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Europeans Are Not Cowards. It's That We Know War.
The International Herald Tribune ^ | January 28, 2004 | Fletcher Crossman

Posted on 01/27/2004 5:22:23 PM PST by quidnunc

Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina – Listening to Richard Perle on the radio recently was a little hard for a European like me. Perle, a former chairman of the Defense Policy Board, stated that European nations "do not have the most courageous of instincts," with the implication that America has to intervene in international affairs because Europeans are afraid to. Perle's comments take place against a chorus of similar sentiments to be heard on America's airwaves in recent months.

An average listener would be forgiven for believing that Europeans are a cowardly bunch of ungrateful wimps, whose anti-American bombast is a merely a cover for their complicity with evil regimes.

It may be true. But as a European myself — I'm from Britain — it doesn't feel true. And I wonder if our cultural disconnect comes from two very different experiences of war.

-snip-

(Excerpt) Read more at iht.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: cowards; richardperle; stoptheexcerpts; worldopinion
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1 posted on 01/27/2004 5:22:24 PM PST by quidnunc
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To: quidnunc
Oh, we know Europeans know wars. We've watched them start plenty, which is why I don't know where they get off telling us that they can do it but we can't, without their permission. And we notice they tend to s**t where they eat, so we wonder why they think they're smarter than we are.
2 posted on 01/27/2004 5:26:14 PM PST by wizardoz ("Crikey! I've lost my mojo!")
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"Europeans are a cowardly bunch of ungrateful wimps, whose anti-American bombast is a merely a cover for their complicity with evil regimes.

It may be true...."

No, it is true. And stop trying to lump Britain in with Europeans.

Coward!

3 posted on 01/27/2004 5:27:55 PM PST by VaBthang4 (-He who watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps-)
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To: wizardoz
And I wonder if our cultural disconnect comes from two very different experiences of war.

Yes, we win most of ours.

4 posted on 01/27/2004 5:28:12 PM PST by MarkeyD (Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.)
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To: quidnunc
... oh, and about having American save our sorry butts a couple of times.
5 posted on 01/27/2004 5:28:59 PM PST by PackerBoy (Just my opinion ....)
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To: quidnunc
The only Europeans who "know war" in the sense intended are those who were old enough in 1945 to feel the direct impact. Otherwise, they don't know war any better than American civilians do. And probably not nearly as well as those American civilians in the vicinity of the World Trade Center on the morning of 9/11/2001.
6 posted on 01/27/2004 5:29:01 PM PST by Argus
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To: quidnunc
Marking to read later for all of the great FR come-backs.
7 posted on 01/27/2004 5:29:13 PM PST by Bigg Red (Never again trust Democrats with national security!)
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To: wizardoz
You Hit the nail on the head wizardoz. I don't mind europeans being anti-war. I mind them saying they are when they obviously aren't. Their wars are important and ours are empire building wars for oil. They're not only cowardly; They are ignorant and base.

-Laz
8 posted on 01/27/2004 5:30:19 PM PST by Lazarus Starr
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To: quidnunc
The problem is that European's don't know how to finish wars.
That's what we're here for.

God bless and protect our fine troops.
9 posted on 01/27/2004 5:32:01 PM PST by dyed_in_the_wool ("For diplomacy to be effective, words must be credible" - GWB)
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To: quidnunc
Perle, a former chairman of the Defense Policy Board, stated that European nations "do not have the most courageous of instincts,"

Remarkable arrogance once again from one of the world's foremost warmongers.

I keep doing internet seaches for his military resume, but it never does seem to appear....It does seems that he is of an age where surely there was a war available for him to strut his stuff, and shame the cowards.
10 posted on 01/27/2004 5:33:24 PM PST by mr.pink
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To: quidnunc
The next time one must subject themself to an arrogant european, simply ask what country they are from. When they reply, plead ignorance and ask, "Now, is that one of the countries whose ass we saved, or whose ass we kicked?"
11 posted on 01/27/2004 5:33:30 PM PST by Joe 6-pack ("We deal in hard calibers and hot lead." - Roland Deschaines)
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To: quidnunc
Ha! What a perfect demonstration of Perle's point.

