Sunday, November 26, 2006

The View from the Audience

I've posted a couple of reviews of Mark Steyn's book America Alone. Today I thought it would be interesting to hear from some of the "regular folks" in the audience to see what they're saying about the book after reading it. So, I read some of the customer reviews off's site. Here are some interesting takes on the book.

One of the most important books of the decade, November 25, 2006
Reviewer:David Luken (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
Much as it sounds like a cliche, this is a book that should be read by every American who cares about the world in which his children will live. I have several dozen books on Islam and the ongoing confrontation between Islam and The West in my library and this, beyond question, is the best of them all. I plan to give copies to ten or twelve friends during the holidays and will buy AMERICA ALONE by the case once it comes out in paperback. It's a serious book with some witty moments but every- thing Mark Steyn writes is like that. It reads with the fluidity of his columns and pieces in Atlantic Monthly. This book should be STUDIED, not just read.

Exceptionally brilliant, maybe important and very, November 22, 2006
Reviewer:David D. Begley (Omaha, NE USA) - See all my reviews

Steyn lists many facts and incidents that most Americans probably don't know about. The numbers alone are staggering.

For those that don't think we are at war or that we can just "redeploy," they need to wise up.

The primitives will win if we don't strengthen our will.

I just about choked last weekend when C-Span asked its audience if Al-Jazera's English language version should be carried on American cable networks. To my utter shock, all sorts of people called in and said, "Yes."

My thought? How is this even open for debate?

It is a propganda network that wants to create a fifth column right here in America. Do you think Fox News is broadcast in Iran or Syria?

It is real simple. The Islamists want to convert (or revert) you and if you refuse, cut off your head. That's the religion of peace for you.

The Islamists play us for fools and try to turn the constitution into a suicide pact. Perfect example this week when some imans claimed they were victims for being removed from a jet. The drive-by media omitted the fact that an Arabic speaker overheard anti-American comments and some rather thin men wanted seatbelt extensions. They also refused to go to their assigned seats. There was substantial factual justification to remove these clowns. But one NPR report just said someone "felt" afraid. BS!

We are at war. Too many people fail to realize this fact. They also fail to realize the stakes. No more Starbucks or cable TV when the mullahs are in charge.

I'm still in shock that the NYT writers, editors and publishers aren't in jail for publishing state secrets.

Not enough proposed solutions, but that's the hard part. The goal of the book is to make people realize the scope of the problem. It was successful there.

Also pay attention to the Richard Gere reference. If you don't believe in anything, you'll believe anything. As a culture, we lose our way when we abandon our Judeo-Christian heritage and foundation.

A little too much repetition as some text could have been cut.

Demographics and Nihilist Depravity, November 18, 2006
Reviewer:Ralph White (New England) - See all my reviews
Twenty years from now we'll look back on books like this one and Bruce Bawer's book, "While Europe Slept," and we'll wonder why we didn't listen. We started seeing this theme in Henry Kissinger's 1995 book, "Diplomacy," in which he argued for heightened recognition of what he called "American Exceptionalism." Kissinger, Bawer, and now Mark Steyn recognize that America is governed by ethical values in its foreign policy and by sustainable macroeconomics in its domestic policies. This may sound like motherhood and apple pie, but there isn't a single other country out there which is similarly governed, or ever has been. Perhaps more remarkable than this American exceptionalism is that we are so loathed for it among even our closest allies, all of whom owe their existence to us. And things can only get worse, due to a demographics-based argument which Steyn develops throughout the book.

With Americans reproducing themselves a the rate of 2.1 for each woman, we are much less dependant on immigration than Western Europe, Canada, and Japan, where the average is more like 1.4. Of course we have too many entitlement programs, and are overly dependant on the productivity of future generations, but we are not in the death spiral that other Westernized nations are. The best and the brightest in the rest of the world are emigrating to the United States, and the principal immigration into Western Europe is from Muslim countries. Muslims are reproducing themselves at an extremely high rate (fertility rates over 4.0), but they are not (in aggregate) productive members of the societies in which they settle. They are dependant on welfare and the other lavish entitlements offered by Western European countries. So, while we are "mortgaging our grandchildren's futures" in burdening them with debt to support populist entitlements, Western Europeans are dependant on the grandchildren of angry, resentful, unskilled Muslim immigrants. Good luck!

But as bad as this macroeconomic situation is, it pales beside the political problems that Muslims bring with them. In the 2005 rankings of Freedom House's survey of personal liberty and democracy around the world, five of the eight countries with the lowest "freedom" scores were Muslim. This is the way they like it, and this is the political system they want to recreate in the West. Moreover, the great preponderance want some form of sharia, or Muslim law. This isn't about race. The distinguishing feature of Muslim immigrants is not their race, but simply that they don't believe in pluralist democracy. They want to destroy the Western societies which are supporting them.

Italy and Greece are already lost. France and Germany are probably also beyond the tipping point. And England probably doesn't realize what it must to do to save itself. And America cannot survive alone in a world governed by nihilist theocratic depravity. The subtitle of Steyn's book is "The End of the World as We Know It," and it would be a tragic mistake for us to ignore the problems the book illuminates.

I cannot thank my friend, Richard Davis, enough for recommending "America Alone," "Islamic Imperialism," and "While Europe Slept." These are remarkable books, and we all urgently need to get their messages out to any who will listen.

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