Must We Apologise to Killers?

A quote from Anatole Kaletsky in The Times, 14 July 2005

It certainly did not occur to anyone after the Oklahoma bombing to apologise for the racial desegregation which had provoked the American neo-Nazis and their ideological antecedents, the Ku Klux Klan. Nobody suggested abolishing affirmative action or banning Jews from public office on the grounds that racial mixing and the prominence of Jews was angering white supremacists and acting as "a recruiting sergeant" for more neo-Nazi terrorists who might copy McVeigh.

Should the political sensitivities and religious aspirations of jihadist killers be treated with any greater respect? The answer is clearly, no. 

No Means Maybe

A quote from Taki Theodoracopulos in The American Conservative, 4 July 2005

The people of [France and Holland] voted no to [the] constitution [...], but the mandarins - who think they know better than the common man – have refused to accept that a no vote means no. It reminds me of the old joke about when a lady says no she means maybe.

Nationalism Has to Be Accommodated

A quote from William Pfaff in The New York Review of Books, 14 July 2005

[T]he conventional political wisdom since World War II has identified nationalism with fascism. Fascism and Nazism both were nationalist historical moments, but nationalism is not fascism or Nazism. The US at this moment is arguably the most nationalistic country on earth.

Nationalism is an expression of the intense need for affirmation of national or communal identity as the anchor of individual identity. It is one of the fundamental forces at work in political societies, giving them meaning. It is also one of the "strong" forces in the physics of international relations, if not the strongest. It overrides short-term deviation or distraction. Although it may accompany high-minded internationalism, it does not readily yield to it; the repressed returns. For this reason nationalism has to be accommodated, not stubbornly resisted.

This is the force that has upset the European project and that resists further EU expansion as well as further concentration of executive power. The constitution asks a larger sacrifice of national sovereignty than the French, Dutch, and others are willing to accept.

The Elite Fears the People as Much as the Terrorists

A quote from Josie Appleton on, 13 July 2005

The British elite seems almost as fearful of the white working class as it is of the terrorists. Almost before the dust had settled, warnings about the ‘Islamophobic backlash’ began […] – as if our first reaction would be to head out and beat up the nearest Muslim. […] Behind the establishment's preoccupation with Islamophobia lies a fear of the mass of the British people – particularly the white working-class section of the British people. There is an idea that the public is volatile and bigoted, and liable to be set off at any moment. Terrorist attacks are feared not just for the damage they wreck, but for the sparks they could ignite in domestic populations.  Stemming ‘hate crimes’ has become part of the official plan for dealing with a terrorist attack - along with cleaning up the rubble, getting trains running again, and catching those responsible.

Where Is the Conservatism of the Christian-Democrats?

A quote from Johann Michael Möller in the German newspaper Die Welt, 16 July 2005

Of the three founding pillars of the Union [the Christian-Democratic Party] – social catholicism, market liberalism and national conservatism – only market liberalism remains. [As Gustav Seibt says] German Conservatives are still “half feudal, half-parochial, but not in the least urban.” […] Why does the [Christian-Democratic Party] not make an effort to rediscover the traditions of the age of the middle classes which was essentially urban?

Europe Needs a Mental Turnabout

A quote from Pascal Bruckner in the (leftist) Parisian newspaper Le Monde, 16 July 2005

Obviously Europe does not want to exist. At least its Western part, with the notable exception of the United Kingdom. […] Perhaps the reawakening of Europe will come from those peoples in the east, who have long been colonised and who know what liberty really means, those small nations with unpronounceable names. Perhaps it is time for America to launch a new Marshall plan to boost our morale, show us how to have self-respect and teach us to become proud nations once more? We will have to submit to a complete mental turnaround.

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