It's not just remembering past events that helps us to avoid repeating past mistakes, it's also recognizing the foibles and mental tics of past enemies. As always, since we're engaged in another fight against true totalitarianism, it's useful to remember the German experience from both WWI and WWII. Let's begin with the inimitable Mark Steyn's description of our current enemy as seen through the prism of Abdul Rahman's fight for life as a converted Christian in Afghanistan:
As always, we come back to the words of Osama bin Laden: "When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse." That's really the only issue: The Islamists know our side have tanks and planes, but they have will and faith, and they reckon in a long struggle that's the better bet. Most prominent Western leaders sound way too eager to climb into the weak-horse suit and audition to play the rear end. Consider, for example, the words of the Prince of Wales, speaking a few days ago at al-Azhar University in Cairo, which makes the average Ivy League nuthouse look like a beacon of sanity. Anyway, this is what His Royal Highness had to say to 800 Islamic "scholars":
"The recent ghastly strife and anger over the Danish cartoons shows the danger that comes of our failure to listen and to respect what is precious and sacred to others. In my view, the true mark of a civilized society is the respect it pays to minorities and to strangers."
That's correct. But the reality is that our society pays enormous respect to minorities – President Bush holds a monthlong Ramadan-a-ding-dong at the White House every year. The immediate reaction to the slaughter of 9/11 by Western leaders everywhere was to visit a mosque to demonstrate their great respect for Islam. One party to this dispute is respectful to a fault: after all, to describe the violence perpetrated by Muslims over the Danish cartoons as the "recent ghastly strife" barely passes muster as effete Brit toff understatement.
Unfortunately, what's "precious and sacred" to Islam is its institutional contempt for others. In his book "Islam And The West," Bernard Lewis writes, "The primary duty of the Muslim as set forth not once but many times in the Quran is 'to command good and forbid evil.' It is not enough to do good and refrain from evil as a personal choice. It is incumbent upon Muslims also to command and forbid." Or as the Canadian columnist David Warren put it: "We take it for granted that it is wrong to kill someone for his religious beliefs. Whereas Islam holds it is wrong not to kill him." In that sense, those imams are right, and Karzai's attempts to finesse the issue are, sharia-wise, wrong.
Now let's work our way back to the past. In WWI, the Brits (when they still had a sense of their own worth), used to say of the Germans, "The Hun is either at your throat or at your feet." I always translated this to mean that Germans were an intensely heirarchical society, that didn't recognize equality. Instead, Germans placed people in up and down positions. In other words, they had a dog-like view of society, with alpha dogs, beta dogs, and prey. (Considering how heirarchical the world was at that time, including in England, it's pretty impressive that the German's were considered stand-outs in that arena.) In such a society society, it's always better to be up than down (since there is euality option). And if you're too far down, you get, not just bossed around, but eaten. Hitler, of course, showed what happened when the Hun really went for the throat.
I think we can reach the same conclusions about heirarchical societies (or "dog social structure" societies) when we talk about Islamofacism. In the worldview that controls in all Sharia nations, equality and Democracy aren't virtues, they're weaknesses. The only strength is fanatical adherence to Mohammad's early medieval, post-pagan, desert nomad pronouncements. Given this, we must first get the fanatic Islamists in the "down" position, away from our throats, before we can make them receptive to the virtues of Democratic/equality thinking. And if you think I'm wrong, look at how, oncer we imposed a beta position on Japan and Germany in 1945, they were finally and thoroughly able to learn about equality's virtues.
Hat tip: Michelle Malkin