Another Lewis promoter

Melanie Phillips uncritically recommends Bernard Lewis’s recent Irving Kristol lecture at the American Enterprise Institute (discussed by me here). She would have her readers believe that Lewis is a serious man who has a serious view of the Islam threat and what to do about it. Not mentioned by Phillips is the fact that Lewis at the end of his talk suggested that the only thing the West can do to defend itself from Islamic radicalism is to spread the Western idea of freedom and “hope” that Muslims somehow adopt that idea for themselves. The idea that the West ought to defend itself from Islam, rather than seek to “reform” Islam, does not occur to Lewis and his acolytes, these utopian liberals who call themselves conservatives (an illusion that is sustained by the fact that the radical left is so much wackier than they). Phillips, while she doesn’t call herself a conservative, is nevertheless a member of the same neocon circles.

Phillips also does not mention that it was Lewis’s absurd and benighted ideas, along with those of that other great thinker of our time, Natan Sharansky, that were principally responsible for convincing the Bush administration that spreading freedom was the answer to Islamic radicalism.

There is little evidence that the supporters of Bush’s democracy policy have learned any lessons at all or have undergone any serious rethinking of their basic assumptions.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 27, 2007 03:33 PM | Send

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