May 14, 2010

Your Friday Reading Assignment

VDH on the crack-up of the Euro-weenies:

Few wanted to listen when it was pointed out — well before the Greek meltdown — that on key questions of demography and immigration, the future of the European Union was bleak. The very idea that, in historical terms, socialism, agnosticism, pacifism, and hedonism were not only interrelated and synergistic, but also suicidal for civilization, was considered crackpot.

Furthermore, even in the days of loud socialism, Old Europe’s notion of class made it hard to assimilate Islamic immigrants. Unlike other newcomers, North Africans and Turks channeled their resentments through religious fundamentalism. Something about their European hosts — the pacifism, the liberal perspective on matters of sex, the agnostic and atheistic proclamations — infuriated Muslims in a way not even the Great Satan did. The result was that the more a liberal Europe tried to appease radical Islam abroad and its own estranged Muslim underclass at home, the more it was despised as weak, decadent, and — worst of all — increasingly irrelevant.

Few wanted to listen when it was pointed out that Europe was, in terms of traditional military power, nearly defenseless, unable to protect itself from Russian bullying, a bellicose radical Islam, or a soon-to-be-nuclear Iran. Its reluctant participation in the war against the Taliban, warmly welcomed by Washington, only made all of that more clear. Apparently, the technocrats in Brussels figured that the Neanderthal age of war itself was over. Learned diplomats in The Hague and at the UN would soon adjudicate “differences,” which largely grew out of either misunderstanding or preventable material inequality, rather than Thucydidean honor, fear, and perceived self-interest, which were innate to the human condition, and checked by fossilized concepts like military preparedness and deterrence. That all such pretension was predicated on the safety net of NATO and the U.S. defense budget was considered simplistic, or at least problematic. (Or perhaps Europeans felt that if cowboyish Americans like to strut on the world stage — why, let them strut and waste their money occasionally on Europe’s behalf.)

Chickens? Welcome home to your roosts!

Posted by Robert at May 14, 2010 10:06 AM | TrackBack
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