Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Our friends the Europeans

Here's a good read on the "state" of Euro-American relations. It comes from Mathias Doepfner (via AEI's New Atlantic Initiative) writing in the German mag Die Welt. It's from November, but its message applies to today and will apply for quite a while.

"A few days ago Henry Broder wrote in Welt am Sonntag, 'Europe--Your Family Name Is Appeasement.' It's a phrase you can't get out of your head because it's so terribly true."

Doepfner then documents Euro-appeasement of Hitler, communism, the slaughter in Kosovo, and, more recently, Palestinian terrorism and Saddam's brutality. He then turns the spotlight on his continent's appeasement problems today:

"And now we are faced with a particularly grotesque form of appeasement... How is Germany reacting to the escalating violence by Islamic fundamentalists in Holland and elsewhere? By suggesting that we really should have a 'Muslim Holiday' in Germany.

"I wish I were joking, but I am not. A substantial fraction of our [German] Government, and if the polls are to be believed, the German people, actually believe that creating an Official State 'Muslim Holiday' will somehow spare us from the wrath of the fanatical Islamists."

He continues:

"What else has to happen before the European public and its political leadership get it? There is a sort of crusade underway, an especially perfidious crusade consisting of systematic attacks by fanatic Muslims, focused on civilians, directed against our free, open Western societies, and intent upon Western Civilization's utter destruction."

Doepfner then credits Presidents Reagan and Bush for being the only recent "anti-appeasers," as Reagan stood down Soviet communism and how today Bush fights Islamic facism with democracy.

"In the meantime, Europe sits back with charismatic self-confidence in the multicultural corner, instead of defending liberal society's values and being an attractive center of power on the same playing field as the true great powers, America and China.

"On the contrary--we Europeans present ourselves, in contrast to those "arrogant Americans," as the World Champions of "tolerance", which even [Germany's Interior Minister] Otto Schily justifiably criticizes. Why? Because we're so moral? I fear it's more because we're so materialistic, so devoid of a moral compass."

He said it, not me.

Doepfner concludes: "While we criticize the "capitalistic robber barons" of America because they seemtoo sure of their priorities, we timidly defend our Social Welfare systems. Stay out of it! It could get expensive! We'd rather discuss reducing our 35-hour work week or our dental coverage, or our 4 weeks of paid vacation... Or listen to TV pastors preach about the need to 'reach out to terrorists.' To understand and forgive.

"These days, Europe reminds me of an old woman who, with shaking hands, frantically hides her last pieces of jewelry when she notices a robber breakinginto a neighbor's house. Appeasement? Europe, thy name is Cowardice."



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