Mark Steyn is one of my favourite commentators. His commentary is candid, humourous and extremely well-written. His book, ‘America Alone’ is an excellent read. I liked this article on the West’s weakness in dealing with radical Islam.
Islam isn’t interested in winning the debate, it’s interested in winning the real fight – the clash of civilizations, the war, society, culture, the whole magilla. That’s why it doesn’t care about the inherent contradictions of the argument: in the Middle East early in 2002, I lost count of the number of Muslims I met who believed simultaneously (a) that 9/11 was pulled off by the Mossad and (b) that it was a great victory for Islam. Likewise, it’s no stretch to feel affronted at the implication that you’re violently irrational and to threaten to murder anyone who says so. Western societies value logic because we value talk, and talks, and talking, on and on and on: that’s pretty much all we do, to the point where, faced with any challenge from Darfur to the Iranian nuclear program, our objective is to reduce the issue to just something else to talk about interminably. But, if you don’t prize debate and you merely want to win, getting hung up on logic is only going to get in your way. Take the most devastating rapier wit you know – Oscar Wilde, Noel Coward – and put him on a late-night subway train up against a psycho with a baseball bat. The withering putdown, the devastating aphorism will avail him nought.
Read the whole thing.