Faced with graphic photos of the tortured dead body of the late U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, being dragged through the streets of Benghazi by a mob, one can't help but think that, together with the ambassador's body, the country at the helm of the free world was also dragged through the mud and humiliated. The attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi this week was yet another horrendous chord in the symphony of terror that is offending the ears of the West. The West, for its part, is shutting its ears and closing its eyes and avoiding the recognition that, for quite some time now, it has been under existential attack.
Let's stop pretending that these are just "radical Islamists" or "extremist Salafists" or any other restrictive, politically correct definition meant to disarm the West's defenses, instead of giving it the tools to deal with the menacing Islamic wave that is threatening to destroy Western civilization from within. The Western world shouldn't really care that some idiot made a movie that desecrates Islam (titled "Innocence of Muslims"). The Internet is full of movies and texts and lectures by Muslims that desecrate Judaism, Christianity and other faiths. Freedom of expression and freedom of thought are the foundations of Western life. The madness of the Arab masses is their problem, but an attack on an American Embassy as a result of an individual's exercising of his freedom of expression — that is an attack on Western values.
The leader of the free world issued a flaccid reaction, demonstrating the entire West's deep seated problem. What Obama said was, "While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants." Take note: First he condemns the film, providing the killers with justification for their actions. The Arabs interpret this to mean that the U.S. leader is taking responsibility for the deed. Second, he describes the barbaric lynching of his emissaries as "senseless violence" that "took lives." God help us all in the wake of this Chamberlain-style response.
It would be wise to look into what kind of herbs former New York Times editor Bill Keller was on when he described the White House response as "containing two strong (!) messages" and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's response as "either a complete misreading of a dangerous situation, or a classic act of cynicism." A classic case of the pot calling the kettle black.
David Remnick's slander-filled piece in The New Yorker this week also demonstrated the total collapse of the American Left in the face of threats not only to Israel but to the entire West, including the U.S.
In 1972, Harold Glidden wrote an important article characterizing Arab culture as a "shame-oriented society," where honor is a top priority — not the law, not freedom, and not any other nonsense flaccid liberals like to use to mask situations that don't jive with their theories. Like other disillusioned intellectuals, Glidden was crucified by the political correctness brigade, but the recent events of the so-called Arab Spring prove his argument.
The West needs to adopt a zero tolerance policy for these types of violent acts. To paraphrase King David, who knew a thing or two about vanquishing enemies, we should say that when dealing with villains, one must be a villain. The West, too, has its pride, and if someone humiliates us, we must respond with force, not issue lukewarm reactions that only serve to embarrass the West tenfold in the eyes of that same someone. Do we need another wake-up call?