The bitter argument waged in the comments section of yesterday’s post brought to mind a song from the late 1950s. The Kingston Trio covered a number that came out earlier in the ’50s, and the words were written by the Broadway lyricist Sheldon Harnick.
I had to make some slight modifications to the second stanza:
They’re rioting in Africa,
They’re starving in Spain.
There’s hurricanes in Florida,
And Texas needs rain.
The whole world is festering
With unhappy souls.
The French hate the Germans,
The Germans hate the Poles.
Italians hate Yugoslavs,
South Africans hate the Dutch.
And I don’t like anybody very much!
But we can be tranquil, and thankful, and glad,
For man’s been endowed with Islamic Jihad!
And we know for certain that some lovely day,
After greeting the Twelfth Imam, we will all be blown away!
Considering all the animosity between Croat and Serb, between Orthodox and Roman Catholic, between Iberians and Central Europeans, between the Irish and the English, and especially between Americans and everyone else, it’s no wonder that the Great Jihad is eating our lunch.
Close your eyes and throw a dart at the timeline of world history. It doesn’t matter where it lands: I can guarantee you that sometime during that year, somewhere on the planet, one group of people was being brutalized, enslaved, massacred, or supplanted by another.
It’s late and I don’t have any time for research, so I’ll just pick a few dates off the top of my head:
– – – – – – – – –
|Carthage destroyed by Rome.
|The Temple in Jerusalem leveled by the Romans, beginning the Jewish Diaspora.
|Rome sacked by the Visigoths.
|The Celts at York defeated by the Anglo-Saxons at the Battle of Caer Greu.
|The Moorish conquest of Iberia.
|The Vikings looted the monastery and Lindisfarne and slaughtered the inhabitants.
|Serbia was defeated by the Turks at the Battle of Kosovo, and absorbed into the Ottoman Empire.
|Constantinople overrun, sacked, and occupied by the Turks.
|Denmark ceded Skåne after being defeated by Sweden.
|The French defeated at the Plains of Abraham; Quebec fell to the British.
|The final partition of Poland. The Polish nation ceased to exist.
|California annexed by the United States after the Mexican-American War.
|Richmond occupied by the Yankees.
|Alsace-Lorraine ceded to Germany after the Franco-Prussian War.
|Indian Territory abolished when Oklahoma became a state.
|The Greeks and Armenians massacred and expelled from Smyrna by the Turks.
|Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania occupied and annexed by the Soviet Union.
|The expulsion of the Sudeten Germans from Czechoslovakia under the Beneš decree.
|Tibet forcibly occupied by China.
|Kosovo removed from the control of Serbia by the United States, Britain, France, and Germany.
I could continue, but you get the idea.
There isn’t a square meter of ground in the world that hasn’t been defiled and brutally taken from one group by another.
Every single existing tribe, people, or ethnic group — every group, even the most peaceful and spiritual Indian tribe — obtained its current territory through violence, stealth, subterfuge, or purchase. Nobody has the original claim to any piece of ground on Earth. There aren’t any truly aboriginal inhabitants.
If we’re going to tear at one another’s throats over the grievances of fifty or a hundred or a thousand years ago, the strife won’t end until the Hosts of Mohammed joyfully celebrate the will of Allah and parade into our emptied cities.
Don’t you think we should forget these old grudges and stand against the common enemy?
Are we going to behave like the English under King Alfred and unite against a foe that threatens us all?
Or shall we be like the Irish, and traduce one another while the enemy hews us to pieces?
Honest to God, what’s wrong with you people??
Serbs are going to have to get along with Croats. Swedes are going to have to put up with Danes. The Irish and the English will have to forget their animosity. The Spaniards and the Portuguese will need to set aside their differences.
And — most difficult of all — I’ll have to learn to make friends with Yankees.