" /> I write: June 2007
Curmudgeonalia
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June 29, 2007

The Dangerous Book for Boys

Conn & Hal Iggulden - ISBN - 9780061234585

“In this age of video games and cell phones there must still be a place for knots, tree houses and stories of incredible courage. One thing that we always say about childhood is that we seemed to have more time back then. This book will help recapture those Sunday afternoons and long summers—because they’re still long if you know [what to do with] them.” So begins the foreword to this truly incredible book. One we wouldn’t have considered needing, if it hadn’t been written.

But I’d like to begin my review with the cover! This is one of the most attractive, well made books I have seen since I was a child. Hardbacks nowadays are cheap, flimsy and unapologetically trashy, yet priced at $26-30. This book is superbly done, and still sells for only $25. No cover-up to mask the s*** jackets are designed to hide. A colorful, masculine, hard-bound, canvas covered, heavily embossed book which is designed to be used over and over for a generation or two; a solid credit to those who published it. A dust jacket would spoil it!

Now, for what is between the covers. Myriad and varietal subjects are covered including the following few I’ve selected:
• useful knots
• paper airplane folding
• tree house construction
• skipping stones
• secret inks
• pen and paper games
• growing of flowers
• spiders and other critters
• fishing
• discovery and uses of longitude, latitude and navigation
• the seven wonders of both the ancient and the modern worlds
• the solar system
• valuable grammar lessons along with the origins and significance of words
• an introductory smattering of some of important authors of the past along with a selection of the finest world literature—selected for boys, of course.
• exciting and important stories of adventure and heroism

And that’s only a smattering of the nearly 100 indexed subject materials.

It is impossible not to recommend this book to grandfathers, fathers, sons, nephews and neighbors; as well to anyone who buys them gifts. Get up and away from the damned computer. Learn something. Get a little exercise. Do something to help you grow or learn something it’s interesting to know.

I grew up before computers--even television--but I still wish I’d had a book like this back then. Now someone has written it! Put it on your gift list for anyone and everyone of a male persuasion. It definitely ain’t for girls—at least not most of them.

Not altogether unlike Where Did You Go: Out, What Did You Do: Nothing, it brings back memories of times past when boys actually did things, and it suggests memories you might build along with a friend, or a father! But unlike that dear book, it tells you how to do things . . . including stuff you might never have thought about on your own. It makes history, literature, heroism and discovery important again; just what the world needs in the era of "fluffy," underexercised, disinterested kids. Fun, too.

Buy it for your “favorite son,” be he here or there, across town or half-way around the planet. You will not be disappointed, nor will he.

And it doesn’t matter if he is 8 or 80.

Posted by respeto at 3:29 PM

June 24, 2007

Blink

The power of thinking without thinking.
Malcolm Gladwell – ISBN 9780316010665
(author of Tipping Point, previously reviewed.)

This is a particularly fascinating book; better, I think, and most certainly different from Tipping Point.

As the title suggests, he elaborates upon the things we do--in the blink of an eye, so to speak--which are based upon experience rather than thought. He calls those based upon thoughtful consideration paralysis by analysis. As a consequence of too much data we often confuse information with understanding. “The key to good decision making is not knowledge [or data] . . . but understanding.” There are times when haste does not make waste, when snap judgments and first impressions can offer a better means of making sense of the world. Judgment is often better than cautious deliberation. There are times when we demand an explanation when it really isn’t possible.

He reviews the activities of a brilliant General of the Marine Corps charged with leading the “Red Team” (always the adversary of the good guys on the “Blue Team.”) Ostensibly staged as a war game based in the Middle East, he went way outside what was expected by the Blue’s, and walloped them severely. As in an episode of JAG, and Kelsey Grammer’s movie spoof, those in command of the Pentagon demanded that the game be rerun because the Red leader hadn’t “played by the rules” (as if there are rules in war.) That it is precisely what got us into trouble in the Middle East!!!

For example: When you study a chessboard there isn’t anything you can’t see . . . except what the other guy is thinking! “More and more, commanders want to know everything and they get imprisoned by that idea. . . . [But] you can never know everything.” As in Gulliver’s Travels, the big guy gets tied down by the little rules and the little guys run around doing exactly as they wish.

