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DreamPipEr
Robin_Scotland and UJ made some very interesting points in the isolationism thread. So as to not bring that thread off topic I thought it would be good to start a thread regarding name calling of anyone outside your nationality.

I'm not in a bad mood, Wait now I am

QUOTE(Robin_Scotland)
I think it is unfair to continually make remarks or comments about America, generalizing the population and just being downright rude. However, I am still dumbfounded that people seem to think it is one way.

It's high time that making unfair comments about people based on nationality is ranked alongside racism, because it really isn't different. America is always going to suffer more on that front; its bigger, it has interests all over the world and, perhaps above all, it is stubborn. Just as stubborn as France, and anyone who thinks different really has to take a step back from the situation and look at it properly. Foreigners who show disdain for Americans/America exist, Americans who show disdain for the rest of the world exist. Hell, people show disdain for each other when America isn't even involved!


I don’t know if this post was directed at me, because I didn’t think I disrespected the French, other then to tell my “perception” of their views of us back in the 80’s. My intent was to stress how perception is important to the person doing the perceiving.

But UJ did post some member quotes on AD here:

UJ isolation post

QUOTE(UJ)
In closing, let me just throw a few quotes out there.


QUOTE (kalabus)
...and the French's second greatest general was a 14 year old illiterate peasant girl?
...
I have a great deal of respet for most nations in Europe but France isnt one of them.



QUOTE (Johnlocke)
So yes France and Libya could be considered terrorist states.
...
Infact I do hate all (actually most but not all) french people


QUOTE (carlitoswhey)
I hope that the conservatives win.  Canadians deserve a missle shield, now that the liberals have completely bankrupted their military.  Stop the wussification of a great nation!


QUOTE
And by the way, I don't remember Canada or Uruguay murdering and raping their own citizens, or playing an important part in anything in this world, or, for that matter, not relying on us for anything (Canada).
...
europeans have a very BIG problem of their own. Their governments and their people are as hypocritical as the day is long. Most of them are racist pigs and anti-semites.

My general assumption of the anti French sentiment was well they displayed their disdain for us for years and now there are some American’s returning that disdain. Ok 2 wrongs don't make it right but geeze how long can we be disliked without the fava being returned.

I am not anti French, anti European, or anti anyone. I am frustrated and yes as Robin notes, I do feel a sense of defeatism. My ancestor’s are French, British (Scotch and English) and German. My ongoing joke about my own heritage was that I am at war with myself.

Anyway, back to the topic of the thread. Is the US anti European feelings a relatively new phenomenon? How do you think we can control this sentiment before it breaks into sheer racism? Or has it already? If you suffer from anti European syndrome ill.gif can you trace its roots? Is it because of the Iraq conflict or can you trace its ancestry further back? Is the US anti anyone else but me sentiment a result of our perceptions or realities?

Has the damage been done or is their hope?

Please do not turn this into a thread where we discuss our long standing quarrels regarding government policies.
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Robin_Scotland
Sorry DreamPipEr if you felt I was having a go at you, I am quite an irrational ranter and I only got upset when I started off rambling and thought of everyone calling each other names! It wasn't about anyone in particular, just experiences I have had and experiences I knows others have had. I like to defend the French too, because recently my French friends have had a hard time of it and they have felt as miserable as some of the American posters here have. I sympathize with both sides, but really what upsets me is that neither side looks ready to hug and make friends again smile.gif

Personally, I have encountered anti European abuse only recently (the last couple of years) for the most part from Americans. None of the people who have insulted my continent have been people I respect: these are mainly childish, immature gamers (yes I am a gamer tongue.gif), the sort you encounter when you play Massively Multiplayer Online games (MMOs). We call these types 'griefers', and their only purpose is to cause other people angst.

The sad thing is, I have started to get the gut feeling that more and more educated and knowledgable people really don't like Europe. We do have a horrific history, and we are still far from perfect, but I like to think that the EU is striving to bring peace and stability to our part of the world, and hopefully strengthen ties with our friends around the planet. It doesn't bother me too much, but as I am very pro-European I see France as someone from Alabama might see Kentucky. The dislike for France is quite evident, and perhaps with good reason, but as I see France as part of the Union it still feels like an attack on my country.

This, from where I am standing, only seems to have got really heated since the Iraq fiasco. The "Old Europe" comment (Rumsfled I think, can't remember) was something that made me feel uneasy. For me, this looked as though the Bush Administration was taking an aggressive attitude with EU nations that simply didn't agree, and an attempt to split the EU. The response from this was the Franco-German alliance, and the debate over power in the EU . Then Chirac threatened the incoming EU nations who supported the war, and everything just got out of hand.

Generally, most Americans seem to respect and like Europe. The old argument that Americans use against Europeans who criticize the US - "Hey, we aren't the bad guys in the world" - can be used by us too. Europe and the USA, for all their differences, are still very much alike. Going back into history to show how many times France and America have been at each other throats isn't proof that we can never be friends. We keep hearing how Britain is Americas best friend. Well, we fought you for your country, and France was on your side!

The thing I feel really sad about goes back to 9/11. I threw up that day I was so shocked, and wanted nothing more than my country and the EU to get behind America and support it all the ay. It did, there weren't mass protests against going into Afghanistan. People I know went to Afghanistan, and I was proud that they were doing something to help. The Iraq issue is only playing into the hands of the terrorists. I want this 'war on terror' to be won, and to see an end to global terrorism. It might not be accomplished for a good many decades yet, or even this century. But it is something we aren't going to achieve if Europe and the USA can't get on.

To perceptions: not being American, I can't tell how it feels to take so much critique and so little applause. Perhaps it is difficult to believe the rest of the world are really on your side as a result of this, but hopefully that will change. From my point of view, the world isn't anti-American, but America is the 'big guy' and is always going to take more flak than others. The reality that most of the world hates America is clearly false (otherwise there wouldn't be much left of America). The battle of words with France from a semi-objective POV is two way.

There is the reality that people aren't happy about what they see as American occupation (Iceland, South Korea, even in the UK). People have the right to think this and the right to protest, if we are going to fight for democracy and freedom it is a good start to recognisee this for what it is. Well...actually a good start would have been not to ignore the democracy of the UN because it didn't suit the coalition, but thats water under the bridge. Perhaps American bases should be cut back, perhaps not. Either way, its no reason to think the world doesn't appreciate America.

For what its worth, I appreciate what American civilians and soldiers have done for the world. Although having the best intentions aren't always enough, the fact that they are trying to do something good shows that America does and can care. Hopefully, in time, we will find it easier to resort to dignified communication. If our leaders are going to bicker back and forth then it is them that are the problem. Lets just put someone else in charge smile.gif
CruisingRam
Actually- it has been "trendy" for some time to hate the French- anyone remember Dennis Leary back in the 80s? thumbsup.gif He had a whole take on this- saying, basically "It is the only group we are allowed to be racist against anymore".

Considering how much I enjoyed France in the past, and as a single man, the um, "hospitality" of the French women, flowers.gif , I have to say, I am somewhat of a Francophile. They were absolutely wonderful to me, and I treasure my memories of that country every time I think about them. I hope someday my kids will be exchange student over there.

To me, the anti-sentiments against Europe and France in particular are the old cliche' "methinks thou dost protest too much"- i.e.- Europe is right, we are wrong, and we just hate it, and can't deal with it, so we lash out against them. hmmm.gif

We are not the good guys anymore, and haven't really been since WW2, and have committed atrocities by backing immoral genocidal goverments since the Shah of Iran and Guatamala, and we just can't deal with it.
Ultimatejoe
QUOTE(DreamPipEr @ Jun 29 2004, 05:54 PM)
My general assumption of the anti French sentiment was well they displayed their disdain for us for years and now there are some American’s returning that disdain.  Ok 2 wrongs don't make it right but geeze how long can we be disliked without the fava being returned.

The assumption certainly seems incorrect to me. Making fun of the french as bumbling, war-incompetent buffoons is something that goes back as far as I remember. I think you are touching a root here though. This treatment of the French has become reified to the point that people think they've only been on the French case for a couple of years. Haranguing the french is nothing new. Nor are similar treatments of Brtions (bad teeth, stodgy, akward), Germans (efficient, cold, calculating), Italians (romantic, greasy, mobsters.)

Every country engages in harmless fun-making. I think it is curious that Americans can call French snobby "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" (from The Simpsons) for decades, but when those same people call Americans obnoxious boors (which is in part based on the American tourist experience), only one country has committed an offense.
DreamPipEr
You know I can't respond to that, but I must say you seem to be well versed in the language of put downs. I actually have never heard most of the ones you listed. innocent.gif I didn't grow up in an anti-French, lets make fun of them house. And sorry to all the Simpson fans, but I don't really watch them. I can say that my very first interaction with the French, in their country, caused me not to speak English for the rest of that trip and future trips. My own interactions with the French in this country have always been friendly and welcoming. Before and after relations thinned. I will not snub my nose, although that is exactly what happened to me. I don't judge their entire nation based on my bad experience in theirs. Perhaps that mindset needs to be spread and hopefully the basher's will come forth or at least think about why they bash...

edit to add: I just talked to Piper about the put downs, she didn't know them either. I wonder, though, if we were just raised in a non international inflammatory house and shielded from those kinds of remarks or just taught to be nice. Could be both. Plus we did have a lot of foreign friends (diplomats and expats) that were apart of our upbringing.
Mrs. Pigpen
People who live in the larger cities are less tolerant of foreigners, in my experience. Parisians might snub you, just as Venecians in Italy will. Most of the people I have met from France are really wonderful, but I did have a bad experience in Paris.

Is the US anti European feelings a relatively new phenomenon? I think so. I'm not even certain that there is an anti European sentiment. Do Europeans feel the need to pretend they are Canadian when they travel here, as we often do over there? If it does exist, it's probably because we're weary of statements like Cruisingram's above. It seems even some Americans can't resist throwing in an American bash for no apparent constructive reason.

Several of my neighbors are French. They are the very nicest people in the world. In Germany, I met the second nicest people in the world, in Austria, Italy, Switzerland, England, it was all the same...fantastic people with the very rare exceptions. We are far too similar to Europe to hold any longstanding animosity, and most of us are only a couple of generations removed.
DaffyGrl
Is the US anti European feelings a relatively new phenomenon? How do you think we can control this sentiment before it breaks into sheer racism? Or has it already? If you suffer from anti European syndrome can you trace its roots? Is it because of the Iraq conflict or can you trace its ancestry further back? Is the US anti anyone else but me sentiment a result of our perceptions or realities?

Has the damage been done or is their hope?


I don’t believe this is anywhere near a new phenomenon, although it has definitely become more virulent in the last few years. Making fun of the French had to have begun in WWII, hence all the surrender jokes. But no one seems to acknowledge the brave freedom fighters in France, or the French people who risked their lives to care for American soldiers. I saw a very heartwarming story about a couple of WWII paratroopers in their 80’s reuniting with the two French “girls” (now in their late 70’s) who sheltered and hid them from the Germans when they landed behind enemy lines. These stories don’t make it into narrow minds who choose to judge an entire country unfairly.

Once I dated a German man who lived in the LA area, and all he ever did was criticize America, and talk about how much better things were in Germany. I finally had it and told him every time he put down my country, he was putting me down, too. Do I judge all Germans because of my experience with him? Of course not. Truth be told, the Germans have enough inter-country hate to go around. The north disdains the south, and the former West Germans disdain the former East Germans (he was from the north).

I have met many Americans who have absolutely no curiosity about, or any desire to see Europe. I find this mind-boggling. Yes, we are a large country, but we are also a young country, in comparison to most of the rest of the world. I’d have to say the majority of Americans are far too insular. Americans fear and hate the unfamiliar.

I went to Europe in 1986 (The Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Italy and Greece) and loved it. There were nice people and rude people, just like anywhere in the world. Overall, the experience was positive, and I wish more than anything I could travel more. One common denominator I noticed was that Europeans aren’t as paranoid and afraid of people the way Americans seem to be. As a comparison, the treatment I received as a “stranger in a strange land” was far better than the treatment I’ve received from Coloradans to a Californian.

