Thursday, September 07, 2006

Fighting our father's ghosts

Shelby Steel has written an essay that is something we should read and think about. A contemplation of the cultural dilemna facing us worth reading slowly and carefully. I think the article is in part rant, and I doubt if I totally agree with it, but there's meat in it that ought to be considered:

But the international left is in its own contest with American exceptionalism. It keeps charging Israel and America with oppression hoping to mute American power. And this works in today's world because the oppression script is so familiar and because American power cringes when labeled with sins of the white Western past. Yet whenever the left does this, it makes room for extremism by lending legitimacy to its claim of oppression. And Israel can never use its military fire power without being labeled an oppressor--which brings legitimacy to the enemies she fights. Israel roars; much of Europe supports Hezbollah. Over and over, white guilt turns the disparity in development between Israel and her neighbors into a case of Western bigotry. This despite the fact that Islamic extremism is the most explicit and dangerous expression of human bigotry since the Nazi era. Israel's historical contradiction, her torture, is to be a Western nation whose efforts to survive trap her in the moral mazes of white guilt. Its national defense will forever be white aggression. Can we truly deal with the global situation in a rational way if we are too busy fighting our grandfathers' ghosts to see what we are actually dealing with? Or will our collective guilt for Europe's bad behaviors of the past be the tool that the East uses to destroy what we have built? Will we crumble quickly, like the Roman Empire in the west did, or will we do what is needed to meet the challenge, and exorcise those ghosts who would hold our hands?


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