Wednesday, March 31, 2004

From Munich to Madrid in 10 easy concessions 

Churchill once said that appeasement is like continually feeding an alligator in the hope that it will eat you last. But that's not quite right. What Europe is doing today is feeding the alligator in the hope that it will not eat them at all. On that basis, the Europeans are quite happy to keep feeding to the Islamist alligator all the Jews, the Arabs, the Americans and other expendables they can lay their hands on.

The last time Europe has tried that trick the enlightened opinion had it that Hitler's only aim - the one he would settle down after achieving - was re-arming and re-introducing conscription in Germany, then re-militarising the Ruhr, then "re-uniting" with Austria, then taking the Sudetenland, then the rest of Czechoslovakia, then the Free City of Danzig and the land corridor to East Prussia, then... Unfortunately we do not know what else the European appeasers were willing to concede to Hitler, because by that stage the Second World War had unexpectedly broken out.

Europe has misread and misunderstood the nature of the Islamist alligator, just as it had in the past misread the nature of the Nazi alligator and the Soviet alligator. Hitler was not to be satisfied with limited political gains. His vision for the Thousand Year Reich might or might not have included the world domination, but it had certainly stretched from the Atlantic to the Urals. The Soviet Union was even more ambitious, even if the experts have mistaken the strategic, post World War Two stalemate along the Iron Curtain as the permanent limit to communist territorial ambitions.

Europe is no stranger to terrorism; most of it, however, had pretty clear aims. One sure way to stop the ETA was always to political independence to the Basques; ditto with the IRA and the Northern Ireland. Wise or not, such capitulation would have brought the end to violence.

The Islamist alligator is different. It is a metaphysical, not a political animal. Its vision is global, not local and limited. It will not be sated with the victory in Kashmir or Chechnya, the destruction of Israel, or even the introduction of Taliban-style theocracy across all Muslim lands. The Islamic alligator hates the "West" with its democracy, freedoms and liberties, its separation of church and state, its culture, mores and institutions. The West provides too much of a competition for the Islamic alligator's own ideological vision, and so it will not rest until such competition is eliminated. Europe stands in the way. Hopefully, Europe will realise it one day. Hopefully before it is too late.


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