April 9, 2007
Europe: Let Uncle Do ItBy James Lewis
Europe gets forty percent of its oil through the Persian Gulf. But by an accident of history (and civilized policy -- ours, that is) it is the United States that guards the Gulf from madmen like Ahmadinejad. Well, so be it. We gain from world peace and free trade, and it is better to keep the maniacs far away from our shores.
But it is now way past time for Europe to step up to the plate again. They have the economic might, the population, the brains -- but not the guts -- to behave as a decent actor on the world stage. And the British "hostage crisis" -- which was not a crisis at all, but a staged provocation, an invitation for the Brits to kowtow, which they did -- should spell the end of our patience.
Europe's response to Ahaminejad's game tells us all we need to know. Tony Blair tossed the hot potato to the UN, which tossed it right back again. Then he tried his good friends in the EU, and they ducked it altogether. Then, secretly, he got George W. to trade Iran's Quds thugs, who were imprisoned in Iraq for directing IED attacks on Americans, in trade for those 15 clueless Brits. Result: The West looked helpless against the ruthless blackmailers of Qom.
So in the end, Europe got away again with letting Uncle Sam do it.
We can shrug off the screaming anti-American hate mongering of the media in Germany, France and (on the Left) in Britain. We can ignore the fact that Britain is selling its sovereignty to the EU, about as feckless a bunch of political con artists as ever exploited a badly indoctrinated population. What we cannot allow, over the long term, is to get stuck with all the adult work of maintaining the peace around the world, while the Europeans exploit our generosity and we pay the price in blood and treasure. It's past time for Europe to grow up.
That includes Britain. Tony Blair has tried his best to maintain the Anglo-American alliance in the face of rising nuclear proliferation among the mad hatters in the Middle East. Good for Tony Blair, but his socialist party long ago walked away from him. So Blair has been out there on his own, and even the Tories are now pretending to be Mahatma Gandhi, whose lifelong principled pacificism, incidentally, led to some 4 million dead people in 1948. In the real world, pacifism kills, and the mere pose of pacifism is just another front for cowardice.
The United States must be prepared to rethink our alliances. Europe has been on a US-paid vacation from reality now for sixty years. We are subsidizing its welfare state, and its grandiose and fraudulent poses. One moment the EU is a grand new Empire, then it's the new incarnation of Marxist hope for mankind, then it's the self-righteous denouncer of American warmongering, and always, without fail, it's a fraud. Sane Europeans know that.
If Britain wants to throw in its lot with the phony-baloney EU farce, it must be willing to take the consequences of permanent weakness in the face of serious adversaries like the aggressive jihadis of the Sunni or Shi'a variety. As Mahmoud puts it so plainly, you must 'You must bow down to the greatness of the Iranian nation.' Well, friends, you have a choice.
Alternatively, Britain and its new continental masters must get serious. Sometimes we see a little sign of that -- Angela Merkel is potentially serious, and so is Blair -- but it just gets swamped by the self-indulgent hoopla from the socialist demagogues who really run the place. Europe is on an endless drunken spree, and we are its enablers.
How do we get serious?
First, we must make strong alliances with other serious powers who share our values and understanding of the world. Australia, India, and Japan are the obvious candidates. All are currently helping to develop anti-missile defenses (while Europe is moaning about the free defense systems we are offering to Poland against the Iranian ICBM threat.)
In the Middle East, besides Israel, the Sunni Arabs need our help -- and in exchange, we must get their commitment to stop Wahhabi anti-Western hate propaganda around the world, including in the United States itself. No more anti-American games from CAIR and its ilk.
The Iranian people, who have been terrorized by the mullahs for thirty years, deserve as much support as the oppressed Poles and Czechs did during the Cold War. Eastern Europe is sandwiched between the growling Russian Bear and the hopeless EU. The Poles and Czechs are therefore a pretty sober lot. Those are our real allies, not the grandstanding demagogues of Brussels.
Second, we must make it very clear to Europe, including Britain, that we expect their serious help when we are attacked, as on 9/11, and whenever we risk our military assets to protect their oil supplies. One way to send that signal is simply to stay passive the next time they are assaulted -- when and if another Madrid or London Underground bombing happens. We can send them our best wishes, and do absolutely nothing. If they will not even spend enough money to build a usable defense force, if they keep pretending to have a military without putting them at risk, we can simply let them find their own way to perdition. NATO must be more than an excuse for milking Uncle.
Third, we must insist on a much more serious effort by Europe to fight nuclear proliferation to terrorists and their sponsors. That includes a major economic squeeze against Tehran, even if Europeans have to reduce their profitable trade with the terror sponsors. That is the very least we must expect from them. If not, they can try to defend their own oil supply.
Fourth, we have to insist that Europeans fish or cut bait when they are confronted with a public challenge from an enemy. No more hot potatoes tossed between national capitals and the EU. No more hiding behind the hopeless UN fraudocracy as a front for imaginary "international law." Publicly proclaiming "international law" means nothing if you cannot enforce it, or if you lack democratic legitimacy to make it in the first place.
Fifth, we cannot conceded the propaganda war -- the narrative of our time -- to the fantasy-prone Left. The Left is merely European imperialism in another guise. It is too destructive, too exploitive, and too wrong about the nature of the world. Serious powers don't live in fantasy land.
So the next President of the United States will have to voice our national vision just as Reagan did: With clarity, eloquence, and honesty. Our UN Representative, following Jeanne Kirkpatrick, should shock the dizzy dips of the UN by simply telling the truth. With a rising blogosphere in the United States, Europe and the Middle East, truth-telling can become our single most effective instrument of policy. Reagan told the truth to bring down the Berlin Wall. Nobody thought it would work, but he appealed to what everyone on the other side secretly knew to be true. That is how a democratic leader should act.
All that comes down to electing a new president for 2008. It should be someone who can articulate the American vision and back it up with grand strategy. Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher are the obvious models, but human beings are unique and not cloneable. The next Reagan won't look like Reagan, but he or she should be clear and firm and courageous, just like our soldiers in Iraq. We have the right stuff here at home. We only need to discover it.
The challenges we face are Reaganesque. With the right leadership, the American people will know how to act. And Ahmadinejad will go the way of Marx and Lenin. With only a mad 7th century ideology to peddle, he has long outlived his sell-by date.
James Lewis is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. He blogs at http://www.dangeroustimes.wordpress.com