Monday, March 29, 2004
The All-Important Military

Mark Steyn uses Germany to explain how anti-Americanism-as-government-policy leads to national ruin:

Germany, like much of Europe, has a psychological investment in longer holidays, free healthcare, early retirement, unsustainable welfare programmes, decrepit military: the fact that these policies spell national suicide is less important than that they distinguish Europe from the less enlightened Americans.
As pointed out by Steyn, the US is preparing to remove their military presence in Germany, and Europe as a whole, assuming Bush wins a second term. This has Germans alarmed, for -
The so-called "free world" was, for most of its members, a free ride. Absolving wealthy nations of the need to maintain credible armies softens them: they decay, almost inevitably, into a semi-non-aligned status.
It's been said before, but I'll say it again. True sovereignty, as is shown throughout the course of history, is attained and held by one, and only one, method: securing and maintaining a strong, functioning military. Even when you have no 'enemies' (as my left-leaning friends were so fond of pointing out during my high school years). Why? Because the only way you are taken seriously on the world's stage is if you have the might to back up your mouth.

But it's nearly too late for Old Europe to make up the slack they've developed in their military machines. Their respective populaces have all decided that they enjoy being pampered by their governing bodies too much to be troubled with little things like defense. 'Let the Americans take care of it,' they say, 'We'll go relax on our two-month vacations.' Well guess what, ladies and gentlemen? Your extended trips to the Riviera are destroying your nations.

One is reminded of Aesop's ant and grasshopper. Like the grasshopper, Europe can neglect their military until it crumbles to the ground if they like - they have that right, as do we all. But the ant isn't going to take too kindly to their complaining when they realize where this kind of national policy leads.
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