Saturday, December 30, 2006

Reading List

By Donald Sensing

These are essays by other writers that I commend to you, in no particular order. Links were good at the time I posted them.

1. Edward Said and the Saidists: or Third World Intellectual Terrorism, by Ibn Warraq.

2. How Important Is Iraq? Just Think Of It As World War IV, by J. Rauch, Ntl Jrnl

3. Iraq and the Arabs' Future, by Foaud Ajami.

4. Seeking the Roots of Terrorism, in The Chronicle of Higher Education).

5. Bernard Lewis: What Went Wrong

5a. "Islam's Imperial Dreams," by Efraim Karsh.

6. The Concept of Human Rights, the Process of Modernization and the Politics of Western Domination By Nasr Abu-Zayd

7. A Grand Strategy of Transformation, an analysis of 2002 of President Bush's then-new National Security Strategy and its implications and risks.

8. The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads, and Modernity, by Tariq Ali.

8a. "Understanding Jihad," by Prof. Mark Gould in Policy Review, Feb. 2005.

8b. "Survival strategy - Middle Eastern Islam, Darwin and terrorism," by Ralph Peters.

8c. "Right Islam vs. Wrong Islam," by former president of Indonesia, Abdurrahman Wahid.

9. "Al Qaeda's Fantasy Ideology," by Lee Harris; also his essay, "The Intellectual Origins of America-Bashing."

10. George Weigel writes about "Europe's Problem - and Ours."

10a. Another excellent piece by Weigel: "Europe’s Two Culture Wars," in Commentary.

10b. "Europe’s Guilty Conscience - Self-hatred is paralyzing the Continent," City Journal, Summer 2010

11. Failed Ideas in Newsweek, Oct. 15, 2002.

12. Muslims and Christians in Denial: Five Letters from the New York Times, by Irfan Khawaja.

13. "Goodbye, All That: How Left Idiocies Drove Me to Flee," by self-described "anti-materialist liberal Democrat" Ron Rosenbaum, Oct. 14, 2002.

14. Six fatal shortcomings of the modern Left, by Paul Berman, an old-style Leftist, Dissent Magazine, Winter 2004.

14a. See also a later and more scholarly treatment by Prof. Norman Geras, an oldline English Marxist, entitled, "The Reductions of the Left" in Dissent Magazine, expanding and illuminating Paul Berman's analysis.

15. Why History Has No End by Victor Davis Hanson.

16. Carcass of Dead Policies: The Irrelevance of NATO, by Steven E. Meyers, published in Parameters, Winter 2003-04. See also, "Fortress Europa: European Defense and the Future of the North Atlantic Alliance," also in Parameters, Winter 2002-03.

17. Christ and Nothing, by David B. Hart.

And so, at the end of modernity, each of us who is true to the times stands facing not God, or the gods, or the Good beyond beings, but an abyss, over which presides the empty, inviolable authority of the individual will, whose impulses and decisions are their own moral index.
17a. "The Moral Economy of Guilt: The curious process by which notions of sin and guilt have become both illusory and omnipresent,"  by Wilfred M. McClay in First Things, May 2011

18. The Ideological War Within the West, by John Fonte. He suggests there has arisen a conflict within the democratic world between liberal democracy and transnational progressivism, between democrats and what he calls post-democrats. A longer version is here).

19. The Law of the Good and the Law of the Right by Prof. Frederick Turner.

20. Michael Crichton's two speeches about environmentalism as fundamentalist religion and how "global warming" is a marketing and ideological phenomenon, but not a scientific conclusion.

21. The folly of the International Criminal Court, by Robert Brickman, published on Brandeis University's web site (PDF document).

22. Iraq: Setbacks, Advances, Prospects, by native Iraqi Adeed Dawisha, who teaches political science at Miami University of Ohio (PDF document).

23. Wimps and Barbarians: The Sons of Murphy Brown, by Terrence O. Moore, on the de-masculinization of American boys. (See my related essay, "The metrosexual Jesus."

24. Deleted, link died.

25. Steven Den Beste's "Essential Library."

26. A Collection of quotes and excerpts on military service, compiled by Major Andrew Olmsted, US Army, who was later killed in action in Iraq.

