“Your enemies have gathered and struck and continue to strike and you, the innocents of 2006 and beyond, fight among yourselves, chew and rip at your own bellies, blame your brothers and yourselves and your institutions of the Enlightenment – law, tolerance, science, democracy – even while your enemies grow stronger.”
“How are we supposed to know who our enemies are?” I turned and growled at him. “The world is a complex place. Morality is a complex thing.”
“Your enemy is he who will give his life to kill you,” said the Time Traveler. “Your enemies are they that wish you and your children and your grandchildren dead and who are willing to sacrifice themselves, or support those fanatics who will sacrifice themselves, to see you and your institutions destroyed. You haven’t figured that out yet – the majority of you fat, sleeping, smug, infinitely stupid Americans and Europeans.”
He stood and set the Scotch glass back in its place on my sideboard. “How, we wonder in my time,” he said softly, “can you ignore the better part of a billion people who say aloud that they are willing to kill your children . . . or condone and celebrate the killing of them? And ignore them as they act on what they say? We do not understand you.”
I still had not turned to face him, but was looking over my shoulder at him.
“The world, as it turns out,” continued the Time Traveler, “is not nearly so complex a place as your liberal and gentle minds sought to make it.”
I did not respond.
“Thucydides taught us more than twenty-four hundred years ago – counting back from your time – that all men’s behavior is guided by phobos, kerdos, and doxa,” said the Time Traveler. “Fear, self-interest, and honor.”
I pretended I did not hear.
“Plato saw human behavior as a chariot pulled by precisely those three powerful and headstrong horses, first tugged this way, then pulled that way,” continued the Time Traveler. “Phobos, kerdos, doxa. Fear, self-interest, honor. Which of these guides the chariot of your nation and your allies in Europe and your surprisingly fragile civilization now, O Man of 2006?”
I stared at the bookcase instead of the man and willed him gone, wishing him away like a sleepy boy willing away the boogeyman under his bed.
“Which combination of those three traits -- phobos, kerdos, doxa -- will save or doom your world?” asked the Time Traveler. “Which might bring you back from this vacation from history – from history’s responsibilities and history’s burdens – that you have all so generously gifted yourselves with? You peaceloving Europeans. You civil-liberties loving Americans? You Athenian invertebrates with your love of your own exalted sensibilities and your willingness to enter into a global war for civilizational survival even while you are too timid, too fearful . . . too decent . . . to match the ruthlessness of your enemies.”
I closed my eyes but that did not stop his voice.
“At least understand that such decency goes away quickly when you are burying your children and your grandchildren,” rasped the Time Traveler. “Or watching them suffer in slavery. Ruthlessness deferred against totalitarian aggression only makes the later need for ruthlessness more terrible. Thousands of years of history and war should have taught you that. Did you fools learning nothing from living through the charnel house that was the 20th Century?”
Required reading. It's time to get over our petty self-image issues and start getting serious about the threat of Islam to the rest of human civilization. Not militant Islam, but Islam itself. If you don't believe me, read the Koran. It's all in there, and more importantly it's in practice all around the world. Global Sharia law, and the resultant submission or death of all infidels, the subjugation of women and the brutalization of children, is the goal of a majority of the Islamic faithful. What will you do to oppose them?