Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Good Dalrymple Quotes

Via Jay Nordlinger:

Dalrymple, like Steyn, writes truth so effortlessly, his prose takes on the character of aphorism. For example, in his Updike piece, we find this: “In the current climate, you can’t fail as a minority: you can only be failed by others.”

And, “It is not the personal that is political, but the political that is personal. People with unusually thin skins ascribe the small insults, humiliations, and setbacks consequent upon human existence to vast and malign political forces; and, projecting their own suffering onto the whole of mankind, conceive of schemes, usually involving violence, to remedy the situation that has so wounded them.” [As a former angry leftist, I can absolutely testify to this]

Yes. And how about this? “One might have expected [Joseph Conrad] to have sympathized with extremists of almost any stripe, but he understood only too well that those who opposed tyranny by terrorism objected not so much to tyranny as such but to the fact that it was not they who were exercising it.”

And, “The crude nostrums of Islamism rush in where the Enlightenment fears to tread.” (Trust me, in context, you will see that this is perfect.)

Finally, oil — Dalrymple beautifully lays to rest the canard that Westerners exploit Arabs for their oil. This claim, on the part of Arabs, “is not merely self-serving; it is patently absurd. If anything, the direction of the exploitation has been precisely the opposite, for merely by virtue of their fortunate geographical location, and with scarcely any effort on their part, the people of the Arabian peninsula and elsewhere have enjoyed a high standard of living thanks entirely to the ingenuity of those whom they accuse of exploitation and without whom the oil resource would not be an economic resource at all.” [yup. It makes zero sense for barbarians who make war on us to be allowed to control our oil, and I expect that eventually, they will not be allowed to continue to do so. We will achieve energy independence by seizing the oil, until the barbarians learn to behave. We are reasonable people, after all]

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