Anti-Americanism: Power & Security

Much of politics can be understood with general reference to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. As we satisfy basic security needs, we dismiss them and then question and resent of the structures that keep us secure. The U.S. is the defacto security provider of last resort and the only country with the capacity to project power worldwide. This inevitably colors views toward our country.

(Provider of last resort, BTW, does not mean the U.S. does everything all the time or even most of the time. It just means that since the U.S. has emergency - last resort - capacity, others don’t need to develop it.)

American power undergirds the world trading system. The world would certainly miss the routine services provided by the U.S. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps are the world's emergency service and their humanitarian role is immense. During the crisis related to an earthquake or tsunami, many countries contribute assistance, but almost all this assistance completes part of its journey from donor to recipient onboard an American ship, plane or helicopter.

Undoubtedly the U.S. derives many benefits. As the world's largest importer and second largest exporter, keeping trade lanes open is obviously in the U.S. interest. But the U.S. Navy at the same time protects the interests of Germany, China, Japan and all others who get a cheap or free ride. Powerful countries could probably take care of themselves. It is the smaller states that benefit the most from the protection of others, as the newly independent U.S. itself learned. The dollar is the world reserve currency and accounts for about 68% of the total. The U.S. benefits from this, but as any world traveler knows, being able to use one currency is a big advantage. (BTW - the Euro may someday have the depth and stability to become the world’s reserve currency, but not yet.)

I could go on, but you get the idea. There are lots of areas of potential friction. Benefits are taken as normal; costs are resented.

Let’s take a case study of European security and how that allowed other good things. Without the U.S., there would be no effective NATO. Without the security umbrella or NATO, the EU could never have come into existence. For two generations, NATO kept the Americans in Europe, the Soviets out and the Germans down. Without the overarching security guarantees, particular counties would have built independent forces, much like in the 1930s. Had they not been members of NATO, Greece and Turkey certainly would have fought one or more little wars and the French and the Germans never would have developed the level or trust necessary to cooperate.

The generation that remembered the Europe of 1919-1939 (w/o significant U.S. presence) and remembered the Marshall Plan. was generally pro-American. They knew how bad things could get. They put security first. The generations that grew up in the shadow of the Berlin Wall saw the U.S. as necessary, but they felt more secure and felt the downside of U.S. power. Our very worst time in Europe was in the early 1980s when many Europeans actually thought Ronald Reagan was about to start a nuclear war. Millions marched against him. The peacemovement (some Moscow inspired) was strong, but given the alternatives the national leadership reigned the whole thing in. The Berlin Wall came down in 1989 and now a whole new generation has no strong memories of the danger. As far as they are concerned, the world is a benign place and the biggest threat is the U.S. Or at least few forces are needed on the international level to maintain the peace. They live in the Kantian rational peace blithely unaware of why they can concern themselves so little with defense.

(It should come as no surprise that opinions about the U.S. are significantly more favorable in Eastern Europe than in Western Europe. The Eastern Europeans more recently experienced the leadership of a less benign superpower.)

They think that the old power relationships are obsolete. Maybe they are, but it is useful to recall that we have outlawed war before and in February, 1933 the Oxford Union a resolution saying that under no circumstances would they “fight for King and country. We may recall other things that happened in 1933.

The U.S. is the defacto hegemon worldwide. That will inevitably affect opinions about us. What can we do about it? Probably nothing. The period from the fall of the Berlin Wall until now has been unique. Never before in history has one power been so dominant worldwide (remember, the Romans were a mere regional power). People worldwide get to blame the U.S. for whatever problems they are having. At least until 1989, the Soviets shared some of the burden. This situation cannot last. As others grow more powerful, the U.S. will lose some of its position, at least relatively. As others have to step in to handle more of their own security, their animosity toward the U.S. will decrease as they view the local dominance of China or Iran with less enthusiasm than they now claim and see that a superpowerful America a half a world away is better than a powerful next door neighbor.

Posted by Jack at June 5, 2006 3:53 PM
Comments
Comment #154565
It should come as no surprise that opinions about the U.S. are significantly more favorable in Eastern Europe than in Western Europe. The Eastern Europeans more recently experienced the leadership of a less benign superpower.

Eastern Europeans have also not yet experienced much the leadership of US superpower, while Western Europe does since decades.

The U.S. is the defacto security provider of last resort and the only country with the capacity to project power worldwide.


