Second Shoah


[Let us fix our vision on a future time. Not that it requires any special clairvoyant powers. Indeed, that is my whole point. Ready? Strap yourself in: we're off to the year 2108.] 

It is such a shame, such a tragedy. History will never forgive us, nor will we be able to forgive ourselves. That is because either we have some inkling of the depth of our guilt, or the same rationalizing hard-heartedness that prevented that earlier generation from taking action continues to hold us, obliviously, in its grip. 

Everyone knows Santayana's maxim about those who are ignorant of the lessons of the past being doomed to repeat the horrors of the past; indeed, long ago it became a mantra. Even a cliché. Perhaps that is why, knowing it, we failed so miserably to heed it. How the West had wrung its collective hands over not having intervened to stop Hitler’s Holocaust when it would have been possible! And we couldn’t say we hadn’t possessed a clue: the bastard had published a book spelling out his genocidal plans! No one heeded. I guess they were just so very genteel that they could not imagine anyone else could be so barbaric, so bigoted, so bloodthirsty. Until it had happened. The same naiveté made Neville Chamberlain sign away the Sudetenland to the all-devouring Adolf, foolishly hoping the sacrifice of one finger would satiate the hunger of the most ravenous of beasts.  

History began to repeat itself, the very same history that we had long pretended to ward off by chanting the incantation “Never again!” But in retrospect it turns out that was just a token of hope, not of resolve, at least when Gentiles said it. Just as some predicted the biblical Antichrist would be the reincarnation of the ancient fiend Antiochus Epiphanes, it seems Adolf Hitler had come again in the person of the unshaven, leisure-suited, smirking President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Ahmedinejad did the same dance all neo-Nazis are so nimble at performing: he denied the first Holocaust ever happened, but freely announced his hopes to bring about a second. He said he would wipe the Middle East clean of Jews. And he systematically went ahead preparing nuclear weapons to advance that agenda. And none of this was a secret from the West.  

The secret was where the resolve, the courage, the backbone of the West had gone. Fools maintained that the best strategy for dealing with Iran (merely another version of the word “Aryan,” did you know?) was limp-wristed temporizing. Just posture with talk of “sanctions” and “negotiations” and “tough diplomacy.” American “leaders” learned this posture of impotent senility from their European counterparts, who had already doomed secular Western civilization (and Christian, if you prefer that kind) by welcoming in a raging tide of Muslims who made no effort to assimilate to the host country but sought, and gained, the right to judge their affairs by Islamic laws. “Old Europe” needed these people to serve them because, in their decadent senescence, they had not reproduced themselves in sufficient numbers and brought in more vigorous, albeit fanatical and barbarian, people to do their work. These were their former colonial subjects who now set their sites on revenge. And now they have it, there in Eurabia. Charles Martel and Vlad the Impaler had become myths at which the cynical sneered (or rather bleated) as they neared the slaughter.   

The senile Europeans pretended that sanctions and negotiations might do some good, closing their rheumy eyes to the fact that Iran knew what we had forgotten: that diplomacy soon becomes merely the art of distracting one side while the other prepares to clobber them. After years of fruitless finger-wagging by Europe, when Americans should have seen the utter failure of the strategy (which they should already have learned from Chamberlain), they decided to take it up like a fallen banner and continue to march toward failure and foolishness.  

Israel, no fools, drew up battle plans for a preemptive strike. For a time they imagined they could count on our help. Once it appeared that they couldn’t, we betrayed them doubly by refusing to let their bombers pass through air space we controlled. We thus allied ourselves in deed, though not yet in words, with Israel’s enemies and our own as well. We pushed an unwilling Israel to the slaughter. We had lost our resolve to do anything but save our own skins. 

It took great faith, albeit obviously misguided, and not only in retrospect, to see what must happen. We became “Finlandized,” an old and weary dog allowing a tale to wag us. Once Israel lay a smoking, glowing ruin, her hapless innocents a litter of charred corpses as if they had passed through Nazi ovens, only now they were modern microwaves, some in the West had better hindsight than foresight. At least they did not rationalize their way to blindness to the past as they had to the future, while others proved just as voluntarily blind in the one direction as the other. It was no one’s fault, the meliorists liked to say. A criminal act no one could have foreseen, others said. They could not bring themselves even to hold Iran and the Muslims responsible afterward, despite the Muslims gloating from their minarets. Of course, that made it easier to bury the past and our bloody-handed responsibility for it, our passive anti-Semitism, colluding in their sacrifice (“Better them than us!”). Is it not better, some said, to look to the future and cooperate with the gloating Arab states? Soon Liberal Westerners were feigning conversion to Islam. Then they were no longer feigning it. Salman Rushdie’s fear-feigned reversion to his once-rejected faith  became our guide. Our guide to the dustbin of history, where we now languish, a casualty of the Caliphate.   

Long ago we learned to dignify cowardice as “sophistication.” We could not bring ourselves to risk the sacrifices that standing up to evil might require, even stopped using the words “evil” and “terrorism,” mainly because we did not like to be reminded of the true character of those to whom we were surrendering. If an earlier generation had spoken of “peace with honor,” a subsequent generation simply equated the two, sacrificing honor, of which they no longer knew the meaning.  In the evasive, euphemistic language of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the aggressor was an unfortunate addict, and we obligingly took up our role as “enabler.” Enablers, it turned out, of our brutalizing enemies who rightly despised us for our cowardice. Evil faced us from without. We sacrificed Israel to it, as our yellow-bellied ancestors sacrificed a piece of Czechoslovakia. We wanted at all costs not to be destroyed by the evil threatening us from without. No wonder what finally killed us was our own cowardice, the enemy within us. So all these years later, we mourn, we weep, both for Israel and for the West. The West had died long before. Our flailings at the negotiating table were merely the death-throws. Our enemies saw that clearly and just waited for us to roll over and die. Now we have. 

One often used to hear how morally justified it would have been to have assassinated Hitler in advance, if one had only known. Why then did we not shoot down the plane that carried the grinning Jew-hater Ahmedinejad back to his “Medieval Times” theme park of a modern nation, when he was headed home after being fawningly questioned by Larry King? Why had we not brought Israel into the NATO alliance? Why had we not declared that any aggressor who attacked Israel would be attacking us as well? I guess it is because we were afraid they would call our bluff, which is all it would have been, may history forgive us.


So says Zarathustra.

Robert M. Price
October 2008


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