26 Aug 2005
An excellent new book by a Frenchman helps us understand the irrational hatred of the United States, so prevalent in Europe and the world at present. Read all the reviews here
After the 9/11 attack on the United States, the brief moment of sympathy for America soon gave way to blame. In France and elsewhere, it was said that the Americans had brought this violence upon themselves. The U.S. was a "cowboy" nation unwilling to abide by the will of the United Nations and other multilateral institutions, and bent on pursuing its objectives at any cost. It was the "hyperpower" whose corporations manipulated world markets and whose riches are acquired at the price of Third World impoverishment. No wonder it had been attacked, as the book synopsis says.
Angered by the assault against a nation he knows and admires, the distinguished French intellectual Jean-Francois Revel has come to America's defense.
"Revel believes that what he calls the "anti-American obsession" is based on a willful disregard of the most obvious facts of American political and social life, its economic freedom and democratic traditions. He sees much anti-Americanism simply as anti-capitalism in disguise on the part of those--in Europe and the rest of the world--who are still committed to doctrines that are at heart illiberal and even totalitarian."
One can't agree more with this thesis.