I have had similar experiences in medicine, wherein too much information is brought to bear upon a problem. Confusion, indecision and error result. Frequently the true expert notices not just what is happening, but more importantly what is not! Been there too. Indeed, I was once derisively accused (I was flattered!) by an academic colleague of “being the most right, the most often, with the least amount of knowledge.” I was pleased to emphasize that being right is what matters.

He demonstrates that the true expert at reading body language can often determine things the subject is trying to hide. This section of the book is particularly absorbing. The expression on your face is more than a signal of what’s going in your mind. It is what is going on in your mind, and completely involuntary. “Whenever we experience a basic emotion, that emotion is automatically expressed by the muscles of the face.”

He reviews what is known of autism, noting that such individuals have no insight into themselves or others. To them everything is an object. In times of crisis normal people are programmed to objectify risks. He terms this “temporary autism,” and gives examples of how it works.

A truly brilliant discussion follows, using the Dialo case, in which the NYPD officers shot and killed an innocent black immigrant. He describes what a “heightened awareness of threat” does to the mind, which focuses only on those things necessary for survival and shuts out all other input. It fosters survival, but is dangerous if permitted to apply in situations where it shouldn’t. One can learn to avoid such errant, dangerous behavior.

He then reviews symphony orchestral auditions. In recent years the performer sits behind a screen, forcing the auditors to listen to the performance. Before this was instituted, fewer than 5% of orchestra members were women. (Male musicians just knew that women simply weren’t as good.) Now the distribution is 50/50!

I love his observations in that regard: Before screens, what might we have proposed for women in the musical world?

“I think we would have talked about awareness programs for gender bias, and how to teach female musicians to be more assertive in making the case for their own ability. We would have had long discussions about social discrimination. . . . Our suggestions for change would have been fairly global and long term. . . . [and] at the end of long days of meetings we would have thrown up our hands and said that we would just have to wait until the current generation of [irredeemably bigoted] maestros . . . was replaced by a younger and more open-minded set of conductors.” Instead, the context was examined; screens were put up and the problem was resolved then and there. Philosophy free!

In summary he observes that following the acquisitions of a lifetime of learning we acquire judgment. With the knowledge accrued, and knowing how the mind works, we should then be able to act responsibly. He heartily recommends that we do so.

If we combined all of the little things we know, making appropriate changes based upon knowledge and insight, the world would be different and better. He has a point, and makes it very well.

Posted by respeto at 10:07 AM

June 20, 2007

Because They Hate

A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America
Brigitte Gabriel – ISBN – 9780312358372

This exquisitely compelling first person account is written by a Lebanese Christian whose country was overtaken by Islam when she was ten. She lived thru the Muslim conquest of her country . . . the first subjugated by Islam in modern history. After having been buried alive by the authoring shots of that war she and her family lived in a claustrophobic dugout bomb shelter with no amenities for 7 years, sometimes eating boiled grass to survive.

“As a Maronite [Christian] growing up in once predominantly Christian Lebanon, I witnessed the genocide of my people by the Palestinians and the rest of the Muslim community, who came from all over the Muslim world to fight the Christians.”

Now she shares the experience . . . LISTEN UP !!

Lebanon, she reminds, was a beneficent and beautiful place; peaceful, westernized and multi-cultural with a well balanced democratic government divided between Christians and the several Islamic sects. Beirut was considered Paris in the Middle-East. Eventually, however, the Islamic sects joined together for their version of the holocaust. Those Christians who survived were driven to emigrate. What’s left is the disaster which represents “modern,” Islamic Lebanon, which is now broaching civil war between these several Islamic sects.

As an American, now, she points up the parallels and insists that it is clear that we are next . . . or at least high on the list. A commonly expressed Arabic adage: “First comes Saturday then comes Sunday;” Saturday being the Sabbath of Israel, and Sunday being that of the Christians—meaning us. They are aware than when America falls, so will the Western world.

Only the willfully blind can disagree. How can one be so sure? Just take them at their word. Disabuse yourself of logic and the liberal propensity to believe that no one can be that evil! They can . . . and they are.

She lists the areas of Islamic terror from “A-Z” (literally, Algeria to Zaire) and reviews the current activities around the world, all sponsored by Al Qaeda and its affiliates, financed primarily by Iran and the Saudis (Shias and Sunnis.) Once these enemies succeed they’ll have their own war for dominance! Iraq, anyone? Iran?

She documents the fact that CAIR (foremost amongst the American Muslim “civil rights” groups) vigorously supports and encourages terrorist activities. Their counter-claim is that they abhor violence, but when was the last CAIR sponsored million Muslim march to protest terror? And why does the chairman openly state that “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.”

