The Awakening of Europe

Posted: February 10, 2006 in International, Politics

The awakening of Europe. By Victor Davis Hanson

Over the last four years Americans have played a sort of parlor game wondering when—or if—the Europeans might awake to the danger of Islamic fascism and choose a more muscular role in the war on terrorism.

But after the acrimony over the invasion of Iraq, Abu Ghraib, and Guantanamo, pessimists scoffed that the Atlantic alliance was essentially over. Only the postmortem was in dispute: did the bad chemistry between the Texan George Bush and the Green European leadership who came of age in the street theater of 1968 explain the falling out?

Or was the return of the old anti-Americanism natural after the end of the Cold War—once American forces were no longer needed for the security of Europe?

Or again, was Europe’s third way a realistic consideration of its own unassimilated and growing Muslim population, at a time of creeping pacifism, and radically scaled down defense budgets after the fall of the Berlin Wall?

Yet suddenly in 2006, the Europeans seem to have collectively resuscitated. The Madrid bombings, the murder of Theo van Gogh, the London subway attacks, and the French rioting in October and November seem to have prompted at least some Europeans at last to question their once hallowed sense of multiculturalism in which Muslim minorities were not asked to assimilate at home and Islamic terrorists abroad were seen as mere militants or extremists rather than enemies bent on destroying the West.

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I agree wth Hanson, but I think he is being overly optimistic about Europe. They were and are ineffectual; they might be our allies, but have rarely, if ever, been good allies. We simply cannot rely on them.

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