I don’t know what it takes to reverse the anti-French or anti-everyone-else sentiment, but I refuse to hate a country that brought us some of the world’s finest art, food and wine! mrsparkle.gif mrsparkle.gif Vive la France!

Oh, btw, my heritage is Irish, Scottish, English, French, and probably a smattering of a whole lot of other Europeans! I might as well hate myself as any other country! w00t.gif
Piper Plexed
After Dreamy called me I got thinking. Growing up in NYC, we may be an exception. My childhood exposure to race religon culture..... any of the million combinations of the former makes it is really hard to speak ill of people as a group especially when a representative of that group may be a person held dear to your heart. Being the center of the melting pot is it possible that we do not hold as many of those views and is it possible that when such sayings are used that they are not used with the same disdain. I don't know but being a NY'er may sort of skew my perception. When looking at past racism in NY ...we seem to only hate ourselves (American vs American) and for the stupidest reasons.

Is the US anti European feelings a relatively new phenomenon? My experience, yes it is new in my area.

How do you think we can control this sentiment before it breaks into sheer racism? I don't know, a Genie this ugly and big is hard to get back in the bottle.

Is it because of the Iraq conflict or can you trace its ancestry further back? As far as I can see it started with Iraq.

Is the US anti anyone else but me sentiment a result of our perceptions or realities? Since I never percieved it before, at least not at the level today, I guess it is real.

A side note to Robin... Thank you for your post, I needed to be reminded of the love I felt following the worst days of my life. While reading your post I remembered how the London Candle Light Vigil warmed my heart after having it broken by those who chose to dance in their streets with Glee over our pain. I will never forget and always be grateful.
Rancid Uncle
I was just in Europe for three weeks. There was absolutely no anti-American sentiment. Not on the evil BBC, which was incredibly respectful of President Reagan, not even in France for the two weeks I was there. From my experience anti-American sentiment is mostly perception.
So why would some Americans have anti-European syndrome? I think it's frustration about how things are going for the US in the war on terror. Bin Laden is on the loose, Iraq didn't have weapons of mass destruction and we're not that much safer than we were on September 12th 2001. Some of the Americans who have an immense amount of patriotism and love for Bush need someone to blame. Europeans are very convenient people to blame. It's much easier to blame your own country's poor leadership and mixed results on the war on terror on some the people over there who don't agree with you. The reason for this happening so recently is the war on terror is a scary thing. The only way some people can feel safe if they have an alternate target to blame their country's failures on. The situation was the same at the beginning of the cold war. American didn't win immediately so someone must have been to blame. Back then it was American communists but today it's Europeans.
TheCook
Oddly enough, we were just discussing this topic at lunch....

We were a fairly polyglot group (three Germans, an Italian, two Dutch, a Belgian, a Brit and a couple of Americans) and, after an innocuous joke from one member of the table, began asking similar questions; what causes Anti-American sentiment in Europe and Anti-Europe sentiment in the States? Is it a problem? What can be done about it? etc.?

The first interesting part of the discussion was that no one debated the existence of such sentiments; the feelings were taken as a given. While this, upon reflection, saddens me; it seems accurate. I, and many others living on this side of the Atlantic, have faced and do face some Anti-American sentiment: be it comments on the street, random scoldings, or aggressive behavior on the part of the locals. We also, I hasten to note, make friends, find lovely, supportive people and spend most of our days interacting with the folks around us the way people do everywhere. Most of my lunch companions could tell the same story in reverse during their times working in The States - most people a friendly but there is a group that isn't.

To me, the open question is one of degree vs. volume; is anti-x sentiment rising or are those feelings being given voice more freely? I'm not sure. Clearly, on both sides, "hating" the other has become somewhat more acceptable. Also, clearly, current political events are placing pressure on relationships that wouldn't exist normally and that has a temporary effect on the opinions of the "man on the street".

On the other hand, there are some significant cultural differences between the US and "Europe" (it's odd to speak of several countries as a monolithic group - consider this to be a representation of whatever slight consensus exists between the core members of the EU on the continent); differences in the views on the role of Government, religion and education; the appropriate balance between the free market and the social contract; even thoughts on what is appropriate for humor and discussion. I think part of the increase in "anti-x" sentiment is a need for both groups to understand that, while we share cultural and social beliefs, we also are divided by them; we do see the world differently and human nature, sad to say, often has trouble with differing views.

Additionally, we're seeing a rise in the competition between the US and the EU, politically, economically, even militarily (although that has been limited to a drive from Europe to try and become more militarily independent rather than direct competition in global military influence). This competition is not bad, nor does it mean that we'll be shooting at each other in the near future.

Combine these changes with the end of an obvious common cause (the immediate threat of the Soviet Union) and it's no wonder that those who have always felt uneasy about the other group are now more vocal and that differences seem more significant today than they might have in the 70s or 80s. Further, the decline in that common cause has reduced the imperative of presenting a common front to the world.

The conclusion of our lunch (apart from general agreement that the ham, cheese and tomato tostis were excellent) was that competition was rising between our two groups, that differing world views were making the "other side" seem more foreign than they had in the past and that there was a growing fear that each other was "dangerous". Further, while the current US administration is not terribly popular here, we felt that these trends may ebb and flow in intensity but they were likely to be consistent for the foreseeable future.

My hope is that such sentiment will die down as we all get used to a new dynamic in our relationships and as we all become more comfortable in our differences as well as our similarities. I also take heart in the knowledge that these sentiments may be more visible but they still represent the thinking of a minority of citizens.
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bucket
I just wanted to give my opinion on what I feel is a terrible litmus test..those who go on vacation and then declare..there was no anti-Americanism..they were all so nice ..wonderful people..etc.

Live there and then you will have a better understanding. They love when you are in their country holiday making..spending money. Yet if you are there buying/renting their homes...sending you children to their schools..working their jobs it is a VERY different experience.

I am European and I am sure UJ's knowledge of anti-Frenchism has to do with the simple fact he is Canadian and Canadians have a more British influence than Americans do.

Europeans can be terribly racist/xenophobic when it comes to nationality.

It tires living as an American in Europe always having to explain why people in your country do this or that..or acting like you are some kind of unpaid and unappreciated American embassador..even the lightest of patriots will find themselves vehemently defending their nation's honor.

I don't think America is severely anti-French. There are jokes and such but they are very new. My nan has been boycotting French products for well over 50 yrs now...and she lives but 20 miles from France! wink.gif
Chiefdork
The Anti-French movement can trace it's roots back to one man Charles DeGaulle. DeGaulle singlehandedly destroyed 150 + years of good will between two countries. The snooty,backstabbbing, fop stereotype of the French has been around for a long time but DeGaulle imported it to the States en masse. Still it is no were near as bad as the anti UK feeling that used to dominate the US in the 19th century.
Julian
QUOTE(Chiefdork @ Jul 6 2004, 03:07 PM)
The Anti-French movement can trace it's roots back to one man Charles DeGaulle.  DeGaulle singlehandedly destroyed 150 + years of good will between two countries.  The snooty,backstabbbing, fop stereotype of  the French has been around for a long time but DeGaulle imported it to the  States en masse.  Still it is no were near as bad as the anti UK feeling that used to dominate the US in the 19th century.

You make a good point on de Gaulle. Gaullism is something most people outside France have trouble dealing with - it is at root of much of the trouble they had in Algeria, and underlies most of their momentum towards a Federal Europe.

However, I couldn't help but smile when you said it is no were near as bad as the anti UK feeling that used to dominate the US in the 19th century.

I don't doubt that this was the case, but it raised a pertinent modern analogy. Do you suppose that this was related to the fact that 19th century America was a proud and ambitious country, thwarted at an international level by a hugely dominant UK that only ever took US opinions into account when they happened to coincide with UK interests?

And that the main reason that people outside the USA dislike the way it conducts itself is, at root, that not only do they do not like being treated the same way by a now-dominant USA, but that they are disappointed that America hasn't learned enough from it's own history (i.e. it seems to have forgotten how this situation feels) to approach it's global dominance with a touch of humility.

So maybe anti-American feeling is just the automatic response of having to live in a small, doorless room with a large and hungry elephant? Whether it feeds you buns or sits on you is not really under your control - all you can do is try to scold or cajole the elephant as best you can.

19th Century Americans didn't and couldn't do anything to escape from the dominance of 19th Century Britain. You just had to keep trundling on your own path so that, when the UK finally did run out of steam (as we did in the early- to mid-20th Century, all but grinding to a halt after the exertions of WW2) the USA was in a position to take the advantage.

If this is the case, maybe anti-Americanism in Europe (or elsewhere) is no more under European (or other) control that American anti-UK feeling was in the 19th Centrury?
mindmesh
My personal opinion is that the anti-Europe sentiment comes from their supposed desire to see us fail.

As for a previous comment about the US being wrong since WWII and Europe being right, I think that also leads to it. Americans, for the most part, don't want to turn in to Europe. We want to be Americans. Unfortunately, the vocal minority in this country has a strong voice and creates a rift. Liberals ( and I don't mean Democrats, although they are moving ever closer) want to turn the US into Europe. Personally I don't hold anything against a group of people. I don't believe the anti-French sentiment is against the people. I think it's against the french Government. Now, on the other hand, the French Canadians are another story...... J/K. mrsparkle.gif
ConservPat
QUOTE
Is the US anti European feelings a relatively new phenomenon?
I don't think so, as UJ pointed out, we've always had some things to say about the folks across the pond.
QUOTE
How do you think we can control this sentiment before it breaks into sheer racism?
I'm not really sure, but I am sure that some of this sentiment is justified, just as some anti-American sentiment is justified, and some isn't. The mome that isn't [both anti-European and anti-American], should be stopped, but I don't want to pretend that our buddies over in Europe are just innocent bystanders being bullied by the Americans.

QUOTE
If you suffer from anti European syndrome ill.gif can you trace its roots?
I don't have "Anti-European Syndrome", or AES laugh.gif I love the Brits, the Poles, the Italians [naturally], pretty much every country except for France, Germany and Spain. And don't get me wrong, the individual people of these countries are not the people that I hate, just the governments. Althought I am angry at the Spanish voters, I do not hate them.

QUOTE
Is it because of the Iraq conflict or can you trace its ancestry further back?
Well let me run down the list: France, I don't like them because they threatened other countries [unsuccessfully in the Poles case] not to join the Coalition of the Willing. They no doubt have connections [illegal ones at that] with Sadaam Hussein. The Germans: The same reasons as the French. And last but not least the Spanish. The Spanish lost all of my respect when they bent over backwards to elect the government that the terrorists wanted them to after bombing their capital, I just can't respect a country that caves into terrorist demands like that.

QUOTE
Is the US anti anyone else but me sentiment a result of our perceptions or realities?
A little bit of both, but I think reality outways perception.

CP us.gif
Robin_Scotland
To go briefly off topic on to the issue of Spain. In 2003, 90% of the population of the country were against the war. Opinion polls prior to the election (and the bombing) showed that the Popular Party were losing ground and the Socialists gaining. The Spanish electorate did not just replace its government on a whim because Madrid was attacked. It is most likely that the bombing brought people to the polls who were already angry at Aznar, and encouraged other people voting on the left to choose the Socialists. And lets not forget that opinion polls are rarely that accurate and do not tell all, it is entirely possible that most of the country were supporting the Socialists prior to the bombing.

QUOTE
MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- With opinion polls showing more than 90 percent of Spaniards are against the war, Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar vowed his support of the war in Iraq would not lead to his ruling Popular Party being "cornered" by leftists and antiwar protesters


http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/europe/03/29/sprj.irq.spain/

The Popular Party were by no means popular in 2003, and their actions (going against their populations beliefs) directly caused the 200 deaths in Madrid. Voting them out is not caving in to terrorism, it is opposing a man who did not represent his country. If they had kept the Popular Party in power just to spite the terrorists, then they would be endorsing someone they don't agree with.

