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Albania: The Most Pro-American Country in the World?

New York Times:
“Albania is for sure the most pro-American country in Europe, maybe even in the world,” said Edi Rama, Tirana’s mayor and leader of the opposition Socialists. “Nowhere else can you find such respect and hospitality for the president of the United States. Even in Michigan, he wouldn’t be as welcome.”
Thousands of young Albanians have been named Bill or Hillary thanks to the Clinton administration’s role in rescuing ethnic Albanians from the Kosovo war. After the visit on Sunday, some people expect to see a rash of babies named George.
So eager is the country to accommodate Mr. Bush that Parliament unanimously approved a bill last month allowing “American forces to engage in any kind of operation, including the use of force, in order to provide security for the president.” One newspaper, reporting on the effusive mood, published a headline that read, “Please Occupy Us!”

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Anonymous on :

Albanians like the US? Did not they watch "Wag the Dog"?

Pat Patterson on :

Not surprising considered there are possibly more Albanians living in New York than Tirana. And the US likes the Albanians but I think that is because their flag is often mistaken for a fan banner at a Metallica concert.

GM Roper on :

Having never been to a Metallica concert, I can't speak to that, but the Albanians sure do love the USA and seem to attach to any US President that visits there. Hmmm, will the Bills and Hillary's outnumber the George's? Tune in in 10 months and we'll see. ;-)

Reid of America on :

Israel is the most pro-American country in the world.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

Are you sure? Most Israelis appreciate US support in recent decades, but are also concerned about US foreign policy in recent years: The Iraq war has made Israel less safe. Saddam was not a big problem for Israel after they bombed Osirak in 1981. Israel is concerned about Iran. The Iraq war strengthened Iran. Besides, the Iraq increased Anti-Americanism and Anti-Jewish conspiracy theories, like "neocon jews controlling the US government started the Iraq war" and other nonsense. Bremer's brilliant idea to design an Iraqi flag that looked like Israel's flag was not very helpful either.

Pat Patterson on :

So during the 2nd Gulf War those 39 SCUDS that landed on Israel were in reality children's kites that just happened to blow over the border? And that Saddam continued to pay $25,000 to the Palestinian families of bombers thus tacitly offering other families with the promise of reward money to encourage their sons to blow themselves and anybody near by to pieces. As to a rising incidences of anti-Semitism I would refer to that infamous film from 1940, The Jew Suss. What's noteworthy is that the anti-Semitism of the Germany at that time is nonexistent today.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

From Haaretz: "Disentangling Israeli interests from the rubble of neocon "creative destruction" in the Middle East has become an urgent challenge for Israeli policy-makers. An America that seeks to reshape the region through an unsophisticated mixture of bombs and ballots, devoid of local contextual understanding, alliance-building or redressing of grievances, ultimately undermines both itself and Israel." [url]http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/objects/pages/PrintArticleEn.jhtml?itemNo=746312[/url] I have read similar texts, but can't find them. And I have spoken to Israelis, who do not approve of the Iraq war.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

@ Pat Please, correct me, if I my memory proves wrong: I think I read that the Israelis wanted to restart peace negotiations with Syria for a long time, but the US asked Israel not to do so. Why was the US interfering? Israelis don't like that. Now Israel is sending signals to Syria anyway.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

