Mark Steyn, in a post entitled It Takes Two to Tango, skewers the attempt to redefine WWII as a European civil war.
Charles, re the European Union rechristening World War Two as the “European Civil War”, it’s not just (as The Daily Mail’s report notes) the geographical myopia but the fundamental dishonesty of the characterization: If this were truly a “European Civil War”, it would have been over in nothing flat, because on the Continent of Europe every nation was either neutral, conquered, or on the wrong side. It’s hard to have a civil war with only one team. The only thing that makes it a “European” civil war at all is that, after the fall of France, one small island way out on the periphery off the continental shelf and its non-European empire declined to submit, and were eventually joined by its transatlantic ally. It was, in a certain sense (and putting Russia and Japan to one side), a “western civil war” between the Anglophone democracies and Continental Fascists – but for some reason that’s far less congenial an interpretation to EU myth-makers.
My mother’s family chose to emigrate to Canada after the war because their Belgian town had been liberated by Canadian troops. It’s a funny kind of “European civil war” that needs quite so many non-Europeans to do all the liberating.
Seems to me they ought to spend less time flushing their past down the memory hole and more time addressing their future, which could yet enjoy a civil war or two.
Robert Samuelson, writing in the WaPo, says Europe’s financial crisis never really went away. He provides a succinct summary of “three parallel crisis” but doesn’t mention (this time) the crisis of democratic legitimacy.
In a recent paper, Shambaugh argued that Europe’s problems are so intractable because they reflect three parallel crises that feed on each other. First, there’s a banking crisis. Banks have too little capital (a buffer against losses) and have a hard time raising funds. Next is the sovereign debt crisis. The high debts of many countries raise fears that, like Greece, they may default. And, finally, there’s an economic growth crisis. Low growth or slumps afflict most of the 17 countries using the euro.
Each crisis aggravates the others. Because banks hold huge portfolios of government bonds, fears about the bonds’ values weaken the banks and threaten their failure. Weak banks in turn don’t provide ample business and consumer loans to increase economic growth. And feeble or nonexistent growth shrinks tax revenues and makes it harder for governments to service their debts.