A Letter from Denmark

The Donklephant

Henrik of Europe News weighs in with a guest-essay from a transatlantic perspective on the upcoming presidential election.

A letter to my American friends
by Henrik Ræder Clausen

At my blog EuropeNews, we have largely stayed away from the American election, for even though the election has worldwide impact, it tends to be off-topic for EuropeNews. But since the leading Islamist in Europe, Tariq Ramadan, has voiced his support for Barack Hussein Obama, it’s time to voice an opinion: Please, put John McCain in office. Obama will lead to disaster.

Are Democratic presidents good for the world?

Traditionally, Europeans tend to prefer Democratic presidents. That has not always been fortunate:

Franklin D. Roosevelt, following in the footsteps of Herbert Hoover, created the Great Depression, which caused extreme unemployment in the United States, and possibly increased the popularity of non-democratic systems, since democracy and capitalism obviously weren’t doing so well.

Lyndon B. Johnson, who took over after the Kennedy assassination, brought the United States deeper into the Vietnam War, whereas Kennedy had announced that he wanted to disengage from that conflict. This war, hugely unpopular, threatened to make NATO fall apart in 1968, when France withdrew her practical participation in the alliance and remained a member only in name. It is all but forgotten now, but the situation of NATO was so dire that only the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia saved the alliance, by demonstrating that the Communist challenge was still very much real.

Internally, Johnson botched another war, that on ‘poverty’. It had been clear for a while that the great cities of the United States weren’t doing so well, with people moving to the suburbs when they could afford it, leaving the city centres up for decay. The Johnson administration, apparently oblivious of the fact that poverty was dropping roughly 1% each year, opened the “War on Poverty” in order to fix the problems, once and for all, by central planning rather than local initiatives. As anyone who has studied the Soviet Union knows, central planning of cities often leads to rather dubious results, and this was no exception, for in spite of the huge (and costly) initiatives, poverty stalled at late-60’s levels. Not good for America, nor for the world.

Jimmy Carter, the peanut farmer, laid down the seeds for much future trouble when he pressed the Shah of Iran to release, ‘for humanitarian reasons’, those who sought to bring down his regime. The Shah was not perfect, but he was infinitely better than the theocratic regime that followed him. I lived in Iran during the last years of the Shah, saw the opportunities, the progress and the corruption, but also heard the silent propaganda drive against him. Carter simply didn’t have the skill to cut through and do what was needed to maintain that “island of stability” that imploded in 1978.

Also on his watch, to the detriment of us all, Carter initiated Operation Cyclone, where funding of Islamic resistance movements in Afghanistan sought to provoke a Soviet invasion of that dusty country, to provide the Soviet Union with a nightmare equivalent to Vietnam. That was initially successful, in that Soviet did indeed move in, and Carter was able to call a boycott of the Olympic Games due to the ‘unprovoked’ invasion of Afghanistan. These Islamic ‘resistance movements’, after bringing down the Soviet Union, went on to destabilize the Balkans, perform various high-profile terrorist attacks, and eventually, on September 11th, took the ultimate prize of bombing New York, something that Hitler could only dream of.

The latest anti-Israeli diatribes from Carter earns him no further honour. Except perhaps amongst rich Arabs.
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Finally, Bill Clinton, in his eagerness to demonstrate the benefit of American interventions world wide (he intervened a whopping 44 times during his eight years), took an unhealthy share in destabilizing the Balkans, under the pretence of bringing peace. That has brought Europe a lot of challenges, both by way of Islamist presence there, and by way of simple mafia business reaching into Europe through smuggling. The ‘open borders’ policy of the European Union has led to free movement of goods and persons, including drugs and weapons. We need to deal with this in a robust manner, for as the latest street shootings in Denmark demonstrate, the fruits of the destruction of Yugoslavia are reaching us all.

As is the case with Carter, Clinton in his post-presidency is also dependent on Arab money.

I believe these examples demonstrate that having Democratic presidents does not default into better results for the friends and allies of America around the world.

What we do need

One president who eventually got the respect he deserved is Ronald Reagan. In Europe, he was widely dismissed as a ‘Hollywood president’, thus dismissing both his successful eight years as a governor of California, as well as his diligence and skill in diving into complex political matters and holding his own opinion among an army of advisers. The famous iconic statement “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” was, for instance, reinserted into his speech after his speech writers had removed it.

