Bunker Mulligan "Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry." ~Mark Twain

April 30, 2004

Old vs. New

Filed under: Society-Culture — Bunker @ 7:04 am

Last night I read another chapter from Ralph Peters’ book. One of the first sentences in this chapter caught my eye.

One of the greatest blessings enjoyed by the United States is that God hasn’t claimed any local real estate.

This morning as I scanned through various sites, I found Rammer has a message from a young woman who lost her loved one:

God bless the freedom of terrorism, the freedom of humanity, and Michael for dying for that. God bless our soldiers that are standing up for what is right, every single one of them is a hero. So honor your American soldiers and please stop bashing their fight for what is right.

Then, following a link from Sarah, I ended up at a blog in Germany which posted a traslation of a newspaper article bashing Germans for not supporting the war on terrorists.

The worldview of the average German in 2004 in seven sentences: Bush is stupid and evil. Iraq is the new Vietnam. America is doing virtually everything wrong. Sharon has himself to blame for the Palestinian terror. Israel has gotten us into this whole quagmire. Germany has thank God stayed out of it. Now we just have to be careful that our nice democracy isn?t turned into a police state by unnecessary security fears.


We Americans have little use for old buildings. Many are torn down each day to make room for something new. If a congregation outgrows their house of worship, they build or move to a larger one. The old one either becomes home to a different congregation, takes on an entirely different function, or is razed to make room for something else.

That doesn’t happen elsewhere. People in the rest of the world cherish old buildings, often simply because they’re old. People in the rest of the world don’t tear down old churches to build new ones. God owns that real estate. And people will fight and die to keep their God there. Like we see in Jersusalem. And the reason we don’t destroy mosques in Iraq. Even though to us the mosque is simply a building. Think of all the grand cathedrals destroyed by all forces in Europe sixty years ago.

What we are fighting right now goes far beyond jihadism. It is the mindset of old versus new. The choice between cherishing the past and living in it. It is what Michael died trying to reconcile. It is why Europeans opposed the invasion and liberation of Iraq. Western European leaders have far more in common with Middle Eastern rulers than they do with American, British, Australian, and Eastern European leaders and citizens. The past can be retained if they do nothing. And if they do nothing, they do nothing wrong. Doing something involves risk. It is why Rumsfeld slapped Old Europe.

The question of what is right and what is wrong boils down to this: Those who oppose what we are doing in Iraq and around the world view “old” and “stable” as good. They view “new” and “change” with suspicion. Are we to go down the road following the UN and Old Europe and, by default, Middle East kings, princes, and dictators? Or do we follow Bush, Blair, Pat Tillman, and Michael? Herr Doepfner has an answer:

Maybe George Bush is not as stupid and evil, maybe one day, looking back on the developments that have just begun–we might even be thankful to him because he was one of the few who acted in accordance with the maxim: These things must be nipped in the bud. (A phrase often used in Germany to refer to stopping the re-emergence of Nazism.)

And maybe we Germans need more than seven sentences for our worldview.

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