Sad world as mil­i­tant Is­lam surges, the Left re­bounds O

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - DEN­NIS PRAGER

n the eve of the year 2007, it is ev­i­dent to any­one with the for­ti­tude to see re­al­ity that the world is not get­ting bet­ter, nor even stay­ing the same, but get­ting worse.

There are a few pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ments. But they are mostly tech­no­log­i­cal and med­i­cal. More peo­ple are eat­ing bet­ter and liv­ing longer than ever be­fore. And the In­ter­net gives more peo­ple ac­cess to more in­for­ma­tion (and more lies) than ever be­fore. But aside from med­i­cal and tech­no­log­i­cal progress, there is lit­tle pos­i­tive to re­port. And, as al­ways, the tech­no­log­i­cal break­throughs are fre­quently morally mixed bags.

Al­most wher­ever one looks, there are more rea­sons for pes­simism than op­ti­mism.

Africa is prob­a­bly in worse con­di­tion than at any time in recorded his­tory. Though of­ten ex­ag­ger­ated, great num­bers of young and mid­dle-aged peo­ple are dy­ing from AIDS; cor­rup­tion in Africa is so wide­spread and deeply rooted that aid work­ers are telling the West to stop giv­ing funds to Africa be­cause those funds only serve to prop up cor­rupt regimes and in­crease poverty, mal­nu­tri­tion and vi­o­lence; about three mil­lion peo­ple have died in the on­go­ing wars in the Congo; and the Is­lamic Arab regime of Su­dan has al­lowed or di­rected geno­cide.

In Asia, China, sit­ting on re­serves of over a tril­lion dol­lars, is be­gin­ning to re­gard it­self as a world power, and most of where it med­dles, it plays an im­moral role (re­gard­ing Iran’s nu­clear weapons and the North Korea regime). As China’s eco­nomic power grows, it will in­creas­ingly seek to flex its mus­cles. This could mean ten­sion over Tai­wan, but it will even more likely mean that Ja­pan will try to be­come a mil­i­tary power once again and per­haps de­velop its own nu­clear weapons — be­cause of North Korea’s weapons and be­cause of China’s strength and am­bi­tions. A strong Ja­pan, given North Korea’s lu­natic regime and China’s drive for re­gional dom­i­nance, is a pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ment but an un­for­tu­nate one nev­er­the­less.

Rus­sia, like China, in­creas­ingly uses its power in im­moral ways, and its gov­ern­ment is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly au­thor­i­tar­ian.

As bad as Africa and parts of Asia are, the Arab world is in many ways in even worse con­di­tion and poses a far greater threat to world sta­bil­ity. The Arab world is largely di­vided be­tween cor­rupt regimes and Is­lamic to­tal­i­tar­i­ans who await the down­fall of those regimes. Since World War II, the Arab world has sought a so­lu­tion to its back­ward­ness — first in na­tion­al­ism, then in Pan-Arab na­tion­al­ism and Marx­ism, and now in Is­lam. “Is­lam is the an­swer” is the motto of vast num­bers of young Arabs (and Mus­lims else­where), and the Is­lam they are re­fer­ring to is of­ten not be­nign. Mak­ing mat­ters worse, the Arab world is con­sumed by hate. Ha­tred and oil have be­come its pri­mary ex­ports: ha­tred of Is­rael, of Amer­ica and of other non-Mus­lims in its midst — e.g., Ma­ronite Chris­tians in Le­banon, non-Mus­lims in Su­dan and Chris­tians in the Pales­tinian ter­ri­to­ries.

This ha­tred within the Arab world is in turn the prod­uct of a cul­ture that val­ues face-sav­ing over truth-telling. To this day, the Egyp­tian gov­ern­ment and pub­lic deny that the Egyp­tAir jet that fell out of the sky in 2000 did so be­cause the pilot, an Egyp­tian Mus­lim, de­cided to kill him­self and all those on board. The ma­jor­ity of the Arab world does not be­lieve that Arabs plot­ted and ex­e­cuted the 9/11 mur­ders of Amer­i­can civil­ians. And it widely be­lieves that Jews slaugh­ter non-Jewish chil­dren to use their blood to bake mat­zos on Passover; that Is­rael spreads AIDS in Arab coun­tries by send­ing AIDS-in­fected pros­ti­tutes into Arab coun­tries; and that “The Pro­to­cols of the El­ders of Zion” is a gen­uine text au­thored by Jews con­spir­ing to take over the world.

The Is­lamic world at large is in­creas­ingly in­flu­enced, and some- times dom­i­nated, by a vi­o­lent ex­pres­sion of re­li­gios­ity that seeks to im­pose it­self on any so­ci­ety it can. One of the largest Mus­lim coun­tries has de­clared its de­sire to see Is­rael an­ni­hi­lated and is pre­sumed to be de­vel­op­ing nu­clear weapons that would en­able it to do so. Anti-Semitism in the Arab and Mus­lim worlds has reached lev­els most of hu­man­ity thought had been van­quished along with Nazi regime.

West­ern Europe is dis­ap­pear­ing de­mo­graph­i­cally and cul­tur­ally. Like other sec­u­lar so­ci­eties, West­ern Europe is not re­pop­u­lat­ing it­self and has re­lied on im­port­ing im­mi­grants to pro­vide cit­i­zens and work­ers. Most of them are Mus­lims, and many of them loathe West­ern Europe and its val­ues. It is dif­fi­cult to imag­ine any other fu­ture sce­nario for West­ern Europe than its be­com- ing Is­lam­i­cized or hav­ing a civil war. West­ern Europe is the first sec­u­lar so­ci­ety in hu­man his­tory and con­se­quently be­lieves in very lit­tle be­yond hav­ing a se­cure and com­fort­able life un­trou­bled by war, work or chil­dren.

The in­creas­ing in­flu­ence of the world’s Left makes com­bat­ing the above prob­lems very dif­fi­cult. The Left dom­i­nates the world’s news me­dia and univer­si­ties, is re­gain­ing power in Latin Amer­ica, and is so­cially as well as po­lit­i­cally dom­i­nant in most West­ern Euro­pean coun­tries. And it ei­ther sides with Amer­ica’s en­e­mies or makes com­bat­ing them far more dif­fi­cult. Thus it is in­creas­ingly com­mon to see Che Gue­vara pic­tures at Hezbol­lah ral­lies in Le­banon and to see West­ern left­ists, like Lon­don’s mayor, honor rad­i­cal Mus­lims.

One so­ci­ety stands op­posed to all th­ese de­vel­op­ments — the United States of Amer­ica. But that so­ci­ety is it­self deeply di­vided. About half holds the val­ues of West­ern Europe; and the other half be­lieves that West­ern Euro­pean val­ues — es­sen­tially sec­u­lar­ism and so­cial­ism — are anath­ema to Amer­ica. The lat­ter half be­lieves Amer­ica must re­main true to its found­ing prin­ci­ples: Judeo-Chris­tian val­ues; in­di­vid­ual free­dom and small gov­ern­ment; and a melt­ing pot rather than mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism.

Which side wins will de­ter­mine the fate of mankind for a cen­tury or more. And you can’t win if you are naively op­ti­mistic.

Happy New Year.

Den­nis Prager is a na­tion­ally syn­di­cated colum­nist.

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