Brave Old World: Nourishing the Viper

 
Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 06.35.21

Roman Genn, for National Review

Later today on the Member Feed, I’ll post more details of my business plan (as opposed to the donation mechanism) for investor-funded journalism.

So. Remember how all this started? It started because I was in a fit of pique about a little-known New York newspaper that asked me to write a piece about the attacks in Brussels, then spiked what I sent them in favor of this article. But I did, happily, find a good home for my article at National Review. They published it with a great Roman Genn illustration:

Paris — When trying to make sense of recent events in Europe, memory is useful. During the Cold War, Europe was terrorized by now-forgotten murderous far-left and far-right terrorist groups. Germany, Italy, France, Spain, and Turkey, in particular, were turned into abattoirs. These terrorists, too, were in thrall to a utopian and radical vision. They had a particular effect on Europe, one we should consider as we enter the new Cold War. The Soviets hoped to use these groups to spread chaos in Europe and break up NATO: The intended effect of the terror was to radicalize and destabilize the terrorized population. Russia is poised to profit similarly from today’s terrorism.

Some of the groups  remain active. Turkey’s Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front, or DHKP/C, bombed the U.S. embassy in Ankara in 2013. It has a long, bloody history of more than 400 attacks against Turkish and NATO targets. The DHKP/C, like ISIS today, became a Belgian problem, and one that the Belgian authorities dealt with poorly. In 1996, the DHKP/C assassinated Özdemir Sabanci, a well-known Turkish captain of industry, and two of his associates, in Istanbul. Fehriye Erdal, a female DHKP/C terrorist who had infiltrated Sabanci’s building as a cleaner, enabled the murderers to enter his office.

The headquarters of this DHKP/C group were in Belgium, where its members operated freely. It took several years for the Belgian authorities to bring them to trial. In 2006, Fehriye Erdal was convicted. In principle, she was under the 24-hour surveillance of the Sûreté de l’Etat (the Belgian state-security service). But hours before her sentencing, she disappeared, and she was never recaptured.

This was typical. Belgium has long ignored extremist groups in return for their implicit agreement not to target Belgium. It is often no secret at all. In 1996, Brussels released twelve members of Algeria’s Islamist organization Groupe Islamique Armé. In Europe, the GIA chiefly targeted France; in 1995, it bombed the Saint-Michel metro station in Paris, killing seven and wounding 117. The Belgian government reputedly made a deal with the GIA to ignore its activities on Belgian soil in exchange for immunity from attack. Understandably enraged, the French minister of the interior, Charles Pasqua, accused Belgium of lacking resolve.

In 2002, a Belgian parliamentary commission’s investigation into the Sûreté revealed that it had allowed the Belgian Muslim community — numbering over 350,000 — to be heavily infiltrated by Islamic extremists. Thirty of Belgium’s 300 mosques, the report said, were run by fundamentalists. Belgian schools, prisons, hospitals, and sports centers had become jihadi recruiting grounds. The report warned that they were creating a theocracy within the state. The head of the Sûreté resigned upon the publication of the report, which concluded that the Sûreté had adopted a passive attitude toward Muslim extremists because it had found no indication that they would attack Belgian targets. It also indicated that the Sûreté had been understaffed and inadequately funded for over a decade and that many retiring officers had gone unreplaced. …

You can read the rest here.

So, in light of that, here’s another update from the brave old world. I don’t know how closely you’re following the details of the Germany’s deal with Turkey to handle the refugee influx. It’s astonishingly cynical, but given the way some parts of the German public have responded to the enormity of the job ahead of them, probably necessary. No responsible German leader would take the risk of encouraging that impulse.

Under the agreement, “irregular migrants” who arrive in Greece from Turkey will be sent back. For every Syrian refugee returned, another Syrian refugee will — theoretically — be flown from Turkey to the EU. The number to be accepted is still under debate, but 72,000 seems to be the opening bid. They’d then be distributed throughout Europe, with every member state required to take refugees according to its size and capabilities. Brussels agreed to provide the Turkish government with money — a lot of it, mostly from Germany — to cover the costs of looking after the refugees.

