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Disturbingly accurate

Reader comment on item: [Appeasement Explains] Why Europe Balks

Submitted by Richard (United Kingdom), Jan 30, 2003 at 10:25

Having read Kagan's piece on Power & Weakness, I felt something still missing in explanation of Old Europe's appalling behaviour. It was a long article, perhaps I missed his view on Pipes' theory. But, combining both Pipes and Kagan- I feel the picture is complete. How to explain friends that are not friends, allies that are not allies, and a people that are in shocking denial?

If it were all an abstraction, it would be disturbing enough. But beyond the disgust one feels for the German and French behaviour, (let's not leave out the Belgians either), seething anger invades for two reasons:

First, we may not forget that it was from Europe that the vicious murderers hatched their plots (and continue to do so..)- from Hamburg, from Paris, from Madrid and Brussells. European complacency and the pretensions of EU law set the scene for these fanatics. Even today, they are coddled, ignored, ... appeased. From 11 September emerged an sickeningly ammoral and cowardly personality in Europe- "t wasn't us. Keep our heads and voice down, ignore the fanatics, attack the victim", and they'll leave us alone. A senior Belgian diplomat was quoted as saying that bin laden is not their concern, it is America he is attacking. Europe is already held hostage by its own laws, its mass of Muslim immigrants, and its revulsion for taking strong action. This is the self-hate and guilt that Pipes describes.

Second, its easy to talk about how the French and British would all be speaking German if not for US intervention and US strength (both economic and moral). What isn't so easy is to sit and reflect, to picture, all of the thousands of poor American men, their pain, suffering, fear, and courage- all of them that gave up the comfort and safety of their homes in American cities and towns to unite with free Europe against Hitler and the Axis. Too glibbly do the Germans, the French, the Belgians dismiss this huge sacrifice. This is the willingness, the desire, to forget WWII. The depth of German shame (and French for that matter) can never be diminished easily. Nor can the debt that Europe owes America (beyond the millions poured into Europe for reconstruction). No, that is quickly dismissed from the conversation. Then one reflects on the Cold War and what Europe would have been like under the Soviets- it isn't hard to picture - ask any Pole or Hungarian, the New Europeans. We can reflect on the trillions of dollars our country could have conserved by appeasing and leaving Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America to defend themselves. This as Kagan points out, has been the benefit for Europe- the took that allowed them to achieve their Utopia. But for all of this- American receives a spit in the eye from France and Germany.

Both of these things cannot be forgiven nor forgotten.
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