The Silence of the Lambs
It has been a week of speeches. Last week the Pope delivered a scholarly lecture that dared broach the subject of Islam's long history of conversion by the sword. In it, he accurately defined the twin ills that afflict our present age -- the disconnect that both the West and the East have with reason. According to the Pope, Islam suffers from a faith which is severed from reason, while the West suffers from reason divorced from faith. The outraged howls and predictable mobs and demonstrations of violence that followed only served to prove the point that the Pope was making. Islam is fatally ill with a poisonous rage, anger and resort to violence.
We are living in momentous times. This was a pivotal and courageous speech, in its way as powerful as Reagan's "tear down this wall" speech, or Winston Churchill's "Iron Curtain" speech -- and may well prove to be as historic. Each of these speeches named the evil that confronted the world and defined it. In his speech, Pope Benedict not only pointed out the problem with Islam -- it is a faith without reason -- but also delineated why the West is mired in ennui and decline. The West has chosen reason without the elevating illumination of faith, to which reason naturally points. In doing so he has correctly defined the sicknesses of our age -- that of the West and that of the East. And if this pathology is not recognized and addressed, we stand on the brink of a horrible cataclysm.
The Pope's words have served to coalesce the forces of good and evil, and he is forcing the West to confront its own dereliction in this regard. It is a gentle and scholarly yet incredibly bold and courageous call to arms -- a call to goodness and right, and to reason illumined by faith.
But who has stepped forward to support the Pope? From all my reading of news reports, all I can glean is that Angela Merkel and two Anglican Archbishops have stood up for the Pope and condemned the violence and intimidations that his mild speech has engendered in the Islamic world. Where is our leadership? Where is our president? Where is our State Department? One senator? One congressman? Anybody?
And now we have the despotic demagogues of Iran and Venezuela, the rabidly anti-semitic, undemocratic, violent thugs of Iran and Venezuela, who come onto our soil and clamber up the podium of the UN we singlehandedly finance and support, and throw dung in our faces and openly mock and deride not only our president, but the entire American people. And we hear -- silence. It is the silence of the lambs. The lambs that are meekly going to slaughter rather than risk offending with a harsh word, much less a harsh action.
What kind of weak and ineffectual response do we get? John Bolton won't "dignify" the insults with his answer. Someone in the administration points out that at least we have demonstrated that we have free speech in this country.
Don't they understand that in the world that Chavez and the madman from Iran inhabit, this silence is only seen as contemptible weakness? These men inhabit a tribal, violent and super-macho universe of snarling animals, where the only language that is understood is raw power and the willingness to use it ruthlessly and pitilessly. Can you imagine how emboldened they are to see the meekness of our non-response? Only two democrats came out and had anything to say at all about this outrage -- Charles Rangel and Nancy Pelosi. And I don't care about their possible hypocrisy or their partisan motivations. After all, as Oscar Wilde said, hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue. At this point who cares? At least they came forward with strong language to condemn these outrageous insults.
These vile villains openly mock us in our own land and spit in our collective faces, and they know they can get away with it. Not only that, they know that there are plenty of adoring useful idiots in this foolish country who will lionize and applaud them, as witnessed by Chavez's reception in the Bronx and at Cooper Union, where he was received with standing ovations from the assembled lunatic left of the campus unintelligentsia.
If Western leaders are not willing to confront evil, to defend their own people from insult and outrage at the UN, are not willing to even stand up and support the Pope who has all but offered his life as a sacrifice to save the West from enslavement by encroaching Islam, then, my friends, we are well and truly lost.
Where are the men of this country? Have they all been emasculated by their law degrees and deal-making, their high educations and over-intellectualization of every problem to the point where they have lost touch with the most elemental and fundamental reality of being -- that of survival and fighting off an invading marauder who openly mocks and swaggers and threatens death unless we submit?
Once again the leadership of this country, and indeed of the world, is in complete disconnect with the people. If you listen to talk radio, if you talk to your friends and family, you will know where the real heart of this country lies. We are outraged. We demand that leaders do something more than pay attention to the bottom line, or court the most diplomatic response in the face of outrage. We demand that they do more than smile weakly and say tut-tut. We are heading towards a cataclysm of civilization, but it appears we are willing to go to slaughter not with a bang, but a whimper -- albeit a very cultured whimper -- a very civilized and diplomatic whimper.
Yes, these are the twin maladies that afflict our age -- and reason lies at the heart of both of them. Islam is ascendant because it gives vent to the most primitive emotions that man is privy to, the most elemental, savage emotions of hatred, revenge, envy, rage and murder. Yes, it has been so since the dawn of time. The history of mankind is a history of savage warring between tribes, of slaughter of other human beings on an unimaginable scale. Only in the last centuries, with the advent of Western civilization, has this drive to make war been somewhat tempered. According to the new book, "Before the Dawn", by Nicholas Wade, if past rates of murder caused by tribal warring of ancient and primitive peoples were extrapolated into today, we would be witnessing slaughter on the scale of billions of victims a year.
Yes, perhaps it is true, as Wade states, that humans have evolved differently over the millenia, and, especially in the West, have become more peaceful. In the East, a tribal, warring, nomadic and polygamous culture has bred a people highly suited to aggression and warfare, while in the West, our developed and highly technological society based on trade and science has bred for intellect, cooperation and peacefulness.
But when these two civilizations clash, it will become incumbent upon the peaceful one to rediscover their inner savage, and learn to fight back. We rediscovered it in WWII. We must rediscover it again. I'm sure Ronald Reagan or Winston Churchill would have come up with some brilliant quip or comment that would have served as a perfect smack-down. Sadly, all our own best intellects can come up with is -- we won't answer because we don't know what to say and we don't want to offend further.
Lambs to the slaughter. The silence of the lambs.