I just finished reading the Janet Albrechtsen column in the Australian today and believe it should become required reading for most Europeans and non-Americans. I’m not overly knowledgeable about foreign affairs or even the politics of the day, but after four years living abroad I can certainly say that I’m tired of hearing ‘anti-American’ comments from people.
In the article she discusses the current anti-American feelings that run deep throughout the west (and east) while citing recent research from the Pew Research Center that 42% of Americans would prefer to not intervene in as many foreign issues.
Some more memorable quotes:
The hankering for multilateralism is understandable but also, in many quarters, hypocritical. The European belief that legitimacy emanates from the UN was sidelined in 1999 over Kosovo. Back then, with genocide on their doorstep, the absence of Security Council authorisation didn’t hold back the Europeans and US military might was welcomed. Yet, when it came to Iraq, Europeans were the first to cry foul when the US invaded without the go-ahead from the Security Council. The double standards reveal that Europeans, ensconced in a transatlantic struggle for relevance, will demand international legitimacy as a means of balancing US power when it suits them.
And my favorite:
Which is why we ought to be careful about demanding that the US butt out of world affairs. Just in case they do. Who will pick up the slack if the US does the multilateral thing, sending in token troops to the next genocide hot spot? Which country’s ships will be among the first into port laden with aid and troops when the next tsunami hits Asia? Are we happy to leave it to Russia or China to guard Western interests when it comes to Iran and North Korea? And just remind me the last time European soft power, not to mention hard power, solved a major conflict.
Happy reading …