This is a bit of a shock; I know nothing of this person's politics or the slant (if any) of the media in which this appeared....I imagine it raised a few hackles, in any case.
Origins: The editorial reproduced below, entitled "Europe, Thy Name Is
Cowardice," was written by Mathias Döpfner, CEO of the large German
publishing firm Axel Springer --
<http://www.axelspringer.de/englisch/home-e.htm> , and published
<http://www.welt.de/data/2004/11/20/363020.html> in the German periodical
Die Welt on 20 November 2004.
A few days ago Henry Broder wrote in Welt am Sonntag, "Europe - your family
name is appeasement." It's a phrase you can't get out of your head because
it's so terribly true.
Appeasement cost millions of Jews and non-Jews their lives as England and
France, allies at the time, negotiated and hesitated too long before they
noticed that Hitler had to be fought, not bound to toothless agreements.
Appeasement legitimized and stabilized Communism in the Soviet Union, then
East Germany, then all the rest of Eastern Europe where for decades,
inhuman, suppressive, murderous governments were glorified as the
ideologically correct alternative to all other possibilities.
Appeasement crippled Europe when genocide ran rampant in Kosovo, and, even
though we had absolute proof of ongoing mass-murder, we Europeans debated
and debated and debated, and were still debating when finally the Americans
had to come from halfway around the world, into Europe yet again, and do our
work for us.
Rather than protecting democracy in the Middle East, European appeasement,
camouflaged behind the fuzzy word "equidistance," now countenances suicide
bombings in Israel by fundamentalist Palestinians.
Appeasement generates a mentality that allows Europe to ignore nearly
500,000 victims of Saddam's torture and murder machinery and, motivated by
the self-righteousness of the peace-movement, has the gall to issue bad
grades to George Bush... Even as it is uncovered that the loudest critics of
the American action in Iraq made illicit billions, no, TENS of billions, in
the corrupt U. N. Oil-for-Food program.
And now we are faced with a particularly grotesque form of appeasement. How
is Germany reacting to the escalating violence by Islamic fundamentalists in
Holland and elsewhere? By suggesting that we really should have a "Muslim
Holiday" in Germany.
I wish I were joking, but I am not. A substantial fraction of our (German)
Government, and if the polls are to be believed, the German people, actually
believe that creating an Official State "Muslim Holiday" will somehow spare
us from the wrath of the fanatical Islamists.
One cannot help but recall Britain's Neville Chamberlain waving the
laughable treaty signed by Adolph Hitler, and declaring European "Peace in
What else has to happen before the European public and its political
leadership get it? There is a sort of crusade underway, an especially
perfidious crusade consisting of systematic attacks by fanatic Muslims,
focused on civilians, directed against our free, open Western societies, and
intent upon Western Civilization's utter destruction.
It is a conflict that will most likely last longer than any of the great
military conflicts of the last century - a conflict conducted by an enemy
that cannot be tamed by "tolerance" and "accommodation" but is actually
spurred on by such gestures, which have proven to be, and will always be
taken by the Islamists for signs of weakness.
Only two recent American Presidents had the courage needed for
anti-appeasement: Reagan and Bush.
His American critics may quibble over the details, but we Europeans know the
truth. We saw it first hand: Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War, freeing half
of the German people from nearly 50 years of terror and virtual slavery. And
Bush, supported only by the Social Democrat Blair, acting on moral
conviction, recognized the danger in the Islamic War against democracy. His
place in history will have to be evaluated after a number of years have
passed. In the meantime, Europe sits back with charismatic self-confidence
in the multicultural corner, instead of defending liberal society's values
and being an attractive center of power on the same playing field as the
true great powers, America and China.
On the contrary, we Europeans present ourselves, in contrast to those
"arrogant Americans", as the World Champions of "tolerance", which even Otto
Schily justifiably criticizes.
Why? Because we're so moral? I fear it's more because we're so
materialistic, so devoid of a moral compass.
For his policies, Bush risks the fall of the dollar, huge amounts of
additional national debt, and a massive and persistent burden on the
American economy, because unlike almost all of Europe, Bush realizes what is
at stake - literally everything. While we criticize the "capitalistic robber
barons" of America because they seem too sure of their priorities, we
timidly defend our Social Welfare systems. Stay out of it! It could get
expensive! We'd rather discuss reducing our 35-hour workweek or our dental
coverage, or our 4 weeks of paid vacation, or listen to TV pastors preach
about the need to "Reach out to terrorists, to understand and forgive".
These days, Europe reminds me of an old woman who, with shaking hands,
frantically hides her last pieces of jewelry when she notices a robber
breaking into a neighbor's house.
Appeasement? Europe, thy name is Cowardice.