More curiously, why does he get by with this? Why is he never challenged; always excused and/or explained? Connecting the dots isn’t that difficult. (Maybe if Bush and the liberals read this book they’d change their mind? Doubt it, but maybe.)

A particularly intense chapter is that titled Societies are Not Created Equal. Here, and throughout the book, she goes to extraordinary lengths to emphasize reality.

• While much of the world advances, Arabic culture has been declining for centuries.
• While they have enormous wealth from oil, the GNP of all 22 Arabic countries (population over 300 million) is approximately that of Spain (population 40 million) and the GNP of the Muslim world (population 1 billion) is approximately half Germany’s 2.5 trillion (population 90 million.)
• If you eliminated oil--not incidentally discovered, developed and used primarily by the West--the major export of Arab countries is “grief, suicide bombers and terrorism”
• Illiteracy in the Arab world . . . is higher most developing countries. They invest little in real schools, and almost nothing into industry. Most of the money is in the hands of the royal families and their cronies. What they don’t squander they invest around the world, avoiding their own back yards, and their countrymen.
• “The Middle East is lagging behind not because Arab Muslims are not created equal as human beings . . . [but] because of social and religious values.”
• In her opinion (and mine, if it matters), the problem is Islam. It kills self-expression, self-improvement, and empowerment, eliminates 51% of the population from consideration, and demands that Islam be the center of one’s life and existence by dictating how to live . . . indeed how to be.
• As a result of lies, obtuse thinking (if it qualifies as thought), and repetitious anti-Jewish and anti-American diatribes, there exists “a generation of Arab youth incapable of thinking in a civilized manner.” A white lie to them is a permissible prevarication which fosters their ultimate goal of conquest, and terror a legitimate approach.
• Virtually all terror around the world in the past half-century has been perpetrated by Muslims.
• Wahhabi Islam is not the only extreme form of Islam. Suicide bombers include Egyptians, Lebanese, Palestinians, Syrians, Iraqis and Iranians. “The common thread [is the Koran]. They are simply practicing Muslims. They are not the extreme, they are the mainstream.” Gabriel shares Oriana Fallaci’s belief there is neither moderate nor radical Islam . . . there is only Islam!
• Finally, “if Muslims are unwilling to relinquish the right to lie and kill in the name of Allah, how can they be considered moderate?” By whom and for what reason?

The use of political correctness is now so abused that anyone expressing a contrary opinion is labeled as a racist and/or a bigot. “How handy for the Islamo-facists, the American-hating, Jew-killing, Israel-destroying, women-abusing, multi-religious-intolerant Muslims. Oh! Excuse me, did I say something not quite PC?”

And finally she notes that if Arabs would accept Israel’s right to exist, “Israel would help them make their deserts bloom. Instead, the Arab world has chosen to fertilize the land with the blood of Israeli children. Could anything be more barbaric and depraved?”

Well, as a matter of fact . . . yes !! “First the Palestinians gave their children stones to throw. Now they wrap their children in dynamite and nails and send them to blow themselves up.”

Why isn’t everyone in the West ready to say that enough is enough?

Read this book. In past years I have recommended The Sword of the Prophet as the single best book to read on the subject. With the appearance of this offering I have changed my recommendation.

As a foil I recommend Three Cups of Tea, recently reviewed. That book demonstrates that modern education is mandatory if the West is to survive and prevail. This book graphically demonstrates that we must first defeat, or at least severely compromise them before they can be meaningfully educated on a mass scale.

When I was in the army during the Viet Nam war, the 7th Psychological Operations Group motto was: “You can’t kill them all. You have to convert some of them.” In debates with its commander I usually insisted that you first had to kill a bunch of them, including their leaders, to get the attention of the rest. I still believe that!

Posted by respeto at 1:01 PM

Deep-Act Chopra

Ah, yes, that great Maharishi of Indian wisdom and sensitivity. I caught an interview of him selling his newest book: Buddha: a story of enlightenment. He “mentioned” that he was curious about those in the West who claimed to be students of the great Gautama who “didn’t even know that he was Indian.” Well . . . Deep-Act, imagine my surprise that you “didn’t even know” that he wasn’t Indian! He was a Nepalese prince! To be sure, he taught in India, but he wasn’t Indian. So there! Maybe you should inform yourself before you criticize the ignoramuses in the West.

