Available Now! (click cover)

America's Counter-Revolution
The Constitution Revisited

From the back cover:

This book challenges the assumption that the Constitution was a landmark in the struggle for liberty. Instead, Sheldon Richman argues, it was the product of a counter-revolution, a setback for the radicalism represented by America’s break with the British empire. Drawing on careful, credible historical scholarship and contemporary political analysis, Richman suggests that this counter-revolution was the work of conservatives who sought a nation of “power, consequence, and grandeur.” America’s Counter-Revolution makes a persuasive case that the Constitution was a victory not for liberty but for the agendas and interests of a militaristic, aristocratic, privilege-seeking ruling class.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Islamo-Fascism and U.S. Intervention

David M. Brown at Blogcritics.org writes, "Whatever the full explanation may be, anyone who reads these stories and continues to claim that murderous Islamo-fascist antipathy toward the West and America is all or mostly about foreign policy, and would evaporate if only the governments of the West never acted militarily overseas, is not being altogether honest."

Impugning the honesty of those of us who see U.S. foreign policy as the chief instigator of Islamic violence against the West doesn't seem the best way to launch a debate salvo. But there you are. Brown contends that threats across the Middle East and Europe against the countries in which newspapers have published negative cartoons about Muhammad prove that the problem is Islamo-fascist culture, not merely Western intervention in the Middle East for the past 50 years.

"So, it's all about foreign policy? Tell it to the recipients of the latest Islamo-fascist death threats," Brown writes

A few points. Threatening violence against cartoonists, newspapers, and whole populations is monstrous, entitling potential victims to be on heightened guard against efforts to carry out such threats. Religious people who were really confident about their beliefs wouldn't  react that way to satire. Why is it not enough to believe that their just god personally will inflict divine retribution in the afterlife, if not sooner? I guess that's why they call it "faith."

But Brown has not proved his point. This inexcusable response to the cartooning comes against a backdrop of decades of war, bombings that killed innocents, and intervention at times openly on behalf of tyranny. Wars currently rage in two Muslim countries, and threats loom against others. Can we really be so sure that in fact it's not largely about foreign policy? It would be naïve to suggest that ending intervention in the Middle East would overnight bring the evaporation of anti-Western violence. Geniis are not returned to bottles so easily. But that does not mean that Western intervention has not been the chief factor in the origin of that violence.

Maybe Brown's right. But he'll have to do more to demonstrate it.

Hat tip: Kn@ppster.

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