The decision on the part of Reagan to deploy new nuclear missiles in Europe was vastly unpopular amongst the (partly Soviet-sponsored) peace movement, but the decision was right. The Kremlin was under no illusion about what fate it would suffer in case it attempted to stoke conflict in Europe, and made no such attempts. On the contrary, Gorbachev gave concessions that led to the INF Treaty in 1987, eliminating a significant amount of nuclear weapons. When Reagan left office in 1989, Communism had ceased to be a threat to Europe, and the East Bloc disintegrated peacefully shortly thereafter.

After that, the world has become increasingly complex. The most acute danger is that of Islam subverting our democratic institutions and eliminating our civil liberties, but also the challenges of a resurgent Russia, self-confident China and that of securing future energy supplies are urgent.

We need another Reagan

What we need is a president who will staunchly stand for his own country, who will know and respect friends and allies around the world, and who will stand so firm against the challengers that they are dissuaded from even trying. We need the good feeling of being protected so we can get on with our lives and solve the challenges that future generations depend on us to get right.

And this is where Obama just doesn’t match up. He is friendly with everyone, for sure, and the kind of person that one feels good about supporting, for he seems a little fragile, someone who could take a bit of protection. Which is fair enough, but hardly reason to elect him for president.

I am concerned that, after so many people have supported him to the White House, he would feel indebted left and right, and reward various groups with undue lenience. The ‘support’ he gets from Tariq Ramadan is a case in point, for Ramadan actually starts his article with making a demand on the would-be president: “The new president must …” This is the kind of ‘support’ one would better do without.

The background of Obama is, as has been rehashed over and over, another cause for concern. His childhood has been gone through in many places, and hardly needs more scrutiny. What is more worrisome is his adult life, his connections to the radical left, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, ACORN and the like.

What concerns Wright, he is free to hold anti-American and racist views, no problem. But the fact that Obama didn’t feel revulsion against such points of view. I would expect a president of America to instinctively love his country so much that being in company like this would be out of the question.

Another issue recently raised is that of Obama advocating ‘redistributing wealth’. One can’t really do that. You can take wealth from the rich, but it is really hard to impart on the poor with lasting results. Transfer of money does not teach the virtues of natural discipline, hard work and supporting your fellow man, for free or for money. As with Johnson’s “War on Poverty”, this idea easily lends itself to maintaining the problem by devising the wrong solution. I have no reason to trust Obama on this.

But what worries me most is that electing Obama might lead to reinventing fascism. Yes, that. I’m not of the opinion that Obama is a fascist. Far from it. But he is stepping into territory where he could easily become one. His rhetoric leans in that direction (‘Change’ was central to the program of Mussolini and the related Progressive ideas), and the cult of personality that has grown up around him (see City Journal, for example) makes it a temptation to step in that direction in order to stay on that feeling of high that rallies (like Obama in Berlin) creates. To the best of my knowledge, that feeling is similar to that derived from cocaine, and equally addictive.

Obama is, in a way, sort of a blank person. His experience in politics is limited, as is his record for standing up in tough situations, identifying and doing the Right Thing. I would expect, as in the example of Tariq Ramadan, that people will have a hundred different ideas of what he should do, and that Obama himself will find it impossible to identify that Reagan-style place to stand firm, without overstepping borders and falling into the trap of aggression.

It’s not that I’m crazy about getting McCain into office. I believe he will make mistakes, not least in the Balkans, where he tends to team up with the wrong people, like the Kosovo pseudo-state. But McCain has, in my judgement, the stamina to admit mistakes and learn from them, where I would expect Obama to be haunted by them instead of getting the lesson.

But I do want an American president who is willing to identify and deter our enemies. McCain does this: “I think the transcendent challenge of the 21st century is radical Islamic extremists.” Obama doesn’t, he’s presumably afraid of ‘offending’ friends, or enemies. As a ‘thank you’ for this, both friends and enemies will see Obama as a great opportunity, and move in to exploit his presidency any way they seem fit. This will, in one way or another, lead to disaster.

So, my dear American friends, I hope you will get a president able and willing to make a stand for America, who will be a firm and reliable ally, who will make it clear that we all need to contribute to our future safety, and, for the best of everyone, utterly frustrate our enemies.

I hope you will, after all, vote McCain into office.

16 thoughts on “A Letter from Denmark

  1. I look upon it this way from Denmark: Obamas carts ere mostly dealt, as they are for any american president.

    How about Truman ? NATO, Marshall Help, recognition of Israel, the Berlin air lift, the ending of WW 2, the UN. Truman was a democrat.


    When Obama gets elected, there will be an immediate euforia in Europa and elsewhere. Six monts later, that will al be forgotten.

