Sunday, December 11, 2005

Europe And The Moral Hazard

America bears some responsibility for the situation one now finds in Europe. George Handlery, writing in The Brussels Journal (The Europe Europe Needs) concludes:
With the emergence of the new, Jihadist challenge, the iniquitous system that, in spite of everything, stumbled to Cold War victory, has reached the boundaries of its (always limited) usefulness. Handling much of Europe as if it were 1945 and not 2005 makes no moral, material or political sense. In a clash of cultures it is madness to confer immunity on the otherwise capable components of one's own "camp." America's chances to win this one, too, without the succor of its equally affected likes, is limited by their comportment. America's moral obligation to do the job alone is hard to detect. A material need to "go it alone" is long since non existent. This situation - for the sake of Europe and America - demands that conclusions be drawn.

One is that political dependency abroad, just as welfare dependency at home, is not the soil out of which responsible self-assertion can arise. Second, what America needs now is not a dependent - irrespectively of whether it is obedient or uppity. What is required are genuine allies who share, commensurate to their abilities, the common cause's burdens and its risks. Unconditional forgiveness is unsuited to achieving this goal. What it earns is not ultimate good will but scorn. Third, if one likes Europe - as the writer does - one wishes for its emancipation. What Europe needs is a Europe that is, by its own right, a global factor. A strong European component of Western civilization and of the modern world, presupposes that it be made aware of its responsibilities. Only this awareness will enable the Continent to carry the burden implicit in the challenge we face. Fourth, the qualification for the job presupposes that that Europe shall become (albeit belatedly) as strong militarily and politically as it is by virtue of its size and economy. Fifth, coddling and exempting Europeans from the consequences of their errors will not achieve this. In order to make Europe strong and assertive not only against its American friends (easy) but also against its declared enemies (difficult), demands that Washington leans on Europe. This can be done by making it clear that in the coming major crisis facing our civilization and way of life nothing should be regarded as automatic. Help will flow according to American interests and European merits. Does this sound brutal? Before crying out, remember that in order to learn how to swim you need to get wet by going into the water.
Read the full article for the analysis that led to this conclusion.