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June 28, 2004

Americans Are From Mars, Europeans Are On Crack

Excellent International Herald-Tribune piece on Europeans' near-pathological need to hear their idiocies reinforced, especially by traitorous Americans like Michael Moore.

Europe was hoping that Bill Clinton would give them all a little of that old-time "Americans are the most ignorant people in the world" religion, but he disappoints them by asserting that America needs to act unilaterally, when it's in our interests. Undeterred by that -- still needing to hear that "Europeans are smarter and wiser and in all ways better than their fatter but more-hygenic transatlantic bumpkin-cousins" -- Europeans still insist on reading Clinton's latest remarks as a full affirmation of European Exceptionalism.

And then comes this:

The most conspicuous revisionist among these was Hubert Vedrine, who as French foreign minister spent considerable time saying that Clinton's America was a country indulging in "inadmissible" unilateralism. This, he said, had to be contained by other countries working together to save the world's "mental identity."

France's task in gathering blocking groups to hold Clinton's America in check was of such importance that, like Marcus Aurelius laying out Stoic principles for political action, or Che Guevara defining the revolutionary struggle from the Sierra Maestra, Vedrine actually made up a list of five precepts (like having solid nerves and perseverance) for the undertaking.

Now, with the book out and Bush's defeat a possibility, Vedrine describes Clinton as a president "who succeeded wonderfully on all levels" and who made the American "hyperpower" both "likable and seductive." In contrast to Bush's, he suggests, Clinton's world was a pleasure to deal with.

But this goes only so far. Vedrine rejected Clinton's assertion accompanying the book's publication that Yasser Arafat's unreliability had been the essential cause of the failure of the Camp David accords between the United States, Israel and the Palestinians.

"Clinton is loading this on Arafat because, however brilliant Clinton is, he remains an American politician," Vedrine said. "He's a bit constrained on this point."

Nudge-nudge. Vedrine is not only saying that dark forces, which he is too discreet to name, run American Middle East policy, but that Clinton was not being forthright about a critical moment of recent history.

This is a French vision, like others in Europe involving American motivations on various subjects, that even when larded with flattering phrases essentially demeans Clinton and other presidents, or presidential candidates, for defending American notions of what is both just and in the interest of the United States.

If Clinton, from his spotlight of the moment, persists these days in saying a lot of things some Europeans would prefer not to hear, the explanation may come down to his being, very irretrievably, like Bush or Kerry, just another American. The U.S. Census Bureau's latest figures count 282,421,906 of them.

Good piece.


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posted by Ace at 09:44 PM

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