by John Hawkins | August 23, 2002 11:30 pm
Our Souring Relationship With Europe: My three favorite columnists on the net are Ann Coulter, Mark Steyn, and Victor Davis Hanson. Hanson’s latest editorial is laced with the excellent analysis and crisp writing that makes him a favorite of mine. Here’s a little bit of Hanson on our faltering relationship with Europe…
“Europe is impotent in deed when it counts, but self-righteous in word when it does not – being as reluctant to confront evil in the flesh as it is ready to condemn it in the abstract. So far we are taking the greater risks, but getting none of the commensurate credit for undertaking such sacrifice. We must be as bold in our idealistic professions as we are unafraid to use force, conveying the message to the world that, unlike the EU or the U.N., we back pretensions with real soldiers. We live in a world, after all, where Europeans call an elected American president who is fighting killers a “cowboy,” but use qualifiers like “but,” “although,” and “nevertheless” when referring to bringing to justice an outlaw like Saddam Hussein. It is time our president politely but firmly reminded the Europeans that utopianism is worthless unless they act – and their past record in using force to combat evil is dismal. They must realize that Europe is one American unilateral action away from the de facto dissolution of NATO: If we act alone in Iraq to remove a madman with terror weapons, while they heckle from the sidelines – especially after the recent U.S. intervention to rid them of an odious Milosevic – then they are not allies, but no more than nice peoples like the Swiss and the Costa Ricans.”
It’s hard to say how much support we’re going to get from Europe when we hit Iraq. The only nation that really matters militarily is Britain and while I think they’ll be with us, it’s not a certainty with most of Labour and a majority of Brit’s against it. It would be a shame to see our “special relationship” end over Iraq but if they don’t go with us we won’t look at them much differently than we do Belgium or Sweden in the future. The rest of Europe would be making a largely symbolic military contribution but we’d still rather have them with us, than on the sidelines.
But what happens after Iraq (and there will be an after Iraq)? Unless there is a large terrorist attack on Europe in the interim, I don’t expect any European nations to go with us then. That will probably mean the end of NATO and an adversarial relationship between Europe and the US similar to our relationship with China. That’s a shame, but we’re not going to let millions of Americans die in terrorist attacks using WMD to make Europe happy. It’s too bad that it will likely play out that way…
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