Monday, February 10, 2003

Growing European Anti-Americanism

This Washington Post story details how anti-Americanism has spread into the mainstream of European politics.

As I've written before, I'm mystified by European reaction to the case against war. The article details how it's not just American power, but our rhetoric that has increased the sideways glances. But still... the US isn't an empire, it has never been an empire, and there is little real reason to think that it currently seeks to become an empire. Do we have great influence in the world? Of course, and in many ways, several of which I see as negative influences. But influence and imperialism are two different things. Perhaps the Europeans are projecting here... they recall what they did, respectively, when they were top dog. But that's not us.

Nonetheless, the article does conclude on a positive note:
    This suggests to some that the ties that bind are still much stronger than the sources of division. "There are issues where we disagree, and Iraq is certainly one," says Buetikofer, the Green Party spokesman. "But Americans should not misunderstand the criticism when they hear it. People may criticize, they may even use words that can sound offensive, but it does not mean they want to break the friendship with the United States."

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