Melanie Philips - The real problem is America.

Thursday, July 20, 2006
I am a great admirer of Melanie Philips and her clearheaded way of telling us what happens in Britain. Today however she unfortunately encapsulates the emotional dilemma of the modern European, even those resolutely on our side.

She begins by demolishing the Guardian cartoon we see in the post below. It appears the newspaper has published an explanation that the Star of David studs on the gloved fist might be misinterpreted as Jewish, instead of Israeli, which was not their intent, no, not at all. As Phillips says:

Ah. So vilifying the Jewish state using Judeophobic imagery is ok, as long as everyone knows it’s Israel that’s being vilified and not Jews, who are of course different.

The source of this venom is not merely the charge that Israel is using ‘disproportionate’ force in Lebanon and Gaza. It is the belief that Israel has no right to use force at all to defend itself, because Israel has no right to exist.

After this, she gives us a little history of antisemitic thought and of its pervasiveness in the European mind and in the Islamic world. She continues,

Even if it were to destroy Hezbollah, however, this is not the head of the snake. That lies in Syria and Iran. Only if those regimes are toppled will the fight-back against evil have any chance of success.

So far, so good. OK then, here it comes:

The real problem is America. Far from being too gung-ho, it has flinched from what needs to be done. Its failure to hold Iran and Syria to account explains in large measure why it is in such a mess in Iraq — precisely where Iran wants it to be. These terrible events now unfolding in the Middle East have been caused by Iran and Syria —but it is America’s lack of steadfastness, courage and strategic vision over many years which have allowed this crisis to unfold.

So America alone, then, as Mark Steyn says? America alone, as a kind of Israel writ large? Alone, against increasing European hostility and weakness and appeasement, against thousands of hostile newspaper editorials and television commentators - alone forever?

Maybe so. Perhaps that is what it will take. An American city nuked and we would be right there. But if America ever truly does feel that way - a feeling sustained through total, implacable Jacksonian war - there probably won’t be much consideration given to the sensibilities of a weak, neutral to hostile Islamified Europe in our solution.


Seneca the Younger said...

Yeah, let American fix it. We're impotent.


Buddy Larsen said...

Well, if there's any truth to her perception, you can thank our you-know-who party, and their despicable campaign to politicize and then wreck our national effort. True idiots, who cannot see wjhat's right in front of them.

Buddy Larsen said...

Uh, "disproportionate" moral equivalence?

Rick Ballard said...

Phillips is no idiot but she does seem to have slipped out of reality for the moment. Perhaps she isn't aware of the degree of leftist brainrot within the US? Between a seditionist press and a Copperhead opposition party it really is going to take a much larger strike than the WTC in order for definitive action to be taken.

She should give thanks that Bush is in WH. A Democrat would be giving the Israelis directions on how to get down to the beach so they could start swimming.

Peter UK said...

Buddy and Rick,
The endless surrenderthon indulged in by the Democrats and the MSM have given the impression that America does not have the stomach for the fight ant more.
You have to remember that most people do not know much about your politicians or the bias of the media,this probably does not include Melanie Phillips,but most do not.So when Senator Dogsbreakfast stands on his hind legs and claims you are losing in Iraq,or that troops should be withdrawn,or the NYT states the military are war criminals,it is taken at face value by the rest of the world,especially Tehran.

Buddy Larsen said...

I'm convinced the 2004 campaign rejuvenated the jihad by a huge amount. Every time those people--the Dem candidates--opened their mouths I could hear as if a jihadi, and it was horrible for the free world.

What was that Shakespeare said about tides in the affairs of men.

Peter UK said...

From what I have seen,the administration had the Loyal Opposition hanging on its gun arm from the start.Bush has had to act looking over his shoulder for the latest denunciation,and to be fair,the LO has never disappointed in this,at crucial moments in the Iraq campaign,up they popped almost as if they were being directed from a cave in Afghanistan.
I have never witnessed such despicable behaviour in a nation at war..

vnjagvet said...

Israel has a left and right just like the US. In many ways, the Israeli left is further left than ours is.

But when push comes to shove in the event of attack, as it often does because of history and geography, left and right pull together in common cause.

Israel should be a metaphor for east and west. Sadly not many see it that way.

Barry Dauphin said...

Actually, I'm beginning to feel that if an American city got nuked, we'd have the Euroweenies saying we deserved it and suggest peace negotiations through the UN. They will only care when the Islamists gain majorities or significant minorities in Europe and only if the mullahs decide that socialized medicine is unIslamic.

Buddy Larsen said...

I see Israel as a fractal of the wider war, too. It's the jihad as a boil come to a head in the Levant, while the rest of Earth is still red, sore, and swelling.

The idiots will finally catch on someday, and see what they let out of the bag. Like the Cambridge Boys of 30s Britain, to be well-remembered for a long long time.

rich said...

I am also a big fan of Melanie Phillips. I read her excellent blog every day.

I was struck by the comment, but on reflection I thought of Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.

Carter was a disaster, perhaps the disaster that got this started, but both he and Reagan had to deal with the Soviets, which put the Middle East on a back burner to some extent. The Middle East was not the central front back then. It is today.

So Bill Clinton has no such excuse, but He did effectively demonstrate that his options were not effective.

Which brings us to the Great Brit, Winston Churchill, who sums up this recent history in that famous quote: ""The Americans will always do the right thing... after they've exhausted all the alternatives."

We have exhausted all the alternatives, and things may have gotten worse in the process, but the argument could be made that the prelude has freed our democratic governments to finally do the right thing.

I think Melanie Phillips would give us that.

Everyone should read her book Londonistan. It is excellent.

Peter UK said...

A question which needs to be asked is "Will the left countenance the level of ferocity required to win this,or would they rather be defeated rather than do such things?"

Buddy Larsen said...

Rich makes a good point--Bill Clinton may have been necessary, in the long scheme of things, as the president who tried 'soft power'.

Thanks to Bill Clinton, now we know not only that soft-power didn't work, but also that it was always doomed, doomed from the start.

Can't make peace with those who do not *want* peace.

Peter UK said...

Soft power has never worked whether is was paying Danegeld or bribing Yasser Arafat.
It is impossible to make peace with those who want nothing but ones extinction.

Buddy Larsen said...

Buying time makes sense if you're planning to do something in the future, when presumably your success will be more likely. Couple of mighty big "ifs" there, tho.

Buddy Larsen said...

Andre Glucksmann sorta agrees with Melanie Phillips.

terrye said...

Well as far as i am concerned Melanie can kiss my ass.

Skookumchuk said...

Seeing the images of the pro-Hizballah demonstrators in Copenhagen and Berlin, seeing Zapatero in his keffiyeh, makes us see how far away we are from Europe, its culture and its values. What is marginal here is mainstream there.

The essential problem is that any American war or policy of containment against a large swath of Islam - say taking on Iran and Syria, plus Iraq and Afghanistan - would today also be a war without Europe. It might even be a war of sorts against Europe. With Europe as an unfriendly neutral at best.

And the draconian steps we would need to take to win the war could kill the existing US-European relationship.

You need to stop your German companies from sending reactor components to the Iranians.

Well, I'm sorry, but we can't do that.

You know that Mercedes assembly plant in Alabama? We've nationalized it as of this afternoon. We'll be using it to make Humvees. We've also frozen all German assets in the US. That is just what we thought up before 10 this morning. Give us a few days and we'll come up with a list of 175 more things we'll be doing.

The days of Europe and Canada standing alongside us militarily, being able to contribute meaningful numbers of ships and planes and men, are of course long gone.

Yes, the Canadians have some fine snipers. Yes, the Brits still have an army. As for the rest, and even to some degree for the rest of the Anglosphere, we need to transport them, provide them with communications, feed them, protect them, mollycoddle them, make sure they don't get hurt lest they turn tail and run. Lest their populations, who have no heart in any of it, turn off the tap.

So are we better off with 200 Dutchmen driving forklifts at a secure airbase or with 200 US-trained Salvadorans who want to fight? These become political, as opposed to military, decisions.

The days of Europe being able to contribute anything are gone. We all know this. The next question is - can we fight Islamofascism without also fighting Europe?