Diehards

Consider the wretched plight of Professor van Helsing, AKA Peter Cushing.  The poor man must have buried Count Dracula, with the mandatory stake through the heart, in dozens of movies.  Yet each time, the Count managed to rise again to put the bite on fresh victims. 

The good professor's frustration is much like ours in international affairs. Back in 1945, we buried the Axis.  We were told that German and Japanese imperialism were dead forever.  But German reunification triggered off a resurgence of Neo—Naziism. Foreigners were killed and their houses burned in 'Kristallnacht' fashion while a quasi—Nazi party gained 9% of the Saxony election votes and the German government financed an anti—Jewish movie. Last spring, while Germany's chancellor swaggered through Europe trying to undermine US policy and thousands of Neo—Nazis rallied and marched in Dresden, protesting alleged US crimes against Germany during WWII and waving swastika flags, a small group went down one night to the crypt below Berlin and dug up the Nazi coffin.  Yep, it was empty!

The Japanese are more subtle, but their politicians issue ambiguous and half—hearted apologies for WWII atrocities while their premier, despite foreign protests, makes repeated reverent visits to the shrine of deified Japanese WWII soldiers. School textbooks are  revised so as to omit any mention of atrocities and explain how 'the US forced us into war'. An adulatory biography of WWII premier Tojo, written by his granddaughter and claiming that he was a national hero, becomes a bestseller. Reluctant and tardy apologies are made for the 200,000 Asian women abducted as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during WWII., while a commercial equivalent of that traffic, on a comparable scale, resurges in Japan today.  It's time to check another coffin.

A decade ago, we were told that the Soviet Union was dead and the Cold War was over.  At first, the good news seemed plausible.  Mr. Gorbachev was obviously a statesman of vision.  His successor, Boris Yeltsin, was at least a familiar type of small—time politician we could live with.  But Mr. Putin, who even looks a little like Christopher Lee, seemed disturbingly familiar.  Then, the KGB old guard resurfaced in high government posts while former government officials protest that 'Russia is no longer a free country.' Putin's opponents find themselves jailed, kidnapped, or poisoned.

Once again, we hear about the suppression of dissident voices, such as independent TV stations and newspapers. Overly inquisitive editors and reporters are gunned down in the streets but no arrests are made.. Private capitalists are persecuted and imprisoned and their assets  subsequently nationalized. Economic warfare is waged against neighboring countries by shutting off their gas supplies. Fanciful espionage charges are trumped up against Western diplomats while Putin goes out of its way to aid and abet the nuclear capabilities of US enemies. And while Russia still has hundreds of nuclear warheads that can be pointed at American cities, Mr. Putin boasts of the recent buildup of his ICBM missile capabilities. Put on your woolens, ma; the cold war is back.

And then, as always, there's China.  A few years ago, we were told to forget the Cultural Revolution and Tiananmen Square———what's forty million bodies between friends? The Chinese had converted to capitalism and were civilized; it was time to normalize trade relations and move forward together.  That little matter of Taiwan could be settled eventually.   Then airplanes collide over international waters and we suddenly hear demands for apologies and the prospect of a trial of US pilots, with the usual abject confessions.

Using the economic warfare tactic of dumping, China destroys American markets in numerous products such as textiles and becomes our largest balance of trade  creditor while making blatant bids to take over major US companies. In systematic espionage efforts, such as the Titan Rain  program, China tries to hack into sensitive US commercial and government sites.

Internal embarrassments, such as the spread of disease, the massacres of  protesting villagers, and the brutal enforcement  of abortion and sterilization, are hidden by jailing journalists on a larger scale than in any other country. The Internet and other international contacts are rigidly suppressed or censored, partly by inveigling US companies into helping China suppress information and ferret out dissidents. Clumsy attempts are made to meddle in Taiwan elections while threats of war  are renewed every time Taiwan moves toward declaring independence. Moreover, to back up those threats, China is building up its armed forces at a rate that alarms the Pentagon.. As America's greatest philosopher would say, "It's deja vu all over again."

But these are fresh walking corpses, only a few decades dead.  In contrast, the Islamic menace, the dreaded Turk or Saracen who threatened Europe for over a thousand years, was supposed to have been buried forever two centuries ago. Churchill's warning  in 1899,

'Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science (the science against which it had vainly struggled), the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome,"

was ignored.

And when, in 1936, Hilaire Belloc wrote of Islam,

"it is, as a fact, the most formidable and persistent enemy which our civilization has had, and may, at any moment become as large a menace in the future as it has been in the past,"

no one heeded him any more than the police listened to poor Professor van Helsing. 

And now, here they are, a billion strong, once again threatening Western civilization. Imams and terrorists boast of how Islam will destroy the West. The hordes that almost conquered Europe in 7321529,  and 1683  have been replaced by floods of immigrants who settle in colonies throughout Europe, doggedly refuse to assimilate, proliferate, and riot whenever any insult to Islam is perceived. The 'Turk' is back.

Let us hope that Secretary Rice and the U.S. armed forces will have the foresight to stock up on wooden stakes, silver bullets, and garlic to use on these undying trouble spots.  I'm getting tired of sending flowers to funerals of corpses that won't stay buried.

Paul Shlichta is a research scientist.

