Google
  Web alb-net.com   
[Alb-Net home] [AMCC] [KCC] [other mailing lists]

List: ALBSA-Info

[ALBSA-Info] Tom Friedman Article

Agron Alibali aalibali at yahoo.com
Wed Jun 20 23:24:16 EDT 2001


Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) 
June 20, 2001, Wednesday, Broward Metro EDITION 
EDITORIAL, Pg. 21A, THOMAS FRIEDMAN THE NEW YORK TIMES 

THEY HATE US! THEY NEED US! 

THOMAS FRIEDMAN THE NEW YORK TIMES 




Reading about all the anti-Americanism President Bush has encountered on his trip to Europe, I was reminded of the 1970s Randy Newman song Political Science. Its main verse was: "No one likes us -- I don't know why. / We may not be perfect, but heaven knows we try. / But all around, even our old friends put us down. / Let's drop the big one and see what happens Asia's crowded and Europe's too old. / Africa is far too hot / and Canada's too cold. / And South America stole our name. / Let's drop the big one. There'll be no one left to blame us." 

Newman's ditty is a reminder that anti-Americanism didn't start with George Dubya. The key question is whether there is anything new in today's anti-Americanism and whether it has any strategic consequences. 

Actually, there are a couple of things new. You can taste it in Greece. In his upcoming book, The Unholy Alliance: Greece and Milosevic's Serbia During the Nineties, the Greek journalist Takis Michas explains that during the Cold War, anti-Americanism in Greece and Europe tended to be driven by the left and focused "on what America did" -- and how it wasn't living up to its own ideals when it backed dictators in Greece and elsewhere. 

Today's version of anti-Americanism in Europe is more focused on "what America is," says Michas, and it brings together the far left, the far right and the Orthodox Church. The old left hates America for its free-market capitalism, the death penalty and globalization. The far right hates it for promoting its multiculturalism in the Balkans, which threatens Greek nationalism. And the Orthodox archbishop hates America for enticing Greek youths away from their heritage and religion. 

Fine: So now the Europeans don't like us for who we are. Does it matter? Is it producing an alliance of countries against America that threatens our vital interests? That's the real question. 

Not yet, says Josef Joffe, a German foreign policy analyst, in a smart essay in The National Interest journal titled Who's Afraid of Mr. Big? Joffe argues that one reason no alliance has formed against America yet is that while resentment with America is rife, particularly among European elites, the attraction of America -- its culture, universities, movies, food, clothing and technologies -- is just as strong, and today no power in the world can balance it. For every European elitist who resents America for what it is, there are 10 Euro-kids who want what America is. "America is both menace and seducer, both monster and model," Joffe says. 

While America's soft power can't be balanced -- there's no Disney World in Moscow, no Harvard in Beijing -- America's hard power doesn't need to be balanced. "Why is there no real ganging up against the United States?" Joffe asks. "(Because) America annoys and antagonizes, but it does not conquer. He who does not conquer does not provoke counteralliances and war." Joffe refers to today's European anti-Americanism as "neo-ganging up" -- noisy, but not serious. 

Another reason we have not provoked an alliance against us is that America still has been willing to provide "public goods" to the global system, says Joffe. Public goods are things that everyone can benefit from -- keeping the sea lanes open, stabilizing the free-trade system or beating back bad guys in Iraq. This gives lesser powers an incentive to cooperate with us, even as they criticize us; otherwise who else would uphold global security and financial stability? 

This is hugely important. History teaches that periods of relative peace occur when you have a benign power that is ready to provide public services to maintain an orderly global system -- even if it means paying a disproportionate share of the costs. 

That's why the greatest danger today is not European anti-Americanism, but American anti-Americanism. The greatest danger is if America is no longer ready to play America -- the benign superpower that pays a disproportionate price to maintain the system of which it's the biggest beneficiary. 

This could happen because Congress becomes too cheap or stupid, or because our economy becomes too enfeebled, or because we have an administration dominated by people unwilling to put any limits on U.S. behavior, from energy consumption to missile defense. 

That sort of America, if taken to extremes, could nullify our attractiveness and generate an alliance against us. Surely the Bushies know that -- don't they? 

