The following article was written months ago and’placed in a holding file where it was promptly forgotten. Since the material in this article is still’pertinent, I am’submitting it as this’week’s column: *** ‘While sitting in the boss’s chair of the Democrat- controlled house, Nancy Pelosi said she is attempting to gain the support of members from the other party.’ In observing her efforts, I am put in mind of an argument that my friend, Preacher J, has advanced at his Sunday sessions. ‘Bill,’ he said to me as he spits out a little tobacco juice, ‘you have always criticized we yellow dog Democrats because we will vote for a jackass if that is all we have on the ballot. But remember, Bill, while we are a party people,’we still have a compassionate view toward you Republicans.’We have always said that, to get along with you guys, we will ‘hug your elephant’ and all you have to do is to ‘kiss our ass.’ I fear that Nancy and her compatriot Harry Reid, not being able to see Bush’s’picture of the Iraq situation, have adopted Preacher J’s ‘get along’ policy, and in so doing, have more than likely consigned us to more months of’stalemate. However, the most disturbing thing to me is that a majority of our people’have allowed the Democratic leaders’and their henchmen, the liberal media, to convince them that the war in Iraq’is a lost cause and that it is time to ‘cut and run’ from Iraq. Although many mistakes have been made while conducting this war (as well as’all past wars),’it is not our troops who are ready to run. It is only those in the American public’who have turned chicken. If we do cut and run from a band of terrorists, will this not be seen by others as an act of cowardice’by the strongest nation in the world’ All of this increases’my fears that (and here I quote from a recent e-mail), ‘We are now in the hands of fools. With a new year upon us, we are entering into a new phase of our involvement in the war against a determined, brutal and dangerous enemy, and our new national Congressional leadership shows signs of not having the vaguest idea of what we are really facing or how to deal with it.’ Into this setting,’another e-mail message came to me conveying a German editorial’that I feel all Americans should read and ponder. I offer it to you here: If any of you still feel that this war on terror is a mistake, here is an opinion from an unexpected source. It’s fascinating that this should come out of Europe. Mathias Dapfner, chief executive of the huge German publisher, Axel Springer AG, has written a blistering attack in Die Welt, Germany’s largest daily paper, against the timid reaction of Europe in the face of the Islamic threat. This is a must-read by all Americans. History may well certify its correctness. Europe’ Thy name is Cowardice (Commentary by Mathias Dapfner CEO, Axel Springer, AG) A few days ago Henry Broder wrote in Welt am Sonntag, ‘Europe’your family name is appeasement.’ It’s a phrase you can’t get out of your head because it’s so terribly true. 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 toothless agreements. Appeasement legitimized and stabilized Communism in the Soviet Union, then East Germany, then all the rest of Eastern Europe, where for decades inhuman suppressive, murderous governments were glorified as the ideologically correct alternative to all other possibilities. Appeasement crippled Europe when genocide ran rampant in Kosovo, and even though we had absolute proof of ongoing mass-murder, we Europeans debated and debated and debated, and were still debating when finally the Americans had to come from halfway around the world, into Europe yet again, and do 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 nearly 500,000 victims of Saddam’s torture and murder machinery and, motivated by the self-righteousness of the peace movement, has the gall to issue bad grades to George Bush… Even as it is uncovered that the loudest critics of the American action in Iraq made illicit billions, no, TENS of billions, in the corrupt U.N. Oil-for-Food program. And now we are faced with a particularly grotesque form of appeasement. How is Germany reacting to the escalating violence by Islamic Fundamentalists in Holland and elsewhere’ By suggesting that we really should have a ‘Muslim Holiday’ in Germany’ I wish I were joking, but I am not. A substantial fraction of our (German) Government, and if the polls are to be believed, the German people, actually believe that creating an Official State ‘Muslim Holiday’ will somehow spare us from the wrath of the fanatical Islamists. One cannot help but recall Britain’s Neville Chamberlain waving the laughable treaty signed by Adolph Hitler and declaring European ‘Peace in our time.’ What else has to happen before the European public and its political leadership get it’ There is a sort of crusade underway, an especially perfidious crusade consisting of systematic attacks by fanatic Muslims, focused on civilians, directed against our free, open Western societies, and intent upon Western Civilization’s utter destruction. It is a conflict that will most likely last longer than any of the great military conflicts of the last century – a conflict conducted by an enemy that cannot be tamed by ‘tolerance’ and ‘accommodation’ but is actually spurred on by such gestures, which have proven to be, and will always be taken by the Islamists for signs of weakness. Only two recent American Presidents had the courage needed for Anti-appeasement: Reagan and Bush. His American critics may quibble over the details, but we Europeans know the truth. We saw it first hand: Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War, freeing half of the German people from nearly 50 years of terror and virtual slavery. And Bush, supported only by the Social Democrat Blair, acting on moral conviction, recognized the danger in the Islamic War 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 those ‘arrogant Americans’, as the World Champions of ‘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, so devoid of a moral compass. 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 unlike almost all of Europe, Bush realizes what is at stake’literally everything. While we criticize the ‘capitalistic robber barons’ of America because they seem too sure of their priorities, we timidly defend our Social Welfare systems. Stay out of it! It could get expensive! We’d rather discuss reducing our 35-hour workweek or our dental coverage, or our 4 weeks of paid vacation… Or listen to TV pastors preach about the need to ‘reach out to terrorists. To understand and forgive.’ These days, Europe reminds me of an old woman who, with shaking hands, frantically hides her last pieces of jewelry when she notices a robber breaking into a neighbor’s house. Appeasement’ Europe, thy name is’ Cowardice. God Bless America! *** FOOTNOTE: Don’t forget what he said about President Bush: His place in history will have to be evaluated after a number of years have passed. Bill Bodenhamer is a weekly columnist for the Brady Standard-Herald. Email him at email@example.com.