Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Isolationism Forced on US
More than an ocean separates us. The us is the USA and our European roots. Citizens of the United States are viewed by many of their European cousins as losers. It is a common attitude among Europeans that Americans of European descent are the descendants of those who could not succeed or survive in the societies which they left. It’s not so much the escape from religious and political persecution but more the fact that economically they were failures.
This world view complicates the current situation with Iran and the Iranian leadership (rulers) is skillfully exploiting European fears. The socialistic nature of European economies makes them vulnerable to any suggestion of hard choices which might have negative consequences. With unemployment rates at 10% or higher there is little incentive for these nations to make it worse by endorsing economic sanctions against Iran for the mere reason of preventing another nuclear nation.
Centuries of war, famine, rapacious monarchies, and finally two world wars have exhausted the European spirit. As a whole they feel that it is better to be “Red than Dead.” Of course that old saw refers to Soviet domination but its essence still works.
The Bush Administration has a problem if they think sanctions are going to be put in place anytime soon. First there is the credibility problem with regard to Iraq. This despite the fact that every major intelligence agency in every nation was convinced that WMD existed in Iraq; they are probably in Syria and perhaps Iran at the moment. Second the level of trade between Europe and Iran dwarfs any such activity with between the US and Iran. The Europeans have too much to lose. Couple this with their growing Muslim population and the resulting de facto isolation of the United States. This will complicate US domestic politics in the future.
The Democrat Party will feel the pinch when they return to control of the government. They will seek a rapprochement with Europe and Islam by acquiescing to most demands and will then lose the power they have lusted after for the last few years. Accommodation is impossible as long Islam promises only paradise in the future. The desire of the liberal –ultra liberal types to be integrated into the “sophisticated Euro society” will never happen as acceptance has always been an illusion.
Being rescued twice by the United States has made European feel a bit inadequate and angry. They strike back through false superiority and getting a perverse pleasure from thwarting US aims even when the danger to themselves is obvious.