While everyone is indeed entitled to their opinion, the pattern that emerges when some Americans discuss what European countries they like and dislike is one example of where anti-American syndrome in Europe stems from. Conservpat highlighted the Poles, Brits and Italians as countries he loved, and those whom he had no respect for were (surprise surprise) France, Germany and now Spain. Countries that disagreed with the Coalition of the "Willing" or have since removed a government that was part of that coalition. While this may not be the case at all (although I think you are saying it is smile.gif ), it puts across the feeling that the countries of Europe should agree with the US or lose its peoples respect. In turn, I would say this spurs on "the French" to annoy America more in any way they can.

In my view, being anti-French, German or Spanish based on these grounds is something that must be overcome. It makes as much sense as Europeans, being a continent strongly opposed to the death penalty, saying they like much of America but have absolutely no respect for Texas because so many people are executed there.

The most common examples of anti-whatever, both in Europe and the United States, seem to be grounded in diversity. One country disagrees with another: reason enough to dislike said country. One country removes a government that supported another country: reason enough to lose respect for said country. One country is legally, morally or culturally different: reason enough to show disdain for said country. These arguments, in my opinion, are adding unneccesary problems to an already fragile relationship. They must be dealt with if Europe and the United States are ever to get along.
kimpossible
QUOTE(DreamPipEr @ Jun 29 2004, 04:54 PM)
Is the US anti European feelings a relatively new phenomenon?  How do you think we can control this sentiment before it breaks into sheer racism?  Or has it already?  If you suffer from anti European syndrome ill.gif can you trace its roots?  Is it because of the Iraq conflict or can you trace its ancestry further back? Is the US anti anyone else but me sentiment a result of our perceptions or realities? 

Has the damage been done or is their hope?

I dont think anti-European sentiment is a new phenomenon. As UJ pointed out, we've been making fun of the French forever, along with the British and the Germans and sometimes the Italians. I think its taken a slightly more mean-spirited turn in the years following 9/11, due mostly, I think, to a lack of understanding of the European mindset. Europe has seen war on its own territory, in major cities, in the last sixty years or so (and if we include Eastern Europe, much more recently). I think an aversion to war, and a cautious approach is entirely understandable in Europe. Where as its been over a hundred years since the US has seen fullscale war. I think we (the US) will jump into "war as a solution" more quickly than the Europeans, simply because the majority of US citizens havent seen that kind of horror up close. This is, I feel, is something that creates the biggest rift between Americans and Europeans, and is possibly the hardest for some to understand.

Theres always hope, and Europe is still the number one travel destination for most Americans (well, I could just be saying that based on how many tourists I got annoyed with right before I left France in June). I still know alot of Americans that think of Europe as the chic vacation area, and I just dont see it changing because of a few ideological problems (maybe because most Americans are oblivious to the political problems between the two...).
moif
There is currently an ongoing debate in Denmark regarding the conservative wing of Danish politics which I think be be related to this debate.

For years the conservative elements of Danish/ Scandinavian/ European/ Western culture have had a dismissive attitude towards the socialist and left wing intelligentsia for their willingness to regard Marx, Lenin & Stalin with friendly eyes. Time and again the left had to bear the accusations of a complicity with some of the most gruesome regime's in history whilst the conservative's have bathed in the lime light of self righteousness. A long procession of Americans hammered this message home throughout the entire post war period, and Donald Rumsfeld's snub is only the latest in a long line of such sneering reminders of our failings.

The accusations in Denmark now though are that now it is the conservatives who stand mute whilst people are being murdered and tortured for political expediency. The Danish conservative government is being treated to the same disdain that once former social democratic governments faced, and the foundation for this indignant disregard is the Danish government's blind support of the Bush administration.

For decades we've listened to America putting us down and I'll not pretend that I don't see an irony in what has taken place under the Bush administration. For all truth, the old saying 'You reap as you sow' is extremely apt in this regard and I take a sort of satisfaction in the fact that we now see how little foundation America's criticism was built upon. All thats left now is for the American public to do the right thing and repair the damage before its to late.
DreamPipEr
I think poking fun at a trait or custom that is not like your own, or what you are used to is the not the same type of increasing anti-european sentiment we now see. Now I hear more people outright saying they disklike (even hate) a given country. It is much different mindset and a much different trend. I think most of those that have given to the hate (yuck) or anti- insert country here is a direct result of the Iraq conflict but I think it goes much deeper then that. I think it is also due to the increasing awareness that Europe is different from America. Listen, I love Europe, I have always been fascinated with all the different languages, cultures, and customs all within a small area. They have a fascinating history too, the good and the bad. That is probably why I made it priority for myself to get to Europe. But I always loved home, well because it is home. Before I left Germany I was given an opportunity to stay longer and work. I turned it down, because I wanted to be home, I missed my family, friends and I missed my own culture. Not because I thought the American way was better, it was just different and I wanted to return to it. My mother always thought that once I finished college I would pack my bags and move to Europe. Not that I didn't think about it but their were two reasons I didn't; 1. Getting a work visa was difficult and 2. I wasn't so sure I wanted to leave my home and country. I felt I had more opportunity here so I stayed. Anyway, Europeans and American's are VERY different, at least in my opinion. One is not better then the other but we need to accept the fact that not everyone has to be like us. When I hear the common reference of an American as being loud and obnoxious, it doesn't bother me (well it does a little, I am human) because I know better. I know that we have (proportionate wise) just as many as they do. I've met loud and obnoxious Europeans and I have met loud and obnoxious Americans.

Generally speaking, I have always felt the anti-American sentiment was stronger then the anti-European sentiment. At least in my life time. Now, though, I see the American's catching up. Two wrongs don't make it right.

Moif- This thread is about increasing trend in the States to be more Anti-European. I fail to see how your post is related to this.

edit to add: welcome back bucket!
moif
DreamPipEr

QUOTE
Generally speaking, I have always felt the anti-American sentiment was stronger then the anti-European sentiment. At least in my life time. Now, though, I see the American's catching up. Two wrongs don't make it right.


The difference as I see it is that Europeans have a tangible reason for hating America in that American economic practice's are slowly destroying European culture. American businesses have used their tremendous wealth to muscle into the Europe market, taking advantage of our inferior wealth to buy out and replace us in our own high streets and homes.

In Denmark today 95% of the films shown in the cinema's are from Hollywood. 90% of the music and entertainment on offer are American. Walk into a corner shop and the chances are its a 7/11, and the soft drinks in the cooler are all American. American fast food 'restaurants' buy up the beautiful old cafés in the city and rip out the old wooden interiors and replace them with plastic and grease. The refuse over flows into the street.

The old capitalist argument is that this is what people want, but its usually all people know because they see nothing but American culture on the big screen and on the little screen. How can a small European nation possibly defend its culture against such a lack of respect?

European anti American sentiments are grounded in more than just petty political differences.
How many European grease food 'restaurants' chains have bought into your high street? How many European soaps have been dumped onto your TV? How often have you walked into a European store in your city and bought a European soft drink?

How would you feel if it was impossible for you to turn on the radio and hear music from your own country?


QUOTE
Moif- This thread is about increasing trend in the States to be more Anti-European. I fail to see how your post is related to this.


Really? It seems quite straight forwards to me.

Anti European sentiments are nothing new amongst Americans, especially given the (by now) traditional disapproval of the American right wing towards what it has often been perceived as a 'pink' Europe.

Given recent events however, where we have been treated to the spectacle of American right wing foreign policy, then we see now this prejudice for what it is.
DreamPipEr
QUOTE(moif @ Jul 11 2004, 09:26 PM)
DreamPipEr 
 
QUOTE
Generally speaking, I have always felt the anti-American sentiment was stronger then the anti-European sentiment. At least in my life time. Now, though, I see the American's catching up. Two wrongs don't make it right.


The difference as I see it is that Europeans have a tangible reason for hating America in that American economic practice's are slowly destroying European culture. American businesses have used their tremendous wealth to muscle into the Europe market, taking advantage of our inferior wealth to buy out and replace us in our own high streets and homes.

In Denmark today 95% of the films shown in the cinema's are from Hollywood. 90% of the music and entertainment on offer are American. Walk into a corner shop and the chances are its a 7/11, and the soft drinks in the cooler are all American. American fast food 'restaurants' buy up the beautiful old cafés in the city and rip out the old wooden interiors and replace them with plastic and grease. The refuse over flows into the street.

The old capitalist argument is that this is what people want, but its usually all people know because they see nothing but American culture on the big screen and on the little screen. How can a small European nation possibly defend its culture against such a lack of respect?

European anti American sentiments are grounded in more than just petty political differences.
How many European grease food 'restaurants' chains have bought into your high street? How many European soaps have been dumped onto your TV? How often have you walked into a European store in your city and bought a European soft drink?

How would you feel if it was impossible for you to turn on the radio and hear music from your own country?


QUOTE
Moif- This thread is about increasing trend in the States to be more Anti-European. I fail to see how your post is related to this.


Really? It seems quite straight forwards to me.

Anti European sentiments are nothing new amongst Americans, especially given the (by now) traditional disapproval of the American right wing towards what it has often been perceived as a 'pink' Europe.

Given recent events however, where we have been treated to the spectacle of American right wing foreign policy, then we see now this prejudice for what it is.

Let me understand this, Europeans have every right to dislike American's but American's don't have any right to dislike Europeans? Honestly I think the first part of this post and the sentiment of your last post would be better served in the Anti-US Sentiment thread.

You make a point that the American anti European sentiment is nothing new. Since my first question for debate asks if you can trace its roots, could you do this for me? Do you think it is a result of reality or perceptions?
Titus
I'm not so much anti-Euro as I am anti Euro-who-are-anti-American...

And there's one big reason...

Hypocracy...

The French, Germans and Russians were the foremost anti-war speakers. They chastised us (and continue to do so) for a cavalier and unilateral attitude. They subtley call us greedy and oil-hungry.

And yet... who had the most to lose (behind Saddam) if a war in Iraq was to go down?

France... Germany... Russia...

French and Russians

Russians

French, Russians, and Germans

So as they're thumbing their nose at us, they're secretly trying to do everything they can to save their investments. While Saddam is murdering people... they're making a killing themselves...

That and the French have always been a pain in the behind.

Now, Moif...

QUOTE
The difference as I see it is that Europeans have a tangible reason for hating America in that American economic practice's are slowly destroying European culture. American businesses have used their tremendous wealth to muscle into the Europe market, taking advantage of our inferior wealth to buy out and replace us in our own high streets and homes.


QUOTE
In Denmark today 95% of the films shown in the cinema's are from Hollywood..


Um... There are only three major hot spots for movie production my friend... Hollywood, Bombay, and Hong Kong... so... if you wanna see more Danish blockbusters... start an industry there.

QUOTE
...90% of the music and entertainment on offer are American.


Now, it's not like the Danes have absolutely no foot in the door as far as music goes... I know Sony has a division there. Beyond that... I don't know what to say....

QUOTE
Walk into a corner shop and the chances are its a 7/11, and the soft drinks in the cooler are all American...


...Now this one I love...

I hate to break your heart buddy, but 7-11 is a FRANCHISE... which means.... dollars to donuts... a DANE owns the one on your corner...

QUOTE
The old capitalist argument is that this is what people want, but its usually all people know because they see nothing but American culture on the big screen and on the little screen. How can a small European nation possibly defend its culture against such a lack of respect?


Easy... start by giving your fellow Danes and European neighbors a little more credit. First off, the many traditions and heritages of the 'Old World', of which I have a direct link with ( my grandmother was born in Germany in the 1920's and I have family who are Germans) will not just suddenly die out. The culture of the French, Germans, Brits, Scots, Irish, Italians et al, including the Danes will long survive into the next centuries.

Second, Europe has enjoyed a free market for a very long time... you'd think if the nations of Europe have survived, nay, thrived this long... they will for a long time to come. Again... Europe won't crumble because of 7-11.

