The obligatory “Hitchens reviews Steyn” post

posted at 11:37 am on January 22, 2007 by Allahpundit

Ninety percent of you will have already seen it at the boss’s site or LGF, but here it is for the rest. I like his ten-point plan for defeating Islamism (especially points 1 and 4), but I think he’s kidding himself when he imagines different ethnic strains of European Muslims emerging as checks on each other. “Look at the Middle East,” he’d reply — Sunnis versus Shiites, Arab nationalists versus religious fundamentalists, Saudis versus Iranians, Lebanese of every stripe against Lebanese of every other stripe. To which I reply, look at how those groups have found common cause in scapegoating Israel. Why should we believe that any Islamic community, given a choice between uniting with the French government, say, against their fellow Muslims or with their fellow Muslims against the French government would opt for the former — particularly when the demographic numbers favor the latter? Better to pull together like the Kurds and Shiites have done in Iraq to depose the common enemy and then resort to sectarian divvying up of the pie, no?

Read this for gloss. Not perfectly analogous to Europe’s predicament but not inapposite either.

Update: Ace favors point 8 of the Hitchens plan.

Update: Read this, too. It’s right on point.


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It’s so great to read Hitchens when he’s on our side, as he is on the war. I think the one thing missing from Steyn’s analysis (which is pretty much irrefutable) is the element of surprise. History surprises us always – just look at the past few years – and will no doubt do so again, regardless of our crystal balls and demographic charts.

Halley on January 22, 2007 at 11:53 AM

I count only eight points. I’m sure the missing two are: 9) end Muslim immigration; 10) pay Muslims unwilling to become Westerners to leave.

Alex K on January 22, 2007 at 11:53 AM

And of course you’re right about how they’ll prioritize enemies. “Me and my brother against my cousin; me and my cousin against my village; me and my village against a stranger.”

Alex K on January 22, 2007 at 11:56 AM

Sunnis versus Shiites,

And Syria in bed with Iran. ‘Nuff said.

Pablo on January 22, 2007 at 12:12 PM

6. Unconditional solidarity, backed with force and the relevant UN resolutions, with an independent and multi-confessional Lebanon.

Oh, come on, Hitch. That trick never works.

I like #8 though.

Pablo on January 22, 2007 at 12:32 PM

The discussion of the birth rate associated with any group makes me mightly nervous.

honora on January 22, 2007 at 12:48 PM

Interesting that none of Hitchins’s point suggest military options.

honora on January 22, 2007 at 12:51 PM

The discussion of the birth rate associated with any group makes me mightly nervous.

honora on January 22, 2007 at 12:48 PM

Liberals like Honora want a high birthrate from Muslims because Muslims overwhelmingly vote for liberals and socialists because they know liberals will not oppose their jihad to take over the world for Islam.

Liberals will never attack a country that threatens the U.S. For instance, that is why Democrats have proposed a bill to ban Bush from attacking Iran. Liberals and Muslims are natural allies.

The one point that Hitchens misses it the most effective. The best way to stop Islamism is to stop importing the anti-Semite Muslims (i.e. all Muslims) into Western countries. Muslims overwhelmingly support the destruction of Israel and would be content to have sharia law.

januarius on January 22, 2007 at 12:59 PM

Liberals like Honora want a high birthrate from Muslims because Muslims overwhelmingly vote for liberals and socialists because they know liberals will not oppose their jihad to take over the world for Islam.

Nice try. Better luck next time. Can you think of another reason that discussion of “the other’s” high birth rate can be problematic? (hint: what’s the next logical point in this discussion?)

honora on January 22, 2007 at 1:48 PM

Interesting that none of Hitchins’s point suggest military options.

See #6.

Pablo on January 22, 2007 at 1:57 PM

Liberals like Honora want a high birthrate from Muslims because Muslims overwhelmingly vote for liberals and socialists because they know liberals will not oppose their jihad to take over the world for Islam.

I wouldn’t bet on that. See Hamas.

Pablo on January 22, 2007 at 1:58 PM

Unconditional solidarity, backed with force and the relevant UN resolutions, with an independent and multi-confessional Lebanon.

Pablo, you’re right. Read it too quickly. Seems a bit narrow though, don’t you think?

honora on January 22, 2007 at 2:02 PM

I am surprised Hitchens misses an obvious point, which is that we should support the liberation of Muslim women from male oppression and abuse. When half the enemy population is treated worse than blacks were treated under apartheid, there is a clear opportunity for counterpressure.

Lehuster on January 22, 2007 at 2:03 PM

Liberals like Honora want a high birthrate from Muslims because Muslims overwhelmingly vote for liberals and socialists because they know liberals will not oppose their jihad to take over the world for Islam.

