Thursday, December 02, 2010

Proud, So Proud of their Miscellaneous, Parenthetical Factoids

Bertelsmann is a near-monopoly player in German publishing. Despite sitting in that sort of catbird seat, they are pretending to do the world a favor while trying to pry open new markets abroad. One way they’re doing this is by running a think-tank in DC. It’s director, Annette Heuser, previously of their international dealmaking unit, rather transparently describes it thus:

We want to position the Bertelsmann Foundation in the highly competitive and fast-moving market of think tanks and foundations in DC by defining ourselves as a "Center of European Excellence." By this, we mean to showcase European best practices for confronting challenges that afflict all our societies.
Which is to say, to propagate their ways not by example, but by making great news of what others should be doing to be more European.

What fine examples to they have for us to live by and admire them for? News about themselves:
Europe’s Fight Against Human Trafficking
Middle East: Difficult Negotiations Ahead
As if some European that they can put a claim on were intimately involved in any of these things in an effective way. We can see how well a decade of European negotiation with Iran has gone: they were chumped – used as cover to build nukes. They are proud of their role as willing idiots that enabled an aggressive buffoon who gets a woody thinking of genocide.

Otherwise, the their object lessons for humanity are all about Europeans dealing with Europeans: as if their internal matters were any more remarkable that anyone else’s internal matters, and that we’re somehow supposed to be proud of the fact that after a millennium of slaughtering one another, that they are, historically, in an “operational pause”.

So what is it exactly that can make people like this go away and take their underhandedness with them? Applaud them, continually, in the manner of a faked orgasm until their self-satisfaction is sated? Or should we tell them that their peace, that remarkable example of the absence of them being their usual selves, is founded on two things:

1. Their apathy, and
2. The rest of the world having had to nation-build them into a functioning society that stops dragging the rest of humanity into their blood-bathes, they fantastice social ideas that include collectivist-learned helplessness, Marxist-Leninism, and Fascism. You know... because they’re “efficient”.

They should be deported for mendacity, if not their surreal naiveness:
But on the macro-level, the greatest challenge for Europe and the US is demonstrating that democracies can deliver in today's world. We must demonstrate that democracies have the power to guarantee their citizens equal access to health care and education, and provide security on a local, national and even international scale.
As if that’s what democracies are, or are for, or that the same thing was accomplished by any past or present non-democracy.

Some of it rises to the kind of pedantry that we’ve all heard first hand for decades. All the while waiting for the European side of this imaginary great love/friendship/partnership to demonstrate ANY action founded on their words, even WITHIN the European orbit. Take, for example, the years of absolute unwillingness that they had for removing the thuggish regimes of the former Yugoslavia: people had to cross an ocean to do it for them. Even today, they had to hire the Eulex staff in the classifieds because no European government was initially willing to commit a single staff person themselves if there was much of any risk involved... and that’s IN EUROPE.
Right now, Americans shoulder a greater portion of the military responsibility in the alliance. For Europe, the true recipe for successful transatlantic burden sharing requires comprehensive, pragmatic diplomacy enforced by European military power, if needed, in a conflict. Europeans also must demonstrate more convincingly that they share the ultimate objectives of the Americans even in cases, such as Afghanistan and Iraq, in which both sides want different approaches.
Prove it. Prove to the world that your beer-drinking German louts in Afghanistan have accomplished ANYTHING rising to the level of the number of troops that are there.

Are we to admire ANY of the things they do, take it as an example, and THANK THEM for it? The European view, quite simply, is that there is greatness in what we are to SUPPOSE about them, generically, as a people in a far off idyllic well-managed and programmed glass and steel utopia. None of it is plausible because it’s entirely undermined by their stagnant and stubborn way of never actually doing much of anything for other cultures, much alone for each other, while telling us all how well we should think of them.

Otherwise they HAVE to keep prattling on about a Trans-Atlantic alliance, because it’s all about them. It IS their defense, and it IS their access to any plausible form of relevance in the world, all 500 million of them – the wealthiest entity on earth.

Delusions arise from believing what you continually repeat. Theirs’ is that they’re relevant and indispensible to humanity by mere virtue of their being, or their history, or any number of things other than their inaction and misguided attempts to compete in the human-intervention business with rest of the world not for the sake of those they’ll help, but for the sake of those they think they’re showing up.

And if that fails, pretend that it’s all about co-operation and it’s a small world after all internationalism. Like this bit of coercion and blackmail:
The legislature's rejection earlier this year of the interim SWIFT agreement with the US was, Barker writes, partially motivated by a desire to establish a more active role in policymaking. This was also a reason for the parliament's opening a liaison office in Washington, DC, making the EP the only legislature with its own presence in the US capital.
What do they try to call that dynamic? “Transatlantic Power House.” Their use of power, your house.