And last of all.... PEOPLE DO WANT A FREE MARKET. You know why? Cause people like to buy what they want, sell what they want, trade for what they want. Germans, French, and Italians want to have a piece of the German, French and Italian ( well, in their case, it's a pizza) pie as much as Americans want a piece of American pie. A free market provides that.

Now don't get me wrong. I would never want a McDonalds (also a franchise.... thank your fellow Dane...) to replace a fine Danish cafe'. But the truth is... as long as people choose that cafe' over the McDonalds in Copenhagen... that cafe won't go anywhere. Not to mention... aren't you guys supposed to eat better than us anyway?

And in true Miller-esque fashion...

That's just my opinion...I could be wrong...

Edited to add:

QUOTE
Moif

How many European grease food 'restaurants' chains have bought into your high street?


Burger King... they're still British owned aren't they?

QUOTE
Moif

How would you feel if it was impossible for you to turn on the radio and hear music from your own country?


Spend time in SoCal where in some streches of highway (particularly on the way to San Diego... those Cali folks know which one I'm talkin about...) there's more Mexican music than American music... if you get music inbetween the hills anyway...
moif
DreamPipEr

QUOTE
Let me understand this, Europeans have every right to dislike American's but American's don't have any right to dislike Europeans? Honestly I think the first part of this post and the sentiment of your last post would be better served in the Anti-US Sentiment thread.


I didn't say they had a right, I said they had a tangible reason.

I'm posting this here because I think its more relavent to the debate at hand. Although I'm apt to get carried away, but my point is that American anti European sentiments are based on political differences rather than (as is the case with Europeans) cultural differences.


QUOTE
You make a point that the American anti European sentiment is nothing new. Since my first question for debate asks if you can trace its roots, could you do this for me? Do you think it is a result of reality or perceptions?


Well, I believe it stems from the early years of the twentieth century when communism first surfaced in Europe and threatened America's power elite. In order to combat this threat, America's upper class devoted a lot of resources to demonising the communists, and the socialists and any one who threatened to bring any sort of collective power to the workers.

The same thing happened in Britain though on a much smaller scale and it must have been obvious to America's ruling class that when the British labour party, and the European Social Democracies first came to power that should the same thing happen in America then they (America's upper class) would suffer the same fate that Europe's upper class had.

So, I believe that America's anti European sentiments were seeded in that time by those elements of America's elite who wished to maintain the status quo.

The reason why I mentioned the current debate in Denmark regarding conservative complicity in America's contemporary foreign policy is because the conservatives of Europe have long been in league with the conservatives in America, both politically and ideologically (example; Thatcher & Reagan). For generations the argument was that socialism was inherently an evil system that had anti individualism at its core and which threatened the freedom's of the people.

What is most interesting about this claim is that despite its obvious falsehood, it was so accepted, part and parcel, by the American public that today America's political system has no socialist wing at all, and as a result American workers enjoy less free time than European workers and have only cheaper material goods to compensate.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Titus

QUOTE
Um... There are only three major hot spots for movie production my friend... Hollywood, Bombay, and Hong Kong... so... if you wanna see more Danish blockbusters... start an industry there.


There was an industry. Just as there once was in all the European countries.
It was bought and then destroyed by the bigger, richer American studio's.


QUOTE
Now, it's not like the Danes have absolutely no foot in the door as far as music goes... I know Sony has a division there. Beyond that... I don't know what to say....


Sony is not a Danish company. To my knowledge it is a Japanese corporation which caters first and foremost to the rich American market. Any Danes who are signed up in Denmark will still be given back seat tickets to the big American names, regardless of sales.


QUOTE
...Now this one I love...

I hate to break your heart buddy, but 7-11 is a FRANCHISE... which means.... dollars to donuts... a DANE owns the one on your corner...


Yes. But its an American franchise which has been shown by investigative journalists to take money out of Denmark by using tax law loop holes to avoid paying any taxes what so ever to the Danish state.

It is also an import of American culture which has replaced family owned bakeries and cornershops by simple economic muscle.


QUOTE
Easy... start by giving your fellow Danes and European neighbors a little more credit. First off, the many traditions and heritages of the 'Old World', of which I have a direct link with ( my grandmother was born in Germany in the 1920's and I have family who are Germans) will not just suddenly die out. The culture of the French, Germans, Brits, Scots, Irish, Italians et al, including the Danes will long survive into the next centuries.


This is an example of the sort of anti European sentiment that I find so respectless

Your own familiy heritage does not qualify you to teach me on Euroepan culture, so I will accept your opinion as just that, an opinion.

In fact it is such that European culture is for the most part already dead. The end began with the first and second world wars and with the import of American values and goods with the Marshall plan. It continued with the import of American goods like Cocoa Cola, and culture like Jazz and Rock and Roll and it steadily polished away all the small things that made us who we are.

Traditional clothing has long since disapeared, our languages are being eroded day by day, our eating habits have been altered, our children swear in American using hip hop terms that they don't have any cultural context to. Words that would shock most Americans are used on an almost daily basis by our children because they learn them from your music.

I would add that one of the most famous ingredients of Danish culture is the Danish bakery tradition, which is even known in America. In the last few years three bakeries in my neighboorhood have closed leaving only one Danish bakery which specialises in Danish pastry's. In the same period of time three 7/11's (all virtually identical) have opened, one of which replaced a bakery which had dated back to 1911 and will you try to tell me that we are not losing our culture?

We have lost a large part of our heritage and gained nothing but cheap manufactured commodities in its place. The lesson is simple. Culture is difficult to maintain, it takes centuries to build up, but it cannot compete with a well funded hostile intention to dominate a market by an outside force that offers a cheap and easy alternative.

The conclusion is that we will all soon be living in the same American mono culture.


QUOTE
Second, Europe has enjoyed a free market for a very long time... you'd think if the nations of Europe have survived, nay, thrived this long... they will for a long time to come. Again... Europe won't crumble because of 7-11.


I'm not talking about 'Europe the place'. I'm talking about 'Europe the culture'.


QUOTE
Now don't get me wrong. I would never want a McDonalds (also a franchise.... thank your fellow Dane...) to replace a fine Danish cafe'. But the truth is... as long as people choose that cafe' over the McDonalds in Copenhagen... that cafe won't go anywhere. Not to mention... aren't you guys supposed to eat better than us anyway?


Even cafés are subject to the demands of economics, and running a café is not a lucrative business. Even if a café has existed for over a century it can still fall into the hands of a person who will sell out to a large bag of dollars. The problem is that once that café is gone it can never be replaced because McDonalds are not going to leave any time soon.

What you don't seem to understand though is that I am not blaming America culture for what it has done to us. I am simply explaining where European anti US sentiment stems from.

Many Europeans, myself included, do not wish to be like Americans, but we stand helpless before the giant resources of American companies and are simply bid swallow our love for our culture and accept this awful plastic and silicone reality which is being forced down our throats.

To say that we brought this one ourselves is true. But that does not make it any easier to bear. We are like addicts who hate the very substance we crave. We like it but we aware of the terrible cost it is exacting of us.

Compare this to American anti European sentiments and what is it exactly that Americans have to complain about?
carlitoswhey
QUOTE(moif @ Jul 12 2004, 10:13 AM)
The reason why I mentioned the current debate in Denmark regarding conservative complicity in America's contemporary foreign policy is because the conservatives of Europe have long been in league with the conservatives in America, both politically and ideologically (example; Thatcher & Reagan). For generations the argument was that socialism was inherently an evil system that had anti individualism at its core and which threatened the freedom's of the people.

What is most interesting about this claim is that despite its obvious falsehood, it was so accepted, part and parcel, by the American public that today America's political system has no socialist wing at all, and as a result American workers enjoy less free time than European workers and have only cheaper material goods to compensate.

I hope you don't mind my interjecting, but you made a very interesting case on the claimed evils of socialism and whether they are true or not. Coming from Scandinavia, where people are much more collectivist as a culture, you are pre-disposed to feel that we Americans are too individualistic (cowboys even!). On the other hand, we Americans tend not to support as much socialist programs as people in Denmark. There are very clear differences here, which were demonstrated in a study by Geert Hofstede. It's not as simple as 'this is a bad idea' but we all view our individualist / collectivist point of view through both a personal and a cultural lens.

Titus

QUOTE
QUOTE
Um... There are only three major hot spots for movie production my friend... Hollywood, Bombay, and Hong Kong... so... if you wanna see more Danish blockbusters... start an industry there.


There was an industry. Just as there once was in all the European countries.
It was bought and then destroyed by the bigger, richer American studio's.

Isn't the 'dogme' digital film school out of denmark doing well?

QUOTE
QUOTE
...Now this one I love...

I hate to break your heart buddy, but 7-11 is a FRANCHISE... which means.... dollars to donuts... a DANE owns the one on your corner...


Yes. But its an American franchise which has been shown by investigative journalists to take money out of Denmark by using tax law loop holes to avoid paying any taxes what so ever to the Danish state.

It is also an import of American culture which has replaced family owned bakeries and cornershops by simple economic muscle.


7-11 is actually a Japanese-owned company, owned by Ito-Yokado


QUOTE
QUOTE
Easy... start by giving your fellow Danes and European neighbors a little more credit. First off, the many traditions and heritages of the 'Old World', of which I have a direct link with ( my grandmother was born in Germany in the 1920's and I have family who are Germans) will not just suddenly die out. The culture of the French, Germans, Brits, Scots, Irish, Italians et al, including the Danes will long survive into the next centuries.


This is an example of the sort of anti European sentiment that I find so respectless

Your own familiy heritage does not qualify you to teach me on Euroepan culture, so I will accept your opinion as just that, an opinion.

In fact it is such that European culture is for the most part already dead. The end began with the first and second world wars and with the import of American values and goods with the Marshall plan.


moif, Can you blame Americans for promoting our brands in Europe? If Europe didn't want us sticking around and helping to rebuild Europe, perhaps Europeans shouldn't have started 2 wars and begged for help in ending them? Yes, the war brought Coca-Cola and Marlboro's, but it also brought our soldiers who died so that Europe could be free from fascism, sleep under a blanket of American security for 50 years, and worry about currency harmonisation and vacation policies. Would you suggest that America is only entitled to solve European wars if we promise to keep our culture here? Like the Balkans, we just drop missles and then go away?

I totally agree with your points about the culture being lost, but don't think that it is fair to call it exclusively American. When was the last time you drove to a global capital city airport and didn't see an Ikea along the motorway ? What about French hypermarkets proliferating in Latin America and Asia? Languages have been dying for 1000's of years, and ironically only the internet will save smaller languages from dying out. Culture is a dynamic thing. Even 'american' culture is really a huge set of micro-cultures, from place to place and ethnic / social group, so your point is just as valid here, as America becomes more homogeneous. I suspect that it will ebb and flow much like the empires of old.
Titus
Really quick....

Carlito

I have NEVER heard of the 'Dogme' film school... USC and UCLA's film schools I've heard of...

Also...I said 7-11 was a franchise which ,although the Japanese may have the name rights, the stores can and most likely are owned by individuals. In this case... it is very possible Danes own ones in Denmark. Welcome to capitalism...

Moif

QUOTE
There was an industry. Just as there once was in all the European countries.
It was bought and then destroyed by the bigger, richer American studio's.


I don't know about that... there have been plenty of indepently released and distributed films out of Europe.... I'm sure Leon was one of them. And even so... the big names distribute so many sleeper films like Trainspotting, Snatch (one of my favs) and Amelie.

Also... I said Sony had a division in Denmark.

Sony Music Denmark

The site is filled with Danish artists who I've never even heard of... along with international stars...

Univeral Musick Denmark

BMG Denmark Press Site (it's not much...sorry)

These sites are filled with Danish music stars... by a Danish division of other music companies... and it looks as if the Danes are doing fine... but if you want to start a purely Danish record label...than do it...

QUOTE
Yes. But its an American franchise which has been shown by investigative journalists to take money out of Denmark by using tax law loop holes to avoid paying any taxes what so ever to the Danish state.

