Thursday, October 20, 2005
I have told you to read Ralph Peters' book New Glory, and I'm going to keep
hectoring you until I see some evidence that you have. The book is
calculated to enrage virtually everybody at least some of the time - Peters
is brutal on the subject of Donald Rumsfeld - but it is a remorseless
analysis of America's strategic position and a very blunt prescription for
sustaining American hegemony. It is in some respects the most fundamentally
patriotic book that I have ever read.
Suffice it to say that "post-sovereignty" citizen of the world types come in
for it especially badly. And Europeans, who are a particular species
thereof. Indeed, Peters thinks Europe suffers from such internal
contradictions that it may just snap. Painful as it may be to type most of
a page into my Blackberry, I believe that this interesting passage will
fascinate many of you:
"Yet Europe is likely to be good for a number of surprises - surprising not
least to Europeans themselves. With our short historical memory (one
American quality Germans welcome), we thoughtlessly accept that, since much
of Europe appears to be pacifist now, so it shall remain. But no continent
has exported as much misery and slaughter as Europe has done, and the
chances are better than fair that Europe is only catching its breath after
the calamities it inflicted upon itself in the last century.
"We last saw widespread pacifism in Europe just before 1914 and again during
the half-time break in that great European civil war that lasted until 1945
(or 1991 east of the Elbe).
"Europe's current round of playing pacifist dress up was enabled by
America's protection during the Cold War. We allowed our European wards to
get away with a minimum number of chores. The United States did (and still
does) the dirty work, seconded by our direct ancestor, Britain. Even the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization merely obscured how little was asked of
Europe. For almost a century the work of freedom and global security has
been handled by the great Anglolateral alliance born of a struggle against
the tyranny of continental European philosophies hatched on the Rhine and
Danube. Our struggle continues today, against fanaticism and terror.
"It is unlikely that Europe's present pacifism will last... Europe will
rediscover its genius, reforming itself if necessary. There will be plenty
of bitterness and recriminations along the way, but Europe will accept the
need to change because change will be forced upon it. The trouble with
European genius, of course, is that it has a dark side. If its racist
populations feel sufficiently threatened by the Muslim millions within their
divided societies and by terror exported from the Islamic heartlands, Europe
may respond with a cruelty unimaginable to us today. After all, Europe is
the continent that mastered ethnic cleansing and genocide after a thousand
years of pactice. We Americans may find ourselves in the unexpected
position of confronting the Europe of tomorrow as we try to restrain its
barbarities toward Muslims."
We invite your comments.
If you take away Hitler and communism (how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?), was Europe really worse than other areas of the world? Or just more technically advanced and more cultures and powers bumping into each other?
Geoff, it was all three, each coincident on the other. Africa for instance could not sustain a large army except for the Northern Berbers and eventually the Zulu armies in the South, much less the technology of war, so it's wars were constant, brutal, but far less intense than the European wars. But the point is not whether Europe is worse, or better, than the rest of the world; Peters is arguing that Europeans are humans too.
My take: Europe is sleeping. The indefatiguable Islamicist terrorists will wake them. God help us when they do.
We are not convinced that a new age of European militarism and violence will be upon us any time soon. Much as we respect Mr. Peters, he needs to do more to support this thesis.
European pacifism began after World War II left the continent destroyed, exhausted, confused, and demoralized. The American security guarantee allowed the Europeans to become spoiled when it came to hard tasks like (self) defense. This was a perfect setting for a leftist, pacifist political culture to become the mainstream.
This culture has now been thoroughly mastered by several generations of post-WW II students. It will take repeated, massive blows by the jihadists, much more that the July subway attacks in London, to revive a culture of European violence. The modern European will tolerate the mass-murder of 100 train-riders a year, without feeling the need to change the culture with which his conscience is now so comfortable.
As a U.S. security planning issue, Europe has become both an irrelevancy and a backwater. The U.S. Army will reduce its permanent presence in Europe from a Cold War high of 15 brigades to one, and that one mainly as a training platform. U.S. global strategy has moved on, as it should.
Ahem-unless I am missing something, we already did protect the muslims in Europe once already in Bosnia. Fat lot of good that did us with them...
I would say it is not a nonsensical set of predictions Peters makes...
I'd keep an eye on the Dutch. They're all smug with their wind mills and what not. If we're not careful we'll be wearing wooden shoes in the White House.
There are two kinds of people I can't stand. Those who are intolerant of other cultures, and the Dutch.
That's how they get you, They lure you with pretty flowers and funny tasting brownies that leave you dehydrated and giggling in the corner. All while they hatch their diabolical plans. Those sneaky Dutch.
I read a few blogs of European people.
My impression is that the current left-wing political parties and programs are preparing the terrain of a big swing in the political agenda.
This can not be understimate, because the east EU countries are very liberist in economy and have not the same pacifist left the west EU countries have (the pacifist left is a USSR creation). This will spell problems with the socialist leaning economies of the western countries, as money go where money can grow more (flat tax, less regulation, etc.).
The left parties are running out of steam.
Look Italy. They need a partyless head candidate like Prodi to present themselves to the voters. All others are too extremist or unsuitable.
They could win is the right choose to lose (divide itself) but they can not keep the power because their are deeply divided over anything.
Just now the people are upset but not worried enought to start changing their vote.
If we have a few 3/11 around, I'm sure the reaction would be very harsh.
To not say what would happen if any EU countries would be overrun from islamist (I'm thinking Sweden and Norway).
The last time a non european power was a danger for Europe was over 3 hundreds years ago with the Turks under the Vienna walls and near all Europe joined the combat. To not say that we expelled muslims from Spain 5 hundred years ago.
The same type of mindset and ideas that help the intolerant leftist to hold their power will fuel an harsh reaction against any real muslim danger.
What we have now are simply moschito bites, we scratch a little then we return to our lives. If the moschito become too much an annoiance we will start to drain the swamp completely.
This will happen in a time (probably in the next 10 years) when technology will reduce the need of unskilled cheap labour.
If we don't need cheap labour, because we will want to let them in, as they are NOW start to piss us off?
We Americans may find ourselves in the unexpected position of confronting the Europe of tomorrow as we try to restrain its barbarities toward Muslims.
We've already begun: look at Bosnia and now the issue of Turkey in the EU. Muslims living in Europe haven't figured out yet that we're their best hope.
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