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Right Intention: European Anti-Americanism

Monday, December 20, 2004

European Anti-Americanism

From the Daily Demarche I found an excellent piece on European anti-Americanism.

The genuine epicenter of anti-Americanism today is in Europe, not in the Islamic world. Indeed it can be localized even further as “old Europe,” the continental Western European countries, especially France and Germany but Spain and Italy as well. (In the latter two cases, the political leaders were willing to take a political risk and side with the United States, thereby resisting anti-American sentiment in their domestic publics.) In contrast, anti-Americanism is negligible in the “new Europe,” the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe. This difference within Europe became apparent in 2002: During President Bush’s visit to Berlin in May, he faced large, hostile demonstrations, but friendly crowds greeted him in November in Vilnius and Bucharest. One can easily explain a pro-American predisposition in the formerly communist countries, given the leadership role played by the United States in the Cold War. Explaining anti-American predispositions in the countries that have long been counted among our closest allies is a more difficult challenge.

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