July 20, 2004 | Commentary on Family and Marriage
Those of you who are sick and tired of watching liberals drool over Michael Moore's miserable "Fahrenheit 9-11" are probably wondering why our side doesn't have something better to watch. Well, now we do.
Herb Meyer's video on "The Siege of Western Civilization" is taking off among conservative Americans. The video has sold out twice in just the last month - and one students' organization recently bought 1,400 copies for distribution to all their chapters at colleges throughout the country.
In "The Siege of Western Civilization," Herb Meyer outlines the real threats to our country's security, our economy - and above all to our culture. And he really "gets it." As Herb puts it, "Our culture is Western Civilization. This is who we are. We need to understand what Western Civilization is all about, such as the rule of law, human rights and economic liberty, and above all we need to teach this to our children. Today our civilization is under siege, and if our children don't understand what our civilization really is and what we stand for, they won't understand why it's worth defending."
Herb outlines the three main threats to our way of life and our future: the war that radical Islam is waging against us, the culture war within the United States that he calls "a second Civil War," and plunging birth rates in Europe, Japan and even here that not only will wreak havoc with our economies but could, quite literally, lead to the extinction of entire populations. And he does all this in a friendly, informal way that makes "The Siege of Western Civilization" good viewing not only for concerned adults, but for students as well.
If you ask students who attend the local public high school what "Western Civilization" is, will they volunteer such concepts as religious liberty, individual freedom and democracy? Will they talk of great art and literature, as well as daring inventions and discoveries that changed the course of history? How about the rise of the middle class and the highest living standard the world has ever known?
Not likely, according to Herb Meyer.
Let me take a moment to tell you something about Meyer, who is the kind of sharp thinker Western Civilization has long produced. This former CIA analyst was one of the first American scholars to predict the implosion of the Soviet Union. Other American intelligence officials looked at the Soviet Union and saw a bustling country with at least 3 percent annual growth as far as the eye could see. They saw a Cold War that would sooner turn hot than turn off.
Herb Meyer didn't. And he didn't have to tap any super-secret veins of information, either. He read newspapers and other completely public documents. "The most vital, most actionable pieces of intelligence aren't "secret" at all," he wrote recently on National Review Online. "They are visible to anyone with a reasonable grasp of politics and economics ..."
So while other analysts saw continued growth, he saw reports of mills and factories closing for lack of raw materials. He saw workers rioting to protest the lack of meat and soap, and memos from the Politburo putting pressure on various bureaucracies to find new ways of generating hard currencies. Things, in other words, you don't see in countries with 3 percent growth. He concluded the Soviets would become more aggressive and try to "win" the Cold War hurriedly - before they went broke.
Fortunately, President Reagan shared Meyer's view, leading him to launch an arms buildup the Soviets couldn't match. The rest is history.
Which brings us back to those students I mentioned earlier. "We've forgotten what Western Civilization is," Meyer says. "We no longer teach it in the schools. If you come to the schools where I live and ask a group of high-school students 'what is Western Civilization?' they'll tell you it's slavery, the oppression of women and that we don't recycle."
Such a colossal injustice is what led Meyer, a former associate editor of Fortune magazine and author of several books, to produce "The Siege of Western Civilization." We have to go back and understand just what it is we are fighting for," Meyer says. "When you understand Western Civilization, then you have a very clear sense of who the enemy is, what they are attacking and why it's worth defending."
If you want to understand the threats our country and our
culture face - and if you want to poke a finger in Michael Moore's
eye - purchase a copy of "The Siege of Western Civilization". You
can order through the
website or by calling 1-800-393-1266.
Rebecca Hagelin is a vice president of the Heritage Foundation.
First appeared on WorldNetDaily.com