed off their God, the God of their fathers, and with him their own identity, are now helpless before the onslaught of new holy warriors. They have been betrayed by their own arrogance and the Madman's geographic myopia.

Perhaps there is still time to revive the God of their fathers, for without that "Mighty Fortress" they are surely doomed.

11/04/2005 06:27:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...


"Islam is what is arguably the most rigid moral system of all the world's major religions. Where is the peace?"

Their rigid system isn't moral. Death to 'unbeleivers' is not moral.

Aside from their flawed "system", Islam includes many religious leaders and devotees that are plainly misguided - as does every religion. While it is clearly one thing to understand and adopt a particular worldview, it is quite another to live it.

As I have stated before on this site; our beliefs drive our thoughts, our thoughts drive our actions.

Our beleif systems are all important.

11/04/2005 06:47:00 AM  
Blogger David said...

"At the age of 45, Nietzsche suffered a mental breakdown from undetermined causes, embracing a horse among other things and asking it to sing."

If you have read Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, you will recall the dream Raskolnikov has about a horse being beaten to death by a man who insists he is a superior being. In the dream, however, Raskolnikov, as a young boy, weeps for the horse and then embraces the dead creature... here is a portion of it:

"The poor little boy was quite beside himself. He pushed his way, shrieking, through the crowd to the mare, put his arms round the dead muzzle dabbled with blood and kissed the poor eyes and mouth . . . Then he sprang up and rushed furiously at Mikolka with his fists clenched. At that moment his father, who had been looking for him for a long time, caught him up and carried him out of the crowd."

A fuller reading can be found here:

I think Nietzsche realized the terrible truth inherent in the story. Raskolnikov, as an innocent child, recognizes the brutishness of the men, something they are too drunk to notice or care about. And the brutal description of the killing of the horse, the delight of the men and the anguish of the boy are palpable. I think that Nietzsche saw himself as both the boy and the owner of the horse. He knew it was wrong to kill the mare yet he and his culture delighted in the slaughter.

11/04/2005 06:53:00 AM  
Blogger Heloise said...

James, I also have little understanding of the internal French political system. However, to understand some of the contributing causes of the riots in France by the mohammedans, a great read is Eurabia by Bat Ye'or where proof is shown that France made a dhimmi pact with the arabs. Also read the koran (as much as you can), the hadiths of Bukhari and the sira or life of muhammed by Ibn Ishaq.

France, from Nietzche to nihilism
to submission to islam. Quite a journey.

11/04/2005 07:32:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Recent uprisings in Europe bring to mind:

Are the battles being fought by America reminiscent of:

the Battle of Zama (B.C. 202)

or the Battle of Chalons (A.D. 451)

One was a beginning, one was an end – but an end that saved a civilization.

11/04/2005 07:39:00 AM  
Blogger Vercingetorix said...

No enscout, objectivity never brings peace. It often brings war, death, famine, and privation because objectively, we can never be free of those things. Subjectivity brings the same, but decisively in world-ending disaster after disaster, while men are blind to the danger, unwilling to part with their narcissist fantasies.

Raskolnikov [Nietzsche], as an innocent child, recognizes the brutishness of the men [Europe], something they are too drunk to notice or care about…He knew it was wrong to kill the mare [religion] yet he and his culture delighted in the slaughter.

David, well spoke.

11/04/2005 08:12:00 AM  
Blogger Ray said...

Desert Rat

You ask "where is Richelieu?"

The Church understands the gravity of the situation, that the greatest need was in the heart of Christendom, not in the outskirts, which is why Ratzinger was elected Pope. Will it be enough? I doubt it, but without a reawakening of Christianity, those who have a need to believe in something (the bulk of humanity) will either drift even more deeply into Socialism (Europe's only indigenous religion) or seek answers and certainties in Islam.

Either way, Europe would be doomed and no amount heroic dering-do would stop le deluge.

11/04/2005 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

A similar sort of madness can be found in Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground. The madness is directed against the man made utopian ideal. Whether that utopia is centered on a god or a godless universe is irrelevant.

"I am a sick man. ... I am a spiteful man. I am an unattractive man. I
believe my liver is diseased. However, I know nothing at all about my
disease, and do not know for certain what ails me.
" -- Only the Underground Man does know.

11/04/2005 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger al fin said...

Everyone sees the moral vacuum of leftist thought. Muslims see that in Europe leftism becomes god and religion, so they attack Europe to fill the moral vacuum. Australia, Canada, which is next?

Who will pay their welfare checks after they have attacked everyone in Europe? Who will build their ghettoes or fly them to their next appointment with terror?

11/04/2005 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...


I said, "obedien(ce) to an objective morality". Not the quite the same as objectivity.

Read Exodus, chapter 20 for a clarification.

11/04/2005 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Ticks care little about the health of the dog. The ticks have no understanding of the symbiotic relationship they share with the dog, nor do they care.

Most all parasites behave that way, weakening and possibly killing the host, if not removed. Parasites can be external, like ticks, or internal, little worms eating away at the host's heart and other organs. Swimming with a happy bliss in the host's blood stream, until it dries up.

11/04/2005 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

One wonders if the suicide bombers resolute journey into death stands at the horrible turning point of man “overcoming” humanity itself. Such brutal will to power is exhibited by the Übermensch, the sickened souls of the lost.

