Thursday, June 22, 2006

When America Finally Looks Away

I don’t often put up posts from other blogs, especially not in their entirety. And I certainly haven’t ever posted a Watcher’s Council nomination before the votes are in.

However, this one blew me away. Even after all the killing, all the injustice toward the United States -- including insults and frothing from some of its own benighted citizens – even after all that, NewSisyphus manages to articulate what is at the bottom of many hearts in this country.

Read. Weep for the fallen. Then make your own silent resolution:

Srebrenica, Kosovo, Unknown

Two U.S. soldiers missing since an attack on a checkpoint last week have been found dead near a power plant in Yusifiyah, south of Baghdad, according to U.S. officials, and Iraqi officials say the soldiers had been tortured.

Maj. Gen. Abdul Aziz Muhammed-Jassim, head of operations at the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, said the soldiers had been “barbarically” killed. U.S. officials would not confirm or deny that the men, who were identified Monday as Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, 23, of Houston and Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker, 25, of Madras, Ore., had been tortured by their captors.

-- Washington Post, June 20

It was a small event, but a taste of things to come, the way things would be. Early on in the Afghan Campaign--you remember that one, the one that was an illegal war of mass punishment, doomed to failure due to the harsh Afghan winter, the one that would cause no less than 200,000 civilian casualties and set off a horrific famine, the one that was foretold would tie us down for years just as the Soviets were, the self-same war that the self-same critics now praise as a model of a “good” war they could support, unlike, sadly, the Iraq War--an American soldier was caught on a mountainside by a rush of Taliban fighters. A circling American helicopter filming the battle caught the moment.

Just prior to realizing that he was without escape, the American soldier turned to face the onrushing mob of Taliban and raised his hands. He was grabbed by the head and forced to his knees and a man with a knife cut his torso open from side to side. The American soldier, in full uniform, fighting in a declared war, having just surrendered, was executed on camera.

There were no thundering editorials in the New York Times decrying this violation of the most basic of the rules of war, nor sophisticated leaders in the Guardian worrying aloud what this latest violation of international human rights bode for the future of humanity.

This is how the world works: American soldiers are supposed to be brutally executed as a matter of course. A simple prisoner of war camp where men such as that that executed our soldier are treated to Muslim chaplains, three halal meals a day, an exercise yard and calls to prayer, however, is clearly illegal and a matter of grave international concern.

The pirated tape of the execution is available for download at any number of Muslim websites or, if you lack Internet access, as a video or DVD at any number of Muslim bazaars from Indonesia to London. Act now and we’ll throw in the beheading of the Jew spy Daniel Pearl for half-price. No need to hide such things. They are sold openly. Actually, not very far from the Guardian’s offices, which doesn’t strike me as entirely coincidental. After all, speaking truth to power in the form of George W. Bush won’t get you killed. Printing a cartoon or saying the wrong thing, however....

Best to be smart and play it safe.

And any minute now footage of the deaths of Tucker and Menchaca will be added to the list of attractions, though given the fact that they weren’t paraded around before cameras before being tortured and killed I hold out hope that these two soldiers fought on. From the air conditioned palaces of Dubai to the shanties of the West Bank, Al-Sturmer will thrill the masses with yet another bloody spectacle.

But there will be no outrage, no expressions of sorrow more than perfunctory messages of official regret. From London to Paris to Berlin to Madrid, knowing sneers will return to all-knowing faces: we are getting what is coming to us. For liberating 50 million from a nightmare regime, for building schools that teach female children, for pouring billions in reconstruction money that dwarfs the Marshall Plan, for believing that even a Muslim people brutalized for decades by the degradations of a totalitarian state deserve a chance to breath free. We are getting what we deserve. Only when we learn to roll over and play dead like a good Spaniard will we ever know wisdom.

Another day, another dead American. We are expected to die. The world has long since past expected that Americans be treated with honor and respect or according to the basic rules of war.

In Korea, we were expected to take the lead in the fight. Our captured soldiers were horrifically tortured. In Vietnam, we were on our own. Our captured soldiers were horrifically tortured. In the Iraq War, we were expected to take the lead in the fight. Our captured soldiers were horrifically tortured and, since our captured then included, for the first time, women, raped.

None of which was or is thought by the world community as a weakening of the laws of war, of the Geneva Conventions. Those are what Americans fight by. You can’t expect those oppressed people who America is unjustly fighting to respect those, can you?

And through it all, the American people, quietly but intently, are watching.

They are listening, reading, thinking, weighing, reasoning.

The time has almost come for them to make their voices heard. When they speak it will be a terrible thing to behold and the world, displeased now, will be more displeased then.

There will come a time after that, sooner rather than later I think, when eyes will turn to America seeking help. And the great silence that will arise in this busy nation, content in its understanding and newly aware of the rules of the game, will cause despair in the onlookers.

We see you and what you think of us. We see our deaths and what you think of them. We know you and what you are worth.

