There has been talk about encouraging Germany to remilitarize. Its army in Afghanistan has demonstrated an unwillingness to actively fight. Militaries are not designed for nation building. Quite the opposite. Despite building schools, roads and hospitals, the military’s job #1 is to break things and kill people. If we are unwilling to fight and bleed in Afghanistan to the degree required we should get out and not attempt to get Germany to return to its militaristic historical tendency. This is a comment on an op-ed piece that seemed to be urging a revival of the Prussian military ideal.
Careful what you wish for. A remilitarized Germany in the EU with nuclear France would instantly become a full-fledged superpower. And one that would not necessarily be on the same page with America, or even Britain. In an instant we would be confronted with what Hitler conquered in the blitzkrieg of 1939-40.
The Anglosphere must recall that we are related to but not of Europe. Believe me, Europe does not consider Britain a true European country. And though the US liberated Europe twice and half (Cold War), and we have an inheritance of Western European Civilization, we are not Europe. The Europeans are much more aware of this fact than we are. We are foolish to presume that the New Europe will not be just as anti-capitalist, anti-modern, anti-Protestant as the old version. Europe and Europeans disparage the Anglo-Saxons for our unique system. While Europe has been steadfastly anti-individualist from its misty past of Tribalism, to Emperor worship, to Divine Right Of Kings, Inquisition to Jacobins, Socialist Intellectuals, Fascists, NAZIs and Communists, we have maintained liberty. The only true revolution was that of the individual over the collective, whether that collective was the primitive tribe, or the Prussian Welfare-Military State, or Corporatist Italy, NAZI Germany or Communism.King Philip of Spain underestimated Elizabeth l’s Protestant commercial England. As did Napoleon. And Hitler, Mussolini, Tojo, Stalin. All dismissed the Anglosphere as weak commercial nations of shopkeepers. But I believe it was Lincoln who said that the greatest European King could not take a drink of water from the Ohio River.
“From whence shall we expect the approach of danger? Shall some trans-Atlantic military giant step the earth and crush us at a blow? Never. All the armies of Europe and Asia…could not by force take a drink from the Ohio River or make a track on the Blue Ridge in the trial of a thousand years. No, if destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men we will live forever or die by suicide.”
— Abraham Lincoln
Our self-indulgence has forced us to urge nations like Germany to remilitarize. Is our ease and luxury which has allowed the outsourcing of industry worth this? Worth asking Germany to put its jackboots back on? This potential Franco-German centered EU could become the one mortal threat that might threaten us. But, as Lincoln said we have been the author and finisher of the moral decline and subsequent loss of God’s blessings that had once made us strong and free; but leave us now unsure of which way to turn, afraid of shadows, stopping airports with talcum powder, unable to decide what to do with the planners of 9/11; yet planning to run our medical services; straining at gnats and swallowing camels.