It is also an import of American culture which has replaced family owned bakeries and cornershops by simple economic muscle.


Two things to say to that... It's not America's fault if Danes wanna skip paying taxes (although I dare ask where you think the 'culture of tax eveasion' came from)...

Second... if you go to the cafes instead of 7-11... if more Danes do... then the 7-11 franchise owners will cut their loses and close up shop... ahhh, the power of choice...

That's the funny thing about money... if you give it attention... it will grab yours... if you ignore it... it will go away...

QUOTE
Your own familiy heritage does not qualify you to teach me on Euroepan culture, so I will accept your opinion as just that, an opinion.


I never said it did... but you seem to think that American culture is going to obliterate everything Europe is and was. And I say... give your brothers more credit. And even so, if you think that there is a problem with 12 year olds shouting 'nigger' from a Tupac or a Dr. Dre song, not even knowing what it means, then act on it. Dissuade youngsters from using such language. Refresh the minds of your Danish countrymen what a great culture you have.

As for European culture already dead... well, that's your opinion. I disagree. I am proud of my heritage and my cultural background and will always show it. Im sure you are and will do so as well.

Also... I can see where you bring Marlboro and Coke into this... but Jazz? ROCK AND ROLL? I mean... it's music! Let people listen to what they want...

QUOTE
I would add that one of the most famous ingredients of Danish culture is the Danish bakery tradition, which is even known in America. In the last few years three bakeries in my neighboorhood have closed leaving only one Danish bakery which specialises in Danish pastry's. In the same period of time three 7/11's (all virtually identical) have opened, one of which replaced a bakery which had dated back to 1911 and will you try to tell me that we are not losing our culture?


Wash, rinse, repeat what I said earlier... your not being invaded... and if you think you are.. its at the hands of your fellow Danes. Again... stop going there. Get your freinds and neighbors to do the same... I mean, I'd be *** NOTICE: THIS WORD IS AGAINST THE RULES. FAILURE TO REMOVE IT WILL RESULT IN A STRIKE. *** to... but I wouldn't sit and do nothing.

QUOTE
I'm not talking about 'Europe the place'. I'm talking about 'Europe the culture'.


....Funny.... so was I.


I'll end with this one...

QUOTE
The lesson is simple. Culture is difficult to maintain, it takes centuries to build up, but it cannot compete with a well funded hostile intention to dominate a market by an outside force that offers a cheap and easy alternative.


I have an even simpler lesson...

Culture dies when you let it.
moif
Carlitoshwey

QUOTE
Isn't the 'dogme' digital film school out of denmark doing well?


Domestically they've made some fairly popular films, but Dogme is an artistic endeavor that does not reflect the times within which it was made. Its a purely aesthetic style that is not given even a fraction of the attention that most foreign films get.

QUOTE
moif, Can you blame Americans for promoting our brands in Europe?


No. But as I tried to say in my last post, I'm not blaming American culture for being what it is, nor am I pointing the finger and saying 'you all did this to us'.

I'm just trying to put the two opposing 'anti sentiments' into context. The America anti European sentiment does not have the same basis for its existence as the European anti American basis.

Titus can preach about me doing something about it all he wants, but thats not going to change the legacy of the twentieth century and neither is it going to change the fact that Europe's separate cultural identity is all but lost. It has had to adapt to the pressure of US global supremacy and become just another America.


QUOTE
If Europe didn't want us sticking around and helping to rebuild Europe, perhaps Europeans shouldn't have started 2 wars and begged for help in ending them?


And a truer word was never spoken.


QUOTE
Yes, the war brought Coca-Cola and Marlboro's, but it also brought our soldiers who died so that Europe could be free from fascism, sleep under a blanket of American security for 50 years, and worry about currency harmonisation and vacation policies. Would you suggest that America is only entitled to solve European wars if we promise to keep our culture here? Like the Balkans, we just drop missles and then go away?


No, I'm not suggesting anything. I'm explaining why so many Europeans harbour feelings of dislike towards America.

Its one thing to to be told that decades before I was born, America saved us from the Nazi's (With a 'little' help from the Soviet Union) but its a bitter draught to have to swallow when I can't buy a Danish pastry in Denmarks second largest city because 7/11 replaced the bakery and all they have is American style doughnuts.


QUOTE
I totally agree with your points about the culture being lost, but don't think that it is fair to call it exclusively American. When was the last time you drove to a global capital city airport and didn't see an Ikea along the motorway? What about French hypermarkets proliferating in Latin America and Asia? Languages have been dying for 1000's of years, and ironically only the internet will save smaller languages from dying out. Culture is a dynamic thing. Even 'american' culture is really a huge set of micro-cultures, from place to place and ethnic / social group, so your point is just as valid here, as America becomes more homogeneous. I suspect that it will ebb and flow much like the empires of old.


I agree. This is why I referred to it as the American mono culture. In truth its the product of technology and the spread of globalisation, but essentially thats what American culture is, or at least, represents to the outside world.

We are forever being told that America has no culture and this is why Americans show no respect for any one else's culture.
And frankly I don't think this sort of Anti American sentiment is strictly confined to Europe. You can see it in Asia and Africa and the middle east as well. In fact you can even see it in America itself. As they get older people get sick and tired of being told what to do and what to think and what to feel.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~¨


Titus

I shall repeat what I wrote earlier;
QUOTE
What you don't seem to understand though is that I am not blaming American culture for what it has done to us. I am simply explaining where European anti US sentiment stems from.
Titus
Moif

QUOTE
I shall repeat what I wrote earlier;
QUOTE 
What you don't seem to understand though is that I am not blaming American culture for what it has done to us. I am simply explaining where European anti US sentiment stems from. 


This makes no sense. You yourself are not blaming American culure for 'what it has done', but you're making the arguement for the exact same reason.

European culture is being destroyed by American culture.

Well, most of what you've explained isn't so much American as it is capitalistic. Sure, a lot of those products and entertainment are from the US, but most of it is European also. Even some from Japan. So if you wanna blame the supposed decline of European civilization on Coke or Marlboro.... fine. But as I said, if you don't buy it, eventually, it will go away. Throw some of the 'blame' towards your fellow Danes.
Vermillion
QUOTE(Titus @ Jul 12 2004, 03:06 AM)
Hypocracy...

The French, Germans and Russians were the foremost anti-war speakers. They chastised us (and continue to do so) for a cavalier and unilateral attitude. They subtley call us greedy and oil-hungry.


If you look up hypocracy in the dictionary, you will find it defined as "Claining to have higher standards than are the case, or displaying a duble standard".

An example would be:

When OTHER countries have some minor oil links to a region, to INSTANTLY assume that this is the motivating factor in their decision on the international scene.

At the same time, when YOUR country is accused of taking international action because of oil links, to instantly dismiss this as silly lies and fabrications.

It has always astonished me that the same right-wingers who contantly cry foul and lies whenever anybody tries to link the US and Bush to any less than puritannical motives in his invasion of the gulf (such as Oil) are INSTANTLY ready to believe that other countries would decide their foreign policy based on nothing but a few oil contracts.

Obvious and tangible links between Bush and Haliburton, for example, a company that has made a fortune because of the war, are dismissed (though not disproven), but a single, unsourced, unsigned, unstamped, unsupported document found in Iraq reporting a series of bribes that were OFFERED (not accepted by) people all over the world is INSTANTLY taken as PROOF of French perfidity, even though the Iraqi governing council stated after a 14 month investigation that they could find NO EVIDENCE at all to support this single document. That is hypocracy.

Please show some consistency, Europe (and Canada and, actually, most of the rest of the world) opposed the invasion of Iraq because they felt (right or wrong) it was precipitous, based on false pretenses and wrong, not because they stood to lose a few dollars in oil contracts.

QUOTE
That and the French have always been a pain in the behind.


This one kills me.

Yes, to a certain extent France has been a bit of a "pain in the behind". They defend their own people and sovereignty fiercely, they insist on developing their own military and their own nuclear weapons so as to not be dependent on others. They are a proud free independent people who draw their pride from their history and their culture. They have their own thriving film and music industries they promote throughout the world, and they are very protective of their sovereignty and their right to act internationally when necessary. In other words, their 'crime' is to act very, very similar to the United States.

Yet when France does it, they are 'a pain in the butt'. Yet France also manages to maintain a higher standard of education, medical care and life expectency.

France, for all of its disdain for the rightist government in the US (which it sees as a near-theocracy) never went so far as to stop using US products or rename their foods "Freedom fries" or anything as patently absurd. It does this dispite the fact that France has ben the butt of jokes and social commentary in the US for decades, hardly a US sitcom in the world does not demean, mock and diminish France at some point. US Political pundits and even polititians joke about and mock France on radio and TV talk shows all the time, and did so LONG before the whole Iraq issue.

The subjects of this abuse by the way, continue to serve alongside US forces in Afghanistan, and the French government continues to support the US unreservedly in the real war on terror, if not the Iraq sideshow.

I lived in France for (total) about a year, a nation the vast majority of Americans who feel so free to mock it have never bothered to visit or learn anything about.

Please forgive the vitriol in this post, if it is excessive then I apologise, but I am really tired of the constant mockery of another sovereign state, and then the seeming shock and surprise when this state does not roll over and play fetch at the behest of the nation that has for so long denegrated it.
Titus
Ahh, Vermillion... where to start with you...

QUOTE
Vermillion

When OTHER countries have some minor oil links to a region, to INSTANTLY assume that this is the motivating factor in their decision on the international scene.

At the same time, when YOUR country is accused of taking international action because of oil links, to instantly dismiss this as silly lies and fabrications.

It has always astonished me that the same right-wingers who contantly cry foul and lies whenever anybody tries to link the US and Bush to any less than puritannical motives in his invasion of the gulf (such as Oil) are INSTANTLY ready to believe that other countries would decide their foreign policy based on nothing but a few oil contracts.


First, I'm not naive. If we had friendly ties with a nation with the worlds second largest oil reserve, sure that would benefit us. But if this was such an oil conquest, why the hell are we paying $2.35 (American) for gas? That's all I'm gonna say about that.

Second, these contracts between the French and the Russians were'nt small. Maybe if you had borthered to read my link...

QUOTE
Russian and French oil corporations have each signed draft contracts with Iraq, to come into force only when the United Nations sanctions are lifted, for exploration, development and exploitation of the country's energy resources -- which geologists believe may be the world's second largest after Saudi Arabia. The value of the draft contracts, if fully taken up, is estimated to have a potential of more than $20 billion.


As for other motives... how about the French being involved in illegal deals with the Iraqi regime?

CIS Paris involved in illegal arms sales?


An earlier post of mine...

QUOTE
Someone mentioned in an earlier post that Iraq's relations with other countries in the region were at an all time high. Then you should see their relationship with some in Europe. Vermillion, I hope the Washington Post is a better source for you. Since you cant view it through the link (you have to buy the article for $2.95, not a bad deal) here's some excerpts.

"Bush administration sources said one Russian company is helping the Iraqi military deploy electronic jamming equipment against U.S. planes and bombs, and two others have sold antitank missiles and thousands of night-vision goggles in violation of U.N. sanctions. The sources said Moscow has ignored entreaties from senior Bush administration officials concerned about the threat to U.S. forces."

"...the Russian officials initially denied the existence of the company that allegedly sold at least a half-dozen devices designed to confound global positioning system guidance gear used in aircraft and bombs, U.S. officials said. Later, the Russians assured the Americans that they were closely watching the company."

"The Russians offer a variety of explanations, from the argument that the goods are legal or benign to the assertion that the business is done by private firms over which the Kremlin has no control."

"The United States provided Russian authorities with names, addresses, telephone numbers and, in some cases, shipping dates and ports of exit, according to the U.S. official. Sensitive intelligence was declassified -- after extensive internal debate -- to inform the Russians of the specifics."


Russian companies sell banned equipment to Iraq

Is this better than 'a few oil contracts'?

