***Please see update below***Regular and long-time readers know that my own analysis of matters in the Islamic world have led me to reluctantly conclude that we are seeing in that civilization a choice, both broadly popular and actively welcomed, for an Islamic version of fascism that glorifies the Volk (the "ummah"), stigmatizes the Jews (the "Jews") and the West (the "Americans") as responsible for all the Volk's failings and promises a rebirth of the Volkish civilization through a civilization-wide will to power ready, willing and able to use violence to achieve its aims.
With each passing month, I have become more, not less, convinced that this analysis is in its essentials correct.
In this second go-round with fascism, many commentators on the right who recognize it as such see the West, and especially America, as more-or-less occupying the role of Great Britain circa 1936: while some of the leadership and some of the people see and understand the full implications of the coming threat, most of the political and cultural leadership, for a variety of reasons--not the least of which is a love of peace and a hatred of war, disagree strongly with those who see such a threat.
As a result, these conservatives claim, like in WWII we will end up fighting a disastrous, monstrous, devastatingly destructive world-war at some point if we do not wake up and fight now at a much lower cost. It is, of course, one of the deep ironies of the historical record that those most truly devoted in their hearts to the cause of peace were those most directly responsible for bringing about conditions that led to a war many times of worse magnitude than, say, a punitive Anglo-French expedition into the Rhineland would have wrought when Hitler marched in to re-militarize it.
My scenario, I'm very sorry to say, is not quite so rosy. If I thought that there remained in the West today a fighting spirit eqivalent to that slumbering in the United States and Great Britain in 1938 that merely needs to be properly woken up, I would not be half so worried about the future as I am now.
It seems to me that the current West, racked as it is with deeply conflicting political ideals, inward-looking, more apt to see the partisan across the aisle as a bigger threat than any foreign enemy, is more alike to France in 1938: on paper and in theory the strongest power, yet, in its spirit, divided and brittle.
Like that France of so long ago, I find it likely what we will have to collectively drink the dregs of defeat down to the last bitter swallow before we have shorn away enough irrelevancies and find our own De Gaulle. Of finding him or her, I have no doubt, nor do I have doubt of the West's ultimate victory.
It was in this context, this background of thought so to speak, that I brought to my desk this morning for my usual on-line review of the West's major newspapers. It was with this dark foreboding that I came across the following in today's National Post
Iran eyes badges for Jews
Law would require non-Muslim insignia
Friday, May 19, 2006
Human rights groups are raising alarms over a new law passed by the Iranian parliament that would require the country's Jews and Christians to wear coloured badges to identify them and other religious minorities as non-Muslims.
In other words, this:
Avert your eyes if you must, make excuses for it, blame it on Bush or the United States if it makes you feel better. None of that will stop what is coming, nor save you from the time-honored ultimate question:
Which side are you on?
UPDATE: The Iranian government is strongly denying that any such legislation has been passed and says that the bill in question would merely provide incentives to persons to wear more traditional clothing.
Let us take their assurances at face value. Let us then turn to the statement today of the President of the Iranian Republic, openly threatening the nations of Southern Europe:
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: The enemies of the Iranian people should know: Confronting this people will bring them nothing but defeat, humiliation, and misery.Death to America.
As I stand before you, I’d like to say a few words to some European countries, which consider themselves to be the standard bearers of the Iranian people’s progress.
We say to you: Do not sacrifice the interests of your people, and the interest of all European people - especially the southern European countries - for the sake of immature decisions. We recommend that you do not sacrifice the interests of Europe for the sake of the interests of others.
Your best course of action is to follow the letter of the law. You say that you want to grant incentives to the Iranians.
They think they are dealing with a four-year-old child, who can be given nuts and chocolates in exchange for the gold in his hands.
Why? We say to you...
Crowd: Death to America. Death to America. Death to America. Death to America. Death to America.
It's not just a slogan. They mean it.