Roger L. Simon

Europe Loses Its Smugness

At least according to this National Journal article (ht: Catherine Johnson):

Another main reason for the altered mood [in Eupope] is the Iraqi election, which prompted a bigger shift than might have been guessed. Restoring relations with Europe was not much in the Bush administration’s mind when it planned Iraq’s electoral timetable. Building an autonomous nation, undermining the insurgents, and advancing the U.S. military exit were doubtless the immediate goals. But it is not just the insurgents whose position has been undermined by the emergence of a new democratic order in Iraq. The election’s remarkable success — demonstrating the Iraqis’ passionate desire for democracy, an opportunity that only the overthrow of Saddam Hussein could have given them — makes it far more difficult for Europe’s war opponents to maintain their accustomed stance of moral superiority.

The election does not repair the broken justification for the war [sic]; it does not redeem the errors of postwar planning and execution; and, at least for now, it will do nothing to lighten America’s military and fiscal burdens in Iraq. What it does do is make a certain kind of European smugness untenable.

Well, I guess that’s going to help tourism, if nothing else. In the end, however, I think what Europe thinks of us is far less important than Asia — China and India particularly. They’re the future and, hey, the food’s not bad there either.