[…]

As others have to step in to handle more of their own security, their animosity toward the U.S. will decrease as they view the local dominance of China or Iran with less enthusiasm than they now claim and see that a superpowerful America a half a world away is better than a powerful next door neighbor.

While I agree on the decreasing animosity toward US in the next years, I fail to see how being half a world away could matter when the superpower has the unique capabilities to project its power worldwide.
Hit ranges certainly matters in geostrategy, but only when they’re limited, no?

Back to your topic, I must confess that there is a ambiguous feeling about the security dependency many nations had contracted with the US. This security come often with strings attached. Nobody like that situation for a long time.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 5, 2006 6:00 PM
Comment #154568

Phillipe

You are right re security. Nobody likes the protector. It creates an unequal relationship that is hard for all involved. But I don’t believe Europeans in general spend enough to defend themselves. The years of NATO have created a kind of dependency. Many Europeans have convinced themselves that there is no real risk. I think that is a mistake. In the short term, I cannot think of a real risk either, but weakness draws in strength from somewhere. History has not ended. Europe has a lot to defend, whether they know it or not.

When I talk about the near and far superpower, what I mean is that the U.S. is likely to be less of a burden on (e.g.) Malaysia than a strong and assertive China. In the geopolitcal world, little powers always prefer to balance the local big guy with a far away bigger guy.

Re E. Europe, I agree in part. But more important is that E. European still remember the Soviet Union more acutely. They know how bad it can be.

The U.S. is not particularly oppressive. I think we can be annoying, but then so can Europeans. The EU interferes with mergers, makes extraterritorial rules etc, just like the U.S. And I don’t think many Europeans actually fear the U.S. like people of the Warsaw Pact feared the Soviet Union.

Posted by: Jack at June 5, 2006 6:13 PM
Comment #154573

Rememberance of history and healthy pragmatism are invaluable to understanding the world and our place in it.

Posted by: b0mbay at June 5, 2006 6:18 PM
Comment #154581

Who, as an individual wants to admit weakness? What country, large or small would want to do the same? Regardless of who or what, the protectorate always seems to “feel” as if they linger in the shadow of the protector. It’s only a security blanket when a threat looms on the horizon, until that time it’s a wet blanket, smoothering to those not capable of their own security. We all loved our big brothers or sisters - and we all hated them when they were much bigger than we and could do things we as smaller children couldn’t do. Such is life.

Posted by: JR at June 5, 2006 6:39 PM
Comment #154582

I also think that the Eastern Europeans think back to the 1980s and remember who stood up to the soviet union.also they had a pope that came from that area, and went through the 2nd world war and the after effects of the soviet union.Jack or Philippe why is this new pope Ratzinger, so dead set against Turkey entering the EU.or do you agree with him?

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 5, 2006 6:43 PM
Comment #154592

Selective Memory seems to be a symptom unique to Conservatives.

Posted by: Aldous at June 5, 2006 8:28 PM
Comment #154597

Well, Facts *do* have a certain Liberal Bias to them…

Posted by: BBurke at June 5, 2006 9:01 PM
Comment #154604

Jack, the general thrust of your article is right on the money. I was 16 when the Germans invaded my home country and 21 when the war ended. Anyone who has seen the ugly face of a fanatical political war machine is appalled at the casual attitudes of many of our own citizens leave alone most Europeans. Life is too comfortable there now so they don’t want to disturb their long vacations nor worry about nasty regimes in the Middle East. The big ugly USA will protect them, as far as they are concerned. One reason they dislike us today is because they could have been where we are today geo-politically if they hadn’t decided to fight 2 big wars and wasted their own positions in the process. They resent us for having bailed them out. As you said, they bite the hand that protects them. It’s human, unfortunately. The big question for people like you and me is to find ways to make more people aware that we really need to get in shape to deal with the Middle Eastern fanatics and the best way to do that is for Democrats and Republicans to come together on this and show some mature responsibility. If you are interested you can read my blog.
Schaesberg

Posted by: Fred at June 5, 2006 9:31 PM
Comment #154608

Aldous and Betty

What are you talking about? Don’t you ever actually think about anything?

Aldous - what is selective?

Betty - which fact don’t you understand?

Posted by: Jack at June 5, 2006 9:32 PM
Comment #154623

Let’s play Jeopardy…

Who was Mohammed Mosaddeq?

Who was Abdul Karim Qassim?

What was SAVAK?

A small portion of the world.

Posted by: Aldous at June 5, 2006 10:17 PM
Comment #154627

Aldous

Maybe if I was writing something really detailed or had actually mentioned Iran, I would have felt it appropriate to include these references. As it is, there no logical place to put these things. It is not something I know a whole lot about. Maybe you are an expert.

