on all sides, Europe pathetically caves in
Gerard Baker, Commentator, The (UK) Times online
Last week we had the tragicomic spectacle of European Nato countries lining up to decline politely the request to beef up their forces in Afghanistan, many of whom are now fighting in perilously under-resourced conditions against a resurgent enemy.
Then on Monday Jacques Chirac went to New York to upend the long, delicate diplomacy designed to deny Iran nuclear weapons. He said France no longer thought the UN should impose sanctions if Iran did not end its uranium enrichment programme.
Then, of course, we have had the predictable European outrage following the latest apparent provocation of Islamic extremists by free speech in the West — Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks last week on Islam.
I actually heard a senior member of the British Government chide the Pope this week for what he described as his unhelpful comments. This minister went on to say that the Pope should keep quiet about Islamic violence because of the Crusades.
It was a jaw-dropping observation. If it was meant seriously its import is that, because of violence perpetrated in the name of Christ 900 years ago, today’s Church, and presumably today’s European governments (who, after all, were eager participants in the Crusades) should forever hold their peace on the subject of religious fanaticism. In this view the Church’s repeated apologies for the sins committed in its name apparently are not enough. The Pope has no right, even in a lengthy disquisition on the complexities of faith and reason, to say anything about the religious role in Islamic terrorism.
But the scale of Europe’s moral crisis is larger than ever. Opposing the war in Iraq was one thing, defensible in the light of events. But opting out of a serious fight against the Taleban, sabotaging efforts to get Iran off its path towards nuclear status, pre-emptively cringing to Muslim intolerance of free speech and criticism, all suggest something quite different.
They imply a slow but insistent collapse of the European will, the steady attrition of the self-preservation instinct. Its effects can be seen not only in the political field, but in other ways — the startling decline of birth rates across the continent that represent a sort of self-inflicted genocide; the refusal to confront the harsh realities of a global economy.
This Brit journalist has expressed it well. Not only pointing out NATO/UN's embarrassing failure to commit to their mandate in Afghanistan - which they conveniently blame on the US cowboy President - but also opening and unabashedly condemning Europe for their most recent demonstration of lack of balls. The cowardice to confront terror, terrorists, and obvious threats. Nothing new. Just new for it to be pointed out by one of their own.
Compound that rare pundit slap with the stunning behavior in the UN the past few days. Laughter, applause and standing ovations for Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by the membership. I admit... I've watched news, speeches, pundit commentary.... all the while in absolute shock and stun at the insanity of it all.
One truly has to ponder what has happened to mankind in general. Is the clear defining point between right and wrong really so blurred? Or has the world just become so politically correct and tolerant of thug leaders as to ignore ultimate demise of freedom and the promise of living under Sharia rule with such blatant complacency?
Heaven help me, but I'm finding myself longing for the early US policies of isolationism. Take care of our own needs and the rest be damned. For if we are to take the Kerry/Dem philosophy of insuring "international" approval prior to sustaining all that we treasure, we are obviously doomed. And frankly, as far as I'm concerned, I have found the "international community - of which everyone speaks with such hushed respect - completely unworthly of consideration in our survival.
The greater world of nations has clearly spoken. They won't do whit in Afghanistan under the NATO/UN banner... just as they've done nothing in Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur. They've never performed honestly, or with dedication before with mandates. Why should we expect them to do so now? Apparently, there are few men of power left in the world bold enough to defend what is right because the poweful men of the world have lost sight of the nuance between wrong and right, buckling under the face of criticism.
What may be looked at as a glint of hope is such left extremists such as Pelosi and Rangal, rallying to the defense of Bush in the face of verbal chastising by Chavez while standing on US soil. On one hand, it's rather disingenuous hearing this from the very same political "poll whores" that preach even the lowest scum on the earth should have human rights, access to our justice system and freedom of speech. On the other hand, it's refreshing to see that they believe fighting within the American family is acceptable, but totally unacceptable by an outsider with malignant intentions.
Yet, considering their behavioral dichotomy, even their reactions make my head shake in utter confusion.
It would also be wonderful is someone would please alert Danny Glover - a man whose acting credits I truly adore - and various other sundry emotional wackos that US citizens and their loyalty are not for sale to thug dictators merely to achieve cheap oil for a chosen few.
Or are they for sale? I'm not so sure anymore. The "gimme gimme for free, you owe it to me, it ain't my fault, there is no black and white - only grey, and everyone has a right to do what they want" mentality is alive, well and consuming the human race. We try to believe in everything, and end up believing in nothing.
Bottom line... we are our own worst enemies, and it will ultimately cost us our existance. There is a nasty virus in mankind, and it ain't from the spinach, folks. The symptoms are the inability to know right from wrong, evil from good, and an extreme cowardice to fight for what is right in the face of unpopularity. These symptoms are cleverly masked by do good words and lofty speeches from seemingly hallowed dais, and extremely difficult to diagnose. Yet it is a virus that has taken a long time to embed itself in humans, and will take even longer to cure.
And I'm not sure we have that time.