Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Book Review: 'America Alone' by Mark Steyn
By Lt. Col. Gordon Cucullu
November 1, 2006
America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It
by Mark Steyn
In America Alone, Mark Steyn presents us with a doomsday scenario backed by impeccable science and research, and he does it in such a clever manner that we are actually amused as we read of the impending demise of Europe-as-we-knew-it, Japan, and Canada.
Why are they failing? Procreation, or more pointedly, the lack thereof. Populations in Russia, Italy, and the Low Countries may have already passed the point of no return. Canada is on the borderline. America, on the other hand, appears to have a sustainable reproductive level, a fact that ought to make some Canucks wish that General Hull had won in 1812 after all.
One of the most interesting sidebars of America Alone is that the front jacket blurb – the spot that most authors and publishers reserve for their prized quotation – is a comment from Saudi Ambassador to the US Prince Turki al-Faisal. The Prince is succinct in his praise, saying that “The arrogance of Mark Steyn knows no bounds.” How many of us would have the guts to stick a quotation like that on our covers?
But the Saudi prince’s quotation is germane to the thesis of the book. Along with what he terms a voluntary demographic decline akin to “cultural suicide,” Steyn juxtaposes the decline of European numbers beside the fecund Islamic population. The result is a precipitous axis of European decline already overtaken by an exploding Muslim population, generally termed “Asian or African immigrants” by the willfully blind Euromedia.
Thanks to virulent Whabbist imams in the new mosques, the immigrants are uniformly anti-Europe, anti-assimilation, and very pro-Islamofascist. For the latter, Steyn notes, we need to thank His Highness, the Saudi prince and the rest of the House of Saud “royal” family. After all, it is their excess petrodollars that provide the comp and benefits package for the imams along with training in what – absent those dollars – would have remained a rather quaint if violent Whabbist Islamic cult lost somewhere out in the desert.
Where America Alone resonates particularly is in the realization of the stark inevitability of the inexorable tide of radical Islam eroding at the basis of the Greco-Roman Judeo-Christian culture that has sustained Western philosophy and culture for more than two millennia.
We dismiss the potency of the Whabbist Islamic philosophy at our peril. They don’t want to live beside us, nor do they particularly lust for our material or scientific wealth. In fact, they reject these cultural niceties as entirely dispensable contrasted to the overwhelming goal of establishing a sharia state upon the rest of the world. Democracy? Don’t need it when you have a caliphate headed by a political-religious leader who knows what’s best for you better than you do. Steyn summarizes it nicely: “Pre-modern Islam beats post-modern Christianity” for its political potency.
Steyn spends time on another suicidal cult, post-modern multiculturalism, with all of its wacky permutations and self-flagellations. By refusing to be judgmental and by according all cultures equal value, he argues, we diminish ourselves. But by setting out deliberately to denigrate our own culture the result is that the other cultures become superior. Such is the case in Europe and much of left-elitist America where it is insufficient merely to “respect” Islam but seems necessary to elevate it as superior to what it is eager to replace. How do the Muslims react to such culture-deprecating humility? By moving in ever more rapaciously, with contempt for the “weak horse” ideology of the “multiculti.”
Steyn also spends time discussing what Robert Kaplan terms the “re-primitivization” of human beings by Islamofascism. He shows how absolute irrational behavior can characterize people who comfortably possess the trappings of a modern civilization – cell phones, airline travel, the Internet – and yet do not sign up for its underpinning values. Steyn cites a case in Sudan where a man generated hysteria by claiming to have lost his penis while shaking hands with a foreigner. “Here’s the telling detail,” he notes, “the vanishing-penis hysteria was spread by cell phones and text messaging.”
More awful than the faintly amusing disappearing-penis phenomenon is the fact that what the press calls “British-born of Asian descent” meaning Pakistanis or other Muslims, UK citizens who love football and fish-and-chips, and boast about downloading the latest beheadings of infidels broadcast by al Jazeera or on Islamist websites to watch over and over again on their cell phones and to share with friends. In this bloodlust, they are encouraged by the radical imams (Saudi trained, of course) that preach from the many mosques that are now so filled to bursting that a new mega-mosque is planned to be erected beside the 2012 Olympic facilities. Many Londoners proudly point to this as yet another sign of their open-minded multiculturalism.
So what’s to do? Steyn offers three solutions (alert: giving away the ending here!). They boil down to 1) capitulate to Islam, 2) destroy Islam, or 3) reform Islam. He rejects the first two, and lists several recommendations for Islamic reform. In this, I think that he may exhibit uncharacteristic optimism, but absent an apocalypse – which is also highly desirable by some Iranian characters – it may be our only approach to problem solving. For this Steyn is to be commended, for most commentators are unable even to admit the problem much less offer solutions.
Mark Steyn has written a most amazing, entertaining, informative, and necessary book. Even before I finished it, I bought copies and sent them to my kids. He will be attacked as arrogant (done, see cover), bigoted, shallow, and tendentious. Steyn’s America Alone is none of these. This is a must-read work that will be germane for decades, or until the last native European turns off the light (or has it turned off for him by a knife-wielding Muslim shrieking Allahu Akbar!).
America Alone is an essential part of every thinking person’s library and must be purchased immediately. On the outside chance that your friends may be snoozing, it is wise to give copies to as many people as you know. It is a wonderful read and an essential component in recognizing the deadly challenges we face as this new century begins to unwind.
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Lt. Col. Gordon Cucullu has been an Army Green Beret lieutenant colonel, as well as a writer, popular speaker, business executive and farmer. His most recent book is Separated at Birth, about North and South Korea.