Nash Naam opinion column: America and Europe: A benevolent union

The whole world is celebrating the 75th anniversary of D Day, the day in which American and European allies’ troops crossed the English Channel and landed on the sandy beaches of Normandy in France. That was the beginning of the end of World War II. While this anniversary is a reminder of the sacrifices that Americans and Europeans have made, it is also a strong reminder of something much larger than Normandy and D Day.

Twice in the 20th century, Europe needed the assistance of the United States to fight and defeat tyranny and fascism. America was somewhat reluctant at the beginning to join the fight, but when it was convinced that a major mission was in need of America’s heavy weight, it went in with all its might. And that made all the difference.

There is no doubt that without America, Europe would have fallen to the Nazis. During World War I and World War II, the delineation of good vs evil was clear. There was no doubt that the Nazis and the fascists represented what was evil in our world. That clear delineation gave America and Europe a huge incentive to fight on. In the minds of our leaders at that time, Roosevelt and Churchill, there was no doubt that we were on the good side of history. That deep conviction gave them a moral authority to continue the fight to the ultimate end culminating in victory. There was no other choice.

So, beyond Normandy and beyond WWII, what we see from studying history of the 20th century is the unmistakably clear image of America and Europe united to face and try to eliminate Evil from our world. It was also clear that when America and Europe were united to work together there was nothing they could not have achieved.

The whole world saw that America and Europe were together a force of good versus evil. Even after the end of WWII, the Marshal Plan in which America helped 17 European countries to rebuild after the utter devastation from the war, was also a reminder of how America was a force of good building Europe and at the same time rebuilding its own enemies. Now, Japan and Germany are huge industrial and economic giants all because of the benevolence of America.

As the world celebrates now, it can’t deny the fact that the D Day invasion, and the victory in WWII that emanated from it, were the product of America’s participation on the side of Europe. Without the American support and help, victory would have been uncertain and perhaps impossible.

This is an important point in the course of history. And both America and Europe should carefully reexamine their mutual history. They will find that when Europe and America stood together they achieved much more that their individual strength could have achieved. The combined strength of the American and European alliance was and still is much more than the sum of its parts. That was also evident in how this combined power was responsible for the demise of the Soviet Union and the shattering of Communism not only in Europe but around the world.

The world now faces different forms of evil from terrorism to regional conflicts to genocide in Africa and the Middle East. Again, neither America nor Europe can face these new forms of evil individually. The world became a better place when Europe and America stood together to fight the old evil. Now the world looks up to them again to lead the fights against the new waves of evil in our world.

As President Trump is visiting United Kingdom and France to commemorate this milestone of history it is important for the American and European leaders to approach this world with the keen interest of being a combined force for good. This will not come until our leaders on both sides of the Atlantic realize their immense responsibility of continuing this alliance and this unity for the betterment of our world. There is nothing better than the feeling that we do something good for the entire world.

When America accepted the challenge of WWI and WWII, it did not think in a selfish way. Rather, it responded to the call to arms with benevolence and dedication to being a force of good in this world. Now, as we face different challenges, the same principles should continue to be our compass. We also should put our hand in Europe’s hand to continue the fight knowing that when Europe and America unite, there is no problem they cannot solve and no challenge they cannot face and there is nothing they could not achieve.