I just ran into this comment about the growing differences between the U.S. and Europe:
US vs. THEM. For the EU elite, America is like a rebellious teenager that they simply don't understand. How can they insist on sovereignty when it obstructs 'progress'? How can they insist on the right of self-defence when we know that true security comes only through concessions and negotiation? How dare they cherish Western values when we know that all values are equal? For the Eurocrats, America is not just mystifying, it's offensive. [Samizdata.net]
My impression of Europeans--the ones quoted in the media and posting on the Internet at least--fits this. I would say the defining characteristic of most Europeans is that they are sanctimonious. [Ken Hagler]
I'd say the defining characteristics of most Americans - the ones who have weblogs at least - is they are completly ignorant of the rest of the world and without fail make dumb-ass all-encompassing statements about "Europeans."
I want you to think of a German, Brit, Italian, Greek and Spanish person all in the same room. What do they have in common? Besides smoking too much, not a whole hell of a lot. In fact, almost nothing. These are your "Europeans." Does Ken speak another language? If not, he's probably seeing 90% Britain's ideas of things and not anyone elses. Britain isn't Europe (thank goodness).
Secondly, the Europeans have tasted enough war so that they're smart enough to try to avoid it when possible Americans think that all wars are going to be WWII and can't wait to be heroes like their grandaddy. Do you want a President without a congress? Do you want a government with a free press? Then why would you want a superpower like the U.S. without something like the EU there questioning and encouraging restraint?
The "Europeans" are generally saying, "Hey U.S.! War sucks. We know. There's better ways of dealing with things besides killing people. So please, cut the shit."
Can you honestly tell me that this is bad advice?