What wold I fight for?
Astrid and I were talking last night about the relativity of everything today. It seems like you can make good arguments for anything, there is never any clear right or wrong. I heard a guy on German TV say recently that Putin isn’t any worse than Obama, and I thought: You have no guts to stand up for the world you live in. And today a lot of weak-minded, weak-souled people out there will be saying the same thing after the Salman Rushdie-fatwa: They were warned, they should have stopped making those caricatures, they brought it upon themselves.
I asked myself how many issues in life am I willing to take a stand on. In what cases am I ready to say: No matter what the arguments on either side are, I am on one side, and if push comes to shove I am willing to fight for that side, no matter what, perhaps even die for it. The list is short:
1. Family/loved ones. My wife, my son (I only have Astrid) is accused of murder, no matter the evidence, I’m the one who says he’s innocent.
2. My country America. Yes, we have our faults, and I’m willing to criticize as much as any one, but if it comes down the question of fighting for it or abandoning it, I’m fighting for it.
3. Same goes for Western/Christian-Judaic values in the general. I’m all for a touch of Buddhism now and then and yes, African masks are also art, and yes, I’m sorry that all those poor people in India are suffering. But the best thing that even happened in history was the creation of the Western/Christian-Judaic world.
4. Same goes for Israel (in the Israel-Palestine question): Good politics, bad politics, in the end, I’m sticking with the Jews.
5. Democracy. See 3.
6. Freedom of speech. Without freedom of speech there is no democracy, there is no western world, there is no America (or Germany or whatever). Any attack on freedom of speech is an attack on democracy, and there are no exceptions, whether Islamic gunmen or RAF bombers or politicians, you target a newspaper, you are on the other side of the line.