Posted by respeto at 12:58 PM

June 16, 2007

Three Cups of Tea

One Man’s Mission to promote Peace, One School at a Time
Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin – ISBN – 9780143038252

This is a wonderfully uplifting book chronicles the life of a young man—a mountain-climbing “beach bum” equivalent--who stumbled into a remote village in Pakistan when injured attempting to climb K-2, was nursed back to health, and promised in return to build them a school. The tale is rendered seamlessly, at a leisure pace without losing momentum, and demonstrates the commitment required and the difficulties he encountered, not least the fact that in order to get the materials into the village he discovered—after the fact—that he’d first have to build a bridge!

His endeavor was so gratifying that he promised another, then another school. Struggling to finance these projects was a superhuman task, and this now sainted gentleman has built (at the time of the writing of the book) 55 such schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He is convinced that education is the only way in which to defeat Islamic fundamentalism, and makes a good case for his assessment.

Reported are numerous heartwarming, trusting relationships he has experienced in this decade long adventure, along with some of the frightening experiences and encounters related to his activities.

The descriptions of this remote, mountainous area are vivid:
Splendor or grandeur is useless to give a feeling of this tremendous ravine that twists narrow and dark and bleak and deep for mile after mile, with never a single blade of grass, or weed, or tiny bush to remind one that the vegetable kingdom exists. Only the jade-green Indus [River]—sometimes tumbling into a dazzle of white foam—relieves the gray-brown of crags and sheer precipices and steep slopes.”

Inasmuch as all of the decisions are made by various councils, on one occasion he reports sitting amongst the natives, “laughing and sipping tea peacefully:” an infidel and representatives of three warring sects of Islam. He has befriended these folks. They, in turn, worship and honor him. Indeed, on many occasions he lived only because they defended him.

“In one of the most remote villages of northern Pakistan, he built a school in twelve weeks that was vastly superior to anything the Pakistani government could have built, and at half the cost of a project that would have taken the government years to finish.”

On other occasions he has provided materials and engineering for village wells, making it possible for the village women to avoid long distances to find clean (and even then sometimes polluted) water. As a result the infant mortality rate of one community was cut in half overnight. He moves mountains, nearly alone, with the help of the natives and a handful of American donors.

He assesses Islam, explains how the Wahhabis and the Taliban operate, and emphasizes that for the most part the mullahs misinterpret the Koran because they, themselves, are barely literate and teach only what they have been taught. Saudi and Pakistani sponsored madrassas offer no grounding in math, science, history or geography. They offer only the memorization of the Koran, in Arabic, which the natives can neither speak nor understand.

One of his acolytes and principal donors comments “I come from a world where corporations throw millions of dollars at problems and often nothing happens. For the price of a cheap car, [Mortenson] was able to turn all these people’s lives around.”

It is understandable why Greg continues—is indeed driven—by the satisfaction he achieves for his heroic efforts. Speaking to an assemblage of townsfolk a village chief on one occasion noted “All of you, my brethren: Protect and embrace these American brothers in our midst. Let no harm come to them. Share all you have to make their mission successful. These Christian men have come halfway around the world to show our Muslim children the light of education. Why have we not been able to bring education to our children on our own? Fathers and parents, I implore you to dedicate your full effort and commitment to see that all your children are educated. Otherwise they will merely graze like sheep in the field, at the mercy of nature and the world changing so terrifyingly around us.”

He ends the narrative with a plea for donors. I gladly repeat that information here: www.ikat.org along with a special site for kids: www.penniesforpeace.org (The latter site has raised 8,000,000 pennies—from children--in the last decade!) Note also that you’ll have to copy and paste these into your search engine. Sorry!

As a foil I recommend Because They Hate, to be reviewed next. In that digest one is exposed to the “flip side of the coin.” It demonstrates to my satisfaction that we must first defeat, or at least severely compromise them before we can prevail.

In defense of this conclusion I’ll emphasize the fact that Mortenson insists that “we” (meaning the government) must understand the educational necessity. Concurrently he discloses that he always makes it clear that he isn’t collaborating with the government. Seems to me you can’t have it both ways. Since the private sector can’t hope to undertake in several lifetimes the need of the Muslim world to update itself, it is first necessary to get their attention; make it clear that we will not return to the 9th century. Their only option is to join the 21st, under compulsion if need be. We will help, and if necessary compel, but they will not be allowed to prevail!

