“I find it easier to be optimistic about the futures of Iraq and Pakistan than, say, Holland or Denmark,” is the latest informed opinion I have come across via North America’s right-wing blogland.
These aren’t the words of one of some redneck with a laptop however but the introduction to an article by Mark Steyn, a columnist for Britain’s Daily Telegraph and Canada’s National Post and according to some “one of, if not the best pundits around”.
The title of the piece Goodbye Europe should be enough of a warning that there is going to be a lot of hyperbole but it really didn’t prepare me for the nonsense that followed.
“The good news is we won’t have to worry about another Hitler or Mussolini because, on present reproductive trends, the Italians and Germans are going to be out of business in a couple of generations. Few people have ever been in less need of lebensraum. “
Yes Steyn has made the stunning discovery that birth-rate has slowed down in Europe. Welcome to the 1970’s Mark.
But wait, somethings not right here – OK he’s got Mussolini, Hitler and a Nazi word in the first paragraph of an article on Europe but an American opinion piece with no mention of Islamic terrorism yet? We don’t have to wait long – par two in fact.
“The main source of European immigration is Muslim youth from North Africa and the Middle East. Whether these are the chaps to keep Hans and Pierre in the style to which they’ve become accustomed is a moot point: According to some Scandinavian statistics, 40 percent of those on welfare are immigrants. And, while it’s not true that every immigrant on welfare is an Islamic terrorist, it’s a good rule of thumb that every Islamic terrorist in Europe has been on welfare, living in radicalized ghetto cultures with nothing to do but sit around the flat plotting the jihad all day”
Wham! Its the perfect conservative combo – European welfare democracy breeds Islamic terror!
Perhaps we should try the American approach after all. Maybe leaving the unemployed sleeping in doorways and begging for food will moderate their views? (Not that the claimed figure of 40% unemployment amongst immigrants is anywhere near accurate for Europe – there must be something in the fifth ammendment about the right to quote “some Scandanavian statistics”).
The same publication carries some more biting American satire, this time from Jonah Goldberg in his article on Europe sweetly titled ‘Irritating and Irrelevant’: “When you’re out of power, you can obstruct. You can criticize. You can be unified in your “dismay” at the hard decisions of others. You can second-guess and pound the table. Sometimes these outsiders have something interesting to say, but sometimes they’re just whiners and complainers. The beauty of the English language is that it has a word for such people. We call them “the Europeans.”
That was humour I think. He carries on:
Europe’s most significant political achievements in the twentieth century were: World War I, World War II, communism, fascism, colonial oppression, post-colonial upheaval, intellectual nihilism of every flavor, and now appeasement of pretty much anyone willing to say nasty words about the United States.
Now it is really tempting to write a list of America’s most significant political achievements in the twentieth century but that would be whining anti-Americanism wouldn’t it?
I mean it would be complaining to mention agent orange, the arming of Islamic fundamentalists in Afghanistan, the funding of the IRA and the support to Saddam Hussein wouldn’t it?
It would just be snidy and envious to point out America’s ability to create a society where schoolchildren carry out massacres in the classroom and where the creation of radicalised ghetto cultures led to the innovative introduction of drive-by shootings — a model society where militias are allowed to train themselves to blow up their own government buildings.
And who cannot fail to admire a country that is able to investigate a crime against humanity by appointing a man who is one of the world’s experts in such matters to head it?
American Enterprise Online’s Symposium on Europe – a more depressing read for those of us who spend time criticising knee-jerk anti-Americanism could not be found.