We are showing the foresight to nip the next one in the bud, rather than wait 20 years before Europe gets overrun by the next band of world-conquerors, and Americans are expected to clean up the mess.

And what to make of Kosovo? Europe was more than happy to cede the role of peacemaker to the US. Now it doesn't suit their interests. Tough nuts.

12 posted on 01/27/2004 5:34:05 PM PST by Monti Cello
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To: quidnunc
I prefer not to be forgiven for believing that Europeans are a cowardly bunch of ungrateful wimps, whose anti-American bombast is a merely a cover for their complicity with evil regimes. I'd also not like to be forgiven for recognizing them as socialist, wannabe commies, whose gubmints can't be trusted.
13 posted on 01/27/2004 5:34:15 PM PST by 68 grunt (3/1 India, 3rd, 68-69, 0311)
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To: quidnunc
I think Americans were deeply and permanently changed by our Civil War. We learned of the depravity of war far sooner than the Europeans (and some have yet to learn this).
14 posted on 01/27/2004 5:35:42 PM PST by Kirkwood
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To: VaBthang4
Worth repeating

No, it is true. And stop trying to lump Britain in with Europeans.

The Brits may live in Europe but they damn sure ain't European. The Brits have balls.

15 posted on 01/27/2004 5:38:03 PM PST by jpsb
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To: quidnunc
American soldiers tend not to be afraid of being laughed at...and based on my conversations w/ Europeans, yes, the war years informed them to an extent. But, the lack of courage is not due to being afraid of bullets then over there.

The "modern" Europe is a Lord-of-the-Flies land of comedy, and people for the most part are utterly terrified of being laughed at if they say or support something that is viewed as "wrong". Much of European history is about how wrong they have been about so much. Hasn't changed much.

Being laughed at is seen as a flag .... sort of like the guy on Invasion of the Body Snatchers, where he points at the last non-invaded body, and makes a hideous screech to alert the other aliens of the target.

In this case, most Europeans point and say, cuckoo...cuckoo, while twirling their fingers about their temples. And the laughter thus breeds the cowardice... That's why indecisiveness plagues this continent.
16 posted on 01/27/2004 5:38:51 PM PST by gobucks (http://oncampus.richmond.edu/academics/classics/students/Ribeiro/laocoon)
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To: Joe 6-pack
I have also grown tired of these cowards, particularly, the French. Bye the way, do you know why the Champs Elysees is line with trees? Ans: To shade German soldiers as they march into Paris.
17 posted on 01/27/2004 5:39:57 PM PST by Joe Marine 76 (BUSH 2004!)
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To: quidnunc
Europeans think themselves too sophisticated to admit that evil is real.
18 posted on 01/27/2004 5:40:45 PM PST by onedoug
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To: quidnunc
"But World War II was mercifully different for America. Despite its debilitating losses - and its astonishing selflessness in prioritizing the European theater ahead of its own mission in the Pacific ..."

Of course, now they'd be saying: "Why is the US attacking Germany instead of Japan. They have no proof linking Hitler to December 7th!" And Susie Sarandon would be on TV: "I'd like to know what Germany ever did to us!"
19 posted on 01/27/2004 5:41:26 PM PST by Chi-townChief
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To: wizardoz
They [Europeans] still live in the shadow of two unthinkable wars, and have learnt that patriotism and courageous instincts have too often resulted in corruption, destruction and death.

