Classics professor Bruce Thornton is a courageous rarity within the academy — an unabashed conservative public intellectual. Rarer still, even when one considers the full universe of conservatives overall, is Thornton’s willingness to expound upon Islam in a scholarly but uncompromised manner.
In The Wages of Appeasement, Thornton combines his training as a classicist with singular intellectual honesty to interweave three historical case studies of appeasement: Athens (primarily) and the other Greek city-states that Philip II of Macedon sought to conquer in the 4th century B.C.; England confronted by Nazi aggression in the 1930s; and the contemporary United States and broader West, subjected to the global hegemonic aspirations of resurgent Islam and particularly its most aggressive jihadist state sponsor, Iran.
Professor Thornton elucidates his thesis with elegant and remarkably compendious arguments. But prior to describing the salient features of Thornton’s presentation, given the sorry if prevailing state of jihad denial amongst our academic, policymaking, and media elites — the trahison de clercs of our era — I feel compelled (as a working academic physician) to proffer an esteemed “second” (albeit chronologically “first”) opinion by another intrepid academic, the latepolitical scientist professor Samuel Huntington.
Huntington’s mid-1990s paradigm of Islam’s “bloody borders” adduces convincing hard data in support of his contention: “Wherever one looks along the perimeter of Islam, Muslims have problems living peaceably with their neighbors.” These germane observations by Huntington were confirmed — one could argue even amplified — subsequently in the wake of the cataclysmic acts of jihad terrorism against the U.S. on September 11, 2001, and their aftermath, punctuated by almost17,000 additional jihadist attacks worldwide since 9/11:
The overwhelming majority of fault line conflicts … have taken place along the boundary looping across Eurasia and Africa that separates Muslims from non-Muslims.