Tell you what, why don’t you write up a good article about these things. Maybe actually do a little analysis instead of the hate and name dropping. I would welcome something like that.

Posted by: Jack at June 5, 2006 10:26 PM
Comment #154629

I AM writing an article about it. The damned thing is so complex that I had to drop regional breakdowns and just focus on each COUNTRY.

American Foriegn Policy at its best.

Posted by: Aldous at June 5, 2006 10:37 PM
Comment #154636

We wait breathlessly.

Don’t do too much research or you may have to change your opinions.

Posted by: Jack at June 5, 2006 11:09 PM
Comment #154644

Jack,

By now you should see people like Aldous and BBurke for what they are: unhappy, unhinged, unloved.

The other anti-matter proponents (that seems like some sort of an oxymoron) (David Remer and usually Stephen Daugherty) are reasonable, thoughtful, and though-provoking. They add to our experience. But Aldous and BBurke are haters.

Anyway… I’d like Aldous to find a better system of government or a better economic system then he/she has at home. Name it, describe it, define it, label it. Be creative.

Posted by: Bruce at June 5, 2006 11:52 PM
Comment #154649

Jack,
I would agree with much of what you say. I just cannot reconcile it with the foreign policy of the Bush administration. It is a severe disconnect.

The eastern Europeans have been good friends & great allies. The Bush administration abused that friendship in the worst possible way by establishing secret prisons in eastern Europe for rendition and torture.

Poland, Romania: Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

When we compromise ourselves to such a degree, we are no better than the USSR; just more powerful, with more money, nothing more.

Posted by: phx8 at June 6, 2006 12:29 AM
Comment #154650

Aldous and betty are hated buy those on the right because they hard hitters! suck it in an be brave, they have.

Posted by: Tom at June 6, 2006 12:32 AM
Comment #154652

I don’t hate them at all. Nor do think my “struggles” with them are because they are “hard hitters”. They are partisan haters, not hard hitters. Blinded by their hatred for a man with a plan.

Posted by: Bruce at June 6, 2006 12:43 AM
Comment #154658

A man with a plan? I hope someone takes away the Bush administration license to practice foreign policy. I am sick and tired of watching Condi Rice getting worked by the Iranians. She is in waaaay over her head. Ahmedinejad & Khamenei will play “good country/bad country” til the cows come home. They will ratchet up tensions higher and higher and benefit from the increase, because it drives up the price of oil. They are more than capable of playing this game for years. Heightened tensions benefit the Iranians, and harm the US. Ahmedinejad & Khamenei may successfully jawbone oil prices right up to $77.

I am sick and tired of watching US foreign policy conducted to benefit Iran. What is wrong with Rice & Bolton? Can someone please, please fire these incompetents? Is Bush a freaking Iranian spy, or is it Cheney? Good Lord, what ineptitude!

Posted by: phx8 at June 6, 2006 1:23 AM
Comment #154660

Bruce,

“Blinded by their hatred for a man with a plan.”

Can we all assume he will share his plan with us sometime soon?

Posted by: Rocky at June 6, 2006 1:25 AM
Comment #154663

Plan??? catch and kill the peolpe who flew jets into the world trade centre? or invade a country with no ties to the bad guys an create a civil war?

Posted by: Tom at June 6, 2006 1:43 AM
Comment #154667

I think the general observations about American power are on the money. The situation Fred described in Europe is similar to the one I encountered when I served in Korea. The older generation that remembered the Korean War and the misery it caused remembered how American soldiers helped to drive out the North Koreans. Those of the middle age remember how life was before the Korean economy exploded. The current younger generation largely regards us as an aggressor power that causes problems with the North. What amazed me when I was there is that even though all males must serve in the military, so many don’t regard the North as a threat.

Meanwhile, America does provide a huge amount of stability, even in a time like this. Even as extended as we are, no nation would dare try and attack us or our allies as they know that we could bomb them out of existence. Our Navy provides freedom of the seas to all nations, our currency is a universal one. As for us being heavy handed, I’d like to remind everyone that in the lead up to Iraq, we had more combat power in Germany than the German government, but they felt no fear of disagreeing with us.

In the end, America is definitely a force on the world stage that affects every nation in the world in ways no other nation can hope to. As other powers, such as China and India rise, I agree that Anti-Americanism will go down as other nations begin to see the value of our stabilizing influence.

phx8, I’m curious about something. I agree with the general idea of your argument about Iran, but what would you have Bush do, aside from not having invaded Iraq? Just curious.

