Current Events


In our last Update (#88), we published a special report from Continental Europe, showing European reactions to the war with Iraq. We pointed out that we do not necessarily agree with the opinions set forth in the report.

With this issue, we are bringing you a special report from the American point of view. As you will see, this report confirms, too, the ongoing alienation of the United States of America and continental Europe, as foretold in the Bible thousands of years ago. We want to point out that we do not necessarily agree with the opinions expressed in this report, either, but we feel that it is important to realize the different view points on the matter of Iraq, and that these things may well affect the future of all of us.

We would also like to mention that we do not vouch for the accuracy of the “facts” stated in contributions, as published in these special reports. For instance, in the last report from Europe, somebody stated that Germany was never a colonial power, which is of course not correct. In this report, you will find a statement by someone that no German leader compared Saddam with Hitler. Although technically correct, quite a few German leaders, including foreign minister Joschka Fischer (from the Green party), Angela Merkel (leader of the Christian Democrats) and Guido Westerwelle (leader of the Free Democrats) pointed out repeatedly the tyranny, evil conduct and suppression of Saddam. Still, we are bringing you those statements uncorrected, as to present their flavor in their original form.

This report will show the strong differences of opinions in the United States and continental Europe, especially in France and Germany. We don’t ignore the fact that there are dissenting opinions in both parts of the world, but the quoted statements in our reports seem to convey, in our judgment, the respective majority positions.

World Net Daily, April 8, 2003

Dear Germany: Have you learned anything?
By Dennis Prager

[Dennis Prager, one of America’s most respected and popular nationally syndicated radio talk-show hosts, is the author of several books and a frequent guest on television shows such as Larry King Live, Politically Incorrect, The Late Late Show on CBS, Rivera Live, The Early Show on CBS, Fox Family Network, The O’Reilly Factor and Hannity & Colmes.]

I grew up, as many Americans and nearly all Jews did, with a deep anger at your country. But as a young man, I began to rethink my views of Germans. Against the wishes of almost everyone I knew – most of whom would not even buy a German product – I decided to go to Germany. My visit in 1968, at the age of 20, was the first of at least a dozen trips to your country.

In fact, I became a defender of yours.

I argued that it was wrong to hold any German who had been younger than 13 years old during the war morally responsible for your country’s horrific crimes. I chose the age of 13 because in Judaism, that is the age of moral culpability. I argued in 1968 that every German then under the age of 40 must be regarded as blameless, and we should not assume the worst of every German over 40.
I argued that because Volkswagen and Mercedes defied the Arab boycott and did business with Israel, Jews should not boycott German products.

I argued that you were our staunch ally in the Cold War in confronting Soviet Communism.

I argued, most important of all, that Germans were ashamed of their Nazi past and had learned great moral lessons from it.

The last argument, I now realize, was more hope than fact. There is no question that the vast majority of Germans are ashamed of Nazism and the Holocaust. But I am now as certain as I am sad that you learned nothing about good and evil from it, and that you are as confused morally today as you were when you supported Hitler. Not because you are evil, but because you cannot recognize evil.
This is stunning. Unlike the Japanese, who have ignored their atrocities against the Chinese and Koreans, you confronted your evil. You taught the next generations of Germans about Nazism and about the Holocaust.
It is therefore incredible that all that education about evil has produced a generation that shies away from judging, let alone confronting, evil. It boggles the mind that a nation that was liberated from Nazism solely by armies waging war should embrace pacifism, that a nation that saw what appeasement of evil leads to now embraces it.
I was sure that some German leaders would stand up and say, “My fellow Germans, we know a Hitler when we see one, and Saddam Hussein is one.” But no German stood up to say this. Instead, one of your leaders compared the American president to Hitler.

I was sure that some German leaders would stand up and say, “My fellow Germans, we know genocidal anti-Semitism when we see it, and we see it in the Arab world.” But no German leader stood up to say this either.
Few of us expected anything from the French. From the Jacobins and the guillotine, to the Dreyfus trial, to the Vichy regime, to de Gaulle’s withdrawal from anti-communist NATO, France, with rare exceptions, has done little that is moral and nothing that is courageous. So the disdain that many Americans have long felt for France has merely been reinforced.

But I think that I speak in the name of many Americans in saying that we expected more of you. Because of what we did for you after World War II and during the Cold War. Because you, of all people, know that Americans are a decent people. And especially because of your experience with evil. How could you have produced a Hitler and not recognize another one just one generation later? How could you know firsthand about torture chambers and children’s screams and not ache to end them in another country? How could you side with amoral France against your friend America?

There is, it would seem, only one answer. Nazism taught you nothing. Instead of learning that evil must be fought, you learned that fighting is evil.

But thanks for Bach.

