U.S. suffers from "curdled arrogance," not Europe
According to George Will’s Sunday column, “Changing minds by changing facts,” the latest sin of the European Nations (primarily France and Germany) is to dare to oppose the wishes of the Bush Administration. For that, they are now demonized by a full chorus of Bush-supporting pundits. All of their Europeans’ warts are paraded before us.
George Will puts his usually deft touch on the problem by suggesting their obstinacy towards U.S. foreign policy stems from a lack of Jews to hate. Might be a bit of a stretch. In turn, an affliction results, a “monomania” he refers to as “anti-Americanism.” The other cause, according to George, is Europe’s “self-inflicted” economic failure, which has made them into a bunch of sore losers who are taking out their frustrations on the United States.
I think, however, that the “curdled arrogance” is not theirs, but ours. How dare anyone question the actions, or motives, of this great country? We are infallible, after all. And if you are not with us, then you are against us.
But beyond the question of who is right or wrong, is just exactly who, or what, the Europeans are criticizing. It is always a puzzle to me why even the learned so often confuse the United States government with people of the United States; and similarly, with other nations.
Europeans have no problem with Americans, in general. Nor do other people around the world who see Bush’s preemptive war against Iraq as a tragic mistake.
Anti-Americanism, to the extent that is exists at all, is nothing more than an epithet to be hurled at “our” critics. The very construct is laughable; why not anti-Frenchism, or anti-Germanism or anti-Canadianism?
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