Thursday, December 29, 2005

Austria-Land Of Terminators

An astute historian knows, ofcourse, that Adolf Hitler was not truly German. He was Austrian. To him, this was a distinction without a difference, and he quickly set about doing away with the distinction when he annexed his home coutnry to his adopted land, prior to the onset of World War II, wihtout so much as a shot being fired in protest, or in fact with little if any protest. Out of all the countries involved in the world conflagration that quickly followed, Austria probably sufferred the least. Out of all the millions killed during the conflict, Austria's casualty rate was among the lowest, probaly less than a percent of the total, at least of the civilian population.

Of course, there were military personnel, and Nazi Party oficials in particular who left behind a legacy. One of these was Kurt Waldheim, who for a brief period was Secretary General of the United Nations. Another would be the father of naturalizd American citizen, and actor, and currently Republican governor of the state of California, Arnold Swarzenneggar.

It seems odd how the Austrians, at least the officials of that nation, have turned on the man they once considered the homeland hero. Especially seeing as how they have so few of them. And to be sure, I am no fan of Arnold Swarzenneggar, either of his politics, or of his acting. But give him this, he simply did his job in the case of convicted murderer Stanly "Tookie" Williams, who was finally put to death after Swarzzeneggar refused to commute his sentence to life in prison without possibility of parole. He simply followed the law. He agreed to review the case, and having done so, found no grounds whereby commuting the sentence would be justified. It's really just that simple.

With all due respect to my European based friends and associates-America's ancestors left Europe for a reason, in fact, for a bunch of damned good ones. Europeans have their own peculiar-very peculiar-way of doing things, and we have ours. We can debate the merits of each individual instance of difference over a steaming hot cup of coffee, perhaps, but in the final analysis, our laws are ours, and whether we keep them or adjust them, is really a matter for us and us alone to decide. Europeans, or no other outside nation, has a say in the matter, really.

So, while you continue to award Nobel prizes only to Americans who tow the line according to what you perceive to be the politically correct policy, and while you remove native sons names from roads and boulevards and sports stadiums, know that when you do these things, we join with Arnold in giving you our blessings to do so.

You see, we don't have to concern ourselves with the prospect of passing ridiculous laws that nullify freedom of speech in order to make up for our past misdeeds. We have a way of making up for our considerable misdeeds, in the long run, not with words, but with actions.

True, we still have a long way to go. But when we get there, it will be here. Not there.