Thursday, January 24. 2013
Posted by Joerg Wolf in Transatlantic Relations on Thursday, January 24. 2013
I am surprised to read the headline "Can the E.U. become the world's policeman?" in the Washington Post. Anne Applebaum's latest op-ed about French policy in Mali concludes that Americans should "stop giggling about cheese-eating surrender monkeys and start offering logistical and moral support. Europe may not be the best superpower. But it's the only one we've got."
Wow. Thanks. But that's too much praise. Of course, the EU will not, cannot and does not even want to become the world's policeman or a superpower in the foreseeble future.
Still it's nice to read this as we approach the 10th anniversary of the transatlantic quarrels over the Iraq war. On January 24, 2003 the NY Post published the “Axis of Weasel” cover story about France and Germany and a play on George W. Bush’s denunciation of the “axis of evil”. And then there were the Subway ads, which SuperFrenchie campaigned against.
Anne Applebaum assumes that Europe has changed so much since the Libya operation and makes a big deal out of the French intervention in Mali and its context. I think she exaggerates, but she also makes important observations, which will change American perceptions of France:
Continue reading "What a Difference 10 Years Can Make"
Sunday, January 29. 2012
Four years ago, Obama campaigned with hope and change. He ran against George W. Bush's track record, even though Bush was not running again. Today, Republicans campaign with fear and "against Europe", although Europe won't be on the ballot box in November.
For Obama, Bush was "the other" against which he defined himself. For Republicans that "other" is Europe. (See all the Poli Sci literature on collective identities and nationalism) Newt Gingrich in his South Caroline Victoria Speech according to FOX News:
What does secularism have to do with any of this? I think Newt Gingrich is just listing all the "bad" things he can think of and does not care for European differences. Italy, Ireland, Poland are part of Europe and not that secular. Italy has big economic troubles, Poland not so much. I would leave religion out of it. The Scandinavians are more secular, have less economic troubles and provide more opportunities (social mobility) for their citizens than the US does.
Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff from the German Marshall Fund Blog sums up the Eurobaloney on the Campaign Trail and reminds us that Americans have "traditionally understood their history, culture, and identity in contrast to Europe's."
Continue reading "Gingrich, Romney rely on Eurobashing to "define their America""
Sunday, January 15. 2012
Mitt Romney's Anti-European rhetoric is stronger than the Anti-American statements by leading German politicians in the last few election campaigns. Romney seems to assume that Republican voters are so stupid, uninformed and Anti-European that he can get their votes with scaremongering.
His Europe bashing seems to be his response to the criticism of his "socialist" health care policy in Massachusetts and his French language skills. (Newt Gingrich released the attack ad "The French Connection".)
In Iowa Mitt Romney accused Obama of turning the United States into "a European-style welfare state," saying Obama's policies would "poison the very spirit of America and keep us from being one nation under God," according to the Washington Post.
In his New Hampshire Primary Victory Speech he said Obama "wants to turn America into a European-style social welfare state society. We want to ensure that we remain a free and prosperous land of opportunity. This President takes his inspiration from the capitals of Europe; we look to the cities and small towns of America." (See video at 6:30 minutes.)
Well, Norway, Finland, Denmark and even Germany and France deserve the title "land of opportunity" more than the US does because social mobility is higher. The NYT writes about five such studies.
Continue reading ""Europe" is a Dirty Word in the United States"
Tuesday, January 10. 2012
"Europe bashing has become an important stump-speech cornerstone for the entire Republican field," writes Spiegel:
What they conveniently ignore is that American Dream is not what it used to be. (Neither is the European Dream of an ever closer union, but that's another story). The United States is increasingly less the land of opportunity. America is not only less equal, but also less mobile than many European nations.
Continue reading "Republicans Campaign with Anti-European Rhetoric"
Saturday, June 11. 2011
Posted by Joerg Wolf in Transatlantic Relations on Saturday, June 11. 2011
Four Bundeswehr soldiers were killed in three attacks in Afghanistan's North in the last two weeks. Two in three Germans want their country to pull out of Afghanistan by the end of the year. The German government, however, stays the course. (Focus Magazine in German.)
Why? Because of a threat from Afghanistan to Germany? No, Al Qaeda and its affiliates do not need a safe haven at the Hindu Kush, but can plan terrorist attacks in Hamburg etc. As Ahmed Rashid notes, "not ever, has an Afghan Talib been involved in global jihad."
Rather, we have invested so much in Afghanistan, that we cannot afford to see it all fail. Moreover, we are still in Afghanistan after nine years as a matter of solidarity with NATO and especially with the United States due to the 9/11 attacks.
Continue reading "Europe's Contributions to Afghanistan Should be Recognized"
Sunday, July 18. 2010
When Foreign Policy featured an article on Anti-Europeanism in the United States as "Today's FP" cover, I got intrigued, but I was disappointed when I read this article Guardian columnist Simon Tisdall, which currently is FP's most read piece of the week. Old arguments about the Iraq war debate and last year's Obama trips to Europe.
Here are the more interesting paragraphs regarding the reason for Anti-European attitudes:
"Almost feel the schadenfreude emanating"? Does it get any more vague than that? Read the FP article Venus Envy and come back here to comment, if you like.
Sunday, April 11. 2010
Posted by Joerg Wolf in Transatlantic Relations on Sunday, April 11. 2010
"A spectre is haunting Europe-the spectre of Communism." Those were the words of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848 and their predictions turned out to be highly accurate, as we all know. Now the spectre of communism is haunting America and the end of the world is near.
The conservative media is scared shitless by this spectre and accuses Obama of turning the land of the free and the home of the brave into Russia/Europe/communism/socialism. For instance, Jonah Goldberg, editor-at-large of National Review Online, writes in Townhall (via No Pasaran): "The recently passed health-care legislation is the cornerstone of the Europeanization of America." Like "Amerikanische Verhältnisse" (American conditions) in Germany, the "Europeanization of America" is an increasingly popular catch phrase for fear mongering ("The Europeanization of America", Atlantica: A Threat to American Freedom, "If It's From Europe, Forget It" and Other Comments on Health Care).
Apparently the US conservative media needs to resort to fear mongering in order to attract an audience and advertisements from big companies. Capitalism is the excuse to exaggerate and insult. Americans live in the harsh reality of a free market economy and are not living the sheltered lives of 7 year old kids as we Europeans do, according to Goldberg:
Continue reading "Europeans Are "a Pack of Pagan Losers""
Sunday, July 12. 2009
Posted by Joerg Wolf in Transatlantic Relations on Sunday, July 12. 2009
What do some conservative US and leftist German politicians have in common? They use the other side of the Atlantic for fear-mongering.
The latest example is Jim DeMint, Republican Senator from South Carolina. According to The Washington Independent he made the following statement, when promoting his book at The National Press Club:
Aha, I see, Iraq and Afghanistan and the current recession are for the United States what the WWI and the depression were for Germany. And the oldest modern democracy in Washington is still as immature as the Weimar Republic's, started after WWI. So Obama is running Weimar America.
OMG! People, get your guns, Hitler is just around the corner!
Continue reading "Obama as Chancellor of Weimar America"
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