I'm commenting on a comment on an article. This is based on an article in the Independent, who said:
The harsh truth is that for all the platitudes we hear about how shared values, heritage and interests make Europe and America partners for all eternity, the glue that binds them has rarely been thinner.
Juan Gato said:
That is true. However, in my arrogant, simplistic American way, I like to think that the thinning has occurred far more due to pulling away by Europe from Western thought into a post-modern muddle.
Times do change, governments change, nothing remains the same. The governments in Britain and America are the equivalent of each others opposition party. However, the first, and almost the only country to come to America's aid in Afghanistan was Britain, which is a part of Europe. The two countries have fought together many times, and I'm pretty sure America has permanent "most favoured nation" status in the UK. The talk of Mexico being America's best friend went curiously silent when the US needed military support and Britain provided it.
If anything, that horrific event has strengthened all the disturbing trends that were apparent in Washington beforehand - unilateralism, highhandedness, a disdain for any treaty that might, even marginally, tie the administration's hands, and a tendency to interpret the verb "consult" to mean making a weary pretence of listening to the views of others before doing exactly what it intended to do anyway.
Or it may mean ignoring the old-ninnyism of others to do what is right. Appeasement is not right. Victory is what is right. Statements like these make me think that Europe has abandoned Liberty in the name of Security. The two are not the same. In fact, pure liberty means a total lack of external security. If you have liberty, then security has become your concern and your concern alone. Europe chooses to be secure and play at pretense of liberty. But, these are simplistic American thoughts.
Appeasement is not right. Killing innocents is not right either, and there has been "collateral damage" in Afghanistan. Define liberty, Juan, define security. Europe's never been secure, or the IRA wouldn't have caused so much havoc. They removed the trash bins in London for a time, because the IRA put bombs in and the shrapnel killed as many as the explosion. We were not at liberty to dispose of our trash, but you can't have perfect security without locking everyone up, and you can't have perfect liberty without everyone being a one person army, doing whatsoever they choose. It's a balance for each country to decide.
It is disgusting to the relativists and the anti-Americans that America has decided, all by its lonesome, that it's course is right. How can there be right? How can there be wrong? Foolish America. The longer you stare at the grey, the more it induces a paralysis. The picture becomes nothing more than a mush. Adjust the contrast to a proper level and get on it.
Europe and America are both agreed that terrorism is wrong. Perhaps some of the disconnect is that Europe's dealt with terrorism before. Plane hijackings, the Brighton hotel at the Conservative party conference, countless incidents in London and Ireland. I think it's not a question of whether it's right to take action against terrorists, but to what degree. Yes, go hunt down the Taliban and bring them to justice, but don't forget to remove the environment that fosters them. Don't forget the ordinary, everyday people in Afghanistan, the people who would gladly be rid of the Taliban and get back to normality. To do the job properly, you have to take steps to rebuild the country too.
The Independant again:
And the charge of hypocrisy must now be added to the charge of selfish shortsightedness for the rejection of the Kyoto treaty and the new International Criminal Court. The country that tells other countries to open their markets has closed its own to steel imports and brought in farm subsidies that would make the inventors of the Common Agricultural Policy blush.
Juan Gato said:
Yes, those damn Americans. Refusing to ratify a treaty before anyone else of consequence. A treaty that would destroy economies (upping the calls for socialism to "fix the errors of capitalism" as it would be framed) at nearly no benefit to the environment. As for steel and the farm bill, Bush should be damned. There is no excuse. Is America the most protectionist nation? Not by far! But it is the brightest nation, with the most light cast on its practices. Crap like this should not happen. Even worse is that it was done on a political gamble.
Closing the steel market has hurt the British steel industry, and it came out of the blue. To do that, and tell others to open their markets is flat out hypocritical, you have to admit. To complain about the import restrictions other countries impose, and beef up your own restrictions at the same time is hypocritical. Not that Britain is perfect, but hypocrite means showing one face to one person, and another face to another, from Greek plays, and that looks like what happened here.