Oh, you smiling young men of Barcelona, Lyon, Antwerp, Swindon, Rotterdam, Munich, Turin: fate comes for you, and soon, and no hope from over the ocean will ever, ever again arrive.

It’s over, over there.

(To which I would only add, let us close the military bases that have operated for some sixty years, guarding the safety of our faithless friends. We have real allies in other countries who can take up the task with more attention to duty and to honor. Friends who remember only too well their own oppression and will fight to prevent ever going under again.)

42 comments:

Talkwise said...

Outstanding post, how true it is. Europe is sleeping under a pacifist spell but will soon realize their problems. While today the war is being fought in the streets of Baghdad, tomorrow it will be fought in Berlin and Barcelona. Talkwisee www.talkwise.blogspot.com

rickl said...

I just saw New Sisyphus' excellent post linked on Dr. Sanity's blog before coming here.

I agree wholeheartedly. I, too, would like nothing more than to tell Europe to go f itself; however...

We'll have to get involved in Europe when the excrement hits the cooling device, because we'll have to keep France's nukes from falling into the wrong hands.

Same old, same old.

(And does England still have nukes? I seem to remember them being in the nuclear club at one time, but I haven't heard anything about their nukes lately.)

AUSTROPITHECANTHROPUS said...

"To which I would only add, let us close the military bases that have operated for some sixty years, guarding the safety of our faithless friends." Dymphna, time to wake up from your dogmatic slumber. We are an Empire and we are paying the price.

Zerosumgame said...

Dymphna:

Oh, you smiling young men of Barcelona, Lyon, Antwerp, Swindon, Rotterdam, Munich, Turin: fate comes for you, and soon, and no hope from over the ocean will ever, ever again arrive.

It’s over, over there.


Out of curiosity, does it being "over, over there" also apply to Warsaw, Prague, Budapest and Sofia?

I know a lot of conservatives (not me) view Eastern Europe with a little more affection. Poland is often predicted to be the last bastion of Christian Europe and given that it could be squeezed in the not too distant future between a Fascist Russia and an Islamofascist Central/Western Europe, our decision to defend it could be more than hypothetical.

Dymphna, time to wake up from your dogmatic slumber. We are an Empire and we are paying the price.

Mr. Buchanan, is that you?

Response 39 said...

To Austropithecanthropus - an empire!? If you think that the US is an empire, i wonder what you've been using to observe and evaluate information with! The US is the one country in the world that has "invaded" more territory and retained NONE of it for its sovereign use than any other country past or present.

And if you think the US's empire consists of western Europe, then I have to wonder what you mean by empire. Is it that we have US troops in foreign countries? They have not behaved as conquering armies or colonial occupational forces.

If you want to see what an empire does, look back at what our European friends had done in previous centuries, or the muslims over the past 1000 years, or the Chinese, the Japanese, the Southeast Asian nations, the Indians. All of their pasts show how a colonial power acts. And it doesn't match what we do and have done.

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

There is a certain brain-dead generalized anti-european sentiment which is unfounded. Talking about Europe as one entity makes about as much sense as talking about North America (including Canada, the US, Mexico, and El Salvador etc.) as one.

Furthmore, it should be noted that Chirac and the Guardian are not "europe" any more than George Bush and the NYT are the US. But wait, isn't the Guardian British? Who are still heavily in Iraq? How did we jump to Berlin and Turin? Aren't Italian soldiers still in Iraq and taking casualties regularly? Isn't the airbase at Ramstein operating in support of Iraq every day? Who is "the world" that doesn't think the Conventions apply to US soldiers?

"... play dead like a good Spaniard..." indeed.

A rubbish, cheap, uninformed, nonsensical prejudical rant. If it strikes a chord, well .... thats bad, cause YOU have a irrational problem.

Kazan said...

I read your blog every day and, for the first time, this brought tears to my eyes. Good and to the point, but we cannot abandon the B..s. Today America lead the Western civilization. Europe is a dead. We do not have a choice but to fight. And we will fight till the end.

Sperestillan said...

The Secret People by G.K. Chesterton

"Smile at us, pay us, pass us; but do not quite forget;
For we are the people of England, that never have spoken yet.
There is many a fat farmer that drinks less cheerfully,
There is many a free French peasant who is richer and sadder than we.
There are no folk in the whole world so helpless or so wise.
There is hunger in our bellies, there is laughter in our eyes;
You laugh at us and love us, both mugs and eyes are wet:
Only you do not know us. For we have not spoken yet.

The fine French kings came over in a flutter of flags and dames.
We liked their smiles and battles, but we never could say their names.
The blood ran red to Bosworth and the high French lords went down;
There was naught but a naked people under a naked crown.
And the eyes of the King's Servants turned terribly every way,
And the gold of the King's Servants rose higher every day.
They burnt the homes of the shaven men, that had been quaint and kind,
Till there was no bed in a monk's house, nor food that man could find.
The inns of God where no man paid, that were the wall of the weak.
The King's Servants ate them all. And still we did not speak.