"I teach you the Superman. Man is something that should be overcome. What have you done to overcome him?

All creatures hitherto have created something beyond themselves: and do you want to be the ebb of the great tide, and return to the animals rather than overcome man?

What is the ape to men? A laughing stock or a painful embarrassment. And just so shall man be to the Superman: a laughing stock or a painful embarrassment".

Thus Spake Zarathustra

Neitzsche’s monster has risen again. The townsmen need to grab their pitch forks and torches the night will be long and dark.

11/04/2005 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger Vercingetorix said...

correctedly standing, enscout

11/04/2005 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

In "Clash of Civilizations" Samuel Huntington identifies the pervasive acceptance of multi-culturalism as the most imminent threat to the survival of Western Civilization.

When cultural relativism takes over, it is arrogant to suggest that immigrants ought to assimilate, ethno-centric to suggest that OUR values (individualism, rule of law, consensual government, etc) are worth defending and even dying for. If one can't convince himself that his culture is worth a sh*t, he won't be able to convince outsiders. One ends up admiring all other cultures and despising his own. It seems that Europe has been heading down this road for some time, and the US was not too far behind. Recall in the 90s when History took a vacation that Diversity was the buzzword, the proof of enlightenment for the chattering classes of the intelligentsia.

In the ultimate irony, it may turn out that bin-Laden woke us from our vacation from History, just in time to save ourselves. Had he waited, perhaps we would have torn ourselves apart from the inside out as France seems to be doing.

11/04/2005 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger sfrcook said...

Perhaps I am overly optimistic in believing so, but I think Islam CAN be reconciled with modernity. It is not the Moslem but rather the Islamist that is our true enemy. Just as in the past a German or Japanese could be govern by consensual government, a Nazi or a Fascist most certainly could not.

The question is, how will a Moslem view "modernity" as something to aspire to when those who created it do not, and in some cases, feel guilty for having created it at all?

Wretchard brilliantly alluded to it earlier. The only way for Western man to be worthy of emulation, is by showing he is worthy of survival. And the only way for him to show he is worthy of survival, is to demonstrate his willingness to fight for it.

11/04/2005 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger nigelhuffy said...

I think you see now the weakness concomitant with the McDonaldsation of French culture. Its not just the golden arches, mind you, its the Belgian chain Quik, which offers the same greasy opiates to the masses. Why would I care about a threat to my society when they are about to cease serving breakfast in twenty minutes and I really want a McGriddle.

And if they cross the Atlantic, I am sure the primmed corpulent classes will emerge from their franchise spas, their hair newly bleached, their bellies heavy with molten french fries, sugar water and beef-matter. And together like a phalanx they will all stand, arm in arm, and march to the defense of every Wendy's, filling the drive through lane with their proud dead.

Unless for some reason nature chooses to "select" the bumbling burger-wagons you yankees call "citizens". Then i guess youd have nothing to worry about.

11/04/2005 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger StoutFellow said...

Recall in the 90s when History took a vacation that Diversity was the buzzword, the proof of enlightenment for the chattering classes of the intelligentsia.

Unfortunately History is still on vacation

EUGENE, Ore. — In an effort to promote diversity at the University of Oregon (search), a plan has been developed that would hire, fire and promote professors not just on the quality of their teaching and research, but on their so-called “cultural competency."

Freshmen would take a class on the subject and faculty would be trained in it. ... The plan calls for 800 diversity-building scholarships and dozens of new staff positions in order to add degree programs in fields like “queer studies” and “disabled studies.”

And of course Multiculturalism is just as rampant in the US as in Europe. Bin Laden has awakened only a few Americans and most of them hang around the Belmont Club.

11/04/2005 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger Sophia Phoster said...


I once bought into the great religion hijacking meme but even a little independent research makes its glaringly clear that Islam itself is horribly flawed. Mohammed was a great salesman. He found a scheme that was successful in recruiting warriors which he led in the brutalization and theft of the wealth of the region's tribes.

I encourage you to read Mahathir's speech to the Islamic Summit (2003). Mahathir is not an explode-a-dope. He is the prime minister of an Asian Tiger, one of the very few Islamic countries which actually has an economy.

The speech is compelling because Mahathir draws on traditional Islamic values to advocate and justify the genocide of the Jews. That, my friend, is what traditional Islam is all about - conquest, murder, and theft for the benefit of the believers. The only thing being hijacked about Islam is the truth of its perfidy.

That doesn't make all Muslims inherently bad. Most people who consider themselves Muslim probably know very little of the amorality of Islamic jurisprudence.

I can understand why Western political leaders tread lightly on this issue but I think that will change over time. It took President Bush four years to use the phrase Islamic Terrorisim. I have no evidence to support this but I believe that the day is not too far off before the new Pope assails Islam. That would make things very interesting and it may just be the kick in pants necessary to rejuvenate the defense of Western Judeo-Christian values.

11/04/2005 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger jim said...

The US was both terribly unlucky and also quite fortunate to have to wrestle with terrorism and lead the way on addressing the pathologies of militant fundamentalism and autocracy in the ME and SW Asia. Some Americans refuse to believe the costs have been worth our efforts, but we've persevered, anyway, with the idea of encouraging Muslims and others to share in our kind of justice.

