Kellmark: You present far more opinions that actual facts.
As long as we can agree
on the factual part (no Saddam/9-11 link, no credible threat as confirmed by UN and US inspectors) I don´t have a problem with that. I´ve got evidence and proof on my side, so it´s not that difficult.
Kellmark: If the Europeans have a weak military you blame the US for it.
Again, it´s not that simple. Our governments were quite content to have it that way for a long time as well. I just reject your rather extreme statements which put all the "blame" on the lazyness, cowardice or whatever evil you´re imagining in our governments.
Kellmark: You say you need independent capabilities. I am all in favor of it. But how much has your defense spending gone up?
Not a lot. Improvements are primarily achieved by shutting down the old cold-war structures and replacing them by new, more flexible ones (Germany is only surrounded by friends and partners - we don´t need that many tanks any more, but we´ll need the A400M for an airlift capability). In addition, redundant parallel structures in the national armies will have to be made more efficient by integration and cooperation. We´ve simply wasted
a lot of resources in the past. Cutting that fat frees money to build more effective
The goal is not to become a hypertrophic nuclear superpower like the USA or Russia (once). The goal is to have indpendent crisis capabilities
. And in that approach, a nuclear arsenal is secondary, if that.
Kellmark: With this kind of surrender in Europe, I don't think there is much hope for the survival of the great European culture and heritage. The muslims see the weakness and exploit it. Unless someone is willing to stand up to them and fight.
That is a part of the problem the USA is having right now: The current administration has (or better: knows
) no other tool than the military sledge hammer
- and it applies it to every conceivable problem, be it a demolition job
, a family feud
or a broken pocket watch
And the results are unsurprising: The intended heap of rubble, but also lots of broken bones and bruises and a small heap of smashed metal.
In many cases the problem is not a lack of resolve
, it´s a lack of distinction
While I agree that there are
instances where european societies and authorities should
act more forcefully, there are many more
instances where it is appropriate to work for better understanding
of each other, not as the well-ridiculed naive attempt to get all warm and fuzzy, but to recognize
social tension before
it hardens into a militant confrontation.
Just discarding those distinctions and summarily talking about "the muslims" as if that would automatically mean the same thing as "the terrorists
" is not just shortsighted, it´s outright dangerous
If you´re a decent and maybe even church-going christian (I don´t know, let´s just assume), I´m pretty sure you would greatly appreciate
it if a jew or muslim would be able to make the distinction between your benign perspective and that of a hardened militant who´d torch synagogues or mosques without a second thought.
Failing to even attempt
such distinctions is a sure recipe for disaster. And that
is why Iraq has gone down in flames instead of greeting its "liberators" with flowers and cheers. Again, there´s a difference between the leadership in Washington and the troops on the ground, for both better and worse (soldiers trying to help and improve the situation of the civilians and those who are kicking down doors, mistreating and insulting civilians or even torturing in Abu Ghraib and elsewhere - things are not
simple; Some of the guys are indeed heroes, but some are just doing their job, just trying to survive and others are (or have turned into
) abject criminals).
In Europe, we´ve got our own problems and limitations; But if you completely ignore the substantial efforts to excise the most radical congregations from the muslim population by force if necessary (the muslim brotherhood
in Germany, for instance), you´re missing the range and the complexity of the problem. Over here, we can´t and we won´t
throw people into jail without due process. And experience has demonstrated that paranoid overreaction
effective for escalation
, but it does very little
against the actual dangers
. Deeply embedded terrorist cells can only be caught with good intelligence
, not with brute force
Apart from Afghanistan, there hardly is another place on the planet where large military forces would do any good (and diverting troops specifically from there
was especially stupid). Practically all successes in the fight against terror were based on good intelligence
. Police or military force is only useful as a tool
to execute on that basis. Without good intelligence, it´s just random violence
, making things worse
instead of better. Every kid that´s forced to watch his mother brutally being kicked around by a bunch of occupation soldiers can turn into the terrorist who´s blowing up a supply convoy later. Ignoring that is simply stupid. Terrorists are not born
, they´re made
. Extremists only need to harvest
when the ground has been fertilized
One essential difference is that Europe has never
told anybody to "shove it" when things didn´t go our way. When the Bush administration put up unconditional demands for an unconvincing campaign, we had to refuse after many unsuccessful attempts to discuss the matter. But the only ones who claimed to know everything better
than everybody else ultimately turned out to be wrong about everything
. And everybody knows
Still being in denial
and at the same time demanding blind obedience
is just deeply disappointing
. Nothing can come of it. No insight, no support.
It´s not stupid to want
a simple answer; It´s stupid to enforce
a simple answer even if all the valid
ones are by necessity complex
Simple always "sells", but it usually doesn´t work
is the problem most of the world (including half of your own population) has with your president and his merry men. And as long as they continue on that path, things will continue to deteriorate.