Posted by: 1LT B at June 6, 2006 1:50 AM
Comment #154672

1LT,
Co-opt them. Spread around large amounts of money to the young, to those likely to support a secular democracy. Promote secular democracy. The rudiments already exist. In 2003, Iranian politicians actually offered the Bush administration everything it asked for, but the Bush administration rejected the Iranian offer. Gross ineptitude on our part. The issue of Iranian nuclear power is somewhat of a red herring, since the Iranians are so far away from developing a bomb. Administrations will come and go for them and for us before Iran obtains a nuke.

Co-opt them. Respect them. They are hellaciously good negotiators. Embrace them. Bring them into a joint effort to administer Iraq. Establish close relations. Proximity to us will destroy the Mullahs more certainly than any military force. We just have to believe in ourselves.

Posted by: phx8 at June 6, 2006 2:23 AM
Comment #154678

phx8,
I like your plan. Its actually similar to the one that GEN Schoomaker, current Chief of Staff of the Army, had in mind for Iraq, only he also envisioned SF teams using highly target strikes (read assassinations) against key Ba’ath party targets to encourage a coup by the Iraqi military. My main concern would be that even a secular Iran would probably pursue the bomb as a point of national pride. I generally don’t worry as much about Iran having a nuke as some simply because nation states tend to keep a very tight grip on WMDs. Iran already has chemical weapons, which would probably be preferable to groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah against Isreal as they woould kill the inhabitants while leaving the historical sites intact, but hasn’t given any to these groups. Its my feeling that the only way Iran would give these weapons to anybody would be if we struck them. They would have to be aware of our policy, however. Iran might be able to sneak a nuke into America, but any such action would probably result in America launching a massive retaliatory strike against Iran that would, quite literally, reduce every city to a glass-floored self-lit parking lot. Its my belief that Iran is using its nuclear program as a lever to try and get recognition from the United States.

I read an interesting article in Foreign Affairs that stated that we should offer Iran full diplomatic recognition and removal of sanctions in return for full compliance with the IAEA inspection and transparency programs. This would have the effect of putting the ball in Iran’s court and show that either: a they’re serious about not wanting this program for weapons, or b, they do want it for weapons. An offer like this would also essentially force everyone else to back us as we would be making a huge concession.

Such a concession could lead to the very co-opting you propose. I imagine such an approach could work with North Korea as well. In any case, I think your plan is solid at least to take the Mullahs from power, if not to prevent an Iranian atomic weapon. Thanks for the reply.

Posted by: 1LT B at June 6, 2006 3:18 AM
Comment #154681

1 LT B:

Your approval for assasinations illustrates perfectly my Selective Memory post earlier.

Kindly google the names I posted. A little history (the unabridged version) never hurts.

Posted by: Aldous at June 6, 2006 4:36 AM
Comment #154682

Rodney Brown,

Jack or Philippe why is this new pope Ratzinger, so dead set against Turkey entering the EU.or do you agree with him?

Popes usually are catholic, while 99% of turkishs are muslims? ;-)
I didn’t even know he’s against Turkey enter EU. And I’m not (anymore) against myself.
But we really need to update EU skeleton (institutions & infrastructures) to really support the recent new members entries. The french “No” to the EU Constitution have press the pause button on this topic so far…


Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 6, 2006 4:43 AM
Comment #154687

Aldous,

Pull your head out of the clouds of bong smoke for a minute or two and realize we live in a real world, not this happy little land you dream of where everybody gets along. Are we always the good guys? No. Does our government sometimes actually put the welfare of, God Forbid, Americans over the problems of other citizens of our little world community? Yes. Do most Americans have a problem with this? No. Even in Iraq, most of the concern is not about the Iraqis but about how this war hurts America. If we could have assassinated Saddam and not have had to come here, we should have. Guess what, some people can best serve this world by leaving it. I’ll shed no tears if a butcherer like Saddam dies at the hands of an American sniper, and I doubt the rest of the world really would either.

Phillippe Houdoin,

Ratzinger is against Turkey being in the EU for the same reason that John Paul II was against it. Turkey is a Muslim nation and Muslim culture is not part of the European cultural tradition. Muslim culture did reintroduce Europe to the great works of the Greeks and Romans that had been lost following the collapse of the Roman Empire, but the entire history of Christian/Muslim interaction has been of constant violence, particuarly between Islam and Western Europe.

