For your consideration: two excellent conservative essays that ponder the epic fight over Western Civilization that we are about to face head-on. (h/t WizBang)
First, Steve Schippert at The Mudville Gazette: The American Political War On Terror:
While it can be traced back to before the 60's (though blossoming then), what really happened was the galvanization of self-loathing using Vietnam as a social catalyst. But the face of this nation changed most significantly when the election of the greatest true conservative leader on a chilly 1980 November evening forced a barely contained media into open rooting for a specific political party. The degeneration of policy discussion and political leadership since has been palpable, fueled by the successes of anti-military media coverage developed during the Vietnam era and skillfully maintained and nearly perfected since then.
... A former Attorney General currently vociferously defends a mass murdering dictator deposed by our own forces. An icon of the self-loathing anti-American academic Left, Noam Chomsky, embraces Hizballah, the chief beneficiary of Iran's terror export, and condemns the War on Terror as bigotry wrapped in fiction. A former Vice President travels to the home of fifteen 9/11 hijackers and professes that Arabs had been "indiscriminately rounded up" by America and its sitting president and held in "unforgivable" conditions.
These are not arguments of the manner in which to defend America. These are sycophantic rantings of whether to defend her. (emphasis added)
Then there is Wretchard at The Belmont Club: Restarting The Clock of History:
One unintended effect of the September 11 attacks is that it put a defining question to different modes of American political consciousness. Until then it was possible to treat many ideologies respectable since the 1960s as harmless forms of iconoclasm, posing "provocative" but fundamentally hypothetical views. But when attacks on the US homeland made it categorically necessary to answer the question: 'are you willing to fight our assailants', many sincere ideologues paused, shook their heads and said: 'No. In fact I am morally obligated to help our assailants'. When Noam Chomsky went out of his way to support Hezbollah it wasn't inexplicable, it was logical. His long articulated hypotheticals have simply become actuals.
... Liberal rage over Bush -- and maybe Lieberman and McCain -- for behaving "illegitimately" and "turning back the clock" is incomprehensible until one realizes that from a certain perspective it represents a double-cross. The West was supposed to die; slowly and comfortably but ineluctably. And we were supposed to buy off the Islamists until we could finish the job ourselves. Bush declaring his intention to fight for the survival of the West was just as logical as Chomsky's pilgrimage to Hezbollah and just as infuriating to his enemies.
... Until September 11 it was possible for the more "enlightened" segments of society to regard patriotism, religion and similar sentiments with the kind of amused tolerance that one might reserve for simpletons. Nothing that a little institutionalization and spare change couldn't straighten out. The problem for the Democratic Party is that the Great Polite Silence is over. People like Chomsky and President Bush have stopped being hypothetical and become all too real. Bring it on.
Immigration will be a front in this war as well, as America's elites and intellectuals will undoubtedly push Congress toward admitting as many immigrants (legal or otherwise) into this country as possible. To the intellectual left, the possibility of seeing America's traditional conservatism and Protestant Christianity diluted into irrelevance by a vast wave of immigrants (particularly those considered "victims" of American greed, bigotry, or hegemony) must be a like dream come true.
To a great extent, the leadership of Europe has already fallen victim to the self-loathing caused by the post-modernist/socialist/secularist understanding of Western Civilization - greed, imperialism, bigotry, warmongering, slavery, oppression, intolerance, and irrational religious fanaticism. They have been led into accepting that "tolerance" simply means that no culture -- except Western culture -- merits criticism or censure.
And because of this, Europe is on the verge of being overtaken by a tide of Muslim immigrants who believe in absolutely none of the liberal Western values that they have so cleverly exploited for their own gain. The vast majority of Europeans will not understand what has happened to them or how it happened until the day their great cathedrals are dynamited and their women are forced into burkas -- all in the name of tolerance and peace, of course.
I believe that Europe has already passed the point of no return. The wars of the twentieth century have neutered the ability of Europeans to stand up against evil and have replaced it instead with self-loathing and white guilt. If Europe eventually decides to fight the menace of radical Islamism, it will be able to do so only with the aid of the United States.
We saw similar conditions at the beginning of World War Two. The carnage of World War One left Britain and France both too weary and too optimistic to stand up to the Nazis. By the time France fully understood the threat posed by Hitler, it was too late. And England was completely dependent upon American aid in their fight to defeat Hitler.
The difference between now and then is that in 1941, Americans -- including the intellectual chattering classes, the entertainers, the poets and writers, and the press -- believed that their nation and its way of life was worth defending. Today a majority of American citizens still holds that belief, but we have lost the intellectuals, the entertainers, the artists, and the press.
Can Americans still believe in their own greatness when their writers, thinkers, and entertainers are working so hard to deny that greatness?
Our fate, and the fate of Western Civilization as we know it, depends wholly upon that question.