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Attempting an unbiased comment...

Reader comment on item: Europeans: From Venus?

Submitted by Will (United Kingdom), Aug 20, 2007 at 10:50

Just to introduce myself: Im a 18 year old Brit who has visited the US and several EU countries several times in recent years.

I have heard so many polarised views in favour of Europe and America, and finally i would like to shove in my two cents into this heated debate.

Reading the many comments, i have seen a large amount of Americans who seem to think that Europe is "cowardly", in military gestures and in politics. But you have to remember modern US has never been truly threatened. Sure people say that 9/11 was terrible, and i agree, but the US was never truly threatened of being invaded by an equal force.

Europeans have experienced this, and know that war is not pretty, and rarely ends well. I remember my grandparents telling me of the horrors they went through in WW2, the years of rations and bombings they endured in London. I agree that without the US it would have been much harder to have overcome the Nazi's. However the countless films and books reliving WW2 place the US in the largest role. Only after 4 years did the US come through, finally realising the world was threatened. The invading force on D-day almost exactly 50-50 in terms of European (mostly British) and US forces, and the war on the Western Front caused only a fraction of the casualties compared to those on the Eastern Front. The americans did not save europe, the allies stood together to defeat the Axis powers and save the world.
Also, dont forget that the UK has only just paid off its debts for WW2, and now can begin to build itself with Europe from scratch.

The US is young and proud, they are obviously the single most powerful nation on earth, but this doesnt mean the rest of the world cant stand up to it. Trying not to be corny, the quote "with great power comes great responsibility" stands true. America just cant go around invading who they like when they like, as the world will eventually stand up and suddenly make America very aware of the unsteady pedestal its on.

Having been to the US, i was not jealous, more impressed than anything else by the show of prosperity and freedom on display. However i was surprised by the ignorance of SOME of the population. Many times after hearing my accent Americans didnt know what country i was from, several thought i was from Australia, and the few that knew i was British were surprised that i didnt sounds like i had tea and crumpets up my nose.

Having said that, all nations have their faults. I do agree that the French, having been invaded twice in Modern times, seem to oppose war at all costs, and are a bit "girly". However we Brits take pride in our country and military, and of course support America in the Iraq war. This does not mean i agree with the way the war was initiated, because attacking a country that is not even directly related to the terror attacks is ridiculous. 99% of the Iraqi population are peaceful Islamics, and the US seems to think it can invade the entire country just to remove that one percent that could pose a threat. I mean, does america really think it can destroy terrorism single handedly? This is an example of naivety shown by the US's lack of humility, and an example of the sheep-like behaviour of the UK and Europe (namy Blair) in willingly following the US blindly into an impossible war.

The Europeans seemed to have (almost) finally learned from thousands of years of war, death, and extreme religion, and have grown into a cultured, welcoming society. A powerful young America is also slowly learning the hard way.

America does not control the world, only the British empire has even come close to that before two world wars crippled its economy and rendered it almost powerless for decades while it recovered, like the rest of europe. However, America does have to stop the arrogance it portrays, and stand united with Europe instead of opposed. The US has power equal if not greater than Europe (in several ways e.g. Military), but little experience.

Any replies to my comments would be greatly appreciated, as i now realise that it is extremely hard to be unbiased towards either side of the argument! However please no stupid comments like "Europe sucks and is jealous", or "America is stupid".

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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