The idea here is to break the business model of the human traffickers, and in principle it’s a sensible one. The problem with it in practice is that Merkel’s negotiating partner is Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Hence the “astonishingly cynical” part, because this deal requires pretending that all is peachy-keen in Turkey, that Erdoğan’s a normal fellow, and that Turkey’s a safe country for refoulement — non-refoulement being integral to the 1951 Refugee Convention:

no state “shall expel or return (‘refouler’ in French) a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.

This means, in effect, that everyone in Europe has to pretend that a) they don’t know that Turkey is pushing refugees right back into Syria; and b) Turkey’s such a great place, with such a terrific human rights record, that it should expeditiously be admitted to the EU. This video explains the facts of the deal quite accurately:

Basically, Erdoğan has Merkel right where he wants her. Give us money and let Turkey into the EU, or deal with your refugees (and your Nazis) by yourself. The “give us money” part is entirely fair: Turkey’s been dealing with 2.5 million Syrians, and I doubt the $6 billion pledge covers even half of the total cost to Turkey of feeding and housing them, no less dealing with the massive social dislocation that has ensued and will continue.

It’s the “Let Turkey into the EU” part that’s disturbing. Now, to be clear: I favor that. I think Turkey should be admitted to the EU immediately — as soon as it meets the Copenhagen criteria and complies with the EU acquis. Nothing could be better for Turkey than to make the reforms required to comply with it, especially in matters related to Chapters 23 (Judiciary and Fundamental Rights) and Chapter 24 (Justice, Freedom, and Security). Turkey is in fact capable of doing it and would benefit hugely from it. What it wouldn’t benefit from at all — nor would anyone in Europe — is the EU pretending that Turkey is now making progress toward those ends, or even trying to.

Turkey has no chance of doing that so long as Erdoğan’s in power. He has no motivation to give up power, and a very great motivation to keep it. So inevitably what will happen is come June 2016, the date on which Turkey has promised to fulfil 72 conditions in exchange for the right of its citizens to visa-free travel in the EU, those conditions won’t be fulfilled. Turkey’s human rights situation will be none improved, nor will the safety of the refugees returned to Turkey be assured. But if he’s not given what he wants, Erdoğan has quite explicitly warned his counterparts what he’ll do:

“We can open the doors to Greece and Bulgaria anytime and we can put the refugees on buses … So how will you deal with refugees if you don’t get a deal? Kill the refugees?” Erdoğan was quoted in the text as telling the EU officials.

It also quoted him as demanding 6 billion euros over two years. When Juncker made clear only half that amount was on offer, he said Turkey didn’t need the EU’s money anyway.

The EU eventually agreed a 3 billion euro fund to improve conditions for refugees in Turkey, revive Ankara’s long-stalled accession talks and accelerate visa-free travel for Turks in exchange for Ankara curbing the numbers of migrants pouring into neighboring Greece.

In heated exchanges, Erdoğan often interrupted Juncker and Tusk, the purported minutes show, accusing the EU of deceiving Turkey and Juncker personally of being disrespectful to him.

The Turkish leader was also quoted as telling Juncker, a former prime minister of tiny Luxembourg, to show more respect to the 80-million-strong Turkey. “Luxembourg is just like a little town in Turkey,” he was quoted as saying.

The tense dialogue highlighted the depth of mutual suspicion at a time when the EU is banking on Turkish help to alleviate its worst migration crisis since World War Two.

So, rather than the EU democratizing Turkey, the EU will be Erdoğanized.

Merkel’s in an exceptionally bad bargaining position because immigrants went wilding on New Year’s Eve in Cologne, neo-Nazi goons in Germany have been torching refugee shelters (v. v. bad); and throughout Europe, Putin-favoring nationalist parties have taken to the streets to protest the “Islamization” of Europe. Merkel got a bruising in the German state elections. The conviction that a million Syrian refugees have the power to Islamize Europe is, if nothing else, innumerate; but the popular reaction to the refugee influx is no trivial matter, and it’s forced Merkel, ironically, into a deal that truly will compromise — and Erdoğanize, if not Islamize — Europe’s values.

