From the Senegal to the Shatt al-Arab

Sir Robert L’Estrange tells us a story in his collection of Fables, of the Cock and the Horses. The Cock was gotten to roost in the stable among the horses; and there being no racks or other conveniences for him, it seems, he was forced to roost upon the ground. The horses jostling about for room, and putting the Cock in danger of his life, he gives them this grave advice, “Pray, Gentlefolks! let us stand still I for fear we should tread upon one another!”

There are some people in the World, who, now they are unperched, and reduced to an equality with other people, and under strong and, very just apprehensions of being further treated as they deserve, begin, with ESOP’S COCK, to preach up Peace and Union and the Christian duty of Moderation; forgetting that, when they had the Power in their hands, those Graces were strangers in their gates!

from Daniel Defoe’s The Shortest Way with the Dissenters.

The Shortest Way was written as a satire, but not in the modern sense – it wasn’t trying to poke fun. Rather, it was written with the intention of gaining Tory support, and therefore showing them to be extremists and alienating moderates. The only problem with this kind of thing, of course, is that the middle might prove less moderate than you thought. Broadly speaking, that was Defoe’s fate – his essay was just too persuasive.

I don’t know in what sense Steve Sailer means his musings regarding Libya:

A dynamic young Egyptian general, announcing he was coming to the aid of the Arab Revolution in Libya, could push Kaddafi’s army back to Tripoli without much trouble… Would he push on to the Atlantic as the liberator of North Africa?

While this kind of regional upheaval would terrify most westerners, that’s the kind of thing that would get me truly excited. In the back of my mind there will always lurk the old dream of pan-Arabism. There are so many entrenched governments opposed – most of whom claim, ironically, to be Arab nationalists – that if such a state is to be achieved in my lifetime, it could only be by war or revolution. And war and revolution are almost always bloody and dangerous. But perhaps in this case it would be a price worth paying. Let us hope that the unifier is not a Bonaparte, as Sailer supposes, but an Alfred. In Arab terms, a Muawiyah.


One response to this post.

  1. […] am off there for 10 days, so shan’t be blogging in the meantime. If any Arab Napoleons are reading this, can you please wait until I get back home before you start your war of national […]


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