On War #108
March 16, 2005

Where is Charles Martel?

By William S. Lind

[The views expressed in this article are those of Mr. Lind, writing in his personal capacity. They do not reflect the opinions or policy positions of the Free Congress Foundation, its officers, board or employees, or those of Kettle Creek Corporation.

I spent last week in one of the few remaining bits of the real “Old Europe,” Europe before it was commercialized and Americanized, namely Portugal. The Portuguese deserve their reputation as the nicest people in Europe, and Lisbon is a delight for any true conservative, because it is a city that clings tenaciously to its past. Tiny, four-wheeled streetcars, built in the 1920s to an American design of about 1905, still clatter and clang through the twisting, narrow streets of the old Moorish quarter, the Alfama. Streetcars are a sign of high civilization, just as television is a sign of advancing barbarism.

I went to Lisbon for a NATO conference on defense of the Mediterranean, a vital topic at a time when Europe is again being overrun by invading Moslems. As I noted in my remarks to the conference, immigrants who do not acculturate are a greater danger than an invading army. The army eventually goes home, while the immigrants stay, permanently changing the cultural landscape. With 500,000 illegal immigrants now entering Europe each year from North Africa, Islam’s muftis in mufti are rapidly reversing the verdict of the Battle of Tours. Strategically, Islamic immigration is a far greater threat to Europe than Al Qaeda’s terrorism.

Looking around the room at the conference’s first session, my expectations of learning something new were not high. Most of the presenters were either diplomats or academics, two groups with well-earned reputations for taking a great many words to say little or nothing. That has always been true of diplomats, of course; saying nothing while speaking at length is exactly what they are paid to do. But I am astonished again and again at the degree to which academics have become vapid dispensers of commonplaces, ideas so banal and contentless that only other academics could give them serious attention. It seems the words “academic” and “intellectual” have become opposites.

To my surprise, the conference nonetheless proved valuable, not so much for the specifics of what was said as for its dynamics, and perhaps a small bit of hope for Christian Europe’s future that emerged from those dynamics. The first dynamic was the degree to which all the Islamic spokesmen had the same message: any attempt by the West to defend itself from the hordes of Islam was a violation of “Political Correctness,” aka the cultural Marxism of the Frankfurt School. All the usual PC bugaboos and hobgoblins were dragged out and paraded before us: “racism,” “oppression,” “discrimination,” “fear of The Other” (my response to that one was that many vanished peoples could explain why fear of “The Other” was reasonable and prudent), even the latest PC coinage, “Islamophobia,” of which I am certain we will be hearing a great deal more. It is, of course, all humbug, but it is humbug that has cowed Europeans for at least a generation.

I was not surprised to see Islamics use cultural Marxism as a weapon, any more than it surprises me to watch cultural Marxists use mass immigration as a weapon. Both have the same objective, the destruction of the Christian West, and the equivalent of a Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact between them makes sense. No matter that the cultural Marxists hate Allah as much as they hate J-hw-h or the Holy Trinity, or that the Islamic scimitar would quickly be put to the necks of the cultural Marxists; until the Christian West is dead and buried, each can use the other.

Here was the second, and more surprising, dynamic of the conference: a number of participants (not just myself, old Templar that I am) dared defy the rules of cultural Marxism and call upon the Christian West to defend itself. The Islamics’ frantic waving of the “racism” and “discrimination” bugaboos did not entirely work. By the end of the conference, I thought the Islamics seemed beaten. It certainly did not go according to their plan, with the West groveling in the dirt and praising the “benefits” of Islamic immigration.

In a European context, such an outcome was, until very recently, impossible to imagine. But it seems that even in Europe, morally devastated as it was by the 20th Century’s three Western civil wars, a spark of the will to live may still flicker. As growing portions of once-ordered European cities are turned into Third World hellholes by hundreds of thousands of immigrants bitterly opposed to European culture, a few people are daring to speak about what they see.

From a Fourth Generation perspective, the question is whether the European state system can stem the Islamic invasion. That state system is now embodied more in the European Union than in individual European states, and so far the EU has done little more than serve as the undertaker in the death of the West.

If the state system cannot defend Europe, non-state elements may rise to do so. From that perspective, perhaps the best last words of the conference were found on the wall of a building across the street from the conference hotel, in a graffito that said, “They’ve got the numbers, we’ve got the guns.” It seems that Charles Martel is not entirely forgotten.

William S. Lind, expressing his own personal opinion, is Director for the Center for Cultural Conservatism for the Free Congress Foundation

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