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In Praise of Congressman Tom Lantos

There's very little that Democratic Congressman Tom Lantos and I agree on, but Mr. Lantos deserves heaps of praise for standing up to Dutch politicians who came to Guantanamo Bay to tell us what we are required to do with it. Don Surber has the story:

The Dutch are threatening to remove their 1,600 troops from Afghanistan to protest Gitmo. Dutch politicians face growing problems with Islamic youths and likely fear a L'Intifada like France suffered in 2005.

Peters said: "We have to close Guantanamo because it symbolizes for me everything that is wrong with this war on terror."

To which Lantos apparently replied: "Europe was not as outraged by Auschwitz as by Guantanamo Bay"

He also said: "You have to help us, because if it was not for us you would now be a province of Nazi Germany."

Good for him.

The Socialist Harry van Bommel said: "The comments killed the debate. It was insulting and counterproductive."

Excuse me, there is no debate. There never was.

America is not European. Americans by and large do not care what the Dutch think or the French or the Germans or the Belgians. We'll listen to them, but if they are going to go tell us we "have to" do this or we "have to" do that, they can put a sock in it.

Which is what Congressman Lantos essentially told the Dutch politicians to do, and good for him. Don and Michelle Malkin are both predicting Lantos will eventually apologize, which he may do, but I hope he doesn't. He didn't say anything to these politicians that was untrue or unreasonable.


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Comments (30)

Wow.Backbone. Eloq... (Below threshold)


Backbone. Eloquence. Rectitude.


It can't last.

How is it that Americans ha... (Below threshold)

How is it that Americans have to ask Europeans to "help us" secure the European back yard?

Most Europeans, in a selfish and lazy way, prefer to stay on the free ride of security they have received from the U.S. since WWII. The United States spends its money and risks its lives to protect European life and liberty.

My father who served in two... (Below threshold)

My father who served in two theatres of war
during WWII, was prescient about the yerupeein's.
And what is happening today is exactly as he
called it.
If we're going to recall any troops it should be
from old yerup. Send em to the newly freed europe
instead, those people are very appreciative of

Yes, Mr. Lantos and I agree... (Below threshold)

Yes, Mr. Lantos and I agree on very few points but he told it the way it is to that sniviling tulip growing coward.

Reading that was like drink... (Below threshold)
Chris G:

Reading that was like drinking a tall glass of lemonade on a hot summer's day.

And it what was even more refreshing, was the fact a Democrat kindly reminded the self-righteous Europeans they would be servants to the Nazi regime if it weren't for the efforts of the US and that they previously had no problem with camps whose primary function was to exterminate the Jews by millions

I tend to agree with Bill K... (Below threshold)
Eric Forhan:

I tend to agree with Bill Kristol that we've "We have exhausted, so to speak, the moral capital of [World War II]."

If it's not already a version of Godwin's Law, I think that as more WWII soldiers and their Baby Boomer children pass on, the more the reminder will become as such. I mean, who here praises France for their help in our Revolutionary War?

WWII is still relevant to t... (Below threshold)

WWII is still relevant to today's Europe; the Rev. War is not.

Europeans have the luxury of sitting back and hurling brick batts, while we subsidize the lion's share of their defense, and efforts to maintain security in the world.

If it is relevant (and it m... (Below threshold)
Eric Forhan:

If it is relevant (and it may well be), then why do we need to keep reminding them?

Because, Eric, they do not ... (Below threshold)

Because, Eric, they do not have the strength of character to remind themselves, their children. Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it, remember? Or have you forgotten too much?

No need to get personal, Mi... (Below threshold)
Eric Forhan:

No need to get personal, Mitchell. :)

As I said, I think we've exhausted the moral capital of WWII. Too much of Europe believes we have ~become~ Nazi Germany (proof-positive of the "exhausted the moral capital" statement). Even Lantos provides evidence for this by stating the truth: "Europe was not as outraged by Auschwitz as by Guantanamo Bay."

I don't think GITMO should be closed. I don't think the WoT is a bad thing. I think going into Iraq and Afghanistan were the appropriate things to do at the time.
I'm merely stating that we can't forever say, "But we saved you from the Nazis."

Especially so as the former soldiers who actually did fight continue to pass-on.

Considering modern day hist... (Below threshold)
Eneils Bailey:

Considering modern day history(20th century) forward to the present time, The Western European's seem not able to answer the bell. WWI was not won till we supplied troops and resources to defeat the Germans. WWII was ended only with the massive influx of American will, resources, and human sacrifice to defeat Nazi Germany. The Cold War saw a massive reversion of the the Western European's attitude back to pre-WWII days while the US suffered through the the dementia of a continent adapting to the ideals of failed Socialist's governmental philosophies.
Now they have fallen prey to massive influx of Muslim extremists and their answer to co-existence is to damn the people who dare call the radicals who threaten them what they are.

"Democrats couldn't care less if people in Indiana hate them. But if Europeans curl their lips, liberals can't look at themselves in the mirror."

Let us in the US get over it, the Western Europeans, driven by Socialist ideals have been wrong for over a hundred years. They make good wine, fancy cars, good meals, and bad governing decisions.

Wow Eneils, I love that la... (Below threshold)

Wow Eneils, I love that last sentense.

I'm stealing it for my own use, if you don't mind.

