D-Day and anti-Americanism: It's hard to love a savior

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?

2 thoughts on “D-Day and anti-Americanism: It's hard to love a savior”

  1. European anti-Americanism is increasingly vicious. September 11th seems to have tipped it over the edge into full-throttle hatred. Go figure. Normally massmurder would provoke sympathy, not this ugly European schadenfreude.

    At this point, it seems almost inevitable that Europe will be an adversary of the US. Unfortunately the press in the US ignores the issue, and feeds people lies about European good will (like tropes about “sympathy” post-9/11, which were only what the media wanted to show). The reality is much more ominous, resembling something akin to the rising demonization of the Jews in the 1930s.


  2. I appreciate you [americans] feeling uneccessarily portrayed as an unwitting vilian in the present global forum. I do however easily understand how this predicament has come about. The most common woe that not only Europeans but most of us (myself being Canadian)have towards America, and more specifically Americana, is it’s incideous tendency to blindly destroy autonomous culture. You stated that “Europe eats, listens, dances and dresses American”, yet this is not done by choice, merely throught he systematic encroachment of American influence on every aspect of dayly life. From a foriegn policy that can only be described as 30 failed years of incompitence, to the role and influence of finance on a world stage, America has merely established itself as “Benevolent Despot”. The problem resides in the Machevellian truth that once you are on top, you have the world as an enemy.

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