Now, Paris is burning and from both sides of the Muslim immigration divide we're hearing echoes of Maheude's "Why is the price of justice so high?" and how it will be even higher, if we don't dispense it soon. Problem is, not only do many Europeans (and US Dems) not know whose justice to dispense, anymore- Christian, western liberal, Marxist, fascist, Islamist, some tired triangulation or fad formulation- a puckish god put the de Villepins of the world at the fore of this judgment. With two active fronts and two differently minded defenders, the war of ideas in the West just got deadly important.

11/04/2005 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger sfrcook said...


I did not mean to imply that Islam has been hijacked, nor do I subsrcibe to such a notion. I also do not want to enter into a debate about past transgression.
I merely take issue with the belief-one that is often advanced by some on this blog-that Moslems are inherently precluded from modernity. My opinion has been shaped by Victor Davis Hanson who seems to suggest that Moslems have a love-hate relationship with the modernity and the West which it reflects. I do agree that Islam is in need of reform and there appears to be a struggle within Islam itself which will ultimately decide which path it will take.

As Islam wrestles with itself, the West must do its part and offer an alternative to Al Qaeda's and Mahathir's message. In short the West must promote its values, not apologize for them. It must condemn the Prime Minister, not condone him. For if the West does not hold its values dear, why would the Moslem?
We say reform, and Osama says why should that which is superior need reform? Many in the West would quickly be silenced.

11/04/2005 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

I think everybody sees now obsessive lunacy concomitant with the McDonaldsation of Nigelhuffy.

11/04/2005 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger Sparks fly said...

That's fascinating, what happened to Nietzsche. It's totally understandable and a shocking proof that God is quite alive for those who have eyes to see and understand.

Wretchard! How do you know so much? You must be a voracious reader with a pretty clear memory or else a full bronze master of Google et al.

The commentarians on this site are marvelously detailed and informed to the point where I have to search around to find something to add that hasn't already been said.

Thanks everyone!

This internet thing might just spark a Christian Awakening worldwide. I feel like a flame is being kindled in the hearts of like minded men and women who have been seperated by newspapers and TV for decades. I pray for true unity and harmony and some at least loose form of organization or community among those who know the truth and speak it.In jesus name I pray.

11/04/2005 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

Nietzsche's mental breakdown is one of the more interesting, and mysterious, events in philosophical history:

On the morning of January 3, 1889, while in Turin, Nietzsche experienced a mental breakdown which left him an invalid for the rest of his life. Upon witnessing a horse being whipped by a coachman at the Piazza Carlo Alberto, Nietzsche threw his arms around the horse's neck and collapsed, never to return to full sanity. Some argue that Nietzsche was afflicted with a syphilitic infection (this was the original diagnosis of the doctors in Basel and Jena) contracted either while he was a student or while he was serving as a hospital attendant during the Franco-Prussian War; some claim that Nietzsche's use of chloral hydrate, a drug which he had been using as a sedative, deteriorated his already-weakened nervous system; some speculate that Nietzsche's collapse was due to a brain disease he inherited from his father; some maintain that a mental illness gradually drove him insane. The exact cause of Nietzsche's incapacitation still remains unclear.

Nietzsche is charged with many of the philosophical crimes of the past century and a half, an indictment that he perhaps deserves. Many people who quietly think that Nietzsche speaks truth also believe that his ponderings have been quite unhelpful to the human condition.

Sometimes truth is too dangerous to speak out loud, and sometimes a lie will keep you alive. This is a problem that will plague mankind eternally.

It was not the tree of lies that caused humanity to fall from grace. It was the tree of knowledge.

11/04/2005 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger Ticker said...


That of course, was the presumption of the Grand Inquisitor of the Brothers Karamazov, in which the story of the horse-whipping also appears. The Inquisitor wanted to keep his despair to himself that the masses might seek comfort in faith. Therefore he incarcerated Christ upon his Second Coming, the better to prevent an outbreak of hope.

But as time goes by, I realize that the Inquisitor's argument contains a monumental conceit. It is predicated on the certainty that he knows the truth. Yet we know so little, not only about the physical workings of the universe and even less about its moral composition that this certainty -- the idea that we can become true believers in the negative -- is the most fragile of all planks. Therefore we must resolve to be uncertain.

Real faith, I am convinced, is only possible with the acceptance of doubt. It's a risk; never a certain business proposition. Nietzsche was sure; and I hope that before the end, he doubted.

11/04/2005 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger sfrcook said...

As always, beautifully said Wretchard.
You seem to have a rare ability to, within the space of a few words, be both provocative and profound. Reading your blog is a pleasure.

11/04/2005 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

[I]f at the bottom of everything there were only a wild ferment, a power that twisting in dark passion produced everything great or inconsequential; if an unfathomable, insatiable emptiness lay hid beneath everything, what would life be then but despair? If it were thus, if there were no sacred bond uniting mankind, if one generation rose up after another like the leaves of the forest, if one generation succeeded the other as the songs of the birds in the woods, if the human race passes through the world as a ship through the sea or the wind through a desert, a thoughless, fruitless whim, if an eternal oblivion always lurked hungrily for its prey and there were no power strong enough to wrest it from its clutches--how empty and devoid of comfort would life be!

