July 01, 2004

Why should we side with the USA? 

This is a somewhat legitimate question. In these times, could not Italy (and the EU in general) just care about its own interest, and screw the US? Cannot we just trade and forge ties with the Arabs, without a painful war?

When it's a US vs UE strife about steel, or foodstuffs import-export, I tend to side with the EU. Hell, I even tend to side with the EU when they ask Microsoft to publish its sorgent code. I do not support some EU decisions which look conterproductive (like doing nothing to reduce the Euro/Dollar exchange ratio), but basically I agree with a policy of protection of our own interest, even if the "yankees" will lose something.
After all, these are commercial conflicts between otherwise civiled nations, and the US will never wage (violent) war against Italy about the price of Parma Ham. Unless Evil Cheney and Halliburton realize how delicious it is...

But the War That Radical Islam Began Against the West is an altogether different matter.
It's a violent war, and the Islamist do not restrain from barbarous, bloody acts - not to mention the terrorist attacks themselves. It's a war in which the real stake is the survival of one of the civilizations, and the destruction of the other. "Survival" and "destruction" mostly refer to the involved memes, but the loser of this war will nevertheless suffer a certain degree of physical destruction.

The US is one of the few nations who decided to effectively fight back after 9/11, and it bears the greatest part of the military and economical burden of these operations. Second, at a considerable distance, comes the UK. In practice, the US is almost the only line of defense between liberal democracy and the Sharia rule. The forward defense position is Israel, but let's not get into that. If the US falls (and I do not mean a full military defeat, but just a political one with subsequebt disengagement of the US from the War on Radical Islam), there will be no credibile force left to counter the Islamists and their expansion projects.

Excluding the UK, the rest of the EU has no credible military projection capabilities: projecting an aircraft carrier group, and one infantry/armor division would be a success.
While the USA can deploy TWELVE battle carrier groups (and their aircraft carriers are huge) and project a multi-division force without too much of an effort. And, due to technological, logistics, training and doctrine reasons, one american division is considerably more effective, powerful and flexible than, say, one german division.

Russia is out-of-business: the Red Army is more or less in shambles, the vehicles most likely lack maintenance, and the morale of the troops is low - although Russian military technology is well advanced.

China and India are still rising stars, with armies almost incapable of any projection.

Canada and the Commonwealth are in a similar situation.

Africa is pretty much militarily insignificant.

South America too.

The only good news are that the arab countries have a very poor military record, and Israel has a fine military - and a nuclear deterrent.

This is only from the military projection capabilities point of view. The political will to use this potential is a totally different matter.

The terrorists, who are fanatic and irrational but not so stupid, understood the situation a while ago already. So their line of action is (among recruiting, and satisfying their own ego, and their bloodthirsty god with beheadings and the like) to split the West in harmless and uneffective chunks, and demoralize the americans in order to have their troops withdrawing from the battlefield.

And without the USA to keep pressure on the Middle East (and South Asia, and Center-east Africa, and the Philippines...) the extremists could easily prosper again, and launch massive terrorist attacks against Europe. Then who could attack the terrorist bases? Destroy their training camps, and topple the rogue governments their accomplices?
Nobody. Not the small, shy, underequipped european militaries. Not the useless buffoons at the UN. The terrorists would simply show the middle finger to any eventual "international police force", if not make another snuff movie of their execution.
They will only realize the hand of Allah is not there to protect them when facing overwhelming deadly force - when hard sonofabitch of grunts will come down on them guns blazing, and leave no one alive. That's the sad reality of these times.

But something even more dreadful might happen. France, Russia, China and India do not have sufficient conventional forces, but have nuclear weapons. If pressed in a corner narrow enough by the Islamists, they might decide to unleash the nuclear power and destroy almost all fo the muslim world.

This is why the less bad solution (I wish there was the good solution) is to be unite and support America in its effort to spread democracy and modernization in the Middle East.


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