Victor Davis Hanson
Nearly 10 years ago, Secretary of Defense
Yet the more things change in
The island of
No need to mention the German "problem": Whether the year was 1870, 1914, 1939 or 2011, Europeans always have feared a united
In that regard, the more
For centuries, Mediterranean Europe -- the original dynamic birthplace of Western Civilization -- has stagnated in comparison to the north. The sunny south's doctrinaire Catholicism and Orthodoxy, greater vulnerability to nearby militant Ottomanism, and lack of Atlantic ports that looked out on the New World long ago relegated the Mediterranean nations to comparative stagnation.
The squabbling European family has always feared two great rivals --
Jews have always been smeared by ambivalent Europeans -- discriminated against as too clannish in their creed, without ancestral land-holding lineages and aristocratic status. Once again Jews are now beginning to feel as unwelcome in
After the Revolutionary War, Europeans both flocked to America and damned it as uncouth and crass, even as they looked to it for money and military help. Nothing has much changed here either, despite the utopian pronouncements of the
Most European grandees recently felt that the American cowboys got what they deserved in
Like clockwork every few decades, some self-described European "visionaries" swear that the continent can either live in peace under utopian protocols or, more darkly, be united under one grand -- and undemocratic -- system, willingly or not. But for all the noble pretensions of the
That schizophrenia is what we should expect from dozens of cultures and histories squeezed into too small a continent full of lots of bright -- and quite proud -- people. Every new
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