...I cannot make the movement of faith, I cannot shut my eyes and plunge confidently into the absurd.... Be it a duty or whatever, I cannot make the final movement, the paradoxical movement of faith, although there is nothing I wish more.

Johannes de silentio

There is much I do not know.

There is much I cannot believe.

11/04/2005 02:54:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...


Re: Your 2:09 post.

Well said.

The gap that exists between our knowledge of facts and the broad universe that is the unknown is this beleif system (faith).

What a corruption we make of it when we adopt beliefs as known facts. This is the problem the left must face.

Growing up as a Christian taught me articles of faith. We don't delude ourselves by calling them articles of truth.

Science uses models to explain theory much as Jesus used parables to illustrate complex relationships. Many times these models are so convincing that thay become adopted as fact (truth).

The human condition has not changed. A review of Genesis 3 will prove that. With all our modern advancements in science, medicine, etc. we are still human.

I agree that there are mortal limits to knowledge. Otherwise, we would be gods. To have faith & hope is to be human.

11/04/2005 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger geoffrobinson said...

When people in Europe turned from God, Narcisism was left. And a hurtful god he became...

God's judgment is often times letting you have what you want.

11/04/2005 03:40:00 PM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...

aristides (at 2:54 PM)

That is surpassingly beautiful.

I have never heard of "Johannes de silentio"...

Who is (was) he, and where can I find more?

Jamie Irons

11/04/2005 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger Lesley said...

JSAllison said...
Where are Richelieu and the Musketeers? Nay, where is Martel?

Vendémiaire or Fallujah? and where shall we find Barras and Napoleon? A whiff of grapeshot anyone?

11/04/2005 05:01:00 PM  
Blogger Ivan Douglas said...

5.28 Desert Rat.
Richelieu was not THAT Gray Eminence.That was abe Joseph.Richelieu was only armed arm.
After all Europe has enough arms and army and plane,ships.....
What Europeans need now are balls.
Do they have those?

11/04/2005 06:05:00 PM  
Blogger Ivan Douglas said...

Zarathustra shows itself much weaker than Jehova.
Nietsche should has been thrown out with wather when he was born.
Jehova`s sons could defend Europe for 1400 years.
Nietsche`s followers lost Europe in 40 years.
Europe was and is mine homeland.
Katrine was for Frogs good opportunity to make jokes from GWB.
Only HE was able to understand what is happenning 1400 years after A.D.600.
God bless him and keep his hand above him.

11/04/2005 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger Ivan Douglas said...

ray 8.27
You should be hung for what you say.French had the same submissive policy for "ages."Even De Gaulle was the same SOB.Hatred of USA.
Same hatred is in Canada only Canada is afraid,she is too close to USA.
I hope Europe via NATO is able to save itself.NATO is USA.

11/04/2005 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger Ticker said...

A little civility folks. Please.

11/04/2005 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

sfrcook - Just as in the past a German or Japanese could be govern by consensual government, a Nazi or a Fascist most certainly could not.

Except for the fact that the German Nazis, the Italian fascists, and the Japanese Fascist-Militarists all governed with with populations that approved of them, did not fight against them. They all held democratic elections, and were at one point or another wildly popular.

It is not the Moslem but rather the Islamist that is our true enemy.

The problems with that are the teachings of war against the infidel, the inferiority and 2nd class nature of the subjugated infidel - are at the core of the Muslim faith. And anyone rejecting Islam or engaging in heretic thoughts like equality with the infidel is an apostate who must be punished by death, I'nshallah! The best you can hope for is "peaceful Muslims" that hate and revile the infidel and choose to live apart from the infidel, but feel the infidel is useful and should not be killed or warred against. For now. Trying to remove the hatred of the non-Muslim from Islam is like trying to remove Christ from the religion of Christianity.

Another problem is only a fraction of the Germans, Italians, Soviets, and Japs bought into their version of their peculiar totalitarian religions and were bona-fide members of the Party. By definition, all Muslims are bona-fide participants and advancers of their totalitarian faith. That's the 1200 year tradition. Any Muslim by that tradition that slacks off is a bad Muslim subject to punishment or death.

Democracy appears to hold little promise of transformation of Islam into a tolerant faith that can co-exist with others in the modern world.

11/04/2005 07:30:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

So a thought makes an action and from an action comes a habit and from a habit comes a character and from a character comes a destiny.

What pastors screenwriters and novelists believe is that character is destiny.

11/04/2005 07:35:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Europe is a century further down the road to apostasy than America .I read some of the serial writings of Bernard Levi in Atlantic Monthly recently until I couldn't stand anymore of his sniveling arrogant French bile.He claimed to be re-tracing the journeys of discovery of deToqueville.Levi's fiercest taunts were for people of faith in America which separated him from deToqueville who saw the "pulpits flaming with righteousness" as the secret of America's strength.
I live in Alabama,the heart of the heart of the Bible belt,so different from the coasts where our elites live.
I could not in any way imagine what's happening in Paris happening here in Alabama.That's a good thing.

11/04/2005 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Trangbang, Levi's just another snobbish transnational Jewish elitist in the best tradition of Derrida and Marcuse.

