Commentary Magazine


Martians & Venusians

Remember the days when Americans came from Mars and Europeans came from Venus? That was the gist of Robert Kagan’s book by the catchy title, Of Paradise and Power. It might be too early to tell, but it looks as though these days they are playing role reversal. Here’s Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel on Iran:

“I know from the time of the GDR (East Germany) how important it was that people around the world made sure that the people stuck in (Stasi prisons) Bautzen and Hohenschoenhausen … were not forgotten,” Merkel told parliament.

“Iran must know, particularly in the age of modern communications, that we will do everything in our power to ensure that these people (arrested in Iran during the recent turmoil) are not forgotten about,” she said.

So, what used to be referred to as “surrender monkeys” from Europe dare compare Iran to Communist-era East Germany — one of the vilest regimes beyond the Iron Curtain. I promise you, it is not a compliment. So much for staying out of Iran’s internal affairs and not “meddling.”

And the martial, battle prone Martians? Well, you know… they are not meddling. Their hand is stretched. And unclenched. And all the rest of it.

It’s a puzzling moment in history, when the leader of the free world cannot call a spade a spade, and needs the usually shy Europeans to stand up and remind us of the moral imperative to call tyranny for what it is. We live in that moment now.