Europe Going Down America’s Path

One could argue that if Sarkozy ran for presidency in the U.S. right now, he would be lucky to win a single state beyond Texas and Arizona! While Americans are trying hard to get themselves out of the quagmire that Bush and the Neo-Cons dragged them into, the French have elected a man that will prove to be the most right wing (in terms of American politics, not the French system!), the most feared and the most hateful person ever wanting to be the president of France after Jean-Marie Le Pen. Nicolas Sarkozy, if successful in pursuing his plans and winning in the upcoming legislative elections, could turn the French government into a neo-fascist, totalitarian and inefficient state– albeit with some economic improvements at a high cost.

This trend of repeating America’s mistakes after 9/11 and pursuing hardline and aggressive policies on the basis of rash judgments (something the Europeans rightly resisted when America was committed to the cause), are not limited to France. Germany may be going down the same path with Angela Merkel, as well as Britain with the success of the Tories.

[Scotland is a nice exception, though, with the SNP’s outstanding success and its promise to give Her Majesty some well-deserved spanking.]

The question is just why Europe is going down America’s path post-9/11 while America itself is trying hard to get out of the mess. Could it be the incredibly overblown fear of Islamism and terrorism? I think that might be one reason: Immediately after it was announced that Sarkozy had won the elections, one of the most popular comments in BBC’s “Your Reaction” section celebrated Sarkozy’s win as yet another way to “stop the expansion of Islamism in Europe.”

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8 responses to “Europe Going Down America’s Path

  1. What you are seeing is the long awaited shift back to the Right. Many countries moved to the left (liberal side) and ordinary realized that something was wrong. Communist and Socialist were leading us down a raod that would to our eventual colapse. We have gotten to the point where we woke up from our dreams and relize that we are living in a real world not a fantasy would. we must confront our problems not just hope they’ll just go away. We cannot stick our heads in the sand and not think about it, the way some people do.

  2. “Could it be the incredibly overblown fear of Islam and terrorism?”

    Overblown! With all the killing and the crowds yelling “Death to America” every chance they get, yes, I have a REAL fear of Islam and terrorism.

  3. The biggest mistake we made after September 11th was in attacking the wrong country. Though I make no apology for getting rid of Sadam Hussein, the man was a dispicable tyrant who had no right to rule in the first place, it is a very dangerous precedent to attack a nation which didn’t attack us.

    As for your claim that our fear of Islam and terrorism is overblown, I agree with A.J. Our reaction has been anything but overblown. On the contrary, our reaction has been too slow and restrained. It is not just a question of the chanting he referred to -but here is a tip: it will not engender the good will of any people on earth to refer to their nation as “the Great Satan” for thirty years.

    The juvenile name calling is of course the most trivial of our objections. Beginning thirty years ago with the capture of our embassy and the taking of hostages. What is it about Iranians and hostages? Do you feel unfullfiled without them? As I’m sure you know, an embassy is – by international law – the sovereign territory of the nation it represents. Your conquest of the U.S. embassy, therefore, was an invasion of the sovereign territory of the United States. An act of war by any measure. If most any other American president had been in office at that time numerous Iranian military installations would have been attacked at the very least. Carter has claimed that had he done so he probably would have won reelection. He says, however, his decision to show forbarence saved many Iranian and American lives. He may very well be right in this. For all of your villification of Carter, he was the best friend the Iranian people ever had in that office.

    What followed this has been a spate of more emoldened terrorism often sponsored by the Iranian government and more and more outrages rhetoric. When your president claims, for example, that the holocoast did not occur, that Isreal should be obliterated and then embarcks on a nuclear weapons program seemingly to fullfill that wish. It is hard to have an “overblown” reaction to such things. I wonder if Iran succeeds in the nuclear destruction of Isreal and thus creates a second holocoast will they someday deny that occured as well?

