Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Europe, Going, Going, Gone

According to Gerald and Natalie Sirkin, two Connecticut commentators who have appeared on this site before, Europe is becoming less significant and, so to speak, less European.

by Gerald and Natalie Sirkin

"That's how great nations die -- not by war or conquest, bit bit by bit, until one day you wake up and you don't need to sign a formal instrument of surrender because you did it piecemeal over the last ten years -- Mark Steyn

Nations are dying around us. Literally. One illness they have is bad demographics.

To hold a population steady, a country needs a fertility rate (meaning average number of children born per woman) of 2.1, assuming no immigration.

The United States has a fertility rate of roughly 2.1 . Compare that to France 1.89, the Netherlands 1.72, Canada , 1.48, Germany 1.35, Japan 1.32, Italy 1.23, Russia 1.14, Spain 1.1 . With those fertility rates, populations are aging and shrinking. Russia, from a population of 148 million in the 1980s will be down to 130 million in 2015 and down by another 50 to 60 million by the end of the century.

Fertility rates may fall further. With aging populations and fewer workers to pay the costs of the elderly, taxes will rise to new heights, which is extremely discouraging to raising families.

The amazing phenomenon of Europe’s and Japan’s committing suicide might have continued virtually unnoticed for some time, so little has it been commented upon. One still hears expressions of fear of overpopulation in the midst of these shrinking populations.

The death of nations will probably now get the attention it deserves, thanks to an outstanding book: Mark Steyn’s America Alone, The End of the World As We Know It (Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing Inc., 2006, pp. 224, $27.95).

Steyn’s outpouring of commentary is heard, seen, and read in an array of print and broadcast media. With incredible research and brilliant writing, America Alone cannot be ignored. A reviewer is tempted to quote every page, so numerous are the gems. And funny. All one can do is urge readers to read the book. They will be rewarded

For America , the consequence of the demographic debacle is that we will be left standing alone as our allies and former allies and potential allies die off.

Into the vacuum left by falling populations are pouring the Muslims. Muslims have among the highest fertility rates— Mali 7.42, Somalia 6.76, Afghanistan 6.69, Yemen 6.58 . In the European countries, Muslim immigrant populations are growing rapidly. With immigration and high fertility rates, Muslims will soon be a majority in many countries.

Islamic immigrants are not like other immigrants who assimilate to the local cultures. Islam is not a nationality or a race. It is a religion. Muslim immigrants are not going to change their religion. They do not assimilate with respect to their religious culture.

Islamists do not hide their purpose. They tell us openly that they intend to carry on their jihad (war) till they have made all countries Muslim countries. They are smart enough to “know they can never win on the battlefield but they figure there’s an excellent chance they can drag things out until Western Civilization collapses in on itself and Islam inherits by default.”

The West is helping out by announcing its weakness. It makes “a thousand trivial concessions day by day.” The first reaction to September l l of just about every Western leader, Steyn observes, was to visit a mosque. President Bush, the Prince of Wales, the prime ministers of the U.K. , Canada , and many other countries, went as if to signal no hard feelings. “[Y]ou couldn’t help feeling that this would strike almost any previous society, as, well, bizarre. Pearl Harbor ’s been attacked? Quick, order some sushi and get me into a matinee of Madam Butterfly.”

The U.K. has banned flying the British flag in government offices, in prisons, and at Heathrow Airport because it shows the cross of St. George, which was used by the Crusaders and so might be offensive to Muslims.

Steyn’s summary of how Europe’s ”political class prostrates itself before an insatiable force that barely acknowledges the latest surrender before moving on to the next invented grievance,” is an exposition that Americans should not miss.

"Bomb us, and we agonize over the 'root causes.' Decapitate us, and our politicians rush to the nearest mosque to declare that 'Islam is a religion of peace.' Issue blood-curdling calls at Friday prayers to kill all the Jews and infidels, and we fret that it may cause a backlash against Muslims. . . . Murder a schoolful of children, and our scholars explain that to the 'vast majority' of Muslims 'jihad' is a harmless concept meaning 'healthy-lifestyle lo-fat granola bar.' Thus the lopsided valse macabre of our times: the more the Islamists step on our toes, the more we waltz them gaily around the room."

We can expect no European resistance to the Islamization of the West. It is up to America to go it alone and stop the return of seventh-century darkness that Islam represents. Close the mosques and madrassas where young Muslims in the U.S. are radicalized and taught hatred. Put an end to multiculturalism at the heart of which “is a lie: that all cultures are equally valid.”

If the blessings of America are to survive, we must summon up the confidence and the will to defend ourselves.

*Gerald and Natalie Sirkin are residents of Sherman

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