Posts Tagged ‘apathetic’

Obama’s Berlin Speech Reveals Europeans Gutless On Terror

July 26, 2008

Correspondent Major Garrett filed this report for Fox News Special Report that appeared Thursday, July 25, on Barack Obama’s speech in Berlin, Germany:

MAJOR GARRETT: The scene, unprecedented in contemporary European politics, was unlike any a U.S. presidential nominee ever had the audacity to expect, or the cultural candlepower to attract. But to the upbeat throngs estimated by Berlin police to be in excess of 200,000 Obama did not sing a sweet song of hope and change. Instead he zeroed in on the threats of terrorism and nuclear proliferation.

OBAMA SPEECH VIDEO: “This is the moment when we must renew our resolve to rout the terrorists who threaten our security in Afghanistan, and the traffickers who sell drugs on your streets. No one welcomes war. I recognize the enormous difficulties in Afghanistan. But my country and yours have a stake in seeing that NATO’s first mission beyond Europe’s borders is a success. For the people of Afghanistan, and for our shared security, the work must be done. America cannot do this alone. The Afghan people need our troops and your troops; our support and your support to defeat the Taliban and al Qaeda, to develop their economy, and to help them rebuild their nation. We have too much at stake to turn back now.”

MAJOR GARRETT: That means Germany and other NATO nations must throw more into the battlefield in Afghanistan, where a resurgent Taliban and its terror-plotting al Qaeda allies have recently launched increasingly lethal attacks.”

As for Iran and its headlong pursuit of nuclear weaponry, Obama said While Europe may welcome his call for direct unconditional talks, europe must back such an initiative with a heretofore missing committment to using all economic and diplomatic tools to isolate and punish Iran if it proves intractable.

OBAMA SPEECH VIDEO: “This is the moment we must help answer the call for a new dawn in the Middle East. My country must stand with yours and with Europe in sending a direct message to Iran that it must abandon its nuclear ambitions. We must support the Lebanese who have marched and bled for democracy, and the Israelis and Palestinians who seek a secure and lasting peace. And despite past differences, this is the moment when the world should support the millions of Iraqis who seek to rebuild their lives, even as we pass responsibility to the Iraqi government and finally bring this war to a close.”

“A change of leadership in Washington will not lift this burden. In this new century, Americans and Europeans alike will be required to do more — not less.”

MAJOR GARRETT: On a continent weary of Pres. Bush Obama spoke of a new era, but hastened to add, if he’s elected, his administration will not represent a cost-free alternative to the status-quo.

The crowd, which did not applaud that much, filed quietly away. If Obama hoped his words would galvanize the audience and his message would thereby reverberate in capitals throughout Europe, there was no evidence of it. The tepid response may stand as a silent declaration that calls for new sacrifice and anti-terror tenacity – whether spoken by the current president or the presumptive Democratic nominee – meets similar European skepticism.

Garrett noted that Obama’s speech did garner some applause lines – on the issues of global warming, a call for “just peace” between Israel and the Palestinas, and especially on the call to end the war in Iraq.

But the real story was the absence of applause on Obama’s presentation of his foreign policy.

One of the biggest delusions Democrats suffer from is the perception that if only their guy were president, the world would love us. They believe that Europeans hate President Bush because he’s a cowboy who ignored them and decided to do it all on his own.

They couldn’t be more wrong.

We saw a little bit of the real problem in Berlin on Thursday: if Barack Obama wants to stand up to terrorists and demand Iran renounce its nuclear weaponry, he better expect that he will be acting alone.

Europeans are not willing to sacrifice. They don’t want to “renew their resolve to rout the terrorists.” They don’t want to have a stake in seeing the NATO mission in Afghanistan is a success. They don’t want to send troops to Afghanistan. They don’t want to send “a direct message to Iran that it must abandon its nuclear ambitions.” They don’t want to commit to “using all economic and diplomatic tools to isolate and punish Iran.” They don’t want to “be required to do more–not less.”

Now, personally, I don’t really believe that Barack Obama wants any of this either. I think he was simply pandering to American public opinion and mouthing the slogans that Americans want to hear from a man they rightly believe is weak on foreign policy.

