March 25, 2004


OK, today is the first and last day I go read news on MSNBC. I am positively seething right now after reading articles about Clarke and Iraq One Year Later. And this article was the icing on my furious cake: ‘Old Europe’ unrepentant.

My main thought while reading this article was a black-and-white "whose side are you on?" Yep, call me a cowboy, but I believe you're either with us or with the terrorists, and the tone of this article infuriated me. The entire thing is written from the European's perspective, which is fine except the article is written by an NBC reporter.

The stings from U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s verbal attacks against Germany last year are still fresh. Derisively labeling Germany part of “Old Europe” and putting the country in line with rogue nations such as Libya and Cuba — as examples of other countries that were not supportive of the war — did not buy much American goodwill in Germany.

For the past year, Europeans have been waiting for an apology, but they have not gotten one yet.

When Rumsfeld was recently asked about the current state of U.S.-European relations and his “old Europe” remarks, he said the relationships were now “fairly normal.” Rumsfeld added that "he was too old to regret things he has said in the past.”

Germans have moved on and are hoping to start mending fences. "At present, bilateral talks between the two governments are mainly about reconciliation," said Klaus Proempers, a correspondent for German television ZDF.

You want an apology, Europe? I'm sure many of these people would be willing to give you one, but don't hold your breath for the government or the majority of Americans to let bygones be bygones.

Moving on:

An opinion poll by the German Marshall Fund reflected that a clear majority of Europeans want the European Union to become a superpower like the United States.

Ah ha ha ha ha. A clear majority of human beings want to be millionaires without lifting a finger and merely sitting around all day watching Becker, but that don't mean it's gon happen.

Chancellor Schroeder has rejected sending military support to Iraq, but he is hoping his announcement that German police will begin training their Iraqi counterparts this month will be seen as a gesture of goodwill.

And despite the fact that France and Germany have repeatedly rejected committing any NATO troops to Iraq in even a peacekeeping role, Germany has sent troops in Afghanistan and cites that as an example of how it is a reliable and dedicated NATO member.

Germany actually plans to increase its contingent of 220 German soldiers, stationed in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz, as part of a so-called Provincial Reconstruction Team.

I'm sorry, I must have something crazy in my ear. Did you say two-hundred twenty? There are more than 220 soldiers from my husband's battalion alone in Iraq right now, and we're supposed to give Germany a gold star for effort and participation? Whew, thank god you pointed out Germany is "a reliable and dedicated NATO member"; I almost forgot, given the fact that their chancellor ran on a platform of Screw Bush. But at least some NATO piece of paper still says they're our ally, regardless of what they do or say.

Look, Europe has a right to their own positions. Journalists have a right to report them, though I wish that American journalists wouldn't play the Europe=innocent USA=naughty game. But if Europe wants to maintain their own positions and not work with us in the war on terror, then they can take care of themselves when the Paris suburbs erupt.

Or maybe we can send 220 soldiers to help them.

Posted by Sarah at March 25, 2004 09:28 AM

Well, at least the NBC reporter put the nasty adjective "so-called" before "Provincial Reconstruction Team." Then again, maybe the reporter thinks the team's real purpose is to help Halliburton suck Iraq dry. "Reconstruction ... or theft?"

"the majority of Americans"? A lot of warbloggers like us, yeah, but apart from reflexive Francophobia, I really don't think a lot of Americans even know or care what Alteuropa thinks of their country. I'm talking about a lot of Kerry (and sadly, also Bush) voters. Hang out at blogs too long, and one gets the mistaken impression that everyone reads LGF. Not so. If only!

Posted by: Amritas at March 25, 2004 01:47 PM

"but apart from reflexive Francophobia" - oops, I meant to say that apart from a vague dislike of France, I don't think a lot of Americans have strong feelings one way or the other toward Europe.

Posted by: Amritas at March 25, 2004 01:48 PM

It seems to me that American journalists are so focused on growning their reader base in Europe they have completely stepped away from their objectivity. Maybe I'm over simplifing the whole thing, but I really believe it's all about growing their damn market share.

Posted by: Tammi at March 25, 2004 03:36 PM

European market share? No, I think this is a case of bias, as chronicled in Bernard Goldberg's book (what else?) Bias. If you spend your whole life in Leftist circles, you come to accept their POV as "normal" and it seeps into your "objective" reporting. You assume that everyone - American, European, whoever - sees the "obvious truth." "You" of course, doesn't mean you, Tammi!

Posted by: Amritas at March 25, 2004 04:45 PM

Amritas writes: "If you spend your whole life in Leftist circles, you come to accept their POV as "normal" and it seeps into your "objective" reporting."

I might add that if you spend your whole life in "any" extremists circles (left, right, or other), you fall prey to the same curse.

Diversity in opinion, open debate, and ability to think critically are the only things that can bring this country back from our deep divisions now apparent.

Posted by: Tad at March 25, 2004 05:44 PM

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