April 03, 2006

Dear Dennis Prager!

Last Friday you wrote at WorldNetDaily:
The Islamic threat is greater than German and Soviet threats were
Posted: March 28, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2006 Creators Syndicate, Inc.

Only four types of individuals can deny the threat to civilization posed by the violence-supporting segment of Islam: the willfully naive, America-haters, Jew-haters and those afraid to confront evil.

Anyone else sees the contemporary reality – the genocidal Islamic regime in Sudan; the widespread Muslim theological and emotional support for the killing of a Muslim who converts to another religion; the absence of freedom in Muslim-majority countries; the widespread support for Palestinians who randomly murder Israelis; the primitive state in which women are kept in many Muslim countries; the celebration of death; the "honor killings" of daughters; and so much else that is terrible in significant parts of the Muslim world – knows that civilized humanity has a new evil to fight.

Just as previous generations had to fight Nazism, communism and fascism, our generation has to confront militant Islam.

And whereas there were unique aspects to those evils, there are two unique aspects to the evil emanating from the Islamic world that render this latest threat to humanity particularly difficult to overcome.

One is the number of people who believe in it. This is a new phenomenon among organized evils. Far fewer people believed in Nazism or in communism than believe in Islam generally or in authoritarian Islam specifically. There are 1 billion Muslims in the world. If just 10 percent believe in the Islam of Hamas, the Taliban, the Sudanese regime, Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism, bin Laden, Islamic Jihad, the Finley Park Mosque in London or Hezbollah – and it is inconceivable that only one of 10 Muslims supports any of these groups' ideologies – that means a true believing enemy of at least 100 million people. Outside of Germany, how many people believed in Nazism? Outside of Japan, who believed in Japanese imperialism and militarism? And outside of universities, the arts world or Hollywood, how many people believed in Soviet-style totalitarianism?

A far larger number of people believe in Islamic authoritarianism than ever believed in Marxism. Virtually no one living in Marxist countries believed in Marxism or communism. Likewise, far fewer people believed in Nazism, an ideology confined largely to one country for less than one generation. This is one enormous difference between the radical Islamic threat to our civilization and the two previous ones.

But there is yet a second difference that is at least as significant and at least as frightening: Nazis and communists wanted to live and feared death; Islamic authoritarians love death and loathe life.

That is why MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) worked with the Soviet Union. Communist leaders love life – they loved their money, their power, their dachas, their mistresses, their fine wines – and were hardly prepared to give all that up for Marx. But Iran's current leaders celebrate dying, and MAD may not work, because from our perspective, they are indeed mad. MAD only works with the sane.

There is much less you can do against people who value dying more than living.

The existence of an unprecedentedly large number of people wishing to destroy decent civilization as we know it – and who celebrate their own deaths – poses a threat the likes of which no civilization in history has had to confront.

The evils committed by Nazism and communism were, of course, greater than those committed by radical Islam. There has been no Muslim Gulag and no Muslim Auschwitz.

But the threat is far more serious.
Dear Dennis Prager, you are mostly right, but about one detail you are terribly wrong, so wrong that it merits a bog entry. You subsume the Germans of the Nazi aera under the same "sane" label you apply to the Communists, but don't you remember the pictures of the last day in the Führererbunker, the the little boys and old men who went to die without demur for a war long lost, the fact that it needed bombings such as those of Dresden and Hamburg to break the German backbone (and of which they are predictably moaning now)? If you do, then how can you apply such a "sane" label to the Germans?

Even Bubba Saddam Dearest clung so much to life that he had to be dug out of an earth hole, hairy and filthy, but very much alive and kicking. Now what about the charred corpse of Goebbels, the bodies of his wife and their six children? The remains of Hitler, as undigified in death as he was in life? The entire self-inflicted apocalyptic scenario, second only to Hiroshima?

Berlin May 1945



Recruiting poster "For Liberty and Life"

Volkssturm "man"

Another Volkssturm recruit

End of a Volkssturm man

The happy face of the Volkssturm

Volkssturm in Posen (Poznan)

"The Führer" and his Volkssturm men

Reality has kicked in

Volkssturm members as POWs


Dear Mr. Prager you wrote that stunningly insightful essay Dear Germany: Have you learned anything?. I know by heart, and have often quoted, the closing sentences: "There is, it would seem, only one answer. Nazism taught you nothing. Instead of learning that evil must be fought, you learned that fighting is evil." Don't you see the point, Mr. Prager? The Germans can't and won't learn. They have simply turned their fighting madness into a stupor just as insane. It is what I call the "ethical blind spot" or, in other words, the total lack of a moral compass. Mad is just another word for it. Would a SANE people complain about what they happily brought upon themselves in WWII? Don't you think that there must be a connection between the not-so-recent-anymore opportunist pacifism, the anti-Americanism and the up-and-coming school of history relativism, which is, slowly and step-by-step but with dogged determination, re-writing German history and turning us into victims? Not to speak of the ever-rising antisemitism.

Yes I know... Bach!

And Mozart and Beethoven, Goethe and Schiller and Heine (ooops... sorry, that was a Jew and very much not wanted), Mörike and Fontane and, yes, even Brecht. I am one of them and I will never get over the fact how such a bright and gifted people was and is able of such evil.

Yes, I beg to differ. Or can such Evil be sane?


Mark Winters said...

I just bought a replica WW2 German military leather jacket used by those in the Panzertruppe. I love German style. I've tried on many a black leather jacket but none compare to this one. The silver sheen to the black leather is wonderful. And, by the way, I agree with your premise. And that is why I have wondered what is going on with Turkish German relations in past comments. I know, I know. Turkey is a "secular" state. Yeah.

Moved Elsewhere said...

In my travels I have met two Germans who as teenagers fought in WWII. One was a sniper in a Waffen SS unit. The other was a junior officer on a U-Boat who survived his one and only mission before hostilities were concluded. I met them while my sailboat was berthed in La Paz, Baja Mexico del Sur.

Their personal qualities were in almost every respect admirable. Nevertheless, they hated Jews and Bolsheviks and regarded those of dark skin as racial inferiors. I, tall, blond, intelligent and well-educated was a presumptive member of the herrenvolken and as such welcomed as a confidant.

While America can and does celebrate its "Best Generation" Germany is burdened by its "Worst Generation". It is a sad legacy that must in time be put to rest. Germany is in great need of reinventing itself. A dark decade or so should not obliterate an admirable cultural and intellectual tradition that spans centuries.