Those Sniping Euros

Written by Taki on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts.

After two
months in good old Helvetia, I’m heading back home, to the Big Bagel, the
last great town to race my motor. But before I fly to Bloomberg City, a few
thoughts on our European brethren, who lately seem to be a bit peeved with Uncle

There are
15 quarrelling nations at present making up the European Union. Sometime soon
there will be 25 quarrelling states. The greatest shadow cast on the EU, however,
is that of the empty chair of Uncle Sam. His unilateralism is what spurs the
Euros to try to get their act together. Starting with the Frenchies, whose values
and culture have been permeated by American ones, turning every self-proclaimed
intellectual of the Left Bank into an Orlando Furioso. The trouble with the
French vis-a-vis les Americainsis a simple one. America is far more important
to the French than France is to Americans. It started with Dien Bien Phu, when
Eisenhower and Dulles refused to give air cover to the French garrison surrounded
by Viet Minh, and continued on to Suez, when Eisenhower and Dulles forced the
Anglo-French to pack it in. Those conflicts are now in the distant past, and
the issues have changed, but the root causes of French resentment are still
the same. America is the world’s numero uno, making unilateral decisions
that threaten France’s socialist welfare state and control of the nation’s
economy by state-trained elite, not to mention the dwarfing of France’s
military, economic and cultural influence in the world.

Just across
the channel, the Brits are also sniping at America but, being the hypocrites
they are, in far more diplomatic language than the Frogs’. Chris Patten,
the European Union’s external affairs commissioner, a bureaucrat since
he was in his crib, and Jack Straw, Britain’s foreign secretary and as
irrelevant a man as any human being can possibly be, are squealing, huffing
and puffing, but to no avail. Uncle Sam in general, and President Bush in particular,
do not give a damn what mini-Europe thinks, and are going on about their business.
This is very upsetting to the Euros–how dare they not consult us?–but
in reality it is not only jealousy and wounded pride, it’s also fear. The
Europeans are scared shitless that George W. will bomb Iraq and Iran, and they
will bear the brunt of the counterattack.

Now let’s
get one thing clear. I’m not for bombing Iraq, but I am for bombing Saudi
Arabia and Iran, and while we’re at it, hit the illegal Israeli settlements,
too. It all boils down to defense expenditures. America spends more on defense
than all the 15 European nations together, and then some. The 15-percent increase
that President Bush has asked for is far larger than the Brit and French defense
budgets combined.

Mind you,
now that the Soviet threat has gone the way of good manners, the Europeans no
longer need military muscle. Uncle Sam has bailed them out twice, and is alone
doing the heavy lifting. The Europeans are happy to snipe at the vulgar Yanks,
as long as there’s peace in their midst. Remember when President de Gaulle
demanded that American troops leave French soil sometime–prompting Lyndon
Johnson to ask whether that included those who were buried beneath it. The French
may have helped the American Revolution, but boy, have they been paid back in

The facts
are that no matter what the Europeans do, no matter how many countries join
the EU, they will never be able to look America in the eye as equals. They will
always be like a junior overseas partner of a giant bank. Invited to the boardroom
and to the office parties as a gracious gesture on the part of the American

When people
said in the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11 that the attack marked a new chapter
in world history, little did they foresee that this entailed a drifting apart
of Europe and America. Having lived most of my life in Europe, and knowing full
well the spinelessness of European politicians and the bureaucrooks who run
the tired old continent, I was not at all surprised that the anti-American sniping
began the moment the Taliban were wiped out. The reason an ex-Marxist like German
Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer does not approve of America going it alone
is that it means Europe will have to go it alone. France, Germany and Britain
are swamped with Muslims, five million in France alone, so they shudder in case
of an American attack on a Muslim nation. As I said previously, I am very strongly
opposed to an American attack on Iraq, but that’s because I don’t
think Iraq is guilty of anything lately. The Saudis are, but we are focusing
on Iraq because the Israelis demand it. The Europeans oppose it out of fear
of their indigenous Muslim population.

And speaking
of nations acting selectively and for their proper interests, there is a kangaroo
court taking place in the Hague, with three judges pretending to be objective,
and a prosecutor who is the biggest bluff in Europe since Papa Hemingway gave
that title to Benito Mussolini. Instead of Madeleine Albright and Bill Clinton
sitting in the dock along with Milosevic, we only have the latter. The prosecution
chooses to ignore that the Clinton-Albright-Holbrooke troika was in cahoots
with Slobodan and courted him assiduously as the key figure in the signing of
the 1995 Dayton agreement to end the war in Bosnia. Talk about victor’s
justice. But more about that in the future.