Sneering at backwards Christians is a long tradition for wealthy Jewish transnationals. It's been going on for centuries, but open intellectual attacks on Christianity only really started when Jews had the cover of Marxism, and the anti-Christian war was part and parcel of Marxism.

11/04/2005 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger Telford said...

Don't count Christianity out in Europe. Philip Jenkins in The Next Christendom argues that Europe is gaining more Christian than Muslim immigrants from abroad. More Africans than Anglos worship in England's churches on Sunday mornings. It may be that the next wave of re-evangelism in Europe comes from its own former colonies.

A friend of mine studying in the Free University in Amsterdam also told me that the theology department, once of course dominantly Reformed, is now full of Pentecostals.

We don't hear these stories in the MSM, but they're out there.

11/04/2005 10:47:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

from arab news of saudia arabia:§ion=0&article=72731&d=5&m=11&y=2005

Bands of youths in balaclavas start by setting fire to parked cars, break shop windows with baseball bats, wreck public telephones, and, ransack cinemas, libraries and schools. Once the police have arrived on the scene, the rioters attack them with stones, knives and baseball bats. The police respond by firing tear-gas grenades and, on occasions, blank shots in the air. Sometimes the youths fire back, with real bullets.

The scenes described above are not from the West Bank but from 16 French cities, most of them close to the capital Paris, that have been plunged in a European version of the “intifada”

Within hours the original cause of the incidents was forgotten and the issue jelled around a demand by the representatives of the rioters that the French police leave the “occupied territories.” By mid-week the riots had spread to three of the provinces neighboring Paris with a population of 5.5 million.

In some parts of France de facto “millet” system is already in place. In these areas all women are obliged to wear the standardized Islamist “hijab” while most men grow their beards to the length prescribed by the sheikhs. The radicals have managed to chase away French shopkeepers selling wine and alcohol and pork products, forced “places of sin” such as dancing halls, cinemas and theaters to close down and, seized control of much of the local administration often through permeation.

"All we demand is to be left alone,” said Mouloud Dahmani, one of the local “emirs” engaged in negotiations to persuade the French to withdraw the police and allow a committee of sheikhs, mostly from the Muslim Brotherhood, to negotiate an end to the hostilities.

Ah yes... I see it now... the new "occupied terrorities" the new and improved "uprising"

soon they will want to have the right to respond to french policing with retaliation attacks...

who said arafat never invented anything?

11/05/2005 01:00:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

c4 The problems with that are the teachings of war against the infidel, the inferiority and 2nd class nature of the subjugated infidel - are at the core of the Muslim faith. And anyone rejecting Islam or engaging in heretic thoughts like equality with the infidel is an apostate who must be punished by death, I'nshallah! The best you can hope for is "peaceful Muslims" that hate and revile the infidel and choose to live apart from the infidel, but feel the infidel is useful and should not be killed or warred against. For now. Trying to remove the hatred of the non-Muslim from Islam is like trying to remove Christ from the religion of Christianity.

ah good points, so why try to give them more states to slit your thoat? why do you defend the pali's sp much and so often when really all they do is hate and want to murder?

11/05/2005 01:05:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

c4 Sneering at backwards Christians is a long tradition for wealthy Jewish transnationals

please provide a list....

please define "sneering"

please define wealthy

please define transnational

is sneering backward limited to "wealthy" & "transnational", could a jew be poor and & transnational and sneer? or how about wealthy and not transnational, could he too sneer?

11/05/2005 01:08:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

c4: but open intellectual attacks on Christianity only really started when Jews had the cover of Marxism

actually open intellectual attacks on christianity really started when christians stopped murdering jews for speaking "insults" to their lord, just like the moslems today will murder if you insult allah or mohammend, christianity had murdered for centuries anyone or jew that defamed their so called jewish born god

btw was that a snobbish backwards sneer? did i qualify?

11/05/2005 01:12:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Pork rinds - For 14 or so years, the Settlement activity was minimal. After Camp David and securing the Egyptian flank with annual US dollars paid in tribute for "peace", the old terrorist Menachim Begin started the Colonization of the West Bank. Since then, the effect has been one of arrogant Zionists poking a stick into the hornets nest, with only pauses as the hornets die down until a new poke stirs them up again.

With Global TV and the slack attention paid by Israelis to PR, the Palestinian agenda has dominated and now permanently stirred up all the hornets nests, not just the Palestinian one.

The rapacious Zionists just couldn't leave well enough alone. Time was leading to many countries accepting the 1948 land and property seizures as a long ago done deal, but the creeping land grabs on the West Bank Begin started in 1981 meant fresh grievances and fresh insults. And the loss of most of the global goodwill the Zionists had - as they showed the world they were expansionist and as plucky David was reshaped by the media into Goliath the oppressor.

Now we need permanent Borders in the ME. The nature of the Muslim will not change, but they have a right to their lands. The world simply won't accept Zionists taking it all.

11/05/2005 03:58:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Actually, I was thinking that if Iran nukes Israel, then we should give the Jewish people what was left of Iran after all the noise and flying bits of stuff stopped.

11/05/2005 04:45:00 AM  
Blogger Brad Lena said...

Both Nietzsche, in the latter part of 19th Century and Pope Pius X in the dawn of the 20th articulated a vision about the future of Europe. In light of what came to pass, it is ironic, whatever one thinks of religion, that the Pope was clearly a member of the reality-based community and Nietzsche was delusional.

