Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Europe, We Hardly Know Ye


From Ed Morrisey:


Leave it to the current German government and their knee-jerk anti-Americanism to try to score political points off of the natural catastrophe occuring in New Orleans. As many of the blogosphere have already pointed out, German environmental minister Juergen Tritten blamed George Bush for Hurricane Katrina and the deadly devestation it inflicted on New Orleans and Gulfport this week. Der Spiegel also reports that Tritten is hardly alone among Germans in believing that George Bush controls the weather:

The toughest commentary of the day comes from Germany's Environmental Minister, J├╝rgen Trittin, a Green Party member, who takes space in the Frankfurter Rundschau, a paper owned by the Social Democrats, to bash US President George W. Bush's environmental laxity. He begins by likening the photos and videos of the hurricane stricken areas to scenes from a Roland Emmerich sci-fi film and insists that global warming and climate change are making it ever more likely that storms and floods will plague America and Europe. ...

Trittin also calls for a reworking of the Kyoto Protocol -- dubbing it the uncreative title of "Kyoto 2" -- and insisting that the US be included.

The Germans, especially on the Left, have plenty to say about their newfound belief in George Bush's deity. Die Tageszeitung also urges politicians to draw a lesson from Katrina, apparently believing that one data point demonstrates causality. Handelsblatt follows suit, arguing that Katrina shows that hurricanes have gotten more intense.

Does anyone see any similarities between this reaction and the so-called outpouring of sympathy we received after 9/11? Oh, it's a shame about the poor Americans in New York/Orleans, they say. But you know they brought it on themselves, warming the planet like that. Why, don't they know that their arrogant and unilateral policies anger al-Qaeda/Gaia? Tritten even trotted out the statistics on energy consumption as rescue workers had only just started rafting past the dead bodies floating in the Big Easy to try to find survivors.


I have never felt as betrayed as I did when, on 9/11, I heard those criticisms from Europe. Today the betrayal comes close.