historically speaking, peace in europe is an aberration.

Politicians in Hungary are calling for a list of prominent Jews in the country. Greece has been rioting pretty much for the last two years over austerity cuts. Spain and Italy are circling the same bankruptcy drain. France just lowered the retirement age for some workers to 62, while Germany—the country that pays off the rest of the Eurozone’s credit cards—raised theirs to 67.

I’m pretty sure some people over there are starting to have reservations about their various countries having reduced their armed forces to National Coast Guard & Railway Police levels. I mean, Britain has no floating bird farms anymore with which to project power if, say, the Argentinians make a move for the Malvinas Falklands again, and Germany has reduced its armored divisions from six to two (and their army’s total strength from twelve to three divisions). Because the Cold War is over, Europe is one big happy family, and nobody’s ever going to distract from domestic troubles by pointing fingers at Jews or foreign agitators again, right? Right?

34 thoughts on “historically speaking, peace in europe is an aberration.

  1. I’ve always suspected that an entire generation of western Europeans have had their perspectives distorted a tad growing up with the Marshall Plan and NATO – largely bankrolled by the US. Kinder and Gentler seems to have become a broadly-accepted Western assumption (witness its surprisingly stubborn adherents in the US as well) of how human society functions when the bulk of history demonstrates otherwise.

  2. Yeah. I fully expect the next 40 years to be dramatically less amusing/peaceful/gentle/wealthy/free than the prior.

    It’s funny thing to think that even at 12 divisions: circa 120,000 to 240,000 men (depending) is still one of the smallest armies Germany has had in the past 150 years. Heck, even when it was “the germanies” that’s probably on the low end. (and with less population)

    Of course, when you are surrounded by French ( don’t laugh, the French military has only recently acquired a and exaggeratedly dubious reputation.) Russians, Swedes, Austro-Hungarians and other aggressive and unpleasant neighbors , having cannon fodder on hand is a good thing.

  3. Well, I wouldn’t worry about the Germans. After all, we taught them a lesson in 1918, and they’ve hardly bothered anyone since then. (Apologies to Tom Lehrer.)

    Also, the next time they decide they want to take over Europe, they’re not going to need armored divisions … they’ll just foreclose on it.

    • I say let ’em have it. Frankly, as long as they don’t go all genocidal about it, they’d probably run the place better.

      I’m certainly not going to go fight on behalf of the rest of Europe to make them not take it over.

  4. For a little frosting on it, Germany is going to institute full gun registration…
    They say history runs in cycles, or maybe that’s circles. ‘Round and ’round we go…

  5. I had a similar conversation recently with someone who was agitated by news coverage of recent developments in the Middle East. I had to explain that I wasn’t really paying attention (beyond “oh, that happened”) because the current state (conflict) is the default state for that region.

  6. Well, if Romney had been elected, that all would be much worse.
    And who started the last few big wars? The Untied States.
    Who doesn’t care about out environment and thus starts the next crisis? The U.S.
    Who caused the recent recession? The U.S.
    Our real problems are the climate change, the widening gap between rich and poor, over-population – those lead to frictions!

    Greetings from central Europe.

    • Our real problems are the climate change, the widening gap between rich and poor, over-population – those lead to frictions!


      Well, Europe does seem to have a tendency to get that “overpopulation” thing under control pretty handily every so often. We’re coming right up on the 100th anniversary of one of the really big efforts in that regard.

      Have fun with your impending re-enactment of that.

    • Man. Of all of the people I hope are capable of learning from history, Jews are right at the top of the list.

      Shitty economic situation in Europe? Politicians pointing fingers at the Jews? TIME TO GO, FOLKS.

    • Fab, yep, and I was told that all these things would happen if I voted for Romney. I did anyway, and sonofagun (no offense, to you re that phrase, Fab) they DID!

    • “Our real problems are the climate change, the widening gap between rich and poor, over-population – those lead to frictions!”

      While I’ll agree those are, or at least may be, problems, each takes a certain amount of gestation time to become a crisis. Even if we’re past the point of no return on climate change, for instance, it will still take 20 years to drown Florida. Even if we’re overpopulated, it will still take a few years before we run out of bits of Wyoming or Siberia to build new McMansions in. I rather suspect our economic problems, ignorance of how to survive in the absence of grocery stores and functioning gas stations, and inability to trust our neighbors will do us in long before the problems you cited manage to cause real mischief.

  7. “Well, if Romney had been elected, that all would be much worse.”

    For starters the press would actually have to do real research rather than believe press releases from the White house.

    I’m just hoping this bout of “rearrangement” spares my family in specific and all of us in general from being cannon fodder to some psychos

  8. Understand the English and French are talking about a time-sharing aircraft carrier, and starting to wonder about where to get the reason for its existence.

    • There are 11 active US carrier groups. For the sake of argument France and the UK have the same population, around 65 million give or take a few.

      France and the UK should be fielding 2 carrier groups each in order to be pulling their weight.

      Lets not forget that they tried, and failed, to deal with the Yugoslavian breakup. To be fair the UK and France did try but were hampered by lack of command and control independent of NATO and general lack of help from the rest of Europe.

      I remember the British foreign secretary at the time stating that they had to fix that issue and be able to operate independant of NATO. Well, they fixed it so the UK cannot field a single carrier group.

      It’s pathetic.

  9. And who started the last few big wars? The Untied States.

    Really? The butcher’s bill for the Iraq and Afghan wars, combined, would roughly equate to a bad day during the Battle of Verdun or the Battle of the Somme or, well, you get the idea. You invented the tactic of long-range bombing of each other’s cities during the first one and got better at it the second time around.

    Don’t get to much on your high horse, Fab. You guys in Europe manged to start both chapters of the World War (Chapter I, 1914-1918, Chapter II, 1939-1945) without the help of the Americans. But you needed our help to end both of them.

