291

An interesting opinion piece came across my desk recently, thanks to
Mike (no LJ account to cite), who came across it apparently making the
rounds among military men. I found it thought-provoking. Now, I don’t
care for Bush, but this writer points out some policies and cultural
practices that are also very much worthy of criticism, and which have
annoyed me for a long time.

It’s apparently from Die Welt, and the writer is Matthias Dapfner, the CEO of Axel Springer AG.

EUROPE - THY NAME IS COWARDICE
(Commentary by Mathias Dapfner CEO, Axel Springer, AG)

A few days ago Henry Broder wrote in Welt am Sonntag, "Europe - your family name is appeasement." It's a phrase you can't get out of your head because it's so terribly true.

Appeasement cost millions of Jews and non-Jews their lives as England and France, allies at the time, negotiated and hesitated too long before they noticed that Hitler had to be fought, not bound to toothless agreements.

Appeasement legitimized and stabilized Communism in the Soviet Union, then East Germany, then all the rest of Eastern Europe where for decades, inhuman suppressive, murderous governments were glorified as the ideologically correct alternative to all other possibilities.

Appeasement crippled Europe when genocide ran rampant in Kosovo, and even though we had absolute proof of ongoing mass-murder, we Europeans debated and debated and debated, and were still debating when finally the Americans had to come from halfway around the world, into Europe yet again, and do our work for us.

Rather than protecting democracy in the Middle East, European appeasement, camouflaged behind the fuzzy word "equidistance,"now countenances suicide bombings in Israel by fundamentalist Palestinians.

Appeasement generates a mentality that allows Europe to ignore nearly
300,000 victims of Saddam's torture and murder machinery and, motivated by the self-righteousness of the peace-movement, has the gall to issue bad grades to George Bush...

And now we are faced with a particularly grotesque form of appeasement. How is Germany reacting to the escalating violence by Islamic fundamentalists in Holland and elsewhere? By suggesting that we really should have a "Muslim Holiday" in Germany? I wish I were joking, but I am not. A substantial fraction of our
Government, and if the polls are to be believed, the German people, actually believe that creating an Official State "Muslim Holiday" will somehow spare
us from the wrath of the fanatical Islamists.

One cannot help but recall Britain's Neville Chamberlain waving the laughable treaty signed by Adolph Hitler, and declaring European "Peace in our time".

What else has to happen before the European public and its political leadership get it? There is a sort of crusade underway, an especially perfidious crusade consisting of systematic attacks by fanatic Muslims, focused on civilians, directed against our free, open Western societies, and intent upon Western Civilization's utter destruction.

It is a conflict that will most likely last longer than any of the great military conflicts of the last century - a conflict conducted by an enemy that cannot be tamed by "tolerance" and "accommodation" but is actually spurred on by such gestures, which have proven to be, and will always be taken by the Islamists for signs of weakness.

Only two recent American Presidents had the courage needed for anti-appeasement: Reagan and Bush.

His American critics may quibble over the details, but we Europeans know
the truth. We saw it first hand: Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War, freeing
half of the German people from nearly 50 years of terror. And Bush, supported only by the Social Democrat Blair, acting on moral conviction, recognized the danger in the Islamic War against democracy. His place in history will have to be evaluated after a number of years have passed.

In the meantime, Europe sits back with charismatic self-confidence in the multicultural corner, instead of defending liberal society's values and being an attractive center of power on the same playing field as the true great powers, America and China.

On the contrary - we Europeans present ourselves, in contrast to those "arrogant Americans", as the World Champions of "tolerance", which even (Germany's Interior Minister) Otto Schily justifiably criticizes.

Why? Because we're so moral? I fear it's more because we're so materialistic, so devoid of a moral compass.

For his policies, Bush risks the fall of the dollar, huge amounts of additional national debt, and a massive and persistent burden on the American economy - because unlike almost all of Europe, Bush realizes what is at stake - literally everything.

While we criticize the "capitalistic robber barons" of America because they seem too sure of their priorities, we timidly defend our Social Welfare systems. Stay out of it! It could get expensive! We'd rather discuss reducing our 35-hour workweek or our dental coverage, or our 4 weeks of paid vacation... Or listen to TV pastors preach about the need to "reach out to terrorists. To understand and
forgive".

These days, Europe reminds me of an old woman who, with shaking hands, frantically hides her last pieces of jewelry when she notices a robber breaking into a neighbor's house.
Appeasement?
Europe, thy name is Cowardice!

Matthias Dapfner,Chief Executive of Axel Springer AG,
DIE WELT

Now, I've got a few comments about the above. Reagan did, once, go for
(under-the-table) appeasement, and it bit him big-time: The Iran-Contra
Scandal was the result. Overall though, he did stand firm on his policy
of not giving ground.

I do believe that doing the right thing is worth risking your economic
and physical well-being. Right seldom cares about being convenient,
profitable or easy. I applaud the essay's writer for pointing this out.

I do believe that these militant Islamists must be utterly eradicated,
because they are reprehensible murderers and a threat to justice,
freedom of conscience and so much more. Destroying them is a moral
imperative. Yet, while destroying them, we must also refuse to
compromise our principles. There is one of my chief criticisms of how
the Bush administration has handled this war. While criticising them, I
do recognize that it is a very complex task and requires a lot of hard
choices. The war they are fighting against militant ideology is
necessary. Their means of fighting it have often been questionable.

It must be fought not just with bullets but with economic policies that
encourage actual development and improved lives among the downtrodden
people that these killers are drawing their support base from,
strangling the resentment that feeds their recruitment and rhetoric. It
must be fought with support for the gradual and painful process by
which the individual in this much-repressed part of the world can exert
his or her will in a public forum and have a say in government, thus
robbing these scum of the claim that their people are being
disenfranchised. Empty gestures of appeasement like holidays and
occasionally chastising Israel for defending itself then doing our best
to ignore the actual problems won't do it. Genuine social change for
the better will. Yes, their religion must be respected, but violent and
hateful ideology need not be tolerated, and is not an intrinsic part of
what Islam has to offer.

Is it America's job to go stomping around the world fighting these
people and interfering in local sovereignty? It shouldn't have to be,
and I find it distasteful. I do believe that local sovereignty is very
important. Nobody else seems to have the balls to do much about this
very real international threat, though.

The single best jab at Lord Chamberlain's famous statement I've ever
heard came from the Monty Python "Killing Joke" sketch, describing the
killing joke as "Over eighty thousand times as powerful as Britain's great prewar joke which was used at Munich," while showing him waving his precious treaty.

edit: fixed formatting.

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6 Responses to “291”

  1. uhlrik Says:

    Meh. Messed up the formatting a little. I’ll live.

  2. creativedv8tion Says:

    Just a little.

    …and a little more after that…

  3. uhlrik Says:

    that better?

  4. devolve_absolve Says:

    Sorry what? A German suggesting that the American’s are better because they didn’t follow European appeasement?

    Isolationism anyone? It’s not appeasement, it’s outright apathy.

  5. uhlrik Says:

    It’s a strange world we live in, Cam… and virtually everyone in it sucks.

    I dunno how I remain an optimist. Well, I do know how, but it ain’t always easy. 😉

  6. nightowl33 Says:

    Sorry but need to have this clarified for me. Are you saying Europeans are being isolationist and apathetic? Just wasn’t clear to me and I would like to fully understand 🙂

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