German Newspaper Editorial
Imagine this coming out of Germany, of all places.
It's fascinating that this should come out of Europe. Matthias Dapfner, Chief
Executive of the huge German publisher Axel Springer AG, has written a
blistering attack in DIE WELT, Germany's largest daily paper, against the
timid reaction of Europe in the face of the Islamic threat.
EUROPE - THY NAME IS COWARDICE
(Commentary by Mathias Dapfner CEO, Axel Springer, AG)
A few days ago Henry Broder wrote in Welt am Sonntag, "Europe@- your family
name is appeasement." It's a phrase you can't get out of your head because
it's so terribly true. Appeasement cost millions of Jews and non-Jews their
lives as England and France, allies at the time, negotiated and hesitated too
long before they noticed that Hitler had to be fought, not bound to toothless
agreements. Appeasement legitimized and stabilized Communism in the Soviet
Union, then East Germany, then all the rest of Eastern Europe where for
decades, inhuman suppressive, murderous governments were glorified as the
ideologically correct alternative to all other possibilities. Appeasement
crippled Europe when genocide ran rampant in Kosovo, and even though we had
absolute proof of ongoing mass-murder, we Europeans debated and debated and
debated, and were still debating when finally the Americans had to come from
halfway around the world, into Europe yet again, and do our work for us.
Rather than protecting democracy in the Middle East, European appeasement,
camouflaged behind the fuzzy word equidistance,"now countenances suicide
bombings in Israel by fundamentalist Palestinians.
Appeasement generates a mentality that allows Europe to ignore nearly 500,000
victims of Saddam's torture and murder machinery and, motivated by the self-
righteousness of the peace-movement, has the gall to issue bad grades to
George Bush... Even as it is uncovered that the loudest critics
of the American action in Iraq made illicit billions, no, TENS of billions,
in the corrupt U.N. Oil-for-Food program.
And now we are faced with a particularly grotesque form of appeasement. How
is Germany reacting to the escalating violence by Islamic fundamentalists in
Holland and elsewhere? By suggesting that we really should have a "Muslim
Holiday" in Germany? I wish I were joking, but I am not. A substantial
fraction of our (German) Government, and if the polls are to be believed,
the German people, actually believe that creating an Official State "Muslim
Holiday" will somehow spare us from the wrath of the fanatical Islamists.
One cannot help but recall Britain's Neville Chamberlain waving the laughable
treaty signed by Adolph Hitler, and declaring European "Peace in our time".
What else has to happen before the European public and its political
leadership get it? There is a sort of crusade underway, an especially
perfidious crusade consisting of systematic attacks by fanatic Muslims,
focused on civilians, directed against our free, open Western societies, and
intent upon Western Civilization's utter destruction. It is a conflict that
will most likely last longer than any of the great military conflicts of the
last century - a conflict conducted by an enemy that cannot be tamed
by "tolerance" and "accommodation" but is actually spurred on by such
gestures, which have proven to be, and will always be taken by the Islamists
for signs of weakness.
Only two recent American Presidents had the courage needed for anti-
appeasement: Reagan and Bush. His American critics may quibble over the
details, but we Europeans know the truth. We saw it first hand: Ronald Reagan
ended the Cold War, freeing half of the German people from nearly 50 years of
terror and virtual slavery. And Bush, supported only by the Social Democrat
Blair, acting on moral conviction, recognized the danger in the Islamic War
against democracy. His place in history will have to be evaluated after a
number of years have passed.
In the meantime, Europe sits back with charismatic self-confidence in the
multicultural corner, instead of defending liberal society's values and being
an attractive center of power on the same playing field as the true great
powers, America and China. On the contrary - we Europeans present ourselves,
in contrast to those arrogant Americans", as the World Champions
of "tolerance", which even (Germany's Interior Minister) Otto Schily
justifiably criticizes. Why? Because we're so moral? I fear it's
more because we're so materialistic so devoid of a moral compass. For his
policies, Bush risks the fall of the dollar, huge amounts of additional
national debt, and a massive and persistent burden on the American economy -
because unlike almost all of Europe, Bush realizes what is at stake -
While we criticize the "capitalistic robber barons" of America because they
seem too sure of their priorities, we timidly defend our Social Welfare
systems. Stay out of it! It could get expensive! We'd rather discuss reducing
our 35-hour workweek or our dental coverage, or our 4 weeks of paid
vacation... Or listen to TV pastors preach about the need to "reach out to
terrorists. To understand and forgive".
These days, Europe reminds me of an old woman who, with shaking hands,
frantically hides her last pieces of jewelry when she notices a robber
breaking into a neighbor's house. Appeasement?
Europe, thy name is Cowardice.