Thursday, August 27, 2009

Old Europe vs New Europe

As you may know if you read my blog I used to be a right wing war monger type. It's interesting to look back on the arguments that I found persuasive.

In the build up to war the Bush administration framed his opponents in Europe as belonging to a coalition he called Old Europe. These were the old fogies that didn't get it. Whereas New Europe understood the threats of dictatorship and thus understood why Saddam needed to be overthrown violently, with or without U.N. approval.

Sadly I bought off on that rhetoric. But it's worth looking back and asking the question. Did New Europe really support the invasion? Take a look at this polling data. It shows the level of popular support for an invasion of Iraq even without U.N. approval. Support for that action ranges from 4 to 11%. Note the Eastern bloc countries, which are regarded as part of New Europe. These are the countries that understand Communist oppression and hence appreciate what the U.S. is doing. There's no additional support for unilateral invasion that I can see.

The real difference between Old Europe and New Europe is pretty plain (and let me give credit to Chomsky for making this clear to me). Old Europe is those governments that govern in a manner consistent with the will of the people. New Europe has much more contempt for democracy. They overrule the large majority of the people so that we can "bring democracy to Iraq." One wonders why in Iraq they don't seem to want our brand of democracy.

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