Why Europe Doesn't Matter
This war would be over far sooner if 350 million Europeans insisted on a modicum of behavior from Middle Eastern rogue regimes, rounded up and tried terrorists in their midst, deported islamofascists, cut off funding to killers on the West Bank, ignored Yasser Arafat ? and warned the next SOB who blew up Europeans in Turkey, North Africa, or Iraq that there was a deadly reckoning to come from the continent that invented the Western military tradition. Indeed, European sophistication and experience, combined with real power, could be a great aid to the West in its effort to promote liberal and consensual governments outside its shores. But if they do not even believe in the unique legacy of their civilization, then why should we ? much less their enemies?
victor davis hanson, nro
Well, England matters to some extent, but the wrinklies in Germany and France have lost the sense that their civilization is worth defending. So they have stopped defending it. Chirac's pathetic, twenty years too late, attempt to outlaw the conditions which give rise to women being forced to wear the hajib, demonstrated the decline of Europe. A vigorous culture would be able to say, "Wear whatever the hell you want. Doesn't matter. France is strong enough to include all of you."
One of the reasons why the New Europe is beginning to ascend is that it has not, as yet, imported hundreds of thousands of Muslim immigrants who want to enjoy the fruits of Western culture and economics while retaining the customs which have kept Islam mired in the Middle Ages. While Algerians were pouring into France in the 1960s, 70s and 80s - no one willingly immigrated to Poland or Latvia or Czechoslovakia. Much less Russia. So the Islamofascists in the ring of Parisian suburbs where the police do not dare enter, or the Midlands towns which have become Islamized, have no hold in the New Europe. The Netherlands may be an Islamic nation in twenty years; Poland or Hungary will never be.
When Eastern Europe was freed Westerners flocked there to enjoy an architecture which had been frozen in the amber of decades of Communist misrule. What had also been preserved, despite the best efforts of the despots, was a sense of European Culture. This was not multi-cultural. This was not terribly tolerant; rather it was a culture which longed to shuck off the Russians and get back to its European roots. While Western Europe was creating endless problems with guest workers and colonial immigration, the East longed for a Europe before WWII.
Old Europe, Western Europe, became a prisoner of its own liberality and its own uncertainty. After all, Old Europe, produced Germany which gassed the Jews and France which happily put its Jews on trains destined for unknown destinations. How could either nation honestly say it embodied a civilization worth protecting. The generation of 1968 in France and in Germany lost any sense of the glory of European civilization and buried it under an avalanche of deconstructed, culturally relative tropes which boiled down to European self hatred. Europeans looked at America as arrogant, bumptious and naive - simply because Americans were still fairly certain of their destiny as the leaders and inventors of the Free World. Such certainty seemed irrational to nations who, in fits of madness, had managed to deliberately kill millions of their own citizens.
Until Europe gets over it, accepts its barbarous past with the horror it should elicit, it will be stuck in the bog of self doubt which characterizes it today. Nations like England, which did not slaughter her Jews and offered refuge to at least a few of the Jews of Europe, are divorced from the deep self doubt the rest of what was Western Europe cannot help but feel. Which means the English, the Americans, the Australians, the Italians (because they dealt with their own fascism), the Spaniards (because they too dealt with their own fascism) and a host of other nations are moving into the next phase of the development of the West. The moment when the West says, "You bet we defend ourselves. We, our culture and our civilization, are worth defending because they embodiy the highest attainments of human civilization and human intellect. We will defend and expand our legacy."
There will be nations too intellectually and spiritually poor to remain in the West and carry on the traditions of Europe. Some will fall by the wayside, others will rebuild on the thousands of years of Western tradition.