    When you guys get around to fighting Chapter III, you’re on your own.

    • When you guys get around to fighting Chapter III, you’re on your own.

      Yeah, that’s what we said in ’16 and ’40, too. :(

      • If we hadn’t begun to get involved in `40, I’m pretty sure that the common language of the European continent today would be Russian.

        But `16, yeah, we had no good reason to get involved in a family feud between the crowned heads of Europe. And if we hadn’t gotten involved, there likely would not have been a NSDAP in Germany.

        • I’m just sayin’ that, while we may talk a good game when it comes to staying out of European wars, our actual track record’s not so hot. (cf. APO Camp Bondsteel…)

        • Comrade Misfit:

          FDR deserves a good share of the balme for WWII.

          According to Hoover, in his book “Freedom Betrayed”, Britain and France allied with Poland at the last minute because of FDR’s promise to come to their aid, a promise he didn’t have the power to keep ( if it weren’t for the fact that Mussolini declared war on the US, we would not have been involved in the war in Europe … the vote to declare war on Germany as well as Japan on December 8th actually failed. Hitler declared war on the US after Mussolini forced the issue ).

          Until that, those two countries were more than willing to let Hitler and Stalin duke it out for control of Eastern Europe, and hopefully both lose.

    • Day one of the sommne – 1 damn day:

      The British had suffered 19,240 dead, 35,493 wounded, 2,152 missing and 585 prisoners for a total loss of 57,470

      It is said that there wasn’t a family in Britain that did not lose a father, son, uncle or nephew.

  10. I have no problem with us selling weapons/supplies to any, or all, sides if the Europeans want to start another grudge match. But if the idiots in DC want us to get involved like the previous times, I think there will be our own version here at home. And I expect it will be a short one.

  11. You know, every time a “European” talks to me about their more expert statesmen, etc. I just say “Oh, you mean like Chamberlain and his ilk in the ’30s, right?” No further conversation ever ensues. We have had to rescue their asses mutiple times, and it’s still always our fault when something goes wrong.

    Also, how can you respect any country that would surrender to the enemy, who has occupied less than half your country in a declared war, to keep ANY CITY from being bombed? CLUCK, CLUCK, CLUCK.

    And the Germans lured them into declaring and starting a war and then wiped the earth with them in the “Franco-Prussian War”, in six weeks. They would have lost BOTH World Wars if we hadn’t entered on the side they were on. Should have kept going north from Italy in the ’40s and then swung east and left France occupied.

  12. To borrow from a movie:
    “You American-haters bore me to tears, Miss Barham. I’ve dealt with Europeans all my life. I know all about us parvenus from the States who come over here and race around your old cathedral towns with our cameras and Coca-Cola bottles… Brawl in your pubs, paw your women, and act like we own the world. We over-tip. We talk too loud. We think we can buy anything with a Hershey bar.

    I’ve had Germans and Italians tell me how politically ingenuous we are. And perhaps so. But we haven’t managed a Hitler or Mussolini yet. I’ve had Frenchmen call me a savage because I only took half an hour for lunch. Hell, Miss Barham, the only reason the French take two hours for lunch is because the service in their restaurants is lousy. The most tedious lot are you British. We crass Americans didn’t introduce war into your little island. This war, Miss Barham, to which we Americans are so insensitive, is the result of 2,000 years of European greed, barbarism, superstition, and stupidity. Don’t blame it on our Coca-Cola bottles. Europe was a going brothel long before we came to town.”

  13. Personally, I am kind of tired of the lack of results from being so kind and gentle. I suspect all those sophisticated Europeans are snickering all the way to the bank, or to their re-election, or wherever we are helping them to get to, as they take advantage of our politicians posing for the cameras.

    If some candidate were to come out and say that we have been kind enough, and gentle enough, for long enough, without any visible benefit, and that he was going go out of his way to really shaft the first nation that gave him an excuse, well, he would get my vote, and I don’t think we would have any MORE enemies than we already do, and our friends just might take our opinions into account the next time there’s a “purely symbolic” vote in the U.N. or anywhere else.

    If we were to just stand aside and let some metaphorical houses burn down, maybe we would get other nations more interested in subscribing to our metaphorical fire-fighting insurance. As it is, we are like the only sober driver in the bar, and everyone expects us to see them safely home. They keep counting on us to do the “responsible” thing, and save them from their own folly. Free riders are OK for as long as it costs nothing to give them a ride. The moochers think we should just buy a bigger van, so we can give out more free rides.

    Screw em. Do it on purpose, and out loud. Tell everyone what you are doing, and why.

    It probably wouldn’t work any worse than what we do now.

  14. “who started the last few big wars? The Untied States.”

    Dude, are you on crack? Scratch that, I’m sure it’s not chic enough for you. The “Untied States” (Freudian slip, eh, you pocket dictator?) sure invaded the hell out of Kuwait and the Balkans, didn’t we? Oh. No, wait, that was someone else…

    Unfortunately, the U.S. has never been the isolationist bastion some of us might like to imagine we are, and when we’ve taken measures to further isolate ourselves, the consequences have been disastrous. All the way back to Jefferson. So we should probably not let Europe implode on itself, even if that really was an option.

  15. Ooh, look at this cute redneck shitstorm!

    Anyone here ever heard of Monroe? Not Marilyn, but James Monroe. He was a former president of yours – and he proclaimed a tactic of two politcal spheres – Europe and America – and non-intervention. It worked for almost a century, until 1917. And since then, you’ve been spreading your imperialist tentacles all over the world.

    And by the way, yesterday, thousands of Hungarians protested against Marci, the right-wing (that’s the direction of the Republicans for you) politican who had demanded a list of jews in parliament and government.