U.S. News & World Report:

December 23, 2002 (p. 56):

Put-up or Shut-up Time
By Mortimer B. Zuckerman, Editor-in-Chief

Iraq’s declaration is manifestly false and surely amounts to a material breach of the U.N. security resolution calling for a “full, final and complete” declaration of Iraq’s weapons programs… America must be resolute. Should a member of the Security Council announce his attentions to oppose action against Iraq – and France and Russia may be tempted because of their eagerness to pursue economic self-interests with Saddam – we must stand firm… Forty years ago, President Kennedy observed that “we no longer live in a world where only the actual firing of weapons represents a sufficient challenge to a nation’s security to constitute maximum peril.” JFK acted. Today, the truth he enunciated is magnified a thousandfold, and it is to the great credit of President Bush that he recognizes it and is responding with the same courage and fortitude.”

U.S. News & World Report:

February 10, 2003

Clear and Compelling Proof
By Mortimer B. Zuckerman, Editor-in-Chief

A good part of the European moaning is really a psychological crutch to draw attention away from weaknesses at home – what the French writer Jean-Francois Revel called “weapons of mass destruction.” Europeans cannot muster the political will to develop their own military, so they recoil from any use of force. We cannot be constrained by these apologies for impotence when we face dangers that metastasize almost daily… If America’s partners in the West are in for a dime and not for a dollar, so be it… The president’s candor and courage leave not a shadow of doubt as to where we have planted our banner.

MSN, March 7, 2003:
Top This – The French-German Iraq Con Game

By William Saletan

Should the United States yield to the United Nations? The question makes no sense. The United States practically invented the United Nations… The United Nations needs us a lot mor
e than we need it… And we’re flattered that the only rival you [France and Germany] can put up against us is ourselves.

U.S. News & World Report:

March 10, 2003

Separated By More Than An Ocean
By Jay Tolson

President Bush’s rhetoric and actions appear to be fueling a new wave of anti-Americanism throughout Europe, not least among its chattering classes. Novelist John le Carre’s now famous charge that “America has entered one of its periods of historical madness” registers the shrill tone voiced by many of Europe’s leading intellectuals. “I’ve never seen so many bad feelings about America, not even during the Vietnam War,” says German author Peter Schneider… Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder played to German anti-war sentiments to win the last election, and President Jacques Chirac’s resistance to American “unilateralism” has become a test case of his Gaullist effort to make Europe a rival to the American superpower… Above all, Europeans, particularly those who live with large Muslim populations in their midst, cannot comprehend how hitting Saddam Hussein will help in the war against terrorism… [T]he majority of respondents in Germany and France believe that America’s real intent in the current conflict is to “control Iraqi oil.”

Time Magazine
March 17, 2003

France’s Game
By Charles Krauthammer

French opposition to the U.S. is not about Iraq but about who runs the world… France does not expect to rival America but to tame it, restrain it, thwart it – and to accept the world’s laurels for having led the way. Not only would this make France leader of global opposition. It would also restore France to what it sees as its rightful place as leader of Europe… If Blair can be politically destroyed, France will have demonstrated to the world the price of going with America – and defying France.

U.S. News & World Report:

March 24, 2003

A time for Certainty
By John Leo

So the French have been running around Africa urging tiny nations on the U.N. Security Council to help humiliate America and frustrate the war in Iraq. One French company has multi-billion-dollar oil contracts pending with Baghdad, and… another French firm is now supplying the Iraqi Air Force with spare parts for warplanes… More American soldiers may die because of France’s dubious diplomacy… It’s striking that the fecklessness of the U.N. and the treachery of the French draw so many yawns from establishment commentators and politicians. They much prefer to complain about Bush… We hear little these days about Saddam Hussein’s butchery or the relative ease of developing weapons of mass destruction.

U.S. News & World Report:

March 31, 2003

A Chronicle of a War Foretold
By Fouad Ajami

Like a river with many tributaries, the opposition to war against Iraq flows in countless lands. The French pour into this opposition a congenital anti-Americanism, the repressed anger of a decade – the 1990s – when America sat astride the world. French power is a distant memory, the pretensions of it pathetic in the extreme. The opposition to the United States indulges a French fantasy of grandeur. The Germans, for their part, are eager to put behind them the horrors of the Second World War… It is no accident that Germany has picked up this new anti-Americanism at a time when a rampant revisionism about the Second World War now tempts many in Germany… War is hell, and the American leaders dispatching a great big army to Mesopotamia know that. The wonder weapons at their disposal, and the smart bombs, and the big ships, offer them no consolation, no immunity from history’s anguish and history’s judgment.

U.S. News & World Report:

March 31, 2003

Command Presence
By Kenneth T. Walsh

Bush’s certainty has alienated much of the world… His self-assertiveness gets under the skin of Europeans… Adds [political scientist Ross] Baker, “The doctrine is, in effect, ‘We are the world’s policeman.'”… Despite his confidence, Bush’s immediate future is filled with risk.”

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