Over the last four years Americans have played a sort of parlor game wondering when—or if—the Europeans might awake to the danger of Islamic fascism and choose a more muscular role in the war on terrorism.
In my my recent essay, "Are France And America Allies Again?", I stated that I believe we may have been closer than what was once portrayed, by both medias and to some degree, both governments. I know that many might disagree (my new blog friend Super Frenchie is one) with this assessment. But we must all remember that we as Americans and as French (or other Europeans) are not privy to the most secret of conversations and subsequent deals made by our leaders, when in private. We only have access to the facts and opinions that are made public, usually by way of the news media and more recently by way of the blogosphere.
From there, our opinions are formed. From there, the facts are presented, either accurately or inaccurately. And then, we as free-thinking individuals are free to analyze those facts, sort through the rubbish and discard it, and establish within ourselves some form of opinion, which in turn becomes part of our overall belief system.
So unless a secret fact comes to light, as a result of a leak or a forthcoming change of heart, we only know what we know. And, from all appearances, it looked like Europe was not getting it, and most of it was due to the disagreement on Iraq. But from what we are witnessing from our European counterparts today, is either a complete reversal of philospophy/ideology or it is simply bringing to light, that which, has been kept off of the radar for very specific reasons, up until now.
Imagine a conversation between Bush and Chirac taking place, whereby, Bush explains what he wants to do with Iraq, and why. Chirac tells him that his country cannot support an invasion at this time and the reasons are, the numbers of disaffected Muslims that live in France and how they fear chaos will erupt if that happens. He wants Bush to clearly understand how vulnerable the republic would be, if they openly backed "US imperialism" in a Middle Eastern country. He further explains to the American President that he must overtly criticize the operation and make appearances that he is overtly against it. But covertly, he offers any help that they can, secretly and quietly. (This may account for the Bush Administration's lack of willingness to overtly criticize Chirac or his government, during all of this.)
But now, things are different. Why? Let's read what Mr. Hanson has to say:
The Madrid bombings, the murder of Theo van Gogh, the London subway attacks, and the French rioting in October and November seem to have prompted at least some Europeans at last to question their once hallowed sense of multiculturalism in which Muslim minorities were not asked to assimilate at home and Islamic terrorists abroad were seen as mere militants or extremists rather than enemies bent on destroying the West.
You can now add to that the attacks on the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Syria and we can plainly see that the safe route, the quiet route, was not working and likely will never work.
But, in all of this, let's not forget this one point:
Whether the Europeans were really on our side in Iraq or not, is not important now. That is the past. The important thing to note is, they certainly appear to be on our side now. In fact, they seem to be taking the lead in the "guts" department, in this cartoon flap. And, they are doing it much more so than the American media or government is willing to do, at this point in time.
And we need that right now. We need each other, we (along with Australia) ARE western civilization and our unity against dangerous islamofascists will ultimately determine whether that civilization will survive, or not. It does not matter how and why the Europeans have awakened (or if they were ever asleep), the important thing to note is, a sleeping giant is now awake and wants the enemies of freedom and liberty to know that they are awake.
And I, for one, am glad.