11/05/2005 05:42:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If Iran nukes Israel, after the ensueing conflict, why would anyone want to leave New York or Florida to live in what remained of Iran?
I do not think there would be much of either Iran or Israel left. Certainly not enough Israelis to emigrate, anywhere.

It would seem that as exampled by their distinct lack of success in disarming Gaza, to date, the Palis are not ready for Peaceful Coexistence with Infidels.
It may be that the new Emirs of Paris are not ready, either.

Given enough time C4 will find a way to blame the Flames of Paris on the zionists.

11/05/2005 05:44:00 AM  
Blogger sfrcook said...

"they all democratic elections and were at one point or another wildly popular."

Cedarford, I do not mean to veer too far off topic, but remind me again exactly how many "democratic elections" did Hitler or Stalin hold? And why did these "wildly popular" leaders need such oppressive instruments of internal policing? It would seem to me that their "popularity" stem from(1) their real, but more importantly, (2)their perceived successes. In the face of Western weakness and without any internal opposition, the veneer of popularity was a given.

"only a fraction of Germans, Italians, Soviets...bought intotheir version of their peculiar totalitarian religions and were bona-fide members of the Party. By definition, all Muslims are bona-fide participants and advancers of their totalitarian faith."

And yet we were faced with the necessity of killing many more than just members of the Nazi party, those who fought for reasons other than ideology. I shudder at the prospect that we may yet again face such an awful reckoning. As for your second sentence in the quote, we will have to agree to disagree. I am not the determinist that you appear to be.

Your description of Islam may well be accurate and there does seem to be a historical continuum of Islamic belligerency and intolerance. yet it is also not a coincidence that Islam poses a much greater threat to the West today, than say 100 years ago. Furthermore, millions of Moslems today participate in societies that operate under consensual government, as they do here.

Which brings me back to my earlier contention. The nature of Islam, while critical, is tangential to my concern to the apparent identity crisis of the West. We can acknowledge our sins, but we must vigorously defend or virtues. We must be terrible to our enemies initially, yet magnanimous later. For we must never lose sight of our shared humanity, and of the tragic understanding that, now as ever in the past, it is our brother we destroy.

11/05/2005 06:02:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Well, Desert Rat, they would not need many people or much space.
Just the oilfields.

11/05/2005 06:53:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

In the Weekly Standard, "Paris when it Sizzles", Olivier Guitta writes:

"... An underground economy flourishes in the worst African and Muslim neighborhoods, with trafficking in drugs and stolen goods going on unimpeded and rival gangs fighting over loot. Communal tensions are equally pervasive, pitting white French (or "Gaulois") against Arab and Black, Black against Arab, and Muslim against Jew. In light of this, it is no coincidence that France saw a record number of anti-Semitic incidents in 2004 (970, well over 2 a day), most of them committed by young Muslims from the suburbs.

In extreme cases, these neighborhoods might as well be foreign countries, with their own laws and value systems. Thus, good students are treated as pariahs, while outlaws get respect. Matters have reached the point where some young "Gauloises" have testified that, in a kind of inverse assimilation process, they converted to Islam to escape harassment by Muslim thugs.

Some intellectuals speak of the Lebanonization of French society. Others speculate about civil war in ten years if nothing is done. Michel Gurfinkiel, editor of the news magazine Valeurs Actuelles, likens France today to the Weimar republic just before the rise of Nazism.

Interior Minister Sarkozy wants to turn a new leaf. He expresses determination to end the laissez-faire attitude toward the pathologies of the "banlieues sensibles" that has prevailed for decades, under governments of both left and right, with the possible exception of his own previous stint as interior minister, in 2002-04. Facing down rock throwers in Argenteuil, another hotspot, last week, he vowed to rid the suburbs of the "racaille."

Sarkozy has been widely criticized for using that term, even by members of his own party, who accuse him of adding fuel to the fire. Much hangs on the success of his Giuliani-like "zero tolerance" approach. As of now, he seems to be the only politician willing to tackle the thorny issues of immigration and security. Soon enough, French voters will have a chance to render their verdict on his policies: The current frontrunner in the presidential election of 2007 is none other than Sarkozy. ..."

11/05/2005 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger StoutFellow said...

Desert Rat,

I just wanted to make sure you knew that your message finally got through.

Road To Baghdad Airport

Easy Sailing Along Once-Perilous Road To Baghdad Airport
Army Steps Up Presence to Quell Attacks

By Jackie Spinner
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 4, 2005; Page A15

BAGHDAD -- It used to be the most dangerous highway in Iraq, five miles of bomb-blasted road between Baghdad International Airport and the capital cityscape. It was a white-knuckle ride, coming or going. To reach Baghdad or leave it, you had to survive the airport road first.

Then, two months ago, the killings stopped. In October, one person was wounded on the road and no one was killed, according to the U.S. Army, which also calculated the April deaths. The turnaround was owed to simple, boots-on-the-ground military tactics, Army officials said.

