Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Foreign Policy by Divine Right

Interesting piece in The Observer of London by William Pfaff (thanks to Stumpy for the link) which opens a needed window into how America is currently viewed in parts (at least) of "old Europe."

Pfaff takes on the prevailing assumptions of the neoconservatives -- that it is our Right, likely ordained by God (who luckily speaks the same dialect of English that we do), to impose our "democratic" paradigms on the rest of the world but particularly on the Middle East, where floating on that vast ocean of oil has obviously discombolulated the populace, who apparently and inconveniently also hear the voice of God.

Pfaff's explanation for American shock over 9/11 is surprising but rings true, despite how much one might initially want to reject it: "In 2001, the main reason the New York and Washington attacks produced so traumatic an effect in the US was that they defied the notion of America as the morally righteous fulfilment of history. Americans were abruptly made to see themselves as victims of what they interpreted as the hate and envy of people who obstinately refused to acknowledge (as George Bush angrily complained) 'how good we are'."

That seems right. We remember walking around in that daze of destruction on September 12th, 13th, 14th ... wondering aloud why they hate us so much (since we're obviously the good guys). Well, with Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, we've proven that, haven't we?

Purely understandable, the European alarm over American arrogance. We are the only super-power in the world, and the world damn well better pay attention to that! Or we'll break something, and it won't be merely wind.

No comments: