Wow...this is hard to read. The insanity of most Old Europe countries, as they spiral down into irrelevance and Islamist terror, is stunning, sad and frightening. You see evidence of this creeping craziness every day, in the headlines of their state-owned rags, and the editorials of their nutjob-socialist journalists, but when you look at the root causes of their anti-Americanism, and how pervasive this self-destructive syndrome is, you can't help but be alarmed.
One recent case in point: the election in Ukraine. A pro-EU, pro-western politician is poisoned by the Soviets' side, or the Soviets themselves, nearly killing him. The election-process is a complete sham and a circus, featuring the kind of ballot-stuffing and intimidation-tactics that would make Saddam proud, and yet...the Leftist journalists across Europe, and some sh##head scribblers and profs in the US(Juan Cole at UM, for example), call it a "likely CIA plot."
You know you're insane, when you have lost the ability to see how insane you really are. Except, you're so insane by that point, you can't know it. What a puzzle!
The Interview of the Year: Jeffrey Gedmin
This recent interview with Jeffrey Gedmin, the director of the Aspen Institute in Berlin, is among the most powerful and enlightening documents we at Medienkritik have ever come across. Mr. Gedmin's observations cut to the very heart of European animosity, both overt and concealed, towards the US and Israel. Gedmin also mercilessly exposes the double-standards, bias and moral relativism of the continent's 'intellectual elite.' It is an absolute must read.
Here is just a sampling of the interview's many highlights:
1. Gedmin on the growing transatlantic rift and the rise of anti-Americanism:
"Dependency on America during the Cold War has bred terrible European resentment. Americans have underestimated how deep that runs. Yet the imbalance in power between the United States and Europe remains and this breeds even more European frustration and envy. Europe is still lacking in economic growth and dynamism, self-confidence and demography."
"Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said that Germans were tired of being a satellite of the United States. All this before we had made any decision about what to do in Iraq."
"I remember passing the American embassy on Unter den Linden and seeing a sign hanging out there for weeks from protesters, which read: 'Mr. Bush, remember Nueremberg. Death by hanging.' It leaves me to believe that part of this debate about Iraq - and maybe much of it - had to do more with containing the United States than with whether Saddam Hussein should be removed."
"Why has it become so acceptable that - at elegant dinner parties - very distinguished people openly say, 'I'm not anti-American, but Bush disgusts me and makes me physically sick? He is a war criminal and a real threat to world peace.' I can only interpret such statements as being partly about Bush and partly about using him as an acceptable cover to bash America.
"Gedmin tells another anecdote. "I stood near the Brandenburg Gate watching a demonstration in the run-up to the Iraq War. Among the participants were several German teenagers carrying big Palestinian flags. The demonstration was against the United States removing Saddam Hussein, a terrible tyrant, from power in Iraq. I asked myself, 'If you are sixteen and live in Berlin, have you ever been to a Palestinian home, or in Israel, or the Middle East? Probably not. And where do you buy such a big demonstrative flag? I would not even know where to go.'
"What is the psychology of this phenomenon and how is it linked to the United States and Iraq? Where did these youngsters pick this up? They breathe in this passion from television, their teachers or parents. Theirs are not only anti-Israeli or pro-Palestinian feelings. In the most fundamental sense, these are anti-Western sentiments. These teenagers have made themselves accomplices of one of the world's most beastly dictatorships. They wrap themselves in symbols, colors, and flavors that go with the pro-Saddam camp. This is a warped identity that could be defined as, 'I am sixteen, drink beer, eat ice cream, want to protect Saddam Hussein, and sympathize with Palestinian terror against Israeli civilians.'"
2. Gedmin on the steadily increasing acceptance of hostility towards Israel and Jews:
"Perhaps the most crucial element in Europe's increasingly hostile attitude toward Israel is the continent's history. Each time a European editor, intellectual, or politician points out that Palestinians are victims and Israelis are belligerent aggressors, these Europeans unburden themselves of their past. In their discriminatory attitude toward Israel, the pathological-psychological elements dominate the ideological one. On top of that, there is much plain anti-Semitism among Europeans, as my experience as a non-Jew proves."