No, liberals like Honora get nervous with talk about high birth rates among discrete ethnic or religious groups because of the long, ugly history of what that kind of talk can breed (no pun intended).

honora on January 22, 2007 at 2:04 PM

I recall seeing Hitchens on the Telly one evening in a so-called debate with the Saddam-loyalist,oil-for-torture and bribery, nut who’s name is escaping me at the moment. He’s the idiot..George something-well, is that it? from Great Britian. He’s the one that did a U.S. tour bashing Bush for his illegal war. Anyway, it took place on a college campus so you can imagine which side the audience was on. During one particular exchange, Boy George made a remark that was nothing more than faint praise for Saddam. The crowd roared it’s approval and Hitchens dismiised this as silly and dangerous which drew a barrage of booing and yelling. It was then that Hitchens looked at the crowd and wagged a finger and warned them to be careful about looking to be supportive of Saddam and his bloody regime. I thought, what a seminal moment in American history, a liberal warning a college crowd full of liberals that they have gone astray. It was at this point that I knew Hitchens was really serious about his thoughts and beliefs on this war. George Calloway, or is it Galloway, that’s the bums name. Anyway, for my money, Hitchens nailed Calloway all night with the truth……..

ritethinker on January 22, 2007 at 2:05 PM

George Galloway, that’s who you mean.

Lehuster on January 22, 2007 at 2:06 PM

Honora,

Seems a bit narrow though, don’t you think?

Yeah, although that might be owing to the fact that we’ve already smacked the hornet’s nest.

Pablo on January 22, 2007 at 2:58 PM

I think he’s kidding himself when he imagines different ethnic strains of European Muslims emerging as checks on each other.

That was my thought exactly. I like Hitchens a whole lot, and I did like his 8 points at the end, but he’s wrong on this one.

violet on January 22, 2007 at 3:30 PM

This is just a hunch but I’m starting to think Steyn gets it.

Speakup on January 22, 2007 at 3:47 PM

(no pun intended)

None taken ;^)

mikeyboss on January 22, 2007 at 3:52 PM

Steyn’s speech the other day included a very important point that is lost on the Iraq Surrender Group and other fans of ‘diplomatic solutions’…

It was something to the effect that reasonable men may well want to talk to other reasonable men to come up with reasonable solutions, but that the opinions of those other reasonable men aren’t really relevant. So long as there are people like Usama bin Laden and Moqtada Al-Sadr out there, with followers willing to obey their orders, there won’t be anything to come out of reasoning with people.

Only when the UNreasonable men come to the conclusion that their actions are self-destructive, is there a chance that talking will help.

The Monster on January 22, 2007 at 4:40 PM

2. A strong, open alliance with India on all fronts, from the military to the political and economic, backed by an extensive cultural exchange program, to demonstrate solidarity with the other great multiethnic democracy under attack from Muslim fascism. A hugely enlarged quota for qualified Indian immigrants and a reduction in quotas from Pakistan and other nations where fundamentalism dominates.

Sounds like an excellent idea to me.

THeDRiFTeR on January 22, 2007 at 5:33 PM

But in the liberal mind, to concentrate on the fertility of any one group is to flirt with Nuremberg laws.

liberals like Honora get nervous with talk about high birth rates among discrete ethnic or religious groups because of the long, ugly history of what that kind of talk can breed (no pun intended).

Birthrates are not very important except insofar as immigration brings the competing peoples together. There’d be no urgency for the concentration on fertility that so terrifies liberals and neocons-other-than-Mark-Steyn if political control of Western polities wasn’t at stake.

Alex K on January 22, 2007 at 6:23 PM

George Galloway, that’s who you mean.

i was actually surprised not to see good ole galloway standing underneath the hangmans trap door holding up saddam to make sure the noose didn’t go snap… can you imagine the imagery… there is saddam captured on the camera phone and as he is in the middle of his prayer, BAM!!! the trap door opens, saddam falls through and people rush to see him hanging with his neck snapped in half, and there is george galloway holding up by the legs making sure that doesn’t happen…

how did the english ever let that little communist into their midst will be a mystery to me…

Asmodeus on January 22, 2007 at 7:57 PM

The world needs more Steyns and Hitchenses. Two delightful and talented characters. Then again, if we had more, they wouldn’t be so special. Just grateful to be around when they are…

Entelechy on January 23, 2007 at 1:15 AM

That still frame of Mark Steyn on the front page still cracks me up every time I see it. As I recall, Mark was in the middle of ridiculing a caller’s attempt to breathe life back into “Plamegate,” when he made that face.

Kralizec on January 23, 2007 at 8:35 AM

Birthrates are not very important except insofar as immigration brings the competing peoples together.
Alex K on January 22, 2007 at 6:23 PM

Really? You might want to cc the Chinese on this.

honora on January 23, 2007 at 9:55 AM

What do you mean, honora?

Alex K on January 23, 2007 at 1:37 PM