On a more practical level, Turkey getting into the EU poses massive problems. First, Greece will never vote to allow Turkey entrance, their history won’t allow the Greeks to do so. Beyond this, as I mentioned in another blog, Europeans are committing mass cultural and racial suicide. Thier economies are socialist but they don’t have enough children to maintain their current populations. Then they bring in large numbers of Muslims, don’t integrate them, and wonder why they burn cars in Paris. In the very near future, our problems with social security are going to look like a Boy Scout picnic when Europe’s problems come home to roost, and at the same time as huge numbers of Europeans are getting to old to fight, huge numbers of Muslim youths are coming into military age. It was a mistake of Europe to allow this to happen. Allowing Turkey into the EU will just send hordes of Muslims, any of whom could be terrorists, free into Western Europe.
If Europeans had any sense, they would ban abortion, retool their economies on the American model, and expel thier Muslims from thier countries. Europe has proven singuarly unable to integrate its Muslims where America has succeeded. I can only hope Europe wakes up to the danger they’re placing themselves in. I have no desire to see the land of my ancestors conquered by their own laziness and self-indulgence.

Posted by: 1LT B at June 6, 2006 6:35 AM
Comment #154695

1 LT B
I think your analysis of the European dilemma is correct. Nineteen’s century overconfidence in their own status as the leading colonial powers of the day coupled with the arrogance of the German Kaiser’s insistence to show his British cousins he could be just as powerful led to their disastrous wars in the 20th century. While we bailed them out they have pretty well run out of steam in terms of global ambition. But unfortunately, they do very much resent their international status as “has been” political powers and they cannot stand being beholden to the USA, hence their constant biting the hand that protects them. Their post-war efforts have led to a very comfortable, but socialistic, life style which, as you correctly pointed out, has done a number on their own demographics which coupled with their unwillingness to do a lot of low-level jobs themselves, led to the importation of Turks, Moroccans and other south Europeans in the late sixties and afterwards. The consequences of that process today are probably irreversable. They have lost their guts to deal with this openly and effectively of which the recent expulsion from the Netherlands of Mrs. Hirsi Ali is a prime example. A Somali-born Dutch immigrant and a forceful crtic of Islam, became a member of Parlement in Holland. When the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was stabbed to death on the sidewalk a couple of years ago, the killer left a note identifying Mrs. Ali as another target for extinction. This led to further political and public acrimony resulting in Mrs. Ali’s expulsion from the Parlement and the country. She had become too much of a troublemaker and was offending the local Muslims, so she had to go rather than the country taking notice that they were signing their own sorry deathwarrant probably.
To me this is a typical example of the unwillingness of today’s Europeans to realize their predicament and do something about it.
So I agree with you 1 LT B that we are looking at a very touchy and for the USA dangerous situation developing because, geo-strategically we need Turkey on our side, but with Europe, may be, coming to its senses, albeit too late possibly, the Turks may yet decide to stick to their own kind in which case the whole power scenario in the Middle East will become much more hazardous for us. It could potentially lead to our forced withdrawal from Iraq and put Iran in the driver’s seat in that part of the world. Russia and India and China would have to reposition themselves and not necessarily in our favor.
So are we saying that the European dilemma is the key to our own future? If so, we better start shaking their tree pretty hard, which I have personally been doing for years already because, like you,I do not want to see the old country throw itself away in a paroxism of misplaced righteousness.

Posted by: fred at June 6, 2006 8:38 AM
Comment #154706

1LT B,

If Europeans had any sense, they would ban abortion, retool their economies on the American model, and expel thier Muslims from thier countries. Europe has proven singuarly unable to integrate its Muslims where America has succeeded

So your solution for Europe is to become a small America!?

Besides, due to geograpic, Europe face since decades way more immigration from muslims nations than USA ever have. But, lesser from south american nations than USA.
Anyway, indeed we’re very bad at integration when the USA, being a nation of immigrants from start, are the best here. I hope Europe will soon changing to fix this, it’s a very important social issue here.

But it doesn’t explain why you show so much fear about muslims supposedly rushing in Europe?
They’re a minority among overall EU population and will be for decades and most probably the whole century, even with current low EU birth rate.

Oh, and by the way, expelling our muslims, is this the new US model we should follow on how to better “integrate” immigrants???

Fred,

This led to further political and public acrimony resulting in Mrs. Ali’s expulsion from the Parlement and the country

AFAIK, she was not expulse from netherlands, as its citizenship cancelation request was rejected by the parlement.
She’ve decided to move to USA, though.

