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Monday, February 06, 2006

The Trouble With Europe 

Many of us, though not all of us, here in America are very tough on Europe. We think of them as multicultural wimps. We can't understand why they have fallen prey to creeping islamism in their midst. And many Europeans are truly responsible for this "drift." There is a virulent strain of transnational socialism that has made a measure of convenient common cause with islamism to weaken certain traditional western institutions (including the Catholic Church and the notion of individual nation states). But there is something else at work, about which we have taken little note, written little about and perhaps haven't really perceived.

That simply is the following -- there is no such thing as Europe.

It occurred to me this weekend as I was thinking about the Danes, that Europe in fact has no capacity to respond to the threat of islamism, or the Iranian threat. Europe is at most a currency. The constituent parts of Europe are still trying to get along with each other, forgetting outside forces. And this in turn dilutes what might be the vigor of an individual nation's response to an outside threat. Germany's natural Prussian instincts are suppressed by the French, or the Italians, or some other European nation. Germany herself is just past its own, painful, economic and political reintegration. Each nation is worried about "asking for permission" to act, rather than taking action and apologizing later. That's what a confident and whole US does.

By contrast, individual nations within Europe (a continent, not a country, let's say) have demonstrated at different moments the capacity to reckon with the islamist threat when that threat is made directly. France cracked down reasonably hard on its Arab rioters, with significant numbers deported. Italy has been very aggressive in its use of domestic intelligence and went to Iraq. We have seen the Netherlands respond with horror at the Van Gogh murder -- and subsequently enter into a period of revised thinking regarding its overly permissive and tolerant society. And now we see the Danish President reaffirm the fundamental democratic principle of free speech.

What does this mean? Here, we fight for the US of A. America. Most of us are Americans first, New Yorkers or Iowans or Marylanders or New Jerseyans next. Frankly, after our country, we most closely identify with our local sports teams.

The French, the Germans, the Danes, the Italians, The Dutch -- they won't fight for Europe. Hell, they won't even vote for it. Would you fight for the Euro?

But the French will fight for La France. And the Germans will fight for Deutcheland. And so on. It may be true that Europe won't survive Islamism. But, given the willingness of the Danes to stick their necks out -- and now seeing their flags burned and embassies torched by an alliance of Arab despots and islamist "nutters" (h/t Steyn), I think the constituent parts of the European continent are starting to get pissed. It is no accident that they overwhelmingly voted this weekend to refer Iran (small, worthless token, I know) to the UNSC.

The alarmbell is ringing.

1 Comments:

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