The Rise of Eastern Europe
December 1, 2002
by Bruce Walker
As several commentators have noted, there is a clear difference in how safe, free, old democracies like France, Germany, Holland, and Denmark view our war against the radical Islamic world terrorism and how the new democracies of Eastern Europe view our struggle.
Where have the people been grateful for the role America has played in championing decency and humanity against this brutal terrorism? Not in Western Europe. Those whose safety and prosperity we protected for fifty years, the affluent populations of these old nations once marched in the streets to protest President Reagan’s successful campaign to free them from the threat of Soviet imperialism, view us as perennial upstarts.
Japan, once the rising sun of the global economy, now has textbooks are rewritten to exclude inconvenient historical facts like the Rape of Nanking, the Bataan Death March, and the attack on Pearl Harbor. Steeped in a lingering economic depression and dreams of a nationalist theology dispelled, the third largest economy on Earth seems hopelessly selfish.
Latin America, whose nations owe their independence from European powers by the will of a new American republic, has spent most of its time over the fifty years complaining about our creativity and our civil society, as if invention and tolerance were part of some Marxist delusional “zero sum” game. These peoples have not decided if Castro is a good or a bad man.
The citizens with whom we share the longest unguarded border in the world seem also too eager to pounce upon a nation that has ever defended it from threats. Not even Canada - or at least the smug, socialist slugs who run Canada - appreciates its friendly giant to the south.
So who appreciates us? As soon as we free them from the apostle of Stalin who reigns in Baghdad, the Iraqi people will appreciate us. Right now the people of Iran, who twenty years ago called us the “Great Satan” understand our goodness. These peoples, however, are still slaves of wicked rulers.
There is a place where we are loved. Those unhappy people who lived under the Sultans, the Tsars, the Nazis, the Soviets, and so many other monsters of modern history - they know and love America. The stretch of sad lands, whose inhabitants were the rugs on which Vikings, Visigoths, Mongols, Hapsburgs, Hollenzollerns, Hitler and Stalin stamped their boots understand the blessing of America.
Perhaps it is not coincidence that after the initial influx of immigrants into the new American nations - the Irish and the Germans - that most of the immigrants who followed came from Poland, from the Russian Pale of Jewish imprisonment, from poor Russia herself under the lash, from Hungary, from Ukraine, from Lithuania and the other nations whose history more resembled the maps of war games than of peoples.
These peoples did not speak the Germanic and the Romantic languages of which English is a confluence of words and of grammar. The Jewish immigrants were not the sophisticates of German Reform Judaism, but rather the wretchedly poor Jews of the Shetl. The Christian immigrants might have come parts of a Turkish empire in which they were Dhimmi, and whose holocausts grimly preceded the horrors of Auschwitz.
All those people who were these Poles, Eastern European Jews, Czechs, Ukrainians, Lithuanians, Serbs, Croats the helpless subjects of Nazi murder and Communist slavery view America differently than other people. Their spirit was kept alive by the Yanks landing at D-Day (they harbored no illusions of what the Red Army meant as “liberators”) and by Radio Free Europe.
Those in Eastern Europe who have suffered for Christ or who have suffered for being Jewish understand good and bad. Where these people have lived, moral relativism is a luxury and knowledge of the immortal soul that God has given each of us is the only sure comfort in an uncertain life.
The peoples of these lands have often been mocked by the richer nations of Western Europe. The faith of the Hassidim and the Orthodox Christian was superstition to the sophisticated freethinkers of richer societies. Science, wealth and technology would solve all the problems of existence, according to the materialists of the West, whose roots were in the Enlightenment. This is something that the pious Christians and devout Jews of Eastern Europe never accepted.
Eastern Europe will rise into greatness, just as the hard heartland of America - Flyover Country, to our indigenous snobs - has risen into greatness. Savvy pundits are wrong; conventional wisdom is bunk. Those who treasure their blessings will multiply those blessings. That is what happened in America, and it is what will happen in the lands of Eastern Europe. Against all predictions, it is Eastern Europe that will join with America in doing good in the world.
Bruce Walker has been a dyed in the wool conservative since, as a sixth grader, he campaigned door to door for Barry Goldwater. Bruce has had almost two hundred published articles have appeared in the Oklahoma Bar Journal, Law & Order, Legal Secretary Today, The Single Parent, Enter Stage Right, Citizen's View, The American Partisan, Port of Call, and several other professional and political periodicals.
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