The Legend of Wooley Swamp

What ever happened to nuance? Jabberwocky is being spewed up by the left and right as they try to drag us into their Wonderlands. This blog charts a path out of this swamp of simple truths and false certainties. And from time to time, it'll be a place for more light-hearted musings.

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Sunday, December 04, 2005

Euro Flu: These Kind of Hypocrites Make Me Sick

An open letter to the hypocrites of Europe.

Dear holier-than-thous,

I found something you might not appreciate. So I thought I'd be so kind as to pass it on, and help you rechannel you tunnel vision. And since your illness is making me nauseous, I'm acting out of nasty self-interest.

I really did try to resist since I knew that doing this would make my Sunday night blood boil. But having read this editorial in the Wall Street Journal, I realized that it needed to be disseminated far and wide, pronto. And that it was exactly the remedy you needed to get your rehabilitation off on the right foot.

Here are some lengthy excerpts, but it really needs to be read in its entirety. Only then can you hope to feel somewhat cleansed:

"Europe is enthralled by another American "torture scandal." Governments demand the truth behind allegations, first made by the Washington Post last month, that the CIA has operated covert prisons in Europe and secretly transported terrorist suspects through European airports. Human Rights Watch claims to have located the prisons in "New Europe"--Poland and Romania.

The outrage on the Continent is deafening...

We'd be the first to applaud Europeans for finally concerning themselves with moral principles instead of commercial interests. Many of the Middle East's problems, including terrorism, would be easier solved if Europe were seriously concerned about morality...

Unlike American companies--recently defamed in Germany as "(blood) suckers" and "locusts" by the former government--European firms are quite busy in Sudan. The chamber of commerce and industry in Stuttgart has enthused over what great opportunities Sudan's oil resources offer to German companies.

Lest people think they are doing something morally reprehensible, the salesmen from Stuttgart prefer to describe the massacres of black Africans in Darfur as "political disturbances." The German economics ministry, which sponsored the German pavilion at last February's trade fair in Sudan, will also support next February's event, the chamber of commerce assures its members.

Where is the outrage? How does that jibe with supposed European values?

In much of Europe's public debate, the true meaning of human rights has degenerated into a tool that gives anti-Americanism an aura of legitimacy. The real, horrendous human-rights violations in the Middle East, North Korea, China, Cuba, etc., are largely ignored or relegated to news blurs on the back pages. For front-page coverage, you need an American angle...

The fact that Europe routinely sends back thousands of asylum seekers to countries where they could be tortured does not make the front pages, though...If (Amnesty) could have proved that some of those poor souls trying to reach Europe to start a better life were in fact terrorists, and if (it) could have also somehow implicated the U.S. in their expulsion, it might have been able to get an audience for (the) complaints...

Anti-Americanism is so prevalent in Europe that it has permeated almost all areas of public discourse--from arts to politics to economies. "American conditions" is a popular German slur against alleged social coldness in the U.S.--one that former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has "successfully" used to reject necessary economic reforms. And just as it has poisoned the economic debate in Europe, anti-Americanism also poisons the debate about how to deal with terrorism. Any measure that involves the U.S. is almost immediately tainted as being beyond the pale."

There was a time when I would say that I was ashamed of the European stupidity and hypocrisy they detail. There was even a time - far longer ago - when I would have tried to explain or relativize it. Nowadays I do not even come close to feeling the kind of connect that would justify such shame.

Instead, it leaves me slightly cold. But most of all, I feel sorry for those dog-paddling in this putrid cesspool. The only shame I feel is personal. For the fact that I once patiently tried to explain this warped ideology of anti-Americanism as anything but pathological.

It is so very sad and I envy those that do not speak the languages I do. They do not have to hear the hatred and mistrust. Nor are they subjected to the innuendo, historical revisionism and the moral bankruptcy that run like rapids here.

The worst thing of all is that even if you think I risk crossing the 'bridge too far,' taking many steps back will not help much. If even a fraction of these hostile sentiments exists, it truly appears to be an Everest-sized mole hill. People here are projecting; they look in the mirror and feel ill, and spew their bile upon the U.S. And as is wont to happen, I gag when seeing them getting sick.

I want to feel good again and I want to feel so when looking people in the eyes, not by avoiding them. So here's to hoping that they will find themselves a cure. I, for one, am rather tired of offering remedies that are taken for poisoned apples. So, get well and give me a call when the long winter is over. I'll be waiting and doing just fine.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mr.Jo,
when Germans speak about"Amerikanische Verhältnisse" in your wrong translation "American conditions" they mean that also in Germany there will be a willful termination of a labour contract,without giving reasons for the termination.
They mean that the social benefits for the unemployed will be reduced and in case of hospitalising, the employees will be not paid the full salary fo sixs months as it used to be.
I am BULGARIAN,NOT German but i understand the German language very well to assertain you that the expression"Americanische Verhältnisse" is NOT A SLUR!

Needless to say your Government,especially the Bush Administration caused the Anti-Americanism,behaving like a bully in a china schop!

Whereever the Americans go they behave in such a outregious,arrogant and discriminatory way to other nations,
that the members of those are offended for beeing degraded and humiliated.
I can tell you this base on my own experiencein contact with Americans.

9:21 AM  

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