And the face of the King's Servants grew greater than the King:
He tricked them, and they trapped him, and stood round him in a ring.
The new grave lords closed round him, that had eaten the abbey's fruits,
And the men of the new religion, with their bibles in their boots,
We saw their shoulders moving, to menace or discuss,
And some were pure and some were vile; but none took heed of us.
We saw the King as they killed him, and his face was proud and pale;
And a few men talked of freedom, while England talked of ale.

A war that we understood not came over the world and woke
Americans, Frenchmen, Irish; but we knew not the things they spoke.
They talked about rights and nature and peace and the people's reign:
And the squires, our masters, bade us fight; and scorned us never again.
Weak if we be for ever, could none condemn us then;
Men called us serfs and drudges; men knew that we were men.
In foam and flame at Trafalgar, on Albuera plains,
We did and died like lions, to keep ourselves in chains,
We lay in living ruins; firing and fearing not
The strange fierce face of the Frenchmen who knew for what they fought,
And the man who seemed to be more than a man we strained against and broke;
And we broke our own rights with him. And still we never spoke.

Our patch of glory ended; we never heard guns again.
But the squire seemed struck in the saddle; he was foolish, as if in pain,
He leaned on a staggering lawyer, he clutched a cringing Jew,
He was stricken; it may be, after all, he was stricken at Waterloo.
Or perhaps the shades of the shaven men, whose spoil is in his house,
Come back in shining shapes at last to spoil his last carouse:
We only know the last sad squires rode slowly towards the sea,
And a new people takes the land: and still it is not we.

They have given us into the hand of new unhappy lords,
Lords without anger or honour, who dare not carry their swords.
They fight by shuffling papers; they have bright dead alien eyes;
They look at our labour and laughter as a tired man looks at flies.
And the load of their loveless pity is worse than the ancient wrongs,
Their doors are shut in the evening; and they know no songs.

We hear men speaking for us of new laws strong and sweet,
Yet is there no man speaketh as we speak in the street.
It may be we shall rise the last as Frenchmen rose the first,
Our wrath come after Russia's wrath and our wrath be the worst.
It may be we are meant to mark with our riot and our rest
God's scorn for all men governing. It may be beer is best.
But we are the people of England; and we have not spoken yet.
Smile at us, pay us, pass us. But do not quite forget."

pacific_waters said...

To: Austro "Dymphna, time to wake up from your dogmatic slumber. We are an Empire and we are paying the price."

By definition we are not an empire. We do not exercise soverign control over any territory except our own.

To: peacekeeper. If you're european then you're blind to the pervasive anti-american sentiment in europe. If you are not then spend some there. I used to spend 3 to 6 months a year and no longer do. Whether it is spain, germany, italy, france or england the attitude was the same, the US is an evil empire, often viewed as much worse than the soviet union, and americans are brash children. After a brief rapprochement subsequent to 9/11 the sentiment came back stronger than ever. There is as much a "european" sentiment as there is an "american" sentiment.

What is "Occupation" said...

To these same Euro's..

you had no problem in mass murder and rape of your jewish population, now you have no problem FUNDING and supporting these maggots in the UN while they do the SAME things to ANY JEW they can kidnap..

Whether it be a 8 yr old pair of jewish boys whose heads were smashed with rocks to the point they did not have heads, or the pregnant jewish mother who was shot at close range in the head, then her kids in the backseat then she was shot thru her stomach killing the unborn baby, it is EXPECTED for Israel OR AMERICA to TAKE IT and not fight back...

These are maggots we are fighting...

It is NOT being a racist to say I hate those who wish to dismember me....

Matt said...

Wow. This may be one of the finer posts I've ever encountered here, first for the essay, which got me right here, and then for the Chesterton poem (thanks Sperestillan ... what does your name mean anyway?) That was absolutely brilliant.

As for the sentiments expressed in the essay ... they remind me of something mentioned on Instapundit, about how Americans are accused of atrocity no matter what they do. At the same time, real atrocity can be committed against them and the world shrugs (what else do you expect from barbarians, after all?) I can't help but wonder if the day will come when Americans will shrug their shoulders and say, "Fine. You wanna fight dirty? We'll show you dirty."

'Cause historically, no one does atrocity like the West, when we set our minds to it.....

Dymphna said...

To answer zerosum:

Out of curiosity, does it being "over, over there" also apply to Warsaw, Prague, Budapest and Sofia?

Not hardly. Please scroll down to the addendum I put up after Sisyphus' post:

(To which I would only add, let us close the military bases that have operated for some sixty years, guarding the safety of our faithless friends. We have real allies in other countries who can take up the task with more attention to duty and to honor. Friends who remember only too well their own oppression and will fight to prevent ever going under again.)

It is interesting that those countries who have come out of a forced Soviet-induced sonambulism have no trouble aligning with us. And we wouldn't get the narcissistic, adolescent rant: "I hate you, take me to the mall"...except in this case, it's "We hate you, but don't give up your bases."