QUOTE
Vermillion

Yes, to a certain extent France has been a bit of a "pain in the behind". They defend their own people and sovereignty fiercely, they insist on developing their own military... Yet when France does it, they are 'a pain in the butt'.


You point out 'developing their own military'. That's great, but are they also help develop Iraq's...?

Eurocopter allegedly sold F-1 parts to Iraq

And you're right about France being at the butt end of our jokes and ire for long before Iraq...

Maybe it goes back to them being a pain in the behind when we wanted to bomb Libya. Maybe it goes back to the fact that they've treated Americans like crap... long before Iraq.

Long story short... you wanna call Americans hypocrites... fine... but make sure you look deeper into other countries motives as well.
Vermillion
QUOTE(Titus @ Jul 13 2004, 07:16 PM)


Perhaps you might consider following your own advice about looking deeper into things:

QUOTE
First, I'm not naive. If we had friendly ties with a nation with the worlds second largest oil reserve, sure that would benefit us. But if this was such an oil conquest, why the hell are we paying $2.35 (American) for gas? That's all I'm gonna say about that.


Come now Titus, I know you, and you are far smarter then that. If it had anything to do with oil, it was about securing long term access to world oil reserves, not about bringing the price down a few cents in the next year.

Besides, I DON'T think the Iraq war was 'all about oil'. I also DON'T think that France's and Germany's and Russia's and.., the rest of the world's objections were all about oil either. I know its easy to dismiss serious moral objections to Bush's actions by pretending they were all protesting out of corruption, but the reality is they protested because Bush's actions were ill-conceived, based on false pretenses, and unecessarily unilateral.

Secondly:

QUOTE
As for other motives... how about the French being involved in illegal deals with the Iraqi regime?


Again, you need to look more into your facts. Firstly, you are correct in condemning France for selling weapons to rogue states such as Iraq. However that is not a matter of France supporting Iraq, it is a matter of France selling weapons to EVERYONE who will buy them. That is not to justify a policy which I personally feel is wrong, but it is to point out that this has nothing to do with France supporting Iraq in any preferential manner. hell, France sold Excocet missiled to the Argentinians for use against the UK in the Falkland islands war.

Besides, were we to condemn France for selling dual use technology to Iraq, I assume we should equally condemn the United States for selling dual use tools and vehicles, military capable communications equipment, small arms and biological weapons samples to Iraq.

After all France is the fourth largest seller of wepons in the world.... after the United States, the UK and Japan.

As for Russia, again they sell to nearly everyone, that does not excuse their actions, after all their world leading technology in some fields is currently bolstering the Chinese military thanks to its open door arms sales policy, but again though reprensible in general, it has nothing at all to do with supporting Iraq.

QUOTE
And you're right about France being at the butt end of our jokes and ire for long before Iraq...

Maybe it goes back to them being a pain in the behind when we wanted to bomb Libya. Maybe it goes back to the fact that they've treated Americans like crap... long before Iraq.


Really? So France 'started it' is your answer? The anti-France hysteria in the US including renaming food and boycotting french cuising is because 'they started it'?

Firstly, I don't think they did, I think the US has found France to be a convenient target for their jokes and mockery for decades, and is now incensed to discover their actions actually have consequences. I also think smearing France and its motives is a convenient way of distracting attention from the fact that the French concerns about the Iraq war turned out to be completely correct, and that perhaps, just perhaps, France, Germansy, Russia, Canada, and much of the rest of the world had a legitimate moral problem with the way Mr Bush handles his affairs.
Titus
QUOTE
Come now Titus, I know you, and you are far smarter then that. If it had anything to do with oil, it was about securing long term access to world oil reserves, not about bringing the price down a few cents in the next year.


As I said, so we have a friendly relationship with Iraq and get good deals on oil. But as far as long term access, we're gonna be in no better shape then than we are now.

And I didn't say that France, Russia, etc. motives were all oil involved... how about the fact that they sold items to Iraq ILLEGALLY. Does that ring a bell? And you can say, "Yeah, but you guys did the same..." Well guess what...THAT WAS TWENTY YEARS AGO! There weren't any sanctions on Iraq then...

And yes, there were US companies who violated those sanctions and guess what...they were dealt with...

What about the French and Russian companies? Denial across the board.

Now this confuses the utter hell out of me...

QUOTE
Vermillion
Again, you need to look more into your facts. Firstly, you are correct in condemning France for selling weapons to rogue states such as Iraq. However that is not a matter of France supporting Iraq, it is a matter of France selling weapons to EVERYONE who will buy them. That is not to justify a policy which I personally feel is wrong, but it is to point out that this has nothing to do with France supporting Iraq in any preferential manner.


The bold type shows where you agree with me... the italicised where you, in fact, justify France's (wait for it...) ILLEGAL arms sales!

First off, the French can sell to whomever they want AS LONG AS THEY FOLLOW THE RULES... if these rules, WHICH THEY VOTED FOR, are broken by the French... is that not hypocracy?

Second... preferential or not... IT WAS ILLEGAL! My God, I imagine if Canadians had combat troops doing most of the fighting, you'd be up in arms. But since its not, the French can choose what rules they want to follow. And you can accuse us of the same, but you know what... I believe what we did was benefitial towards the greater good. What the French and Russians did was for the greater Franc and Ruble. And if you can rationalize that...then maybe you should be in politics.
Ringwraith
I can't speak for others, but my feelings towards Europe in general and France in particular changed during the debate over Iraq.

I have a father who fought in France during WWII who helped liberate them from the Nazis. I also have a brother who served in the army in Germany during our 45 year effort to hold off the Soviets from occupying France, Germany along with the rest of Western Europe.

My family has a VERY personal and direct connection to the security of France. Without the sacrifice of people like my father and brother over the last 60 years, France would have suffered mightily and its history would be very different.

The way I see it, in our hour of need, France turned its back on us. After all we have done for their country over the last century, they decided to make it as difficult as possible for us to accomplish our goal which was the security of the United States. And the main reason they did this as far as I can see was they just wanted to stick it to us out of jealousy for our position in the world as the last super power. In other words, they just don't like us being the one and only top dog. I'm also convinced that this opposition has been at the cost of the lives of some of our fighting men and women. This is unacceptable to me.

I know some will say that the above is too simplistic, and they would be right. There were other reasons that France did what they did...some of them potentially noble...others in their own selfish interests. It matters none to me. To me, its as simple as being stabbed in the back by a country who doesn't understand the meaning of the words loyalty and gratitude...nothing more, nothing less.
Vermillion
Firstly, please pay close attention to what I said, you seem to have misinterpreted my point.

1) France deserves to be condemned for their habit of selling weapons to pretty much anyone. It was a policy they developed during the Cold War in an attempt to take a slightly more neutral stance following their withdrawl from the military clauses of NATO, and at the time it might have made sense, but in the post-Cold war world it is dangerous and wrong. NO argument there.

I might also point out that as I said, France is the fourth largest arms supplier in the world, with the US being number one. The US funds plenty of despots and tyrants and dictators with their arms sales, Saudi Arabia being a particularily heinous example, (also Yemen, Turkey, Pakistan, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, and so on...) so perhaps the pot should not be yelling at the kettle so loudly.

2) However, you tried to use France's arms sales as some sort of evidence of their special relationship with Iraq, which is clearly not the case. They have no vested interest in Iraq in terms or arms sales, and this particular transaction demonstrates no support for the regime, nor is the 'secret reason' for their opposition.

3) Your 'arms used against US troops' point certainly tugs at the heart strings, but then again lest look at these 'arms' you say have been sold to Iraq by France.

According to your links we have an unconfirmed report about a chemical which can act as a base for rocket propellant sold from CHINA, to SYRIA then transshipped to Iraq, partly involving a French Brokerage firm. We also have an unconfirmed report that an unnamed company identified by an unamed source sold spare parts for a dual use reconnaisance helicpter to Dubai, which may have then been resold to Iraq.

This is your trail of illegal arms sales?

[quote]But since its not, the French can choose what rules they want to follow. And you can accuse us of the same, but you know what... I believe what we did was benefitial towards the greater good. What the French and Russians did was for the greater Franc and Ruble.[^/quote]

And here we get down to the hypocracy which started this series of posts. You are happy to believe that YOUR nation, dispite real and tangible evidence (though not proof) of malfeasance, is guiltless of all things. OTHER nations you don't personally like though, they are guilty of ALL things even though the evidence against them is significantly less compelling.

You said it yourself, this is what you believe based on... well, based on your personal opinions, and apparently not terribly supported by logic or fact. You are entirely entitled to your opinion of course, I just wish you could see how it looked from the third party perspective.

[quote](Ringwraith)
The way I see it, in our hour of need, France turned its back on us. After all we have done for their country over the last century, they decided to make it as difficult as possible for us to accomplish our goal which was the security of the United States. And the main reason they did this as far as I can see was they just wanted to stick it to us out of jealousy for our position in the world as the last super power.[/quote]

Really? rance was one of the first nations to pledge its support to the war on terror following 9/11. France's notoriously insular intelligence and security agencies have given complete and entirely unprecidented (even during the cold war) aid and open assistance to the US. France has troops currently supporting the US war on terror in Afghanistan.

Only when Bush decided to invade Iraq on what we now understand to be false pretenses did they balk, and though revisionists would have you believe they blocked the US at every turn, in fact all they did was ask for more time for the Inspectors and more evidence of Iraq's misdeeds. In this they were supported by the majority of the planet. They did not oppose war, they opposed a unilateral war without the approval of the UN.

They did not abandon the US in its hour of need, they supported the US in its hour of need and continue. When Bush abandoned his moral high ground and went on his tangent from the war on terror to invade Iraq, then the world balked, France first and foremost, but hardly alone.

The US response was borderline hysteria, renaming foods, boycottinf french foods and a reenforcement of the already existing continuous mockery of France in the media... France can hardly be blamed for taking a dim view of these silly actions.
Titus
Uh..the links I gave also provided evidence that hey sold spare F-1 Mirage jet parts to Iraq. Funny that you left that out.

As for our 'funding tyrants'. Guess what... ITS LEGAL. I'm not asking what type of leadership the French sold to. I'm pointing out that what the French did was ILLEGAL. You get it? ILLEGAL. They vote to create a law and then they feel free to break it.

And the hypocracy I'm talking about is the fact that the French point out how much we've trampled international law, yet when they do it... it's ok?

And I don't see what the hell France being #4 has to do with anything here. What, the fact that they're not #1 makes it ok?

Who's the hypocrite here?

What it comes down to is that the French have this idea that they can do no wrong, all the while condemning us for our actions. The French think that their poo doesnt stink... well, I got news for you. We can smell it all the way over here.
Hugo
Western Europe was our natural ally during the Cold War. We had a common enemy we shared the burden of defending the western nations. That common enemy no longer exists. We now have competing interests that have come to the fore. There is little doubt in my mind that Russia, Germany and France had economic reasons to resist a regime change in Iraq. Our interests no longer coincide as greatly as they once did.

I thing you will see Americans on the right disparaging Europe for political reasons. Those Americans on the left often praise the economic and social systems of Europe and use European nations as positive examples of what a more socialized America would be like. Naturally those Americans on the right will critique European nations. Some in not so polite terms.

I really see little anger at Europe, outside of talk radio and internet blogs. I think most of the comments regarding France are uttered more in a humorous vein than anything else.
ConservPat
Robin Scotland, I'm sure that there are other countries in Europe not in the Coalition of the Willing that I don't have a problem with. But France, Germany and Russia have been friendly with Hussein for a while, and their hypocrisy is what drives me crazy. I don't think that everyone has to be the lapdog of the US in order for me to respect them...I respect countries that disagree, but I don't respect hypocrits who disagree because of their own self-interest [France, Germany, Russia].

CP us.gif
Vermillion
QUOTE(Titus @ Jul 17 2004, 12:01 AM)


So with no specific points left, it seems your last post was simply a 'France sucks' posting. Well, firstly, I never said they were any kind of a perfect guiltless state, in fact my point all the way through is that the primary crime of France in the eyes of America has always been that they are the Europeans who act most like Americans on the international scene.

