The Corner

The Angry European

Everyone seems to love my angry European’s email (see here ). Most of the responses noted that if humor is the mark of a vibrant civilization then Europe really is dead because they can’t even muster good anti-American jokes. And many noted that the Euro-reader had basically ripped off Bill Murray’s speech from Stripes. Anyway, here are some random samples. Since it’s a lazy Saturday, I’ll let this post run a little long:

Hello JG,

I have always wanted to send along this monolog from the movie “The

Americanization of Emily” given by James Garner to Julie Andrews. The

movie itself is unfortunately a tired anti-war screed at some levels,

but very funny at others, and particularly clever in others as you will

see below. This would be my response to the European who got his Irish


“You American haters bore me to tears, Ms. Barham. I’ve dealt with

Europeans all my life. I know all about us parvenus from the States who

come over here and race around your old Cathedral towns with our cameras

and Coca-cola bottles… Brawl in your pubs, paw at your women, and act

like we own the world. We over-tip, we talk too loud, we think we can

buy anything with a Hershey bar. I’ve had Germans and Italians tell me

how politically ingenuous we are, and perhaps so. But we haven’t managed

a Hitler or a Mussolini yet. I’ve had Frenchmen call me a savage because

I only took half an hour for lunch. Hell, Ms. Barham, the only reason

the French take two hours for lunch is because the service in their

restaurants is lousy. The most tedious lot are you British. We crass

Americans didn’t introduce war into your little island. This war, Ms.

Barham to which we Americans are so insensitive, is the result of 2,000

years of European greed, barbarism, superstition, and stupidity. Don’t

blame it on our Coca-cola bottles. Europe was a growing brothel long

before we came to town.”


“We have booted out our misfits and rejects, our religious bigots and everything we had that was violent, agressive, intolerant or beligerent.”

Wiki’s list of armed conflicts in Europe since American Independence:

* 1792–1815 Napoleonic Wars

* 1848–1866 Italian Independence wars

* 1854–1856 Crimean War

* 1866–1866 Austro-Prussian War

* 1870–1871 Franco-Prussian War

* 1877–1878 Russo–Turkish War

* 1893–1896 Cod War of 1893

* 1897 First Greco–Turkish War

* 1911-1912 Italian-Ottoman War

* 1912–1913 Balkan Wars

* 1914–1918 World War I

* 1917–1920 Estonian Liberation War

* 1918–1919 Czechoslovakia-Hungary War

* 1918–1920 Russian Civil War

* 1919-1921 Polish-Soviet War

* 1919-1921 Anglo-Irish War

* 1922-1923 Irish Civil War

* 1936–1939 Spanish Civil War

* 1939–1945 World War II

* 1992-1995 Bosnian War

* 1996-1999 First and Second Kosovo Wars

meanwhile, in the Americas:

* 1785 – 1795 Northwest Indian War

* 1791 – 1804 Haitian Revolution

* 1794 Whiskey Rebellion

* 1810 – 1821 Mexican War of Independence

* 1812 – 1814 War of 1812

* 1813 – 1814 Creek War

* 1837 – 1838 Rebellions of 1837

* 1846 – 1848 Mexican-American War

* 1861 – 1865 American Civil War

* 1863 – 1865 Colorado War

* 1869 – 1870 Red River Rebellion

* 1898 Spanish-American War

-so that’s 21 to 12 – and of the 12 in the Americas, 5 were against European colonial powers anyway.



“Perhaps the biggest wrong we Europeans have done to the native peoples of the American continent since that Italian man mistook them for Indians is that we have spent nearly 500 years dumping our trash in their back yard. We have booted out our misfits and rejects, our religious bigots and everything we had that was violent, agressive , intolerant or beligerent .”

Gee, when I was in school (a looooong time ago) we were taught that a sizeable majority of settlers to the New World were those escaping from bigotry and intolerance. Methinks your correspondent has his history confused (along with his spelling). I suppose that accounts for his arrogance in feeling luck at our absence in his poor world.



The bigoted comments in the email from the “European with His Irish Up” reminds me of an editorial cartoon published in “Stars and Stripes” during my first tour in Germany, sometime between 1975 to 1978. This cartoon showed a middle-aged Husband & Wife enjoying the evening hours in their living room. On the wall was a sign “God bless our European Home”, but in the back, in a cabinet with a glass front was a United States soldier with rifle, helmet and LBE. Above the cabinet was a sign that said, “In case of emergency, break glass”.

In 30 years, the attitudes of the Europeans haven’t changed, but the attitudes of the Americans have. When the Jihadists who are presently burning cars in France and murdering film directors in The Netherlands escalate to open rebellion, summary executions and mass murder, we aren’t coming to save them.


So that’s how citizens of countries which used to matter think once they’ve reduced themselves to irrelevance.

At least they’re carbon-neutral.

Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor of National Review and the author of Suicide of the West, holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute.

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