Newton is one of the most liberal towns in New England, and when I got an e-mail from a friend informing me that Mark Steyn was going to speak at the Temple Emanuel on Nov. 7, I grabbed my copy of “America Alone” and drove down to Newton, getting there early enough to get a good seat in the very large modernistic sanctuary.
Steyn had been brought to Newton by CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, and judging that about half the audience wore traditional skullcaps, this was mainly an orthodox Jewish crowd with many bareheaded secular Jews and non-Jews attending. It was a full house.
When Steyn was introduced, he was very warmly greeted by an audience, like myself, that was familiar with his writings. I had become a Steyn fan the first time I read one of his columns. He struck me as having the clearest, most rational mind in all of contemporary journalism, plus a sense of humor that made even his most pessimistic prognostications palatable.
Steyn is a tall, good-looking man in his late 30s or early 40s. He was very well-dressed in a dark suit. He has presence, and seemed very comfortable and at ease. He spoke mainly about what was happening in Europe, how the continent had been invaded by Muslims, and that these great nations were offering no real resistance to the ultimate destruction of their culture. The low birthrate of the Europeans was causing a demographic catastrophe as the Muslims were producing children by the droves. He had written about all of this in “America Alone,” and he was afraid that Europe was headed toward another Dark Age.
“The Spanish are not producing any more Spaniards, and without Spaniards, there won’t be a Spain.” He said that the European notion of “never again” meant that European countries would never cultivate nationalism and have instead adopted a knee-jerk pacifism as their policy of defense. One can understand that after two world wars, the nations of Europe were in no mood to fight anybody, let alone the Muslims. That is why they oppose America’s invasion of Iraq.
The Europeans forget that it was American power that saved them from their own self-destruction and that American armed forces are still stationed in Germany 60 years after the end of World War II. They can afford to be pacifists because they expect America to do the fighting for them. But America cannot give them the babies to halt the depopulation of Europe or stem the Muslim invasion.
With the Muslim invasion of Europe has also come a new virulent form of anti-Semitism. In Britain, for example, synagogues now need armed security guards for protection against radical Islamists.
At the end of his talk, which was very well applauded, Steyn entertained questions from the audience. A microphone was set up in the center aisle, and I rose with others to ask questions. When it came to my turn, I asked Steyn, “What is behind Condi Rice’s obsession with a Palestinian state? And, since Iraq has been at war with Israel since 1948, shouldn’t the new democratic government in Baghdad announce that the war is over and that Iraq recognizes Israel’s right to exist?”
Concerning Condi Rice, he replied that she was “delusional.” He said that the Palestinians could have had a state after the Oslo accords had they really wanted one. “But they preferred killing Jews to having a state.” And he feared, judging from what was coming out of Hamas in Gaza, that the Palestinians still preferred killing Jews to having a state, because in order to have a state they would have to agree to stop killing Jews.
As for Iraq declaring an end to its five-decade war with Israel, Steyn believes that the U.S. should have persuaded the new government to do that two years ago when it had greater leverage. But now it was too late, and there didn’t seem to be any interest in achieving that simple declaration of peace.
The question period lasted as long as the talk itself, and, at its end, Steyn got a standing ovation. Those of us with books then crowded around him to get his signature. He patiently signed everyone’s books. Considering that he had just flown in from Australia and was suffering from jet lag, he was as affable as ever. When he was signing mine, I told him that I was a columnist for WorldNetDaily, which he recognized with approval. He wrote, “To Sam, Thanks for the question. Mark Steyn.”
As an octogenarian, I was greatly encouraged by what this member of the younger generation is doing in defense of freedom. His sharp clarity of mind and his ability to analyze the facts of today’s world is a great asset to our side. Read “America Alone,” and learn what we are up against. As Bette Davis said in “All About Eve,” “Fasten your seat belts. We’re in for a bumpy ride.”
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