Fanatics filled with hate cannot be either deterred or bought off, whether Hezbollah, Hamas or the government of Iran.
The endlessly futile efforts to bring peace to the Middle East with concessions fundamentally misconceive what forces are at work.
Hate and humiliation are key forces that cannot be bought off by "trading land for peace," by a "Palestinian homeland" or by other such concessions that might have worked in other times and places.
Humiliation and hate go together. Why humiliation? Because a once-proud, dynamic culture in the forefront of world civilizations, and still carrying a message of their own superiority to "infidels" today, is painfully visible to the whole world as a poverty-stricken and backward region, lagging far behind in virtually every field of human endeavor.
There is no way that they can catch up in a hundred years, even if the rest of the world stands still. And they are not going to wait a hundred years to vent their resentments and frustrations at the humiliating position in which they find themselves.
Israel's very existence as a modern, prosperous western nation in their midst is a daily slap across the face. Nothing is easier for demagogues than to blame Israel, the United States, or western civilization in general for their own lagging position.
Hitler was able to rouse similar resentments and fanaticism in Germany under conditions not nearly as dire as those in most Middle East countries today. The proof of similar demagogic success in the Middle East is all around.
What kind of people provide a market for videotaped beheadings of innocent hostages? What kind of people would throw an old man in a wheelchair off a cruise liner into the sea, simply because he was Jewish? What kind of people would fly planes into buildings to vent their hate at the cost of their own lives?
These are the kinds of people we are talking about getting nuclear weapons....
I don't know about you, but it is quite a revelation to hear my worse thoughts and fears reflected in the words of a man whose intellect and insight I consistently admire. While in some sense this is validating for me, there is no question that his assessment is terrifying.
I think, how did it all come to this? How many times over the last 30 years or more have we in the west had the chance to make different choices and change history; or deflect it from the course it is now on? How many times have we bowed and berated ourselves for their hatred, and placated and appeased the true evil for a brief illusion of peace and for promises that they never intended to keep?
Why did we sit by and do nothing as this evil that lies like a malignant shadow across the face of the world slowly spread?
And how much longer are we going to dignify their insane fanatacism and hatred with useless attempts at reasoning with them; only to discover that we have instead simply made them more resolute and bold about their murderous intentions?
And, when we have finally reached Sowell's point of no return; when we finally turn and face the evil that has been stalking us, who will stand on that narrow bridge that separates us from the abyss and shout out to it, "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"?
As I commented in an earlier post:
For me the choice is clear. I will follow whoever is willing to unflinching face the league [of extraordinary murders] and fight it, however ineptly; because the alternative plan proposed by the Democrats as they run back across that bridge into the 20th century, holds only an absolute certainty of defeat.
Rather than return to the false promises of safety, peace, brotherhood and utopia that are all jumbled together in the bubble of Democratic denial, I choose to face the reality of Islamofascism and the hatred that motivates it, just as an earlier generation faced the genocidal and fanatical reality of national socialism.
Only this time around in history, I am hoping the bubble of denial can be burst sooner, rather than later; for the sake of the millions of lives that will be forfeit to the rabid barbarity of this generation's league of extrordinary murderers.
Like Sowell, I fear for our children and our children's children. Because, even if they live through the coming wars, they will bear the brunt of our past and present inaction and indecision.
Go back to the shadow. YOU SHALL NOT PASS!
UPDATE: Are we in a brave new world?