How the Europeans see us

Discuss whatever you want here ... movies, books, recipes, politics, beer, wine, TV ... everything except classical music.

Moderators: Lance, Corlyss_D

Post Reply
Steinway
Posts: 2147
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 10:08 am
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

How the Europeans see us

Post by Steinway » Sun Jun 01, 2008 3:43 pm

Simon Jenkins..The London Times..

"Not that America pobably cares, but here in Europe we're watching the U.S. presidential contest more closely than usual. The foreign adventurism of Gerge W.Bush has left the world in no doubt that America's president is in a sense president of all of us, a realization that has given rise to a "bitter sense of disenfranchisement."

But the other reason we're fascinated with the race has the potential to reverse, if not entirely away, those ugly feelings; the candidacy of Barack Obama. The fact that a black man has even come close to being elected president of the U.S. has already given pause to those who always dismissed the USA as a nation of illiterate, gun-toting racists. Were Obama actually to win the White House, it would transform, indeed electrify America's image worldwide, instantly, and for the better."

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Re: How the Europeans see us

Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Jun 01, 2008 3:57 pm

Cliftwood wrote:Simon Jenkins..The London Times..

"Not that America pobably cares, but here in Europe we're watching the U.S. presidential contest more closely than usual. The foreign adventurism of Gerge W.Bush has left the world in no doubt that America's president is in a sense president of all of us, a realization that has given rise to a "bitter sense of disenfranchisement."
Yeah. And just as soon as the Dems anesthetize the rest of us, they'll figure out some way to allow feriners to vote in our elections because they would always vote for the Democrat. They've been working their way up to that for 50 years by according civil rights to non-citizens and ignoring voting by non-citizens.
But the other reason we're fascinated with the race has the potential to reverse, if not entirely away, those ugly feelings; the candidacy of Barack Obama. The fact that a black man has even come close to being elected president of the U.S. has already given pause to those who always dismissed the USA as a nation of illiterate, gun-toting racists. Were Obama actually to win the White House, it would transform, indeed electrify America's image worldwide, instantly, and for the better."
Harris, you're smarter than to fall for that line of crap. It don't matter who's in the White House, we're America for all that. They hated us when we were running the show in 1918; they hated us when we were running the show in 1944; they hated us when we put missiles in their backyards to keep the Soviets in line; they hated us when they thought the continent was a metaphor for debauchery; they hated us when we didn't assume our rightful place on the international scene in the mid 1800s. I hope you see a pattern here: they hate us, period. We won't stop being American for a very very very long time. We won't stop being the biggest economic engine on the planet for a very very long time. That means they won't stop hating us.

And just in case you didn't get my point, I don't give a rip what they think of us. They have bad values, as is evidenced by their willingness to forego western civilization in the interests of keeping the muslim radicals from blowing them up. Only fools curry their favor. If they were honest with us and themselves, they would admit that if the immigration quotas on Europeans were lifted, they'd move here in a heart beat. And they hate us for not allowing them to immigrate in larger numbers.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

Agnes Selby
Author of Constanze Mozart's biography
Posts: 5568
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 3:27 am
Location: Australia

Europe

Post by Agnes Selby » Sun Jun 01, 2008 4:11 pm

Indeed, the most important reason to elect Obama as president
is to impress the Europeans with America's Liberalism. :roll: :!:

Who are the Europeans you so wish to impress? Have you forgotten
the graves in Jugoslavia? The dead in the concentration camps?
The constant division between races and religions? In fact, dear
Cliftwood, how do you think America's population came about?
How come the strangest surnames appear all over America?

It is because so many people fled from Europe's oppressive regimes,
persecutions, constant racial hatreds and murders.

Are you electing Obama in order to impress the very Europeans
who drove your ancestors to America so that you can now
reside in comfort in Philadelphia?

------------------------------

Steinway
Posts: 2147
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 10:08 am
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Post by Steinway » Sun Jun 01, 2008 4:17 pm

Ah, yes.

Of course I'm voting for Obama to impress the Europeans who drove my ancestors out of their country. :lol:

Actually, my ancestors left Latvia in 1894, and they weren't driven out, they left of their own accord.

Donald Isler
Posts: 2988
Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 11:01 am
Contact:

Post by Donald Isler » Sun Jun 01, 2008 5:29 pm

I still haven't made up my mind, to tell the truth. I have serious problems with both Obama and McCain. Will continue to watch what they do and say.
Donald Isler

david johnson
Posts: 1459
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 5:04 am
Location: ark/mo

Post by david johnson » Sun Jun 01, 2008 5:38 pm

I do not care what they think. They do not ask me to vote in their elections, nor do I ask them to vote in mine.

dj

Agnes Selby
Author of Constanze Mozart's biography
Posts: 5568
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 3:27 am
Location: Australia

Obama

Post by Agnes Selby » Sun Jun 01, 2008 5:49 pm

Cliftwood wrote:Ah, yes.