  2. “we all need to contribute to our future safety, and, for the best of everyone, utterly frustrate our enemies.”

    If only I believed you… The EU is utterly toothless. You look upon the U.S. as your unpaid security blanket. If you REALLY wanted to “contribute to our future safety” you would be paying for the anti missle defense program yourselves… Instead, you rely upon the American taxpayers, the big Daddy, to protect you with their money and their blood. As well as take the heat for the project… (our friends in Europe and all that. What we really mean to say is that you don’t have a chance in hell of protecting YOURSELF from incoming weapons.) I, for one, am sick of this one sided arrangement.
    I have a son currently deployed in the Black Sea. How many of the readers of this blog from European nations can say the same thing? Hey, speak up now, I would really love to hear from you…
    My son made a rather interesting comment; he toured a NATO ship while in the Med. from Germany. He said the ship was so clean you could eat off the floors. He then went on to point out that the ship HAS NEVER been deployed into a war zone…
    You want McCain to be elected (as do I) but, your reasons deep down inside are quite a bit different from mine.
    Stand up and grow a pair. I have nothing but derision for the military decisions of the EU.

  3. Babs, I agree with you. I am perfectly aware that my point of view is not representative for Europeans. Most here would not say things like “We all need to contribute to our future safety.”

    The EU is utterly toothless.

    Tooth- and worth-less.

    Yes, the Germans never go to the war zones. We Danes *do*.

    Steen, I didn’t mean to belittle Democrats as such – merely to make the point that Democratic presidents are not automatically better than Republican ones, which is a widespread assumption in Europe. Truman was much better than Roosevelt, for sure.

  4. Babs, just to make clear: My main worry about Obama is that he – and the people behind him – will reimplement fascism, discreetly.

    That would lead to a series of disasters, and to a very chaotic situation.

    Security is a concern. I think Obama would be duped left and right, allowing our enemies to ruthlessly exploit the situation. It’s not a matter of “Who pays for what”, it’s a problem of having a coherent and effective policy at all.

  5. babs, the anti-America and anti-Israel sympathies are bred and fostered by our ‘leaders’ in Europe. All part of the plan to embrace Islamic values instead as these are entirely opposed.

    In the luxery of mediocrity people forget that Europe and America have a lot in common and should be united in strength. But the EU isn’t even united in itself.

    The EU military force is meaningless because it is a huge bureaucratic monster which cannot make out its own head or tail. Bureaucracy is the natural enemy of decisionmaking, of progress.

    I am for the military draft and an independent operating national army which cooperates with other countries with the same values. How can we be at war and not have a military draft? This is not battle, this is merely symbolic.

  6. I am for the military draft.

    Thinking of it, I slowly moving in the opposite direction, that of a professional army. A drafted army has a high number of medium-educated, medium-motivated soldiers, while a professional has a lower number of highly educated and motivated invididuals.

    A drafted army is better suited for large-scale wars, while a professional one is more fitting for the rapid deployment style of actions that have been the norm over the last decades.

    Take the Danish soldiers in Afghanistan. These are professionals, who individually volunteered to go kick some Taleban ass. And they do. In the major battles they have, the end result is usually something like 40-0. The Taleban respects us on the battlefield, and is resorting to cowardly alternatives like IED’s.

  7. Babs: As much as I agree with you, that this was indeed the case before 2001, and still is in many countries in Europe, I hope you dont forget that a lot of us other nations, incl. Denmark where I´m from, is taking a lot of pride in the fact that we are right on your side in Afghanistan today, and was in Iraq untill a year ago. We sure do take part in the battle against our common enemies. We sure do take responsibility and suffer because of it, just like you Americans do. And I really hope that that is not all forgotten…