Don’t believe me? Meet the German comedian Jan Böhmermann. (Language warning, and it gets especially vulgar at the end, but there’s enough of political significance here that I think it’s worth watching anyway.) The video’s a parody of the German band Rammstein, who I wrote about in Menace in Europe:

The initial reference to November 9th is an allusion to Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass. The clip of Frauke Petry, the leading light of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) — a party that recently swam up to challenge Merkel’s refugee policy — illustrates the “authoritarian nationalist dorks.”

Böhmermann doesn’t just make fun of American and European populists, though. Here we have him singing “V for Varoufakis,” which might give you some insight into why the peoples of the EU seem unable constructively to cooperate to solve their problems, because this pretty much sums up Germany’s bitterness about Greek finance minister “Walking debt” Varoufakis and his demand for ever-more multi-billion-euro bailouts; and the sentiment is entirely reciprocated on the Greek side:

In this spirit, Böhmermann also sang a little ditty about Tayyip Erdoğan:

In the part that shows Merkel shaking Erdogan’s hand in his neo-Ottoman pleasure-palace, the lyrics say, “Be nice to him, since he’s holding all the cards.” I guess Böhmermann didn’t grasp just how true this really was: Erdoğan’s crackerjack Emergency Anti-Satirist Unit immediately leapt into action and lodged an official complaint about the video, which it deemed slanderous.

The German Foreign Ministry spokeswoman replied as you’d expect: “Political satire in Germany is, of course, protected and therefore there is neither a necessity, nor a possibility, for the government to take action.” Quite normal.

Boehmermann, as any self-respecting Westerner would, doubled down. He patiently explained to Erdoğan — on the air — the legal difference between satire and slander. Slander, for example, would be reciting a poem, such as the one he’d composed for this educational occasion, calling Erdoğan a goat-pleasurer (he used a more Germanic phrasing) who watched child porn while kicking Kurds and beating young girls while wearing a rubber mask. Now that, he explained, would be slanderous.

Erdoğan went berserk. “The Foreign Ministry,” reported The Local, “conducted the assessment in an emergency meeting after their Turkish counterparts expressed serious displeasure at the poem.” Remember, they’re worried this Turkish goat-pleasurer is about to scupper the deal Europe needs to keep Germans from voting for Nazis, after which it’ll be at most ten minutes before Obersturmbannführer Petry drives the 6th Panzer Division straight through Antwerp — so they have to take this goat-pleasurer seriously.

Thus the day after the show, the station’s director of programs, Norbert Himmler, said the “limits to irony and satire were clearly exceeded.” The video of the poem was removed from their website. Merkel personally called Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu to apologize. She agreed the poem was a “deliberate insult.” And what do you know, it turns out that there is an obscure law on the German books that may used be prosecute Boehmermann. Here’s the German Criminal Code:

Section 103
Defamation of organs and representatives of foreign states

  1. Whosoever insults a foreign head of state, or, with respect to his position, a member of a foreign government who is in Germany in his official capacity, or a head of a foreign diplomatic mission who is accredited in the Federal territory shall be liable to imprisonment not exceeding three years or a fine, in case of a slanderous insult to imprisonment from three months to five years.
  2. If the offence was committed publicly, in a meeting or through the dissemination of written materials (section 11(3)) Section 200 shall apply. An application for publication of the conviction may also be filed by the prosecution service.

So it looks as if Böhmermann may very well be prosecuted. In Germany. For making fun of the goat-pleasuring Turkish president.

Two morals to this story. First: The only way to guarantee freedom of expression is with a US-style constitution. If you make any law abridging the freedom of speech, sooner or later, that’s how it will be used. (NB: This is how we recently dealt with this kind of nonsense in America.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxYnovcQjww

Second: It’s all very well for European nationalists to insist they don’t want their country to be Islamized, but if in the process of recoiling from Syrian refugees they get themselves Erdoğanized, instead — or Putinized, for that matter — it will be their own stupid, short-sighted fault. And it will be a lot worse.

