Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

January 31, 2005

Mathias Döpfner on European Thinking

Filed under: — Different River @ 10:00 am

David Kaspar has a translation by Hartmut Lau of a article in Die Welt by Mathias Döpfner, head of the German publisher Axel Springer AG (English page), on the cowardice of Europe in the face of the Islamic threat.

Europe – Thy Name is Cowardice

Commentary by Mathias Döpfner

A few days ago Henryk M. 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 agreements. Appeasement stabilized communism in the Soviet Union and East Germany in that part of Europe where inhuman, suppressive governments were glorified as the ideologically correct alternative to all other possibilities. Appeasement crippled Europe when genocide ran rampant in Kosovo and we Europeans debated and debated until the Americans came in and did 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 300,000 victims of Saddam’s torture and murder machinery and, motivated by the self-righteousness of the peace-movement, to issue bad grades to George Bush. A particularly grotesque form of appeasement is reacting to the escalating violence by Islamic fundamentalists in Holland and elsewhere by suggesting that we should really have a Muslim holiday in Germany.

While the alleged capitalistic robber barons in American know their priorities, we timidly defend our social welfare systems. Stay out of it! It could get expensive. We’d rather discuss the 35-hour workweek or our dental health plan coverage. Or listen to TV pastors preach about “reaching out to murderers.” These days, Europe reminds me of an elderly aunt who hides her last pieces of jewelry with shaking hands when she notices a robber has broken into a neighbor’s house. Europe, thy name is cowardice.

8 Responses to “Mathias Döpfner on European Thinking”

  1. Debra Carlson/ Ft Worth, Texas Says:

    Thank you for writing this. I have a family page here the USA and when the Iraq war started,
    most of the German family that had visited the site before, stopped. It was as if they were
    embarassed to even associate with Americans, let alone be related to us. I especially liked
    the comments of how much we Americans are willing to give of our wealth, time & military to
    see a country of people no longer suffer. That we have a President who is willing to do the
    RIGHT thing, not the popular thing. We also take alot of pride in our diversity and
    tolerance here in the USA. I think Europe only gets mostly bad news about the USA. I live
    in a country of immigrants, all proud of their heritage, and MOST of the time are respected
    for that too. We all have those radical few who always seem to get the headlines!
    As a mom and aunt of US Soldiers in the Gulf presently, I can honestly tell you that the
    young soldiers over in Iraq have big hearts and souls. They write all the time of how they
    are helping the Iraqi people became their own Nation.
    EVEN if that Nation elects people who do not want to work with the USA as Allies as the
    time goes by, it will atleast still be
    a country ruled by the Iraqi people, not a tyrant who killed those who did not agree. THAT
    is what is important to us all.
    I just wanted to thank you for atleast looking at another side instead of pointing a
    finger and declaring us “Evil”. After 911, most of us Americans found that how much
    wealth you have means nothing if there is no love. Terrorist do not care about love or that
    innocent people get hurt. They don’t really care about the “oppressed” as I have heard them
    claim why they hate the “American oppressors”. If they hated the opressors, they would be
    going after the dictators of Nations who treat their own people terribly. They will never
    be happy until all in the world believe as they do, which we all know is impossible. Trying
    to appease that thought process is laughable, but also dangerous. It would endanger the
    very freedom of speech and thought you all enjoy now!

  2. Different River Says:

    Thanks for your insightful thoughts!

  3. Don Waldren Says:

    As an American and former service member I commend Mr. Dopfner’s bold step in making these comments. Bold, indeed, considering most of the Eupopean press is at
    complete odds with Mr. Dopfner. Though we may have some philosophical disagreements I am thankful that someone in the EU recognizes some of the good that the U.S.
    does. Please remain strong and committed to your ideals. Thank you, sir.

  4. Lutz Wenzel Says:

    Mr. Dopfner –
    thank you for your courage and outstanding insights ! Your concept of freedom is honest straightforward.
    I grew up in East Germany and after finally being able to leave for West Germany at age 18 and 4 years later to the United States I don’t understand the self-righteous approach of many people (who owe their freedom to America) toward the common dangers that are threatening the free world. It may well be anchored in material/comfortable beliefs which would make it the ultimate hypocrisy.