… we need Turkey on our side, but with Europe, may be, coming to its senses, albeit too late possibly, the Turks may yet decide to stick to their own kind in which case the whole power scenario in the Middle East will become much more hazardous for us.

IIRC, Turkey is impatient to enter EU for years. Since 1987, to be exact.
So I’m not sure I understand your fear here: do you fear Turkey will join EU because then Turkey will not be an allied of US (why?) or do you fear Turkey will NOT join EU because then it will reinforce Middle East?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 6, 2006 10:05 AM
Comment #154732

Philippe,
My information re Mrs. Hirsi Ali tells me that on May 15 last, the Dutch Immigration Minister, Mrs. Verdonk invalidated Mrs. Ali’s citenship status because it was, supposedly, based on the fact that she gave an incorrect name and date of birth.
You may well be right that since that day her citizenship was restored by the Parlement. I had not heard or read about that. However, my point was that the incident says a lot about the extent to which Europeans will go today to compromise their Christian and traditional western cultural principles just to make an unpleasant, if not disturbing situation, go away. Anything for not having to face reality, because it might be really painful.

I am not sure what you mean with your remark about Turkey. There is no question that Turkey has been wanting to join the EU for decades and just as long the EU countries have been stalling the idea for a variety of reasons. But as the years have gone by and the European borders have opened to free movement of anyone inside them, there is real concern that half the Turks might invade Europe. Even that wouldn’t concern me very much PROVIDED the Europeans had done a first class job of assimilating those that came before. They haven’t and either don’t know how or more likely do not want to. The latter attitude has caused the isolation of Turks, Moroccans, Africans and others and created enclaves, mostly in the western part of the country, of these basically undesirable immigrants.
Under the present broader geo-political circumstances together with the fact that the current Turkish government leans more to the Islamic than the secular side of things, I do not see it as impossible for Turkey to throw in the towel on the whole idea of joining Europe. They know they are not really wanted. Would you continue to try to get in at any cost to your own self-esteem or would you say I’ll pick my own friends, thank you very much.
In that case, my question was what would that mean to the USA etc.
I hope I cleared up my thinking for you.
Fred

Posted by: fred at June 6, 2006 11:23 AM
Comment #154734

Philippe,
My information re Mrs. Hirsi Ali tells me that on May 15 last, the Dutch Immigration Minister, Mrs. Verdonk invalidated Mrs. Ali’s citenship status because it was, supposedly, based on the fact that she gave an incorrect name and date of birth.
You may well be right that since that day her citizenship was restored by the Parlement. I had not heard or read about that. However, my point was that the incident says a lot about the extent to which Europeans will go today to compromise their Christian and traditional western cultural principles just to make an unpleasant, if not disturbing situation, go away. Anything for not having to face reality, because it might be really painful.

I am not sure what you mean with your remark about Turkey. There is no question that Turkey has been wanting to join the EU for decades and just as long the EU countries have been stalling the idea for a variety of reasons. But as the years have gone by and the European borders have opened to free movement of anyone inside them, there is real concern that half the Turks might invade Europe. Even that wouldn’t concern me very much PROVIDED the Europeans had done a first class job of assimilating those that came before. They haven’t and either don’t know how or more likely do not want to. The latter attitude has caused the isolation of Turks, Moroccans, Africans and others and created enclaves, mostly in the western part of the country, of these basically “undesirable” immigrants.
Under the present broader geo-political circumstances together with the fact that the current Turkish government leans more to the Islamic than the secular side of things, I do not see it as impossible for Turkey to throw in the towel on the whole idea of joining Europe. They know they are not really wanted. Would you continue to try to get in at any cost to your own self-esteem or would you say I’ll pick my own friends, thank you very much.
In that case, my question was what would that mean to the USA etc.
I hope I cleared up my thinking for you.
Fred

Posted by: fred at June 6, 2006 11:26 AM
Comment #154738

Phx8

You have to keep some people in secret, nasty as that sounds. From news accounts, we are not actually talking about prisons, but about a dozen prisoners who may have knowledge to stop future terrorist attacks. If you catch Mr. X who has is plotting a terror strike, do you really want to tell everyone in the world so that his fellow terrorists can change their plans ccordingly?

And the reason people in E. Europe are still more pro-American is that they remember the USSR and their real as opposed to hypothetical experience tell them that the U.S. is indeed not the same.

