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France and Germany: Short memories and bad attitudes
By Alan Caruba
We all see history through the prism of our own lives. I was born just prior to World War II in 1937. Roosevelt would begin his second term as President that year and the United States was still struggling to get out of the Depression. In Europe, Hitler was in control of Germany, telling them they were the "Master Race." France thought it was safe behind the Maginot Line, and an appeaser named Neville Chamberlain led England.
In time, at Germany's demand, England and France would agree in 1938 to carve up Czechoslovakia, ceding the Sudetenland to Germany to avoid war. Austria would be taken over that year. Then in 1941 Germany and the Soviet Union divided Poland in exchange for a non-aggression act. The original "axis of evil" was formed between Germany, Japan and Italy. Hitler would betray every promise he made because that's what dictators do.
In the Pacific, the Japanese Empire controlled Manchuria since 1931 and later much of eastern China, and Korea. On December 7, 1941, they would launch a sneak attack on the United States, bringing it into a war that had begun in 1939 when Germany invaded Poland. By the war's end, the US would emerge a dominant world power and, then, for the next fifty years face off with the Soviet Union to insure that its brand of Communism would not enslave all of Europe and much of the rest of the world. The US expended billions of dollars to do this.
To protect Europe, the US and Great Britain formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. We would keep our troops in Europe to protect it from the Soviet Union for the next fifty years for that purpose and they remain there today. Under Roosevelt and Truman, the US created the United Nations to avoid future worldwide conflicts. Like the League of Nations before it, the UN would prove incapable of stopping war or genocides anywhere. It would, however, extend its powers into all aspects of international affairs, moving slowly, but steadily to establish itself as world government.
In the years following WWII, we watched China come under the control of Communists. We protected Japan and other Pacific nations from the same fate. We would fight and lose a proxy war in Vietnam. In time, we saw the Soviet Union implode after the fall of the Berlin War and Germany reunited.
Throughout this long era, Americans remained utterly steadfast in our devotion to democracy, freedom and Capitalism. We thrived. In Europe, however, Socialism would become the order of the day and their economies would stagnate.
France and Germany, eager to be regarded as world powers, would engineer the European Union, a huge Socialist bureaucracy only to see new, Eastern bloc nations join and shift the balance of power from their ambition to dominate it. The reason they gave for the creation of the EU was to provide a counterpoint to the economic and military strength of America. Under the EU, Europe has fallen further behind the US as job growth eroded, public finances deteriorated, and across the continent, the average unemployment rate rose to 8.1 percent. Both France and Germany are running budget deficits in excess of 3 percent of gross domestic product, a violation of the ground rules for a shared currency. Moreover, France and Germany have failed to make required EU economic and labor law reforms.
Now a Finnish EU military commander is suggesting Europe take responsibility for its own defense. Good idea! But France's Jacques Chirac is, ironically, defending NATO as essential despite the fact France withdrew from NATO under DeGaulle. When the former Yugoslavia and the Balkans threatened to start another war in their backyard, it was Americans, not Europeans, who had to fight their battles and, ironically, to defend the Muslim population that was under attack by the Serbs. European nations could field no military because they spend a pittance on self-defense. Why bother? America, they knew, would always come to their aid. The United Nations was unable to respond to the Balkan butchery.
And yet, and yet, the fiercest opposition to the liberation of the Iraqi people came from France and Germany. It is well to remember that, in addition to Tony Blair's courageous support of American objectives, Spain and Italy supported regime change, as did the block of Eastern European nations. Even Japan and South Korea have sent troops!
In France and Germany, however, the intelligentsia calls American soldiers Nazis and President Bush is called a Hitler. These are people with short memories and very bad attitudes.
History teaches that the failure to resist despotism always requires a far higher price than appeasement. Since the late 1970s, a new threat has arisen to challenge not just the United States, but the entire world. It is a fanatical Islamic movement that has set itself against Western civilization.
Following 9-11, Al Iqtisadi, a Iranian government controlled newspaper published a photo of the burning Twin Towers with the headline, "God's Punishment." Iran is on the path to securing its own atomic weapons and it is only a matter of time before it too must be subjected to regime change, much to the relief of millions of Iranians. They too will have to be liberated. The Syrian government will have to follow that path as well.
The timidity and the perfidy of France and Germany who owe so much to the United States and England must be left to future historians' record. The transition of Europe, undergoing significant Islamization, is another factor that will determine its future. A dangerous indicator of serious trouble ahead is the rise of anti-Semitism, always a precursor to conflict.
Just as the dynamic of world affairs changed following the end of WWII, after 9-11 international affairs changed dramatically. The US invaded Afghanistan to drive out the Taliban and take this base from Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida movement. The special relationship between the US and Great Britain led the way to change the Middle East by removing Saddam Hussein from power. Since then, more than fifty nations from around the world have contributed their troops and other support to this goal, while others have forgiven billions in debt. By June Iraq will regain a measure of its sovereignty.
Even the United Nations acknowledges that a nation's sovereignty is not sufficient to protect it when it engages in the oppression and murder of its own people.
Some things have become clearer. The United Nations, as an instrument to achieve world peace, is a failed bureaucracy. It should be replaced with a loose confederation of international organizations that attend to the maintenance of free market, worldwide commerce, issues of refugees, the extension of democracy, and comparable affairs.
The war against Islamist ambitions to dominate the world and to destroy the United States must now be fought with relentless determination until this threat is destroyed. We have sufficient allies in this cause. We could use the support of France and Germany, but it should be recalled that Germany's last military victory in war was in 1870 and France's last military victory in war was in 1809.
Alan Caruba writes "Warning Signs", posted weekly on www.anxietycenter.com,
the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center. © Alan Caruba 2004
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