In a must read interview in today’s WSJ, my heroine Oriana Fallaci speaks of her hero the new pope:
But it is “Ratzinger” (as she insists on calling the pope) who is her soulmate. John Paul II–“Wojtyla”–was a “warrior, who did more to end the Soviet Union than even America,” but she will not forgive him for his “weakness toward the Islamic world. Why, why was he so weak?”
The scant hopes that she has for the West she rests on his successor. As a cardinal, Pope Benedict XVI wrote frequently on the European (and the Western) condition. Last year, he wrote an essay titled “If Europe Hates Itself,” from which Ms. Fallaci reads this to me: “The West reveals . . . a hatred of itself, which is strange and can only be considered pathological; the West . . . no longer loves itself; in its own history, it now sees only what is deplorable and destructive, while it is no longer able to perceive what is great and pure.”
“Ecco!” she says. A man after her own heart. “Ecco!” But I cannot be certain whether I see triumph in her eyes, or pain.
Fallaci, as we know, is an atheist. We live in interesting times indeed, when many of us of an atheist/agnostic stripe (like this blogger) are being forced to acknowledge that some Western religious leaders are our last, best hope.
But there is no one like Fallaci. I have said it before and I’ll say it again – Oriana, not Arianna!
UPDATE: To give an idea what Fallaci is up against, see this report on who is bank-rolling the fascist forces in Iraq. (hat tip: Our Correspondent on the Senate Floor)