Sunday, January 28, 2007

Why is Europe different?

We passed through the Golan Heights yesterday and travelers can enter one of many remaining (Russian built) Syrian bunkers and peer at the Kibbutzim that the Syrians fired on daily for almost 20 years. What is so stunning about it all is the nearness of the downhill targets. Literally a stone's throw. Yet the targets somehow and defiantly went on with their lives.

Middle East politics revereberate everywhere, especially in Europe. Some people wonder why so many Europeans do not take Islamic terrorism seriously. George Weigel (The Cube and the Cathedral) wonders why it was impossible to get allusions to Europe's Christian past into their draft constitution. So what makes Europe different?

Robert Kagan (Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe on the New World Order) believes that most of the continent was traumatized by the bloodshed of the 20th century. Weigel believes that all the 20th century disasters (1914-1989) themselves go back to earlier departures from Christianity, in the direction of modern secularism.

But Christian Delacampagne, writing in the January 2007 Commentary alludes to plain old fashioned vote-counting by French politicians. With ever more Muslim voters, the politicians react.