This typical liberal “bent” logic. Rather than attribute the “two unthinkable wars” to the real sources such as ideology and economic clashes, the liberals cite “patriotism and courageous instincts.” There seems to no shortage of Lenin’s “useful idiots,” especially, the liberal variety, running around Europe.
20 posted on 01/27/2004 5:43:02 PM PST by Lucky Dog
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To: quidnunc
Quid, we know you and love you, but these non-barf alert posts are getting really hard on my esophagus, Bro.
21 posted on 01/27/2004 5:43:23 PM PST by .cnI redruM (Texas; more churches than any other state in the US!)
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To: Joe Marine 76
ERRATUM: "...lined with trees?..."
22 posted on 01/27/2004 5:44:02 PM PST by Joe Marine 76 (BUSH 2004!)
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To: gobucks
I believe it. Europeans are closed-minded, parochial, and defensive... they'd rather be dead than wrong.
23 posted on 01/27/2004 5:44:12 PM PST by wizardoz ("Crikey! I've lost my mojo!")
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To: Joe Marine 76

24 posted on 01/27/2004 5:44:26 PM PST by Joe 6-pack ("We deal in hard calibers and hot lead." - Roland Deschaines)
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To: VaBthang4; jpsb
"And stop trying to lump Britain in with Europeans."/"Brits have balls."

Uh, the guy who wrote this Euro-weenie piece "is" a Brit.

25 posted on 01/27/2004 5:44:52 PM PST by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel)
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To: wizardoz
if they continue to allow the muslim extremists overrun thier countries they may end up being dead and wrong....again.
26 posted on 01/27/2004 5:45:38 PM PST by cripplecreek (.50 cal border fence)
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To: quidnunc
I posted this prior to the War.

______________________________________

I am aware of the news today about the French and Germans continuing to test the limits of American resolve where Iraqi disarmament is concerned. When we as Americans see our one time allies making an obvious, desperate almost vicious stand against what to us is a principled purpose, it can be uncomfortable and a motivation to examine ourselves. It can be difficult for us to accept the notion that our European neighbors [and in many respects, lineage] could possibly be so completely incorrect. I mean they are Europeans, right? They have been around quite a few centuries more than we have and are therefore much wiser, correct? They must know something we don’t know. They must see something we don’t see.

Point blank: They don’t.

Their stand against us stems purely from a position of self-protection and an unwillingness to humbly admit their past dealings with Saddam Hussein's Iraq were wrong...and quite possibly...illegal. As to the United Nations. I think we all with open face comprehend their motives. I doubt there is a reasonable Man alive today or in times past that would label the UN a reserve of resolve for freedom and liberty. Theirs is a repository of effeminate confusions and vicious slander intent on defiling truth and sincerity. They are to be dismissed outright and not worthy of consideration when confronting the difficult paths of Mankind.
We have chosen the difficult path against Iraq. The decision is that Iraq must be fully disarmed. If we do not do this now, millions possibly tens of millions will pay for our lack of resolve in the future. That is not vainglory meant to dismay the feeble minded. It is brutal reality meant to shock Men to their senses.

We are all legitimately afraid of War. Courage is doing what has to be done...in the face of legitimate fear. Even with our overwhelming superiority...we still fear the destruction it causes. We fear the innocence it destroys, the youth it steals...but as Americans we must deal with the reality that War....is the way of Man. If the righteous do not wield the sword then the unrighteous will. It is default and no amount of shallow, perfumed discussion can change that.
If we [US and England] do not call the shots...then lesser beings will. If our motives do not determine the outcome...then impure motives will. This is our responsibility. History stands by for our decision...that decision will echo for eternity in one of two places...the halls of righteousness or the depths of treason and wickedness.

We may not walk on water but neither do our enemies and at some point in the course of freedom you draw the line and hold it.
The complete disarmament of Iraq is that line.
We must hold it, right here, right now. In the face of all the rage from our opponents, in the face of all the dissent of our Benedicts, in spite of the whispering lies of Men of false nobility….

…Iraq must be disarmed, completely…

Or else.


