Monday, April 03, 2006

Wake up, America!

Glenn Greenwald takes conservative columnist Mark Steyn to task today for this piece, another installment in Steyn's Muslims-are-the-new-Commies series. Steyn proposes defeating terrorism with tougher rhetoric. Don't just be afraid. Be V-E-R-Y afraid!

Greenwald observes:
"... Steyn thinks the problem is that President Bush and Tony Blair have not made it sufficiently clear to the American and British people that this is really a war against Islam. Yes, you read that correctly. Steyn attributes the plummeting support for the Iraq War to, of all things, political correctness gone awry. He writes:

The line here is "respect." Everybody's busy professing their "respect": We all "respect" Islam; presidents and prime ministers and foreign ministers, lapsing so routinely into the deep-respect-for-the-religion-of-peace routine they forget that cumulatively it begins to sound less like "Let's roll!" and too often like "Let's roll over!"

Steyn concludes his column with this:

My worry is that the official platitudes in this new war are the equivalent of the Cold War chit-chat in its 1970s detente phase --when Willy Brandt and Pierre Trudeau and Jimmy Carter pretended the enemy was not what it was. Then came Ronald Reagan: It wasn't just the evil-empire stuff, his jokes were on the money, too. In their own depraved way, the Islamists are a lot goofier than the commies and a few gags wouldn't come amiss. If this is a "long war," it needs a rhetoric that can go the distance. And the present line fails that test.
For Steyn, the problem is simple: our rhetoric is not sufficiently inflammatory and jingoistic. The key to winning the war in Iraq and the overall war on terror is, apparently, to declare ourselves at war with Islam, and to make fun of Muslims.
I received another of Steyn’s fear-mongering ditties awhile back via one of my father’s e-mail buddies. "It's the Demography, Stupid" had all the "Wake up, America!" subtlety of the parody right-wing radio commentator, Earl Pitts – American.

While this jihad is still in its infancy, a burning xenophobia is our surest weapon, and Steyn works hard at fanning it. The secular west needs to wake up and face its slow suicide by contraception.

Steyn argues that just ground-pounding the Muslims wouldn’t prevent the fall of the Christian west. We suffer from an alarming birthrate gap vis-à-vis the Muslim world, Steyn warns, and the Christian world risks being eventually overrun because of "our lack of civilizational confidence." (The cure for which is, no doubt, civilizational Viagra.) Americans are not afraid enough of the urgent threat posed by Muslim children and must retaliate by stockpiling more of our own.

To plagiarize a quote from a review of one of nuclear-alarmist Jonathan Schell’s old books, "I shudder to think how I’ve failed. I shudder for Mark Steyn, for all the time he’s spent banging away at his typewriter instead of banging away elsewhere."

Inward, Christian soldiers.

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