“It would appear that the great divide in both public opinion and between politicians is not Republican-Democrat, liberal-conservative, pro or anti-Bush, or even pro or anti-war (or, in Europe: pro-or anti-American),’ writes Tony Blankley. ‘Rather, the great divide is between those, such as me, who believe that the rise of radical Islam poses an existential threat to Western Civilization; and those who believe it is a nuisance, if, episodically, a very dangerous nuisance.”

Belonging to the side that sees radical Islam as an existential threat to our civilization, I share Blankley’s ‘sense of futility’ about the current debate. What will it take for the West to grasp the nature of its perio”

“Neither side,” writes Blankley, “seems remotely capable of persuading the other of the accuracy of our respective foresights. Two years ago, I wrote a book on the subject. I have talked to thousands and thousands in speeches and millions on radio and TV (as have so many authors these last five years). But the net effect seems to be to re-enforce the opinions of those who already share my view, rather than persuade others to change their mind.

“Thus, while others and I will continue to make our case in public, it seems probably inevitable that the correctness or incorrectness of our views will only become persuasive to the multitude when history teaches its cruel, unavoidable lessons. It was ever thus, which is why history is strewed with broken nations and civilizations that couldn’t read the writing on the wall. Of course, it is also strewed with sad hulks of false predictors of doom.”