Tuesday, June 03, 2003

L 'Envoi

There is occasionally an article which should be reproduced in it's entirety. Since that's not fair to the author, I'll provide the link to a transcript of Ralph Peter's article in May 15th's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Peters is a retired US Army Colonel who served as an intelligence officer in Europe and Central Asia and has traveled very extensively. He used to write articles for Parameters and is now a best-selling novelist. He is perhaps best known for the Parmeters article Our Soldiers, Their Cities, which convinced the US military leadership that urban combat would be a major mode of fighting in the post-Cold War era.


By Ralph Peters

The societies of "Old Europe" remind Americans of the Arab Street. Preferring comforting delusions to challenging realities, Europeans talk a great deal, do very little, and blame the United States for home-grown ills.

... We thought you were adults, but, from across the Atlantic, you look like spoiled children. And your recent tantrums have convinced Big Daddy America to deposit you on the steps of the strategic orphanage.

... The divorce is long overdue. Ignoring "Old Europe" on questions of grand strategy will liberate the United States, freeing us at last from the failed European model of diplomacy that has given the world so many hideous wars, dysfunctional borders and undisturbed dictators. The recent mischief wrought in Paris and Berlin has enabled Washington to escape a long thrall of enchantment, a slumber of sorts during which America allowed Europe's ghost to haunt its decisions.

Now you have awakened us, and we see that Europe's influence was nothing but a legacy of nightmares. We shall no longer subscribe to your bloodsoaked, corrupt rules for the international system, but will forge our own.

You will not like many of our new rules. But to paraphrase Frederick the Great's remark about Maria Theresia, you will cry, but take your share of any available spoils. ...

Read the whole thing.