Sunday, May 27, 2018

Germany's German Problem -- and Ours


Since the time of Augustus, when a German army under Arminius wiped out three Roman legions in the Teutoburg Forest and sent the Empire scurrying back permanently across the Rhine, the question of how to live with the Germans has concerned both their immediate neighbors in central Europe and, latterly, the world. From the ferocious Vandals who sacked Rome in 455 to the hapless Hessians who got surprised by George Washington at the Battle of Trenton to the Panzer divisions of the Wehrmacht that swept across Europe and the Soviet Union in 1939-41, the Germans, it seems, are always a problem.
After the war, tamed and domesticated, and despite (or perhaps because of?) being bisected into capitalist and communist states, the Germans developed a cohesive civil society that abjured aggressive warfare and, shielded by the American nuclear umbrella and some 50,000 U.S. troops, turned into a pacifist state, especially after the fall of the Wall in 1989 and reunification. So... yay, right? Not so fast. Today, under the worst German chancellor since you-know-who, the Germans are once again part of the problem instead of the solution. Having had the starch beaten out of them by the Russians, the British, and the Americans during the war, and still bearing the enormous burden of their war crimes during the National Socialist period, the Germans have turned passive-aggressive, bullying the European Union while at the same time destabilizing the Continent with Angela Merkel's disastrous and inexplicable decision to throw open her country's -- and thus Europe's -- borders to more than a million mostly Muslim "refugees" and "asylum seekers," a move that will have deadly consequences in the future as a childless Europe moves toward senescence.

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