22 November 2003

November 19, 2003

Bush in London

Fritz Kraemer died recently. What has this got to do with President Bush's visit to London? Let me explain.

The monocle-wearing Prof. Kraemer, a curious survival of Wilhelmine Germany, and an accomplished scholar of international law, political philosophy, and history, died of kidney failure at age 95 in Washington on Sept. 8, as I just learned. It could be argued that his was the clearest mind behind the American prosecution of the Cold War against Soviet Communism. From a small office in the Pentagon, he taught a generation of U.S. officers not only the principles of geostrategic warfare; but the reasons why it must be fought and won.

Kraemer grasped that it takes more than superior man- and firepower to defeat an enemy that is ideologically driven; that geostrategic contests are determined as much by irrational and immaterial factors. He grasped that the great weakness of the United States and the West, after the defeat of Nazism, was identical with the great weakness of Germany that had allowed the rise of Hitler. In each case, it is the existence of an intellectual elite who think about abstractions instead of realities, and whose instinct to appease a mortal enemy is founded in a lazy, cowardly, and conceited moral relativism. Kraemer was father to the phrase, "provocative weakness" -- in two words, the reason why the West is under attack today from such terror networks as Al Qaeda.

The man himself was a miracle of nature. He was of one piece. In the Germany of his early manhood, in the 1930s, he launched himself physically and fearlessly into demonstrations by both Brownshirts and Reds, as a streetfighting army of one.

He merits a full hagiography -- I invite readers to Google-search the obituaries -- but my purpose today is to juxtapose him with Henry Kissinger, whose intellectual mentor Kraemer was. Kraemer disowned his protégé in the détente era of the 1970s. He believed Mr. Kissinger guilty of spineless concessions to the political and intellectual zeitgeist. Kraemer was a man who believed in fighting for the truth, regardless of consequences; and of fighting with no option of surrender or even compromise with evil. He was no "mere conservative".

Donald Rumsfeld is his true protégé in the U.S. government today, and to a lesser extent President Bush. These are men who realize the U.S., and all free peoples, have a mortal enemy in ideological Islamism, and that it must be defeated rather than accommodated. This has made them deeply unpopular with the intelligentsia of our time, and especially with that half-educated reflection of it in the mass media. Europe and Canada are much farther gone down the rat-hole to surrender, but the U.S. itself also teeters.

As I write, the anti-Bush demonstrations are cranking up in the London streets. Surprisingly, the most recent survey of British public opinion shows fully 62 per cent essentially pro-American -- despite the 24/7 barrage of anti-American malice in such media as the BBC. And Prime Minister Tony Blair has, so far, survived the political ordeal of standing with President Bush, the Poles, the Australians, & other allies against Islamo-fascism, in Afghanistan and Iraq.

But there is hell to pay for this courageous position. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing -- and those with little knowledge of how the world unfolds, demand that America and Britain give up defending themselves against the menace made visible in the morning of 9/11/01. To what is apparently a majority of polling respondents on the European continent, little democratic Israel is the world's most dangerous country, and George W. Bush its most dangerous man.

What is interesting here, to those capable of taking a longer view, is the spectacle of history repeating itself -- less in outward events, than in inward structure. As in the 1930s, leftists and pacifists on the streets of Europe directly advanced the triumphs of Nazism, so today the demonstrators work to advance the triumphs of Islamism. For they refuse to acknowledge the consequences of ignoring such an enemy.

And so the bombing of synagogues in Istanbul draws, from e.g. Britain's Stop the War Coalition, no whimper of distress. But the arrival in England of the Western world's pre-eminent statesman ignites a self-righteous outcry; and the Coalition's demonstrators directly aid potential terrorists by distracting the police from urgent security measures.

In their own subjective world of illusions, the demonstrators demand not surrender, but an unobtainable "peace". However, in the objective world of cause and effect, they are the reliable allies of the people who flew airplanes into the World Trade Centre, who blow up Jews in synagogues and supermarkets, who tortured and murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis and bulldozed their bodies into mass graves.

The connexion between present and past was well-made in an e-mail forwarded to me, from an American Jew, returning from holiday in Europe. He wrote that, "When my grandfather left Europe in 1937, the graffiti on the walls read, 'Jews go to Palestine'. Today the graffiti reads, 'Jews out of Palestine'. How soon Europe forgets."

Fritz Kraemer, that German refugee in America, understood what Bush and Blair were about. He had a reputation as a moral absolutist. Which means, he refused to succumb to evil.

David Warren

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