We have chosen to concede something in the name of peace. We have chosen to renounce to our values in order to avoid a bloodshed. Today there is no Winston Churchill to rebuke us, cigar sticking in his mouth and a stern frown. We have no one to shout out to us, “You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war.”
In those days the Nazis were around. The Munich Agreements at the end of September 1938 were meant to avoid an international crisis, despite the honor. The price was heavy: bowing to Hitler’s diktat. Dishonor is better then war, this is what Edward Dladier and Neville Chamberlian thought. They were deadly wrong. “You chose dishonor you will have war”. One of history’s most accomplished prophecies.
Today we have the Islamists. Daladier and Chamberlain are no longer here, but there is Federica Mogherini who burst into tears in front of the microphones, feeling the burden of the “bad day for Europe”, as she called it. It’s a bad day actually, because terrorism has hit Europe in its heart, in its supposed “capital”, Brussels. Maybe this is the reason why the European High Representative for Foreign Affairs was so touched, she felt these aggression nearer than those of Paris. Or maybe not, it was just her human heart so full of grief for the innocent victims.
It was wrong not to fight Islamist terrorism, call it ISIS, AL Qaeda, Hezbollah. It was wrong to build strategic alliances, making preferential choices between them and thinking that it was possible to make good deals with countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran who do not respect the most elementary of human rights. It was wrong because we have war nonetheless.
The European Union has chosen dishonor but it has not avoided blood.
It has chosen dishonor when it decided to label Israeli products coming from the settlements, when it has allowed a fugitive terrorist to take shelter undisturbed for four months in a Belgian neighborhood which has become totally Muslim, it has chosen dishonor when it thought that Saudi Arabia and Qatar could be credible allies and when it has turned its cheek to Iran.
The European Union has chosen dishonor when it decided to finance annually Fatah, to send money to Gaza and to the West Bank because Palestinians need schools and hospitals but instead of using it for these purposes they build tunnels and rocket launch pads.
Our newspapers choose dishonor when they write “Palestinians killed” forgetting to add “terrorists to “Palestinians” or at least “aggressors”, and inciting that part of the public opinion that sees Israel as a symbol of colonialism and of the “bad” white Westerners, a state of fact which somehow justifies the anger and frustration of the “oppressed” Muslims.
We have all chosen dishonor when we have been afraid to speak, because that magic word, “Islamophobia” does not sound like anti Fascism or anti Nazism but has that politically incorrect, xenophobe and illiberal aftertaste. Islam is a religion that comes from afar, it is the same religion of the refugees who take flight from wars. It is a religion of peace and it must not be confused with terrorism. The Koran is a sacred text.
With this reasoning they have convinced us that jihadism is only a degeneration. We have accepted to transform whole neighborhoods into Muslim ghettos and made acceptable even antisemitism and misogyny in countries alert to civil rights like Sweden. We have considered the Paris massacres as “vengeance” for too much satirical blasphemy or for excessive Western promiscuity, we have complied to accept attacks against synagogues and kosher supermarkets as “normal” because it is well known, between Muslims and Jews there are some divergences. We have forgiven Cologne because on New Year’s Eve we are all a bit drunk and these women ultimately are looking for trouble.
We look at the Middle Est with the binoculars that we choose and we are not much interested to what happens to Jews, Yazidis, Curds, nor about massacres among Sunnis and Shiites. We are not very much concerned about the Israeli knife Intifada. We do not understand that we are up to our neck into it because we have chosen dishonor. We have paradoxically chosen to renounce to our values pretending to have done so for the sake of those same values. But the explanation is simple: we have preferred not to fight because we did not want war. But we have war.
Winston Churchill would know what to say.