Here is a snippet:
Publicly, Europe's frustrations are fobbed off on "crass Americans" - and particularly George Bush. The Iraq war has poisoned the alliance, the Europeans insist. They contend that America's greedy consumers warm the planet, siphon off its oil and trample foreign cultures.
But in private, some Europeans will confess that the problem lies with Europeans, not us. Some brave soul soon is going to have to inform the European public: Work much harder and longer for less money; defend the continent on your own; move out of mama's house and start changing diapers - and from now on expect far less from the state.
Times are changing. No longer can the Europeans play this Iraq card. Iraq was not nor will it ever be the root cause, of much of anything. It is not the disease, it is merely a symptom. Some may recognize it, but others still are in denial.
One of my very best friends in the world has Hepatitis C. How he got it, no one knows. He works in the healthcare field and had two very bad traffic accidents (one on a motorcycle) many years ago. He got transfusions both times.
The thing that makes this pertinent is he is now undergoing highly specialized drug treatment that has a good success rate. He is about half-way through a year long regimen. And it's hell. He doesn't have an appetite, he gets nauseated, and is easily fatigued. But he does it, because he sees beyond the sacrifice. He wants to get better and is willing to pay the hard cost of getting there.
It isn't easy, he still works full time. There are days that I will call early in the evening and his wife will say that he is in bed. He has lost a lot of weight.
Why am I saying this?
Europe is in trouble right now. They know it, we all know it. Like anywhere else, to get a lot of Europeans to admit it may be tough, but deep down, the majority of them know it. Europe is sick.
So, the exact course of treatment may be open for debate. But, there must be some kind of action taken, before the symptoms get out of control and choke the life out of one of the most beautiful continents, on earth. To put this off longer would give the disease process time to grow and weaken the system, further. So then that treatment, becomes less likely to succeed without further drastic measures. Maybe it gets so advanced that nothing else can be done.
It won't be easy and it may be unpopular with some people. But for Europe to survive beyond 50 years, I really feel there is need for treatment, and soon. But this time, Europe must be willing to treat itself, be fully aware of the side effects, and most of all must be compliant. As in the case of my friend, Europe must endure those side effects to get well and must look beyond present miseries that may crop up along the way.
It didn't get this way overnight. It will not get fixed overnight. But the process must begin, for it to have an end.