Thank you for making it possible for me to work.

There are 80 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    genferei: Are there any institutions that have outlived their usefulness or so changed from their original conceptions that they need to be replaced?

    Hey, you joined a conservative discussion group. You shouldn’t be surprised by a preference for conservatism.

    I actually joined a “right of center” discussion group: it’s Ricochet that has changed. How far would it have to change before I was entitled — as a conservative — to leave?

    Not to mention other venerable institutions such as the Soviet Union, Comintern…

    • #61
  2. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    St. Salieri: Can you give more explicit evidence…

    Another good piece here. The byline is “Eerik-Niiles Kross, a member of the Estonian parliament, is the former head of Estonian intelligence and an expert on Russian military history and doctrine.” The more people know about Russian military history and doctrine, generally, the more alarmed they are.

    I’m growingly wondering if this “NATO is ripping us off” meme in the US has been planted by Russian trolls. I’ve never heard Americans talking this way before in my life — and all of a sudden, it’s all over the Internet in comments attributed to Americans.

    I thought Walter Russell Mead had a good piece yesterday about how insane and damaging this is.

    • #62
  3. HVTs Inactive
    HVTs
    @HVTs

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    genferei: Are there any institutions that have outlived their usefulness or so changed from their original conceptions that they need to be replaced?

    Hey, you joined a conservative discussion group. You shouldn’t be surprised by a preference for conservatism.

    What aspect of the EU fits under the rubric conservatism?  You seem to be saying a working definition of conservative is  “preference for any existing institution, regardless of what it’s promoting, achieving, or demonstrates as its governing philosophy.”

    • #63
  4. HVTs Inactive
    HVTs
    @HVTs

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Depends how you define “national interests.” Germany has an interest in not having failed states on its periphery and in its major export markets — which are in the EU, especially the southern EU. If every state closes its borders to the refugees in sequence, you’ll end up with all of the refugees on the southern border states of the EU and Turkey — especially Greece, which really isn’t going to help Greece to recover economically.

    Isn’t this a succinct and poignant argument for Germany to abandon the EU?  Said differently, you are making a circular argument.

    Germany failed at “not having failed states on its periphery”  because the EU is a failure (most notably, its single currency and associated fiscal policies—ignored in the case of Greece through consensual blindness in Berlin).  It is the EU that enabled (one might say ‘encouraged’) Greece to live beyond its means for decades.  Greece is only “not failed” in the sense that a bum with a rich uncle who bails him out every time he goes bust isn’t a failure.  And you are arguing that the uncle—in order not to fail at preventing his nephew’s failure—must keep bailing him out.

    Again . . . what’s the German taxpayer’s interest in Merkel’s bum nephew?  How does any of this strengthen German national interests absent defining the latter as congruent with something one might call “EU corporate interests”?

    • #64
  5. Robert Lux Inactive
    Robert Lux
    @RobertLux

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    genferei:

    Of course. Why didn’t I think of that? Europe had no difficulties before the EU. It was a prelapsarian paradise.

    In what sense do you mean “Europe” Claire? James Ceasar, in his helpful review of Manent (“Bodiless Politics” — a review of Manent’s A World Beyond Politics? A Defense of the Nation State) lays out three possible versions of “Europe”  — emphasis mine:

    [1].  A federation of a limited number of nation-states;

    [2] a new and enlarged Europe that would be a kind of super-state (or empire) supported by the development of a European people;

    [3] and finally, the reigning idea, a Europe “defined paradoxically as an indefinite expansion.” Admittedly, Europe cannot spread everywhere; but the thinking that lies behind this third option rests on a vague hope for a kind of benevolent universal empire based on humanitarian norms: “It would be the empire with no common power, except for the weak United Nations, constituted by the whole of humanity.” It is soft despotism writ large.

    I don’t see how #3 is avoidable. I’m having a hard time seeing how advocates of far more robust political integration — such as you’ve explicitly called for — avoid #3.

    This ALL hinges on the fact that Europe never had a founding, such as the U.S. did. Founding is the most crucial word.

    A word, moreover, that foreign policy realists can never understand as they don’t take seriously the concept of regime.

    • #65
  6. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    genferei: Are there any institutions that have outlived their usefulness or so changed from their original conceptions that they need to be replaced?

    Hey, you joined a conservative discussion group. You shouldn’t be surprised by a preference for conservatism.

    A progressive wet dream with aspirations to Empire is hardly a conservative goal.

    • #66
  7. HVTs Inactive
    HVTs
    @HVTs

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: My point is that some circumstances require a heavy police presence. …

    The thing is, nowhere the U.S. Navy  puts into port requires a “heavy police presence.”  Nowhere.  Does it require some police presence?  Of course.  Sailors are not angels.  The U.S. Navy has its own Shore Patrol with police authority over its service members.  Shore Patrol works closely with local law enforcement to deal with sailors who fail to live up to fairly strict standards of behavior.  Drunkenness is the most common infraction.

    Individual sailors occasionally commit horrible, depraved, criminal acts.  But it’s rare.  Generally, they are prosecuted and sentenced appropriately under our Uniform Code of Military Justice.

    Sometimes a small group of sailors misbehaves.  But a mob of U.S. sailors on a rampage of violent, sexual assault upon scores of women just passing along their own streets in a foreign port?  I’ve never heard of it happening in, say, the past 30 or so years that I’ve paid some attention to it.

    I’ve not made a point of deeply investigating it either, and I will be sorely disappointed if you can demonstrate I’m wrong.

    But I hope you can’t and doubt you will find an example of U.S. Navy sailors behaving like Syrian refugees in Germany.  Which is why I think your analogizing to a lone event by a lone sailor (in a hotel with an apparently passed-out women) is unfounded, unfair and, frankly, slanderous.

    • #67
  8. HVTs Inactive
    HVTs
    @HVTs

    Ball Diamond Ball:Claire, we have already jettisoned the Geneva Conventions by extending protections to those whom the accord was explicitly designed to disadvantage.

    This is socialist accounting where the currency is blood.

    I’ve just got to piggy-back here . . . I’m not a lawyer, Lord knows, but Geneva Conventions don’t apply to economic migrants or those falsely claiming a nationality/point of origin, do they?  The EU’s own report says:

    As the vast majority of migrants ar­rive undocumented … (f)alse declarations of nationality are rife among nationals who are unlikely to obtain asylum in the EU, are liable to be returned to their country of origin or transit, or just want to speed up their journey. With a large number of persons arriving with false or no identification documents or raising concerns over the validity of their claimed nationality – with no thorough check or penalties in place for those making such false declarations, there is a risk that some persons representing a security threat to the EU may be taking advantage of this situation.

    Shock!  Taking advantage!?!  Say it ain’t so!!!

    Did I mention this is from the EU’s own report?

    Claire, you apparently want us to believe the preponderance of these migrants are legitimate refugees when the EU’s own bureaucrats are saying—in guarded bureaucratize, of course—the opposite.  Why are you so committed to a narrative that even the EU won’t defend?

    • #68
  9. Robert Lux Inactive
    Robert Lux
    @RobertLux

    HVTs:

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Claire, [ . . . ] Why are you so committed to a narrative that even the EU won’t defend?

    Because she doesn’t believe in nation-state sovereignty, except for the hopeful emergence of a universal and homogenous state of Europe. Instrumental to that desired outcome is the thinning out of the native population and weakening of national bonds via mass immigration.

    That “innumerate” dolt demographer/economist David Goldman couldn’t possibly know what he’s talking about.

    I think she’s under the mistaken belief that the nation states of Europe are rooted mainly in the ethnic as opposed to the civic. (The ethnic is reflected, say, in the cultural chasm between someone from the Vorarlberg region of Austria and Vienna — as Robert Musil noted, a chasm so great, that if to be Austrian is something reducible the ethnic, then it is hardly a country or nation at all).