Time for jaded Europe to cut the apron strings and stand up for itself. The only reason their statist economy does not look like pre-war Germany is because we foot their military bill while they sneer at the need to fight for peace because they have found a way -- thru diplomacy -- to save the day.

With France leading the way, the Europeans formed an alliance with the Arabs, hoping to outflank America and use her energy needs against her. Of course, in order to do this, they had to agree to use cheap Muslim labor in the form of immigrants. They weren't even smart enough to outsource the work to other countries...nor did they plan ahead for what they were going to do with all these "disposable" people once their economy tanked...

I am sick of sneering Europeans. Sure, we have some friends there, but not many. Not enough. Our president is vilified, our motives are maligned, our people are laughed at...which is why American tourism in Europe is at an all-time low.

I'd love to see bases in Latvia instead of Germany, just as a for instance. I would love to see strong economic ties with Lithuania for another...that whole region deserves huge economic incentives from us.

And for another thing, I think the State Dept ought to be encouraging tourism to those countries which have done such a remarkable job in becoming dynamic, capitalist, and are working to provide a transparent governance.

Let the sneering French and the muttering Germans make their own way.

Dymphna said...

fellow peacekeeper summed up the opposition to New Sisyphus here:

A rubbish, cheap, uninformed, nonsensical prejudical rant. If it strikes a chord, well .... thats bad, cause YOU have a irrational problem.

To which I would respond that opinions are like bellybuttons; everyone has one.

I liked your disagreement -- argument and debate are good for reaching understanding and sometimes synthesis -- right up until this last paragraph, which negated any legitimacy of your previous remarks.

My opinions are many things but they are *not* "rubbish, cheap, uninformed, nonsensical prejudical rant..." nor was New Sisyphus being "irrational" unless the grief of watching so many of your fellow-citizens, the young men of our future, so dishonorably obliterated in the name of an IRRATIONAL hatred.

Your name-calling was rude, unwarranted, and most discourteous. Remarks like this come from those on the Left all the time. They no longer move me except to make my eyes glaze over.

OTOH, Oriana Fallaci would have found New Sisyphus' comments too tame. She's been watching this mess for a generation or more and she is much less kind about perfidious Europe.

Basta.

NewSisyphus said...

Let me respond to some of the posts here:

My Lady Dymphna -

Thank you for the link and your kind words. There are posts that I write that take days and there are others, like this one, that I bang out in five minutes in a cold, calculated rage.

I do agree with you that our true friends in Eastern Europe are not to be abandoned. I would not, however, be in favor of replicating the grave damage we did to Western Europe by assuming the task of providing both security and political leadership for the new nations of the East. It will only distort their development and produce the same dependency-fuelled scorn in their children for a remote U.S.

rickl -

Your comment is the number one comment I have received by far; it is, at its essence: well, we will have to remain involved in Europe to protect our own interests.

I agree with that to a point, but only to a point. In truth, as I think austropithetc. was getting at, we have defined our "interest" is so expansive a manner that our impulses have become quasi-imperialistic. What is needed is a more rational, cold-eyed and less grandiose definition of "interest".

Fellow Peacekeeper -
If you detected in my writing scorn for Europe and not despair, I failed in the writing. I am half-European by birth, a triple-national by accident of birth, and though I consider myself primarily an American I carry both an Irish and a British passport as well.

I mention that only to dispell any notion that I am a ranting, nativist anti-European.

As to the substance of your objection, I find it entirely unremarkable that American military bases and assets based in Europe are acting in support of an American military action. As for the British, your "help" has come at an enormous political cost: it was the urging of the British Govt. that lead us down the primrose path of the U.N. and the siren song of the WMD. As for the Spanish, it is *they* who rushed into the streets of their cities with signs begging for "peace" in the aftermath of a horrific bombing. Where I come from, asking for peace after being openly attacked is nothing more and nothing less than rolling over and playing dead. There is no peace when you're still picking up body parts and asking for it in such circumstances is shameful. There are worse things in this world than war. Lying down in front of butchers is one of them.

As to the substance, I know Chirac and The Guardian are not Europe. I know some support us. That is not the issue. The issue is the context in which this takes place: we are expected to lead, we are expected to bear the brunt of the fighting, we are expected to take the casualties. When the bloody death camps popped up in Europe--again!--you Europeans pissed yourselves to the point were muslims were being slaughtered right in front of your "troops" until finally the sheriff was called in, whereupon the human rights international law violation charges began flying with depressing predictability. Then Kosovo came. Same story.

When Europeans march in the streets denouncing the torture murder of Americans and demanding to take the lead in stopping genocide in Europe, with force if necessary, Americans may begin to re-visit the issue.

Exile said...

Well well. Your total condemnation of Europe is surprising and disheartening.
As an ex-soldier, who trained alongside the U.S. forces, enjoyed their company and their professionalism, I am disappointed. To hear you all, hinting that no-one here feels deep sorrow for these two men who died so horribly at the hands of what is, after all, our common enemy... Not to mention the disgust and outrage.

Sounds like they've won.

Shame on us all.