Consider the wretched plight of Professor van Helsing, AKA Peter Cushing.  The poor man must have buried Count Dracula, with the mandatory stake through the heart, in dozens of movies.  Yet each time, the Count managed to rise again to put the bite on fresh victims. 

The good professor's frustration is much like ours in international affairs. Back in 1945, we buried the Axis.  We were told that German and Japanese imperialism were dead forever.  But German reunification triggered off a resurgence of Neo—Naziism. Foreigners were killed and their houses burned in 'Kristallnacht' fashion while a quasi—Nazi party gained 9% of the Saxony election votes and the German government financed an anti—Jewish movie. Last spring, while Germany's chancellor swaggered through Europe trying to undermine US policy and thousands of Neo—Nazis rallied and marched in Dresden, protesting alleged US crimes against Germany during WWII and waving swastika flags, a small group went down one night to the crypt below Berlin and dug up the Nazi coffin.  Yep, it was empty!

The Japanese are more subtle, but their politicians issue ambiguous and half—hearted apologies for WWII atrocities while their premier, despite foreign protests, makes repeated reverent visits to the shrine of deified Japanese WWII soldiers. School textbooks are  revised so as to omit any mention of atrocities and explain how 'the US forced us into war'. An adulatory biography of WWII premier Tojo, written by his granddaughter and claiming that he was a national hero, becomes a bestseller. Reluctant and tardy apologies are made for the 200,000 Asian women abducted as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during WWII., while a commercial equivalent of that traffic, on a comparable scale, resurges in Japan today.  It's time to check another coffin.

A decade ago, we were told that the Soviet Union was dead and the Cold War was over.  At first, the good news seemed plausible.  Mr. Gorbachev was obviously a statesman of vision.  His successor, Boris Yeltsin, was at least a familiar type of small—time politician we could live with.  But Mr. Putin, who even looks a little like Christopher Lee, seemed disturbingly familiar.  Then, the KGB old guard resurfaced in high government posts while former government officials protest that 'Russia is no longer a free country.' Putin's opponents find themselves jailed, kidnapped, or poisoned.

Once again, we hear about the suppression of dissident voices, such as independent TV stations and newspapers. Overly inquisitive editors and reporters are gunned down in the streets but no arrests are made.. Private capitalists are persecuted and imprisoned and their assets  subsequently nationalized. Economic warfare is waged against neighboring countries by shutting off their gas supplies. Fanciful espionage charges are trumped up against Western diplomats while Putin goes out of its way to aid and abet the nuclear capabilities of US enemies. And while Russia still has hundreds of nuclear warheads that can be pointed at American cities, Mr. Putin boasts of the recent buildup of his ICBM missile capabilities. Put on your woolens, ma; the cold war is back.

And then, as always, there's China.  A few years ago, we were told to forget the Cultural Revolution and Tiananmen Square———what's forty million bodies between friends? The Chinese had converted to capitalism and were civilized; it was time to normalize trade relations and move forward together.  That little matter of Taiwan could be settled eventually.   Then airplanes collide over international waters and we suddenly hear demands for apologies and the prospect of a trial of US pilots, with the usual abject confessions.

Using the economic warfare tactic of dumping, China destroys American markets in numerous products such as textiles and becomes our largest balance of trade  creditor while making blatant bids to take over major US companies. In systematic espionage efforts, such as the Titan Rain  program, China tries to hack into sensitive US commercial and government sites.

Internal embarrassments, such as the spread of disease, the massacres of  protesting villagers, and the brutal enforcement  of abortion and sterilization, are hidden by jailing journalists on a larger scale than in any other country. The Internet and other international contacts are rigidly suppressed or censored, partly by inveigling US companies into helping China suppress information and ferret out dissidents. Clumsy attempts are made to meddle in Taiwan elections while threats of war  are renewed every time Taiwan moves toward declaring independence. Moreover, to back up those threats, China is building up its armed forces at a rate that alarms the Pentagon.. As America's greatest philosopher would say, "It's deja vu all over again."

But these are fresh walking corpses, only a few decades dead.  In contrast, the Islamic menace, the dreaded Turk or Saracen who threatened Europe for over a thousand years, was supposed to have been buried forever two centuries ago. Churchill's warning  in 1899,

'Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science (the science against which it had vainly struggled), the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome,"

was ignored.

And when, in 1936, Hilaire Belloc wrote of Islam,

"it is, as a fact, the most formidable and persistent enemy which our civilization has had, and may, at any moment become as large a menace in the future as it has been in the past,"

no one heeded him any more than the police listened to poor Professor van Helsing. 

And now, here they are, a billion strong, once again threatening Western civilization. Imams and terrorists boast of how Islam will destroy the West. The hordes that almost conquered Europe in 7321529,  and 1683  have been replaced by floods of immigrants who settle in colonies throughout Europe, doggedly refuse to assimilate, proliferate, and riot whenever any insult to Islam is perceived. The 'Turk' is back.

Let us hope that Secretary Rice and the U.S. armed forces will have the foresight to stock up on wooden stakes, silver bullets, and garlic to use on these undying trouble spots.  I'm getting tired of sending flowers to funerals of corpses that won't stay buried.

Paul Shlichta is a research scientist.