"Time for Our Community To Join the Iraq Debate - Forward.com" "At the same time, to paraphrase Madeleine Albright, while our venture into Afghanistan eliminated the terrorist class of 2001, our war in Iraq has created the terrorist class of 2007. Saddam’s support for Palestinian terrorism was a clear danger, but Saddam’s Iraq was not nearly the base of terrorist activity it has become. One alarming legacy of Iraq is the large number of battle-hardened insurgents and terrorists. Having developed effective new techniques and technologies to attack the infrastructure of civilian populations and the forces that protect them, it is not likely that these insurgents will be returning, like Cincinnatus, to productive work. After Iraq, where will their acquired skills most likely be aimed, if not at the United States and its allies, first and foremost Israel? (...) Furthermore, the dominance of an Iraqi Shi’ite political establishment friendly to, and likely supportive of, Iran greatly strengthens its regional influence — to Israel’s detriment. Not only has the war eroded America’s military deterrence power vis-à-vis Tehran, but if there were military action against Iranian targets, how much more emboldened would Iran now be in deciding whether to respond against the United States or Israel? Even with Saddam’s removal, Israel is less secure as a result of the ongoing war in Iraq. [url]http://www.forward.com/articles/time-for-our-community-to-join-the-iraq-debate/[/url] Okay, the author is a rabbi rather than a foreign policy expert, but still.

Pat Patterson on :

As much as I tried I couldn't find any reference to any idea that the US asked Israel to take any certain postion concerning the Golan Heights. Even the "new" position of PM Olmert is probably wishful thinking on the Syrians part as he said, "The State of Israel is open to any murmur of peace from out neighbors," and etc. After the fiasco of Ehud Barak offering to withdraw and leave behind a demilitarized Golan and Syrian riparian rights restored I think that that idea is not likely. Simply standing on the heights and seeing how much of Israel is at risk would indicate the unliklihood of turning it over to Syria. The problem arises is in that Syria has placed the return of the Golan as a precondition so is Israel hints at talks then the Syrians assume that they will get it back.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

Haaretz report from two weeks ago (23/05/2007): "The U.S. ambassador to Israel reiterated Monday that Washington has not been pressuring Israel to rebuff Syrian offers of peace talks, denying a Haaretz report that the Americans have withdrawn their opposition to negotiations between Israel and Syria." [url]http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/861901.html[/url] So, it seems there was some controversy. Some Israelis apparently think that the US had put pressure on Israel... Do they make the US their scapegoat? The article continues: "[b]The Bush administration has given Israel permission[/b] to discuss the future of the Golan Heights, security arrangements and Israeli-Syrian peace accords if it agrees to talks with Syria. However, Washington has stipulated that Israel must not agree to any negotiations, even indirectly, on the United States' position, or on the future of Lebanon. Furthermore, [b]Israel must not make promises to Syria regarding U.S. policy.[/b]" The bold print indicates some interesting aspects of the US-Israel relationship, which do not advance US and Israeli interests. Sure, the US and Israel are close allies, but the use of words like "permission" and "promises" gives a misleading impression, does not it? This is from Dennis Ross from 05.07.07: "To date, the pressure within the Israeli defense establishment to talk to Syria has not persuaded Olmert to drop his opposition to such talks--opposition that stems in no small part from the Bush administration being dead-set against the Israelis taking up Assad on his willingness to sit down with them. As far as the administration is concerned, Syria wants to use such talks, not to make peace, but to get Lebanon back and to forestall an international tribunal on the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The Bush administration may be right. (...) The lesson here is that the Bush administration needs to think far more carefully about its position on talks with the Syrians. Rather than simply telling the Israelis "no," it should work out a coordinated game plan with the Israelis, including common red lines for the talks." [url]http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=w070507&s=ross050707[/url] So the Bush admin cares more about Lebanon than about Israel? If Israel and the US would talk with Lebanon and Syria, then this might help a bit with Iran and Turkish-Kurdistan mess, I hope.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

Okay, Albania has not done anything, except naming their kids after US presidents. I guess, "pro-American" means being thankful to the US. Okay, fair enough.

