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Thursday, April 05, 2007



I have to say that I'm not sure what business it is of American commentators whether UK soldiers behaved appropriately or not- my own opinion is that the British faced overwhelming odds and should have surrendered. Other points I would have thought will be discussed in a debriefing privately- but I don't think its the place of National Review commentators sitting in studies in New York to laud heroism.

What I get offended by though is constant comments by Steyn etc about the way that Europeans or Brits are x- he forgets that we in particular are America's biggest allies and yet he and the other NR commentators show no respect for us, want us to follow the American way and never advocate listening to British opinion. Ally or slave which is it? Maybe these commentators ought to think about that next time they accuse Chirac of being an advocate of fundamentalism because he disagrees with their foreign policy, that they have lambasted other western nations as 'pathetic' etc and feel that those other nations should just take it. I am pro-American, was definitely pro the invasion of Afghanistan, beleive that America was and more importantly is a force for good in the world- but this kind of insular nationalistic and insulting commentary makes many like me who are pro-American in the UK begin to have difficulties with our great ally.


The Americans on this comment thread need to take a deep breath and calm down. The internet is not an excuse for being a dick.

gracchi, nobody in the states thinks of the U.K. as a slave (seriously nobody). I am not trying to excuse other Americans on this thread, but the attitude against Europe isn't insular or nationalistic. If you were to talk to the average American who was fed up with Europe they might list these problems:

1. Any international problem was caused by and should be solved by the U.S.
2. The U.S. did not solve that problem because they are greedy.
3. The U.S. is only interested in that problem because they are greedy.
4. The U.S. is full of stupid fat people.
5. People born in Europe, in any country, are somehow superior to people from the same country who live in the U.S.

x6x (my opinion) The real problem with Americans is that they look at the rest of the planet and see themselves.

btw, gracchi please don't call the U.S. a "great" ally. Ally is solid and means something and there is no need for Great!

Clive, it might be worth your time to check out UFC 70 in Manchester. I have a growing affection for what I call soccer mainly due to the international party that was the world cup and I wouldn't have watched it if I didn't read your blog. It would be worth your time to check out the next event. I hope you enjoy the English spring.


The crew insisted they had been in Iraqi waters when they were seized. They said they were surrounded by eight Iranian boats and, although they had made their weapons ready, they had no chance of overpowering the Iranians.

Captain Chris Air of the Royal Marines said: "The Iranians are not our enemies. We are not at war with them. By the time the true intent of the Iranians had become apparent and we could legitimately have fought back it was too late for action.

"We were completely surrounded and, in addition to any loss of life, any attempted fightback would have caused a major international incident and an escalation of tension within the region. Our team had seconds to make a decision and we believe we made the right decision."

Andrew Zalotocky

There is a certain amount of ignorant Europe-bashing from the American right, which counterpoints the ignorant America-bashing from the European left. But neither of these attitudes is really new. Once upon a time American exceptionalists complained that Europeans were too warlike and now they complain that Europe isn't warlike enough, but both amount to an accusation that old Europe is decadent. Conversely, the European prejudice was and is that Americans are hopelessly unsophisticated. During the Cold War the need to remain united against the Soviet threat forced a temporary cessation of cultural histories. Now that's over, it's back to business as usual.

Andrew Zalotocky

Whoops, should have typed "hostilities" not "histories".

Frank Lee

Andrew Z. wrote: "There is a certain amount of ignorant Europe-bashing from the American right, which counterpoints the ignorant America-bashing from the European left." In fact, ignorant America-bashing crosses the entire political spectrum in Europe. At the same time, condescension and rudeness are common traits shown by individual Europeans toward individual Americans who visit Europe, whereas Americans most commonly welcome Europeans to the United States, and even supplicate themselves before Europeans. Pretending otherwise is dishonest, as is contending that this is a balanced, tit-for-tat exchange. Making the entire situation utterly absurd is the fact that, whereas America benefits from its alliance with Europe, Europe REALLY, REALLY, REALLY benefits from its alliance with America. No doubt the superior airs that Europeans assume around Americans stems from this lopsided dependency and the discomfort and embarrassment that ensues from it.

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