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The Coming Fury

(Reprinted from SOBRANS, September 2006, page 1)
As Venezuela’s leftist president, Hugo Chavez, cuddled with the ailing Fidel Castro on the occasion of the latter’s eightieth birthday, I found myself thinking of a name from the past: Manuel Noriega. Remember him? He was the pocky-faced dictator of Panama toppled by the first President Bush in 1989, on the pretext that he was trafficking in drugs, with the usual Hitler analogies justifying the latest U.S war in Central America. After he finally surrendered, Noriega was somehow tried under U.S. law (though he hadn’t set foot in this country) and of course convicted. The last I heard, he was in an American prison and had converted to Christianity.

This remains the most recent of America’s many little interventions in the region. We tend to forget them quickly, but those on the receiving end remember them. This is the lead article to the September 2006 issue, The Coming Fury -- Read Joe's columns the day he writes them.This is why rulers like Castro and Chavez are as popular as they are in Latin America: whatever their faults, at least they defy the bullying Yanqui.

About all I remember about the Panama war is that it seemed quite unnecessary to me, while my conservative friends were all for it. I never understood their enthusiasm, except that the Cold War was coming to an end and they relished the chance to exercise American power abroad against an enemy, any enemy, and Noriega would serve. I thought it was shameful. Obviously Noriega was no threat at all to the United States; you might say he was the Saddam Hussein of the Eighties. And we wonder why there is so much anti-Americanism around the world.

Lately I’ve been reading Pat Buchanan’s latest book, State of Emergency, a warning that immigration by unassimilable aliens now threatens not only America but Europe. Given our history of absorbing newcomers peacefully, I was disposed to be skeptical. But after only a few chapters I found myself, against my will, shaken and convinced. The new influxes, chiefly Mexican here and Muslim in Europe, are totally different from early waves of immigrants — and far more dangerous. At present rates, it won’t be long until there are no majority white Christian countries on earth. And the new nonwhite majorities will be deeply hostile to the natives.

In his brilliant, neglected book, The Might of the West (1964), Lawrence Brown observes that we remember the nineteenth century as a period of peace only because the white nations seldom made war on each other. The rest of the world experienced it differently. The white man’s technology, chiefly gunpowder, enabled him to invade and conquer red, brown, yellow, and black men around the world, with enormous attendant slaughter and disruption. To these peoples it must have seemed as if a strange race of pale aliens, armed with malevolent magic, had arrived from another planet to destroy them. They were all but helpless against the enemy’s guns, then a terrible novelty and mystery to them.

We ruled the world, and it seemed we would go on ruling it forever. But now — suddenly, in historical terms — the tables are turned, and it is we who seem helpless against the colored races’ explosive populations. They are driving us out of their world and moving into ours in huge numbers. And they are in no mood either to adopt our ways or to forgive us.

Joseph Sobran

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