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The Steyn - Peters Debate

The blogosphere is somewhat abuzz about Mark Steyn's and Ralph Peters' dueling columns today. One the one hand, Mr. Steyn's article is about the direction we are heading with Muslims out-reproducing Christians, particularly in Europe. First Mark compares two women, one is Fatma An-Najar, a Muslim grandmother of 41 grandchildren who detonated herself. The second is Katharine Jefferts Schori, the Bishop of the Episcopal church in the United States. Bishop Jefferts Schori says that Episcopalians are encouraged to not have a lot of children because "we encourage people to pay attention to the stewardship of the earth and not use more than their portion." Here's a portion of Mark's piece that gets to the crux of his point:

To our four Jills in the jeep, let's add one Jim, apparently back at the steering wheel in the current war: James Baker, renowned foreign policy "realist" and the man Beltway wags are currently referring to as "the acting secretary of state." The "realists" think that "containment" and "stability" are wise strategies. In fact, they're the absence of strategy. The fertility rate in the Gaza Strip is one of the highest on earth. If you measure the births of the Muslim world against the dearth of Bishop Kate's Episcopalians, you have the perfect snapshot of why there is no "stability": With every passing month, there are more Muslims and fewer Episcopalians, and the Muslims export their manpower to Europe and other depopulating outposts of the West. It's the intersection of demography and Islamism that makes time a luxury we can't afford.

Ralph Peters, however, disagree whole heartedly with Mark's argument that continuing trends will cause us to someday have Eurabia replacing Europe. Mr. Peters argues that Europeans are just as good at genocide today as they have been in centuries past, and that they will, Mr. Peters is sure of this, resort to genocide once again if pushed. Take a look at this part of Mr. Peters' article:

The endangered species isn't the "peace loving" European lolling in his or her welfare state, but the continent's Muslims immigrants - and their multi-generation descendents - who were foolish enough to imagine that Europeans would share their toys.

In fact, Muslims are hardly welcome to pick up the trash on Europe's playgrounds.

Don't let Europe's current round of playing pacifist dress-up fool you: This is the continent that perfected genocide and ethnic cleansing, the happy-go-lucky slice of humanity that brought us such recent hits as the Holocaust and Srebrenica.

THE historical patterns are clear: When Europeans feel sufficiently threatened - even when the threat's concocted nonsense - they don't just react, they over-react with stunning ferocity. One of their more-humane (and frequently employed) techniques has been ethnic cleansing.

And Europeans won't even need to re-write "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" with an Islamist theme - real Muslims zealots provide Europe's bigots with all the propaganda they need. Al Qaeda and its wannabe fans are the worst thing that could have happened to Europe's Muslims. Europe hasn't broken free of its historical addictions - we're going to see Europe's history reprised on meth.

Both possible futures are so depressing. I'll take what's behind curtain number three, Monty.

Be sure to read Mark Steyn response to Ralph's article at Power Line.

Update: On a related note, Michael Goodwin writes about the changing face of Palestinian suicide bombers.

It was only a matter of time. Depraved Palestinians first sent young adult men wearing explosives to blow themselves up on Israeli buses and in pizza parlors. Then came the phenomenon of young women doing the same. Now a grandmother has chosen this fiendish way of death.

Fatma Omar An-Najar was a mother of nine and grandmother of more than 30. Her suicide in the Gaza Strip lightly injured three Israeli soldiers, so she failed to take "infidels" with her. But that is of little comfort. The use of a grandmother means more horror is coming.

With teenagers as young as 16 already blowing themselves up, children are next in line to become "martyrs."

Young Palestinian children are brainwashed to love and to hope for Shahada, death for Allah. It's scary as hell to think that these folks are out breeding almost everyone else on earth.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The Steyn - Peters Debate:

» Don Singleton linked with Erabia - Myth or Future

» Below The Beltway linked with Contemplating The Future Of Europe And The West

Comments (13)

Some day, America will than... (Below threshold)
Bob Jones:

Some day, America will thank the Catholics and Mormons for producing more than their share of Christians.

One bright spot--the Irania... (Below threshold)

One bright spot--the Iranian people are so depressed with their mullahcracy that they're not reproducing at replacement rate anymore.

Their population will beging a drift downward like Europe's.

I hope the whole lot of the Middle East gets similarly depressed at some point, or better, joins civilization at some point.

Bob J, and the Hasidic and ... (Below threshold)

Bob J, and the Hasidic and Ultra Orthodox Jews have a very high birth rate, so I would say thanks to those Americans as well. (Non-orthodox Jews/liberal Jews, however, have much lower birth rate.)

Yawn. Two morons debating ... (Below threshold)
observer 5:

Yawn. Two morons debating each other.

Does anyone remember back in the 1980s when Peters was predicting war with Japan in the future, during all that "Rising Sun" bullshit?

Also, The Shahada is not "death for Allah," it's the Islamic profession of faith, kind of like the Nicene Creed.

Listen to me now: China's economy is going to eclipse the USA's soon. China has a billion people. China has thermonuclear weapons and sub-lauched ICBMs now. China has a sense of historical grievance and national mission. China is developing its own advanced technology.

Birth rates in Muslim count... (Below threshold)

Birth rates in Muslim countries will begin to decline as those countries advance in terms of economic development. This is a phenomenon that we've seen in nearly every country that has passed through an industrialization phase.

