Holly Berman diagnoses a dangerous case of double dipping: Bestselling historian Niall Ferguson regurgitates his latest Foreign Policy “warning” for the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal. What’s the urgent occasion? “Endemic rapine” perpetrated by ungrateful third worlders. Eek! But wait, there’s more: Unless the U.S. succeeds in conquering the world, we could all be headed for a “new Dark Age of waning empires and religious fanaticism.” Thank goodness the world has the combined brilliance of Bush and Bin Laden working against such a fate. (That’s a joke, Mr. Ashcroft.)
Is such snarkiness called for? Well, consider this further hoodoo from Ferguson, a secular scare-monger who plays the role of Left Behind‘s Tim HaHaye for the learn-ed classes: “the subtle colonization of Europe’s cities by Muslims,” he writes, “does not necessarily portend the advent of a new and menacing ‘Eurabia.’” “Not necessarily” is a sop to tolerance meant to distract the reader from Ferguson’s use of “subtle” — code that Ferguson, an erudite scholar, surely recognizes as an allusion to both the snake in the Garden of Eden and centuries of Christian European fears about the equally “subtle” threat of a growing Jewish population — “solved” by the Third Reich.
Ferguson’s solution, meanwhile, is a new American empire that will bring peace with a sword and seduce “good” Muslims to its charms while casting bad ones to the outer sphere. Read him carefully — he’s not waving the banner of American-style democracy; he’s calling for the U.S. to embrace its role as “global hegemon” with force and fury. A dark age, indeed.