Exactly 70 years ago (August 22-23, 1939 to be precise), Germany and the USSR stunned the world by signing a non-aggression pact. In a moment, years of animosity had to be covered and new propaganda created to explain this shocking development. Two bitterly opposed totalitarian states working together? How could this happen? This pact sealed the fate of Poland (with the secret protocols dividing the nation) and ultimately plunged the world into another World War.
Each dictator hoped to gain time to consolidate power for what they knew would be a showdown in the future. When Germany violated the pact on June 22, 1941 and launched Operation Barbarossa, she invaded the Soviet Union and launched a war of extermination unparalleled in history. Stalin was stunned. Stalin was not expecting an invasion so soon and his own military was eviscerated by the recent show trials and massacres of the military elite. Hitler miscalculated Germany's ability to deliver a crippling blow to the USSR before winter. Germany's ultimate defeat was sealed in the snow outside of Moscow.
These facts are well-known. What makes them important for 2009 is the parallel between the Hitler-Stalin agreement and the current tacit understanding between the radical Left and militant Islam. Paraphrasing Jonah Goldberg, we have liberal fascists joining arms with religious reactionaries in order to undermine centuries of democratic development. Each side thinks it can co-opt the other to serve its agenda.
I am not accusing all liberals of fascism or suggesting that most Democrats do not want democracy. This would be as unjust as those who call opponents of current health care plans Nazis. I am also not suggesting that most Muslims support the violent Islamic radicals.
With these caveats, I am making a direct parallel between the unholy alliance of ideological powers in 1939 and the bizarre capitulation of the Western Left to Islamofascism. The Left will berate Judaism and Christianity, question the US Constitution, create a European Union with no reference to any religious heritage and protect the rights of those who preach the literal destruction of Israel and the USA. Meanwhile, a combination of demographics and slick propaganda are preparing Europe to come under the Crescent in the next few decades.
We must debate policies and we can differ greatly, but the citizens of freedom around the world must be on guard against the inflexible totalitarian ideologies that threaten liberty. The strong monotheism and morality of Judaism and Christianity are guarantors of freedom because they inspire a self-regulating and virtuous citizenry. If we do not wake up and put our moral and political house in order, American and Western civilization will be a historical memory very soon.