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By August, the Danish force of 470 is to be withdrawn, as is the tiny Lithuanian unit.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.
We swapped jobs with the British a while ago because we were better equipped to handle the hot spots, and the coordination needed to mix troops wasn't worth the effort.
For the most part, Pat's been right all along. Except here he fails to stress also kicking the UN out of NYC.
Only if you are a defeatist or a pcifist.
With the exception of the Brits and a few others who have sent token forces, the euro peons are a joke. They go where the fighting is minimal and if they take a couple of casualties its "Hit The Road Jack". Been ticked off at the euro peons for some time and glad some others feel the same way.
Crank till you throw a piston, pissant: there's no disputing this point.
I hope this does not happen. Can you imagine the entire Europe area Muslim. Now we would have Middle East, Europe, some African countries and some Asian countries and we would have to defend ourselves from all of them??? Do you really want that? I am not saying we could not win, but is that really necessary just because some are not liking Europe right now. I am stationed here and the people here appreciate our being here.
He did mention the Aussies, actually, but they're by far the minority, as far as holding firm.
He ignored what Tony blair said about the drawdown, that they have achieved stability in the area and can start drawing down.
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.
Stellar? I have friends in Afghanistan. The situation is not stellar, and NATO is not stellar. Some, like the Poles, are exceptionally good. Again, they're in the minority.
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.
Well, if al-Qa'ida ever gets an ICBM, then that will help. Otherwise, those bases are to cow the Russians, and the Eastern Euros are acting in their own self interest.
He prattles on about this BS about America being an empire.
He has in the past, to great and idiotic extent. Not seeing it here, except in a non-attributed quote.
And he give no hint on the importance of the mission, and has defeating terrorists.
So if he had started out by saying "It's a shame, given the importance of the mission, that our allies are jumping ship left and right.", you'd be more comfortable with his points, otherwise?
I agree with you and Pat 100%.
With all due respect, having bases in Europe doesn't seem to have stopped the flood of Muslims into Europe. Before I say anything else, thank you for your service! I am sure there are some people in Europe who detest the thought of an Islamic Europe but, like here, the politicians do not do the will of the people (ie Illegal Immigration). What are the Europeans saying about Kosovo now?
Someone ought to publicly humiliate the blighter for the idiocy he's spouting.
--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--
They don't mention Kosovo. I just wish that Europe didn't have these idiots in their governments. I think to be honest with you is what makes Europe look bad and of course allow policies that make it nice for muslims. I definitely think that is ashame. I just see the people who work really hard at trying to make a living...would most likely be conservative Republicans in the United States IMHO. I will admit to you that I am stationed in Sicily which is definitely pro-American. I would put them in the same level as Upper New York State, Southern Virginia, or panhandle of Florida, but they are stuck with "Italy" as their government. Thank you for the nice words on my service. I really love it and will look forward to getting to Iraq (not exactly sure when I am going...truth!) and kick some major buttocks (would use other words but I am being nice today. lol).
I think it is pretty obvious that eastern europe wants us much more badly than western europe. I forsee some shifting alliances in the not-so-distant future.
I didn't know that the Italian government was so far gone until I read about Prodi's resignation! I didn't know you could move any further to the left! I think many European countries made a fatal error when they chose "cradle to grave" socialism. I think some of the governments are just plain broke. The don't have the money to send troops and they cover up by saying that America is Bad. It is hard to stop a landslide (socialism) when it starts and it is hard to stop a bureauacracy that is entrenched.
You are so right on every point. We saw what happened in France when they tried to take some security in jobs to a bunch of young kids. They went nuts. lol. I hope our country does not get that bad. You should see how much vacation time they receive. They don't work from 1-4 everyday because of "siesta" time. It is really a good deal if you have a job.....and that is a big if. It would never work for the U.S. Can you imagine everything closing from 1-4???? Americans would have a corinary. lol. There work hours are from 9-1 and 4-8. They can't work over 40 hours and if there is a holiday, they automatically get the next day off for rest day. Maternity leave is six months. Vacation time is six weeks a year. That is one area where I wish America would do is give a bit more vacation time. But other than that I don't think anything else would work for us.
Good grief, they're going home because the damn war is over. We won.