Leave it to that lapdog of the British Conservatives and, had they been in the US, American Republicans to bash the bad old, looney left Europeans when it gets the opportunity. The Telegraph newspaper outdid itself once again. Columnist Janet Daley slaps ‘Old Europe’ on the wrist for sending Barack Obama back stateside, so called ‘empty handed’ after the G20 meeting. As is usual for any Telegraph columnist, Daley conveniently leaves out facts.
In her hitpiece, Daley indirectly accuses Europe of idly standing by while the US must virtually go it alone in Afghanistan.
Daley conveniently forgets that German troops have been in Afghanistan for years. They’ve paid in blood for their presence. Those filthy continental leftists even expanded their numbers and have committed themselves to staying even longer than they originally planned. If I were Obama, I’d be pissed off indeed!
About those despicable French? Same thing. Even though the French army is spread thin over Africa. Many a French soldier has been rotating tours in several countries in Africa, among them Chad and Ivory Coast. Not to mention the massive deployment in the Balkans.
In doing so, the French have not just paid billions of euros for their part in keeping the peace in Africa and southeastern Europe, they’ve paid in blood .
That’s right, BO: if I were you, I’d give it to those pesky garlic eaters!
Another fact, conventiently forgotten by Daley and her ilk, is that in 2003 the former US administration pulled out resources from Afghanistan, and redirected them to Iraq. The Dutch, the French, the Canadians, the Germans – everybody had to scramble to make up for the losses in resources. One of the arguments by those anachronistic silly continentals was that, by pulling resources out of Afghanistan, the Taliban would be emboldened.
So sending 17,000 US troops back into Afghanistan is de facto not the US “upping its presence” in that country, it is actually “bringing it back” to old, pre-2003 levels.
As for prices being paid, ask the Spanish how they feel about Daley’s column, post-Madrid bombings. Ask the family members of those killed in the London Bombings how they feel about ‘sending Obama back empty handed’. Ask the Dutch how they feel about their deployment to Iraq.
As for the G20 and economics, the US simply doesn’t have the budget expenditure on benefits programs those odd Yuropeans have. Whether Paul Krugman likes it or not, the Europeans are indeed headed into huge budget deficits, spending billions upon billions on unemployment benefits and welfare programs, which are being hit by a tidal wave of entitled dependents due to the bad economy.
Add up the expenditure of the US administration on battling the crisis and likewise for the Europeans, compare those amounts to the relative size of their respective economies, and one will see that – in relative terms – the continentals are actually throwing a lot of money at the crisis.
Which is something they can ill afford. Unlike the US, Europe is headed towards a cataclysmic event for which the European governments should be saving money, not spend it. The problem lies in demography. Within the next 20 years, nearly half of the population in Western European nations will be retiring — usually on government-sponsored pensions. See this OECD report for some background and projections on GDP-growth for the US, Japan, the Euro area, and Germany, the UK and France. Chilling stuff, I can promise you.
In fact, some European countries are in more trouble than even the US. Yes, imagine that! Credit rating agency Moody’s recently downgraded Ireland’s state bonds, after it had done the same thing to Spain’s state bonds. Portugal, Italy and Greece could be next. (Italy’s national debt exceeds its gross national product – they seem to have no leverage left at all for any stimulus. Or maybe they could ask uncle Giovanni down in Corleone for some quick cash.)
The US has the luxury that it can actually borrow money, as its credit rating is still AAA+. Not so for some European countries. And did I mention that much of ‘New Europe’ Daley’s on about, namely the Eastern European countries, are either already sucking on the emergency credit funds of the IMF, or are getting ready to do so?
Mrs Daley would do well to focus on the United Kingdom, where cutting the VAT by 2 percent has done exactly NIL for the economy. 22 billion pounds have disappeared into thin air, and it has brought the British naught, while the economic, er, ‘plans’ Ms Daley’s favourite Tory party has brought forward are nothing short of ‘disastrous’. Where Mr Obama at least wants to take a step forward in making the US a smart economy, the favourite party of Mrs Daley wants the UK to become a concrete jungle of which Grover Norquist and Milton Friedman would be proud.