06 February, 2006

Dark Thoughts

Simmering under the surface of much of what I've read online in the last few days is the nexus of the "cartoon wars," the GWOT, and the politics of identity/culture. These are dark and scary thoughts, for they force us to sift our treasured beliefs, our images of ourselves, and the depths of our courage.

Wretchard discusses the clash of cultures:

Samuel Huntington wrote in a 1993 Foreign Affairs article that the primary driver of international conflicts in the 21st century would be a clash of civilizations.

The attitude of many Western intellectuals paralyzed by the cult of multiculturalism is ironically that "they don't do culture". Mark Steyn understood that multiculturalism was fundamentally about evading cultural conflicts rather than resolving them. In the New Criterion he wrote: "the great thing about multiculturalism is that it doesn’t involve knowing anything about other cultures—the capital of Bhutan, the principal exports of Malawi, who cares? All it requires is feeling good about other cultures. It’s fundamentally a fraud, and I would argue was subliminally accepted on that basis".

The challenge raised...is to accept the existence of a clash of civilizations and find modalities -- preferably peaceful ones -- in which to resolve them.

Neptunus Lex is not as optomistic, seeing longer, wider war on the horizon if we are to maintain our fundamental Western values and freedoms:

Now incensed Islamists in Britain use their freedom of speech rights to decry - wait for it: Freedom. We are left to scratch our heads and wonder how people who left the oppression of their homelands to join us in our national houses as guests in search of a better life demand upon arrival that we change our rules to more closely conform to the oppression that they fled. Irony?

Not a big enough word.

Are these our only choices? Fight and maybe die, or submit, give in, surrender?

John Donovan takes the "premeditated/orchestrated" issue into the wider calculations of Syria and Iran and nuclear weapons.

Grim comments on a cruel an additional irony. Or maybe it's not ironic after all. Those cartoons first appeared last September and depictions of Mohammed are nothing new, but the rest of the world is only just now noticing? If the Jihadis are as organized as many think they are, the starting point of Denmark as a target of their rage is no acccident. Grim writes:

Did you know that the white cross on a red field is a symbol of particular import for the Crusades? This flag which has become the symbol of freedom of speech and conscience is not just the flag of Denmark. It was, and is, the flag of The Knights Hospitaller. Deus vult, must we not say? This was unplanned, and not even imagined: but here we are. There will be no going back from this.

I suggest you all prepare for what Fate has brought us.

Lots of food for thought among these bloggers. And a bit to raise the hair on the back of one's neck, too.