Posted by respeto at 3:38 PM

June 12, 2007

Fools’ Names, Fools’ Faces

Andrew Ferguson – ISBN 0871136511

I would not have been aware of this book had I not read Deja Reviews, recently reviewed on this site. It is no longer in print, but I found several at ABEBOOKS.com for $2 plus postage, and it is very much worth the miniscule effort to get it.

Ferguson, like Florence King, is a pundit and “political assassin.” And, also like King, is an equal opportunity basher, lacerating grand poobahs from Nixon to Clinton, “the Donald” to Bill Moyers, Gennifer Flowers to Imus and Gorbachev to Newt Gingrich. Enjoy !!!

Ferguson is a master at dropping you to your knees in laughter as you wet your pants, as he inserts the unexpected or improbable into his commentary. By way of enticing you to read this book, my review will be limited to just a few such parts of his narrative.

Once, while sharing the stage with Gennifer Flowers during her 15 minutes of fame, the fact that Andrew was on her side in this encounter occasioned her remark: “Thank God. . . . I’ll tell you, whoever said the truth will set you free was full of shit.” Ferguson: “I think that was Jesus.”

While “Babs” was doing her encore: Somewhere, (“Hold my hand and I’ll take you there”) he comments: “Of course she will. . . . Artist as Artist: over the hill. Barbra isn’t merely the defender of modern liberalism. She is its symbol.”

After the Gingrich sweep in ’94: “This sudden turnabout hits the Democrats where they live. For the first time in fifty years they’re behind the curve. Gingrich and his colleagues have mastered the latest dance craze, slamming in the mosh pit to the hottest CDs. . . . And poor Gephardt and Bonior [are] off in the corner, in baggy lime-green leisure suits with lemon-yellow piping, fussing with the eight-track and trying to learn the Hustle.”

“The ultimate trophy is the fax machine [remember, this book is from 1995] . . . but the more commonplace [is the] cellular phone. You see [boomers] walking down the boulevards of every major city, these yuppies with the portable phones attached to their ears, stopping traffic, tripping over hydrants, bumping into lampposts. There are 25 million [of them, and they] display an infantile yearning for incessant stimulation, a pathetic play for self validation a quest for identity in quicksand: I talk on the phone, therefore I am.”

“. . . the central irony of the Information Age: As our means of communication accelerate there are fewer things of interest to talk about and fewer interesting people to talk about them with. . . . so little to say, so many ways to say it. See the businessman on the transatlantic flight with $4,000 of micro-cosmic hardware resting in his lap, plugging in his fax modem with trembling fingers so he can access . . . at the speed of light! In maxicolor liquid crystal display! . . . the New York Times op-ed page.”

“I remember the moment when my disenchantment with the Information Age became irreversible. I had flipped on AOL one night and joined a celebrity forum. The special guests were Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop. The questions from out in cyberspace came fast and furious, for both guests, and the reality of the thing hit me all at once: from coast to coast, people with the intelligence to operate computers were actually sitting at home and conversing with a hand puppet. . . . This is the revenge of the nerds!

“For years, commentators speculated on Gorbachev’s intellectual development, as he worked his way through the classics of Western political thought: from Aristotle to the Declaration of Independence and the Federalist Papers, through Lincoln and even to Hayek. He has finally come to rest, on the Whole Earth Catalog.”

And my personal favorite: “At the kickoff dinner of the State of the World Forum [there was] a distinguished company including retired diplomats (George Shultz and Zbigniew Brzezinski), Nobel laureates (Guatemala’s Rigoberta Menchu and the Bell Labs physicist Arno Penzias), science popularizers (Carl Sagan and Fritjof Capra), movie stars (Jane Fonda and Shirley MacLaine), rich guys (Ted Turner and David Packard), New Age gurus (Sam Keen and Deepak Chopra), and many more—five hundred in all, leading lights from business, politic, religion and the arts. Such an extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge and spiritual insight has not been seen in a single room since Bill Moyers dined alone.”

But I’ll leave some of the best for you to discover on your own, and encourage you mightily to do so . . . ASAP.

Posted by respeto at 1:38 PM

June 5, 2007

Reflections on a Ravaged Century

Robert Conquest – 9780393320862

First published in 2000, Reflections deals with the mental distortions of Marxism and Socialism, their impact upon the 20th century and emphasizes the “certain carry-over” into the 21st. He predicts, as is already being demonstrated by the European Union, that these misconceptions are pure folly and doomed to failure.

