Readers of The Diplomad and The Diplomad 2.0 know the low regard in which I hold the preening jackasses of the EU and their American imitators. In fact, Europe, itself, has grown increasingly worthless since about 1789; I have posted for many years my firm belief that the French Revolution was a pathetic and murderous hoax which exerts an attraction on the same sort of feeble minded fools who believed the Rosenbergs were innocent; Mao was an "Agricultural Reformer"; Castro was "Cuba's Jefferson"; Bush was "Hitler"; and Kerry's fable about spending Xmas in Cambodia.
Understatement of the year: I am no fan of Europe.
I have been there many, many times; spent much of my youth there; and have European parents and lots of European (British, French, Spanish) cousins and other assorted relatives. They are all very nice, and treat me very well. I, however, find Europe claustrophobic, both in its tiny physical scale and its tiny politics. European politics are about handing out doles, and not much else. I also have been appalled by the stunning ignorance shown by Europeans, especially on the left, about the United States. Most of their "knowledge" comes from Hollywood movies or nationalized TV and radio services that make MSNBC and the NY Times seem paragons of wisdom and objectivity.
That said, I have a soft spot for certain Europeans such as Hernan Cortes, the Pizarro brothers, and your average man-on-the-street Brit and Dutchman. Re the Brits: Look, I know there's a lot wrong with the UK, including a growing provincialism and illiteracy that makes British college students seem even more ignorant and boorish than American ones, and that is saying a lot. There is clearly a grave crisis in education over there, perhaps even more pronounced than that in the US. Young British people seem incapable of spelling, proper grammar and syntax, and have almost zero knowledge about the world. London, one of my favorite cities, is becoming a mean, grubby, dispirited, and dangerous place; it reminds me of New York in the 1970s. All that said, I have a place in my heart for the Brits: they have a great history; have provided a vastly disproportionate share of the world's great writers, philosophers, explorers, soldiers, inventors, actors, and scientists; and they still make some superb films (Note: Please see The Four Lions.) The modern world is essentially a British invention. I am glad the United States was established by British settlers--English, Scot, Welsh, and Irish--and not by some of the other options available at that time. I have worked closely with British diplomats, intel, and military all over the world, and they are stand up guys -- almost as good as Aussies. On my many visits to the UK, I have enjoyed myself--I love the museums, bookstores, theater, and food (Indian). The average Brit is a decent sort, maybe with a bit of chip on his shoulder about the USA, but, so what?
The Dutch, too, have a place in my heart. Most Americans, for example, don't appreciate the bravery of the Dutch resistance to the Nazis. The Dutch, too, have a great history as explorers, innovators, thinkers, engineers, businessmen, etc. The Netherlands was always a favorite place in my youthful visits to Europe. The Dutch, who seem to speak every language on earth, were extraordinarily kind, helpful, and welcoming to a goofy and often lost American tourist who, for some reason, would insist on trying to speak French to them, when the average Dutchman speaks English better than we do. Recent visits to the Netherlands, however, have shown that Dutch tolerance has been abused by some really quite nasty immigrants. They have arrived in enormous numbers, and changed dramatically the look, feel, and spirit of the Netherlands. Dutch cities now have some very evil looking neighborhoods, and violent street crime, almost unheard of some thirty-five years ago, is a real factor in daily urban life. The Netherlands has done itself no favors by letting in large numbers of Muslims, many, if not most, with apparently little intention of becoming Dutch or adapting to the tolerant, live-and-let-live way of life in the Netherlands.
The Dutch legal system also did the country no favor by putting politician Geert Wilders on trial for having dared to speak out against what Islam is doing to his country. Fortunately, earlier this week, the court had the sense to acquit the gutsy Wilders, and issued a (qualified) defense of free speech. Wilders, we should note, has to live 24/7 with bodyguards because the followers of the religion of peace want to kill him for saying that the followers of the religion of peace want to kill those who disagree with them. The acquittal of Wilders potentially has great significance. It might, might just encourage other Dutch citizens to raise their voices and cast their votes in defense of the Netherlands. Who knows? That attitude might just spread to the rest of Europe, and even hop the Atlantic to these shores. Democracy does not have to be a suicide pact.
Congratulations to Geert Wilders (the John of Austria for the new Battle of Lepanto?) and here's hoping that the old Dutch spirit can and will reemerge from under the stifling blanket of political correctness and fear that has been thrown over it.