Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The War That Came To Dinner

Everything seems connected today.

There is a fascinating and easy to understand article on the largest oil field in the world here. Our country operates on the assumption that growth will make the economy healthy and we need a steady and steadily rising supply of oil to ensure that growth. Less oil and interruptions in oil delivery will seriously harm an already damaged economy. It will make a few people very rich, however, as prices rise and the global snatch-and-grab begins. It might not be the oil that will do us in, it might be the wars we are going to fight so that our military and corporations and consumers have enough oil.

Not that we want to fight wars, we just have to, as Arthur Silber says sarcastically. We need oil to maintain our country and the world needs the US to protect them, because we are good and love freedom.

How exactly do you leave that region of the world more quickly by involving yourself in ever more complicated and numerous ways? The answer is that you don't. But as my previous article stated, we aren't leaving. Obama and the U.S. government are not unlike the dreaded house guest who insistently tells you he's going home in just another week or two -- honestly, he is, and how could you possibly not believe him? -- even as he redecorates your extra bedroom at notable cost and takes over several of your closets for many of his most precious belongings. You hear his words, and you see what he does -- and your heart sinks as you realize that a life of independence, a life that is yours, is gone.


For Kristol as for Obama, the impersonal, unanswerable forces of history have placed this "special burden" on America's shoulders. We don't want to run the world, but no one else is sufficiently special or unique to do the job; as Kristol so wretchedly and dishonestly put it, it was all just "our bad luck." We had to do it -- for the good of everyone who lives on Earth. This is the all-purpose disinfectant for crimes of staggering magnitude: the U.S. murders more than a million innocent Iraqis, but we did it for the Iraqis' "own good"; we torture, but we only do it because our enemies leave us no choice -- and we learn very early that the infliction of pain is the path to moral improvement, most especially for the improvement of those weaker than ourselves.


Thus do domination, control and power serve as their own justification. This is what Kristol believes, it is what Obama believes -- and he told you he believed all this two and a half years ago -- and it is what everyone in the American ruling class who wields power believes.

Since we are good, we will be forced to justify our actions by telling ourselves how bad the Muslims are, since anyone from the Middle East is of course our enemy in our attempts to protect the world.

So it would seem that the perfect Muslim immigrant in France is one who cleans the house, picks up the trash, attends to the infant or, increasingly, fixes the computer, heals the sick and runs the bank, and then disappears in a wisp of smoke, before his presence, his beliefs, his customs, his way of dress, his "noise and smell" offend the particular sensibilities of the general population. France is not alone in wishing that its Muslims were invisible. As anyone who has visited Western Europe in the past few years will tell you, the "Muslim question" is a matter of grave concern.

European Muslims have unintentionally revived a whole genre of nonfiction--the alarmist tract, billed as a "searing" yet "necessary" exposé on Europe's impending demise now that it has allowed so many millions of Muslims to settle on its shores. The titles are each more ominous than the last: The Rage and the Pride, by Oriana Fallaci (2002); Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis, by Bat Ye'Or (2005); Londonistan, by Melanie Phillips (2006); Menace in Europe: Why the Continent's Crisis Is America's Too, by Claire Berlinski (2006); and While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam Is Destroying the West From Within, by Bruce Bawer (2006). The authors rely mostly on tabloid or newspaper accounts; the arguments are simple, or, more accurately, simplistic, and the preferred method of inference is extrapolation.

The latest offering in this genre is Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West, by Christopher Caldwell, a senior editor at The Weekly Standard and a regular contributor to the Financial Times, The New York Times Magazine and many other publications. However, just as Chirac and Sarkozy prefer to say more carefully what Le Pen says bluntly, Caldwell articulates in polite and embellished language what Bawer and others have been saying aggressively for years: Europe is being overrun by Muslim immigrants; these immigrants show no sign of assimilating to European culture and social mores; and as a result, Europe is in danger of becoming an outpost of the Islamic empire.

Of course our own homegrown or imported racists at The Corner just adore Londonistan and musical theater critic Mark Steyn has created a new career out of writing that we will drown in brown babies.

If I have a purpose in writing this blog, it is to point out that the lies are never ending and if we succumb to them we will be utterly lost. The elite will provide scapegoats for the angry populace if conditions worsen greatly, and it will fall upon each and every one of us to take a stand and refuse to buckle down under authority or popular pressure. Most people will go along with the crowd, so anyone who is strong enough must stand up and fight back when the time comes.


Downpuppy said...

The Ghawar article is 8 years old. Despite massive efforts and endless speculation, the Saudis have still managed to keep the world in doubt about how much oil they have left, while keeping production about level.

Overall, it looks like the world peaked in oil production from 2005-2008. Since then it's a question of whether the decline in output (to match the fall in demand) is reversible. US demand is down over 10% since last year.

This is sort of a sidetrack, but one of my long term obsessions is trying to figure out how long we have left before things get really bad.

Susan of Texas said...

Is this something we'll adjust to or will we just grab as much oil as we can for as long as we can?

Downpuppy said...

We'll still be saying everything is fine & technology will save us when the food riots are going on under the window.