PM blasts 'irrational, unfair' Europeans

John Howard has lashed out at "old Europe", describing criticism of the US as "unfair and irrational", as global tensions grow over the Iraq war and free trade. During a vigorous panel debate on US global relations at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, several European officials attacked President George W. Bush's Iraq policy, but Mr Howard stood up to defend his ally.

Earlier in the summit, Mr Howard attacked the European Union over the reintroduction of wheat export subsidies, which he said harmed underdeveloped nations and were contrary to free trade. "Some of the criticism (of the US) by some of the Europeans is unfair and irrational," the Prime Minister said in the panel debate, organised by Britain's BBC TV.

"I mean, the negative mindset of the last five minutes (of this debate) is ridiculous – of course America has made mistakes," he said. Later Mr Howard told The Australian he found the European "irrational level of anti-Americanism" perplexing. "It is a sign of parochialism and it is disturbingly intense."

He said the BBC debate "was based on an anti-American mindset which was established right at the beginning by the moderators from the BBC". Mr Howard said anti-Americanism had already affected world co-operation.

"But it is very important to remember it is confined to sectors of Europe – not all Europeans . . . There remains in Britain some of the old jealousies that have always been there. I found the French and German attitude has lingered longer than I thought it might, and longer than is in anyone's interests."

More, thanks to The Australian

MathewK -

Recently I watched a documentary on local tv network SBS, about the conspiracy theory of Sept 11. Apparently many in France and Germany readily accepted that Sept. 11 was an American conspiracy. One person, who wisely did not buy the fairy tale, said many Germans still cannot accept that a "gum chewing negro from Nebraska" saved them from facism.

When was the last legitimate election held in Iraq, 50 years ago, when last were the people free to protest, when last were they allowed to talk freely, choose freely? The American Soldier was named TIME's person of the year, the American soldier, God bless them, brought freedom to Afghanistan, then to Iraq. The Europeans met at flash venues in Europe, with beautiful backdrops, arriving in expensive German cars, sharing tea and croissants, fine wines and swiss chocolates, they debated and argued, made passionate speeches, slammed their fists into tables, voted and vetoed, criticized, argued the high ground, the morals, the future, the past, if this but that, maybe, plans, blue prints, public opinion, peace, lobby... it would have gone on and on.

Meanwhile the swaggering Texan, who believes in God, attends church, not well educated in fashion and culture and history and geography, decided enough was enough, no more asking the UN to help or to do something, enough waiting for approval that would never come from across the seas. The ships were loaded up, the marines started packing, the planes were readied, friends and allies were welcomed, the squealing and shouting and calls of doom and gloom were ignored. The march was on.

Freedom was once again brought by the American Soldier chewing his gum, driving the gas guzzling humvee and waving the American Flag. I don't think Iraqis or Afghans care much about 'old europe' and their educated opinions, on the ground its not 'old europe' that is fighting the bastards with bombs strapped to them or rats like Zarqawi who would gladly take everyone to hell with them in the name of their twisted beliefs.

50 years from now Iraqis and Afghans will raise their glasses and tell their children of a dusty, gum chewing American in a busted up Humvee, that brought them their freedom.

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