Following on from that, today he asks,
What can account for the difference in Western policies concerning Islam between the 19th century and the present? Is there some integral relationship between a blind toleration of Islamic fundamentalism and the West's own drift toward statism and totalitarianism? Even in the 19th century, which was governed, as Ayn Rand observed, by an "Aristotelian spirit," the moral sanction men repaired to was Christianity and a derivative form of secular moral altruism that spawned the elements of statism. This was evident in Doyle's novel; it is a phenomenon that occurs in most 19th century literature. . .Both Blair and Bush have been disarmed, argues Cline, and disarmed specifically by bad philosophy.
[Now, in the present day,] Iran has seized fifteen British sailors and marines. What has been Prime Minister Tony Blair's response to it other than a faint baring of teeth? In a recent TV interview, he stated that he doesn't understand why Iran keeps doing these things, because such actions are only making Iran unpopular. The only "justice" he can think of in the way of an ultimatum or retaliatory response is to apply economic sanctions against Iran - with the approval of the U.N. and the European Union, of course. That, and "quiet," behind-the-scenes "diplomacy" or compromise to "tone down the rhetoric."
God forbid that he propose unilateral action, such as ordering the British Navy in the Gulf to defend itself and remove a few Iranian ships or other military targets by way of persuasion.
God forbids? Or "world opinion"? With Blair's urging, Britain has progressively surrendered its sovereignty to the bureaucrats and parasites of the European Union, which explains Blair's tepid and arguably impotent "anger."
Ahmadinejad has called "arrogant" Britain's refusal to "apologize" for the alleged violation of Iran's waters. He knows, however, that it is the arrogance of a cream puff and a "has been" paper lion.
Both Bush and Blair have refused to acknowledge irrational nature of Iran, of Iraq, of Saudi Arabia - of virtually everything that imperils Western civilization, because they refuse to acknowledge the irrationality of their own policies. They have closed their minds to correction. Witness Bush's willingness to "stay the course" in Iraq, as though loyalty to an irrational, fruitless policy will somehow transform a quagmire into victory. This is how they jeopardize the existence of the West and allow Frankenstein monsters to exist, and be sustained, and set the terms of our existence.Surrender is not a winning strategy. Never has been.
It is not Ahmadinejad and Putin and Mugabe who are dangerous. It is the premise of Western leaders that the best morality is to be non-judgmental, to "love" (or tolerate as a difference in opinion or culture) totalitarians and sanction every brand of irrationality, including religious doctrines, and to surrender pro-life values in exchange for non- or anti-life values, such as "peace at any price," or environmentalism, or wealth -consuming foreign aid.
UPDATE 1: The Times mentions that "Tehran bloggers see through the smoke and mirrors," saying this is all about Ahmadinejad.
Iran analysts believe that President Ahmadinejad is relishing the crisis because it deflects attention from his political setbacks at home and criticism that he has failed to make good pledges of a better lot for Iran’s poor.UPDATE 2: In an hour long press conference, Ahmadinejad has said he will set the servicemen and women free. No timetable for their release was announced, but is this his way of appearing to be a statesman? To appear to take the moral high ground?
LINKS: The spreading desert sands of Islam - Ed Cline, The Rule of Reason
The fatal art of turning the other cheek - Ed Cline, The Rule of Reason
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