Israel as the Dutch Republic in the Thirty Years' War
Without stretching the analogy, the conflict between Sunni and Shi'ite Islam in the Middle East today has something in common with the Thirty Years War that surrounded 17th-century Holland. Most Israelis seem to have adapted well to a long-term war regime amid a sea of unrelenting misery, and seven months after the start of the Arab uprisings, its position is a paradox, just like Holland's before it emerged victorious from the European maelstrom. (Sept. 12, 20011)
Vintage Spengler. Written, apparently, on the 10th anniversary of the Jihadi attacks on New York and Washington.
Implicit is a metaphor between God's Providence and a system of floodable canals, but there have been worse ways of thinking about it. And if the Muslims have recently produced a ruler of the quality of Phillip II, or a religious organizer of the quality of Loyola, it has escaped me. Nevertheless, no one would be better pleased by this comparison than the 17th-century Calvinists in the Netherlands (or England, or New England).
We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;
He chastens and hastens His will to make known.
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing.
Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own.
Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, were at our side, all glory be Thine!
-- "Wilt heden nu treden," written 1597, printed Nederlandtsche Gedenckclanck, by Adrianus Valerius (Haarlem, Holland: 1626).