Dear Mr. McConnell:
We have been major supporters of Pat Buchanan
over the years and have made many donations to
his campaign. We have religiously read your
columns in the New York Post and were
greatly saddened and dismayed (not to say
depressed) when you lost your position at the
However, we were appalled at your latest diary
entry on VDARE. /scott_mcconnell`s
There is room for more "evenhandedness" in America`s Middle East policies. One might say that there is something of an unhealthy closeness between Israel and the United States. Therefore, the call for an evenhanded policy could be viewed as one lacking in malicious intent.
However, it is entirely different to view with sympathy a group that hates Western civilization and feels resentment toward all that it stands for. A group whose views are antithetical to the ones supposedly propounded by you and Pat Buchanan. Of all the peoples of the world, the Arab Muslims have the most notorious and deepest resentment of Western man. Through their religion, poverty and lost civilization their hatred is clear and unconditional. Their dreams are to replace Western civilization with a revival of their ancient Muslim civilization.
Your recent experience with them makes this clear. For example, they are obsessed with pointing out Israel`s treatment of a relatively few "political" prisoners, yet stand silent before the widespread and heinous abuses of their own former countries toward their own peoples. Isn`t this the classic device used by haters of Western man: to exaggerate our abuses and deny their own crimes. Can`t you see that Israel is actually a surrogate for American and Western man in these peoples` minds?
We understand your feelings of dismay toward neocons and other Jewish groups who have vilified you. Many Jews also unfairly demonize Pat Buchanan. This is a tremendous source of frustration for us (two Jews) as well. However, many Jews are starting to come around. You might be interested to learn that some 20% of American Renaissance http://www.amren.com/index.html readers and contributors are Jewish.
You seem to take a perverse pleasure in pointing out that the Muslim population in America is growing and this will ultimately lead to a change in our policy toward Israel. In your zeal to punish the neocons for their fundamental philosophical errors, you seem not to mind how this demographic change will negatively affect the United States. Clearly, you can`t believe that this demographic change is desirable.
Israel has tremendous flaws. Don`t worry, the country will self-destruct without your help. There is a deep destructive flaw in the Jewish character that lends itself to do things that are destructive to their interests. That instinct was born during the ages of Jewish/European conflict in which Jewish resentment overcame more constructive impulses. Israel is not the issue.
As a Western man, take care that you do not repeat this mistake. In your frustration, it doesn`t behoove you or Pat Buchanan to compromise your principals and cultivate people who wish to destroy Western civilization.
Sincerely, [NAMES WITHHELD BY REQUEST]
Dear [NAMES WITHHELD BY REQUEST],
I am unable now to give your thoughtful and searching letter the deep reply it deserves. Similar questions were raised when PJB gave a talk before the American Muslim Council, raised by some of Pat`s Serb and Serb American supporters. I hope I made my ambivalence and equivocation about the Arab/Muslim phenomenon clear in my piece. But I am not convinced that these people, in a generation or so, won`t make perfectly good "westernized" Americans; in the West, their fundamentalism will fade, and it won`t be reasonable to talk of them as irrevocably opposed to the West. At least I`d give it a fifty-percent shot.
We would probably both prefer much less immigration, and certainly less immigration that changes the cultural composition of this country. But since we do have immigration, I don`t on the face of it mind that a small part of it is coming from a group that is relatively well educated (not Arabs as a whole, but this immigrant stream) and culturally conservative. Being who I am, I of course have infinitely more "in common" with American Jews, neocon or not, than with Muslim immigrants. But having experienced what can fairly be called a life- and consciousness-changing experience with the neocons, I am not immune from taking some satisfaction in things that will make them uncomfortable.
And American Renaissance - well, I respect the magazine for its daring, and appreciate some of Jared Taylor`s writing, but I think taking racial thought that far is, in the end, a dead end.
Thanks for taking time to write the letter you did. —Scott
Thank you for your reply. At the outset, let us state our deepest respect for you and sympathy with the experiences that you endured as a result of your beliefs. Suffice it to say, during the time that you and Eric Breindel were at the Post, reading the editorial pages was one of our great joys. Your untimely departure was an unhappy moment. As you well know, at the same time similar unhappy things were happening at the National Review.
Whatever satisfaction you may take from seeing your former friends uncomfortable, it is not worth the damage that it will do to our country. These neocons and their ilk are to be pitied not despised. They will witness, sooner than later, the folly of their beliefs.
You state that there is a 50% chance that Muslims in this country will become Westernized and lose their anti-Western/Christian biases. Are you willing to roll the dice on this? Certainly, European countries, among them France, Germany, and Italy, have not seen assimilation occurring. In fact, the opposite has happened. As their numbers increase, Muslims have become more radicalized and resentful. Their condemnation of Israel should be seen for what it is - a condemnation of the West, with Israel as the surrogate. By meeting with these people and sympathizing with their grievances, you and PJB are flattering the very impulses that you hate yourselves.
As for the "cultural conservative" argument, what groups (other than West Side Jews) don`t consider themselves culturally conservative? That is the very argument Republicans use when they defend continued legal and illegal immigration of Hispanics. And Republicans will continue to defend this as they watch themselves inexorably become the "minority" party. Maybe they can hope for some affirmative action on their behalf when that happens.
All the best, [NAMES WITHHELD BY REQUEST]
September 30, 2000