It is a ponderous tome, difficult to review and difficult to read because of the profundity of the information, interpretations and conclusions offered. Still it is well worth the read—or a reread, as sit was for me.

He is adamant in his critique of Marx and Lenin, whose intellectual efforts he deems less than mediocre. The very notion that human activity is totally predictable, or can be channeled within textual parameters by government is absurd. Many who espouse such ideologies are well intentioned (modern intellectuals and liberals), but their complicity with the evil regimes of the 20th century was responsible for their successes, such as they were: war, genocide, etc. He observes that “a hundred soft-porn products of Hollywood did less harm [to France] than a single French philosopher (Rousseau) has done in the United States.”

Liberals of the era willing overlooked Stalin’s murderous activities as they had ignored Hitler’s. These things, “rationally speaking” were impossible--and therefore didn’t happen. Just so with “Tamerlane [who] could not have erected a pyramid of 70,000 skulls at Isfahan [in his 16th century conquest of present day Iran] for it would obviously have been economically counterproductive.” And besides, nobody is that irrational

Yet reliance upon reason alone is, in itself, irrational. According to Chesterton a lunatic is one who has lost everything except his reason. “There are minds of apparently high IQ, people of apparently great experience, who are unable to conceive of minds and men markedly different from themselves.” Chamberlain and Roosevelt, unlike Churchill, simply “lacked the scope needed to envisage alien minds as they really were.”

Throughout, this arch-critic of Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany offers stunning examples and analysis of what went wrong, and offers stunning insight into the culture wars now accelerating in the 21st century.

“We are . . . in a period of conflict between cultures—a conflict which finds older [mostly Western] cultures in a position of disadvantage from lack of confidence in themselves, from divisions both internal and between each other. . . . The liberal . . . assumes . . . that the cultural conflict is one which can [politically], be adjusted by compromise, or [“religiously”] resolved by tolerance. . . . The frantic attempt . . . to find a political solution to what is not merely a political problem can . . . only lead to temporary and illusory benefits unless the deeper problem is faced and pondered.”

The Cold War was not a conflict between two ideologies, as is gospel to some. The Western approach was not ideological at all. It is obligatory that this be understood. Litvinov, Deputy Foreign Minister of the USSR, was once asked what would happen if the West gave in to all of Moscow’s demands. He replied “It would lead to the West being faced . . . with the next series of demands.” When Stalin was asked what could be done to satisfy him he answered: “Nothing.”

No political treaties or trade agreements can guarantee peace. Psychological disarmament must be made a bargaining object in future negotiations. The use of all levers of pressure, political and economical, is for once morally justified. When the reckless destruction of the human race in the name of “its greater happiness” is undertaken, one might find that he is both “Red and Dead,” to use a former allusion. Even the USSR, ostensibly too rational, was prepared to fight and win a nuclear war. How much more so radical Islam?

I have said for years, including on this website, that much of the world is invested in cultures of one kind or another, but few can be considered civilized as the West defines it. Conquest observes that we must begin to distinguish between uses of the word civilization inasmuch as there are countries (China and many of the Middle Eastern countries come to mind) which have been civilized for millennia, yet have never established a civic order.

As the sole super-power the U.S. neither has nor wishes an “Empire.” There is no more than an interest in foreign policy and commitments consistent with a peaceful world. She has no intent of subjecting the world to American power. “It implies the withdrawal of American power in favor of congeries of mutually friendly nations.” Sensitivity to the charge of imperialism has led to reluctance to become involved in affairs of the Third World, leaving it in the hands of “kleptocratic dictatorships,” and maniacal ones which hasn’t served the world well.

Evolution to a united and peaceful world cannot be undertaken in a theoretical way. His commanding suggestion is that the English-speaking countries can and ought to create a center of power attractive to other countries with democratic traditions, thus forming the basis for a yet broader political unity in the longer run.

And finally he reminds, with an onerous Churchillian quote: “All the great struggles of history have been won by superior will-power wresting victory in the teeth of odds or upon the narrowest of margins.”

Conquest observes that only with careful considerations of what needs to be learned and unlearned can the West prevail and achieve a peaceful world . . . and that not likely in our lifetimes.

You might want to copy and paste this address for an interesting, related commentary. http://www.steynonline.com:80/content/view/284/

Posted by respeto at 12:03 PM