Tim Blair


New Criterion



Tuesday, August 17, 2004
YOU CAN'T SAY that Mark Steyn is sorry that a swag of US forces are being withdrawn from Europe.
European countries now have attitudes in inverse proportion to the likelihood of their acting upon them. They're like my hippy-dippy Vermont neighbours who drive around with "Free Tibet" bumper stickers. Every couple of years, they trade in the Volvo for a Subaru, and painstakingly paste a new "Free Tibet" sticker on the back.

What are they doing to free Tibet? Nothing. ... If Don Rumsfeld were to say, 'Free Tibet'? That's a great idea!

The Third Infantry Division go in on Thursday', all the 'Free Tibet' crowd would be driving around with 'War is not the answer' stickers. When entire nations embrace self-congratulatory holier-than-thou moral poseurdom as a way of life, it's even less attractive.
German officials, especially those in the vicinity of US bases take a different view:
For instance, Rhineland-Palatinate state officials say they have suggested that lighter units replace the heavy armor now stationed at Baumholder. Mayor Pees called on the German military to move into facilities vacated by the Americans.

In Bamberg, officials said the local utility company could lose a major customer and that real estate prices would decline if the U.S. military leaves.

"We view this with great concern," city spokesman Steffen Schuetzewohl said.
I doubt that anyone's troops will be much help against the kind of collapse now afflicting Europe.