Skip to comments.The Sun Sets in the West (Buchanan alert)
Posted on 02/23/2007 1:29:08 PM PST by pissant
Forty thousand marched in beside the Americans. Only 7,100 remain; 1,600 will be heading home by Easter.
By August, the Danish force of 470 is to be withdrawn, as is the tiny Lithuanian unit. South Korea has 2,200 troops in the Kurdish north. Though they rarely leave base, 1,100 are to depart by August, the rest by year's end.
The Italians are gone. The Spanish pulled out after the Madrid bombings. Ukraine's 1,600 have departed. The Japanese have gone. Declaring the war "unjust and wrong," Slovakia's new prime minister just ordered home his country's contingent of 110 engineers.
Only the Americans are going deeper in. Aussies excepted, the "coalition of the willing" is no longer willing.
In Afghanistan, Americans, and Brits, Canadians and Dutch fight, as Germans, French and Italians do "reconstruction." In World War I, France, Italy and Germany lost 4 million men. In Afghanistan and Iraq, the three together have probably not lost 50.
Prime Minister Romano Prodi resigned Wednesday, when his plan to stay in Afghanistan and enlarge a U.S. base in Italy, lest refusal be seen as "a hostile act toward the U.S.A.," was rejected in the Senate.
Vice President Cheney hails Tony Blair's announced withdrawal of British troops as a sign of success. Yet, he says the Pelosi-Murtha plan to withdraw U.S. troops would only "validate the al-Qaida strategy."
The White House says the British pullout is an affirmation of our partnership, but the Brits could have sent those 1,600 to Baghdad or Anbar. They did not.
The Brits are leaving with mission unaccomplished. They are being shot at and mortared every day in Basra. Tribal and Shia militias have not been disarmed. The Sunni are being ethnically cleansed from the south. Militant Shia want the Brits gone, so they can take over.
The British people are bridling at the cost in blood and money of a war that destroyed Tony Blair, who is weeks away from resigning as prime minister. One British historian said at year's end he has never such levels of anti-Americanism in his country.
There is a larger meaning to all this, and Americans must come to terms with it. NATO is packing it in as a world power. NATO is little more than a U.S. guarantee to pull Europe's chestnuts out of the fire if Europeans encounter a fight they cannot handle, like an insurgency in Bosnia or Kosovo. NATO has one breadwinner, and 25 dependents.
At the end of the Cold War, internationalists like Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana declared, "NATO must go out of area, or go out of business." What Lugar meant was, with the Soviet threat lifted from Europe, NATO must shoulder more of the global burden.
But the Balkan crises of the 1990s showed that Europeans are not even up to policing their own playground. The Americans had to come in, gently push them aside and do the job. The message Europe is today sending to America, with the withdrawals from Iraq and the refusal of Italy, Germany and France to fight in Afghanistan:
"We are not going out of area again. If you Americans want to play empire, go right ahead. We will not again send our sons overseas to fight in regions of the world from which we withdrew half a century ago. You're on your own."
Where does this leave NATO? This leaves NATO as little more than a U.S. guarantee to go to war for the nations of Europe, while Europeans can be freeloading critics of U.S. policy around the world.
NATO is an expensive proposition. We maintain dozens of bases and scores of thousands of troops from Norway to the Balkans, from Spain to the Baltic republics, from the Black Sea to the Irish Sea.
What do we get for this? Why do we tax ourselves to defend rich nations who refuse to defend themselves? Is the security of Europe more important to us than to Europe?
In the early years of World Wars I and II, Europeans implored us to come save them from the Germans. We did. In the early Cold War, Europeans welcomed returning GIs who stood guard in the Fulda Gap.
Now, with the threat gone, the gratitude is gone. Now, with their welfare states eating up their wealth, their peoples aging, their cities filling up with militant migrants, they want America to continue defending them, as they sit in moral judgment on how we go about it.
This isn't an alliance. This isn't a partnership. Time to split the blanket. If they won't defend themselves, let them, as weaker nations have done to stronger states down through the ages.
Sixty years after World War II, 15 years after the Cold War, Europe's defense should become Europe's responsibility.
You bemoan the europeans lack of help to a war that you have done your level best to talk them and us from waging. You are an idiot
100% correct pissant.
Pat's well documented absurdity aside, what particular part of this article do you disagree with? I understand disagreeing with Buchanan on a philosophica level, and in many cases I do. I just don't see where he's wrong in this particular case.
Pat, you sound like you can't wait for America to fail, and for our government to perhaps collapse.
Wise up ya dope, you could even set the Congress on fire, but Americans are not going to elect you as Chancellor.
