Tuesday, October 12, 2004

America vs. Old Europe

Are Americans justified feeling betrayed by Old Europe?

Does everyone in the world have to think, believe, behave as Americans do? Do they have the right to have an opinion different from our own?

Should Americans be upset if they do?

Why can't we all just get along?

I put my two cents in over at Iraqi Letter to America.

Americans have always had a love/hate relationship with "Old Europe" (and vice versa). A lot of it can probably be chalked up to "cultural differences".

American culture has so dominated the world for the last 50 years that many other cultures feel threatened. Everything is becoming 'Americanized'. While we here in America don't see this as a problem, others in the world feel threatened by this. (Perhaps this is one of the underlying motivators for current day terrorism?) If Americans spoke French, I have no doubt that we'd be in the middle of renaming english muffins into emancipation muffins.

The French in their desire to resist the 'americanization' of their culture have sought to distance themselves from us politically. Do we as Americans feel betrayed by this? Yeah, we do. Countless Americans are buried in Europe because we sought to protect 'Old Europe' from militarism and totalitarianism in not one but two world wars and one cold one. Does 'Old Europe' owe America a debt for this? Perhaps so, perhaps not. If so, for how long should this debt be held over their head?

Should 'Old Europe' be expected to follow America where ever we go because of old alliances? No.

But at the same time, you can't expect America to view as friends those who actively work against our interests.

To slant an old axiom... the friend who assists our enemy is our enemy.

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