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Old Oct 10th, 2004, 10:41 PM   #1
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WOW! Europeans are smart AND perceptive... ;)

READ ON....

(This article generally sums it up for me as well).
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/1009-22.htm

Published on Saturday, October 9, 2004 by the Associated Press

Europeans Lament a 'Changed' America
by Mort Rosenblum


PARIS - In Paris, a hairdresser says with a laugh that if he can't vote on Nov. 2, at least he is splashing Heinz ketchup on his steak-frites as his contribution to the momentum against President Bush.

In Oslo, a young Norwegian expresses his thoughts on a Web site that takes advantage of Norway's two-letter Internet code: www.tellhim.no

Even in Warsaw, where many support Bush, Poles question the president's Iraq policy. "He banged his fist on the table," said Ewa Wojcik, a 44-year-journalist. "Whether it was the right table remains a question."

Opinion surveys concur that Europe heavily favors Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. But, beyond the numbers, conversations reveal a broad belief that the Atlantic Ocean is wider than at any time in modern memory.

From Britain to the Baltics, many sense a sea change in sentiment toward an America they once admired — largely linked to what they call an arrogant contempt of others after 9-11.

Cedric Judicis, 51, the ketchup-eating coiffeur, normally pays scant attention to U.S. presidential contenders, but this year he knows all about aspiring first lady Teresa Heinz Kerry, heiress to the H.J. Heinz Co. fortune.

Heinz Kerry gained much of her $500 million portfolio through her Heinz inheritance, but she does not serve on theboard and is not involved with the management of the company.

Like many Europeans who see the American chief executive as reshaping their world, Judicis wishes he could vote.

"To us, America was always the gold standard," he said. "It made mistakes, but it always meant well. We were like pupils who admired the master."

Judicis has made six trips to the United States and, unlike some others, he is eager to go back.

"But America is different now," he said. "It rules by force, not by the weight of respect. There's a sense of 'do what I say and not what I do.' It was always so open. Now it seems to us totalitarian."

Jillie Faraday, a British filmmaker based in Paris, still loves to visit American friends. She knows the society well, avoiding generalities that often lead its critics astray.

Still, she excoriates the Bush administration because of Iraq. "Can't they see that they're just making more terrorists, more bitterness, more frustration?" she asked.

And she thinks a Republican cabal is conning an apathetic, foolish mainstream. She is outraged, for instance, at the new electronic voting system in Florida which leaves no paper record.

"If they tried to do that in anywhere in Europe, people would riot in the streets," she said. "Americans are fed propaganda, and they say it's democracy."

Most Europeans questioned said they were more opposed to Bush than in favor of Kerry. Few have firm opinions yet on the Democratic candidate. Many question his ability to rally Europe on Iraq, should that be his intention.

In Poland, the mood is mixed. Three of four Poles questioned by The Associated Press said they would not vote even if they could.

"Kerry seems weak, unconvincing," said Piotr Sakowicz, 44, an avionics engineer. "And Bush seems incapable of continuing his task."

Torgeir Knag Fylkesnes, 29, on leave from Norway's Socialist Left party to run his "tellhim.no" Web site, posted a letter to Bush, saying Norwegians respect America's "strength, generosity and creativity."

But, he added, four out of five Norwegians oppose the war because Bush's policy "only fosters resistance."

In Britain, where Prime Minister Tony Blair supports Bush, polls suggest a two-to-one preference for Kerry. By telephone, a sampling of Britons explained why.

At 32, Chris Hoe, a British treasury employee, said he grew up with America as an example of an open-minded and free-spirited nation. "Now," he said, "I'm afraid that's been pushed aside by an ugly isolationism."

For Amanda Farrant, 36, a King's College expert on Middle Eastern borders, Bush's America is downright dangerous. By removing Saddam Hussein , she said, coalition forces gave the Middle East its first chance at regional cooperation in decades.

"But the way American and British troops went in, disbanding the border guards, you really have to wonder what brain cells are working up there," Farrant said.

She was disgusted when U.S. authorities recently turned back singer Yusuf Islam, the former Cat Stevens, as a terrorist risk.

"I'm afraid all sorts of things are turning people off about America," she concluded.

Arab leaders tried to warn Bush to gain more support and plan for a postwar transition, she said, but instead Washington is confronted by a region full of angry, frustrated people.

Views are poignant in Germany, where fresh generations are rejecting the old postwar attachment to an American ideal.

Vending machine executive Paul Bruehl worries about what he calls Bush's Christian fundamentalism. "In world dealings, you need intercultural dialogue, with Muslims, with Buddhists, with everyone," he said by phone from Cologne.

With a bitter laugh, Bruehl described a T-shirt he had seen that made the point: "And God spoke through the Bush."

But the strongest feelings are in France, which dates its trans-Atlantic friendship to the Marquis de Lafayette's help against the British in the American Revolution.

French Foreign Ministry officials say privately they laugh off anti-French slurs. But they describe a deep-seated unease with Washington, pushing them closer to European partners.

Among ordinary Frenchmen, the feeling is clear.

"We no longer feel much sentiment for America," remarked Laurence Torno. Her husband, a softspoken dentist, agreed. "It is too aggressive, too full of itself."

