The anger is rising

Ron Paul correctly identifies two locuses of European anger at US foreign policy:

The anger is rising and there is no telling where it will end. In June, the United Kingdom will vote on whether to exit the European Union. The campaign for an exit is broad-based, bringing in conservatives, populists, and progressives. Regardless of the outcome, the vote should be considered very important. Europeans are tired of their unelected leaders in Brussels pushing them around and destroying their financial and personal security by following Washington’s foolish interventionism. No one can call any of these recent interventions a success and the Europeans know it.

One way or the other, the US empire is coming to an end. Either the money will go or the allies will go, but it cannot be sustained. The sooner the American people demand an end to these foolish policies the better.

Speaking as someone who is nominally an American living in Europe – although my European friends not infrequently hasten to add that they don’t consider me one any longer – it has been absolutely astonishing to observe the change in European attitudes towards the USA and towards Americans over the last two decades.

When we first arrived here, everyone wanted to visit the USA. Being an American meant you were treated like a minor rock star, particularly if you could speak even a little of the native language. But over the last five years, attitudes have changed dramatically, particularly among the young. Nowadays, one is more likely to meet with narrowed eyes and suspicion than smiles and expressions of admiration.

Europeans know perfectly well who is behind the coups in Ukraine and the Middle East, the banking debacles, and the unelected EU officials in Brussels. And most of them are not particularly pleased with any of these events.

It’s common for Americans to sneer at Europeans and brag about how they had to “defend Europe”. But what history-challenged Americans always seem to forget is that all they were doing was defending one set of Europeans from another. And the two most recent American interventions in Europe have been a) the overthrow of the Ukrainian government and b) preventing the Christian Serbs from defeating the Muslim Bosnians.