Sunday, February 27, 2005

Planning Your European Vacation

If you ever wanted to visit the Cathedral at Chartes you might want to decide to do that sooner rather than later. From Mark Steyn: The U.S. Can Sit Back And Watch Europe Implode

CIA analysts predict the collapse of the EU within 15 years. I'd say, as predictions of doom go, that's a little on the cautious side.

But either way the notion that it's a superpower in the making is preposterous. Most administration officials subscribe to one of two views: a) Europe is a smugly irritating but irrelevant backwater; or b) Europe is a smugly irritating but irrelevant backwater where the whole powder keg's about to go up.

For what it's worth, I incline to the latter position. Europe's problems -- its unaffordable social programs, its deathbed demographics, its dependence on immigration numbers that no stable nation (not even America in the Ellis Island era) has ever successfully absorbed -- are all of Europe's making. By some projections, the EU's population will be 40 percent Muslim by 2025. Already, more people each week attend Friday prayers at British mosques than Sunday service at Christian churches -- and in a country where Anglican bishops have permanent seats in the national legislature.

Some of us think an Islamic Europe will be easier for America to deal with than the present Europe of cynical, wily, duplicitous pseudo-allies. But getting there is certain to be messy, and violent.

Until the shape of the new Europe begins to emerge, there's no point picking fights with the terminally ill. The old Europe is dying, and Mr. Bush did the diplomatic equivalent of the Oscar night lifetime-achievement tribute at which the current stars salute a once glamorous old-timer whose fading aura is no threat to them. The 21st century is being built elsewhere.

That is why I say, given world history, if you want to see any of the Christian sites of Europe you'd better get moving. Don't believe me? Go and try to find an Armenian church in Turkey. I'm not talking about the congregations, I'm talking about the buildings.


Randy Black said...

Congrats to the President on his Razzie Award.
I would like to see him help Darfur, but it will probably be more in words than deeds like his aids money for Africans.
I will admit that Bush's diplomatic qualities are improving, but I prefer actions over words.

The Iconic Midwesterner said...

I agree that Bush doesn't seem likely to take drastic action in Darfur, although it is warranted.

What's ironic about his stance with the Europeans is that their best option for the future is if Bush policies can succeed in the Middle East. If stable democracies and growing economies become the norm in the middle east than maybe the most intractable of the muslim immigrants in Europe will have a good reason to return to the middle east. If not the Europeans will be in a serious demographic bind.