Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Europe's No. 2 airline, may seek redress for cancellations and delays from German authorities who temporarily brought the Frankfurt area to a standstill yesterday for a visit by U.S. President George W. Bush, damaging business for local companies.
Perhaps the various US companies which had offices in the World Trade Center should send a bill for their losses to the German government for allowing one Mohammed Atta to plot and scheme in peace while living in Hamburg.
Since the acts that Atta and co. perpetrated on the US are the cause of such stringent presidential security in the first place, maybe Lufthansa should sue Deutschland.
All is not lost in Germany, however. This commentary—penned by Matthias Döpfner, Chief Executive of German publisher Axel Springer AG--appeared in Germany's Die Welt. Here are some exerpts:
Appeasement cost millions of Jews and non-Jews their lives as England and France, allies at the time, negotiated and hesitated too long before they noticed that Hitler had to be fought, not bound to agreements. Appeasement stabilized communism in the Soviet Union and East Germany in that part of Europe where inhuman, suppressive governments were glorified as the ideologically correct alternative to all other possibilities. Appeasement crippled Europe when genocide ran rampant in Kosovo and we Europeans debated and debated until the Americans came in and did our work for us. Rather than protecting democracy in the Middle East, European appeasement, camouflaged behind the fuzzy word "equidistance," now countenances suicide bombings in Israel by fundamentalist Palestinians. Appeasement generates a mentality that allows Europe to ignore 300,000 victims of Saddam’s torture and murder machinery and, motivated by the self-righteousness of the peace-movement, to issue bad grades to George Bush. A particularly grotesque form of appeasement is reacting to the escalating violence by Islamic fundamentalists in Holland and elsewhere by suggesting that we should really have a Muslim holiday in Germany.[SNIP]
Two recent American presidents had the courage needed for anti-appeasement: Reagan and Bush. Reagan ended the Cold War and Bush, supported only by the social democrat Blair acting on moral conviction, recognized the danger in the Islamic fight against democracy. His place in history will have to be evaluated after a number of years have passed.
In the meantime, Europe sits back with charismatic self-confidence in the multicultural corner instead of defending liberal society’s values and being an attractive center of power on the same playing field as the true great powers, America and China. On the contrary—we Europeans present ourselves, in contrast to the intolerant, as world champions in tolerance, which even (Germany's Interior Minister) Otto Schily justifiably criticizes. Why? Because we’re so moral? I fear it’s more because we’re so materialistic.
For his policies, Bush risks the fall of the dollar, huge amounts of additional national debt and a massive and persistent burden on the American economy—because everything is at stake.
While the alleged capitalistic robber barons in American know their priorities, we timidly defend our social welfare systems. Stay out of it! It could get expensive. We’d rather discuss the 35-hour workweek or our dental health plan coverage. Or listen to TV pastors preach about "reaching out to murderers." These days, Europe reminds me of an elderly aunt who hides her last pieces of jewelry with shaking hands when she notices a robber has broken into a neighbor’s house. Europe, thy name is cowardice.
Ouch! What happened to that famed European nuance and subtlety? Schönen Dank, Herr Döpfner.