Everybody's favorite moral/ethical wastrel, the lamentable Christopher Hitchens, offers a mostly admiring review of Mark Steyn's new book, and provides us with an unusually revealing excerpt:
- Why did Bosnia collapse into the worst slaughter in Europe since World War Two? In the thirty years before the meltdown, Bosnian Serbs had declined from 43 percent to 31 percent of the population, while Bosnian Muslims had increased from 26 percent to 44 percent. In a democratic age, you can't buck demography -- except through civil war. The Serbs figured that out -- as other Continentals will in the years ahead: if you can't outbreed the enemy, cull 'em. The problem that Europe faces is that Bosnia's demographic profile is now the model for the entire continent.
I don't see how it's possible to interpret this excerpt -- given that Steyn is also contending that these demographics are inevitable throughout Europe, and he offers no solution that would accommodate or assimilate Muslims -- as anything other than outright advocacy of genocide and the Bosnian model of "ethnic cleansing" for the rest of Europe. Hitchens, rather typically, softens it by noting that Steyn is saying "that Serbo-fascist ethnic cleansing can appear more rational in retrospect than it did at the time."
You have clearly hung your humanity at the door when the genocide in Bosnia could seem "rational in retrospect." Barbara of Mahablog has an interesting post on the conservative fear of "The Other" in relation to Donohue's manufactured outrage. It's clear that Steyn and Hitchens fall victim to this blinding fear of Muslims as the Other to the point that ethnic cleansing may be okay.
UPDATE: Commenter King of Kings points out that David Niewert's take on Hitchens advocating some sort of rationalization of ethnic cleansing is not a fair interpretation. However, my larger point is more about the conservative fear of "The Other" coloring their perceptions of dealing with a changing demographic.