Monday, March 24, 2008

Why are they undefeated yet?

Paul Berman, in a NYT's article, explains how the modern philiosophy he calls "radical Islamism" is "with its double roots, religious and modern, perversely intertwined, ... wields a lot more power, intellectually speaking, than naïve observers might suppose."

He offers a three pronged explanation:

1. That Radical Islamism is much more than "a heap of medieval prejudices". It draws on local and religious roots, as well as the totalitarian doctrines of 20th-century Europe.

2. None of America's policies in the last three decades succeeded in fully comprehending the scourge: ".. presidents have been satanic (Richard Nixon), angelic (Jimmy Carter), a sleepy idiot savant (Ronald Reagan), a cagey realist (George H. W. Bush), wonderfully charming (Bill Clinton) and famously otherwise (George W. Bush)."

3. The radical Islamists in he Middle East are overpowering liberal Muslims, see them as traitors to Muslim civilization and lackeys of Western and/or Zionist "imperialism". Their best and staunchest allies are the "all too many intellectuals in the Western countries" who "have lately assented to those preposterous accusations, in a sanitized version suitable for Western consumption."

The immune system of the all-Islamic body has been weakened by massive attacks from within the body. Yet Western intellectuals, who should act as boosters to the immune system, make common cause with the forces that are hostile to the very immune system that still has a chance of withstanding the assault of the sickening elements.

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