I also not you have abandoned the moral argument of Frabce funding tyrants faced with the fact that nobody funds tyrants quite as much as the United States, and that leaves with all thats left, the fact that Frabce selling weapons to Iraq was illegal. Firstly, illegal needs to be defined, in fact it was against a UN resolution.

I say that there is some difference, is because the United States has never seen UN resolutions as binding or laws when THEY violate it, so I find it interesting that UN resolutions sudenly have legal sway when OTHER NATIONS violate them.

Secondly, as I pointed out, I have seen no real evidence at all that France DID violate sanctions. Eurocopter denies reports of any violations of the UN embargo, and the French government says that the company is in accordance with the sanctions AND (because you undoubtably will assume everything the French government says is a lie) also note that neither the UN nor the US has made ANY comment or approach to either the french government or the specific company regarding any alledged violations.

Once again we have this really annoying double standard of much (but not all) of the right in the US that dismisses evidence of wrongdoing of its own government wholesale while instantly completely accepting far less compelling and evidence of any suggestion of wrongdoing of any other state.

Thirdly, EVEN IF France did violate the embargo with this sale of spare parts, and EVEN IF it was not the eptome of hypocracy for the US to accuse Frace of ignoring UN resolutions...

...none of that has anything to do with the debate at hand, which is the motives of rabce in opposing this war, and preferring to wait for UN sanction before invading. It,s as though pointing out some unsourced reference to potential wrongdoing that apparently the UN and US do not see as werongdoing, somehow means France is a 'bad' state, while at the same time, Bush and the US administration, despeite evidence of dozens of wrongdoing, are held to an entirely different standard.

QUOTE
What it comes down to is that the French have this idea that they can do no wrong, all the while condemning us for our actions. The French think that their poo doesnt stink... well, I got news for you. We can smell it all the way over here.


Come on, thats just empty rhetoric. Neither I nor France never claimed they can do no wrong. Rather the opposite is the case, with much of the right in the US implying, if not stating outright, that France can do no right, that ALL of their motives are corrupt, that ALL of their actrions and statements are suspect, that EVERYTHING they do is part of some giant conspiracy to screw over the republican party, while in the meantime, BUSH does far worse and comes away smelling like flowers.

Do you want to discuss France's actual failings? They have many, and are by far no perfect state and one could have a lively discussion about their real problems, foreign and domestic. But lets have that discussion with one standard, applied to all western states, including France AND Bush's America, shall we?

ConservativePat

I don't understand, why is France automatically assumed to be opposing the war in Iraq through nothing but self interest? I seem to recall that not all that long ago the US was the state being all friendly with Iraq despite its terrible excesses, so just having contracts with Iraq is surely not a problem.

Why is it that because France had financial dealings with Iraq, that instantly means that they (and apparently the vast majority of the rest of the world) ONLY made their decision to oppose the illigical and poorly organised US war based on self interest?

Canada refused to join the coalition of the willing because we did not understand why the US Presient had spent so much time pressing for inspections and demanding inspections, and then when unfettered and unrestricted inspections were allowed into Iraq, he refused to give them the time they, and the UN needed, to complete their mission. Does that not sound like a good reason? Why is France instantly the bad guy in ALL things because after decades of abuse in the US media, they took a moral stance against a US act, a stance that the UN and much of the rest fo the world agreed with?
Julian
Quick question: Why does German opposition to the war in Iraq not generate such ire in the USA?

They were and are just as opposed as France has ever been. And their opposition is not tainted by accusations of ulterior motives, however tenuous.

Yet as far as I've seen, there has been not boycotting of German products (BMW sales holding up in the US are they?), no facile renaming of German-sounding or eponymous words.

Is it because there isn't as much animosity already there towards Germany and Germans as there is towards France and the French? Is it because there are many more Americans with Germanic heritage than French? Is it because Germany is a much large trade partner with the US, and one with a large positive trade balance, so America cannot afford to alienate Germany as easily as it can France? Or is it because everyone assumes that in their military reluctance to commit, after WW2, they aren't a diplomatic or political threat to US policy?

Or is it really because French politicians - uniquely on the world stage, it seems - say what they happen to be thinking at the time, instead of couching everything in terms of how it will play in the media?

You can find mainstream British government ministers who will privately be savagely critical or even downright prejudiced against the USA and the Bush administration in particular, but who would die before sayin git in public. Personally I think I'd prefer British and American politicians to be a bit more French in this regard, before we all get spun to death.
Aquilla
QUOTE(Julian @ Jul 19 2004, 12:32 PM)
Quick question: Why does German opposition to the war in Iraq not generate such ire in the USA?


Quick answer: Because Germany isn't a permanent member of the UN Security Council and thus doesn't have a veto like France does.

There are probably some other reasons as well and you may have touched on some of them, but this one is certainly one of the primary reasons.
kalabus
I think it is probably because France threatened to chop our legs out in the UN. France was openly undercutting the US and sabotaging us...which they continue to do. When France is in agreement that Iraq holds these weopens and then goes out of its way to block the US from doing anything about it that is what angered us. If you disagree with the action but you acknowledge the cause then stand aside do not try to sabotage.
Christopher
QUOTE
If you disagree with the action but you acknowledge the cause then stand aside do not try to sabotage.

Why?
I disagree with the French actions over Iraq although I agree about Iraq.
but why should others automatically stand aside because we say so?
Yes we are a superpower but I read what you say as" You are either with us or against us and if you are against us you shall feel our righteous wrath!"
So we threaten those who disagree with us?
Yes they have that vote and in a democratic and free society or group they are more than FREE to exercise that right. whether you like it or not.
and in a democratic and free society or group you don't have to like it but you do have to accept it.
If you still believe passionately you are right you can continue to try and convince them through rational argument of the validity of your viewpoint. To try and force or imply a threat to make them change their opinion(boycott the French is a slogan now as is trying to use the phrase "They, or he, look French" in an implied racist fashion) is just as bad as the dictator you are trying to unseat.
You are now lost in the semantic ambiguity that leads a democratic society straight into Empire and Mob rule.
You imply that if they do not blindly follow our lead we should get all Corleone on them? That only we are pure and wise enough to lead the world. Any opposition to our demands are to be treated as enemies of the state?

Are you rready to overlook the fact that in the war on Terror the French are invaluable allies and have fed us all the intel they have. That they are actively going after such terror groups in their backyards. That they have been steadfast allies for a long time. Some friend you are. One I would recommend never turning one's back on.
Titus
QUOTE
I also note you have abandoned the moral argument of France funding tyrants faced with the fact that nobody funds tyrants quite as much as the United States, and that leaves with all thats left, the fact that France selling weapons to Iraq was illegal.


You talk about how it's funny we choose which resolutions to follow. Which ones are illegal and which one's we can break. And yet France does the same thing, and you don't seem to notice... or care.

QUOTE
Thirdly, EVEN IF France did violate the embargo with this sale of spare parts, and EVEN IF it was not the eptome of hypocracy for the US to accuse Frace of ignoring UN resolutions...

...none of that has anything to do with the debate at hand, which is the motives of rabce in opposing this war, and preferring to wait for UN sanction before invading.


IT HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH IT!

France sells weapons parts to Iraq illegaly and has billions invested in the regime.

France opposes war.

Can youmake a connection? I can make two.

QUOTE
France sells weapons parts to Iraq illegaly...


If the rest of theworldfinds out, they'll be shown for the hypocrites they are.

QUOTE
...and has billions invested in the regime.


They lose money if we invade. Lives are saved, francs are lost. Can you tell where their priorities are?

If they were so intent on continuing down the road of sanctions, why did they CONTINUE TO APPARANTLY VIOLATE THEM?

Why vote for sanctions you're going to break anyway? Why make it impossible for other nations to make their case?
Ultimatejoe
There is a tragic flaw in your understanding Titus. It is irresponsible to draw a straight line between France's opposition to the invasion and weapon sales. That sort of reasoning depends on the fact that there is no other motive.

QUOTE
They lose money if we invade. Lives are saved, francs are lost. Can you tell where their priorities are?


Every country that participated in the war stood to lose money. The countries that didn't choose to participate in the war also stood to lose money though. Canada was vaguely threatened with increased resistance to trade and exclusion from certain contracts, threats that carried real dollar values. Yet the Canadian government chose to respect the will of the population, which was largely against the war.

If anything your position makes less sense because at the time every politician and nation on earth knew that America was going to invade regardless of what happened. French companies (which you have incorrectly confused with the French nation) stood to lose money regardless of the French resistance to the invasion. The invasion couldn't be stopped and everyone knew it, but your thesis depends on France NOT knowing it; which you have been unable (and haven't really tried) to prove.

The fact that you have adopted such a position, one which ignores reason and reality, and are using it to castigate an entire nation (when at best a few corporate figures and political figures are culpable) demonstrates that your thinking is seriously coloured by an entrenched anti-European sentiment.
Julian
QUOTE(Aquilla @ Jul 19 2004, 08:52 PM)
QUOTE(Julian @ Jul 19 2004, 12:32 PM)
Quick question: Why does German opposition to the war in Iraq not generate such ire in the USA?


Quick answer: Because Germany isn't a permanent member of the UN Security Council and thus doesn't have a veto like France does.

There are probably some other reasons as well and you may have touched on some of them, but this one is certainly one of the primary reasons.

Germany isn't a permanent UNSC member and therefore doesn't have a veto. That much is true. There were, however, a quorum member in the run up to the war and stood in agreement with France (and let's not forget, Russia and China - two other permanent members) against immediate war and for more time for Blix and his UN inspectors.

They were thus every bit as opposed to the US-led action as France were, and still are. So are you saying that their opposition doesn't matter, as only France were the barrier? What about Russia and China, then? Why no threads on Anti-Chinese attitudes?

Well, the truth is that nobody ever vetoed anything, because America and Britain did not go through with their second resolution specifically authorising an Iraqi invasion. They did the background talks, and tried to bribe as many quorum members as possible to vote with them - just as France did the other way. But the resolution never came to the vote. France said that they would veto any resolution that did not give inspectors more time, but no vote ever happened, so nobody knows (except the French) whether or not they were bluffing. To use a Brit colloquiallism, Britain and America bottled it.

And, no matter what the underlying motivations of commerce or diplomacy, the official case for French opposition to a second resolution was that inspections would work given enough time - particularly since troops had begun to build up in the region - and that anyway there was not enough credible evidence to support the idea that Saddam's Iraq and their WMD capabilities were any kind of threat, let alone a clear and present one.

As we now know from the slew of inquiries on both sides of the pond, this last point appear to justify the French position, not the British & American one.

On the specifics of the case put to the UNSC, then, the French seem to have been far more justified than they appeared to be at the time. (In this, try to think back to the run-up to the war, when regime change and liberation were seen as side benefits of a reduced security threat to domestic US & UK interests, and not the main motivation that hindsight and reams of poor intelligence have made them.)

And besides, when did vetoing a UNSC resolution become a reason to defy it and go to war anyway while demonising the vetoing country? How many times has France invaded Israel and actively demonised America as policy whenever the US has vetoed a UN resolution condemning Israeli actions? The US has huge economic and corporate interests in Israel, right? The US gives money to them as well, doesn't it? How is that materially different to the French position on Iraq? (Well, for one thing, leading US politicians don't supporting disarming Israel but doing it through peaceful means - French support for Iraq was always more lukewarm and qualified that US support for Israel has ever been.)

The longer this thread goes on, the more I agree with the idea that America (or sections of it) is so hostile to France because they have, over Iraq, sucessfully behaved exactly the way America does all the time, and America (or sections of it) think that nobody else should be allowed to do this, especially if it does not support American ideas or policy.

One last thought - for those of you who talked about the world being a better place for America if there were more democracies in the world (as expressed on the Do People Deserve Democracy thread) what if they all turn out to be like France? Peaceful, democratic, relatively non-corrupt and economically open (I said relatively mrsparkle.gif ) , internationally active and engaged, and fundamentally opposed to many of the things America is, does, and wants.

