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Why Europe is soft on terror

By Justin Darr
web posted March 7, 2005

The current negotiations between France, Germany, England and Iran regarding Iran's nuclear power, and probably nuclear weapons program can be summarized into one sentence: Nothing short of war is going to stop Iran from developing a nuclear bomb. If Europe wants to pay the Iranians to lie to them about it, then the Iranians will be more than happy to oblige.

To Americans, the actions of the Europeans seem to defy logic. How can they entertain the notion Iran is not trying to build a bomb in light of its history, stated ambitions, refusal to allow full, unfettered, inspections, and the little fact that they are trying to bury their program in bomb hardened shelters under civilian areas? It is childishly obvious that the only reason the Iranians are even participating in talks is to buy the time necessary for them to complete their nuclear weapons program. However, Europe still seems to be doggedly determined to be led around by the nose by the Iranians, even to the point of jeopardizing their own safety.

Iran is far from the only example of Europe being soft of rogue terrorist nations. Wherever you look, whether it is Syria, Iraq, Libya, or Cuba, many European powers have taken a softer, if not completely accommodationist policy toward these dangerous states. Does Europe have some kind of deranged death wish? No. The fact is that Europe's excessive government regulation of its business community, high tax rates, and over burdened welfare state has forced them to deal with these nations in order to save their economies. Europe cannot afford not to deal with terrorists.

For the past 20 years, Europe has been increasingly falling further behind the United States in terms of economic growth, business efficiency and innovation. Do not let the Airbus fool you. Go to almost any major city in the world and you will see a McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and bottle of Coke long before any European competitor.

The reasons for this are many. American workers are on average 20 to 30 per cent more productive than their European counterparts. American companies do not have to deal with Europe's 15 to 25 per cent "Value Added Tax". The Federal Reserve places an emphasis on growth while the European Central Bank pursues price control policies. America's elected leaders have reformed the tax code, streamlined regulatory practices, and eased government interference in business. While Europe, years after the birth of the EU, still struggles with an over regulated and inadequate capital system, inefficient labor policies, and no single community patent. American businesses are lean, mean, and aggressive, while European entrepreneurs are held back by antiquated and hierarchical systems of government control.

The results can be seen in the numbers. Europe's economy is growing at an anemic 0.8 per cent compared to the United States' 3.8 per cent. American unemployment hovers around 5 per cent, while Germany has its highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression (13 per cent). All these numbers indicate that Europe will remain an also ran in the world economy after the United States, Japan, China, and India.

While the EU is working diligently on improving its economic competitiveness, frequently it is American companies that are stepping in to revive the lagging European economies. For example, the 2000 Lisbon Agenda, which in 5 years has failed to improve business efficiency in Europe is now revitalized due to Microsoft Corporation's involvement, and Europe's flailing retail sector is waiting in breathless anticipation for Wal-Mart to fulfill its pledge to open stores in every country in the EU. This is good news for the European economy. They will get jobs, capital investment, and new models of efficiency and profitability, but for Euro-businessmen, it is a disaster. Think about the business practices of Wal-Mart and Microsoft… European businesses are toast.

The end result is Europeans must seek out new secondary markets for their goods and services where they are better able to compete against the American business juggernaut. In the modern world economy, this means that they are increasingly forced to deal with those nations where American companies are barred or limited by American legislation from entering; a.k.a. The Axis of Evil.

Despite their claims of sophistication and peacefulness, Europe's governments are doing what governments have done for centuries, protecting their economic interests. While the United Nations is filled with wild accusations that the United States is going to war for oil in Iraq, it is actually the Europeans who were obstructing the United States in an attempt to prop up the brutal regime of Saddam Hussein and maintain a "no American oil company zone" in Iraq in order to protect their own oil interests. The hypocrisy extends further as the EU claims to be trying to work for peace in the Middle East while they are simply begging the Iranians to keep its markets open to their products. And if the Iranians happen to use the time they buy in making a treaty they intend to violate to actually develop nuclear weapons, then so be it. The Europeans are hoping that the Iranians will only incinerate Tel Aviv and not Rome. But at least this way they will not have to look at changing their failed Socialist welfare state policies which are the root of their problem anyway.

Justin Darr can be reached at justindarr@juno.com. © 2005 Justin Darr


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