  5. Walter Mattix Says:

    Mr. Dopfner
    As an American it pains me to see the left in Europe trash the president of the United States. When I think of the thousands
    of American boys who have lost there lives in your countries so these same leftest can speak freeley it turns my stomach. If any
    of these countries would have been so viciously attacked as we were, America would have been there to lend any assistance necessary
    to help. The one time we ask Europe and Canada for help we recieve a slap across the face. Not only did you not help, you did everything you could to assist our enemies. You actons cost the lives of American Boys. Even NATO would not assist us. The one bright spot in the European mess is Tony Blair. This man has more courage then George Bush. He has gone against his own party because he knows what we all face.History will always remember great
    leaders. History is not so kind to appeasers. Remember Chamberland

    I am begining to truly believe that leftest in Europe, Canada and the United States are the worst enemies we face.
    I will send one warning to all of you. If the terriost manage to set off a Nuke in an American city and kill a million of our citisens
    the great kindness and compassion that America is will turn into an anger that will not forget the appeasers all over the world
    including the United States. The Japanese awoke us once, the second awaking will be much worse for those that managed it and helped it.. We also had better not hear from any of you that George Bush is at fault.
    I again want to thank you Mr. Dopfner for having the courage to speak the truth surronded by such a hostile environment.
    We can only hope more Europeans will wake up to help us fight this next and worst world war.

  6. Robert M. Braun Says:

    Warum sehen wir keine deutsche Stellungsnahmen die die Ihre aeneln Herr Doepfner? Ich lebe in den USA und nehme die europaeische Eistellung gegenueber Amerika im algemeinenen und die der deutschen im besonderen, sehr persoenlich. Ich fuerchte dass Deutschland und die deutsche aus der Hitler Erfahrung sehr wenig gelernt haben. Wie sonnst kann man eine Erklaerung von Herr Muentefering betr. Gewisse Amerikanische Firmen: ‘Like “locusts” they “devour” German companies’ interpretieren? (Zitiert von Herr Schwammenthal in der Wall Street Journal vor 2 Tagen). Das gleiche haben wir von Alfred Rosenberg ueber die Juden gehoert. Und es soll kein Zweifel darueber bestehen dass Antiamerikanismus gleich Antisemitismus ist, d.h. ein Versuch die eigene Probleme auf eine andere, relativ leich erkennbare und mehr oder weniger beneidenswerte Bevoelkerungsgruppe zu schieben. Ich hoffe dass Sie nicht der einzige deutsche der das sieht sind. Sonst erwarten uns und unsere Kinder sehr harte und traurige Erfahrungen.

  7. Richard Phillippe Says:

    Finally an intelligent commentary from a European with the
    balls to tell the truth about the Islamic extremists problem.
    Thanks for recognising that America has always tried to help
    rid the world of bad people and help its brothers and sister
    in need around the world. It’s past time for the peace loving
    people of Europe to step up and help us fight this evil that
    is enevloping our world in fear. Mr. Dapfner commentary should
    be sent to every Head of State around the world. Wake up
    before the extremist begin using nuclear bombs!

  8. Roy L. Shockey Says:

    Dear Dr. Döpfner, I only recently learned of your forthright
    pronouncement regarding European spinelessness in regards to the
    aims and scope of Islamic expansionism. As an American and
    a historian, I confess that I love Europe, but I likewise confess
    that I am sorrowfully suspicious of Europeans when they parade
    their attitude of social superiority over we less-enlightened
    Americans. I, too, share in your belief that history will gaze
    favorably on the actions of George W. Bush and Tony Blair and
    will count as short-sighted and self-serving those on both sides
    of the Atlantic and around the world who do not recognize the
    dreams and schemes of radical Islam for what they truly are. As
    for me, I am now the proud owner of a small block of Alex
    Springer AG stock. Please sir, keep up the good work.

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