His perfectly reasonable argument concludes thusly:
...let us have no illusions about it, if the violence continues or escalates--especially if the survival of Israel or any other Western nation were ever at stake--rather few will be troubled if the Israelis decimate the Palestinians and we the Sauds or the Pakistanis or the Syrians or whoever. The object of the struggle does not really concern Islam but the West. Islam, strange as it seems, is incidental to our ends.
It makes more sense in context. I am inclined to split the difference - if the survival of a Western nation was truly at stake, we would be troubled, as we contemplated the ashes of our erstwhile enemies.
UPDATE: The Well-Armed Liberal has thoughts on the "War of Civilizations" theme - echoing Teddy Roosevelt, he denies that it is a big schtick. And Brad DeLong has a "be very afraid" reminder in my comments below. The rest of you will remember "Bomber" Harris immediately, but it took me a minute to get off of Hiroshima.