If and when America's ideal of a democratic free world comes to pass, what makes you think you'll continue to get your own way on anything?
Vermillion
Titus, I am losing my patience with your tactics. You are deliberatly ignoring most of what I post and the entire reasoning behind my argument.

I am not, nor have I ever tried to say France is somehow superior or perfect or guiltless. I have repeated this several times, yet you cut it out of quotes and continue to assert that this is somehow my goal. Without breaking the forum rules I cannot possibly see another way to make it clearer to you, so I shall just repeat myself once more: France's 'poo does stink', to paraphrase your words, on occasion, they are far from guiltless. France sells weapons to nearly everyone in the world, stopping only when Un sanctions forbid it.

I also pointed out that there is no tangible evidence that they did break sanctions, the company denies it, the French government denies it, and oddly, neither the UN nor the US have asked or accused France of violating sanctions, something both agencies do frequently whenever such dealings are suspected. This simple point seems to take most of the wind out of the argument about France violating sanctions.


The Point I AM trying to make, is that this instant condemnation of France beased on little or no evidence, while instantly and happily accepting the inviolate flawlessness of the Bush administration faced with far MORE evidence of corruption is an anormous double standard at best.

France did nothing to deserve the enormous backlash and uneducated hatred now directed at it by the population of the US, they opposed invasion of Iraq on moral grounds. They opposed the fact that Bush pressed and pressed and pressed on allowing inspections, then once inspections were allowed, he turned around and without justification refused to give them the time to do their job, even though the inspectors and the UN were begging for it.

The Bush administration acted in an illogical, inconsistent manner, and went to war EVEN THOUGH their conditions to avoid war were being met. France took issue with that, so did the rest of the world. They all opposed it, France just led the charge as member of the security council.

You keep saying France may have had economic dealing with Iraq, well yes they did have oil contracts, that I never disagreed with. What I find baffling is your illogical instant deduction that as soon as we know france had financial dealings with Iraq, instantly France and the French are corrupt, moralless people incapable of making decisions based on anything other than these relatively small financial dealings.

Yet, when people point out the financial dealings Bush and his administration had FOR war in Iraq and Afghanistan, they are instantly dismissed as silly and slanderous, after all, YOUR guy would NEVER make decisions that way. Only everybody elses guy would.


France is, in the end, in the right here. They opposed the suddent illogical US shift in actions, they questioned the US motives, they questioned the US' plan for after the war, they questioned the reality of WMD. They were right to do so.
ConservPat
QUOTE
I seem to recall that not all that long ago the US was the state being all friendly with Iraq despite its terrible excesses, so just having contracts with Iraq is surely not a problem.
Actually, I think that our dealings with Hussein were deplorable as well...I'm no hypocrit biggrin.gif.

QUOTE
Why is it that because France had financial dealings with Iraq, that instantly means that they (and apparently the vast majority of the rest of the world) ONLY made their decision to oppose the illigical and poorly organised US war based on self interest?
I never said that all of the countries that didn't support the war were acting in self-interest
QUOTE(Me)
I'm sure that there are other countries in Europe not in the Coalition of the Willing that I don't have a problem with.
QUOTE(Me)
I don't think that everyone has to be the lapdog of the US in order for me to respect them...I respect countries that disagree, but I don't respect hypocrits who disagree because of their own self-interest [France, Germany, Russia].


QUOTE
Does that not sound like a good reason?
You guys are entitled to your opinion, I have no ill feelings toward Canada, I've never said that I did.

QUOTE
Why is France instantly the bad guy in ALL things because after decades of abuse in the US media, they took a moral stance against a US act, a stance that the UN and much of the rest fo the world agreed with?
Because they were in Hussein's back pocket when we were hostile with him...Not saying that we've been angels, but at least we're trying to right a wrong.

CP us.gif
Vermillion
QUOTE(ConservPat @ Jul 20 2004, 07:39 PM)

QUOTE
Why is France instantly the bad guy in ALL things because after decades of abuse in the US media, they took a moral stance against a US act, a stance that the UN and much of the rest fo the world agreed with?
Because they were in Hussein's back pocket when we were hostile with him...Not saying that we've been angels, but at least we're trying to right a wrong.


But that, if you will, is the crux of this entire debate. I don't think France was in anybody's back pocket, nor do I think that they opposed the war for anything but moral grounds, moral grounds which they shared with most of the rest of Europe and most of the rest of the world.

The only evidence at all I have seen presented that france had anything but moral motives for objecting is that France had some economic interest in Iraq. So What? That proves nothing, and links of economic interest have been dismissed as causal to American actions for years now, so why should these same kinds of links be any more substantial with another state?

I need to see some real evidence, andy real evidence that France opposed the US invasion of Iraq on anything but moral grounds befoe I succumb to the anti-rance hysteria which hs gripped much of the US right.
carlitoswhey
QUOTE(Vermillion @ Jul 20 2004, 02:45 PM)
QUOTE(ConservPat @ Jul 20 2004, 07:39 PM)

QUOTE
Why is France instantly the bad guy in ALL things because after decades of abuse in the US media, they took a moral stance against a US act, a stance that the UN and much of the rest fo the world agreed with?
Because they were in Hussein's back pocket when we were hostile with him...Not saying that we've been angels, but at least we're trying to right a wrong.


But that, if you will, is the crux of this entire debate. I don't think France was in anybody's back pocket, nor do I think that they opposed the war for anything but moral grounds, moral grounds which they shared with most of the rest of Europe and most of the rest of the world.

The only evidence at all I have seen presented that france had anything but moral motives for objecting is that France had some economic interest in Iraq. So What? That proves nothing, and links of economic interest have been dismissed as causal to American actions for years now, so why should these same kinds of links be any more substantial with another state?

I need to see some real evidence, andy real evidence that France opposed the US invasion of Iraq on anything but moral grounds befoe I succumb to the anti-rance hysteria which hs gripped much of the US right.

Vermillion
, I may have an anti-French gov't bias (LOVE France and the people though), so take this with a grain of salt.

You couldn't sound more naive than you do by saying "France opposed the war only on moral grounds" and say conversely that the US went in for some other reason. France's gov't acts in the self-interest of France, occasionally even to the detriment of its people. The whole political situation in France could cynically be viewed through the prism of the millions of new French voters of arab and muslim origin, whose votes will be needed to keep power, and who are virulently anti-Israel and anti-intervention in the mid-east. This is not a moral ground, it is pandering to an interest group.

French obstinance, self-interest and obstructionism of late below. I could post dozens but have to work.

- France VETOES more NATO troops wanted by the US and Britain, and asked for personally by Karzai at the NATO summit in Istanbul. Wait a minute, this was 'the good war' where France was supporting us!
Chricac to Karzai - 'non'

- France and Germmany bullying the EU finance ministers into BREAKING THE LAW by exempting those two countries from the defacit limits to be part of the Euro-zone. EU court overturns finance ministers' deficit decision

- France downplays China's human-rights record during 'year of China in France.' Hmm...Bush is an evil cowboy, but beating Falung-Gong for meditating and forcing abortion and infanticide is A-O-K if you promise to do business with France!
http://www.anneedelachine.org/pre_home.htm
QUOTE
Earlier this year, as part of a cultural extravaganza called the Year of China in France, a score of Chinese writers were invited as special guests of the annual Paris book fair. Gao Xingjian, the China-born, Paris-based novelist who won the 2000 Nobel literature prize, was pointedly not among them. The official explanation was that Gao is now a French citizen. The real reason was simpler: As an exile from the Beijing regime, he might have spoiled the party …too much was at stake to risk embarrassing Chinese officials.
bucket
I agree that Vermillion's account of France..is um..highly biased. There are reasons people around the world have a negative opinion of the French govt. and altho you do not agree it is often justified. I lived In Australia when France decided they needed to test their nuclear prowess in the Pacific ocean. I feel pretty secure in my disgust with them on that whole issue and yes it has tainted my view of them..but I do reserve it to the French govt. My other feeling towards the French in general are influenced by my British upbringing..or my European influences smile.gif I do try to ignore these..but it is hard..I have been told to think like this since I was a baby!

That is where I see NO comparison..at all. I just don't think the feelings of France in the US even come close to relate to the feelings Europeans have of Americans...or any other nationality.
I doubt French, Italian or Swedish people are ever asked to explain their culture..no I should say defend their culture on a daily basis...because that is what happens when you live as an American in Europe..they just can not get over the fact you are an American..it becomes your defining role. They follow all of the negative news stories from the US..something no one here does..most Americans don't even follow the basic news highlights of the world outside America let alone all the weird wacky bizarre ones. And be prepared because as an American they will want you to explain why people in your country act this way and do these things. I have never in my life been compelled to ask an Australian or have them explain to me why people leave babies in the outback to be eaten by dingoes..because these are the sort or sensational, ridiculous images they have of the US that they will question you on.

You see how Moif resents American products, movies, music etc. and yet that has never been an issue here in the US. You never hear people complaining about our selections of French clothes, Swiss watches, German autos and Italian food. No because America is a homogenous society..it was from the start a collection of cultures and we are best prepared to enter the new world..while many European cultures are not. They have a very strong identity and foreign products, thoughts, ideas and influences don't just melt into their culture with ease..they are immediately identified as foreign and treated as such. So I think even tho Europeans are just as much involved with this whole global trade thing (Ikea's president is richer than Bill Gates!!) they are having a much much harder time accepting it.

To sum it up...being critical of the US is a European pastime, this is a backlash of Globilization, and I feel the Europeans are far critical of America's culture whereas Americans reserve most of their criticism to politics.
I also feel that Europeans view the American govt far far more evil and sinister than any majority of Americans do towards any European govt. Example would be the best selling novel in France that claimed the US govt. blew up the WTC. I do think that European's image of beliefs towards America and Americans is mostly gained from their own media...and that you will find those Europeans who have actually traveled in America have a far more friendly attitude about Americans.

I have lived overseas for most of my adult life. I have been involved with expat. groups for sometime now and it is always shocking but it is most often the American children and families who suffering the most abuse overseas...children get beaten on, harassed and it usually happens in European and other Western nations while those in places like the ME, Asia etc. suffer very little.
.

Here is an excellent article to read on this subject..I know it is really long but it is very insightful.
Vermillion
QUOTE(bucket @ Jul 23 2004, 02:21 PM)
I agree that Vermillion's account of France..is um..highly biased.

I just have to point out, though you did not intend it there was an amusing dichotomy in your post:

It started by saying look, the French must have some things wrong with them, look how much the international community doesnt like them! Then you went on to say the US is misunderstood, and the whole international community does not like them but is biased and uncomprehending. Sounds like quite the double standard again.


Look, I know France has problems, I know France has messed up. I lived 10 months in France and several years in the UK, visiting France often, and I wrote my MA thesis on an aspect of French modern history. Yes they have serious issues, they sell weapons to EVERYONE, they deserved (and took) enormous flak for their south pacific nuclear testing (though they asked permission about as much as the US did when it did its south pacific testing). Though the French as on the whole wonderful, open pleasant people, Parisians are REMOVED ATTEMPT TO BYPASS PROFANITY FILTER. Even other French people hate Parisians. But France is also a wonderful country, beautiful, historical, civilised and home to some of the hottest women on the planet, including the utterly stunning Marie, a young woman who I dated for 8 months in 1991. (but I digress)

I was not trying to present France as some kind of santified state, but there had to be a counterbalance to this rabid near-insane anti-French hatred that the far right in the US has been building on for the last couple years. As I said, the main crime of France is that in the international arena, they act LIKE AMERICANS. France, for all its generic dislike of what they see as a far-right nearly theocratic American administration, would NEVER have boycotted US foods or renamed US products, that is uniquely as US insanity.

I also don't like how the far right has no problem accusing rance of every corruption under the sun, but refuse to even consider the evidence of their own leader's coruption and incompitence. Its the double standard that truly irritates me.
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