We must never forget that E... (Below threshold)
Scott Wiggins:

We must never forget that Europe brought the world Nazism, Fascism, Communism and two world wars that left an estimated 75 million dead. With American taxpayer aid through the Marshall plan and having provided a defense umbrella for them since 1945, they have prospered. Now, they are powerful enough to challenge those who have given them so much. It's human nature to not truly understand what you have if you did not earn it on your own...

Oh, by the way, I failed to... (Below threshold)
Eneils Bailey:

Oh, by the way, I failed to give attribution to Ann Coulter for the portion of my comment I put in quotes:
"Democrats couldn't care less ...... look at themselves in the mirror."


Kudos to Lantos, for once t... (Below threshold)

Kudos to Lantos, for once the petty little troglodyte is correct.

But one has to wonder what if... what if it had been sen. Kerry. Would he remain silent or just say we must meet a "global test" in the face of these idiot dutch pork barrel spenders on windmills and wooden shoes.

A broken clock is right twi... (Below threshold)

A broken clock is right twice a day. ww

We can and should remind Eu... (Below threshold)

We can and should remind Europeans that we saved them from the Nazis.

Good for Lantos. I would only disagree somewhat with this statement:"You have to help us, because if it was not for us you would now be a province of Nazi Germany."...Had the US not intervened in WWII, the Dutch would not be a province of Nazi Germany. They would simply not exist, period.

I mean, who here praises... (Below threshold)

I mean, who here praises France for their help in our Revolutionary War?

Nobody that remembers they sided with the Confederacy during the Civil War. Or that we paid them back twice in 20th century for their support in the Revolutionary war, which they profited from. France has never once been an ally to anyone when a profit wasn't involved.

This guy is a democrat? Wo... (Below threshold)

This guy is a democrat? Wow....very cool!

If Mr. Lantos doesn't watch out he might loose his democrat club card.

Seriously, contratulations are in order for Mr. Lantos.

Bullwinkle As a Sout... (Below threshold)

As a Southerner, I will reluctantly concede your point regarding French mercenary motives. However, France, after wresting the vast unknown lands of the Louisiana Purchase from Spain, sold them to Jefferson for a pittance ($23mm). Napoleon was in trouble and sold out at the bottom. Perhaps that blunder remains stuck in Gaullist craw. Certainly the blood of Americans later left on their soil is of little value to them today.

|We can and should remind E... (Below threshold)
Eric Forhan:

|We can and should remind Europeans that we saved them from the Nazis.|

Considering how unlikely it is that any of us in this thread actually served during WWII, how long do you think "we" will be able to live off the goodwill hard-gotten from those who actually fought? Forever?

Not that it isn't deserved. I have a feeling that Europe is more interested in knocking-down than lifting-up.

What he's did was the right... (Below threshold)

What he's did was the right thing to do. The way he did it could end up costing 1600 troops. That'll be up to 1600 US troops which will probably have to stay longer to compensate.

Considering he's a main player in the Democrat's attempt to piss off Turkey, I'm not so sure that wasn't the desired effect.

Eric... (Below threshold)


Considering how unlikely it is that any of us in this thread actually served during WWII, how long do you think "we" will be able to live off the goodwill hard-gotten from those who actually fought? Forever?

We are a nation with a history. We will and should enjoy that goodwill for centuries. Why in the hell should we fight those wars if we expected less?

Europe has for centuries been more interested in the "here and now" than the long term. That is what differentiates the major foreign policy accomplishments of this country from them.

Pershing and the Meuse-Argonne Battle are as important today as Eisenhower and D-Day....if, and only if, our culture and education establishment deem it so. Absent that, its memory falls upon the family and culture of those who fought so bravely and those who benefited.

Your comment raises an interesting point and I will use it to recommend an excellent book by an author/politician with whom I have many differences: James Webb's "Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America".

The historical memory of a nation is far more pervasive and effective than you might imagine.

Thanks HughS, that book sou... (Below threshold)
Eric Forhan:

Thanks HughS, that book sounds interesting.

I hope you're right about the rest. Even if they forget, we mustn't.

Tom Lantos is a despicable ... (Below threshold)
Tom Blair:

Tom Lantos is a despicable racist. He cares more for Israel and the Jews than he does for America and the American people.

He's been doing all he can to destroy Europe - a natural ally to America in the coming war against Islam.

Whoaaaa, there Hate Boy Bla... (Below threshold)

Whoaaaa, there Hate Boy Blair. It's Sunday, let's lay off the Jew-hating; it's the sabbath after all.

Did he say "you have to he... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

Did he say "you have to help us?"

Why do we need help?

Aren't we the most powerful, wealthiest military in the whole wide world?

What do we care what they do? What will 1600 troops do to help?

I think we can do this all on our own. We don't need no stinkin world help. Right Kim?

yeah 1600 dutch soldiers cl... (Below threshold)

yeah 1600 dutch soldiers clomping their way thru the iraqi countryside...who's gonna miss em?!

Anyone who uses the Phrase ... (Below threshold)

Anyone who uses the Phrase "The Jews" instantly looses the argument.

And I seriously think it IS time to remove every single troop from any European country who decides that they don't want to help and tell them that perhaps they should take some money from their csocial programs to pay for their own defense.

Time for one of those dutch... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

Time for one of those dutch politicians to get beaned with a wooden shoe






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