BTW, that strange noise you can hear? It's my blood boiling.

NewSisyphus said...

Exile -

Your post is a fascinating example of the genre. Americans are killed and complain of the fact that Europeans do not hold their killers to the same standard as they hold Americans and your response...is to be angry with Americans for pointing it out.

I, for one, am glad you are angry and I wish for nothing more than to continue to disappoint and anger you and yours. We shall anger you to the point that your "soldiers" will have to quit forming labor unions and actually, well, fight.

As for your fellows feeling outrage at the deaths: what a joke. Try that one on someone else. I've lived and worked in both the U.K. and Europe and I know for a fact that this is not true. American servicemen and women in your media are presented as nothing more than genocidal idiots, killing civilians right and left.

This is the thing: you people don't realize that the game is up. It's over. With the new Internet era, we don't just hear the bland pronouncements of your leaders telling us what you think we want to hear. We read your newspapers and watch your news broadcasts and we know for a fact that we are presented as nothing more than criminals, the same, if not worse, than the terrorists.

Fine. You think that. But don't ask for our help or expect us to come to your assistance when push comes to shove. When the next fascist arises in Europe, and he will, it will be your problem and your "soldiers" that will be doing the dying.

I, for one, will not stand for boys from Des Moines patrolling European war zones, as in Kosovo, while boys from Brussles sneer at us from the safety of their cafes, drawing up the war crimes charges to be levelled at people doing your fighting for you.

eatyourbeans said...

But it's churlish not to acknowledge that these same 'faithless friends' are sharing the burden in Afghanistan. Much as I hate the word, we have to see the nuances.

Exile said...

NewSisyphus:

I will gladly send your sentiments to my fellow Brits in Basra.
I'm sure they'll be glad to hear from you.
Your attack is both unwarranted and despicably unfair. I am possibly one of the few who genuinely feels, and shows, support for all the allied forces in Iraq.
My blood boils for them, not because of comments like yours.

My comment was meant as a personal gesture. I do not, and cannot, speak for all of Europe.

Good day to you , Sir.

R. Sherman said...

In the 1930's my high school aged father heard a school speaker warning about letting "them" send young men to Europe to fight in another European war.

We Americans have been arguing among ourselves about this for a while.

I'm afraid that as much as some may applaud N.S.' sentiments, it is difficult for Americans to sit by and watch innocents suffer, if we have the means to do something about it. Witness our reaction to the Tsunami relief of Muslim countries.

No, we remember the things that are said, but when it is necessary, our men and women will shrug their shoulders and bear the burden again and again and again.

It's what we do.

cathyf said...

In the Iraq War, we were expected to take the lead in the fight. Our captured soldiers were horrifically tortured and, since our captured then included, for the first time, women, raped.

Just a small note... Most of the captured soldiers raped by their Iraqi captors are male.

Exile said...

Should anyone doubt my standpoint on supporting the war effort or where my loyalties lie, I suggest you read me here and here.
And if you look hard enough, you will doubtless find other places on my blog as well.

KG said...

A great post.
Not American, I nonetheless have an abiding affection and admiration for America and for her armed forces. If by the middle of this century there is still such a thing as Western civilisation, then we will have America to thank for that.
Whatever it takes, whatever mis-steps along the way, however many leftists screaming "murder" and the media distorting the truth to suit their sleazy ends....
Bless you America and thank you from this ex-Brit.

Zerosumgame said...

Exile:

If your blood is boiling and you are angry, might we stir you and others like you to action:

Take back your country from the Marxists, the totalitarians, the multiculturalists, the anti-Semites and the America haters that run it.

So long as the average Brits continues to vote for the leftist scum that populate the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties, so long as they buy morally degenerate newspapers like the Guardian, Independent, and the Daily Mirror, and so long as they meekly continue to pay the license fees for the Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation (has it ever occurred to ANYONE in Britain to organize a boycott of the fees to that vile, disgusting excuse for a network?) then we have to assume that either Brits support these institutions, or are so indifferent that they do not care to do anything about them.

Exile said...

Zerosumgame:

Take back your country from the Marxists, the totalitarians, the multiculturalists, the anti-Semites and the America haters...

You forgot to mention the Nazis.

Zerosumgame said...

Exile:

There's not much difference, when you get right down to it, between Nazis and Communists. They are both brutal, genocidal, totalitarian and have a genocidal hatred of Jews. Mussolini was a Communist before he was a Fascist. Many Nazis were former Communists. Horst Mahler, the founder of the Baader-Meinhof Group, is now a leader of Neo-Nazis. The ultimate European radical leftist -- Ulrike Meinhof -- praised Hitler for eliminating the "Geldjuden" and encouraged the Palestinians to finish his work.

While much of your media is officially leftist (especially the BBC), the hatred of much of the British media against Jews and Israel is so rabid, so insane, so irrational, that I can attribute it to nothing other than a Nazi-ish hatred of Jews.