    Bottom line: You cannot create citizenship without national sovereignty. It’s impossible.

    The most crucial thing, as mentioned in my previous comment, is that Europe never had — more importantly can never have — a founding.

    I really don’t think Claire wants to understand that.

    Or as Pierre Manent has argued, the European nations can be friends but not spouses. But if you force the European nations to be spouses, they will end up again being enemies.

    And that, dear friends, is precisely what Claire’s “robust European integration” will paradoxically bring about. In fact, already is.

    • #69
  10. HVTs Inactive
    HVTs
    @HVTs

    Robert Lux: Because she doesn’t believe in nation-state sovereignty, except for the hopeful emergence of a universal and homogenous state of Europe. Instrumental to that desired outcome is the thinning out of the native population and weakening of national bonds via mass immigration.

    Gosh, differ with Ms. Berlinski I often do . . . not sure that makes her the irredeemable integrationist schemer that you describe.  But perhaps I’m just being a lug head . . .

    So, Mademoiselle Berlinski, what say vous?  Are you secretly (or not so secretly) seeking to dissolve national sovereignty in Europe?  The Euro-nutters don’t seem to need your help . . . but that’s not the point!

    If you are plotting the end of sovereignty, it would help explain your intransigence in the face of overwhelming evidence about the EU’s migrant mess.

    On the other hand, your book Menace in Europe (claims the dust jacket) reveals “Why the notion of a united Europe is a fantasy and what that means for the United States.”  [I need to re-read that chapter! ]

    Explain yourself!  [:-)

    • #70
  11. HVTs Inactive
    HVTs
    @HVTs

    Robert Lux:Bottom line: You cannot create citizenship without national sovereignty. It’s impossible.

    The most crucial thing, as mentioned in my previous comment, is that Europe never had — more importantly can never have — a founding.

    I really don’t think Claire wants to understand that.

    Agree with your bottom line . . . important and often overlooked point.

    Interesting notion about a founding . . . not sure your conclusion vis-a-vis Europe entirely holds up.  For instance, there are enormously important touchstones of a common civilization/ common culture in Europe . . . does that constitute a founding of sorts?  Granted, Europe’s 2oth century history doesn’t exactly bolster the proposition . . . still, an interesting argument to have . . .

    Not sure what purpose is served imputing intentionality to Claire’s views that differ from yours . . . simpler to assume she wants to understand reality as we all do, isn’t it?  Not that she needs my vote, but she’s way more intrepid, far more engaged, and a damn sight more tuned-in to Europe than I’ll ever be.  Which doesn’t mean she always draws the right conclusions  . . . just that she’s far more likely to.

    • #71
  12. Robert Lux Inactive
    Robert Lux
    @RobertLux

    HVTs:

    I remember in fairly recent Ricochet combox discussion — I wish I could find it specifically — her mentioning there’s no reason regional differences between peoples of various parts of Europe can’t eventually be considered as no less consequential than differences between someone from West Virginia and someone from Illinois (or whatever regional examples she was using).

    She seems to believe in the infinite assimilability of human beings,  witness her rather fantastic statement, “Muslim demographics quickly norm to ‘European’ graphics with economic development, and that most Muslim immigrants in Europe secularize.”

    That 53.6% of Turks living in Germany (most have been living there 50 to 60 years) voted, in the most recent election, for Islamic supremacist Erdogan rather gives the lie to this.

    As does a careful five year study by WZB, one of the most prestigious German social science outfits, of Turkish and Moroccan attitudes in Germany, Belgium, Holland, France, Austria and Sweden.

    And so she’s, I’m sorry, delusional in thinking Turkey could possibly make a good asset to Europe and European integration.

    About this seeming “infinite assimilability,” I think she believes this because, as I’ve said before, I believe it stems from her foreign policy realism: all nations are essentially alike. They are all essentially alike in that their objective is interest defined in terms of power.

    And if you believe that, you believe that nations are essentially interchangeable and that incentives are essentially interchangeable and have universally predictable effects.

