(Anyone? Hello? Is this thing on?)
Anyway, I remember. Specifically, I remember a particular author, who wrote under the pseudonym of Ambrose Beers. Beers wrote about military affairs, mostly, and later signed up for the US Army. He turns out to be a man named Chris Bray, who blogs for the History News Network. And he's still as good a writer as I remember. One of his latest entries takes Victor Davis Hanson (coughcoughHACKcough) to the woodshed for his idiotic anti-Europeanism:
The essay, with the too-enjoyable subtitle "Cry the beloved continent," tries to rouse Europe from its slumber before it Slides Inexorably Over the Lip of the Abbatoir, and yadda yadda yadda. "Even in this era of crisis," he writes to the whole of Europe, "we cling to the notion that in the eleventh hour you, Europe, will yet reawake, rediscover your heritage, and join with us in defending the idea of the West from this latest illiberal scourge of Islamic fascism."...When idiotic whingers whine about how Canada isn't "serious" about the war on Terrorism or whatever's got their panties in a bunch, remember that Canadians are dying in Afghanistan in the real war on terrorism.
Now, reality. There are almost too many places to begin, but a column by defense analyst David Smith in the October 12, 2005 issue of Jane's Defence Weekly seems like an especially good start. Smith notes that NATO members, who quickly realized after the Sept. 11 attacks that "Europe could be more vulnerable to terrorism than North America," began the immediate deployment of military assets to protect against al Qaeda attacks. Recognizing the vulnerability of international shipping to terrorists, NATO quickly launched a naval operation called Operation Active Endeavour, putting a joint force of German, Greek, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Turkish, British, and U.S. ships on patrol in the eastern Mediterranean. Elements of the force were in place in the first days of October, 2001....
On the ground, European land forces (and others) reacted to the attacks of Sept. 11 with equal speed and seriousness, moving troops to Afghanistan to aid in the fight against al Qaeda warriors and their Taliban sponsors. As the website globalsecurity.org reported: "France had 2,000 military personnel in the region as of early November 2001. Japan, Germany, Italy and New Zealand have pledged to deploy ships and troops if needed. Turkey and Australia have announced that special operations forces would be deployed. Italy announced in early November that ships and aircraft, and up to 3,000 military personnel, would be deployed. The 3,900 Germans planned on deployment would include some 100 special operations troops. Turkey has committed 90 special forces troops and is prepared to send a peacekeeping force numbering about 3,000 if needed. By January 2002 special operations forces from Australia, Britain, France, Denmark, Germany and Turkey were on the ground in Afghanistan."