Small, Revolting Men

Since September 11th, Americans have struggled to understand the enemy that confounds us.
The simplistic have assumed that we truly face a clash of civilizations. That America stands on one side of a great divide, with a hostile, opposing society on the other, with a vast gulf of incomprehension ensuring the two will never meet.
Wiser voices, however, have observed the truth: that we face not a clash of civilizations, but a civil war within a civilization that is being exported to our shores. Our enemies seek to control their society; to dominate their own culture. To do so, they strike the pose: they lash out at America and all it stands for. They compete to establish themselves as the most bold in their defiance of Imperial America.; the most fearless in their unwavering opposition to U.S. power. In so doing, their hope is not so much to bring us low — though it is that — but to raise themselves and their own backward ideas up within their own civilization not on their merits, but on the strength of their anti-American stance.
And so it should comes as no great surprise when you see Chirac telling the nations of Eastern Europe that they should just shut up. It’s all part of the struggle that he, and leaders like him, are waging within European civilization. Faced with the intractable failure of their own ideas, they’ve latched onto a formula to preserve their own political power: oppose America. In their ‘defiance’ of American power, these little men hope to distract their followers from their own petty nature, and cling to political life for just a little longer.
Oh, sorry. Did you think I was talking about something else?