Now here I was going to say, Why not Osama? But I think events have progressed beyond the point where capturing or killing Bin Laden would have little, if any effect on the global jihad. Sophia phoster 12:23PM is on to the new threat. In the link in his/her post is a very troubling description of a head of state of an Islamic nation with a significant economy who argues 1) Islamic countries are oppressed, 2) the jews and the west are the oppressors, 3) Islam needs to reform itself to gain modern techological skill and create modern armies and, 4) retake the Caliphate. In short the era of the Bin Laden mujahadeen fighting with nothing but Kalashnikovs and RPGs will become a thing of the past if Prime Minister Mathathir can unite and modernize the current states inhabited by 1.8 billiom Muslims.

11/05/2005 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Telford ,your analysis of rise of Christianity among immigrants in UK at least is true as well as in eastern Europe.France and Germany have policies aimed at stifling religious advances which hinder non-violent Christians and enflame jihadists.Churches in UK are often filled with West Indian and African converts while Brits are bitter and hard hearted.
Interesting ,the syncretism of radical Islam and crime,dealing,etc.It shows the utter powerlessness of Islam to transform human hearts.It may turn the "Wretched of the Earth" into jihadi monsters,but doesn't produce saints.This is why ,ultimately like Marxism it will be consigned to the dustbin of history.

11/05/2005 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

As we integrate Iraqis into defending Iraq things will continue to improve. I am not one to crow, often, but cock a doodle do. Things are going well in Iraq. Honestly it is already done, but disengagement is the much more difficult than invasion.

The speech refered to was made, as Sophia notes, in 2003. It was as vital then in understanding the Conflict as it is now. Excepting that in 2003 Osama & aQ were still seen by many as the 'strong horse'. That view may have changed due to events and perceptions of strength, of course it may not have.

No, I must disagree, stout.
Why not Osama is a viable today as it was in '98, '99, '00, '01, '02, '03, '04 and '05. It will still be a viable question in 2006, especially in Novemeber. If the years listed continue to grow, the question will be VERY viable in '08.

11/05/2005 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger anybudee said...

DR, Trang

You can't know the strength of christianity in Europe (or anywhere else) by looking at the organized church. Those organizations have always been simply a vehicle for the church, not the church itself. They have largely corrupted themselves and become nearly irrelevant. The old wineskin is worn out, obsolete.

The strength of the church has always been in the relationships, not Church Inc. The denominations have long since quit doing the great commission and became tokens, mere political entities. That's one reason why they've been largely abandoned by the newer generations.

The 1st church met in the temple and from house to house. When the temple became off limits, the houses became the gathering places FOR the church. The house church movement, as epitomized by tens of millions in China and elsewhere in the East, is alive and well. And it is growing in the West.

11/05/2005 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

It seems that we are suffering from cultural amnesia, the Europeans more acutely so.

Americans are, for the most part, pragmatists. We come to decisions quickly (and often disatrously) based on a simple calculation of self interest.

European elites, I think, often delude themselves and disguise what ultimately is crass self interest behind faux intellectual superiority and decadence. Americans are more transparent.

Europe has allowed Islamism to desecrate the great monuments of her culture and called it postmodernism.

As great as the sane Nietsche was his contributions are nothing compared to Chartres, or even a brilliant Merlot. I hope Europe chooses to fight for her greatness

11/05/2005 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Desert Rat: I study, honor and write articles about the incredible men who won WWII but if you could go back 50 years and tell them what we have done in Iraq I think they would be totally astonished. I think that they would say something like:
"You invade a heavily armed country the size of California that was operating on the same principles as the Nazis and is virtually surrounded by similar states, convert it to Democracy and lose only a couple of thousand troops? Well, we have always said that God looks out for drunks, small children and the United States of America, but that is freaking ridiculous."

11/05/2005 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

By any historical standard the Iraqi Campaign has been extremely successful. Limited human losses are exemplified by the "2000" KIA number. While each individual death is an awful event for every family, the total is not consequential, militarily. We have expended, as C4 will remind US, a hugh amount of Cash. Especially in relation to casualties. Spend more money, have less casualties... a reasonable exchange, it seems to me.
My misgivings toward the War and the Administration were that, for a while there, the military was not very aggresive, they were not, it seemed, pushing the Iraqis into their own defense quickly enough.
We had garrisoned the country but had not secured it.
Most of those concerns have been or are being remedied. Route Irish is much more secure, the Iraqis are finally beginning to deploy and Elections have been held, with more on the way.
As I have noted in the past, it is what is next in the War on Terror that we should be discussing, not whether we have won in Iraq. The end of the Iraqi tunnel was passed last month, now we need to change trains.

11/05/2005 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger The Wobbly Guy said...

When discussing bad old Mathathir, you have to be aware that his bark is always bigger than his bite. He's a product of Malaysia's peculiar political system that promotes identity politics and racial champions, and so they are used to uttering hyperbole every so often to demonstrate their 'identity'.

His anti-Jewish remarks are just one example. He doesn't really mean them, but he can't help but pander to his audience to score cheap popularity points.

We in Singapore should know, because we've been the receiving end many times already. The Malaysian politicans would say one thing in public, while privately they'll tell us, "You understand we're not serious", and their action do indicate that they're thankfully all talk and no action.

11/05/2005 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger heather said...

One thing I keep banging on about is the "position of women" in the Muslim culture... I consider that this is at the core of that culture's inability to accept the 21st century, post industrial age.