But don’t expect squat from Europe if you want to stand up and act in order to secure a better and safer world.

I came across an interesting article titled, “Why Europeans Doubt Colombia’s Hostage Rescue,” that sheds some light on European’s attitude.

The story presents the fact that European papers and television across the continent were presenting and believing the myth that Columbia bribed the terrorist organization FARC to release the hostages, and the rescue by the army was just a ruse. It provides details of how France, Denmark, Italy, Germany, and Spain have paid one ransom after another for hostages. And then it concludes:

European friends of the FARC are angry. How dare Colombia join the ranks of Britain, Israel, and the United States by refusing to negotiate with terrorists? How dare Colombia disprove the European mantra that all conflicts be resolved through diplomacy? How dare Colombia upstage post-heroic Europeans who, having lost the will to fight, believe anything can be bought for money?

Colombian President Álvaro Uribe summed it up well: “There are some who are bitter and who are seeking to discredit the operation. But these bitter people only know Colombia from afar. Aloof Europeans, what do they know about Colombian ingenuity? They believe that Colombian genius lies with the FARC. Someday they will know these military boys who carried out this operation.”

The fact of the matter is that Europe looks at diplomacy, negotiation, and compromise as end-all solutions. Look at what they have accomplished, they would argue: we formed our European Union on the basis of compromise. We who were former enemies united; why can’t we likewise come together with opponents such as Saddam Hussein’s Iraq or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Iran?

What they don’t realize is that the United States of America has a rather enormous advantage of experience in the process of “uniting,” having done so nearly two centuries before Europe got into the act; that Americans aren’t much interested in hearing moral lectures on politics from the inventors of monarchism, communism, fascism, Nazism, and socialism; that the only reason Europeans aren’t speaking first German and after that Russian is because the United States stood up and fought for their freedom; and that Europeans ought to be therefore grateful enough and generous enough to stand with the United States as we continue to fight for the freedom of other oppressed peoples.

What Europeans have conveniently forgotten is that their freedom was won for them, and not by them. What they have forgotten was that their diplomacy, negotiation, and compromise didn’t mean squat to the Nazis or the Soviets; only American power and our willingness to use it mattered to these determined enemies of human freedom.

If Barack Obama becomes president (and, I must admit, there’s a part of me – and I’m ashamed to admit this – that wants Obama to get elected so that everyone can see just how spectacularly liberalism will fail) he will be shocked to discover that Europe will be nothing but an obstacle to his every effort to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

An article titled “Why Europe Won’t Sanction Iran” provides a lot of the underlying reasons for this behavior.

The reason President Bush ultimately was forced to attack Iraq was because France and Russia did everything they could to prevent any meaningful sanctions being applied to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in a corrupted and incompetent United Nations. We had good reasons for believing that Saddam Hussein possessed WMD, and were frustrated at every turn by Europe in obtaining the tough sanctions that would have forced Saddam to open up his program to inspection. Unable to obtain a diplomatic solution, we were forced to either attack or risk a WMD-armed Iraq.

And Russia and China are doing the same thing now in protecting Iran even as it is almost certainly developing a nuclear weapons program.

We’re going to see the same demand to let diplomacy and sanctions work – even as every meaningful effort at diplomacy and sanctions is thwarted; we’re going to see the same aversion to war – even as war becomes the only option; we’re going to see the same international condemnation and isolation all over again.

Or we’re going to see a nuclear-armed Iran that will be free to carry out terrorist campaigns by proxy and even shut down the Strait of Hormuz at will with absolute impunity.

Europeans have largely degenerated into Nietzsche’s portrayal of the “Last Man,” the end result of decades of creeping cynicism and mediocrity.

Today, Europeans are frankly both pathetic and apathetic. They won’t stand up for anything; they won’t fight for anything. The people who are literally dying out due to extremely low birth rates don’t care if they are consuming benefits paid for by massive debt that will crush the next generations after them. And their most cherished desire is that the mighty United States would be as weak, as pathetic, and as insignificant as they are.

Americans would have a different view of the world – and a different view of President George Bush – if they learned that lesson. It may take the election of a liberal president, and the crisis of a nuclear Iran, to drive that reality home.

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