Gerard Baker is inclined to be optimistic. Yet, as he mentions Walter Laquer’s new book, The Last Days of Europe: Epitaph for an Old Continent, he is inclined to be persuaded toward pessimism. In the meantime, the future and the present connect. In the UK, imams are encouraged to give citizenship lessons, while the Germans--given that they only work 35 hours per week--have time to ponder their brain drain, the biggest since the 1940’s. As a footnote (in the George Anastaplo sense) allow me to recommend the cover story by Paul Berman (not on line, go buy it!) in the current The New Republic on Tariq Ramadan, a native of Switzerland, a professor at Oxford, and a grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, and also one of the most interesting and wily of European thinkers. I’m a pessimist on this one.
Addendum: The TNR essay on Tariq Ramadan is available on line here. Thanks, Joe.
The Berman piece is, as you might expect, quite extraordinary, continuing from where he left off in "Terror and Liberalism". He wants to understand Ramadan, a wily and clever one. In his quest, Berman is led to diagnose disturbing multicultural trends in European and American journalism: journalists on the left, so to speak, who ought to have eyes to see and ears to hear, but do not. The essay prints out at 51 pages, the longest thing I have ever seen in TNR. There is much to discuss in it.
Good news for your readers, Peter: the Berman piece is available gratis on-line.
Europe may not be dead, but it has the gasp of what I call the death breath.
What of us?
Bush promised the Saudis that he would allow in more "saudi students" after 9/11, despite the events of 9/11. Thus today there are MORE saudis in the country than there were on September 11th, 2001. And no one raised an objection when Bush did that, let alone the hue and cry appropriate for such a brain dead action. How dare Bush promise that corpulent voluptuary from the house of saud any such thing!
This new immigration bill makes no distinction between muslim and non-muslim immigration. And not a single Congressman or Senator has suggested that it include such a rational, commonsensical provision.
We would be in the EXACT same boat as the Europeans had we bordered one of those creepy muslim countries. And don't think otherwise.
And this immigration nightmare promises to bring in millions of muslims. And what's more, Bush has effectively promised Iraqi muslims that the United States would welcome them in if the situation in Iraq turns south. Again, promises made without any thought of what the American people might actually think of such insane policies. No thought at all at running such a decision past the American people.
This idea that islam is the same as Judaism and Christianity is a nightmare. How many Europeans have to suffer for it, before they, AND WE, get the picture.
And the picture isn't pretty. It's one of rape, honour killings, female mutilation, buraqas, intimidation, crime, murder, gang rape, etc..... Not to mention a plethora of terror cells. But hey, the more the merrier....
I hear that 7,000 Iraqis have been granted asylum. Why don't we ever get to vote on this insanity?
My prediction is that they will try to saddle us with at least 500K Iraqis before all is said and done. And then I think people might (MIGHT) get angry enough to question the whole stupid, suicidal system.
Berman, a man of the left, argues that in the last several years some European liberals have begun to show further signs of multicultural lunacy and a new, good-natured sympathy with fascist thinking. Prominent among his targets are Ian Buruma and Timothy Garton Ash. This is a controversy that has gotten more attention in Europe (England, France, and Holland) than here, and Berman fills us in. Despite its length and its jumpy style, it is well worth pondering.