Write to Thomas Friedman at The New York Times, 229 W. 43rd St., New York, NY 10036. Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) 
June 20, 2001, Wednesday, Broward Metro EDITION 
SECTION: EDITORIAL, Pg. 21A, THOMAS FRIEDMAN THE NEW YORK TIMES 

LENGTH: 757 words 

HEADLINE: THEY HATE US! THEY NEED US! 

BYLINE: THOMAS FRIEDMAN THE NEW YORK TIMES 

BODY: 


Reading about all the anti-Americanism President Bush has encountered on his trip to Europe, I was reminded of the 1970s Randy Newman song Political Science. Its main verse was: "No one likes us -- I don't know why. / We may not be perfect, but heaven knows we try. / But all around, even our old friends put us down. / Let's drop the big one and see what happens Asia's crowded and Europe's too old. / Africa is far too hot / and Canada's too cold. / And South America stole our name. / Let's drop the big one. There'll be no one left to blame us." 

Newman's ditty is a reminder that anti-Americanism didn't start with George Dubya. The key question is whether there is anything new in today's anti-Americanism and whether it has any strategic consequences. 

Actually, there are a couple of things new. You can taste it in Greece. In his upcoming book, The Unholy Alliance: Greece and Milosevic's Serbia During the Nineties, the Greek journalist Takis Michas explains that during the Cold War, anti-Americanism in Greece and Europe tended to be driven by the left and focused "on what America did" -- and how it wasn't living up to its own ideals when it backed dictators in Greece and elsewhere. 

Today's version of anti-Americanism in Europe is more focused on "what America is," says Michas, and it brings together the far left, the far right and the Orthodox Church. The old left hates America for its free-market capitalism, the death penalty and globalization. The far right hates it for promoting its multiculturalism in the Balkans, which threatens Greek nationalism. And the Orthodox archbishop hates America for enticing Greek youths away from their heritage and religion. 

Fine: So now the Europeans don't like us for who we are. Does it matter? Is it producing an alliance of countries against America that threatens our vital interests? That's the real question. 

Not yet, says Josef Joffe, a German foreign policy analyst, in a smart essay in The National Interest journal titled Who's Afraid of Mr. Big? Joffe argues that one reason no alliance has formed against America yet is that while resentment with America is rife, particularly among European elites, the attraction of America -- its culture, universities, movies, food, clothing and technologies -- is just as strong, and today no power in the world can balance it. For every European elitist who resents America for what it is, there are 10 Euro-kids who want what America is. "America is both menace and seducer, both monster and model," Joffe says. 

While America's soft power can't be balanced -- there's no Disney World in Moscow, no Harvard in Beijing -- America's hard power doesn't need to be balanced. "Why is there no real ganging up against the United States?" Joffe asks. "(Because) America annoys and antagonizes, but it does not conquer. He who does not conquer does not provoke counteralliances and war." Joffe refers to today's European anti-Americanism as "neo-ganging up" -- noisy, but not serious. 

Another reason we have not provoked an alliance against us is that America still has been willing to provide "public goods" to the global system, says Joffe. Public goods are things that everyone can benefit from -- keeping the sea lanes open, stabilizing the free-trade system or beating back bad guys in Iraq. This gives lesser powers an incentive to cooperate with us, even as they criticize us; otherwise who else would uphold global security and financial stability? 

This is hugely important. History teaches that periods of relative peace occur when you have a benign power that is ready to provide public services to maintain an orderly global system -- even if it means paying a disproportionate share of the costs. 

That's why the greatest danger today is not European anti-Americanism, but American anti-Americanism. The greatest danger is if America is no longer ready to play America -- the benign superpower that pays a disproportionate price to maintain the system of which it's the biggest beneficiary. 

This could happen because Congress becomes too cheap or stupid, or because our economy becomes too enfeebled, or because we have an administration dominated by people unwilling to put any limits on U.S. behavior, from energy consumption to missile defense. 

That sort of America, if taken to extremes, could nullify our attractiveness and generate an alliance against us. Surely the Bushies know that -- don't they? 

Write to Thomas Friedman at The New York Times, 229 W. 43rd St., New York, NY 10036. Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) 
June 20, 2001, Wednesday, Broward Metro EDITION 
SECTION: EDITORIAL, Pg. 21A, THOMAS FRIEDMAN THE NEW YORK TIMES 

LENGTH: 757 words 

HEADLINE: THEY HATE US! THEY NEED US! 

BYLINE: THOMAS FRIEDMAN THE NEW YORK TIMES 

BODY: 


Reading about all the anti-Americanism President Bush has encountered on his trip to Europe, I was reminded of the 1970s Randy Newman song Political Science. Its main verse was: "No one likes us -- I don't know why. / We may not be perfect, but heaven knows we try. / But all around, even our old friends put us down. / Let's drop the big one and see what happens Asia's crowded and Europe's too old. / Africa is far too hot / and Canada's too cold. / And South America stole our name. / Let's drop the big one. There'll be no one left to blame us." 

Newman's ditty is a reminder that anti-Americanism didn't start with George Dubya. The key question is whether there is anything new in today's anti-Americanism and whether it has any strategic consequences. 

Actually, there are a couple of things new. You can taste it in Greece. In his upcoming book, The Unholy Alliance: Greece and Milosevic's Serbia During the Nineties, the Greek journalist Takis Michas explains that during the Cold War, anti-Americanism in Greece and Europe tended to be driven by the left and focused "on what America did" -- and how it wasn't living up to its own ideals when it backed dictators in Greece and elsewhere. 

Today's version of anti-Americanism in Europe is more focused on "what America is," says Michas, and it brings together the far left, the far right and the Orthodox Church. The old left hates America for its free-market capitalism, the death penalty and globalization. The far right hates it for promoting its multiculturalism in the Balkans, which threatens Greek nationalism. And the Orthodox archbishop hates America for enticing Greek youths away from their heritage and religion. 

Fine: So now the Europeans don't like us for who we are. Does it matter? Is it producing an alliance of countries against America that threatens our vital interests? That's the real question. 

Not yet, says Josef Joffe, a German foreign policy analyst, in a smart essay in The National Interest journal titled Who's Afraid of Mr. Big? Joffe argues that one reason no alliance has formed against America yet is that while resentment with America is rife, particularly among European elites, the attraction of America -- its culture, universities, movies, food, clothing and technologies -- is just as strong, and today no power in the world can balance it. For every European elitist who resents America for what it is, there are 10 Euro-kids who want what America is. "America is both menace and seducer, both monster and model," Joffe says. 

While America's soft power can't be balanced -- there's no Disney World in Moscow, no Harvard in Beijing -- America's hard power doesn't need to be balanced. "Why is there no real ganging up against the United States?" Joffe asks. "(Because) America annoys and antagonizes, but it does not conquer. He who does not conquer does not provoke counteralliances and war." Joffe refers to today's European anti-Americanism as "neo-ganging up" -- noisy, but not serious. 

Another reason we have not provoked an alliance against us is that America still has been willing to provide "public goods" to the global system, says Joffe. Public goods are things that everyone can benefit from -- keeping the sea lanes open, stabilizing the free-trade system or beating back bad guys in Iraq. This gives lesser powers an incentive to cooperate with us, even as they criticize us; otherwise who else would uphold global security and financial stability? 

This is hugely important. History teaches that periods of relative peace occur when you have a benign power that is ready to provide public services to maintain an orderly global system -- even if it means paying a disproportionate share of the costs. 

That's why the greatest danger today is not European anti-Americanism, but American anti-Americanism. The greatest danger is if America is no longer ready to play America -- the benign superpower that pays a disproportionate price to maintain the system of which it's the biggest beneficiary. 

This could happen because Congress becomes too cheap or stupid, or because our economy becomes too enfeebled, or because we have an administration dominated by people unwilling to put any limits on U.S. behavior, from energy consumption to missile defense. 

That sort of America, if taken to extremes, could nullify our attractiveness and generate an alliance against us. Surely the Bushies know that -- don't they? 

Write to Thomas Friedman at The New York Times, 229 W. 43rd St., New York, NY 10036. 


---------------------------------
Do You Yahoo!?
Get personalized email addresses from Yahoo! Mail - only $35 a year!
http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/
-------------- next part --------------
HTML attachment scrubbed and removed


More information about the ALBSA-Info mailing list