These three linked articles tell a story about World War III.
First, this European, Ivan Krastev, yearns for a post-American America, sort of a diminished America, sheepishly forced to beg for admission to the new globalist world (embodied in the EU, of course). He thinks he gets America: “I stand in marked contrast to my fellow Europeans’ mystification [over election 2016 and the rise of Cruz and Trump]. As I witness the anger of the middle class, the arrogance of the unloved elites, the shared disbelief in the effectiveness of military power and the pervasive fear of the future — perhaps for the first time, I feel I understand exactly what is going on in America.”
But, then the writer reveals his kinship to Bernie Sanders’ European welfare state philosophy. Ivan: you don’t get America. Real Americans are angry at our leadership for sure, but we have solutions other than the failure of the socialist regulatory state you see collapsing before your eyes, yet fail to perceive. Put bluntly, we like you, but we don’t want to be like you.
This liberal writer at Washington Post writes: “Obama has ignored our European allies for too long.” Yet, when I read his thoughts, instead of pointing out Obama’s failures, mostly, he misses no opportunity to take shots at Americans and Donald Trump. He bemoans the demise of the grand “alliance” yet offers no rationale for why America should continue in a dangerous defense pact that obligates us to World War III. Bizarrely, in two adjoining paragraphs, he both bemoans the demise of Europe as a civilization, and blasts his countrymen and ours for wanting to preserve Western Civilization from Islamic absorption. Mr. Hoagland: you should sort out your own confusion, and not project it onto others. In the meantime, it’s fine that America might help European states as an “honest broker” of peace, as you suggest. I volunteer. But, get this; read me “loud and clear” and “lima Charlie” and “lickin’ chicken”: I am not sending my grandbabies to fight another European war when the men of Europe will not even demand the right to keep and bear arms, form up their own militias, armies, and alliances, and bristle with gristle against the Russian Bear. If Europeans are more afraid of “nationalism” and rifles for everyman than they are of the Soviet gulag, then that’s a European choice. I get your history. It’s history. Your exhausted pacifism — though substituting American GI’s as you stay home — is a poor choice.
Lastly, these two, writing for “warontherocks.com” are beginning to get it. Their article is sub-captioned “Eastern European countries, in particular, should not rely on NATO alone.” Yah think? What Europeans and liberal-globalist-post-American-socialist Americans just can’t get is that many of us are not interested in going to war — yet again — in Europe. Must I point out to them that America is nearly $20 trillion in debt? There are traitors among all of them — Europeans and Americans alike — who see this impending bankruptcy as to their advantage: it’s a feature, not a bug. Many others of us are waking up to the realization that America cannot afford to police the world with pax Americana even if we all thought it our collective mission.
Heads up! I do not see the defense of Europe as America’s collective mission.
The two writers at least give Donald Trump credit for making everyone re-think the effectiveness of NATO. They write, “Thoughtful leaders in Eastern Europe ought to ask themselves, how will NATO respond should Russia decide to invade, say, Estonia?”
You can say that again!
Thoughtful leaders ought to be doing more than sipping wine at breaks during conferences and speculating on what the Americans might do. Damn, people! Wake up!
So, the writers get creative. I like that. They propose that the former Eastern European nations form up the New Warsaw Pact, with Ukraine and the Baltic states included. The writers note the collective populations are about equal to those of Russia. Same for the GDP.
Then, they cite Trump as accurately saying the obvious, that our treacherous foolish leaders have not said for decades: The United States funds the defense of Europe, while European nations fund their retirement pensions. They collectively spend next to nothing on national defense.
I found this paragraph poignant and compelling: “But the countries of the former Warsaw Pact who are now members of NATO are subject to a different form of humiliation: that of being dependent upon others for their defense, including people many thousands of miles away who have not recently suffered under foreign occupation.”
Okay — so boys, as self-appointed spokesmen for Europe, what do you plan to actually do about it? Your accusation that Trump fuels “nativist” impulses is selfishly nativist for the Europeans: you criticize Americans for not being eager to start WW III, for not being eager to come to the defense of Europe yet again. At the same time, you point out that the Europeans will not rise up and do what is necessary to defend themselves. You write your concern that “some future American politician might … casually discard the promises of past presidents….”
“Casually”? I assure you, the carnage of World Wars I and II, and the vaporous friendships of liberated European nations are not taken casually.
American Military Cemetery at Normandy
Sort it out yourselves, next time. I appreciate your suggestions about a New Warsaw Pact, but it’s far past time for flaccid reflection over what Europeans should do about the Russians.
Besides, many Europeans don’t want to do anything about the Russians. Many see the United States as the big threat to world peace. I’m fine with leaving them to tend to their own defense. I strongly suggest to you European men that you demand the right to keep and bear arms. Because, with us staying home, your own leadership is looking pretty weak. And those Russians? They don’t look so weak. But, they are on your borders, not mine.