Somebody once said we are all Americans, sometimes born in the wrong places.
I decided to join my new homeland.
I've come to appreciate the ideals that helped create this great country.
I don't like Italians much. Sure, my wife and her family are from there and are very good people. But I despise anti-Americanism and communism, and Italy is full of both. (OK, I admit I've been a little pissed at Italians lately, after they voted for communists
a few weeks ago. That was one of the reasons why I chose to go to Poland to visit my mother instead of meeting her this August at my in-laws'.)
But I'm looking for good in any nation and I always find it (France may be the only exception.) One of my heroes since 9/11/2001 has been Oriana Fallaci whose book "La Rabbia e l'Orgoglio" (The Rage and the Pride) was one of the most important books that shaped my views since 9/11. I read it in Italian even though Oriana translated it into English but as a speaker of a few languages myself I realize that no matter how long you live in one country you always express your deepest thoughts the best in your native language.
There is an interesting article about Oriana in next week's New Yorker. The whole thing is worth reading but there is something Oriana says that hits close to my Polish roots and something I've been long convinced of:
Today, Fallaci believes, the Western world is in danger of being engulfed by radical Islam. Since September 11, 2001, she has written three short, angry books advancing this argument. Two of them, "The Rage and the Pride" and "The Force of Reason," have been translated into idiosyncratic English by Fallaci herself. (She has had difficult relationships with translators in the past.) A third, "The Apocalypse," was recently published in Europe, in a volume that also includes a lengthy self-interview. She writes that Muslim immigration is turning Europe into "a colony of Islam," an abject place that she calls "Eurabia," which will soon "end up with minarets in place of the bell-towers, with the burka in place of the mini-skirt." Fallaci argues that Islam has always had designs on Europe, invoking the siege of Constantinople in the seventh century, and the brutal incursions of the Ottoman Empire in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. She contends that contemporary immigration from Muslim countries to Europe amounts to the same thing--invasion--only this time with "children and boats" instead of "troops and cannons." And, as Fallaci sees it, the "art of invading and conquering and subjugating" is "the only art at which the sons of Allah have always excelled."
Those "brutal incursions of the Ottoman Empire" were stopped by a Polish king Jan Sobieski
in the battle of Vienna
. Fallaci understands that the war against terror didn't start on 9/11; it started in the seventh century when the religion of Islam was created. It didn't start with Christian Crusades.
It started when the idea of the caliphate was conceived. And it will not stop until one side loses.