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  9. To all the Danes posting a reply to my vitriol… I’m sorry.
    You are TRUE ALLIES with the U.S. and, I should have singled out your country as one of THE ONLY countries in Europe that stands toe to toe in the defense of your continent.
    Let me pre-empt any Poles, Romanians or Bulgarians that also read this blog by saying THANK YOU to you also. Funny that 3 of the 4 nations I mention are “new Europe” and not “old Europe”… Do you think they learned anything about living under tyranny while under Soviet domination that old Europe has been protected from and never learned? Stand by for lessons from your overlords in Brussels…
    I shan’t go into the Brit’s contribution as their nation is imploding as we speak. Once a great nation that projected power over the entire globe, it has been stripped of its power, little by little, until they made themselves laughing stocks by Iran during their own hostage crisis. “They took my I-Pod!” said one British sailor. Dear God…
    As I stated in my prior post, I currently have my first born son cruising the Black Sea, projecting western power. He will not be home for Christmas. He will spend our nation’s Thanksgiving off the coast of Georgia. You might forgive me as I am a bit touchy at this time.
    However, I still do not understand why the U.S. is funding and taking the heat for an anti missle defense system for your continent.
    I have raised children. It is hard to stop doing for them what they should be doing for themselves(no matter how easy it is for the parent to just do it.) But, as a parent, one must disengage or they remain forever juvenile…
    It seems to me that U.S. policy promotes this same type of adolescence in our “supposed” allies. Unfortunately, this time my blood and treasure is on the line. Is yours?
    The only good I can see out of an Obama presidency is our disengagement in your national security… Maybe then Europe will wake up to the threats around it and no Dane, Polish, or other new European country will be able to stop the bleeding… That spanking clean German war ship? It might actually have to be deployed!

  10. Roosevelt created the Depression? A tall claim, I’d like to know the reasoning behind that.

    Also remember that both the Democratic and Republican parties have changed much over the years, in ideology and support base. A Democrat president of 50 or 60 years ago is not a good comparison to Obama.

    Btw, I support McCain too 😉

  11. Craig, one would have to include Hoover, for it was his policies that were perpetuated under the label “New Deal”. Extensive government regulations, minimum wages to kill off business and cause unemployment, and extensive destruction of agricultural products and livestock, to keep farmers from dropping prices to affordable prices, as well as from creating new jobs.

    I know it sounds insane. But it worked. Unemployment remained around 18 % through the 30’s, and was only removed from the statistics by the draft for WWII.

    My primary source is Thomas E. Woods, here reviewed at Mises.org.

    Revisiting history, away from the artificial cook-up we were taught at school, is a lot of fun 🙂

  12. babs,

    NATO was set up as a defensive alliance and has been transformed into multicultural a extraterritorial invasion force in order give it a purpose for existing in its current incarnation.

    I’m not convinced this is very useful for defending the Western world. While American soldiers are halfway across the world America’s southern border is wide open to the Mexican invasion that continues apace.

    The plotters of the failed Fort Dix terrorist attack came in from Mexico as illegal immigrants. Same as in Britain, the home front is ignored in favour of exotic foreign adventures.

    If theres going to be lots of European civil wars in the future then I’d rather stay where I am (Ireland) than find myself on peace-keeping duty in Lebanon babysitting Hezbollah and shielding them from the IDF.

  13. Babs, apology accepted. We’re having a hard time here explaining the need to maintain a proper army, and using it.

    As for Georgia, I’m still puzzled what that small and remote nation has to do with our security. I know they have been discussing NATO membership for them, but I can’t figure out why on earth we would do that. We discussed the Georgian situation extensively at GoV a few months ago. Soros is involved, and it seems we’ve been making some excessive promises to guarantee ‘democracy’ there. But I believe it’s the wish of the American government, not of us Europeans. Am still feeling undereducated about the details.

    NATO has been changed from a defensive alliance to an ‘International actor’. Actor on behalf of who? For my money? I like defensive alliances, but I’m not too keen on interfering in meaningless places.

    As for the missile shield, I would prefer one designed to shield us from the crazy mullahs in Teheran. But again, this is all stuff that is being decided with no public discussions, just by our various leaders taking all the decisions without involving us citizens.

    And why should they? The majority would rather waste their time on their PlayStation than participate in democracy and understand the way things work.

    My copy of The Death of the Grown-Up was ordered a few days ago. We need a way to change these developments before things get really nasty.

    Most of all, we need to be good, democratic citizens and be involved.

  14. No2liberals, having lived in Iran during the last years of the Shah (a truely great man), I tend to agree.

    Still I hold Woodrow Wilson to be worse, for several reasons. Running a quasi-fascist regime (“Wartime Socialism”) with all its violations of the constitution should have had him impeached, not praised.

    But that’s a story for another day.

    Today is election day. This morning I went to a reception of the nice Danish investment bank Saxo, and they said it doesn’t matter much who is elected, socialism has a deep grip of the US anyway. They put up a ‘Wanted’ poster on Bush e. al. for ‘Crimes against Capitalism’. They also put up Stars & Strips converted into Hammer&Sickle & Stripes. They’re not happy with the developments.

    The occasion for the reception was the (re-)launch of the Danish translation of “Atlas Shrugs”, which is something they do for the general benefit of society, because they’re concerned about the direction we’re headed.

    Yes, I got myself a copy 🙂

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