November 28, 2004

Letter to the Paper XXXIV

The Glittering Eye riffs on my own piece Do Islamists Understand Westphalianism? and there's much of interest in there. It refers back to an interesting article put out under an Al Queda pseudonym that specifically talks about the end of Westphalianism. More on that later, but here's what I left in comments:

Did our culture start with the Peace of Westphalia? Killing non-warriors was quite common in military campaigns, so were interventions on behalf of sub-national groups that crossed national borders. The Thirty Years War was just the last in a long series of such interventions and had several of them during that war.

I view the westphalian outlook more as a useful evolutionary tool but not a bedrock part of indo-european culture. It came and served its purpose but will not utterly inconvenience us by its passing if we can manage to replace it with something better.

The horribly frightening prospect is that we will throw away the tool and replace it with nothing. Eliminating the strictures of westphalianism would rid us of the islamist threat as we would simply kill them as we find them to the point of genocide. But the whirlwind we would unleash is rightfully feared.

I believe the fear of that whirlwind is at the heart of much of the decent end of "old europe's" opposition to President Bush's War on Terror. I call that state pre-westphalianism and you can see it in miniature as pig heads get nailed to muslims' doors in the Netherlands and the smell of burning mosques wafts through the air there.

Posted by TMLutas at November 28, 2004 06:47 PM