    • #72
  13. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    HVTs:

    Robert Lux:Bottom line: You cannot create citizenship without national sovereignty. It’s impossible.

    The most crucial thing, as mentioned in my previous comment, is that Europe never had — more importantly can never have — a founding.

    I really don’t think Claire wants to understand that.

    Agree with your bottom line . . . important and often overlooked point.

    Interesting notion about a founding . . . not sure your conclusion vis-a-vis Europe entirely holds up. For instance, there are enormously important touchstones of a common civilization/ common culture in Europe . . . does that constitute a founding of sorts? Granted, Europe’s 2oth century history doesn’t exactly bolster the proposition . . . still, an interesting argument to have . . .

    Not sure what purpose is served imputing intentionality to Claire’s views that differ from yours . . . simpler to assume she wants to understand reality as we all do, isn’t it? Not that she needs my vote, but she’s way more intrepid, far more engaged, and a damn sight more tuned-in to Europe than I’ll ever be. Which doesn’t mean she always draws the right conclusions . . . just that she’s far more likely to.

    Gentlemen,

    Although a founding is a great advantage, I don’t think it is absolutely necessary. If one starts from an a priori point of view (my favorite) then one can navigate no matter what the terrain.

    In 1859, Abe Lincoln is faced with an America with two wildly activist groups. Southerners who hearing the footsteps wanted to split from the Union to preserve their peculiar institution and Manifest Destiny Northerners who wanted to attack Canada to drive out the British and claim the entire continent.

    cont.

    • #73
  14. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    cont. from #73

    We often interpret the House Divided speech in a narrow way as only an ethical imperative that requires us to resolve slavery. However, I like to look at the realpolitik of America at this moment. France is waiting in Mexico and Britain is waiting in Canada for us to stumble. We had only split from Europe 75 years before. Europe’s two dominant powers might cooperate and take us back over. Abe had to try to hold onto this volcano and keep it from destroying itself. That is why he insisted upon keeping the Union at all cost. If he had just said “Bye” to the Southerners, the French would have taken them over and the British would have taken the North. We are projecting American power at the end of the nineteenth century backward to the middle of the century. We had a much stronger central government (because of the civil war) and massive industrial growth based on expanded legal immigration. Old Abe’s Presidency was like riding a Brahma Bull. Survival was a victory. The Union survived but he didn’t. We should thank him.

    Now, what is the a priori point of view that I mentioned. The Slavery issue was a question of Public Right. Because our ethical principles were so clearly defined we could no longer finesse this root ethical issue so the internal polity was breaking up into factions. Meanwhile, the National Right of America wasn’t going to just wait for this internal conflict to resolve. To have a Nation we had to defend it against external threats. Old Abe held onto this necessary a priori vision and didn’t let himself waver for a minute.

    If Europe expects to survive as a single European Nation they had better wake up and get their act together immediately. Central Banking and Regulatory Micro-management are lots of fun for a decadent intelligentsia so to imagine themselves masters of the universe. Meanwhile, their single European Nation will either be attacked externally or split by internal faction. This will happen because although they are big talkers in Brussels when it comes to having Old Abe’s real vision, they suck.

    Being delusional about genocidal Jihadists or unassimilable Dhimmi-Culture adherents won’t help. You need to give the assimilable a clear path to assimilate to something more definable than multi-cultural nonsense. Those who want to commit genocide should be given the death they long for.

    Putin needs tanks & planes right in front of his nose. This will have a calming effect on Putin and a unifying effect on Europe. They just need to look around for a very tall guy with a beard and a stovepipe hat.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #74
  15. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Lincoln’s House Divided speech was entirely to call out a conspiracy among branches and levels of government.  It happened to concern slavery.

    • #75
  16. HVTs Inactive
    HVTs
    @HVTs

    James Gawron: If Europe expects to survive as a single European Nation they had better wake up and get their act together immediately. Central Banking and Regulatory Micro-management are lots of fun for a decadent intelligentsia so to imagine themselves masters of the universe. Meanwhile, their single European Nation will either be attacked externally or split by internal faction.

