Sunday, January 30, 2005
They died – and now we sneer
Here is a take from one European that gets it. He takes on the euroweenies and their blatant and vitrolic anti-Americanism. - Sailor
They died – and now we sneer
By Leo McKinsry
The wind moaned gently in the nearby forest of the Vosges mountain. A thick blanket of snow lay on the ground and on the thousands of white crosses that marked the graves of US servicemen who had fallen in France during the Second World War.
With my wife and her aunt Nancy from Pittsburgh, we had come to the American military cemetery at Epinal in eastern France, where 5,200 US soldiers are buried. We were paying tribute to one of those brave men, Private Bill Anderson from Pennsylvania, Nancy's brother, who went through D-Day and then died at the age of just 19 in November 1944 while on a dangerous reconnaissance mission.
As we stood by the headstone, Nancy read out a heart-rending letter to Bill that she had written before leaving America. Full of poignant memories of their young life together, the letter captured the spirit of heroic optimism that had led Bill to give his life for the cause of freedom in Europe. Though I was born almost 20 years after Bill died, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the sacrifice he had made, a feeling reinforced as I lifted my eyes from his grave towards the arch that overlooks the cemetery. On it were carved words of remembrance for those "citizens of every calling bred in the principles of American democracy".
To European intellectuals, the term "American democracy" is probably an oxymoron. Though such sophisticated cynicism is contradicted by events in Iraq, where – just like in France 60 years ago – US soldiers have been sacrificing their lives to liberate a people from tyranny, anti-Americanism is now written into the European psyche, the last acceptable prejudice in a culture that makes a fetish of racial equality. Indeed, as I walked through the cemetery, my sense of gratitude at Bill's service was accompanied by deep, almost visceral, anger at my fellow Europeans for their constant sneering at America and their gloating over the body count in Iraq, despite all that the USA has done to free Europe in the past from totalitarian dictatorships, whether they be Nazi or communist.
Last week, the world marked the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Although it was achieved by the Russian army, it would never have happened without US intervention in western Europe, which forced Germany to fight on two fronts. America's action was purely altruistic. Whereas Russia was engaged in a life-and-death struggle for survival, the USA was not directly threatened by the Nazi domination of Europe.
What sickens me is that we in Europe are fed a constant diet of anti-American propaganda because of the USA's supposed aggression, greed, imperialism or insularity. Yet, at the very same time, we are urged, through the remorseless process of European integration, to embrace Germany, the country responsible for most of the ills of Europe for the past 140 years. Perhaps even worse is the way the experience of Nazism has been used to promote the ideology of multi-culturalism.
Any objection to mass immigration or the destruction of traditional Judaeo-Christian moral values is deemed as racist, akin to support for fascism. As a result, in the name of multi-cultural tolerance, we have allowed the creation of the brutal, anti-democratic monster of Islamism in our midst.
It is a bizarre paradox that the hysteria over Nazism has encouraged Europe to be swamped by Islam, in which anti-Semitism appears to be an integral part of the creed – tellingly, the Muslim Council of Britain refused to take part in the Holocaust commemorations. Instead of falling under the sway of Islam and European federalism, it would be better if Europe followed the values of America, a country that has always understood the meaning of the word "freedom".