How Dare Germans Criticize U.S.
Wednesday - December 09, 2009
Sometimes a simple sentence or two can really touch a nerve.
A couple of weeks ago fellow MidWeek columnist Dan Boylan wrote of some German visitors to Hawaii who were critiquing America’s healthcare system, comparing it to their universal system. They also raved over our president who consistently, while abroad, apologizes for America’s “many failures.”
Apparently it’s a joy to this couple thatAmerica is finally on the right track pursuing the policies and philosophy of Western Europe. Finally, the rest of the world can look eye-to-eye at the United States. (Or, happily look down on us when, if it keeps falling, the U.S. dollar has the value of the Malawian Kwacha.)
I just love it when Germans critique the U.S. Never one to rehash old issues, I’ll rehash old issues.
Some Germans living in a country whose history includes the most dastardly acts of aggression, racism and genocide ever known to man have a lot of nerve dissing a country that helped save a continent - and the world - from totalitarian German Nazi rule. (Not to mention rule of Imperial Japan). The Jews? Ask them about Nazi Germany. Six million or so Jews were exterminated like vermin, only more cruelly. Ask the Polish and the Romanians and the Brits about Nazi Germany. You can’t ask gays, because they were annihilated. And the French? Despite their historical amnesia, 66,033 American soldiers are buried under their soil in 11 World War I and II cemeteries.
Need I remind Germans that they enjoy economic success and the freedom to pursue their “universal government healthcare” because they had the good fortune of being defeated by a country that didn’t keep a boot on their throats but instead reached out a hand? This despite the German people elected the Nazi Party, enabling Hitler to rule - which led them to ruin, based on the belief that they were a superior race destined to rule the world by destroying all other inferior races.
Germans owe their success in large part to the Marshall Plan, which gave $13 billion in economic and technical assistance plus $12 billion in aid to European countries including Germany. This was in 1948, back when the U.S. Gross Domestic Product was only $258 billion as compared to $14 trillion today. This money was given to an enemy who killed, maimed and imprisoned thousands of Americans and our allies. We did not punish Germany or Japan. We protected them militarily, paid them to rebuild and helped them to eventually create robust economies based on free-market, capitalist principles. Our 45 military facilities in Germany help their employment rolls and their bottom line, and we buy their products, too.
The U.S. has always been a friend to our friends and a friend to our defeated enemies. This is all our president needs to say about his country when abroad.
Unlike Dan’s German friends’unfavorable comparison of the U.S. to Western Europe, I agree with those from Eastern Europe who didn’t fare so well after WWII, those of Poland, Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Albania and the other half of Germany in the East, who were pawned off to the brutal enemy, Communist Russia, not the benevolent one - us.
The immigrants I meet all over the U.S. are opposed to this administration pursuing policies of bigger government, higher taxes, less responsibility and more dependence, and redistribution of wealth - policies some European countries, such as France and Sweden, are moving away from. The immigrants believe that as government grows, freedoms shrink. They know, they’ve lived it. People flock to the United States not for free healthcare, but for freedom to pursue their dreams, perhaps of their own small restaurant or nail salon, without government regulations strangling them.
I like Germany, a beautiful country and strong U.S. ally. Germans are smart, friendly people and make great cars. I never criticized Germany when visiting.
My feeling is that when Germany has saved the world from enemy domination, rebuilt a destroyed continent, economically reconstructed countries that tried to take them over militarily and allowed people from all over the world to immigrate there (their currently policy is strict), then maybe they can criticize the U.S. Maybe.
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