In general, we do not have to be as concerned about the growth of the number of Muslims as we do about the growth of the number of Muslims who adopt radical and extremists ideologies. There's not necessarily a connection between the two.

O5: There's more than Chin... (Below threshold)

O5: There's more than China to worry about outside the Muslim World. But they are one big threat in the next century. Hopefully the Nixon/Kissinger plan to allow Capitalism to work its wonders behind the Red Curtain will eventually come to a positive end, but I doubt it. The Chinese simply have enjoyed tinkering with us through proxies from N Korea to the Balkans and directly, while they build on their technology and forces.

But we can't forget the biggest threat to our country and civilization - the myopic moral and motivational decline of our own society. We have met the enemy, and he is us.

I agree with epador.... (Below threshold)
Florence Schmieg:

I agree with epador.

Actually China has a popula... (Below threshold)
Jeff Irvin:

Actually China has a population of 1.3 billion and India has a population of 1.08 billion, and they are on-track to become the largest economies in the world over the next thirty years. See recent comments by James Wolfensohn, http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20061126/wl_asia_afp/australiachinaindiaeconomygrowth.

Is it possible that all of this would cease to be a problem if there were adequate economic opportunities for the young in these areas of the world? When you have nothing to live for does dying get easier, especially if you can convince yourself that your death serves some cause?

Not to sound like too much of a pacifist but I sometimes wonder what $500 billion of economic aid might have accomplished in the Middle East. What would Afghanistan look like now if we had invested $300 billion into their infrastructure?

It would be nice to think that killing people is the easiest answer, but that only seems true if that killing leads to the cowing of all the others. Again, it seems to me a difficult task to cow those who feel they have nothing to lose by their death and everything to gain--at least in their own minds.

Not only is it morally horr... (Below threshold)

Not only is it morally horrible to talk about genocide (or epidemic) as a "solution"... it also just doesn't work that way.

Economic development is the only thing that reduces population growth. Any huge, violent or virulent, onslaught of deaths results in *higher* birth rates and replacement of the lost population in very short order. That the birth rate is so high in Palestine is due to the fact that life is so hopeless (and likely also explains why people take the route of suicide bomber... it's their *only* chance at glory.)

And we DO need to have children. The religion of "humans are bad... reproduction is irresponsible" is a strange abberation and not particularly Christian, actually. Good stewards, yes. But children as a blessing, not a curse, not a burden, not a blight... children are a blessing and a "full quiver" a blessing and *barreness* is the curse. Doing good in the world requires hands to do it, people to do it. People to build and help and care for others... to learn and advance.

The more seriously people take their religion (and this *may* go for non-monotheistic religions, too, I donno) the more likely they are to have large families. Even in prosperous economies this is true. If you're part of a sub-culture that admires and rewards people with a lot of kids you're going to be more willing to have a few more... two instead of one, four instead of two...

But our culture portrays having children as fundamentally anti-woman.

Which if you think about it, is really rather strange.

I agree with epador, too. ... (Below threshold)
observer 5:

I agree with epador, too. The vulgarity and self-indulgence of our society speaks for itself.

On the left, a cult of hedonism and pacifism.

On the right, a cult of selfish individualism and consumption.

One irony is that it is fueled by Chinese credit, as the government borrows millions from Chinese T-bond purchasers to fund its current account deficit. Because Americans don't want to pay the taxes sufficient to meet government spending.

America is no longer the can-do nation, as shown in Iraq and Afghanistan. Incompetence coupled with inflammatory talk has been the characteristic of this war. We can't even catch a loser like Bin Laden.

The USA is weakening and in the end, the Chinese will be there to supplant us as the #1 power in about 20 years. We can only hope they do not humiliate us too much.

There is little we can do t... (Below threshold)
Jeff Irvin:

There is little we can do to change the demographic patterns already in place. China and India will emerge as the economic, and probably military, powerhouses of the 21st century.

The good news is that the majority of these 2.38 billion people have little remaining natural animus toward the West and its culture. In fact, India embraces both democracy and capitalism, and it can be hoped that China will eventually embrace the former as they apparently have the latter.

By the way, the Chinese are buying "billions" not "millions" of Treasury Bills. This is also a good thing in the long run. It means that these economic ties that bind will help ameliorate any political and military tension in the future.

If I wasn't such a pessimist I would be an optimist. :-)

Observer 5, you sound like ... (Below threshold)

Observer 5, you sound like the folks who lamented the "rise" of Japan in the '80's. We've been counted out before in the global order, and those who did were wrong.

Furthermore we are a huge market for Chinese goods; I don't believe they'd jeopardize that--they'd be slitting their own throats.

Mitchell, if you read my or... (Below threshold)
observer 5:

Mitchell, if you read my original comment, I noted that Peters had done just that about Japan in the 1980s and even wrote a novel, "The War in 2020" predicting a war with Japan, during all that "Rising Sun" BS.

No, my point is that Peters and Steyn run around like Chicken Littles all the time, exaggerating threats.

Anyone who thinks the Muslims are going to take over the USA or Europe is a bit mad.

China could be a real existential threat, though. They are not our allies, like Japan, and while not unfriendly, could clash with us over Taiwan someday.

There's no reason they can't sell us their goods even as the dominate us - it's called merchantilism.






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