    One thesis is the “Europe that expects to survive as a single European Nation” consists primarily of the “decadent intelligentsia” doing all that micro-management.  I’m not sure average voters are quite prepared to sit idly by as their betters keep frog marching them toward a cliff.  The Brexit vote on June 23 will be the first real test, although German voters have recently given us an indication of the mood.  I don’t pretend to know how it will turn out.  I suspect a UK withdrawal would be a political earthquake, however, and that further splintering would follow.  I’d love to know Claire’s thoughts on that.

    I’ll confess it eludes me how Napoleon III and Lord Palmerston were conspiring to divide up North America . . . a separate thread is probably required to explore that plot line.  [:-)

    • #76
  17. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    HVTs: I suspect a UK withdrawal would be a political earthquake, however, and that further splintering would follow. I’d love to know Claire’s thoughts on that.

    I suspect she would think it a terrible thing, since only the EU (even? especially? in its current hypertrophied form) prevents WW3 from breaking out tomorrow. And if Putin is for something, Claire is agin’ it.

    • #77
  18. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    genferei:

    HVTs: I suspect a UK withdrawal would be a political earthquake, however, and that further splintering would follow. I’d love to know Claire’s thoughts on that.

    I suspect she would think it a terrible thing, since only the EU (even? especially? in its current hypertrophied form) prevents WW3 from breaking out tomorrow. And if Putin is for something, Claire is agin’ it.

    Unless it’s Europe being swamped with Muslim arrivals.

    • #78
  19. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    HVTs:

    James Gawron: If Europe expects to survive as a single European Nation they had better wake up and get their act together immediately. Central Banking and Regulatory Micro-management are lots of fun for a decadent intelligentsia so to imagine themselves masters of the universe. Meanwhile, their single European Nation will either be attacked externally or split by internal faction.

    One thesis is the “Europe that expects to survive as a single European Nation” consists primarily of the “decadent intelligentsia” doing all that micro-management. I’m not sure average voters are quite prepared to sit idly by as their betters keep frog marching them toward a cliff. The Brexit vote on June 23 will be the first real test, although German voters have recently given us an indication of the mood. I don’t pretend to know how it will turn out. I suspect a UK withdrawal would be a political earthquake, however, and that further splintering would follow. I’d love to know Claire’s thoughts on that.

    I’ll confess it eludes me how Napoleon III and Lord Palmerston were conspiring to divide up North America . . . a separate thread is probably required to explore that plot line. [:-)

    HVT,

    A good sharp question. Conspiracy wasn’t necessary. They were physically positioned to move in easily. All they need do is sit back and let the U.S.A. self-destruct. Once a weak central government America was split in two, the two preeminent world powers of the time come in and draw each half into their spheres of influence. After that, it’s just a matter of time.

    Our tremendous strength as a single Nation is only fully expressed after the Civil War. We hadn’t made the quantum leap yet and then consider the dissipation as the original enterprise is seen as a failure and the two halves are less than the sum of the parts.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #79
  20. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    All the points here are outstanding.   I agree with the thinking that while the EU started out a good idea as protection against another Hitler, the points above for why it is failing are right. If it was modeled after a U.S. system, it left out the best parts found in our Country’s documents, at our inception.  It could never work.  Now Europe is rife with confusion, power struggles (within countries and collectively), contagion problems (debt, economy, etc.), rise of extremism, refugees, etc.

    Western European countries are also paying a hefty price having to pay others (thugs – almost like a set up) to save them from further problems with refugees – talk about being caught in a spider web!  A black widow in Turkey and a Brown Recluse in Russia – now the EU is more vulnerable than ever to another invasion.

    All this because no one could get rid of Syria’s demonic leader all these years, and a lack of serious leadership brought ISIS?  Since we are globally linked in every way, it is everyone’s problem and human suffering has increased, not decreased. Every chapter in Menace One came to fruition and then some.

    • #80
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.

Comments are closed because this post is more than six months old. Please write a new post if you would like to continue this conversation.