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Jewish World Review Feb. 24, 2003 / 22 Adar I, 5763

Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders
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European ingrates

http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | I probably would have been treated to the same anti-American rhetoric that I saw in Barcelona's anti-war protest Saturday if I'd been at the San Francisco protest Sunday. But I was in Barcelona, where Europhiles tell me I should encounter a more elegant and nuanced approach to world affairs.

Ha. What I saw were Europeans accusing the United States of being bloodthirsty for wanting to disarm -- to really disarm, not pretend to disarm - - a blood-drenched tyrant named Saddam Hussein.

Posters accused the United States of being "imperialist." I guess old Europe is senile, because people with memories know that America won the Persian Gulf War, but claimed no lands, people or riches. Ditto Afghanistan. Ditto -- should there even be a need to say it? -- Europe after World War II.

At one point, as protesters marched through Barcelona, I saw a woman carrying a poster which was plastered throughout the Gothic quarter; it showed President Bush with a Hitler mustache. Get this: the woman was speaking German.

She hails from a country that a victorious America chose, not to "annex," but to rebuild.

Protest organizers also printed posters of an Iraqi child with a gasoline nozzle pointed at his head like a gun. Roughly translated, its message was: "No blood for oil."

Amazingly, like their U.S. counterparts, these Europeans apparently believe America is going to put its finest young men and women in harm's way to get oil that could be bought easily by doing what many Iraq-appeasers often suggest -- turning a blind eye to Hussein's arms buildup and mass murders, then dumping the U.N. sanctions so Iraq can pump away.

As for killing children, that's Hussein's specialty. " 'Enemies of the state' are eliminated, and their spouses, adult children and even cousins are often tortured and killed among them," the New York Times reported in January, in a piece that found that the "figures of a million dead Iraqis" under Hussein "may not be far from the mark."

Thus, there is only one explanation for a populace that condemns Bush more than Hussein: Envy. Missing their glory days of empire, Old Euros accuse Bush of abusing what they call "hyper-power."

The good news is that Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and 16 other European leaders have a more realistic understanding of what truly threatens Europe.

OK, so U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld miscalculated in his quip about France and Germany representing "old Europe." The remark backfired, and may have prompted some older Europeans to join in the anti-American festivities.

That said, Old Europe had its old long knives out for Bush since before he won office. Euro-journals dismissed Bush as a rube and a cowboy.

Now Euro elitists demand that Bush respect their differing opinions, even though it's clear that their differences were born less out of of ideology than out of puerile snobbery.

Our alleged betters in Europe say Bush must heed Europe -- by which French President Jacques Chirac apparently means France and Germany.

Do our Euro-betters realize that Europe also should heed Americans? Do they have any idea how many Americans want to pull every U.S. base from Germany, stop buying French wine and snub any other country that snubs us? Do they understand that the only check to that isolationist impulse comes from those brave European leaders willing to publicly not disdain America?

Many Americans are angry that snooty Europeans have denigrated our country while U.S. troops are readying to risk their precious lives in order to keep the world safe from the likes of Hussein.

Let the Euro-protesters call America's sacrifice an act of "imperialism." It only makes it easy for Americans to look to Europe and think, "ingrates."

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Up


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© 2000, Creators Syndicate