Yet another great article by VDH:
But mostly anti-Americanism was a boutique enterprise, revealed as such when the
was the most desirable destination of the world’s migrating poor and its popular culture had swept the globe. It is always surreal to read U.S. Mexico Cityelites slurring the as millions of illegal aliens risk their lives to cross our borders and escape the corruption and racism of their home country. United States
Things are changing, however, both here and abroad. Thousands of American troops have left
Europe. Its denizens now sense that the American people no longer wish to subsidize their defense only to earn ingratitude. The E.U. dream of heaven on earth may be mired in high taxes, low growth, high unemployment, and demographic and entitlement time bombs–not the sort of platform from which to hector a supposedly sinking U.S.
Things are even more evolutionary in the
Middle East. Dissidents in Egyptor are not singing the praises of the E.U. or U.N. Nor are the new democrats in Beirut Iraqand . It is still too early to appreciate much of this shifting, but historical forces are now in play which are not conducive to vaunted European “soft power,” so often a mask for crass profiteering. Afghanistan
Soon, freed Middle Easterners are going to make a few simple deductions:
Franceprofited mightily from Saddam; removed him. The E.U. wanted nothing to do with the new democracy in America Baghdad; Americans from places like San Antonioand died to preserve it. An Iranian knows that the Tulsa U.S., not Germanyor , wishes him to be free and is more likely to take the risks to see it happen. An Afghan could assure him of that. Belgium
The muscle-flexing of
Chinahas given Taiwan, South Korea, and second thoughts. They worry not that the Japan invites them into partnerships, but that we might not. The Americans allow outsourcing to United States , buy thousands of Hondas, and send young men to the Korean DMZ. Europe sells India new bombs, the French fleet goes on maneuvers with the communists, and the E.U. keeps it tariffs and subsidies high. A once-caricatured China starts to look very good again. America
There is another wild card at play that explains the decrease in anti-Americanism. After September 11, the American people are in a much less apologetic mood–more likely to pull troops or cut off aid than to ask forgiveness for imaginary grievances. No one here laments that we left the
Philippinesor are departing . We took out Saddam without Belgians and Frenchmen, without bases in Germany , and despite, not because of, the U.N. or Arab league. Turkey
runs high trade deficits with Asia and
Europe. It lets 20 million illegal aliens cross our borders. It spends liberally on defense, patrolling sea-lanes and protecting commerce rather than setting up autocracies and stealing oil.
Americans are finally beginning to wonder whether all these ungrateful folks are worth the toil and treasure. In response, critics abroad are beginning to sense that their cheap rhetoric may have real consequences, that maybe the
was a good deal for the world, after all. U.S.
George W. Bush did not cause this new round of anti-Americanism. But he may well have done more than anyone to end it.