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

My opinions are many things but they are *not* "rubbish, cheap, uninformed, nonsensical prejudical rant..." nor was New Sisyphus being "irrational" unless the grief of watching so many of your fellow-citizens, the young men of our future, so dishonorably obliterated in the name of an IRRATIONAL hatred.

Sorry, I belive I have come across as too sharp - that last line was in reference to Sisyphus 'post, not you Dymphna.

But I still maintain the blanket condemnation of old Europe is still nasty and unjustified, and the post is unresolved contradictions piled up one on another. If the grief is rational, does that justify an irrational overreaction? Isn't that exactly as Muslim world does? Its no excuse - just as one atrocity does not justify revenge attacks in kind.

Furthermore - same as in the US - in much of Europe the media and political elite do not represent the people too well. While many French may have an attitude problem, German attitude to the US at a grassroots level is as least as much positive as negative.

NewSisyphus said...

Fellow Peacekeeper wrote:

"German attitude to the US at a grassroots level is as least as much positive as negative."

That assertion is just pure bunk and is completely unsupported by the evidence at hand.

The leading international polling firm, Pew, has just issued a comprehensive study of European additudes and feelings about America. You may find the report here: http://pewglobal.org/reports/display.php?ReportID=252

That survey reveals that only 37% of Germans had a favorable opinion of the United States.

I understand your anger, but you must understand that the constant European drumbeat of America the violator of international human rights, America the wager of illegal war, America the criminal has an effect on the American people.

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

NewSisyphus :

If you detected in my writing scorn for Europe and not despair, I failed in the writing.

Yes

I mention that only to dispell any notion that I am a ranting, nativist anti-European.

Point taken, except that post was a rant. Anyway - Peace.

I find it entirely unremarkable that American military bases and assets based in Europe are acting in support of an American military action."

Well, the point is that the governments invoved (Germany and Britain) have not hindered, or permitted their loony left to hinder operations at all. Unlike for instance - Turkey.

As for the British, your "help" has come at an enormous political cost: it was the urging of the British Govt. that lead us down the primrose path of the U.N. and the siren song of the WMD.

Exile answered that quite well.

As for the Spanish, it is *they* who rushed into the streets of their cities with signs begging for "peace" in the aftermath of a horrific bombing.

*Ahem* That is true. Actually the vulnrebility of the Spanish state to leftism is rather horrifying.

As to the substance, I know Chirac and The Guardian are not Europe. I know some support us. That is not the issue. The issue is the context in which this takes place: we are expected to lead, we are expected to bear the brunt of the fighting, we are expected to take the casualties.

Dude, all those countries are in Afghanistan, and follow the news - they are taking casualties. But who invaded Iraq against just about everybodys advice - including Israel's?

When the bloody death camps popped up in Europe--again!--you Europeans pissed yourselves to the point were muslims were being slaughtered right in front of your "troops" until finally the sheriff was called in, whereupon the human rights international law violation charges began flying with depressing predictability.

Where on earth do you get the charges against the US re Bosnia???? AFAIK there were NONE, but inform us please if there exists otherwise.

Then Kosovo came. Same story.

Ah .... no. The intervention in Kosovo has been a freaking disaster. The (in retrospect) apparently unhinged Madeline Albright went on a personal crusade against Serbia. The UCK turned Racak from a firefight into a massacre using inexperienced observers and gullible media. WE (that is NATO or, you and me both brother) then bombed Serbia on rather dodgy legal grounds. The serious Serb ethnic cleansing only began in earnest AFTER the bombing campaign started. We (that is NATO or, you and me both brother)then occupied Kosovo in order to install a band of drug running murderers and terrorists as the new quasi-legal government. Under our protection the Albanians have now happily reversed the process to cleanse other ethnicities (not limiting themselves to Serbs) from everywhere not under KFOR guard. As well as demolishing every Christian church, monastery and shrine they can get their hands on.

That assertion is just pure bunk and is completely unsupported by the evidence at hand.

The leading international polling firm, Pew, has just issued a comprehensive study of European additudes and feelings about America. You may find the report here: http://pewglobal.org/reports/display.php?ReportID=252

That survey reveals that only 37% of Germans had a favorable opinion of the United States.


RE German attitude .... I'll concede that my sample was *cough* subjective. However wait a moment - read that report you just handily quoted. That exact same report has German attitude to the American people listed as 65% favourable. Furthmore, when those with a negative view of the US were asked what the problem is : 65% say Bush (ie : the regime) and only 29% say America in general. By my count thats ~10% of Germans that have a real problem with the US. So I contend my assertion is not just pure bunk and is quite adequately supported by the evidence at hand.

I'm not angry. I am alarmed that such an unworthy post is taken seriously by people with serious opinions.

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

Ah s***. Arithmetic error. Thats 29% plain anti-US of the 63% anti-US which is...... . ~20% of Germans that have a real problem ...

unaha-closp said...

For liberating 50 million from a nightmare regime, for building schools that teach female children, for pouring billions in reconstruction money that dwarfs the Marshall Plan, for believing that even a Muslim people brutalized for decades by the degradations of a totalitarian state deserve a chance to breath free.

