Monday, November 12, 2007

Master race no more?

Mark Helprin (A17) calls Germany "The Soft Underbelly of Europe" for several reasons. That the particular country most susceptible to Islamic takeover, in his opinion, is my ancestral homeland (I'm about 75% or 80% German by blood) is more than a little worrying to me. Decide for yourself. Do you really want Europe to fall?

Germany must fascinate the Jihadists, too -- not for displacing America as the prime target, but as the richest target least defended. Though it will never happen, they believe that Islam will conquer the world, and so they try. Unlike the U.S., Europe is not removed from them by an ocean, and in it are 50 million of their co-religionists among whom they can disappear and find support. Perhaps out of habit, Europe is also kind to mass murderers, who if caught spend a few years in a comfortable prison sharpening their resolve before they are released to fight again...

For its own protection, and thus that of Europe, Germany could more closely integrate and where appropriate reintegrate itself into the expeditionary and nuclear retaliatory structures of the U.S., Britain, and France without moving nuclear weapons forward to German soil; end leniency for terrorists; step up defensive measures as if it is just about to be hit; and embrace limited missile defense against potentially nuclear-armed Iranian intermediate-range ballistic missiles rather than accept the Russian thesis that 10 interceptors will perturb the nuclear equation.

What are the chances of this? Though the West comprises the richest grouping of nations the world has ever seen, it has somehow come to believe not only that it is not entitled to its customary defenses but that it cannot afford them. And looking ahead strategically so as to outmaneuver crisis and war has, unfortunately, long been out of fashion.


Aurora said...

The idea of Germany arming itself in the ways that you mention here is a difficult image to conjure up. Since its humiliation and hubris with Hitler and the ensuing WWII, Germany has literally turned in on itself, watching for signs of erupting Nazism or racism again. It's almost a paranoia. The Germans, when you compare them with their cousins, the Swiss are almost like whipped pups. There's almost an odd concession that the Swiss are somehow 'better' than they are in a lot of modern young Germans.
Many Germans secretly can't stand the presence of the Turks in their midst but they're so scared of themselves that they won't speak this in public. It's also coming into legislation with the 'hate speech' laws. People have been jailed.
No, I think the appeasement within Germany is entrenched and enforced. These descendants of warriors are warriors against themselves now and afraid to resist anything. This is my perception anyway. Others may disagree.
I also don't see the nations of Europe retaining sovereignty much longer. The U.K. is set to surrender sovereignty to the E.U. as early as next year under Brown. In my opinion, it's a matter of time before they all fall like dominoes.

Unknown said...

I, too, read this piece with great concern, and was also moved to call attention to it here (, which, in turn, links to your post.

Sad, but likely too late. Things are pretty far along...

Ben L. said...

I fear many are succumbing to paranoia. If you've ever been to the Mideast, met Turkish Germans, or thought about what motivates people in different parts of the world, you would understand that despite differences in custom, people th word over are all essential after the same things. A good life, dignity, happiness, service to others- these are some of the the few things it's hard to overgeneralize about.

The "sovereignty" aurora speaks of is that of the wealthy ruling classes. I'm not to clear how the threat from a European parliament is any greater than that of a national parliament. Maybe we should stop obsessing about Germany not being sufficiently militaristic and start asking why this should be a prioity in the first place.

More here:

Unknown said...

Ben... I think your generalization is fair. I would have reacted as you did when I lived in Germany in the early 90s, when Yelsin was our drinking buddy, and the only terrorism I feared in Frankfurt was when I drove by a Turkish consulate that the Kurds had occasionally threatened.

I met a few Turkish Germans, but many Persian Germans. They were for the most part well-adjusted, well-educated and easy-going (I was travelling mainly in medical/pharma circles).

Except for some proportion of them who actively or passively favor the eventual introduction of shari'a (once the demographic tipping point is reached - watch the Netherlands for a preview), I can pretty easily accept that most Muslims in Germany or wherever are after most or many of the same things as the rest of us.

And it's certainly true that the European host societies have rarely done enough to promote assimiliation (the banlieues of Paris come to mind). In fact, some of my Persian acquaintances had as their ultimate goal emigration to the US, where they felt more welcome.

Anyway, none of this, unfortunately, refutes the basic concerns Mr. Helprin sets forth, specifically the resurgent geopolitical threat from Russia (who knows how that will be manifested, but keep an eye on natural gas for starters) and the multifaceted terrorist threats from Iran and al-Queda and its ilk.

Mr. Helprin simply sheds the light on Germany's fundamental vulnerability and attractiveness to such bad actors, who I think it is fair to say want to degrade Western societies and economies for their own, often irrational, reasons (to use a broad brush for now).

This is for purposes of our discussion unrelated to the demographics (Russia also has that problem), except inasmuch as the large Muslim communities in Europe provide operational advantages to those who can hide among them.

Mr. Helprin is perhaps a pessimist, but to me, sadly, a persuasive one. However, perhaps through luck or actions (such as those he suggests), the worst can be avoided. Then, instead, we can return to the demographic questions, immigration and relative birth rates that Mark Steyn and others have called attention to.

Is there a precedent for the kind of demographic transition that we will witness in Europe over the coming decades? The sovereignty question vis-a-vis the EU will matter little by comparison.