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Quote of the Day: Is Europe Finished?
Let’s cut through the diplo-speak: If Mr. Biden and the Europeans don’t get Ukraine right, Europe’s future is finished.
Putin is Hitler. He is attempting the extermination of a people and the obliteration of their cities. World War II wasn’t fought in Europe to prevent a future nuclear exchange between Russia and the U.S. It was fought because Europe was experiencing the indiscriminate murder of civilians under Nazi military doctrine, now revived by Mr. Putin and the Russian general staff.— Daniel Henninger
In an ambitious flurry of activity, Europe is speaking out and taking action against Vladimir Putin, canceling some of their commitments to him and stepping in to help Ukraine. Most of the Ukrainian refugees are landing in Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia. The EU has established an emergency protection system, offering jobs, shelter, and medical treatment. They have also worked at streamlining their entry procedures. The invasion of Putin has been criticized harshly, and Europe has stepped up.
But how long will they enthusiastically deal with this new reality?
At this writing, 4 million people have fled Ukraine; another 6.5 million people are displaced. It’s impossible to know how long the conflict will drag on, or whether the EU countries will be able to support millions of refugees, or how many of the Ukrainians will stay. Will they be able to find work? Will they be able to adjust if they choose to stay? Will they be welcomed by the various countries?
And will the U.S. make a sincere and reasonable effort to supply arms and compassionate support, and for how long?
And yet . . . and yet . . .
Does Europe really have a choice? Over time will they try to ignore the threats that Putin poses to the European continent?
Will they realize that helping Ukraine and Ukrainians and standing up to Putin could determine the very future of Europe?Published in Foreign Policy
Europe is finished as a western collection of countries because it isn’t reproducing at replacement rates.. The non-western immigrants are reproducing, though. Mark Steyn wrote a book about that in 2006, America Alone.
I read it, and it was an ominous forecast, although at the time he was primarily referring to the influx of Muslims. Good read.
Equally depressing, the US is starting down the same path.
With all due respect to Mr. H., WWII was fought due to various alliances made and attacks on neutral countries. The UK and France had agreements with Poland, so they got into the war. Japan attacked us, and their allies declared war on the US between 11 DEC 1941 and 17 DEC. We (the US) even reciprocated with Germany and Italy on the 11th, but I think we laughed off the rest. Declarations of war continued, especially when the Axis Powers started losing, and many such declarations of war came through in 1945.
The war was not fought because of civilians, it was fought because of nation-states.
Much more concise.
Here’s a list of when the declarations of war happened:
A very fair criticism by you and genferei. Clearly Daniel Henninger is deeply moved by the tragedy of the situation, and he didn’t express himself accurately. But watching people being massacred, burned and buried in mass graves is a horrific sight. I defer to the actual facts.
Yes. And by mis-stating the facts or overstating his case, he distracts from the enormity of Putin’s deeds.
It sounds like there are two main accounts here, one focusing on politicians and one on the people.
The other involves the attacks of groups of the Common People, based on their feelings, on other groups of Common People, and those groups defending themselves.
Those who give primary importance to the first theory say that the Rulers use the State to persuade the Common People, by manipulating their feelings toward other Common People, to serve the War.
Is that a good description of the two theories?
I’m not so sure that’s true. For those who are concerned with facts and accuracy in this situation, it could be distracting. For those who focus on the horror of what is happening and the similarities to the Nazis, it may not.
What does “finished” mean?
Could you give me a hint about the comment you’re referring to?
Probably right there.
Doh! My own title. And to answer Don’s question, I suspect European unity will break up (although it was tenuous to begin with, I think).
While I agree that Europe is circling the drain, I don’t see a valid comparison to Hitler, and I don’t think it has been very helpful for everyone to be compared to him at the drop of a hat lately. But it’s certainly true that Putin is a despot and a loose cannon who must be stopped somehow.
While I deplore the decline of Europe, I have to say they’re doing it to themselves, especially the UK, Sweden, and Germany, with their naive immigration policies, allowing themselves to be overrun with hostiles. I have watched it all unfold in disbelief. They’re like a man being eaten by a lion and handing him the salt and pepper.
From what I can tell, the claim in the quoted article that Putin “is attempting the extermination of a people and the obliteration of their cities” is not true. There have been some civilian deaths and some collateral damage to non-military property, of course. That’s inevitable in war.
Also from what I can tell, the Russian threat to the rest of Europe is minimal. I don’t think that Russia has lost in Ukraine, and my expectation is that Russia will ultimately prevail, but there is no overwhelming Russian juggernaut that simply rolled over Ukraine in a cakewalk. The Russians seem to be having a pretty tough time taking Ukraine. This suggests that Russia is not much of a threat to the rest of Europe.
Factually, people seem to believe whatever they want to believe. I’m becoming more and more skeptical of the idea that people reason from facts to conclusions. It seems more common for people to fit facts into a preconceived framework. In this case, as in so many others, it’s the Hitler narrative.
For those who think that comparison to the Nazis is over-the-top, you might find Kozak’s post interesting. In terms of Putin’s aspirations, at least, it might not be too far off.
Putin wants Europe as . . . well, a buffer, you understand . . .
As you might guess, I found Kozak’s post to be over-the-top.
Questions about the future call to mind Lincoln’s comment in his 2nd Inaugural Address:
“With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.”
I suppose I am too American to have a sufficiently informed opinion about how Europe should resolve this conflict. I agree with @Arahant, though, that Henninger seems to have misdiagnosed the causes of WWII.
This post is part of the Quote of the Day (QOTD) Series, which is one of the group writing projects here on Ricochet. The other is the monthly group writing theme organized by @cliffordbrown, currently featuring musings from members on “Folly.” The QOTD Signup Sheet for April is here.
yes, the title. I think unity will change, but not end. The EU is penalizing Hungary for being nationalist. I can see a split between the Atlantic and the V4 countries. They are OK sharing a currency, but the have very different ideas about religion, families, immigration and wokeism.
To be fair, I found your comment in #16 to be over the top.
The more I listen to the reporting, the less I know. All I do know is that once the dogs of war are let to slip we are all made savage.
Unjust invasions and murders of civilians are bad.
Still not as bad as Hitler if there’s no attempt at systematic genocide.
Forget it, Jake, it’s Ukraine (again.)
How systematic will it need to become? Blueprints?
What if Putin is trying to make the killings look random? Murders in the streets, burning bodies, and (it might be rumor) portable crematoriums. And there’s Bucha . . .
One of us is not understanding the other.
It’s not genocide, is it? It’s murderous oppression. It’s bad enough, but it’s not the same kind of thing, is it?
Maybe not. But I think it’s still a legitimate question to ask: at what point can “murderous oppression” cross over to genocide? Did you see Kozak’s post, now on the main feed?
When it’s an attempt to remove a people group from existence.
Beating them into submission through murderous oppression is not the same thing. But it’s still plenty bad.
I actually think that this war may have come just in time to save Europe from inevitable decline and eventual elimination. After all, the war has largely united the continent, changing fundamental policies on energy, etc.
People are rediscovering true right and wrong, after all, after decades of decadent navel-gazing. That is a good.