Like I’ve Said, Every Nation Is Not Friendly To Us

One thing I’ve hit on a lot since 9/11 is the fact that we have to understand that every nation isn’t friendly to America, our values, and our goals. This is not new. It has been going on for a long time, but it’s all coming out into the open now because this is the first we’ve had to ask for favors since the Cold War. Without the Soviet menace to hold it all together, the long simmering anti-Americanism and ingratitude of many of our “allies” has moved to the forefront. Just read this article by Andrew Gimson about the attitude towards America in Germany…

“Last Sunday I attended a very odd and unpleasant meeting at the Tempodrom in Berlin. The several hundred people who were present believe the American government is to blame for the attack on the World Trade Center, which it either carried out itself, or else allowed others to carry out, in order to have an excuse to invade Iraq and establish world domination. Michael Meacher has recently argued in our own dear Guardian that Washington deliberately failed to stop the attacks, and a number of American conspiracy theorists had come to Berlin to peddle this line. Many people in this milieu — though not, one can be certain, Mr Meacher — further believe that the American government is in turn controlled by a Jewish world conspiracy, and that Mossad is behind the suicide bombings in Israel.

…It would not, however, be wise to ignore the conditions in which such noxious beliefs can flourish. The Germans are becoming more receptive to all forms of anti-Americanism. A year ago 68 per cent of them still regarded a leading role for the Americans in foreign affairs as desirable, with only 27 per cent against: now 50 per cent of them reject such a role for the Americans, with only 45 per cent in favour. A venomous stream of anti-American and anti-Semitic resentment has burst forth in Germany during the Iraq crisis. A recent survey in Die Zeit showed that no fewer than 19 per cent of Germans are prepared to believe that the American government could be behind 9/11….

…Another American who works in an office full of educated Germans said, ‘With every American soldier that dies the schadenfreude is immense. Every day people come by my desk and say, “Isn’t it great, Bush is coming crawling to Schröder now. Schröder won’t get an invitation to the ranch at Crawford — George Bush is going to beg him to go there.”’

With every reverse, or seeming reverse, that the Americans suffer in Iraq, the schadenfreude in Germany reaches new heights, or depths. The Germans hope the Americans will fail in Iraq. They expected them to lose the war, and now they expect them to lose the peace. Such views are not, of course, unknown in Britain, but are far more widespread in Germany. They are accompanied by an astonishingly low estimate of the Americans’ abilities, lower even than the BBC sometimes conveys.

…Ever since the war there has been a strong vein of anti-American feeling in Germany. To have your country defeated, occupied and then defended by a foreign power is humiliating. Conservative Germans deplored the Americanisation of German culture, while the rebellious generation of 1968 regarded the Vietnam war as a crime comparable to Auschwitz, and demonstrated with ostentatious moral fervour in favour of peace and against the nuclear missiles that Nato wanted to station on German soil…

…The period of good behaviour by subservient Germans has ended, to be followed by a period of bad behaviour which can only be understood as a kind of belated adolescent rebellion against the long and humiliating tutelage of Washington. The Germans want to be taken seriously. They want to be treated equally, and any hint that they are not equal is more than they can bear.”

Now you tell me after reading that — why are we surprised that the Germans aren’t cooperating with us in the war on terrorism?

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