GUEST COLUMN
The Siege of Western Civilization

July-August 2004By Charles A. Coulombe

Charles A. Coulombe is a former Contributing Editor of the National Catholic Register. He has written extensively on a wide variety of topics for the Catholic and secular press. He is editor of the book The Muse in the Bottle: Great Writers on the Joys of Drinking (Citadel Press, 2002), and author of Vicars of Christ: A History of the Popes (Citadel Press, 2003) and the newly released Rum: The Epic Story of the Liquor That Conquered the World (Citadel Press, 2004).

We live in an age of fantasy. Not of fantasy like The Lord of the Rings, where good triumphs over evil despite incredible odds, but of a strange opium-dream-like fantasy, where those in power can change reality by willing it. A love of Christ becomes hatred of Jews, recognizing Christmas threatens the Constitution, and two people of the same sex can be married just by saying so. It is an odd dream we are having, one the media and the courts are ordering us to have.

But like any drug-induced hallucination, this vision is clouding our collective mind and blinding us to certain horrific realities. If the dreamer does not wake, the thief will steal his possessions and slit his throat.

In such an atmosphere, it becomes a relief to hear anyone with some connection to government -- past or present -- say something real. Recently, I acquired a video called Herb Meyer's The Siege of Western Civilization. Now, Meyer has an interesting background. During the Reagan Administration he was Special Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence and Vice Chairman of the CIA's National Intelligence Council. He is said to be the first senior government official to have forecasted the collapse of the Soviet Union. Whether or not that is true, Meyer was awarded the U.S. National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal -- which is the highest honor the nation awards to someone in his former profession.

With such a background, Meyer might easily be dismissed as a government apparatchik. But as this video reveals, he is more than that. What The Siege gives us is far more than the pabulum being slung by the current administration and its chief opponents.

Meyer attempts to cover four major points in 42 minutes. His first topic is the nature of Western Civilization, and it is here that most readers of the NOR will disagree with him. He basically describes the West as the merging of Greek philosophy, Judaism, Christianity, and post-Renaissance secularism. While this writer certainly cannot agree with the latter element's supposed benevolence (I would say that many of the problems Meyer attacks stem from it), what is important here is that he defines Western Civilization as an actual thing and says basically that it is the best (earthly) thing to have happened to humanity, and is well worth defending. By themselves, these are revolutionary statements in today's climate.


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