Monday, August 25, 2008

Mrs Miniver and the Islamists

My wife occasionally gets me to watch an old movie with her; so we watched Mrs. Miniver. It was surprisingly good. Greer Garson did an amazing job of acting and won the academy award for it. The movie took place in the early days of World War II. It’s about an English family’s efforts to rise above the hardships of war. In one scene Mrs. Miniver finds a wounded German pilot in her yard. He produces a Luger and insists that she feed him and give him a coat to cover his uniform. She reproaches him for Germany’s killing of women and children and he threatens to do the same to England. At which she slaps him on the face.

The German’s fascist speech reminded me of the Islamists speeches I’ve read. Islamism is after all a fascist tyranny in its ideology. Francis Fukuyama believes Liberal-Democracy shall defeat all competing forms of government and society, but Fascism is alive and well in the form of Islamism. Islamists promise to do to us what the German flyer promised to do to Mrs. Miniver.

In a scene in a partially ruined church, the pastor notes the civilians who have been killed and observed that this was a war of peoples, and that therefore it wasn’t surprising that little kids and old men became casualties. That is the war the Islamists are fighting as well, targeting civilians.

Back in World War II, Lord Haw Haw was considered a traitor for supporting the Fascists, but the present world is more complicated. Many modern Westerners believe the Islamists are, despite their announced goals, harmless. They think that Islamist attacks on civilians are to be excused because they represent post-Colonial and post-Cold-War frustration. Islamists are excused for what they do, and those who oppose them are blamed in words that defy logic. Surely some might think, when the Islamists get nuclear weapons, they should be opposed, and I see a breaking of ranks and a leaning toward such opposition, but others have made the final adjustment and have learned to love the Islamist bomb.

Mrs. Miniver was never conflicted. She knew that what the Fascist believed was wrong. That movie was made in 1942.. The world has been deconstructed since then in the eyes of enemies at home and abroad our Liberal Democracy has become worse than Fascist Islamism.

Circling into ever smaller

Circles, a whirlpool, an

Inverted water spout,

Churned its liquid fury

And clutched at the inadvertent

In a downward rush.

Beyond, a half-day

Fishing boat slowly

Passed, with fishers

Focusing on ripples

And the tugs of their

Trolled lines,

And further out a sailor

On a broad reach

Was oblivious to all but

The beauty of the wind

And the sun scintillating

From the tops of flashing

Waves, brave in exhilaration

And the sea at its most joyous,

But in a while the wind died down,

The sea began its evening chop,

The fishers headed for home,

And the sailor tacked past the sea

Where the whirlpool had whirled

And regretted the day’s end.

Lawrence Helm

No comments: