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34Historically Speaking November 2002 LETTERS To the Editors, John L. Harper's "America and Europe" in the June 2002 Historically Speaking is mistitled. It should have been "What Anti-American Europeans Think about America." The author, who never speaks for himselfbut attributes everything to anonymous "Europeans ," pretends to be offering insights into the "gulf in perceptions" between Europe and America, but everything is seen from one side of the gulf only. It's actually an accurate summary ofwhat you will read in the left-wing and center European press, particularly from its most America-hating and Jew-baiting sectors . But the author never utters a syllable ofcriticism of anything "Europeans think," no matter how idiotic , and never allows the American side to be heard at all. One wonders what the purpose ofthis article could be. Does Professor Harper really think we have not heard this litany before? Does he think anyone will be persuaded by this one-sided rehearsal of European Americanophobia at its most reflexive and mindless? I seriously wondered ifthe article could be meant as a parody. Unfortunately, I guess it isn't. Here are a few examples of what "Europeans think." "Europeans also tend to believe that most countries stocking missiles and/or weapons ofmass destruction do not do so because they contemplate a suicidal first strike on the West but because they do not want to be bullied by local rivals or the United States." That's what Americans believe, too. Nobody objected to the stocking of weapons of mass destruction by "most countries," such as Britain, France, Israel, and India. It becomes a problem when dangerous regimes like Iraq do this. As for Iraq: "Where is the evidence, Europeans ask . . . that Iraq (assuming it were able to) would be mad enough to attack Western targets?" Well, there is the little matter that within three years Saddam Hussein will have nuclear weapons and missiles to deliver them, and then he will think, probably correctly, that he can do whatever he wants. A short list of what he is known to want: reconquer Kuwait; master the world's oil supply and blackmail the West; start a nuclear confrontation with Israel; and offer an impregnable base for the many terrorist groups he subsidizes so they can blow up places like Bologna with impunity, etc. But here is the lowest point. "Europeans are appalled by Palestinian suicide bombings, but even moreso by what many see as Ariel Sharon's brutal, strategically blind attempt to crush the Palestinian Authority (a policy in place before the current wave of suicide bombings) with tacit U.S. support" (my emphases). One never ceases to be amazed that "Europeans think" they can rewrite history like this. Less than two years ago Israel offered the Palestinians a Palestinian state with its capital in Jerusalem; the Palestinians rejected the offer and launched a new jihad with the avowed aim of destroying the Jewish state and people. But in the version of events constantly reiterated nowadays by European leftists, it was exactly the other way around: Israel, not the Palestinians, destroyed the peace process; the Israeli peace offer never existed; there was a secret Jewish plot (already "in place," Professor Harper assures us) to crush the Palestinian Authority, which merely acted in self-defense. It's unfortunate that all thoseJewish children have to be killed by nail bombs dipped in rat poison, but after all there is nothing "brutal" about that; what would be "brutal" would be removing the murderers from office. That is the part that made me wonder if I could be reading a parody. Finally, Professor Harper solemnly warns that if America does not attend to what "Europeans think" it may have to go it alone in the campaign against terrorism . Professor Harper must have been out of the country a long time. The great majority ofAmericans have long realized that the invasion of Iraq is necessary and that we will have to go it alone, except perhaps for the other English-speaking countries. They know that the Europeans, except for the British, are useless as military allies; that their uselessness will not prevent them from acting as ifthey have a right to direct...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1944-6438
Print ISSN
1941-4188
Pages
pp. 34-35
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Ceased Publication
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