Monday, August 15, 2005

"We have swept away Hitlerism, but a great many Europeans feel that the cure has been worse than the disease."

When it comes to media hysteria, some things never change.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Norwegian blogger Jan Haugland has the right take on Schroeder's call to "take the military option off the table" when it comes to dealing with Iraq:

'"The Europeans and the Americans are united in this goal," he said. "Up to now we were also united in the way to pursue this."'

"Up to now"? Bush has not changed anything. He has consistently refused to rule out force, and simply reiterated that obvious position. Remember, "force" includes not only an invasion, it would also include airstrikes against nuclear facilities. Schroeder, by insisting that such options -- which ended Saddam's nuclear weapons programme -- are off the table, also weakens the negotiating hand of the EU-3. But, hey, it's election. So who cares if the Mullahs get nukes?

The fact that Iran just broke their agreement with Europe is ample evidence that European initiative in this regard is, once again, a failure.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Hooray for John Bolton!

Aug. 3 (Bloomberg) -- John Bolton used his first full day as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations to forge a strategy with China aimed at defeating a formula offered by four U.S. allies to expand the Security Council, the Chinese envoy said.
Chinese Ambassador Wang Guangya said he and Bolton decided to coordinate efforts yesterday to block the initiative by Japan, Germany, Brazil and India, during one of Bolton's first meetings in New York with a UN envoy.

Looks like Bolton's even more effective than James Lileks' little satire imagined him to be.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

A hilarious account of John Bolton's first day at the UN!

(Hat tip: Instapundit.)

Monday, August 01, 2005

My father used to tell me that when he was a child many decades ago in our hometown in Finland, there was a campaign started by missionaries of the Finnish Lutheran Church to help out poor African children. (The Finnish Lutheran Church has had a long history of involvement in Africa, mostly in tandem with the German Lutheran church, operating in the former German colonies of Tanganyika, Togoland, Cameroon, and Namibia).

When the ladies of the church knitting circle in our small community heard this, they wanted to do their part. But as Finns themselves were not very wealthy in those days, the ladies decided to do their good deed through labor instead, and started knitting mittens for the poor African children. Explanations of the warmth found in African climes fell on deaf ears as (according to my father) the ladies reasoned that the children might be warm in the summer, but there’s always winter….

It’s not too much of a stretch of the imagination to see that all those good-hearted people today who contribute money and insist on more foreign aid to Africa are essentially as well-meaning as the ladies of that knitting circle, - and just as deluded. However, when we consider the motivations of people in the governmental elites of welfare states, - who have access and knowledge of the counter-arguments against foreign aid – we must ask ourselves why do they still insist (as The Bimbo of Finland does) that government-to-government foreign aid should be raised to the level of .7% of the GNP of developed nations, - as suggested by that most crooked of institutions, the United Nations.

Something more insidious is at play, and we can only surmise that self-interest has a role in it. For what does a European welfare state gain when funneling money to the government of a nascent African state… but converts in the educated elites of such nations to the notion that an all-benevolent state should be at the controls of all aspects of societal activity, including economic activity. The welfare states of Europe are practicing a form of conversion that is as conniving, presumptuous and, - yes – imperialistic as the Lutheran missionaries of days past.

The sad part of it is, of course, that the people of welfare states like Finland are still behaving like those ladies of the knitting circle. For my father said that the church did not try to stop them from knitting – it was better to give them the illusion that they were doing something good. No doubt the pastors and missionaries routed those mittens to some other charitable organization that had nothing to do with keeping African children warm. And no doubt foreign ministries throughout Europe know that taxpayer foreign-aid funds are routed to all sorts of unintended destinations in Africa.

What is really at stake is a geopolitical strategy to co-opt African states to European-style welfare-statism and dirigisme.

And, most of all, what’s certainly at stake for the elites of the welfare state of Finland today – as it was for the elites of the church then… - is to preserve the notion that only they, indeed, know how to direct the altruistic yearnings of their constituencies.
Hooray for Bush for stepping in and appointing a truly tough American ambassador to that den of thieves we call the UN!

Bolton will be instrumental in the necessary cleanup process, - the rest of the world will, of course, benefit yet again from another bold American initiative.