- By Bruce S. Thornton (edited by Paul Murphy)
... 9/11... That disaster was the fruit of years of bad ideas, particularly the West's institutionalised self-loathing that demonises its own ideals and values and culture while idealising those of the "other" no matter how dysfunctional. Our intellectuals, academics, and artists for decades had been telling the world that the West, particularly America, is the villain of history, its crimes of imperialism, colonialism, capitalism, resource depletion, and pollution responsible for all the world's ills. Was it any wonder, then, that one of the West's fiercest historical enemies, Islam, should take our self-flagellation seriously and conclude that we deserved to die for the crimes which we ourselves keep admitting we are guilty of?
... Israel has always been and remains the key to understanding the war against Islamic jihad. The creation, in the heart of the Muslim empire, of a modern Western state -- for a people, moreover, long scorned as inferior dhimmi, spiritual renegades who had rejected the ultimate revelation of Allah and thus were legitimately deprived of their ancestral land -- was merely the crowning insult marking Islam's decline from its high tide at Vienna on September 11, 1683. The counter-attack against the West, then, the jihad to recover the lands bestowed upon Muslims by Allah, would start in earnest with the struggle against Israel. So in 1948 the Arab nations rejected the U.N.'s resolution creating Israel and a Palestinian Arab state -- the U.N. being a Western institution utterly alien to the values and ideals of Islam in any case -- and sent its armies to uproot and destroy the "Zionist entity." That attempt failed, as did two more. At that point Muslim Arabs shifted the struggle to wearing down Israeli resolve with terrorism, at the same time that their propaganda exploited the spiritual, cultural, and intellectual corruption of the West.
Of the many bad ideas exploited by the jihadists -- the Marxist-inspired demonization of imperialism and colonialism, the sentimental Third-Worldism that idealises the non-Western "other," the juvenile romance with revolutionary violence -- moral relativism has been the most lethal.
... This supremely bad idea -- that the modern West and its defining cultural cargo of free market capitalism, individualism, rationalism, and liberal democracy are the engines of global evil, and that Jews and Israel are the most dangerous embodiments of this evil -- continues to fuel the jihadists rage and to weaken the West's resolve. The stakes are too high for this suicidal notion to arouse in us anything but disgust.