Don’t look, however, for any overt expression of alarm. It is too much to ask of the European Union for now to go on the record supporting the right of Danish free expression or to demand an embargo of Iran as it approaches nuclear autonomy. Instead, expect the European reaction to be far more subtle: the same old public utopian rhetoric, but in the shadows a newfound desire to galvanize against the threat of Islamic fascism.
Here is what we can probably anticipate. First will come a radical departure from past immigration practices. Islam will be praised; the Middle East assured that Europe is tolerant—but very few newcomers from across the Mediterranean let in.
There will be continued public furor over the American efforts in Iraq, but far greater secret efforts to coordinate with the United States—in everything from isolating the Assad regime in Syria to rethinking missile defense. For the past three years the post-colonial Europeans have wished the Americans to learn their imperial lessons by failing in Iraq. Yet it may well be that many in private will now wish us to succeed, if only in the hopes that such Middle East democracies will be less likely in the future to turn loose their mobs to burn European embassies and threaten their citizens.
We won’t see much public condemnation of Hamas, but more likely quiet efforts to pull the plug slowly on subsidies for such terrorists. The Europeans praised Arafat, then learned that he was singularly corrupt. Nothing disturbs a European more than to be swindled and damned as immoral in the process. Subsidies to Jew-hating Hamas terrorists only ensure both.
Finally, the Europeans who despised the unilateral and preemptory George Bush will start to grate at his new multilateral side even more. Be careful what you wish for, especially when an American leader may now not necessarily be such an easy target of caricature—or may not always do the dirty work of fighting jihadists from Pakistan to the Sunni Triangle.
Instead, by letting the Europeans take the lead with the Iranian negotiations, and keeping nearly silent about the cartoon hysteria, the United States essentially has told the Europeans, “Here is the sort of restrained sober and judicious global diplomacy that you so welcome.”
Because of slated troop withdrawals from European bases, and a new American weariness with the old anti-Americanism, some Europeans are beginning to recoil at the idea that they might well be on their own—and in a war against fanatical enemies that they have appeased and without rational friends that they have estranged.
Hanson is correct. First the behavior will change and begin to reflect reality, instead of reflecting the aberrent mental gymnastics of denial and fantasy that once drove the behavior. There is nothing like a crisis to motivate changes in behavior.
The minds of European's cultural elite will fiercely resist and try to cling to the cherished beliefs as long as they can; but eventually, even for them, denial will be impossible to sustain--unless cultural death is the goal. In a life-or-death crisis, either the survival mechanism starts to kick in (and for the human species, the rational faculty can be the key to long-term survival) or death ensues.
In Chinese, the word "crisis" is actually a combination of two words/symbols: "change" and "opportunity". This is something we like to tell our patients who are sometimes angry and bitter that the only effective thing they can do is to adapt to reality.
I hope Hanson is correct and this becomes the opportunity for the world to finally shed its illusions about the totalitarian thinking of both the left and the right. I have never cared which side of the political spectrum the desire to destroy human freedom comes from; since it has always seemed to me that enslavement in any form--whether originating with multicultural; religious; or other dogma--severely limits the capabilities of humanity as a whole as it destroys the individual human spirit. Tyranny is always psychotic and out of touch with the reality of human nature.
Europe will wake up and either change so they can respond to the latest manifestation of totalitarian tyranny; or it will doom its people to even more misery and death than they suffered in the last century.
Theodore Dalrymple has some additional thoughts on whether or not Europe is doomed.
UPDATE: Alexandra at All Things Beautiful has a good roundup with lots of links about the situation in Europe and the Cartoon Jihad. ShrinkWrapped thinks we are being played and that the media are being manipulated to promote the facist ideology of the Islamic radicals. Fortunately, Batman has joined the fight!
Can the Justice League be far behind?