Of course I'm voting for Obama to impress the Europeans who drove my ancestors out of their country. :lol:

Actually, my ancestors left Latvia in 1894, and they weren't driven out, they left of their own accord.
--------------

How interesting! Please look up the history of Latvia in the late 19th century. Your ancestors did not leave for America because they had such a good life in Latvia.
------------------

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Jun 01, 2008 7:42 pm

Cliftwood wrote:Ah, yes.

Of course I'm voting for Obama to impress the Europeans who drove my ancestors out of their country. :lol:
No. You're voting for Obama for the usual reason that people vote for Democrats: ignorance.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Jun 01, 2008 7:49 pm

Irrelevance, Europe’s logical choice

By Gideon Rachman

Published: May 19 2008 18:33 | Last updated: May 19 2008 18:33

Image
Ingram Pinn

“In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love – they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.”

Harry Lime’s speech – delivered by Orson Welles – at the end of the The Third Man (1949) is a great cinematic moment. It also poses an interesting choice.

For roughly 500 years, Europe was the political, cultural and economic centre of the world. But bloodshed and suffering accompanied all this power – culminating in two suicidal wars in the 20th century.

Since 1945, Europe has become increasingly prosperous, peaceful and comfortable – and irrelevant. So should a united Europe attempt to reclaim its place at the centre of world affairs? Or should we settle for comfortable irrelevance?

Europe’s political leaders think they know the answer. They are forever swearing to turn a united Europe into a new superpower. But European citizens seem unconvinced: faced with Harry Lime’s choice, most ordinary Europeans would go for the cuckoo clock option.

I thought of Harry Lime at a lunch in London recently with Kishore Mahbubani, once Singapore’s senior diplomat – and now, a far from diplomatic author. The European Union, Mr Mahbubani pronounced, is an economic superpower but a diplomatic “mini-power”. The Europeans are irrelevant to the world’s great issues, obsessed by internal process, culturally arrogant, craven in the face of the US and blind to the rise of Asia.

Perhaps aware that he might be offending his European audience, Mr Mahbubani paused and said: “Don’t get me wrong, life is sweet here.”

Well, quite. Perhaps there is a connection between the sweetness of life in modern Europe – and the fact that the EU is not a superpower and probably never will be.

Being a superpower can be a burdensome and bloody business. The US deploys troops all over the world. If the Chinese attacked Taiwan, or the Iranians mined the Strait of Hormuz, the Americans would probably get sucked in.

The Europeans, by contrast, have no military presence in either east Asia or the Gulf. There is not much of a European military to deploy – which is a source of huge frustration to the US, as it argues for more burden-sharing in Afghanistan.

Many Europeans are content with this situation. They want to keep their heads down, whatever their leaders say at international summits. When Germany extended its (limited) mandate in Afghanistan last October, the polls suggested that 70 per cent of Germans were opposed.

The conventional response to this European instinct is to argue that it is short-sighted and immoral. It is short-sighted, critics say, because there are security threats to Europe’s comfortable existence – and unless the Europeans get their act together and start doing more to defend themselves, barbarians will break in and smash up the cuckoo clocks. It is immoral because it means that comfortable and wealthy Europeans are relying on the Americans to protect them. Worse, they then assume the right to criticise their protectors for their crassness and immorality.

But it is far from clear that Europe’s passivity is either illogical or immoral. Since the end of the cold war, there has been no conventional military threat to the EU. Nobody is going to invade. Because Europeans know this, there is very little popular support for higher military spending.

Of course, there are threats to the security and prosperity of the average European: terrorism, climate change, uncontrolled immigration, demographic collapse, pandemics, energy supply. But these are not the kind of things that a “European superpower” would be well placed to deal with. What exactly is the military response to global warming or Europe’s low fertility rate?

The US has launched wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as part of a “war on terror”. There are thousands of European troops in Afghanistan, fighting alongside the Americans. But although the Europeans would be loath to say so in public, it is at least arguable that involvement in Afghanistan actually increases the terrorism threat to Europe, by helping to radicalise Muslims living in Europe.

Europe’s feeble response to the Balkan wars of the 1990s is also often cited as a reason for the EU to develop greater military and diplomatic muscle. But, by the standards of the past, Europe’s response to the Balkan crisis of the 1990s was a distinct improvement.

In 1914, a Balkan crisis led to a world war. In the 1990s, the EU’s efforts to stop the bloodshed in the former Yugoslavia were slow and ineffectual. But there was never any question of a Balkan conflict escalating into a wider war. There are some advantages to the semi-pacifist outlook of modern Europe.

The downside is that when an international crisis breaks out, Europeans often look like irrelevant whiners. They complain about the American response – but they are powerless to alter events themselves.

Irrelevance is not particularly dignified or noble. But it could still be the logical choice for Europe. Arguably, the EU has achieved a sort of nirvana. It is too strong to be attacked; and too weak to be asked to sort out the rest of the world’s problems. As Harry Lime might have pointed out, Europe has become a giant Switzerland.

gideon.rachman@ft.com

More columns at www.ft.com/rachman

Post and read comments at Gideon Rachman’s blog

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ae49f83a-25a3 ... ck_check=1

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Gideon: If Obama were to be elected and he were to go to the Europeans and say, "look I'm here now, Bush is gone, America has changed, we'd like for you to help us with some of the burden of policing the international system from which you benefit greatly," the reaction wouldn't be "sure thing! What can we do?"

