The Third Rail

Monday, May 06, 2002

On a lighter note, this is just so cool. It’s important to keep a sense of humor.

It’s 1936 all over again. The Spanish Civil War was the defining moment of a generation. Even for the people who did not fight, it forced the world to decide on whose side it was going to select. I think the Palestinian-Israeli War is the exact same. Do you allow the legitimate grievances of the Palestinians to outweigh the obvious murderous and terrorist actions of their corrupt leadership? Do you allow criticism of Israel to excuse anti-Semitic propagandas and crimes? Is you desire to appear “fair” or “even-handed” cause you to elevate both sides of an argument as morally equal despite that one faction is made up of murderers and tyrants versus a nation struggling to avenge innocent dead and prevent more atrocities?

This battle is being fought now, not just in Afghanistan and the Middle East, but on the streets of Europe and the campuses of America. The rise of Le Pen, the muder of Pim Fortuyn, and the far left’s acceptance and increasing advocation of anti-Semitism are part of this as well. Will we allow the progress of the world these past 60 years to be washed away by moral relativism and cowardice?

Dutch kill Gay Nazi. Well, not quite while although definitely gay, Pim Fortuyn was no Nazi. Instead he was that obviously unacceptable politician in Europe – the man who challenges the “Brussels consensus.” His murder is completely abhorrent , and whether he would have succeeded to become the Dutch Prime Minister should have been irrelevant to any who opposed his stance on immigration.

Conflicting ideas are best battled in open forums and in the ballot box, not with guns. At least the French didn’t kill neo-fascist Jean Marie le Pen, but Jacques Chirac’s refusal to debate him and expose his ideas to public ridicule is symptomatic of the sclerotic donjons of the European Union. Far right parties are on the upswing throughout Europe precisely because the Brussels consensus cannot tolerate dispute. Never mind that the Brussels consensus has lead to anemic economic growth, continued high employment, and of course the coddling of terrorists.

That last bit more than anything is what is transforming European politics, and the European elites just do not get it. Many of the September 11th hijackers not only planned and lived in Europe before their attack, but they collected welfare payments from the European national governments while doing it.

While the European press has been critical of America in stages of the Al Qaeda War, I feel there is much more widespread support among the average European. They know quite well that we are fighting their war as well. America is divided from the Middle Age and fanatical Islamists, Europe is not, and they are scared more immigrants will erode the foundations of their societies. Saying so does not make one racist or a bigot against Muslims, it is a legitimate fear that Europe needs to openly debate and resolve.

The European elite is more concerned with appearances than reality, and so they pretend there are no problems and fail to address valid issues whose very debate may show their supposed moral superiority to Americans is false. Europe has made a lot of cracks about American reaction after September 11, but it is in Europe, not America, that religiously inspired hate attacks and vandalisms are taking place, neo-fascism is on the rise, and political violence is invading civil society.

The longer Europe pretends there is no problem and that the harbingers of violence are only on the fringe, the ruder their awakening will be.