______________________________________


Today's revelations of Iraqis beginning to uncover an "Oil for Support" Conspiracy only serves to further emphasize the point.
27 posted on 01/27/2004 5:45:56 PM PST by VaBthang4 (-He who watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps-)
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To: quidnunc
The writer neglected to write about the part where the Europeans acquiesced to Hitler as he was building his war machine and taking the first steps toward WWII

A little backbone would have prevented that war.
28 posted on 01/27/2004 5:46:53 PM PST by Loyal Buckeye
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To: Lucky Dog
The fact that Marxism has led to more corruption, destruction, and death than patriotism and courage eludes them completely.
29 posted on 01/27/2004 5:46:55 PM PST by wizardoz ("Crikey! I've lost my mojo!")
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To: quidnunc
But as a European myself-I'm from Britain....

I know many Brits who don't consider themselves Europeans. They consider themselves Brits.

30 posted on 01/27/2004 5:47:33 PM PST by clintonh8r ("Hugh" and "series" are SO last year....)
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To: MarkeyD
Yes, we win most of ours.

And all of theirs.

31 posted on 01/27/2004 5:48:11 PM PST by X-FID ( The police aren't in the streets to create disorder; they are in the streets to preserve disorder.)
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To: Joe 6-pack
It is really sad what has happened to the French, at one time they were a great people. They propably still are but man oh man do they need to replace thier elite rulers. The French elite realy realy suck. Hmmm, maybe I should get a french girl friend, hmmmm.
32 posted on 01/27/2004 5:48:46 PM PST by jpsb
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To: mr.pink
Remarkable arrogance once again from one of the world's foremost warmongers.

You beat me to it. I'll go one step further, too -- I think the odds are pretty good that nobody who is closer to Perle than a fourth cousin has ever served in the U.S. military, either.

33 posted on 01/27/2004 5:48:52 PM PST by Alberta's Child (Alberta -- the TRUE North strong and free.)
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To: wizardoz
You are correct. The amazing thing that "idiots" both in Europe and here, in America, continue spout this garbage with apparent sincerity.
34 posted on 01/27/2004 5:50:05 PM PST by Lucky Dog
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To: Joe 6-pack
LOL
35 posted on 01/27/2004 5:50:26 PM PST by VaBthang4 (-He who watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps-)
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To: Argus
How true!
36 posted on 01/27/2004 5:50:26 PM PST by desertcry
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To: Wonder Warthog
Yea, so what? Was the British Army with us in Iraq? And Kosovo, and just about every other damn place we have been forced to go? A nations actions speak far louders then some discontents words.
37 posted on 01/27/2004 5:52:35 PM PST by jpsb
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To: quidnunc
Perle.......stated that European nations "do not have the most courageous of instincts," with the implication that America has to intervene in international affairs because Europeans are afraid to. ....as a European myself — I'm from Britain — it doesn't feel true.

Relax, Fletcher. He's talking about continental Europe, not you Brits.

38 posted on 01/27/2004 5:52:50 PM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: jpsb
I think the vast majority of the good French blood lines moved to the New World centuries ago. Consider the fact that their most effective fighting units consist entirely of foreigners...
39 posted on 01/27/2004 5:52:53 PM PST by Joe 6-pack ("We deal in hard calibers and hot lead." - Roland Deschaines)
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To: MarkeyD
We win ALL that we don't quit.
40 posted on 01/27/2004 5:53:02 PM PST by caisson71
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To: Loyal Buckeye
The writer neglected to write about the part where the Europeans acquiesced to Hitler as he was building his war machine and taking the first steps toward WWII.

Just as you neglected to point out that much of Europe's support of Hitler in the 1930s was based on a very rational understanding that Germany historically served as a strong buffer between Western Europe and the barbaric tribes that lived to the east, and therefore supporting Hitler was the most effective means of protecting Western Europe from the growing Communist threat in the Soviet Union.

41 posted on 01/27/2004 5:53:24 PM PST by Alberta's Child (Alberta -- the TRUE North strong and free.)
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To: quidnunc
The author is a journalist, not a military person, or he might know better. It is the United States, not Europe, who has most recently been scarred by a major conflict, and Vietnam is still very fresh in the minds of my generation of citizens. We were long ago disabused of any naive notions of war, and long ago informed at tedious length of the European experience in turning their beautiful countrysides into charnel houses.

