Pipes Inspects the Leaks
Daniel Pipes has been trying to explain the Islamist threat for a long time. He works too hard, but I guess he thinks the subject is important. His latest attempt, before shipping off for a working vacation in Malibu is another in his series of speaking-slowly-so-we-will-understand wake-up calls. He wants us to know that radical Islamism is not the passing fancy of a couple of guys sitting around a hookah. We should not judge the threat with referrence to our obvious military superiority. We should not underestimate the enemy.
He points out that there are a few critical weaknesses in Western Culture that could give them the leverage to defeat us, to our belated surprise. The three weakness that he chooses to name are 1) pacifism, 2) self-hatred, and 3) complacency. Let me name some more: 4) isolationism, 5) compassion, 6) tolerance, and 7) self-involvement.
We children of the Enlightenment do not honor that which we have. We do not realize our virtues and we do not recognize their absense. We are fish swimming in the gifts of Western thought, so oblivious that we don't even take these blessings for granted. We just don't know they're there.
Those who do not share these gifts are envious, but they would rather die than emulate us. And yet we are constantly trying to find ways to reason with them, fully expecting sense to prevail, like Theo van Gogh, perhaps, who reportedly went down asking, "Can't we talk about this?"
1/20/2007 1:18 AM