"Yet another important anti-Israeli force derives from the fact that Europeans think they have created a Dream Project in the form of the European Union, built on rules, regulations, and citizen power. They try desperately to export this make-believe model to Israel, which, for logical reasons, is not accepted by the majority of Israelis. That frustrates these Europeans endlessly. They then look at Israel and say, 'You don't play along with our model. You are still willing to break rules when they don't fit your reality.' It causes a short circuit in many European brains."
"There is also a major problem in fighting the disease of moral equivalence in Europe. After each new Palestinian suicide bombing, many people say to me no matter what blood is spilled, 'There are two sides to this conflict.' This reminds me of the Cold War when there were also two sides to the conflict. The United States and the West made mistakes. That did not make the West morally equal to the Soviet Union.
3. Gedmin on European denial, appeasement and bias:
Gedmin adds, "In conversations, Europeans often give me similar diplomatic, sterile, postnational, postmodern, very 'EUish' views of the Middle East. They say that Israel has the Palestinian problem wrong. It should rely less on force and invest more in dialogue with the Palestinian leadership. Then the Palestinians could get what they want: dignity and land. Israel would also get what it wants: peace. After all, the Europeans claim, violence begets violence and creates a cycle of violence.
"Denial and appeasement are major characteristics of European political discourse," says Gedmin. In his role he meets many people from diverse backgrounds and has much anecdotal material to relate."
"So far with every Westerner beheaded in Iraq, with every Israeli teenager murdered by a Palestinian, there is a reflex reaction among important circles in Europe to say that, 'It is the fault of the victim. If only the Americans had not removed Saddam Hussein, and if only the Israelis would give the Palestinians land, this would not have happened.'"
Gedmin adds that Americans have learned the hard way that appeasement invites aggression. Most Europeans still have to learn that."
"The Spanish reaction after the Madrid mass murder of train passengers in March 2004 is an extreme case of European appeasement policy."
4. Gedmin on European double-standards in war, politics and human rights:
When asked why the Palestinian issue engenders passion, Gedmin replies, "It is very 'helpful' for a certain ideology in European political culture to see the Palestinians as helpless underdogs being repressed by the Israelis. This thesis enables many Europeans to relativize, or even balance, Europe's guilt. A second factor is that in Europe, romanticism about underdogs still prevails.
"This reflects further European hypocrisy. There is no passion in either Germany or Europe for independent Kurdish or Basque states. There is no concern for Tibetan underdogs. One can only conclude that the reasons Europeans consider the Palestinian cause for independence central are their cultural bias, burdens of the past, and anti-Semitic feelings. It would be much more logical to see the Israelis as underdogs, a small democracy in a large, hostile Arab environment."
At the conclusion of the interview, Gedmin describes Europe as a continent suffering from the "characteristics of sickness." He also urges those in the minority who oppose the sickness to stand and be heard. He states:
Gedmin refers to the future. "I do not think that German or European democracies are crumbling. Europe is not dying. Yet to some extent it is sick. This does not yet express itself in stark terms, such as the sky falling, NATO's closing, or the United States withdrawing from Europe.
"The characteristics of the sickness develop gradually. I cannot quantifiably prove that insidious phenomena such as anti-Americanism, anti-Israeli sentiment, and anti-Semitism have spread, compared to twenty-five years ago in the heart of the Cold War debate. Yet two observations spring to mind. Then these were fringe phenomena while now they are more fashionable and mainstream. The second is that these sentiments are no longer the monopoly of any particular part of the political spectrum. They are there on the European Left, Right, and in the center.
"To counter this requires endless, tireless work of building networks, arguing, and making information available. Through such networks we can provide moral and intellectual solidarity to those in Germany who are pro-American and pro-Israeli. Those who write articles have to be encouraged to speak up. When the Bush administration pursues the right foreign policy, while selling it poorly, private institutions and individuals have to come to their assistance to explain it. The same is true for Israel.""
"Sometimes people even say to me, 'Many more believe in what you said than you think.' I reply, 'Where are they? Let them come out of the closet and join the party.' They remain silent because they are cowards, and they want to be liked and to see what the group thinks. To be in the minority is unpopular. What I do, speaking up for America, or Israel, however, does not require courage such as being a member of the American military in Iraq does, or of the Israeli defense forces fighting terrorism."
Don't worry Mr. Gedmin, we at Medienkritik have got your back. And we aren't ever going to stop speaking out.
(Note: Emphasis ours on all above quotes)