Remember the 2000s, right after 9/11? We’d get all these trolls on right-wing blogs telling us the Islamic womb would conquer the world.
Even back then we had reason to believe they were, as my grandmother would say, “lying with every tooth in their mouths.” Population statistics aren’t very reliable in—no, wait. Population statistics and censuses aren’t very reliable anywhere. In the U.S. they get folded, spindled and mutilated, and “invisible uncountable populations” get aggregated even to cities that are losing population, in order to rig the electoral votes. But we in the U.S. are amateurs at this stuff. The true fast and loose goes on in countries where kleptocracies reign, particularly countries which are net recipients of international handouts, most of them calculated per capita. For one, those countries really couldn’t count their population, not even if they wanted to really badly. They simply don’t have the kinds of efficient apparatuses and traditions of obeying the law that would allow that. Second, if you really believe they try, I have some swamp land in Florida I’ll sell you cheeeeep.
We have indications, mostly coming at us through charity organizations and other indirect means, that women in the Islamic world have discovered the rhythm method of contraception on the net, and that this is enough to make a dent in the birth rate. I don’t remember the links because these were in conversations ten or fifteen years ago, some of them via email.
The point is that while still out-reproducing the west, this is an academic matter because the birth rate is falling so fast they do not have a chance to overtake the West. As with all immigrants, this seems to be true of those Muslims who immigrate, who, in a couple of generations, have the same birth rate as their neighbors. (Though it should be noted that this too might be inflated, since net recipients of welfare, coming from countries with no respect for the rule of law, often borrow the neighbors’ kids to inflate their own brood. This happens in our inner cities too.)
So we used to laugh at the trolls, but at the same time, there was a stab of fear. They were so sure of themselves, so ready to kill for their cause, and the West was so full of doubt, so feeble, so incapable of even adequate resistance. Was the future truly a fundamentalist form of Islam? Some people, particularly on the left, believed and believe it will be. This is part of the reason for their supine acceptance of terrorist acts. As with communism, they are the monkeys who present their behinds to those who would kill them.
But there are reasons to think this is no longer true, if it ever was.
For one, there are reasons to believe that the “supine, dispirited” West was a creation of the media and the politicians, most of them part and parcel of an international socialist clique.
Brexit and Trump’s election were resounding screams from the people at large saying “hell no, we won’t go” into that good night.
But there are other indications, and if you live anywhere outside a dyed-blue city in the East and go out to the grocery store after something like the attacks in London this weekend, you’ll hear all these indications. Some of them crazier than others. The gist of it is somewhere between “What the heck do our politicians/media think they’re doing?” and “Bomb them into blue glass.”
This is why I call – and called – the “war on terror” the “war to save the Islamic world.” Why? Weren’t we doing war on the Islamic world?
No. People who got it were very careful not to say that.
If we get a few more attacks, the media and the politicians that are abasing themselves and apologizing to the perpetrators of atrocities are going to lose control. It’s already happening. And those of you who are scared by Trump (I’ve come to the conclusion that despite his unconventionalities he’s not as scary as Obama. Frankly, he might be less scary than Bush), keep in mind that after a few more attacks, we’ll get someone who will be more inflexible and perhaps a whole lot more eager to push the button in retaliation for an attack.
And I’ll be honest with you: I have a feeling we’re getting very close to that flip moment — when suddenly what seems stable becomes its opposite — in the West. I started feeling that way right after Manchester, and it’s not getting better.
Yes, I know the Islamic world has nukes too (though considering maintenance by insh-Allah, who knows how functional they are), but there are a lot more of us than of them, and if the West loses it, the Islamic world is done for.
Before you say “good” – and I’ve said “good” sometimes, in my darkest moments – think about what that means, not even to the Islamic world, but to the West.
The West is predicated on the idea of individual value and individual choices. It is that which has allowed us to become the powerhouse that made most of the world wealthy.
If we kill entire nations, the guilty with the innocent (and yes, there are innocent), the West will never be the same.
The very act of genocide will change who we are and how we view humanity. It will distort us forever.
We can digest something like the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima as a way to save even more lives. And sure, we can tell ourselves that we are saving lives by turning all Islamic countries into blue glass. It might even work for a while. But what happens when some other group of countries gets a wild hair and decides to make itself a nuisance? As with committing murder (I hear), the trigger for the second one is much softer. So next time someone might say “you know, those Latin American countries, sending their illiterate our way, are committing economic terrorism. What if we just made them into blue glass?”
Impossible? Maybe, but I wouldn’t bet that way. Certainly, killing millions of people will soften us for all sorts of state-centric politics which will emphasize collective guilt and collective reward. That is, politics that will destroy our fragile liberty and prosperity.
But, you say, there are no innocents in Islam, they’re all horrible people who want to kill all of us. Look how rare opposition and condemnation of terrorists are.
That is not… precisely true. There’s more at work than religious dogma. In fact, Islam itself has been shaped and its aggression reinforced by the cultural characteristics of the cultures in which it originated.
What we’re experiencing is not just or not primarily even a religious clash. It is that, sure, and some of Islam’s revelation encourages the attacks. But in the end what we’re experiencing is a clash of cultures, expressing itself in acts of war and diplomacy, which is how cultures talk.
It’s just that we’re talking completely different languages so that each culture is driving the other to the point of no return.
Next: When Cultures Clash