Don't speak to Baby of nuance. Just bring on supper.
"I have told my American friends that the region in this world that has seen the most transformation and change is Central and Eastern Europe -- without shedding a drop of blood. So don't preach to us," snipped the head-in-the-sand, history-challenged German ambassador to the U.S., Wolfgang Ischinger in a New Yorker interview recently. Fortunately for us, we weren't reading the original at the time but were instead visiting Davids Medienkritik, where Ray D. was delivering a brisk, illustrated, tongue-in-cheek fisking cum history lesson:
How upsetting it must be for Ambassador Ischinger when his American friends preach to him about changing the world. If only more people would listen to him they would realize that appeasing dictators is far preferable to confronting them. Just look at the bloodless transformation in Eastern Europe. Of course the fall of the Berlin Wall came about almost entirely because of Willy Brandt's Ostpolitik. The American military was a mere provocation standing in the way of European Socialist brotherhood and unity.
And it really is too bad that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Marquis de Lafayette didn't have the sort of historic vision of the older, wiser European societies. They would have known that believing you can change the world if you just muster enough resources is a futile, utopian idea. After all, we could all be living under wonderful totalitarian monarchies and dictatorships today!
The world would be far better off today if America just hadn't interfered so much in German and European affairs with its confounded idealism over the past hundred years. After all, those older, wiser, more experienced societies were evolving quite nicely without America getting in the way. What was so bad about Fascism, Communism, world war and mass genocide? It was all just a part of the nuanced, complicated European thought process . . . Don't you get it, you arrogant Yankees?
And now you want to interfere again in Iraq? When will you ever learn to respect European wisdom?
Meanwhile, in less nuanced parts of the world, some prefer to believe their own eyes. As Fouad Ajami wrote in Opinion Journal the other day:
"George W. Bush has unleashed a tsunami on this region," a shrewd Kuwaiti merchant who knows the way of his world said to me.
To venture into the Arab world, as I did recently over four weeks in Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan and Iraq, is to travel into Bush Country. I was to encounter people from practically all Arab lands, to listen in on a great debate about the possibility of freedom and liberty. I met Lebanese giddy with the Cedar Revolution that liberated their country from the Syrian prison that had seemed an unalterable curse. They were under no illusions about the change that had come their way. They knew that this new history was the gift of an American president who had put the Syrian rulers on notice.
Those tired Old European eyes could use a new pair of lenses.
Update: Forget about the nattering nabobs of anti-Americanism. Instead, head over to the Friday Ark at Modulator and listen to the meows, woofs, chirps, squeaks and chugarums of the animals.