Suddenly their smug certainties were gone

Bruce Bawer - While Europe Slept

There are two books in Bruce Bawer‘s While Europe Slept: One looks at the anti-Americanism and multicultural delusions of the Netherlands and Norway in the years around the 9/11 attacks.  It’s based on Bawer’s personal experiences as a resident of both countries.  It’s hard-hitting, subjective – and worth reading every word of it.

The other retells the Bat Ye’or conspiracy theory about Eurabia, about how the European establishment made an agreement with the Arab countries decades ago to turn Europe into a Muslim continent, and now all the angry Muslims are turning the rest of us into dhimmis.  It’s a retarded theory, and Bawer presents it uncritically.

And even at its best, the book is marred by that tone of angry sarcasm that is so common in anti-p.c. rants.  I got enough of that in the warblog years.

But read it anyway, especially if you’re Norwegian.  Bawer is the grumpy outsider who impolitely exposes the assumptions and delusions of our society, who observes things native Norwegians don’t, and comes at issues from unexpected angles. We need that perspective.

There’s a lot here that matches my own views exactly, for instance his criticism of the Norwegian media coverage of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. I believe the Iraq war was wrong, but most Norwegians commentators didn’t even understand why it was fought.  They assumed they already knew, and didn’t bother to find out.

It’s such perspectives that make this a valuable book, major flaws aside – far more valuable than yet another boring insider’s view.

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