Sunday, July 25, 2010

Chris Hitchens and the Clash of Civilizations

I had another thought about the recent Chris Hitchens article in which he said that Israel needs to end the occupation. It focuses on the section that it appears not a lot of readers made it to when they read the article:
"In order for Israel to become part of the alliance against whatever we want to call it, religious barbarism, theocratic, possibly thermonuclear theocratic or nuclear theocratic aggression, it can't, it'll have to dispense with the occupation. It's as simple as that."
This is very interesting because quite a few bloggers such as Richard Landes and Daniel Greenfield do in fact believe that the USA and it's allies are fighting a war against Islamism and not simply "terror," though they can feel free to correct me if I am wrong.  It's also fascinating that Hitchens in this article uses an example of "religious barbarism." What precisely would he be referring to there? Given his endorsement of the term, "Islamofascist," which goes a little far even for me, it certainly sounds like the "alliance" he speaks about is a Western alliance against Islamic theocracy.

Now assuming that one believes that the West is in fact involved in a war against Islamism (and not everyone does), then quite frankly: Israel is part of that alliance whether you like it or not, Mr. Hitchens. They are fighting Islamic radicals in the form of Hamas and Hezbollah, which keeps them contained. In fact some might argue that the occupation is part of that war against radical Islam because it is keeping Mahmoud Abbas' relatively secular government stable against Hamas takeover. As for Iran, Israel has been right up there with the US trying to keep them from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Do not get me wrong: Both Mr. Hitches and the HPers are right when they say that Israel should the occupation. The thing is that whether or not Israel should end the occupation is a separate issue with their status as a Western power. Here are a few truths: Israel is a US ally and remain that way, whether they like it or not. Israel is part of the war against radical Islam, whether they like it or not.

And Israel's enemies are our enemies. Note that this is a controversial view by HP standards: According to the HP talkbackers, Israel completely created it's own enemies by it's imperialistic and aggressive actions. But if Mr. Hitchens is correct and radical Islam is a global problem, then no amount of concessions on the part of Israel will solve it, either in the Middle East or elsewhere. Israel didn't create radical Islam but they are as much on the front lines of it as Pakistan and American troops in Afghanistan. Mr. Hitchens and his friends might want to deny that if they like but that's the reality.

1 comment:

  1. Islam as an ideology is the only one that has never undergone a reformation. When you combine fanaticism with advanced weapons, the results as we have seen, can be catastrophic. Few people like to face up to the fact the philosophy is geared towards eternal conflict with the Western world. Denying it won't change the fact our fight with Islam will continue long after we are no longer here.