So take off that little fake mustache and stop stomping your boots around the house.
Nope, sorry, there's a lot of truth in what Pat says.
Europe is becoming a godless, amoral, materialist economic zone that bears little resemblance to the ally we remember. And, demographically speaking, it is disappearing.
Mark Steyn has it right when he says it's "America Alone."
In the early years of World Wars I and II, Europeans implored us to come save them from the Germans. We did. In the early Cold War, Europeans welcomed returning GIs who stood guard in the Fulda Gap. Now, with the threat gone, the gratitude is gone. Now, with their welfare states eating up their wealth, their peoples aging, their cities filling up with militant migrants, they want America to continue defending them, as they sit in moral judgment on how we go about it.
"...as they sit in moral judgment on how we go about it."
I do find it preposterous that Europeans actually believe they are somehow morally superior to us. Exactly what moral basis would that be...?
What part of "America alone" don't they get?
It's just us, boys and girls--so get over it.
You may not like Pat, which is painfully obvious and somewhat of past time here on FR, but I don't know how you can argue with much of what he is saying in this article. I don't think is calling for or anticipating the defeat of America. What he is doing is calling out Europe for what it is, an old, tired, weak continent populated by people more interested in sucking on the government teat than defending their way of life. With the exception of the airbase and hospital in Germany I would bring all our troops home from Europe and let them learn to kiss the feet of their soon to be Muslim masters. And when they cry for us to come back and again pull the butt from the fire we should tell them you made your sharia bed, put on your burka and lay in it.
I think perhaps that Buchanan is taking te blame for a defeatism that is soundly rooted in European foreign and domastic policy...Why should we be indebting our childrens' children for the defense of an ungrateful continent? Why should we do so to prop up a UN that has served as a bastion of anti-Americanism for decades?
Sometimes our national policies resemble the personal life of an NBA star who, having succeeeded professionally, doesn't have the sense to rid himself of the lowlife gang members who glom onto him.
For starters, he give no credit to the countries that have already extended deployments in the past, or have recently sent troops or extended deployments. Those include more countries than the ones that are drawing down, including such stalwarts as the Aussies and the Poles. He ignored what Tony blair said about the drawdown, that they have achieved stability in the area and can start drawing down. Instead he paints a picture of British troops under attack "daily". He does not give the Brits any credit for the crackdown they initaited last year when violence was flaring in their sector.
He gives short shrift to the stellar work NATO has been doing in Afghanistan. Didn't bother to mention that the Poles are sending in elite forces there now to FIGHT. Doesn't mention that UAE has forces in Afghanistan, or that Jordan is continuing to train Iraqi police and security.
Doesn't mention that the eastern euros have stood and continue to stand with us. Or that we are going to put anti missile batteries and bases there.
He prattles on about this BS about America being an empire.
And he give no hint on the importance of the mission, and has defeating terrorists.
Other than that its fine.
He is mocking America more than the europeans in this article. He thinks its a fools errand. He is the fool.
He has been anticipating American defeat and frankly, cheering it on in both Afghanistan and Iraq for as long as I can remember.
I completely agree with the comment by Redangus.
He's right about NATO. The alliance had its day and the defense of Europe should be up to the Europeans. They should be capable of handling a situation like Bosnia or Kosovo.
And if they had to focus on defending themselves, they'd have less time to bitch, whine and complain about everything the US is doing. Or not doing, as the case may be.
The US can negotiate agreements for bases with individual countries as necessary.
The Brits fought fantastically in the Iraq war and are still doing so in Afghanistan. They have pacified their sector, which never had the same level of violence as ours in Iraq. Several eastern european countries are still standing firm. The Poles are sending elite forces to Afghanistan. Eastern Europe is coalescing around the US and we are boxing a very untrustworthy Russia in.
No, the europeans do not carry their weight in NATO all the time, but they have perfomed admirably, not to mention that WE have basing rights in many of their countries.
Does America do most of the heavy lifting? Yes, always has, always will.
Hard to find fault with these comments
"What he is doing is calling out Europe for what it is, an old, tired, weak continent populated by people more interested in sucking on the government teat than defending their way of life. With the exception of the airbase and hospital in Germany I would bring all our troops home from Europe and let them learn to kiss the feet of their soon to be Muslim masters. And when they cry for us to come back and again pull the butt from the fire we should tell them you made your sharia bed, put on your burka and lay in it."
I absolutely agree with you. I would have closed down ALL euro peon bases about 5 years ago. It would definitely hurt their economies and send a well deserved message.
He paints a false picture of the South in Iraq.