Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review Nov. 9, 2004/ 25 Mar-Cheshvan 5765

Richard Z. Chesnoff

Richard Z. Chesnoff
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

PARIS — It's a good thing Europeans don't vote in American elections. If they did, chances are President Bush would have been trounced.

The 43rd President of the United States may have won a powerful vote of confidence from his countrymen, but an awful lot of sour Europeans - not to mention a significant number of bitter Asians, Africans and Middle Easterners - still consider him an international bad guy.

It's not just the war in Iraq. It is the President's very American sense of decisive, strong leadership; of placing U.S. security (and that of the entire free world) above diplomatic niceties. In Europe's twisted thinking, Bush is nothing more than the epitome of the "Ugly American," the arrogant, gun-toting cowboy many Europeans and other non-Americans love to hate out of their own sense of inferiority, jealousy, bitterness and often downright ignorance of facts and figures.

Whatever the case, no American President in recent history has been so vilified - especially by the Europeans. Even the 60th anniversary of the American-led D-Day invasion was cause for despicable attacks on Bush. One French magazine had the gall to question whether the American President should even come to Normandy for the anniversary celebrations.

Donate to JWR

Ironically, says pro-American French Parliamentarian Pierre Lellouche, Europeans "convinced themselves that President Bush was some sort of 'temporary disease,' " something that would last one term.

The real irony is that while most Europeans remain convinced that a victory by John Kerry would have rendered major changes in foreign policy and improved relations with America's fair-weather friends overseas, the reality is that little but atmospherics would have changed. Kerry may have cousins in Normandy and even speak French, but does anyone seriously think that Jacques Chirac would have been any more willing to send French troops to help secure Iraqi security with Kerry in the White House than he was during a Bush administration? Or that a President Kerry would have consulted with Germany's Gerhard Schroeder every time he wanted to make a move?

Neither would there have been much difference to the Middle East. Their tactics may strongly differ. But both Bush and Kerry understand that at this moment in history, we can neither walk away from Iraq nor from the war on terror. Moreover, when it comes to the nagging Arab-Israeli conflict, the key problem has been the lack of effective Palestinian leadership.

Ronald Reagan also was globally vilified during his first term, then earned the respect of many nations around the world during his second term. That's what thinking Europeans and others around the world are hoping for now.

The President has already declared his willingness to stretch out his hand to reinvigorate traditional alliances. I applaud that. We cannot simply dismiss the French nor ignore the concerns of people and governments around the world. We must hear what they think and better explain ourselves. But that doesn't mean kowtowing to phony international self-righteousness. Not by any means.

Every weekday publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor and veteran journalist Richard Z. Chesnoff is a senior correspondent at US News And World Report, a columnist at the NY Daily News and a senior fellow at the Washington-based Foundation for the Defense of Demoracies. A two-time winner of the Overseas Press Club Award and a recipient of the National Press Club Award, he was formerly executive editor of Newsweek International. His latest book, recently updated, is Pack of Thieves: How Hitler & Europe Plundered the Jews and Committed the Greatest Theft in History. (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR. )

Richard Z. Chesnoff Archives

© 2003, N. Y. Daily News