For several of my posts, there’s been a very vigorous exchange about American foreign policy. Just recently, one of my readers, who espouses what I would call a conservative viewpoint, commented about “fundamental truths” common to all people. Another reader who, on foreign policy, is I think hostile to current Bush initiatives wrote this “I accept none of your ‘fundamental truths’, and disagree with the main point of every single one of your paragraphs. I don’t think there’s much point even arguing about them because we’d be at it for years and wouldn’t make any progress.”
I think that’s a great point. That is, buried under every single argument, no matter the layers of facts, all of us have animating beliefs that function as our starting points for argument. Regarding events in the Middle East (and, indeed, around the world), these are some of my fundamental beliefs, which affect everything I say and think:
I believe that, at this precise moment in time, American culture is more civilized and beneficent than Islamist culture. (You’ll notice I was careful not to say Muslim, Islamic, Persian or Arab. I’m comparing us to the radical Islamic movement cropping up in the new all over the world.) I also believe that American values, which are grounded in Judeo-Christian doctrine, are better than the multiculturalist values that currently dominate Europe and that allow, I believe, fertile soil for the most hate-filled Islamists and the recent resurgence of aggressive anti-Semitism.
I believe that Islamists have declared war on us, dozens of times in the past 20 years, with the loudest declaration occuring on 9/11. I believe we’d be suicidal idiots not to listen. I believe that there is no meaningful negotiation available with someone whose end goal is your death or total subjugation — which is why I think the peace movement naive and misguided.
I believe that Israel absolutely, historically, morally, legally, whatever, has the right to exist unmolested by her neighbors. I believe that her closest neighbors — the Palestinians — did not exist as a nation before 1948, and that the Arab nations in 1948 (Egypt, Jordan, Syria, etc), created the notion of a Palestianian nation state (when, before, there were merely Arab fellahins barely working land held by distant Arab overlords) to justify to the world the Arabs’ continued hostility to Israel; to play into the Marxist/Cold War desire for an imperialist enemy (Israel); and to detract their own citizens’ eyes from these nations’ overwhelming corruption and inequities.
Finally, I believe that I’ve got to get my kids up to go to the dentist, and I’ll follow with more later — if any more occurs tome.