Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Would anyone die for Europe?

I have found the European soldiers that I have worked with competent, if not overly motivated. Let's face, it is hard enough to get people to sacrifice and die for their own country, much less the vague notion of a "European Union" Joschka Fischer, the German foreign minister says they will die for Europe.

BERLIN, June 6 - Does Europe have a soul? Would anybody die for Europe?

Germany's foreign minister, Joschka Fischer, was asked those questions the other day by an American wondering whether the rejection of the European Union's constitution in France and the Netherlands last week meant that the European Union lacked a core, that it could never be to its citizens what the United States is to Americans.

"European soldiers," Mr. Fischer said, answering the question about who dies for Europe. European soldiers are facing danger in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Kosovo, he continued, speaking at a forum at the American Academy in Berlin. They are there as members of national contingents, but they are serving a wider interest - Europe's.

"There is a soul," Mr. Fischer said. "There is a sprit. And people die for Europe, and have died."

The truth is though, that European casualties have been minimal for all 3 of those operations, and none were a result of combat operations. It took the EU 9 years to get the courage up to take over SFOR operations in Bosnia. Ask the people of Srebrenica what they feel about the courage and capabilities of European peacekeepers.

Also keep in mind that several European countries, unlike the US still have compulsory military service. So they haven't had to worry about whether people wanted to die for the EU. In many cases, they had no choice.

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