I have begun to study the Dark ages, the time of the conversion to Christianity of Western Europe. To me, the most important aspect of this Christianization was the splitting of "kin" from "individual". The early Celtic monks became "exiles for Christ" leaving their tribes to travel among strangers (and to become hermits). This was a great and terrible step to take, to go from one's kin to the great world, the individual facing Christ alone.

The blood feud was a constant, until the modern age (and carries on unchanged in Albania and the Caucasus, etc) - it is an aspect of the tribe/kin life. One of the early regulations of the Christian Church was that cloistered monks were regulated by Church law, AS OPPOSED TO KIN LAW.

The Monastery, untrammeled by family or tribe, established the template upon which our modern, corporate world is built.

There is no such memory in Islam.

Furthermore, look to the role of women in Islam: you cannot be part of our world if half the population - the half that raises the children - has a degraded status. Chattering on about poverty and racism is simply that: chatter. The problem must be solved by ISLAM - within the family structure it supports - and that is lousy news for the rest of us.

In the meantime, I support military incursions into Iraq, and Syria and Iran - to protect MY society and MY civilization.

11/05/2005 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

yeo: During the Cold War say one thing publically and something else privately was the norm - even within NATO. European politicians would wail in front of their people about us putting Pershings or Tomahawks on their soil - and privately say "Good idea." After the U.S. invasion of Granada even Margaret Thatcher said "If this is the kind of thing the U.S, is going to do we are going to have some really terrible wars in the world." Privately the Iron Lady probably said somthing like "Good job Ronnie. Thank Heavens you got rid of that gang of thugs."
But in the War against Islamic Fascism I don't think we can allow that kind of casual duplicity.
As has been discussed here and elswhere, much of the war will not involve bullets and guns and military objectives.
Allowing the terrorists to think they have intimidated someone or made the U.S. look bad is almost as bad as really letting them win a military campaign - because that pseudo victory very probably WILL lead to another military campaign.

11/05/2005 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

"It seems that Europe has been heading down this road for some time, and the US was not too far behind. Recall in the 90s when History took a vacation that Diversity was the buzzword, the proof of enlightenment for the chattering classes of the intelligentsia.

In the ultimate irony, it may turn out that bin-Laden woke us from our vacation from History, just in time to save ourselves. Had he waited, perhaps we would have torn ourselves apart from the inside out as France seems to be doing."

We aren't over the hump yet, if anything we've institutionalized it even more. I'm sure I could find plenty of quotes from Bush, Rice, etc, praising our "diversity" and multiculturalism.

11/05/2005 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

sfrcook -

You should look up Hitlers free elections and the national plebicites he held. Before major repression started in the late 30's, partially in response to Stalins mass terror, communists and others freely opposed the National Socialists - but the National Socialists and Hitler were wildly popular with the people for bring stability and prosperity to Germany after the disastrous 20s.

As for Stalin, yes he was greatly feared, but Big Brother was also greatly loved, and a majority of votes the man got were from peasants and workers comprising the majority of Russians who honestly voted their hearts in thinking Stalin was the greatest thing in the whole world. In Russia, his picture still hangs in the place of honor in the homes of many old pensioners. In China, democratic elections are held at the local level and the voters like the general direction Party leadership is taking to making China great and powerful once again, though they dislike the excesses and corruption. In N Korea, if the US was magically able to conquer it, then held "noble purple-fingered freedom-loving NORKs" elections with 'Lil Kim as a candidate, he'd win.

If the "democracy-hungry" Sunnis of Iraq were free to select their favorite candidate for representing the Sunni interests in national elections, they would democratically elect Saddam, of course, if they could.

And even the royal family of Saudi Arabia privately concede that if Saudi Arabia went democratic tomorrow, it would be Bin Laden and the Islamists the winners in a neocon-like "cakewalk".

That is the danger of an intellectually incurious President ill-informed on history and in a bubble just listening to ideologues from one camp inbetween his bike rides, photo-ops before his early bedtime. If the Bushies had included any dissenting voices in their foreign policy advisor team instead of systematically excluding top centrist Dem, Bush I, and even Reagan advisors - then purging Powell's people, they would have had voices that would have pricked Bush's balloon and burst his neocon/Anatoly Sharansky "democracy solves terror" conceits.

It doesn't take much to have assembled a team of intellect and thought, at least 30% who have read Edmund Burke's "Reflections on the Revolution in France", who know the nature of where democracy has triumphed or failed completely in Europe or elsewhere to at least give Bush the truth. But that balance is not what he wants to hear. It is which courtier has lately grabbed his ear and he wants confirming voices...

11/05/2005 06:43:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

As far as measuring the accomplishments of OIF, I think the most helpful metric is whether any other country in the world could do what we have done in Iraq these past two and a half years. Could any of our contemporaries do this? Any of our forebearers?

Of course not, so by any measure what we have done in Iraq is an historically significant achievement, a new precedent and high water mark for military and national prestige. Now, such an endorsement rings faintly of vanity, but its truth is inarguable. Nobody on earth could have done this. Nobody ever.

It is too bad that our exceptionalism seems nowadays to be so unexceptional. I think there are many people who live in this country who have the unfortunate affliction of not being able to appreciate its worth. It is a most cruel malady.

11/05/2005 10:14:00 PM  

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