Part 1 here. (Originally posted 01/2010)
There are people animated by a vision of Islam that restores it to a place of central importance in the Muslim world (partly in response to the injustices of the autocrats and long-tribal/family rule and harsh punishment they inflict…partly from the relatively weak economies, high levels of poverty, low political freedoms…partly spurred onwards against the interests, involvement and injustices of the West in the Muslim world, sometimes involving military force, sometimes in ways which undermine sovereignty, and also in ways that can dramatically strengthen cultural ties, trade, education and opportunity).
There is a large pool of sentiment and longer trends in the Arab world toward such a revival (Hitchens also might argue like Ayan Hirsi Ali that most Muslims simply cannot conceive of separation of church and state) and there are actual thugs willing to carry it out violently in the form of Al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba etc. These people need to be stood up to as Hitchens points out, and challenged. And if not by American citizens, then by default to our militaries and security agencies, but for Hitchens perhaps not so much by coalitions and diplomacy.
Hitchens has little patience for those in the West who don’t stand up to such thugs. He criticizes those who lose the facts in a fog of cultural relativism, those who out of fear or culturally ‘sensitive’ reasons (see Yale) get those facts wrong and capitulate too readily.
Such folks are often part of the Left he’s renounced, and much like the religious believers he denigrates and the stupidity and ignorance he’s wont to highlight, all of those folks have potentially lost sight of their moral obligations and capability to properly reason in Hitchens view, and deal lowly with our freedoms out of guilt and fear. This, of course, can lead to other problems.
A fair summary at the moment?
Addition: Is he still a socialist? A materialist? On a neoconservative trajectory out of British/European Leftism? Fully understanding of American traditions?
‘Mohammad Cartoonist Lars Vilks Headbutted During Lecture’……From The OC Jewish Experience: ‘UC Irvine Muslim Student Union Suspended’…From Volokh: ‘”South Park” Creators Warned (Threatened) Over Mohammed’
From The Atlantic: Samuel Huntington’s Death And Life’s Work…From The American Interest Online: Francis Fukuyama On Samuel Huntington…From Foreign Affairs Via The A & L Daily: ‘Conflict Or Cooperation: Three Visions Revisited’
Do we try and invest in global institutions as flawed as they are?: Daniel Deudney On YouTube Responding to Robert Kagan: Liberal Democracy Vs. Autocracy