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Quick! Get a Copy of This Book Before it is GLOBALLY BANNED !!!!!

The Rage and the Pride, by Oriana Fallaci (Rizzoli: New York, 168 pp., $14.95
Many New Yorkers spent the days and weeks following the September 11 massacre struggling to contain their sulfurous anger at what had been done to their city, their people, and their country, by followers of a religion whose holy book teaches that subjugation or death is the only fate owed to infidels. Oriana Fallaci, the 72-year-old Italian semi-exile who was once the most famous journalist in the world, was one New Yorker who did not wrestle with her fury; rather, she let it erupt in a book-length screed published in Italy's leading newspaper 18 days after the attacks, under the title The Rage and the Pride.

The essay became a sensation, not only in Italy but throughout Europe, where it was published as a book in several translations. Fallaci and her blistering work were almost universally condemned as bigoted, hysterical propaganda, not only by Muslim leaders (which is understandable), but by politicians, churchmen, media figures, academics, and virtually the entire continental bien-pensant class. Her views resonated with the common people, though; The Rage and the Pride became a bestseller.

This important book has been translated (somewhat creakily) into English by Fallaci herself, and published in America, where it is, unfortunately, not likely to become the cause celebre it was in Europe. This is in part because Fallaci's rhetorical blasts were directed primarily at a European audience, but mostly because the name Oriana Fallaci, which all but the youngest Europeans knows well, says nothing to Americans. The analogy is far from perfect, but try to imagine Barbara Walters writing a post-9/11 book in which she addresses Muslims as Fallaci does: "War you wanted, war you want? Good. As far as I am concerned, war is and war will be. Until the last breath."

The best way to approach The Rage and the Pride is to imagine its author standing on the blasted heath of the World Trade Center ruins, hurling curses at her enemies like thunderbolts. And who are her enemies? Chiefly Muslims, who in Fallaci's view adhere to a barbaric religion in which there is no important distinction between terrorists and the mainstream. Fallaci has scarcely more regard for contemporary Europeans, who she considers spoiled, decadent, intellectually corrupt, and incapable of perceiving the threat to Western civilization posed by Islam, much less able to defend the West against it.

There is nothing moderate about this white-hot polemic which is both a vice and a virtue. It's a vice, because Fallaci's extreme vituperation tends to undermine the strength of her argument, making her come off at certain points as an out-of-control hothead (e.g., when she makes gutter remarks about the sexual desires and desirability of Muslims, and compares them to vermin). In the main, though, Fallaci's lack of restraint is bracing, even invigorating, first of all because she has the truth on her side, and secondly because she intends through her rage to shock awake a noble civilization hypnotized by multiculturalist mumbo-jumbo, so that it might rise to preserve itself while it still may.

Fallaci, a lifelong Leftist, lacerates Europeans for cheap anti-Americanism, and holds up the confident and decent patriotism of American citizens as something that shames the faux-sophisticates of the continent, whose ancestors used to know what love of country was. Fallaci is at her best tearing into the "masochists" of Europe, whose sentimental and self-hating worldview "reveres the invaders and slanders the defenders, absolves the delinquents and condemns the victims, weeps for the Taliban and curses the Americans, forgives the Palestinians for every wrong and the Israelis for nothing." Fallaci accuses them of having lost the confidence in the superiority of Western ideals, art, laws, and customs over Islamic counterparts, and of not wanting to face the reality of jihad, for fear of having to do something about it.

Not even the Pope, who has apologized to Muslims for the Crusades, and makes frequent (and unrequited) gestures of respect to them, escapes Fallaci's wrath. "Most Holy Father," she writes, "in all respect you remind me of the German-Jewish bankers who in the 1930s, hoping to save themselves, lent money to Hitler. And who a few years later ended in his crematory ovens."

She asserts that Islamist terrorism is nothing new, but only "the most recent manifestation of a reality that has existed for 1,400 years." Most Muslims the world over were happy with al Qaeda's attacks on America, she contends, with some of the most radical terrorist sympathizers living in European capitals, advocating jihad on the free societies that have given them succor. Muslims, she argues, are incompatible with ancient European culture and society, and cannot be assimilated. She despises pampered Italians who disdain manual labor and refuse to have children, thus making immigration necessary. And she resents the vulgar and anti-social habits many Islamic immigrants have brought into Europe (especially their treatment of women).

Frankly, the few ugly parts of this book could make the whole thing dismissible as a work of frothing paranoid prejudice if there weren't so much truth beneath the sometimes-lurid rhetoric. Fallaci may write with a blowtorch, and somewhat carelessly, but she doesn't lie. Writing in the October issue of Commentary, Christopher Caldwell points out that for all the condemnation Fallaci has received from her European peers, nobody has managed to get around to refuting her basic arguments. These people think it sufficient to smack around Fallaci for lacking manners. They are the same sort who have a grand-mal seizure when the Rev. Jerry Falwell calls the Prophet a "terrorist," yet do not blink at the far-worse imprecations against Christians and Jews spewing from the mouths of imams throughout the Arab world every Friday.

The anti-Fallacists are also taking her to court. Yesterday in Paris, judges took up a motion filed by a coalition of Islamic and anti-racism groups, who are requesting in part that The Rage and the Pride be banned in France under a law intended to curb Holocaust denial. The trial is extremely important to the immediate future of Europe, and how it will deal with the clash of civilizations, which is much more intense there than most Americans can imagine. As a Fallaci lawyer said to her enemies, "Today the real danger is green [Islamic] fascism and you want to forbid us to denounce it!"

Would The Rage and the Pride have been a better book had Fallaci reined in her caustic rhetoric, and written with more discipline? Absolutely, and it's a shame that she made it easier for the dishonest media elite to ignore her. But remember, this is a document written amid the acrid smoke was still rising from the 16-acre crematorium down the street from Fallaci's apartment. I can attest that that this elderly Italian virago perfectly captured the mood of the moment, when so many of us who are less articulate than she felt nothing but pride in our country and rage at the Islamic holy warriors who had done this to us (and their co-religionists who cheered them on). Many Americans have lost much of the righteous anger we felt in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 crime. Though The Rage and the Pride is not really meant for American readers, Oriana Fallaci brings it all back home, and speaks more necessary truth in her unfettered fury than you'll hear from more politely equivocating souls. Aside from Christopher Hitchens, no other journalist is writing so pungently and courageously about the threat from Islamofascism and the useful idiots on the Left who are afraid to think, and afraid to fight. So let her rant. Like Flannery O'Connor said, when the world is deaf, you have no choice but to shout.
can you please just post this once 11.Oct.2002 07:33

Flynt Boyle the 3rd

Please do not repeat your posts under different names. PLEASE.

Please do not repeat your posts under different names. PLEASE.

good lord stop 11.Oct.2002 07:48

Lamet vali

posting your article twice with different names is so lame.

this site is for everyone not just for one slant so keep it fair. you suck! oh! how you suuuuck! and not just in the "you suck because we disagree" kind of way but in the "you suck because only a "real life" asshole would do be such a PIG."