Jewish World Review Feb. 11, 2002 / 29 Shevat, 5762
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com -- THE latest fashion to come from Europe is complaints about American "unilateralism" in deciding to target the "axis of evil" - Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. If our allies won't agree to join us in crippling regimes that sponsor terror, we should let them go their own way and we should go ours'.
The Europeans have perfected their own form of unilaterialism - unilateral disarmament as they have decided not to trouble their citizens to worry about their own national defense. "Let the United States" do it seems to be their chorus as they beef up social spending and hold down taxes by pretending that they have no responsibility for the maintenance of their own freedom.
While the United States regularly spends between three and four percent of its Gross Domestic Product on defense, the nations of Europe typically average less than two percent. According to NATO, as reported in the Wall Street Journal, Germany spends only 1.5% of GDP on defense and many other countries spend even less. Only the United Kingdom (2.4%) and France (2.6%) even break the 2% mark. Canada, resting comfortably underneath the U.S. umbrella, spends but 1.1% of its economy taking responsibility for its own defense.
American unilateralism is, in part, because we appear to be the only nation that takes national defense seriously.
Let us also remember that it is the United States which was "unilaterally" attacked on 9-11. If Iraq, North Korea, or Iran do succeed in developing nuclear weapons, where would terrorists likely use them? New York City? Washington? Tel Aviv? It is their unilateral targeting of the U.S. and Israel which stimulates a reciprocal unilateralism by their intended victims.
For four years, Saddam Hussein has refused to allow U.N. inspections of his labs where weapons of mass destruction are created. If, now, under the threat of US attack, he is hinting that he might pry the door open a bit, he will simply wait until the crisis has died down and then will shut it closed again.
If we do not wish to see a mushroom cloud or biological weaponry appear over the downtown of one of our major cities - like ours, for example - our only alternative is to eliminate the Saddam Husseins of the world. We would like to do it with our "allies." But, if not, we must not be afraid to act. We bear the burden of our own defense - unlike the Europeans - and must reserve the right to use our forces to defend ourselves. Unilaterally if we must.
One would hope our European allies would remember that it was American
"unilateralism" which saved them twice in this century when we unilaterally
decided to save their
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