Demography is destiny
Mark Steyn has a bee in his bonnet and, since it's his bee and his bonnet, it's a good one. What he keeps getting back to his the non-Muslim West's demographic decline. While America is staying ahead on the demographic curve, most of Europe is not. It is these numbers, more than anything else, that Steyn thinks dictate the "war" we're fighting:
Speaking of which, if we are at war—and half the American people and significantly higher percentages in Britain, Canada, and Europe don’t accept that proposition—than what exactly is the war about? We know it’s not really a “war on terror.” Nor is it, at heart, a war against Islam, or even “radical Islam.” The Muslim faith, whatever its merits for the believers, is a problematic business for the rest of us. There are many trouble spots around the world, but as a general rule, it’s easy to make an educated guess at one of the participants: Muslims vs. Jews in “Palestine,” Muslims vs. Hindus in Kashmir, Muslims vs. Christians in Africa, Muslims vs. Buddhists in Thailand, Muslims vs. Russians in the Caucasus, Muslims vs. backpacking tourists in Bali. Like the environmentalists, these guys think globally but act locally. Yet while Islamism is the enemy, it’s not what this thing’s about. Radical Islam is an opportunist infection, like AIDS: it’s not the HIV that kills you, it’s the pneumonia you get when your body’s too weak to fight it off. When the jihadists engage with the U.S. military, they lose—as they did in Afghanistan and Iraq. If this were like World War I with those fellows in one trench and us in ours facing them over some boggy piece of terrain, it would be over very quickly. Which the smarter Islamists have figured out. They know they can never win on the battlefield, but they figure there’s an excellent chance they can drag things out until western civilization collapses in on itself and Islam inherits by default. That’s what the war’s about: our lack of civilizational confidence.Steyn's article is extremely long, and I wonder summarize it here (why take wheat, and turn it into chaff?). The one other thing in which I'll indulge myself is to include Steyn's epitaph on multiculturalism, which is one of the bees in my bonnet:
The progressive agenda —lavish social welfare, abortion, secularism, multiculturalism—is collectively the real suicide bomb. Take multiculturalism: the great thing about multiculturalism is that it doesn’t involve knowing anything about other cultures—the capital of Bhutan, the principal exports of Malawi, who cares? All it requires is feeling good about other cultures. It’s fundamentally a fraud, and I would argue was subliminally accepted on that basis. Most adherents to the idea that all cultures are equal don’t want to live in anything but an advanced western society: Multiculturalism means your kid has to learn some wretched native dirge for the school holiday concert instead of getting to sing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” or that your holistic masseuse uses techniques developed from Native American spirituality, but not that you or anyone you care about should have to live in an African or Native-American society. It’s a quintessential piece of progressive humbug.Okay, I'll stop now. He has so many gem-like paragraphs, I could easily just keep including little pieces in this post, destroying the clarity of what he writes, and needlessly increasing the length of what I write.