Nifty article by Spengler at the Asia Times Online about the affinities between President Bush and Pope Benedict, and a very different take on what the future may hold in Europe. On what President Bush and Papa Ratzi have in common:
"Acting on faith in politics means exactly what it does in personal life: to do what is right even when it is dangerous to do so, when received opinion howls against it, and when the ultimate consequence of such actions cannot be foreseen. After Pope Benedict XVI showed unprecedented courtesy to visiting American President George W Bush last week, much has been written about the Christian faith that binds the pope and the president."
"It is not only faith, but the temerity to act upon faith, that the pope and the president have in common. In the past I have characterized Benedict's stance as, 'I have a mustard seed, and I'm not afraid to use it.' Despite his failings, Bush is a kindred spirit."
Spengler speculates on why the U.S. invaded Iraq after September 11th, and he discusses the Bush's decision to do so:
"Bush was magnificently right to conduct a punitive expedition against Saddam, but horribly wrong to wade into the mire of nation-building. He should have found a cooperative dictator to replace Saddam and marched out, as American neo-conservative historian and political commentator Daniel Pipes suggested at the time. Nevertheless, as I wrote in 2004, 'The West should be thankful that it has in US President George W Bush a warrior who shoots first and tells the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to ask questions later. Rarely in its long history has the West suffered by going to war too soon. On the contrary: among the wars of Western history, the bloodiest were those that started too late.' "
Finally, while many in the West wring their hands about post-Christian Europe - not to mention post-Europe Europe (due to the failure of Europeans to reproduce themselves, while their Muslim populations have large families), Spengler sees a very different possibility: