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Jewish World Review June 18, 2001 / 28 Sivan 5761

Don Feder

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Europe finds relief in anti-Americanism -- IF THE Europeans had a continental anthem, it would be a protracted whine. Their coat of arms should including a bottle of Geritol, symbolic of tired blood.

Like a pack of brats, they're always sniveling about something the grownups (that's us) are doing, demanding that we pay attention to them and mouthing absurdities with absolute certainty.

During President George Bush's European tour last week, the chorus reached a crescendo. They were outraged by Timothy McVeigh's execution. "Assassination of Assassin," sneered the French daily Liberation -- with typical Gallic logic.

The decadent dimwits are further incensed by Bush's rejection of the Kyoto Treaty on global warming, adherence to which would put our economy on ice. Europeans can afford to be sanguine about Kyoto, as its standards are much easier for them to comply with.

Having failed to learn World War II's crucial lesson (preparedness alone forestalls aggression), the Germans and French are up in arms over Bush's plan for a missile defense, notwithstanding that neighbor Moammar Khadafy recently acquired 40 North Korean missiles. But then, what would you expect from countries led by peace marchers? German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and his Green Party foreign minister both actively opposed Reagan's deployment of medium-range missiles in Europe during the 1980s. French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, a Marxist in his student days, has communists in his coalition.

From whom should we take moral instruction in these matters -- the Dutch, whose society has an IV needle stuck in its arm, labeled euthanasia and legalized drugs? The Brits, whose last heroic act was during World War II?

Perhaps we should look for guidance to the Swedes, who left it to others to fight for civilization in the 1940s, while turning a tidy profit selling iron ore to Hitler. This moral deficiency is currently reflected in an out-of-wedlock birth rate exceeding 50 percent.

In contrast to tantrums raging across Europe, there's Italy's new prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, who says, "I am on whatever side America is on, even before I know what it is." Knee-jerk pro-Americanism? Now that's a change.

Despite the Europeans' obvious shortcomings, our elite constantly coos over them. They're so sophisticated, so cultured, so intellectual -- unlike us crass, hick Americans.

True, but only if sophisticated is synonymous with cynical, sullen and apathetic. In the past century, Europe's principal exports were communism, fascism, ponderous movies no one can understand and fashions from another planet.

Over the last 400 years, the best Europe had to offer came here, draining its gene pool. Anti-Americanism is the only thing Europeans can still get excited about. Emotionally exhausted, they lack a natural self-defense mechanism. Unable to distinguish between innocence and guilt, they are driven to inanities like "assassination of an assassin."

They are pacifists, both on principle and out of profound ennui. They are equally incapable of protecting themselves from society's predators (hence their opposition to capital punishment) and predator states.

Still, it is a smug hypocrisy for which the Europeans are rightly renowned.

They were responsible for getting the United States voted off the U.N. Human Rights Commission. This was not to punish us for "unilateralism." Rather, European moralists were embarrassed by Washington's outspokenness on slavery in the Sudan, repression in China and political prisoners in Cuba. Indifferent to the victims of totalitarianism, they made their stand over the fate of a mass murderer.

There is a bright side to all of this. European ennui has led to plummeting birthrates. In the next 50 years, the population of Spain is expected to shrink by more than a quarter. As a whole, the nations of the European Union will have to accept an estimated 1.58 million Third World immigrants a year until 2050, just to keep their working-age populations stable.

Speaking at the World Congress of Families in Geneva last year, Francisco Tatad, a Philippine legislator, observed that due to the continent's baby bust, the Europeans of the future will be Africans and Asians. It is hoped they'll do a better job of dealing with reality than the Europeans of today. They could hardly do worse.

JWR contributing columnist Don Feder's latest books are Who is afraid of the Religious Right? ($15.95) and A Jewish conservative looks at pagan America ($9.95). To receive an autographed copy, send a check or money order to: Don Feder, The Boston Herald, 1 Herald Sq., Boston, Mass. 02106. Doing so will help fund JWR, if so noted. He is also available as a guest speaker. To comment on this column please click here.

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© 2001, Creators Syndicate