I also agree that we have trouble dealing with the Iranians, but the reason is not that they are so smart. The reason is that Rice is undercut at home and abroad. The Iranians know that they can play some Americans and Europeans, as you demonstrate.

It is easy to be a tough negotiator when all you need to say is no and you know your adversaries won’t really do anything about it.

Tom

Hard hitters, but rarely on target. I recently came back from working in the woods with a couple of ticks. These ticks are very persistent and annoying, but I don’t think there is much of a positive “tick strategy” beyond falling out of the bushes onto whoever or whatever walks by and employing the same method no matter what.

Posted by: Jack at June 6, 2006 11:31 AM
Comment #154748

Phillipe,

Despite enduring the worst terrorist attacks and the most expensive natural disaster in American history in the space of a few years, the American economy is still the fastest growing in the developed world. We have far lower unemployment and create more jobs than our European competitors. Beyond this, we’re far more productive. If Europe wants to fix its economic house, they’ll dump the socialistic programs that reward laziness and mediocrity and embrace free market capitalism.

I think you’re off about the numbers and timeline for Europe as well. While Europeans may very well lead the world in having sex, they aren’t having kids. Several European countries have negative population growth. So while the number of Europeans dwindles, the proportion of Muslims grows rapidly, especially as they are having huge numbers of children. Europeans will soon be outnumbered by Muslims in their own countries. It amazes me that nations that were once able to conquer the entire world are now content to sit back and be conquered not by force, but by their own indigence.
As for allowing huge numbers of Muslims into Western Europe, how do you propose to screen for terrorists? Once inside the EU, there aren’t any borders anymore. And we can bury our heads in the sand all we want, but its not currently Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Shintoists, etc that are engaged in this radical terrorism, its Muslim fundamentalists. If moderate Muslims really want to visit/live in Europe, being banned until the radicals are run out may just give them some motivation to do something. And America has no need to expel its Muslims, I was contrasting America to Europe. We do a pretty good job of bringing everyone, to include Muslims, into our country.

Posted by: 1LT B at June 6, 2006 11:55 AM
Comment #154775

Fred,

my point was that the incident says a lot about the extent to which Europeans will go today to compromise their Christian and traditional western cultural principles just to make an unpleasant, if not disturbing situation, go away. Anything for not having to face reality, because it might be really painful.

That’s your interpretation of this event, not mine. I dunno if she deserve that, but apparently she lied to get Netherland citizenship, which is against their laws. Does everybody under laws or some people should be place above them for political gain?

Thanks for clearing your position about Turkey re EU. I basicly agree that we, the EU, by postponing their membership for so long, are doing a bad move. I’m for Turkey membership, but I’m not the single one to decide here.
Anyway, I fail to see why we should fear Turks “invasion” if Turkey one day join EU because a) it could not be called an invasion anymore, as EU people have move freedom and b) we didn’t see such kind of massive people moves for previous members, even the East Europeans - which are the poorest of all recent EU nations.

1LT B,

If Europe wants to fix its economic house, they’ll dump the socialistic programs that reward laziness and mediocrity and embrace free market capitalism.

Will see. Some have already start to. Some are searching for a third way. Are you arguing that capitalism is the ultimate and forever model for nations and is perfectly flaw-less, so this search is foolish?

Europeans will soon be outnumbered by Muslims in their own countries.

Every legal (Muslims or not) immigrant children are europeans too. What the point? That these children will become muslims like their parents? Most probably. And what? Does muslim = terrorists or what?

It amazes me that nations that were once able to conquer the entire world are now content to sit back and be conquered not by force, but by their own indigence.

That’s true our past conquest were tiring. Plus there is no more wild area to conquer on Earth without having to kill the people living there…

As for allowing huge numbers of Muslims into Western Europe, how do you propose to screen for terrorists?

We scan them every year during a mandatory medical scrutiny. Not.
We do have anti-terrorists cells in Europe, as US have. I know that they even cooperate quite well, in fact.

And, AFAIK, not having huge numbers of muslims entered into US doesn’t protect your country from 9/11… Borders are not more effective against hate (and fear of haters) than against any other human feelings.

If moderate Muslims really want to visit/live in Europe, being banned until the radicals are run out may just give them some motivation to do something.

Yeah, like joining radicals after being expelled from EU?
I really fail to see how expelling the muslims currently living in EU would not add fuel to the fire!?!

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 6, 2006 12:52 PM
Comment #154777

Jack,
On one hand, delaying the announcement of an arrest makes sense. On the other hand, is it really necessary to torture everybody, so that we can never publicly administer justice?