27. "The Rebirth of Apologetics," by Avery Cardinal Dulles (First Things, May 2004).

28. "A way out of the Balkans," by Suzanne Fields, on the perils of multiculturalism.

29. "The atheist sloth ethic, or why Europeans don't believe in work," by Harvard Prof. Niall Ferguson.

30. "Like Sheep without a Shepherd: The Lack of Leadership in Sunni Islam," by J.A. Morrow, Ph.D.

31. "The Soul of Worship," by the Rev. Dr. Mark D. Roberts.

32. "Human Rights Advocacy in Mainline Protestant Churches (2000-2003)," a critical analysis, by the Institute on Religion and Democracy, documenting the left-wing bias of mainline American Protestantism.

33. Islamic Europe? in the Weekly Standard.

34. "The Media and Medievalism," by by Robert D. Kaplan. Kaplan says that world media now have become a new priesthood, having true political power without accountability.

35. "Raymond Aron and the End of Europe," by Christopher Caldwell, Bradley Lecture Series, April 4, 2005.
There are two basic questions that people who write about Europe get asked more than any others. First: Is Europe still Europe? When Americans read in the papers about the wave of mosque-burnings after the murder of Theo van Gogh in Holland last November, those who sometime visit Europe will wonder whether this kind of thing goes on often, and whether it has any connection to the tranquil Europe where they vacation. Those who haven’t been to Europe lately may be thunderstruck to hear that there are mosques in the Netherlands at all. The second question is of interest to all Americans in the wake of the Iraq war: Is Europe still on our side?
36. The Soul of a Controversy, by Eastern Orthodox theologian David Hart, April 1, 2005, addressing the state of the soul of persistent vegetative state persons. See my own essay on the topic as well.

37. "Theocracy Now?" on Liberty Magazine, unattributed by author. For some reason the permalinked page omits the first two paragraphs, which are on the site's perishable home page. So they are:
I want you to answer a question for me. I am going to give you two options as answers. The question is: What is a Christian’s primary responsibility? Number one option: to evangelize. Number two option: to get involved in government.”

This question was asked by Peter Marshall, son of chaplain to the Senate Peter Marshall and author Katherine Marshall, at a 1996 Christian businessmen’s banquet in Norwich, Connecticut. A rumble of discussion followed, Marshall allowing a few moments for processing purposes. “The answer,” he finally broke in, “is that a Christian’s primary duty in this world is to get involved in government!”
The piece discusses Christian Reconstructionism and Dominionism.

38. "Retaking the university: a battle plan," by Roger Kimball.

39. "In Search of Pro-Americanism," by Anne Applebaum in Foreign Policy, July/August 2005.

40. "The Idea of Compassion: The British vs. the French Enlightenment," by Gertrude Himmelfarb, The Public Interest, Fall 2001.

41. "Spare us this disaster drivel," by Gerard Baker, Jan. 6, 2005. Scientist and philosophers are waving the shrouds of thousands of victims as a debating trophy.

42. "The treason of the intellectuals and 'the undoing of thought'" by Roger Kimball, The New Criterion, 4 December 1992.

43. "THE ASSOCIATION OF MUSLIM BROTHERS - Chronicle of a Barbarism Foretold," by Alain Choeut, Former head of the French Security Intelligence Service of the DGSE (General Directorate of External Security).

44. "Marriage and Caste," by Kay S. Hymowitz, City Journal, Winter 2006. Slug: "America’s chief source of inequality? The Marriage Gap."

45. "It's breeding obvious, mate: Australia and the US can avoid the bleak future awaiting dying old Europe," by Mark Steyn.

46. An six-part Q & A on Christianity, pacifism and warfare by James Arlandson. This link is to part six; links to the first five parts are at the bottom of that page.

47. "Seeds of Intellectual Destruction," by J.R. Dunn. An examination of why "politicians now serving in Congress, intelligence agents investigating overseas threats, diplomats working in embassies, bureaucrats handling the day-to-day business of the government," fully believe "that the country they serve is a criminal enterprise." See also his companion piece, "Breaking the Hold of Hegemonist Doctrine."

