Josef Joffe, editor of Die Zeit, has written a piece in today’s IHT. He decries the levels of anti-americanism prevalent in Europe today, while hoping for an improvement in transatlantic relations. I agree with his criticisms of anti-americanism:
Perusing the European media from Madrid to Munich in the wake of the Abu Ghraib scandal, one might think America is Darth Vader and Adolf Hitler rolled into one. On the 60th anniversary of D-Day, Europe is awash in a tsunami of anti-Americanism that is light-years removed from a rationally argued critique of U.S. behavior in Iraq.
Why are the second and third post-D-Day generations so obsessed with America that they will stop at nothing to discredit and dehumanize the country?
He rightly nails some hypocritical views Europeans have of America:
And then there is Temptress America, a culture that radiates outward and pulls inward. Europe eats, listens, dances and dresses American, and if the lure of low culture weren’t enough, there is the glamour of U.S. universities that makes the worst anti-American diatribe usually end with: “Can you help get my daughter into Harvard?”
Will this, too, have passed by the time we mark D-Day 2014? It might, but only on two conditions. Europe will have to shed the arrogance of weakness, and the United States the arrogance of power. Watch George W. Bush on D-Day ’04 for signs of a kinder and gentler America. The United States is still the greatest power in history, but it has learned the hard way in Falluja and Abu Ghraib that even giants can’t go it alone.
Indeed it can’t, but can it go the right way?