I think if a lot more of our politicians, pundits, and academics would present or war on Islamic terrorism as straight forward as Mansur has written rather than political speak that we hear on TV and read in the newspaper, then we wouldn't have so many people scratching their heads over what we're up against.
The current enemy is the outcrop of a broken civilization of the past, spewing forth from its rotting bowels an endless horde of militants and fellow-travellers, carrying with them the most atavistic ideas about faith and politics that modern civilization, which Bush represents, hesitates to name for what it is.
We have to go back to the declining years of the Roman Empire to find a parallel with our times. Rome had spread civilization far and wide around the Mediterranean basin, but over time it became besieged by barbarians from outside its frontiers and then from within.
Civilization is more supple, hence fragile, than the iron and steel from which it is built. It might be likened to a garden, delicately laid out and carefully maintained.
When ignored or unattended, weeds destroy what human artifice builds with much labour.
Over time, people take their civilization for granted, become careless and unwilling to bear the burden of protecting it. Then its defences are breached, as Rome was, and the city is overrun by those who envy or loathe civilization, bringing ruin in their wake.
Radical Islamism and Islamist terrorism have already made a wasteland of the greater Middle East. Where once a great Islamic civilization prevailed, now, in its place, there so often thrives a culture of bigotry and tribal violence, with their effects spreading outwards across land and sea.
Rome did not know how to defeat the barbarians before they overran her. Those who endlessly fault Bush for the shape of the world visible since 9/11, will one day cry a river if he and his successors fail to save civilization from its present-day enemies.
Michael Novak, a Catholic theologian and philosopher, named Bush "the bravest president" for staying firm in confronting the contemporary barbarians, despite the venom of his peers.
In the dark winter nights, some of us will have prayers for Bush, knowing the difference between what he represents and those who would prey upon civilization.
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Holding Back the Barbarians
Here's a great piece by Toronto Sun columnist Salim Mansur which aptly describes the enemy we face in our current global War on Islamic Terror and how this is truly a fight for Western Civilization. I think he hits the nail dead on the head when wrote the following passage: