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June 23, 2006

Quote of the Day

I've written something similar; Monty writes it better:

It's not just Islam -- it's also age old tribalist behaviors that go back before Islam was even conceived. We are dealing with people whose mindset is cemented in a pre-modern (even pre-civilized) pattern. Unfortunately, Islam tends to reinforce rather than disrupt these patterns. It's no accident that our most dedecated foes in the Long War are scions of the most backwards tribalist societies in the world: Arabs, Pashtuns, and the many different Balkan tribes. Many are Muslim, but some are not (the Serbs, for example).

Barnett's theory of "core" and "gap" areas on the globe is really just another way of breaking the world into functioning societies and tribal backwaters. Were it not for the ocean of oil under their feet, the Arabs would be in the same position of much of sub-Saharan Africa. Tiny Israel produces more intellectual and physical capital than the entire Arab world combined; the sere regions of Anatolia -- from Turkey through Afghanistan to Pakistan -- have never had a peaceful century. When they can't fight invaders, they fight each other.

Our lives -- yours, mine, and probably our children's -- will be spent beating back the forces of de-civilization. Not just Muslim forces, either; we will also be fighting narco-terrorists, neo-communist revivalists, and crypto-anarchists. When President Bush called this the "Long War", he wasn't kidding. I won't live to see the end of it.

That's quite right. You can't blame all of this cultural pathology on Islam alone. Much of it is simple stone-age savagery. But Islam is an avowed enemy of the forces of modernism, humanism, secularism, liberalism, and the general values of the Enlightenment. So, why it may be wrong to say this sort of pathology was created by Islam -- humanity itself comes factory-equipped for superstition and savagery -- certainly it's fair to say it's perpetuated by Islam.

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posted by Ace at 03:02 PM

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