• Closely tied to concerns about the numbers of immigrants in one European country after another is the sense that many of them are Muslims who seek to impose the Islamic supremacist doctrine known as shariah where they now reside. As authors like Bat Ye'or, Mark Steyn and Bruce Bawer have observed, the trends are in the direction of such populations exerting disproportionate influence politically and establishing no-go zones and other privileged status. Such developments fuel a sense of inequity and outrage on the part of the natives.
• Rising hostility towards "the other" in some parts of Europe is also bringing to the fore once again widespread anti-semitism. Jews are discouraged from wearing their religious garb in public as attacks on them and their synagogues have become more and more frequent and violent. Many are fleeing their native lands and those staying behind are becoming fearful - for good reason - to a degree they have not experienced since World War II.
For all these reasons, Europe may soon be in for another of the horrific cataclysms that have plagued it for nearly all of recorded history. In fact, we have become so accustomed to the tranquility and prosperity the continent has known for the past half-century that most of us forget that such conditions are very much the exception there, rather than the rule.
It is unclear how a new round of disorder or even war might be precipitated in Europe. And the mere threat of such a prospect may - as it has in the past - prompt a redoubled effort to shore up the European Union and its faltering common currency, the Euro. The forces being unleashed at the moment, however, may prove resistant to such exhortations to perpetuate what is increasingly perceived to be a punitive and anti-democratic enterprise.
Needless to say, if Europe once again descends into the vortex of economic privation, religious and/or ethnic "cleansing" and possibly strife that has happened so often there, our own tranquility and prosperity will be jeopardized, as well. We must, however, resist the temptation to try to prop up the European Union as the solution to such prospects and invest, instead, in efforts to work with national governments there to make them more responsible, accountable and disciplined - something the project known as "Europe" has not been to date and can, as a practical matter, never be.
At the very least, we cannot expect that what emerges from the wreckage of profligate spending and subordination of sovereignty that is Europe will provide the reliable partners and robust militaries that we are told will permit us safely to reduce our own capabilities and burden-share with our allies. If history is any guide, it is as likely that we will wind up fighting in Europe again - perhaps catalyzed by an ever-more-bellicose Russia once again formally led by Vladimir Putin - as that we will benefit from substantially greater help from that quarter.
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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