This administration undercut itself with its foreign policy. As you note in your article, the US has dealt itself a powerful hand, with advantages in military & economic & diplomatic/legal/moral power. Unfortunately, the debacle in Iraq tied down the military and revealed its limitations; the expense is devastating (DJIA down another 100 this morning as we look down both barrels of an impending recession); and perhaps most incredible of all, we find ourselves relatively isolated from the international community, at least in comparison with the recent past.

Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, has been unified under the Islamic fundamentalist faction. We can do precisely nothing about it.

I will never understand the Bush administration. There was a time, not so long ago, when we could reframe our perspective on Iraq, and find a way to view the situation in Iraq as a victory, simply because the objectives were accomlished; Saddam Hussein is gone, and the Iraqis have been given an opportunity to form a democracy. But we keep “staying the course.”

Posted by: phx8 at June 6, 2006 12:57 PM
Comment #154797

You know, Jack, Of all the gin joints, you come in to Watchblog and I tell you this won’t amount to a hill of beans. So get on that plane and fly to Paris. Here’s looking at ya.

You said the US is the only country that can project power. China can project power into Indonesia and even the middle east without having to leap oceans as we do. Granted they don’t yet have the sattelite and stealth technologies we do, but they are working on it. Europe is so…40’s. South America is a place where we have solid advantage over China. I think China has the advantage or soon will, in both the middle east and SE Asia.

Posted by: gergle at June 6, 2006 1:46 PM
Comment #154799

the Thread was slow, so, he he I threw the Pope thing in. thank you, 1 LT B. and my French Friend ,Philippe. And all. As my 100% French Wife, calls It Very Dry humor.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 6, 2006 1:47 PM
Comment #154817

Phx8

We didn’t say anything about torturing anybody.

Gergle

The Chinese cannot yet project the type of hard power I am talking about. They have INFLUENCE, not power. And you are speaking of economics. It just is not the same. Let me put it this way, if there was another Tsumani and the victims needed to depend on Chinese ships, planes etc to get them supplies and save them, almost everybody would die.

The Chinese still rely on the U.S. to make the sea lanes safe for their commerce, even close to home. At best, they are in a situation analogous to the U.S. in 1860. At that time, we depended on the Royal Navy to protect our commerce. We could project limited power and we were very dangerous anyplace we could reasonably walk.

The Chinese lack lift capacity, air support etc. In fact, they lack everything they need to move.

Posted by: Jack at June 6, 2006 2:54 PM
Comment #155034

Phillipe

Touche’ (I know it isn’t exactly right, but I tried) You make some excellent points. In defense of capitalism, I would say this. Simple survival instinct says you look out for yourself above others. The very reason that people like Mother Teresa are so revered is the fact that they were selfless. They are also very rare. Capitalism with a minimal amount of regulation to protect against abuse is far superior to any other system yet invented in creating jobs, innovation, and economic growth. Counting on everybody to “do thier Part for the Greater Good” is unrealistic, and 100 years of socialist experimentation proves it.

I have to disagree with your argument about Muslims in Europe being European in anything but name. They are not being integrated into European society the way that immigrants are assimilated in America. Hell, I’ve read that theres a serious debate in England about allowing Sharia law to be locally enforced in Muslim neighborhoods. Perhaps I’ve been misinformed, but the fact that even this rumor exists shows how failed the European experiment is when it comes to integration of immigrants. Beyond this, Islam is a seperate civilization that views the world from a different perspective than the West. Europe has brought a wolfpack into its house, and as the pack grows, so does the threat. You’re probably right about the backlash against Europe if it expelled Muslims, but I don’t see many other pragmatic alternatives to secure the continent. Thanks for giving me something to think about, though.

Gergle,
Jack is right on in his assesment of Chinese power. You make a point about China having influence in the Muslim world, but this is primarily for two points. First, China has something no Muslim country has, veto power in the UN. Plus, they have a growing thirst for oil as thier economy develops. China has consistently backed Muslim nations threatened by Western sanctions in the UN as a quid pro quo for oil access. The fact that their rights record is spotty helps as well. For instance, China convinced Pakistan not to pursue a UN resolution aimed at sanctioning India for alleged abuses of Muslims in the Indian controlled portion of Kashmir and negotiated a settlement. We should be keeping an eye on this.

Rodney Brown, Anytime, glad you found the post useful.

Posted by: 1LT B at June 7, 2006 3:54 AM
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