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Friedman on Europe
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Here's an interesting, very forceful editorial from Friedman on some European attitudes toward America and Iraq.

They are not the arguments of people who have really gotten beyond the distorted Arab press and tapped into what young Arabs are saying about their aspirations for democracy and how much they blame Saddam Hussein and his ilk for the poor state of their region. Rather, they are the diplomatic equivalent of smoking cancerous cigarettes while rejecting harmless G.M.O. [genetically-modified organisms]'s an assertion of identity by trying to be whatever the Americans are not, regardless of the real interests or stakes.

And he quotes the editor from Die Zeit:

"Power corrupts, but so does weakness," said Josef Joffe, editor of Germany's Die Zeit newspaper. "And absolute weakness corrupts absolutely. We are now living through the most critical watershed of the postwar period, with enormous moral and strategic issues at stake, and the only answer many Europeans offer is to constrain and contain American power. So by default they end up on the side of Saddam, in an intellectually corrupt position."

It's a harsher tone than we usually hear from Friedman, but he's sick of the hypocrisy of the French and Germans, the simple-minded anti-Americanism, and he's reacting to it.

I'm sick of these things too, and the patronizing posture of the anti-war crowd, as if their position is clearly the moral high ground, without any possible detrimental consequences. The thing is, if you're arguing for peace, you have to acknowledge that the cost is leaving a barbaric despot in power, one that will continue to torture and brutalize his people, and one that could very well develop weaponry that could lead to the death and injury of millions.

I'm at the point now where I'm essentially unwilling to engage in dialogue with those who are either incapable or unwilling of acknowledging that their proposed inaction has consequences, perhaps very grave consequences, as well.





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