48. "Why They Fight And what it means for us," by Peter Wehner, a synopsis of the threat and the theology posed by radicalised Sunni and Shia Islam, their linkages and differences.

49. On the metastasizing of the American federal government and other gloomy trends: "Will the United States Survive Until 2022?" by John Derbyshire.

50. "Don't you know your left from your right?" As a child of politicised parents, Observer columnist Nick Cohen followed in their tradition and became a trenchant voice on the liberal-left in the 1980s and 90s. But the Iraq War changed all that and forced him to rethink. In an exclusive extract from his incendiary new book about the failings of the modern left, he argues that anti-Americanism has left it blind to the evils of militant Islam.

51. "Hurray! We're Capitulating!" by Henryk M. Broder in Der Spiegel.

52. "A Necessary Apocalypse," by J.R. Dunn, an examination of the religious apocalypticism of environmentalism. See also his essay, "Who's Afraid of Global Warming?"

53. "Cultural Marxism," by Linda Kimball. Cultural Marxism is now disguised as multiculturalism.

54. "Gramscian damage," how the Soviet Union's memetic weapons have resulted in suicidalism in the West today.

55. "The Deconstructed Jesus," by James Arlandson.

56. "The War Against Global Jihadism," by Peter Wehner.

57. "Exploring Islam's 'Death Cult' - Muslims must find a way to remove the cancer infecting their religion," by Michael Hirsh, Newsweek, July 6, 2007.

57. "The Church’s Witness on Issues in the Arab/Israeli Conflict," by Sr. Ruth Lautt. This is an excellent summary of the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, with a focus on the post-1967 opposition to Israel by American and European Christian denominations.

58. 1948, Israel and the Palestinians: The True Story.

59. The War on Abstinence, by Ryan T. Anderson, First Things, June 18, 2008.

60. Why Iraq Was Inevitable, by Arthur Herman.

61. Thoughts on July 4, America, and multiculturalism, by Roger Kimball.
The forces of multiculturalism preach the dogma of bureaucratic cosmopolitanism. They encourage us to shed what is distinctively American in order to accommodate the quivering sensitivities of “humanity”–that imperious abstraction whose exigent mandates are updated regularly by such bodies as the United Nations, the World Court, and their allies in the professoriate and the liberal media. Huntington is right that “America cannot become the world and still be America.” We face a choice between a multicultural future and an American future.
62. "Home Alone in the Universe?" by Fred Heeren. Why life in the universe may be very rare, even to the point that we earthlings are it. Then see Science Daily's "Solar System Is Pretty Special, According To New Computer Simulation," which says much the same thing.

63. "Conservative Internationalism: Jefferson to Polk to Truman to Reagan," by Henry R. Nau

64. Forward to the Past: The Fall and Rise of the One State Solution, by Jonathan Spyer, in The Middle East Review of International Affairs, Sept. 2008.

65. David Foster Wallace on Life and Work, adapted from a commencement speech given by David Foster Wallace to the 2005 graduating class at Kenyon College.

66. Forgiveness and Irony - What makes the West strong, by Roger Scruton, in City Journal, Winter 2009.

67. What Is Acceptable Risk?" by Roger Scruton. "The real risks to individuals and society are not those the state forbids." And, actually, anything that Roger Scruton writes; City Journal index here. Also, "Islam and the West: Lines of Demarcation - "What it is about our civilization that causes such resentment, and why we must defend it."

68. "Social Collapse Best Practices," at ClubOrlov.

69. "Live Free or Die," by Mark Steyn.

70. "The Political Left: United in Hate With America's Foes," by Dr. Sanity, the non de blog of a practicing psychiatrist. Also her essay, "Postmodernism, the Corruption of Truth, and the Coming Global Tragedy."

71. "Who Lied About Iraq?" by Randall Hove.

72. "The United Methodist Church vs. George W. Bush," by Matthew May.

73. ISLAM 101, by Gregory M. Davis at Jihad Watch.

74. The Motivations of Political Leftists, By John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.), with its companion piece, "The emotional substrate." These are part of a whole series of monographs that should be read in their entirety.

75. "Is America Periclean?" by Victor Davis Hanson, October 2011.