Their son, Pierre-Charles, 17, saved for years for a post-high school grand tour, starting in Florida and ending in New York. This summer he graduated and went to Australia.

"Before the Iraq war, my friends and I all felt a strong sympathy with America," Pierre-Charles explained. "Now we see no respect for people's human rights or international agreements."

One friend who went to America told him he was pushed around by kids wearing buttons that said, "After Baghdad, Paris."

Now he has revised his dream of studying medicine in the United States.

"I loved Australia," Pierre-Charles concluded. "It was very open, friendly, a great place. I'd had it with America."

© 2004 AP

P.S.
Oops...
I neglected to add one minor detail...

We should NEVER have attacked Iraq the way we did, for the reasons GWB stated!
Okay, all done.

Last edited by RVD : Oct 10th, 2004 at 10:46 PM.
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Old Oct 10th, 2004, 11:10 PM   #2
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Euros didn't admire the USA before the Iraq War or before Dubya was elected.

Euros were saying the same kinda shit when I was over there in '91.

Americans, don't believe the hype.

They've been hatin' ever since they destroyed themselves in WW II, lost thier racist colonies, we rebuilt their ungrateful asses and they declined in International Relevance.

If it wasn't Iraq they'd be hatin' about the Super Bowl or the way we cheer for our athletes or the way we like to eat hamburgers...

...its always something wrong with us...
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Old Oct 10th, 2004, 11:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwifan
Euros didn't admire the USA before the Iraq War or before Dubya was elected.

Euros were saying the same kinda shit when I was over there in '91.

Americans, don't believe the hype.

They've been hatin' ever since they destroyed themselves in WW II, lost thier racist colonies, we rebuilt their ungrateful asses and they declined in International Relevance.

If it wasn't Iraq they'd be hatin' about the Super Bowl or the way we cheer for our athletes or the way we like to eat hamburgers...

...its always something wrong with us...


Thanks for sayin' what I was thinkin'!
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Old Oct 10th, 2004, 11:14 PM   #4
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Yes, we always hated America. Now we despise it. That's the difference.
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Old Oct 10th, 2004, 11:14 PM   #5
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I knew someone would get a good laugh out of this article besides me.

Then, when I stopped laughing, and thought of Tony Blair....Poland...et all...(you know---our European allies)...

And started laughing again.

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Old Oct 10th, 2004, 11:27 PM   #6
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hey, they have a couple years on us. we still have a lot to learn about the destruction and pillaging of other lands and cultures for our own profit.

we were taught by the best
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Old Oct 10th, 2004, 11:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willow
Yes, we always hated America. Now we despise it. That's the difference.
I think it's okay.
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Old Oct 10th, 2004, 11:31 PM   #8
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Question for our European friends.

How is Tony Blair doing?

Is he holding up well?
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Old Oct 10th, 2004, 11:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReeVeeDynasty
Question for our European friends.

How is Tony Blair doing?

Is he holding up well?
He has a very good record, and there is very little opposition, outside of his own party, so I would say he is. Thanks for asking.
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Old Oct 10th, 2004, 11:39 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Willow
He has a very good record, and there is very little opposition, outside of his own party, so I would say he is. Thanks for asking.
Exactly. The Tories are defunct as a political party and the Lib Dems still have a lot of catching up to do. So by all accounts he will win the next General Election.
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Old Oct 10th, 2004, 11:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwifan
Euros didn't admire the USA before the Iraq War or before Dubya was elected.

Euros were saying the same kinda shit when I was over there in '91.

Americans, don't believe the hype.

They've been hatin' ever since they destroyed themselves in WW II, lost thier racist colonies, we rebuilt their ungrateful asses and they declined in International Relevance.

If it wasn't Iraq they'd be hatin' about the Super Bowl or the way we cheer for our athletes or the way we like to eat hamburgers...

...its always something wrong with us...
Precisely. They have always called Americans backwards,dumb,arrogant, et cetera et cetera.
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Old Oct 10th, 2004, 11:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OUT!
Exactly. The Tories are defunct as a political party and the Lib Dems still have a lot of catching up to do. So by all accounts he will win the next General Election.
Thanks. Was just wondering if what I've been reading is true or not. Basically that hie's been taking a beating in the polls over there and that his lit'l 'ol ticker is failing.
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Old Oct 10th, 2004, 11:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I Love Sharapova
Precisely. They have always called Americans backwards,dumb,arrogant, et cetera et cetera.
With contributions like that, I wonder why such crude strereotypes prevail in Western Europe
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Old Oct 10th, 2004, 11:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReeVeeDynasty
Thanks. Was just wondering if what I've been reading is true or not. Basically that hie's been taking a beating in the polls over there and that his lit'l 'ol ticker is failing.
Sadly, what you've been reading is not correct. Big surprise.
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Old Oct 11th, 2004, 12:00 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OUT!
With contributions like that, I wonder why such crude strereotypes prevail in Western Europe
So,you are denying that what I just said is the truth,huh? Figures. Europeans never want to admit to the wrong they have done. We are all just paranoid over here in the states.
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