Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Matthias Doepfner: Europe has no moral compass

Matthias Deopfner had a very funny piece in the Taipei Times today, condemning Europe for lacking a moral compass.

I fear that it stems from the fact that we Europeans are so materialistic, so devoid of a moral compass. For his policy of confronting Islamic terrorism head on, Bush risks the fall of the dollar, huge amounts of additional national debt, and a massive and persistent burden on the US economy. But he does this because, unlike most of Europe, he realizes that what is at stake is literally everything that really matters to free people.

While we criticize the "capitalistic robber barons" of the US because they seem too sure of their priorities, we timidly defend our welfare states. "Stay out of it! It could get expensive," we cry. So, instead of acting to defend our civilization, we prefer to discuss reducing our 35-hour workweek or improving our dental coverage, or extending our four weeks of annual paid vacation. Or perhaps we listen to TV pastors preach about the need to "reach out to terrorists," to understand and forgive.

I think there is something terribly sick and sad in a European or Canadian who worships George Bush and Ronald Reagan. Doepfner is a spoiled brat, forgetting that things like dental coverage and 35 hour work weeks are a dream for most working class Americans, and four weeks annual paid vacation exists only for teachers in the US, and that organized labor died to ensure that people had such things. Believe it or not, those are things worth preserving and extending. When I look at the $300 billion Bush wasted on the ongoing defeat in Iraq and the curbing of civil rights at home, I think of all the dental care, vacations, scientific research, and education it could have purchased. The US could be a paradise, if its leaders wanted to make it one.

The idea that Bush is risking things because he realizes "what is at stake" is laughable. Bush invaded Iraq as part of a long-term plan to seize oil and gas pipeline routes and move against Iran, drive up oil prices and hand out contracts to his buddies, as well as prevent Iraq from starting a trend by denominating oil sales in dollars. Everything Bush said about the war was a lie, and every life spent in what is bound to become a historic defeat has been wasted. Sad, but there it is. At home Bush and his followers work to suppress democracy. Far from defending freedom, for Bush, a free people is something to be deplored. It might express opinions that he doesn't want to listen to, and which his people work hard to keep from seeing and hearing.

Please, Matthias. Grow up. Stop worshiping Bush. Go home and work on improving your country's excellent social welfare policies, or on reforming the employment system, or on investment in new business, or something useful and productive. Shallow, childish, and uninformed commentary are not welcome out here in the real world, where, as Juan Cole showed the other day, Americans are killing Iraqis at a rate that will soon surpass Hussein's, if it hasn't already.

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