Here’s a must-read WaPo column by Robert Kagan, in which the Brussels-based writer explains for American readers why the pro-American stand taken by Berlusconi, Blair, Aznar et alia is tremendously brave. In Europe today, writes Kagan, “the suspicion, fear and loathing of the United States couldn’t be thicker. In London, where Tony Blair has to go to work every day, one finds Britain’s finest minds propounding, in sophisticated language and melodious Oxbridge accents, the conspiracy theories of Pat Buchanan concerning the ‘neoconservative’ (read: Jewish) hijacking of American foreign policy. Britain’s most gifted scholars sift through American writings about Europe searching for signs of derogatory ’sexual imagery.’ In Paris, all the talk is of oil and ‘imperialism’ (and Jews). In Madrid, it’s oil, imperialism, past American support for Franco (and Jews). At a conference I recently attended in Barcelona, an esteemed Spanish intellectual earnestly asked why, if the United States wants to topple vicious dictatorships that manufacture weapons of mass destruction, it is not also invading Israel.
“Yes, I know, there are Americans who ask such questions, too. We have our Buchanans and our Gore Vidals. But here’s what Americans need to understand: In Europe, this paranoid, conspiratorial anti-Americanism is not a far-left or far-right phenomenon. It’s the mainstream view.”