The selfless nobility of America painted by this rose tinted post is tainted by reality. Perhaps newsisyphus is unaware that to have respect for America we must also believe the following.

America shoulders no guilt in raising an army of jihad to destroy 1980s Afghanistan. America deserves of sympathy for funneling billions to Mubarak as he tortures reformers and imprisons journalists. America is really enlightened in the way it supported the Paki's while they massacred school children in Kashmir. America deserves respect for being the great friend and ally of Saudi Arabia protecting Wahhabism and turns a blind eye to these thugs spreading hate to the four corners of the Earth.

In each of these instances America chooses to "ally" itself with Islamist scum. Some of the same Islamist scum that brought down the WTC, killed Spaniards and massacred Russian children. The world sees America declaring a global war on "terrorism", that Islam is the religion of peace and that America strongly supports the (non-existant) democratic reform taking place in Saudi and Egypt. The world sneers.

Canis Lupus said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
El Jefe Maximo said...

In answer to the last commenter, Mr. Unhna Closp, re America choosing to "ally" itself with Islamist scum, I would say "maybe." America, like all other powers, allies itself with whom or what it needs to, depending on the necessity of the case.

In the Second World War, we allied ourselves with the Soviet Union, because the Nazis were a bigger problem; in the First, with Serbian terrorists, because the Kaiser's Germany was perceived as the bigger problem, etc.

Yes, the United States supported Islamist scum in Afghanistan, to kill Soviet scum. Today we seek to make common cause with ex-Soviet scum to kill Islamist scum. War makes strange allies, no doubt about it.

Yes, the Euros, or some of them anyway...sneer at Americans, along with others, because they can. The sneer is the weapon of the weak, particularly when the strong are bound by law.

Also, the Euros are not necessarily our allies anymore, because the world has changed. I would be much more interested in getting on terms with the Russians and the Indians, than continuing our concern with anything anybody in France or Germany thinks.

The United States generally deals with the government in possession, so to speak.

Like Lilliputians with Gulliver, the "world community" doesn't give a damn about the Geneva conventions or anything else, unless they are useful in constraining our power. We are the hegemon. The Geneva Convention is their tool: a Nimitz class carrier is ours.

Finally, I applaud and to a degree share the eloquent sentiments in this post as to the treatment of our dead and prisoners by our enemies. However, remember why institutions like exchange of prisoners and the Geneva Conventions developed: because they were needed and useful to restrain mutual, purposeless barbarism. Our prisoners will be treated correctly by our enemies in direct proportion to the degree that our enemies fear similar treatment to them and to theirs in kind.

If we wish to secure proper treatment for our people in Afghanistan and Iraq who are captured, then we must give our enemies, and their supporters, reasons to fear us. This will require some barbarism from us, and we are not afraid enough for that...yet.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

The young soldiers were killed by their killers, not the Europeans. They volunteerd for a difficult and dangerous duty. The Iraqi offical had the grace to call it "barbaric." Would that I had heard that the Pope prayed for them as my browser announced that he prayed for the Palestinian family not apparently killed by Israeli ordnance.

RubenRussell said...

I come late to this exchange, but here are my thoughts, or perhaps I should say feelings.

For the Euro who spoke of ". . . our common enemy." Tell this to the thousands of street demonstrators in Europe who suck up to tyranny in every march.

For the Euro who said ". . .just as one atrocity does not justify revenge attacks in kind." What are you smoking, anyway?

For the Euro who said "But we are the people of England; and we have not yet spoken." Just what in hell are you waiting for, for pete's sake? But it doesn't really matter any more because it's already too late. "There will always be an England"--NOT. England will be under the Koran by 2040, and St. Paul's will be a mosque!

It's over , over there? You're right. I hate Old Europe, the UK included though Denmark is excluded. The hate, and I do mean hate, I have for Old Europe is exceeded only by the hate I have for the mongrels who murdered Pfc Menchaca and Pfc Tucker. And don't try to tell me that most Europeans don't relish what happened to these two soldiers. They wre only Americans, afterall!

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

@unaha-closp : Yes the US does have a track record of backing bad people for good reasons. Now we have invaded Iraq, in order to destroy a secular dictatorship (an honorable deed by an standard), are trying to establish a liberal democracy (ok but naive), but are in reality on the way to either civil war and installing an Islamic republic in 2/3 of the country.

@El Jefe Maximo : It was the USA that rewrote the Geneva Convention in 1949 to outlaw almost everything (including the valuable and time honored paractise of taking hostages). In any case the convention was never meant to be anything more than rules of play between civilized states. Consequently, the conventions have *NO* protection whatsoever to certain people (who the USA has chosen to call "unlawfull combatants" although that term does not appear in the convention) - like terrorists, marauders, and some guerillas, or anyone else who themsleves chooses not to abide by the laws and customs of war. They can be dealt with in any way the US sees fit.

