Sunday, November 06, 2005

The mess we're in

Two stories that point out the mess the world is in: one concerns the US and one concerns Europe.

In the US John McCain, Republican senator from Arizona, has vowed to add an amendment to every bill going before the President that bans torturing prisoners of war by U.S. interrogators.
Speaking from the Senate floor, McCain said, "If necessary - and I sincerely hope it is not - I and the co-sponsors of this amendment will seek to add it to every piece of important legislation voted on in the Senate until the will of a substantial bipartisan majority in both houses of Congress prevails. Let no one doubt our determination."
How did we get into this mess? John McCain himself was a prisoner of war in Vietnam and was tortured by the North Vietnamese. I'm a Democrat, but I have always respected and admired John McCain, both for what he's lived through as well as how he's lived his life. I'm waiting for the Republican lapdogs on talk radio to denigrate Mr. McCain, to tear down the man on nothing more than rumor and innuendo. They do that so well in defense of the current administration.

In Europe they seem to have a serious problem. Mark Steyn, writing for the Chicago Sun-Times, talks about the "Eurabian civil war." He points out why the Europeans, in particular the French and Germans, did not want to get involved with the Iraq war;
If you had millions of seething unassimilated Muslim youths in lawless suburbs ringing every major city, would you be so eager to send your troops into an Arab country fighting alongside the Americans? For half a decade, French Arabs have been carrying on a low-level intifada against synagogues, kosher butchers, Jewish schools, etc. The concern of the political class has been to prevent the spread of these attacks to targets of more, ah, general interest. They seem to have lost that battle. Unlike America's Europhiles, France's Arab street correctly identified Chirac's opposition to the Iraq war for what it was: a sign of weakness.
The article might have a strong conservative slant (the phrase "complacent and blinkered as John Kerry" sort of gives you that feeling), but the truth of the matter can't be hidden. The rioting has been going on in France since October 27th with the accidental death of two Moroccan youths. They've been burning cars, churches, and stores; they've been attacking police and civilians. It's a state of anarchy that's been brewing for a long time. It's not just limited to France, but it's a problem in every major European nation. A problem that compromises any trust we could put in the old NATO alliance nations. And a strong indicator of why America allegedly went open-loop when it decided to invade Iraq. We might have been wrong about WMDs, but who could we really count on for honest intelligence? The UN? The Europeans? We've already seen how far the oil-for-food corruption has penetrated into the UN and other European nations. And fodder for Al-Qaeda violence surrounds just about every major city, holding Europe hostage.

What a mess.

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