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January 25, 2007
When The Germans Call Us Surrender Monkeys ....

... then we should really re-examine our testicular fortitude. Der Spiegel excerpts passages from Henryk Broder's new book on the Western response to radical Islamism, pungently titled, Hurray, We're Capitulating! The book has not yet been published in English, but DS gives us a translation on their English-language site. It cogently and somewhat angrily notes the low points in Western dhimmitude:

Objectively speaking, the cartoon controversy was a tempest in a teacup. But subjectively it was a show of strength and, in the context of the "clash of civilizations," a dress rehearsal for the real thing. The Muslims demonstrated how quickly and effectively they can mobilize the masses, and the free West showed that it has nothing to counter the offensive -- nothing but fear, cowardice and an overriding concern about the balance of trade. Now the Islamists know that they are dealing with a paper tiger whose roar is nothing but a tape recording.

As different as the West's reactions to the Muslim protests were, what they had in common were origins in feelings of powerlessness and helplessness. Critical souls who only yesterday agreed with Marx that religion is the opium of the masses suddenly insisted that religious sensibilities must be taken into account, especially when accompanied by violence. The representatives of open societies reacted like the inhabitants of an island about to be hit by a hurricane. Powerless against the forces of nature, they stocked up on supplies, nailed doors and windows shut and hoped that the storm would soon pass. Of course, whereas such a reaction may be an appropriate response to natural disasters, such a lack of resistance merely encourages fundamentalists. It completely justifies their view of the West as weak, decadent and completely unwilling to defend itself.

Those who react to kidnappings and beheadings, to massacres of people of other faiths, and to eruptions of collective hysteria with a call for "cultural dialogue" don't deserve any better.

Read the entire excerpt -- it's a bracing essay on Western fecklessness. Broder makes the point that the very silliness of the Prophet Cartoon controversy should have alerted us to the power play from the radical Islamists. While the Danish tried to stand up for free speech, most Western nations couldn't wait to scold them for their insensitivity. Instead of scolding the Islamists back over the absolute lunacy of rioting over a few drawings, political leaders in Europe and the US issued worried pronouncements over their respect for Mohammed and the bad manners of those darned Danes.

At least in the US, we mostly realize that we're facing a larger and protracted conflict, even if we're less than united on confronting our enemies. Broder castigates Europe for willfully denying that the conflict exists. Political and cultural leaders insist that they can appease the radical Islamists by apologizing and making demonstrations of sensitivity towards Muslims. In the meantime, they rush to highlight every nuance of statements by terrorist groups like Hamas, and Broder specifically points out the celebration over Hamas' supposed recognition of Israel last year -- when it turned out that they had done no such thing.

Our enemies have learned that we have no stomach for confrontation. We have grown so content within our material success that we view all conflict as economic problems to be solved through concessions and compromise. Broder wonders what Europe and the West will sacrifice next for appeasement. Who will be the next Czechoslovakia -- France?

I'm wondering why Broder's book hasn't been translated into English. It would make for required reading for anyone serious about the war with radical Islamist terror.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 25, 2007 6:35 PM

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