Fat Steve's Blatherings

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Not Quite on Target

      Medienkritik reads the German press so you won't have to.

      Commenting on a recent article in Der Spiegel, Ray D. suggests that Europeans resent the U.S. because they're dependent on the U.S. military, not having one of their own of any size.

      There's something to this, but remember, France and Germany were once world powers, and the European Union's GDP and population outweigh ours.  If they really wanted a superpower military, they could have it.  So why don't they have one?

      Because they don't dare.  European civilization is based on ethnicity.  They can talk about being Europeans, but in their hearts, someone is either a member of their tribe, by blood, or a "stranger/enemy."  (I'll never forget the shock I got, reading Len Deighton's novel Spy Hook; a young woman complains that at school, she was taunted for being a Hungarian; she replied to them that she was born in England; they laughed: "If you were born in an orange crate, would that make you an orange?") Give a nation like that a powerful military, and it immediately begins considering which neighbor to invade.  Europe is afraid to have a powerful military, just as an alcoholic might be afraid to have liquor in the house.

      All of this is part of a larger problem of living in the past, emotionally, while simultaneously rejecting it -- but that's another post.



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