    Did we overreact to Sepetember 11th? Try to see the events of that day from our point of view. Those attacks killed more Americans than Pearl Harbor; which percipitated American entry into a war in which we killed over two million Japaneese (sources differ greatly in estimating the number of Japaneese killed in the Second World War). You would have to go back to our civil war in the nineteenth century to find such a large number of casualties resulting from a single act on our soil. In short such an act of violence was unprecedented in our living memory. Unlike at Pearl Harbor, however, September 11th principly targeted civilians. By the way, please don’t insult my intelligence by insisting the Jews were actualy responsible.

    There exists a school of thought which claims that our conflict with the Muslim world is not a clash between civilizations but a clash between civilization and barbourism, between the Enlightenment and the Dark Ages, between reason and superstition, between those who would treat women respectfully and those who treat women as property. I have always resisted such ideas but it is becomming increasingly difficult to do so. I see the antagonism only increasing now and I do not know where this ends; an American flag over the Kabul Mousque?

    I sincerley hope that I am wrong about this and that forums like yours may in some small way contribute to a greater understanding between us. Until next time I wish you peace.

  4. Jeff,

    Nice post; everyone, live long and prosper.

  5. Jeff,
    How about you try to understand the innumerabe atrocities of your imperialist government from our perspective, including organizing a military coup to overthrow our first and only secular democratic government in 1953, or providing Saddam Hussein with the weaponry (even chemical) to kill hundreds of thousands of my countrymen over eight years of bloodshed?
    9/11 was a tragic event, so tragic that people in Tehran gathered to sympathize with the victims with candlelights. Yet again, there’s no comparison between the damage caused by terrorism since 9/11 with even a single instance of your government’s sponsorhsip of mass killings and humiliation imposed on our nation over the last 50 years.

  6. Perhaps more ironic is that the Taliban, Wahhabi extremists and Saddam Hussein were your best friends in the ME untill 9/11.
    Back then the greater good was to kill the bloody Iranians at whatever cost, right?

  7. “Perhaps more ironic is that the Taliban, Wahhabi extremists and Saddam Hussein were your best friends in the ME untill 9/11.
    Back then the greater good was to kill the bloody Iranians at whatever cost, right?”

    Ah, err, not quite true, my friend. As a general rule, “average” Americans have historically had no prejudices against Iranians – even in our Deep South, the land of historical prejudice!

    Many people of Middle Eastern descent have settled here in the last 100 years. We are a free and open country. All that we ask of newcomers is that they obey the law, work legally, and contribute to the building of the country. We do not want them to import their old ways if they interfere with what the Founders intent was, however. Thus, our current serious problems with Mexico.

    As for our issues in the Cold War – well, our leaders “back in the day” thought that we would indeed “go nuclear” with Russia and/or China. The fact is, that war is over, the Russian empire is gone, the Chinese have converted to a benevolent dictatorship in the guise of a communist workers’ paradise. We still face potential problems with China and Russia – but with both countries NOT focused on ideology, and much more focused on internal matters, they are clearly much less of a threat to us, for the time being.

    Where we have errored, we are sorry, but we blame it partly on our survival instincts. If the US were to have been nuked in th 1960’s, Iran would likely have escaped destruction. Until, that is, Russian forces swooped in to “get the oil.” A lot of good that would have been for Iranians! Thus, in a sense, Iranians have benefitted from US “protection” from the Soviet Union. Now, Iran may stand on its own, as there is no aim or objective from Moscow (or Beijing) with the goal to take Iranian oil – for the time being! (Russia is still not a nation to be taken lightly, nor is China. Who knows what the future may hold for Iran with these countries? It could be good – or it could be dire!)

    If we have errored in Iraq, it was in our zeal to find a quick resolution to a problem that can only be resolved over a long period of time. The “quick invasion” did not bring peace, as we had hoped. Now we find ourselves in an expensive war that we do not want. Knowing this is useful though. We will find a way out that will return us to the status quo.

    Our leaders may have forgotten that just like we plainly “outgrew” the Russian problem, and won the Cold War that way, this is indeed the only way we will “beat Islamic Terrorism.” We must outgrow it – economically, spiritually, socially.

  8. a raod from kabul to moscow

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