Sunday, February 10, 2002

Land of Mirrors

Are Conservative proponents of the war just unable to think how other people see them? Perhaps this explains the otherwise suicidal impulses of many supposed proponents of the National interest. This comes from looking over an old essay by David Pryce-Jones in the National Review. He argues that Islamic Fundamentalism is a new Communism, in that it threatens everything it touches.

Apart from the fact that he sounds like a Serbian cheerleader (do they have cheerleaders in Belgrade?) the problem here is that it doesn't really match up. Islamic Fundamentalism is hardly the universal creed that Communism was, and it certainly doesn't have the same global reach. This is important as Communism managed to get European social democrats, American capitalists, Muslim fundamentalists, Afrikaaner racists, unpleasant South American dictators and even Chinese Marxists to line up to oppose it. This was because of the aforesaid universal aims and global reach.

Now who, in this day and age has the same aims and reach? Islamic fundamentalism doesn't come close, as it has somewhat restricted appeal to the five billion souls who do not bow down to Mecca, similarly Chinese nationalism also is hardly a threat outside the Far East for a similar reason. So who could be the free radical with a universal creed and the global dominance that eventually forces others to cohere against it.

Clue: we're it.

The national interest more often involves avoiding empires rather than building them.


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