Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Freud had a Name for it

Europe can adulate about the US offing bin Laden, and join in “declarations” now that it’s been done. The sudden absence of “nuance” is no longer necessary to avoid the need to act – besides, the world would notice.

We get a glimpse of the thinking of these eternally unimpeachable “good global citizens” and their motives from Gabor Steingart writing in the Düsseldorfer Handelsblatt:

"The United States fought alone and so they are under no obligation to share with anyone the laurels of tracking down and eliminating bin Laden. Congratulations, America. The DNA of the world’s greatest power is intact. The dollar is faring poorly and the fiscal situation is tense, but the military itself is in great shape. If Germany produces the best cars and China the cheapest Santas in the world, when it comes to security the United States are world export champions. Certainly, security is a product that is horribly expensive and that does not always look pretty, but its machinery is well oiled."
Europeans “getting some laurels” being the only thought connected with the news of others’ actions. We still find a rare moment of lucid reflection nonetheless:
“The American victory must make us Europeans rejoice – and hang our heads in shame at the same time. Our continent, whose population and economic strength are comparable to those of the United States, obviously has no desire to defend its values, its prosperity, or even itself. Most Europeans – because the Germans are not alone in this case – refuse to understand the nature of this struggle against international terrorism, which has gone on for ten years now. This war is not a war like the ones in our history books. There was no declaration of war, and there will never be an act of capitulation. The enemy wears no helmet, nor uniform, and he would find it hard to drive a tank without causing an accident. In the morning he hangs a belt of explosives around his waist and heads for the market nearest his home. This war cannot be won, and yet it cannot be lost.
Inasmuch as Germany could be “denazified”, he is wrong. It can be won. And he doesn't have to work for a Reichsnachrichtdienst or somesuch for exactly the same reason. A good rule of thumb is to not expect enough lucidity for it to actually matter.
Our ignorance of this war is the best accomplice of terrorism."
Hardly. Ignorance implies something innocent about the way they carried on for the past decade. They understood completely that a guarantee of their near complete inaction required a well structured and formulated intellectual construct to be presented, not to mention the loudest wave of obfuscation and evasion that they could muster.