Saturday, September 2, 2006

A Moment Athwart History

Well, it seems that everybody is putting in their two cents worth on whether the current “War on Terror “ can be analogized to anything else. Despite the recent spate of commentary from the administration on whether the opposing side are “appeasers” in the mold of Neville Chamberlain, Methinks that the War on Terror, while not exactly analogous to WW II can at least partially be transposed onto the current state of affairs. For example, I heard it said somewhere that if Iran is Nazi Germany, then Iraq might just as be Italy cira the 30’s. If so, the Iraq model, pre-invasion would have been--as Italy was--a model of a new order that might have challenged the prevailing hegemony if allowed to continue. If Mussolini’s Italy was a defiant ‘new model” on which Hitler later grafted a sort of Nordic mythological face, then Hussein (if allowed to continue) could have served as a sort of model for the Islamo-facist movement. In the opinion of many, he was already willing to borrow the language of Jihad, even if that language was fleshed out by acts of futile if symbolically important acts, such as sending money to the families of suicide bombers. Of course the only reason Hussein was doing so was to opportunistically graft the movement onto his ostensibly secular visage. Yet such actions demanded response, and for too long such a response was wanting. Such was the case with Italy and Germany. Taking the analogy further, Iran, once nuclearazed will be the new model, re-armed and industrialized 21st century Germany.
My one question on the matter is when this ultimately futile quest to turn back the clock to the thirteenth century will produce a twenty-first century Whittaker Chambers. When I ask this, I do not mean that he or she must be just a dedicated Muslim that is able to foresee the threat to the world that this new breed of fascism will inspire. What I will look for is someone among the ranks of the suicidal Muslims who is not only convinced of its perfect vision of the future, but sees it as an inevitability, yet one that is worth fighting against simply for the sake that it is wrong. Or, to paraphrase Chambers, someone convinced that he has ‘given up the winning side for the losing side.’ Only someone with that sort of conviction, I feel, will be able to speak the insane language of the Islamo-facists and inspire the movement to turn upon itself. Until then, we are stuck in this no-man’s land of secret alliances and curious questions about what this existential war really means.

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