Pat Patterson on :

Both links are interesting but Daniel Levy was spectacularly wrong about both Oslo and Taba, which he helped negotiate and as such his analysis could be suspect. And his commentary here was from the early stages of Israel's war against Hezbollah. Which was supported by 81% of the Israeli populace. It was also during this period that, for better or worse, the US basically backed whatever actions Israel would take, provided AWACS and satellite imagery and sped up deliveries of munitions, parts and money. I found the US's actions to stand in contradiction to what Mr. Levy claimed. While The Forward opposed the war editorially not because it might weaken Israel but rather as morally repugnant. Only now is their some concern for Israel's security. I found their argument concerning the fate of displaced insurgents weak as throughout history that is exactly what most fighters eventually do. They go home, get jobs and raise families. Since Saddam's SCUDS and bribes are no more and Iranian plans for Israel predated the war than I still do not see how Israel is in any more danger now than before. Plus with the deployment of the Arrow, Israel has, it appears, an effective anti-IRBM system while the US, Russia and Europe are still arguing about siting.

David on :

"sped up deliveries of munitions" Indeed, cluster bombs manufactured in tne US.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

Project Syndicate "America’s Suicidal Statecraft Shlomo Ben-Ami" http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/benami5

Reid of America on :

Many commenters have quoted articles from Haaretz. Haaretz is the leftist paper of record in Israel. It represents the Labor (socialist) point of view. The Labor party has lost it's dominance because it clings to failed economic ideals and because it believes that appeasing Arabs is the path to peace. The reason Israel is the most pro-American country in the world is because the US is the most philo-semetic country in the world. For a different perspective on why Israel is the most pro-American country in the world read the following link below. It is a point of view that is alien to vast majority of Europeans. Europeans are now post-Christian. America is still a Christian nation where 60% of it's citizens attend religious services on a regular basis. In Europe the number is 10%. ISRAEL AND AMERICA: PART I - AFFINITY http://www.shalomjerusalem.com/heritage/heritage22.html "Those who bless you will I bless, and those who curse you will I curse." -- Genesis 12:3

David on :

Reid, Thanks for the link to the Christo-fascist site. Have you prepared for Armageddon?

Reid of America on :

David asks "Thanks for the link to the Christo-fascist site. Have you prepared for Armageddon?" I am neither Christian nor religious. I linked to the site to give you an understanding of how the majority of Americans think. You can laugh at the majority of Americans but most couldn't care less what Europeans think of them. As I'm sure most Europeans don't care what Americans think of them. Why use the term fascist? Fascism has never existed in America but has had numerous incarnations in Europe. The term fascism has lost it's meaning because the left calls everyone on the right fascist even though most incarnations of fascism have been socialist.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

I think it is pretty difficult to state what the majority of Americans, Europeans or Israelis think of any issue. All three groups of people seem to be pretty divided on many big issues. I guess many of us (me included) sometimes make claims that cannot be supported with facts. One could of course bring opinion polls, but it often depends on how the question is asked. Oh, and by the way: David is American. Click on his name and the link takes you to his blog.

David on :

Hey Reid, I happen to be both American and Christian. But the views expressed in that site are alien to me and almost everyone I know. It certainly doesn't reflect what the "majority" of Americans think. Did you happen to check out the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll numbers that came out today?

Reid of America on :

David comments "Hey Reid, I happen to be both American and Christian. But the views expressed in that site are alien to me and almost everyone I know." This reminds me of the NY Times reporter who said after Nixon was elected President, "How is that possible? I don't know anyone who voted for him." I haven't seen the MBC/WSJ poll numbers that came out today. What subject matter?

David on :

Reid, How did that work out for the Americans who voted for Nixon. Were they later proud that they had put a felon on the White House?

Reid of America on :

When the American people elected Nixon they were no more aware that he was to become a felon than they knew Clinton would become a felon. The point was not about Nixon but that our social aquaintances are a microcosm that don't reflect society at large.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

Re the claim of a post-Christian Europe: Foreign Policy: Europe’s Christian Comeback By Philip Jenkins Posted June 2007 "Alarmist pundits prophesize that a secular Europe risks being overcome by its fast-growing Muslim population. Yet for all we hear about Islam, Europe remains a stronger Christian fortress than people realize." [url]http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=3881[/url]

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