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Malcolm Dunn

I'm afraid I disagree with much of Tim's editorial. I simply don't find the 'rampant Anti-Americanism' of which he writes in everyday life in Britain.
It's true that most people here do not support the Iraq war and are contemptuous of George Bush but then so are most Americans!
Travel between the two countries is very high because of the favourable exchange rate, business links continue to grow as do culteral links (I think there is more American TV on British TV screens than ever before). These are the things that matter in the long term not the temporary disagreements that occur between Presidents or a Prime Minister.
Also quite suprised that Tim chose to portray Tony Blair as being in some way better than his party. After all the lies and the corruption I think he's a whole lot worse!

Maduka

Davod,

I am sorry that is simply not true. It is akin to saying that strong support for Mandela by Western liberals was the primary cause of the fall of Apartheid. (And that leaders on the ground such as De Klerk and Mandela were of little consequence).

At best Reagan helped in kicking down a rotting door, but he did not initiate the process that led the door to rot. If an Andropov or even a Putin were in power in 1985, the story would have been much different.

Reagan was not the prime mover. He did not initiate the process. It was just as important to have him as it was to have Thatcher, Gorbachev, Lech Walesa and John Paul II alive at the same time.

If a Gorbachev and not a Deng was in charge in China in 1989, don't you think Tianamen Square would have turned out differently? If Reagan was in charge in 1989, what difference would it have made to Tianamen Square?

Cuba survived Reagan,Bush,Clinton and George W. with a much weaker economy than the Soviet Union. Cuba shows us clearly that short of military intervention - regime change ONLY occurs when the people on the ground make it happen.

Reagan was a very good cheerleader - period!


rightwingprof

"Europeans hate America,"

And have since the Revolutionary War. It's well documented, and has nothing to do with Bush.

"and America is indifferent to Europe"

Indeed, we are. And why shouldn't we be? If it could be done without eventually endangering our national security, I'd be all for pulling all US military personnel out of Europe, closing all military bases, and letting the Europeans finally become adults and take responsibility for their own defense. Unfortunately, we'd be cutting our own throats.

And Americans, for the most part, do not consider the UK to be Europe. In fact, I find it distressing that more and more Britons are thinking of themselves as Europeans, instead of Britons.

"For example, Iain, in how many Republican places/dining clubs/think tanks/and so on would a pro-abortion Republican be welcome (at outside of California and New York)?"

Quite a few. The same is true of other social issues. You might read some American conservative blogs (and the comment threads). There is a great deal of difference among American conservatives about (for lack of a better term) the proper scope of the daddy state.

California conservatives, by the way, are among the most socially conservative in the nation. Where this odd idea of the "liberal" California Republican arises, I do not know. Politics are perhaps more polarized in California than anywhere else in the US.

"contemptuous of George Bush but then so are most Americans"

No, most Americans are *not* contemptuous of George Bush. We elected him, remember? About two-thirds of the cars and trucks on the road today still had Bush/Cheney and W stickers on them. NYC and San Francisco are *not* representative of America -- thank God.

davod

Maduka:

Stop it.

The catalyst was Reagan. Having different people in positions of power might have stopped the process.

However, with the same people in power and no Reagan the process would not have gone anywhere.

James

Rightwingprof, I think you do France a diservice when you say 'Europe' should grow up, "become adults" and take care of its (their?) own defence. France spends roughly the same amount on defence as a percentage of GDP as Britain does, and has the added advantage of a truly independent nuclear deterrent. I know jokes about the French military are classics of the Anglo-Saxons canon of humour, but this Brit feels you do them a diservice by roping them in with the likes of Germany - a country that really does fit the template you describe.

As to whether the British are feeling more 'European' rubbish. The most recent poll I saw of such attitudes (conducted by the European Commission, an organisation not known for playing down the idea of 'European' identity amongst its subject nations) had the overwhelming bulk of the British population professing to never feeling European, with those saying they 'sometimes' felt European a distant second. Many Britons may have soured on the Iraq war, but that doesn't mean we feel any closer to Europe.

Malcolm Dunn

It must be quite some University you are a professor of 'rightwingprof' when you take the number of road signs you've seen today as some sort of authority over EVERY SINGLE POLL that has been published in months.
As for your statement that Europeans 'hate America' or that Britons are feeling 'more European' have you any sources for those assertions? Or do they just come from your prejudice?

Maduka

Davod,

Saying that Reagan was the catalyst for the fall of Communism is similar to saying that America saved the World from Hitler. (Ignoring the contributions of Churchill, the British Commonwealth and the Red Army).

It is the typical American thing to say, but it is wrong.

rightwingprof

Note: Europe is more than France -- who has never been a reliable ally of the United States. France's participation in the Revolutionary War (which I feel a tad uncomfortable referring to on this particular forum) was, to say the least, late, and had nothing to do with support, but opposing Britain. As far as "as much of their GDP as the UK," well, contrast that statistic with how much of our GDP we spend on defense.

"As to whether the British are feeling more 'European' rubbish. The most recent poll I saw of such attitudes (conducted by the European Commission, an organisation not known for playing down the idea of 'European' identity amongst its subject nations) had the overwhelming bulk of the British population professing to never feeling European"

I'm relieved. Perhaps unsurprisingly, all the media covers on that question here on this side of the Atlantic is the reverse. I suffer from the same information filtering problem from the opposite side as, apparently, the British participants here do. Unlike most of them, I freely admit it.

"It must be quite some University you are a professor of 'rightwingprof' when you take the number of road signs you've seen today as some sort of authority over EVERY SINGLE POLL that has been published in months."

No poll I have seen has asked if anyone is, as you claimed, "contemptuous" of the President. I trust that you do understand what "contemptuous" means, do you not? And as for polls, do try taking a statistics course sometime, and learn why polls and surveys, particularly those taken with highly biased samples and problematic questions, are not taken very seriously by statisticians.

"As for your statement that Europeans 'hate America' or that Britons are feeling 'more European' have you any sources for those assertions?"

European anti-Americanism is well-documented historically. Begin with Tocqueville. He discusses it at length. It isn't surprising. When you found a nation on ideals that are a direct contradiction of those upon which Europe rests, you wouldn't expect anything else.

Malcolm Dunn

Yup your absolutely right 'rightwingprof' I should disregard all the polls which indicate 'disapproval' with George Bush and look out for people displaying pro bush messages on their cars.
Equally I suppose we should disregard the millions of Europeans who visit the USA every year in favour of some tract from Tocqueville.Maybe they only visit America because they hate it? It makes as much sense as your other assertions.

James

Rightwingprof, when I mentioned France I did so to question your idea that 'Europe' is a homogenous block of countries all with no defence capability and totally reliant on American protection. Of course Europe is more than just France - that was why I cited the example in the first place. Vis-a-vis the revolutionary war, regardless of their motives, if the French hadn't been on the side of the revolutionaries at Yorktown under General Comte de Rochambeau, the war might have turned out very differently.

davod

Maduka:

I am a POM not that this makes a difference to my point of view. Your latest argument bears no relatonship to the events leading up to the end of the cold war.

Austin

The Tories would do well to straighten their own house in the U.K. by putting the continued Union of the Kingdom at the forefront of their agenda.
Then they should address rebuilding the U.K.'s defence[more infantry battalions] and long-term committment to the Anglo-American alliance.
The world depends on it.

rightwingprof

"Vis-a-vis the revolutionary war, regardless of their motives, if the French hadn't been on the side of the revolutionaries at Yorktown under General Comte de Rochambeau, the war might have turned out very differently."

That's a big might. American forces were by no means exhausted, and although we may have lost Yorktown, that doesn't imply we would have lost the war.

However, motive has everything to do with my point. There was no French support for the Colonies, only opposition to the UK. Had we been rebelling against, say, Spain, there would have been no French ships -- because there was no French support.

And I see our illiterate Brit still hasn't looked up "contemptuous" in the dictionary. Apparently, he's too simple minded to grasp that disapproval can come from all directions, for all sorts of reasons.

Denise

I will make a comment now regarding "contemptuous" of the President. This is something I would like to make clear to anyone taking a poll. If anyone asks me what I think of Bush, I will have to say that while I did vote to re-elect him, it doesn't mean that I just looove him. I am disappointed in him on some matters. I'm certainly not under the impression that he is just the best President ever. But having said that, I don't loathe him either. I have no 'contempt' for him. And regardless of any disappointments I have in Bush, it still isn't enough to make me ever want to vote Democrat. I don't blame his shortcomings on the entire Republican party or the running candidates.

Malcolm Dunn

Rightwingprof, I suggest you keep your political antennae tuned to stickers on car bumpers, it'll make you feel better!

Jim Gibbons

I have read the first 10 or so comments on this piece and have been surprised by the almost 100%, sneering anti-Americanism expressed on a site that seems to willfully avoid both. I suppose it would be naive to believe even a great Island like this to be immune to the effects of a decade of left leaning mainstream media bias atop of decades of such bias in education.

Anyway, I think the piece was well put in few words, that the special relationship will continue well into the future and that special relationships will undoubtedly be rebuilt or continue to exist between the Conservatives and Republicans as well as the Labour Party (whatever happened to 'New' in this context)and Democrats. Such special relationships between the parties to the right and the parties to the left will cause little disruption to the intergovernmental special relationship when opposing parties hold power on opposite sides of the Atlantic.

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