The Stoic Traveler

"Wherever I go, it will be well with me."

27 September 2006

For want of an Opera, the War was Lost

Gentle Reader:
When I set out to write this post, the Berlin Opera had cancelled a scheduled run of Mozart's Idomeneo, Re di Creta (Idomeneo, King of Crete).
I was livid.
As I proceed to write it now, the Berlin Opera, at the encouragement of a newly-founded German/Muslim dialogue group. decided to reverse the decision and proceed with the scheduled run.
I am still livid.
In part this is because, as an angry young man, I am obligated to stay livid until my hair completes its task of falling out, but that's only a small part.
The larger issue is my subject tonight: Pre-Emptive Surrender, Charles Martel, and the Art of War.
Contrary to the actions and some statements of Our Glorious Leader, HRMH George I the current struggle between the forces of so-called "Radical Islam" and the forces of Western Civilization is existential. No, it is not a catfight between Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre, rather it is a battle for the existence of one or the other. The two have not coexisted peacefully, do not coexist peacefully, and can not coexist peacefully and retain their identities. Either the West must give in to and adopt Shariah, thus destroying at a stroke the last thousand years of intellectual and moral evolution; or Muslims must realize that a thick skin is necessary to deal with the modern world, and that Allah really doesn't need mere humans to defend him from Danish cartoonists and German Opera impresarios. You, observant Reader, can probably tell where I come down on this one.
At any rate, the decision of the Berlin Opera is a clear example of why the West will likely lose this conflict. Or, at least, why the Islamic Caliphate of Europe is not such a far-fetched idea. Recall that there was no threat made against the opera company, no indication of violence from the 3 million-odd Muslims living in Germany. Instead, the Berlin security forces recommended that they cancel the opera because it might offend someone and cause violence.
They canceled because it might offend someone. Because that offense might lead to violence. Germany, or at least Berlin, has surrendered before it even girded for battle. So much for the warlike Hun...
Sun Tzu, in his treatise "The Art of War" maintains that a victorious commander wins the battle before he comes to blows. The defeated commander comes to blows, then figures out how to win the battle. I regret to say that I think the United States is progressing in a similar way in its so-called "War on Terror." It went to war by invading Afghanistan and Iraq, and then tried to figure out how to win. Of course, the Bush White House does not even seem to have considered the possibility that HRMH would not be equal to the rhetorical and ideological war. A war hasn't been planned this badly since Olaf the Hairy, High Chief of All the Vikings, ordered ten thousand battle helmets with the horns on the inside...

P.S. Ten points to whomever tells me what Charle Martel has to do with this post.