My post of yesterday essentially condemned the ideas attributed to Pope Benedict, and especially those espoused by Jonah Goldberg regarding the Muslim world.
I received a few comments that helped me clarify my thoughts on the issue. The first comments suggested that I actually read a speech given by Lord Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury - a speech which has been described as supportive of anti-Muslim arguments and of the comments made by the Pope. In fact, the speech in no way confirms such a posture - quite the opposite.
Another comment was from the loyal Rick, who argued that we have long been in a war of civilizations; a war in which we are completely innocent, and that "Islam was spread at the point of a sword, and will be settled at the barrel of an Abrams M1 A1." Although he is completely wrong in his arguments, I do admire Rick for his honesty in stating the logical conclusion to his statements. The Goldbergs and Malkins of the world merely pass out bromides about "standing up" to Islam, or "confronting" it. It would be even more impressive if Rick were to tell us how many Muslims would have to eliminated in order to stop them from conquering the West. Clearly, the spiral of death in Iraq only grows wider and larger the longer we are there. Rick sees the war as ongoing and unavoidable.
Goldberg, like so many on the right, and like Bush himself, gain personal rewards by being provocative. They earn money, maintain power, and stroke their egos by provoking Islam. It's deeply cynical, and if they believed what they said, seriously dangerous behavior.