By the way, unaha-closp was addressing the very problems created by short term alliances with "scum". Currently, one of which is Osama Bin Laden (CIA links in the 80's). Another are the UCK in Kosovo (considered terrorists by the state department in 1998 but were "allies" in 1999 when war started with Serbia). Another is Saudia Arabia (financing Wahabism and Islamism worldwide). Pakistan (millions in Madrassas and creators of the Taliban). The Taliban (US supported for most of the 90's!!!). Saddam Hussein (who was US backed and a regional allie until about a fortnight before the invasion of Kuwait in 1991).

@RubenRussell : You sir have a problem, seek professional help. And, I am smoking a Honduran Gran Corona of dubious marque but adequate quality.

El Jefe Maximo said...

Fellow Peacekeeper: No argument about the applicability of the various Geneva Conventions. Unlawful combattants have no rights whatever --specially since we never approved the 1977 protocols, which might make matters more dubious.

In any case, the whole business is a murky area. I always thought the 3rd and 4th Geneva conventions of 1949 were rather dubious bargains for us: almost as bad as the two protocols of 1977, in that all of these documents gave more status to bodies that were not parts of functioning governments (no doubt the memory of the WW II resistance in various countries), than was wise.

I sometimes wonder if, from our point of view, the old pre-WWI and WWI era view of German military law about the illegality at all times of all types of "francs-tireurs" because they were "irresponsible non-combattants" was not the better way to go.

RubenRussell said...

Sane or insane, I still hate Old Europe with a passion. It deserves no better.

David said...

Speaking from the European side of this question I believe that NewSysiphus is being far too hasty in writing off all of Europe, or even all of "old Europe".

Like America, Europe has a diversity of opinions. Unfortunately the America bashing option is probably the opinion of a large majority amongst the media/academic elites, but I believe that the picture is much more mixed when it comes to the "man on the street".

Interestingly a lot of the America bashing argument is made by Americans themselves, Michael Moore being a prime example of this. This shows up the fact quite a few in the US media and academic elite are also indulging in the same sort of rhetoric.

This battle is not one between between the US and Europe. The real battle is within both societies between those who stand up to evil and those who appease it. In Europe the appeasers may be winning, but this was the case before the Second World War until dramatic events (the German invasion of Poland) discredited appeasement and led to a complete about turn in policy.

There are plenty of pro-American voices in Europe, even the poll quoted above had 37% of Germans supporting America )(if true that's 37 million people).

The political culture in Europe is a lot less open than that of the US. The stifling hold of political correctness meanst that those who do support the US do not speak out very openly about it. This does not mean that the support is not there, it just means that people want someone else to lead the charge before they follow.

boinky said...

Just a note to Fellow Peacekeeper...Chirac, Germany and the elites behind the European Union are the ones Americans usually mean by European. Look at how they are trying to treat their newer pro American members from Eastern Europe.

But what the European Union type elites ignore is that many Americans are not white western Europeans. In my family, we have people from Italy,Germany, Ireland, Japan, Philippines, Colombia, and Poland.

You might want to check that the country with the highest pro American sentiment is...India, an up and coming economic powerhouse.

By the Nbrs said...

Old Europe is just a shell. The brain and the vital organs are dead. All that remains is just the appearance of a once rich culture and heritage.

It died because it refused to recognize that it was sick, and that its' illness was terminal and self inflicted.

So don't waste too much time and energy weeping for their demise. The fight with Islamic fascism goes on and other nations who still can muster the will to resist will join with the U.S. as willing allies.

true nuff said...

David said:

The real battle is within both societies between those who stand up to evil and those who appease it.

I agree - but there are precious few of the former speaking or standing up in western Europe and the UK of late.

Many Americans are quietly very very angry about the intentional demonization of us on the part of, for instance, German media. We are equally angry about the condescension displayed regularly towards us in western European countries - hint: many of us DO speak languages other than English and know what is written about us or said while we stand nearby.

And I for one am deeply, deeply furious about the quiet - and sometimes open - delight evidenced when our troops are tortured and killed.

This truly is a case where silence is complicity. The failure of Europeans to speak up clearly and to stand against the barbarism of the Islamicists is telling and disappointing - but be very clear, it is also echoing in the awareness of many Americans who typically ignore transAtlantic politics.

One day this will explode in ways that I suspect many who receive the results will regret.

David said...

We are equally angry about the condescension displayed regularly towards us in western European countries - hint: many of us DO speak languages other than English and know what is written about us or said while we stand nearby.

I can understand this. I am not an American and I find the America bashing very depressing. The bit I hate the most is when some semi-educated moron who couldn't find America on a map wants to share his wisdom and tell me that "Americans are stupid".

Unfortunately we are no longer particularly courageous here. Many people do not agree with what the media says, but the suffocating culture of political correctness means that they just shut up. My own opinion is that such people would probably speak out more if some prominent figures in public life expressed their views.

When it comes to private conversations, I find that a lot of America bashers retreat if they are challenged a bit. Usually they have no arguments to back their views up, just shrill ranting.