bardseyeview

A Shakespearean Glance at the People and Issues of the Day.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Richard II and European Deportation

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Bolingbroke has accused Mowbray of treason in Richard II, and the two men begin burning non-Islamic owned cars in the streets of Paris; that is, they prepare to embark on a duel, when the king interrupts the action:

King: "For that our kingdom's earth should not be soiled
With that dear blood which it hath fostered,
And for our eyes do hate the dire aspect
Of civil wounds plowed up with neighbors' sword;
And for we think the eagle-winged pride
Of sky-aspiring and ambitious thoughts,
With rival-hating envy, set on you
To wake our peace, which in our country's cradle
Draws the sweet infant breath of gentle sleep,"

There's more, but in the face of this violence in the streets, the hand-wringing French government, I mean Richard II, eventually finds a little spine and gets to the point (Hereford is another name of Bolingbroke):

"Therefore we banish you our territories,
You, cousin Hereford, upon pain of life,
Till twice five summers have enriched our fields,
Shall not regreet our fair dominions,
But tread the stranger paths of banishment."

In France, where the term auto de fe is gaining a new meaning, the government announced plans to banish to their country of origin non-citizens involved in the violence. More dramatically, the government of the Netherlands can now
deport citizens without a trial to the country from which they emigrated. Apparently these citizens only thought they were citizens. Who will they come for next?

Mowbray: "A heavy sentence, my most sovereign liege,
And all unlooked for from Your Highness' mouth."

Citizenship is a concept whose power must impress any observer of the scene in Europe, where an undigested Muslim population has declared its unwillingness to assimilate. My wife, who is Japanese, will always carry, regardless of her increasing American identity (it was at her insistence that we now display a "Support Our Troops" sticker on our car), a second national culture in her heart. Indeed for her to feel otherwise would be to turn against the entire environment in which she was formed. Gaunt offers my wife, I mean Bolingbroke, comfort:

Gaunt: "All places that the eye of heaven visits
Are to a wise man ports and happy havens.
Teach thy necessity to reason thus:…".

Thankfully, the conflict between being Japanese and being American has more to do with self-assertiveness and the quality of food than a will to subsume oneself within a feudal warrior cult dedicated to world domination. Or at least it does now. Now, that is, that Japan's former feudal warrior cult has been unambiguously defeated, and a new, democratic culture fostered into being. But does the West intend the same defeat for today's feudal warrior cult of radical Islam dedicated to a similar world domination? And can we expect the same peace, indeed amity, without it?

Moreover, the young disaffected youth conveniently ringing Paris and every other French city are French, not Algerian, and not only in citizenship. The language in which they think France-hating thoughts ("Nous avons le revulsion pour notre pays!") is French. But they don't swoon to Chanson or the Marseilles in quite the same way, and it's unlikely they or even their great-grandchildren ever will. And draconian laws or not, it's a little late for France to throw the lot of them out:

King: "Norfolk, for thee remains a heavier doom,
Which I with some unwillingness pronounce;
The sly slow hours shall not determinate
The dateless limit of thy dear exile,
The hopeless word of "never to return"
Breathe I against thee, upon pain of life."

The role of loving-kindness, at the personal level and below politics, is going unremarked in all of this. Certainly America is luckier to have desperate Catholics rather than desperate Muslims on our border, but we have absorbed many million Muslims over the past generation as well, people who live among us in a time of war between our civilization and their civilization of origin. Given the fascist theocratic ideology from which they are emerging, it's clear that their sympathies are at best divided. And yes, some of the least grateful form cells and plot our destruction.

But the broad mass of American Muslims are not torching our cars, and don't seem to want to. And we can have the sense that their children at least will find their way into the embrace of our loving culture. An investment of open-heartedness on the part of the American people, religious at its core, has given us protection from what the absence of open-heartedness has given France, and is giving Europe.
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Note: politicalteen, a recommendable blog, deserves this link in exchange for listing a bardeyeview post in a trackback list for its readers.
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