Regime change in America is not the answer to European disdain for the US. Throwing them on their own resources to defend themselves and their way of life is. And American isolationism is a very possible result because America is now in a foul mood about the hostility its efforts have met.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:04 pm

Donald Isler wrote:I still haven't made up my mind, to tell the truth. I have serious problems with both Obama and McCain. Will continue to watch what they do and say.
:lol:

Don, you can be such a card!
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

DavidRoss
Posts: 3384
Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 7:05 am
Location: Northern California

Post by DavidRoss » Sun Jun 01, 2008 9:04 pm

Corlyss_D wrote: No. You're voting for Obama for the usual reason that people vote for Democrats: ignorance.
What a pity that it took only a couple of generations for TV to undermine what public education had accomplished in the previous couple of generations.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

Image

Chalkperson
Disposable Income Specialist
Posts: 17659
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:19 pm
Location: New York City
Contact:

Post by Chalkperson » Sun Jun 01, 2008 9:15 pm

Regime change in America is not the answer to European disdain for the US. Throwing them on their own resources to defend themselves and their way of life is. And American isolationism is a very possible result because America is now in a foul mood about the hostility its efforts have met.
Maybe they would be happy defending themselves, they are a Union after all... :wink:
Sent via Twitter by @chalkperson

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Jun 01, 2008 9:19 pm

DavidRoss wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote: No. You're voting for Obama for the usual reason that people vote for Democrats: ignorance.
What a pity that it took only a couple of generations for TV to undermine what public education had accomplished in the previous couple of generations.
I think the decline in public education has long roots. I've been reading some authorities who trace it back to John Dewey and the labor movement that promoted universal free public education in lieu of child labor that was costing their membership jobs. And don't get me started on the kidnapping of the teaching profession by union toadies and educational fadists. Or whether I would have been so gung ho on the civil rights movement if I had thought the price of it would be the public education system in this country.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

greymouse
Posts: 205
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 8:42 pm
Location: MI

Post by greymouse » Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:16 pm

It's worth noting that most of the major European countries have voted for much more pro-US politicians in recent years who campaigned on reconciliation with America. So perhaps the author of the article is speaking mostly for himself and his close friends rather than your average European citizen.

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:38 pm

greymouse wrote:It's worth noting that most of the major European countries have voted for much more pro-US politicians in recent years who campaigned on reconciliation with America. So perhaps the author of the article is speaking mostly for himself and his close friends rather than your average European citizen.
Let's face it, Grey. The politicians' American policies, pro or con, had nothing to do with their election. If young people in most European countries were surveyed, they would not want politicians who think well of the US running the country. Older heads control the votes. So what's changed? The elites who run the countries realize that Iran and Russia are big security problems; China and India are going to eat Europe's lunch economically before they dessert on the US; and globalization is a much bigger threat to their continued well-being than global warming. European politicians at some level have realized that they don't have a moment to lose revamping their employment policies, their immigration policies, their safety net philosophy, their education infrastructure, their tax codes, etc. etc. In short, realigning their economies along the hated Anglo-American model. Europe consists of confirmed navel-gazers. The tough job is to get them look up and take some responsibility for the international system, including many elements they have had the luxury to turn their backs on because we were doing the heavy lifting.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

pizza
Posts: 5094
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 4:03 am

Post by pizza » Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:33 am

Corlyss_D wrote:The elites who run the countries realize that Iran and Russia are big security problems;.
Unfortunately they also realize that Iran and Russia are big trading partners and are willing to defer security considerations for the big buck.

Barry
Posts: 10228
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:50 pm

Post by Barry » Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:19 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
Donald Isler wrote:I still haven't made up my mind, to tell the truth. I have serious problems with both Obama and McCain. Will continue to watch what they do and say.
:lol:

Don, you can be such a card!
You should award yourself post of the day for that.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Barry
Posts: 10228
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:50 pm

Post by Barry » Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:35 pm

Someone on here, maybe Keaggy, a while back said that if the U.S. and Americans generally ever start behaving the way Europeans want us to, we're in big trouble.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

TopoGigio

Post by TopoGigio » Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:07 pm

Contessa d'Em wrote:They hated us when we were running the show in 1918; they hated us when we were running the show in 1944; they hated us when we put missiles in their backyards to keep the Soviets in line; they hated us when they thought the continent was a metaphor for debauchery; they hated us when we didn't assume our rightful place on the international scene in the mid 1800s. I hope you see a pattern here: they hate us, period. We won't stop being American for a very very very long time. We won't stop being the biggest economic engine on the planet for a very very long time. That means they won't stop hating us
-And MrWelby hates us because of our Wealth...
-Bbut, Mom, MrWelby is a lot rich that us !
-Precisely!Image

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests