WHAT GOOD IS IT NOW?
I was reading Prof. Reynold's
blog and saw that he recommended a pro-Europe blog written by Carla Passino
. When I took a look I saw that Ms. Passino had written this post
. In the post she laments the "Bush administration's bullying, often childish attitude towards Europe." She states that Europe has a different attitude than the U.S. about....well, just about everything. European companies have closer ties to the Middle East than America, many European countries have sizable Muslim populations, and Europeans have a greater sensitivity to war and conflict. Her conclusion seems to be that there's an ever-widening gulf between the U.S. and Europe, and the only thing that will help is an administration change in Washington.
I have many problems with Ms. Passino's view of things, the first being an a priori
assumption that the U.S. needs the European countries' approval. Ever since the formation of NATO
the Euros have been pillaging their defense budgets to fund social programs. Okay, fine, it's their money. But now most of the European militaries are so feeble that they'd have problems handling even a modest emergency in their own country, let alone projecting force outside of their borders. Bosnia alone made it abundantly clear that NATO itself, the organization that the European governments have placed their hopes for defense, is a paper tiger without the U.S. to do the heavy lifting. The recent campaign in Afghanistan just rammed this point home. The Euro govs and newspapers, almost without exception, gleefully predicted doom. But a 10 month campaign with very few casualties showed how divorced from reality they really are.
So the European countries are toothless, sick old men who can't influence events on their own land all that well and aren't worth anything a few miles past their frontiers. I would think that the events of the past year would have made this so clear that anyone could easily see this reality. Considering this, one has to ask the question: What are the European countries good
for? They bitch up a storm, sure, but what are they bringing to the table? Since NATO is as worthless as their own militaries without the U.S. to back it up, what can they do for us in exchange for giving up our vital interests and safety? Anything? Anything at all?
There are some in Europe who would say that NATO has served it's purpose anyway. Let it die. Ms. Passino states the rational behind this view when she says "The American government puts - quite rightly - America first. Unsurprisingly, European governments do precisely the same thing. Only, they put Europe first."
This recalls articles in most European newspapers that claimed the Euro countries had evolved beyond simple self-interst and have come to take the greater good in consideration. This is preposterous.
So let's say that the U.S. pulls out of NATO and we go our own course. Very soon you'd see panic set in as the Euro countries realized that they are far more vulnerable than they thought, particularly to each other. Germany's record is hardly one of co-operation, unless one ignores history and only looks at recent decades when the American bayonet was at the Fatherland's throat. The Euro countries would have no choice but to rearm, if only to make sure that their neighbors would remain polite. The economic devastation and social unrest that would result from yanking the social programs out from under the feet of the voters is bracing to consider. As well as the problems that would come from all of those unassimulated Muslim immigrants that many Euro countries have been ignoring in the hope that a solution would just appear. In one fell swoop all of the problems that keep Europeans from perceiving reality, all of those fine points that Ms. Passino makes about Muslim populations and considering the common good and no stomach for war, would be taken care of all at once.
But that's the rub. The U.S. might be the adult that keeps the kids polite while they play in their little sandbox, but they'd grow up fast if we don't keep an eye on them. Nuclear tech is available to anyone with the scientific and industrial base to build it and all of the Euro countries certainly fit the bill. Let 'em go back to their old ways, let them gain some actual influence over world events, and the U.S. would have to come in and clean up a colossal world-threatening mess like we've done twice before. As long as we're dealing with the European countries then someone has to be the adult and do the dirty work that the kids are just too immature to handle.
One last thing. I started out this post with a quote from Ms. Passino that bemoans the U.S.'s childish attitude concerning Europe. I think she has it all wrong. It's not that the U.S. has a childish attitude, it's that the U.S. is trying to deal with children.
If the Europeans don't agree with me then all they have to do is dissolve NATO. Then the fun can really