Nor have we forgotten Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, and if some Europeans have it is understandable but not forgivable. It is they, and not we, who have presented the world with the central moral dilemma of our time: how much can one ignore in the interest of not dirtying one's hands, and at what point do scruples and a preference for the niceties of international order become the handcuffs that allow cowards to oppress the weak unhindered? These are not academic questions.

For the author to presume to speak for a country, his own, Great Britain, who has certainly learned these lessons well, and had the courage to defy the stormwinds of European criticism to stand by us, is simply sad. To those British friends reading this I apologize for him - if he doesn't know any better, we do.

42 posted on 01/27/2004 5:55:11 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: Alberta's Child
If I may, what kind of US Military Service did you provide?
43 posted on 01/27/2004 5:55:19 PM PST by VaBthang4 (-He who watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps-)
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To: quidnunc
Fine, Fletcher . . . Do you promise not to call on us next time you appease your way into war? If not, sit down and STFU!
44 posted on 01/27/2004 5:56:44 PM PST by LibWhacker (<a href="http://www.michaelmoore.com/">Miserable Failure</a>)
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To: quidnunc
Europeans Are Not Cowards. It's That We Know War.

Europeans Are Not Cowards. BUT We're Smart Enough To Get The Americans To Expend Their
Capital Fixing Our Problems In Our Own Backyard...Like In The Former Yugoslavia...

...but We were only able to pull that one off because Bill Clinton and his
Democratic Soul-Mates ARE Old Europe.
45 posted on 01/27/2004 5:56:48 PM PST by VOA
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To: quidnunc
The thing with Europeans in the Second World War is that they didn't oppose Hitler in part because they were in agreement.

Anti-communists sometimes sided with him because they were more afraid of Stalin, but his anti-Semitic rhetoric didn't cause much heartburn anywhere in Europe. The Jews who burned in the camps died at German hands, but were rounded up and handed over by French police, Belgian police, Hungarian and Romanian police, and so on.

Palestine was very much in vogue among the camp survivors because there was no home to go back to, having been turned in by their neighbors.

So the writer might better have said that Europeans are not Cowards, its just that They are Fascists, and have a soft spot for dictators in snappy clothes.
46 posted on 01/27/2004 5:57:46 PM PST by marron
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To: Billthedrill
and at what point do scruples and a preference for the niceties of international order become the handcuffs that allow cowards to oppress the weak unhindered?

Nice job.

47 posted on 01/27/2004 5:58:58 PM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: Billthedrill
". It is they, and not we, who have presented the world with the central moral dilemma of our time: how much can one ignore in the interest of not dirtying one's hands, and at what point do scruples and a preference for the niceties of international order become the handcuffs that allow cowards to oppress the weak unhindered? These are not academic questions."

Well said.
48 posted on 01/27/2004 6:00:26 PM PST by marron
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To: Alberta's Child
You beat me to it.I'll go one step further, too -- I think the odds are pretty good that nobody who is closer to Perle than a fourth cousin has ever served in the U.S. military, either.

Why Bush hasn't smacked that troublemaking pr_ck down but good amazes me. He is a disgraceful man who has no loyalty to him.

I'm glad that the Europeans aren't buying any of Perle's (and neo con band of blowhards) BS, and even happier that his ideology is laughed at by our trans Atlantic friends.
49 posted on 01/27/2004 6:01:01 PM PST by mr.pink
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To: clintonh8r
I can say that I was treated well in England in the 90s. Like trash in Germany in the 70s and even worse in Iceland in 84. Brits are our friends,and most love Americans.USAF IN Europe Was USAFE,don't now the acronym now.
50 posted on 01/27/2004 6:01:10 PM PST by noutopia (Don't hate me cause I'm right !)
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