June 13, 2005

End Of The Enmity

I've been amazed - but not surprised - by the depth of European emnity toward the US in the past few years. Especially their carping about the war, about Guantanamo - even if their worst accusations were true (and they seem mostly not to have been), who were they, the inventors of the Holocaust and Gulag and the concentration camp and colonialism are going to try to ding our motives and history?

And what will it take to change things?

Victor Davis Hanson argues time should take care of things.

Hanson notes that Europe is only dimly aware of China. They should be:

The Patriot Act to a European is proof of American illiberality in a way that China’s swallowing Tibet or jailing and executing dissidents is not. America’s support for Saudi Arabia is proof of our hypocrisy in not severing ties with an undemocratic government, while few care that a country with leaders who traverse the globe in Mao suits cuts any deal possible with fascists and autocrats for oil, iron ore, and food.

Yes, we are witnessing one of the great transfers of power and influence that have traditionally changed civilization itself, as money, influence, and military power are gradually inching away from Europe. And this time the shake-up is not regional but global. While scholars and economists concentrate on its economic and political dimensions, few have noticed how a new China and an increasingly vulnerable Europe will markedly change the image of the United States.

As nations come to know the Chinese, and as a ripe Europe increasingly cannot or will not defend itself, the old maligned United States will begin to look pretty good again. More important, America will not be the world’s easily caricatured sole power, but more likely the sole democratic superpower that factors in morality in addition to national interest in its treatment of others.

China is strong without morality; Europe is impotent in its ethical smugness. The buffer United States, in contrast, believes morality is not mere good intentions but the willingness and ability to translate easy idealism into hard and messy practice.

Read it all - always the case with Hanson.

Posted by Mitch at June 13, 2005 05:20 AM | TrackBack


Posted by: Marlys at June 13, 2005 07:55 AM
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