Saturday, March 2, 2024
 
 

The West’s disunity stems from the latent Russophilia; anti-Anglo-Americanism of key EU nations

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If you personify countries by combining their politics with their national identity, it’s amazing how representative the characters are. For example, the UK is the drunk old man in the pub insisting he used to be a billionaire, while the US is the overweight know-it-all tourist who’s always on broadcast and never receive, talking in English to all foreigners and demanding to know why they don’t “speak American”.

Over in Europe, Italy is the 38-year old divorcee with manic eyes, a fixed smile, and facial tics who insists she’s doing great, and France is an unmarried aunt whose only joy in life is to smoke endless cigarettes at children’s parties and tell the kids they’ll never amount to anything. Russia is a football hooligan who aggressively hammers on the door of his ex-wife Ukraine, who screams for help from the European Neighborhood Watch, which collectively shakes its head, sighs, and writes a strongly-worded blog post about the terror of street violence, being careful not to mention Russia too explicitly in case they get their gasp pipes bashed in with a baseball bat. 

But my favorite would have to be Germany. This country is the convicted criminal insisting they’ve changed; the sort of ex-criminal who isn’t content to keep a low profile, and instead throws themselves into “community outreach” projects, perhaps finding religion and “faith”. The type of person who’s invited to schools and universities to warn the children against drugs, drink, and PlayStation, and pretends not to see that the kids they’re talking to are terrified out of their wits. After this has dried up, they usually write a book that describes the author as a ‘motivational speaker’, when really everyone just buys it for the description of the brutal crimes they once committed and apparently now sincerely regret. 

These people seem to go either one of two ways. If they’re completely genuine, they’re insufferable. If the old fires still simmer beneath a mask of congeniality, then they’re terrifying. With what has now become characteristic schizophrenia, Germany has managed to become both.

You’ve probably noticed in some sections of German society the overly-nice front that’s put up just because of the mortified shock that comes from realizing the worst thing to happen in human history was the fault of their ancestors. This doesn’t just manifest itself in conversation, but in national policy; German military timidity – which led one British officer to describe the Bundeswehr as ‘an aggressive camping organization’ – is a direct result of the shame of being the descendants of the Nazi-era Wehrmacht

Again, I can only agree with those commentators who opined that Angela Merkel letting in Middle Eastern refugees by the million was an attempt at apologising for the Holocaust. This act of suicidal humanitarianism will be her legacy, as well as the social problems it continues to create and the accompanying resurgence of the German far-right; those lunatics would never have got a look-in if ordinary people didn’t think they have some legitimate concerns. 

Germany’s willingness to bow to Russia should top the list of any free-thinkers’ worries. That Germany portrays itself as the kindest world power looks rather at odds with its refusal to lend any meaningful support to Ukraine. Obviously, this is all because of Germany’s reliance on Russian natural resources, which probably seemed like a great idea in the 1990s when Moscow was a feeble mess, but has now come back to bite them fiercely on the behind. Now, of course, Nord Stream 2 and the endless export of German products must always be put in front of old fashioned values like integrity, honour, and democracy, as well as those pesky Ukrainians and Georgians who keep trying to join the West. 

Putin has yet to launch any military action against Ukraine, and I’m starting to wonder if he’ll bother. Western disunity is at an all-time high, so beyond grabbing a little more territory at great expense, there would be little reward beyond what the Kremlin has already achieved. It has shown the world – and especially China – that the West, as the enlarged unit it has become, does not work. Germany has shown it will toe the Russian line due to its historical guilt and resource weaknesses, while Hungary’s Viktor Orban has expressed outright solidarity with the Kremlin, doubtless partly a result of Budapest’s increasing exasperation with Brussels’ insistence on pushing a leftist narrative. 

Poland and the Baltic states, meanwhile, have done what they can to remind the Free World of the values it once propagated, but without the rest of Europe behind them, there isn’t much they can do to deter Russia alone. The Anglophone world has been somewhat more inspiring, although not much; Britain has sent weapons and instructors to Ukraine, but any pride in this move is slightly marred by Boris Johnson’s ongoing political drama and a potential rebellion from his own party.

The US’ tough talk of threatening sanctions was decidedly undercut by President Joe Biden hinting that no action would be taken against Russia in the event of a “minor incursion”, without specifying what on earth might actually constitute such a thing. Under so many pressures from such a variety of angles, the EU and NATO face long-term damage. Who knows, perhaps this could all be a catalyst of collapse that historians will look back on as we consider the infighting, invasions, and incompetence that led to the fall of the Roman Empire. 

The blame for these developments largely falls on Germany. As Europe’s economic powerhouse, EU countries take their lead from Berlin as much as Brussels, and Germany’s quasi-Russophilia and lingering guilt from the 20th century has led Europe to inaction where it should have been firm and decisive.

A cynic might wonder if they’d have been so cowardly if the lives at stake had been German rather than Ukrainian and Georgian – but no, such a thought would never have occurred to the saintly minds of the Bundestag. They’re the nicest politicians in the world, after all; we can always count on those who flooded Europe with Middle Eastern refugees to do the right thing. Always. 

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