US and Europe drift apart on key issues

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by Jenny_Dabber, Jun 6, 2007.

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  1. Times are a changing but what about the USA, are they still in a place to control or be a head stone for the world anymore?

    I think, after the recent events over the last few years, the US maybe fading a little in certain aspects but then, I never did agree with Bushes antics to focus on Iraq and Afghan, whilst losing focus on his own people.

    EuroNews Article;

    Do Europeans and American share the same values? A question addressed by Bruno Tertrais, expert in transatlantic relations and a Senior Research Fellow at the Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique in Paris. Interpreting a survey by the German Marshall Fund, he said since September 11th and the Iraq war, there is greater agreement on some areas, but also deep divergences.

    Tertrais told EuroNews: "The broad consensus of European public opinion is that with the end of the Cold War we no longer need to side with the Americans as much as in the past."

    The number of Europeans supporting US leadership in world affairs has fallen from 64% four year ago to 37% now. So, does Tertrais think the United States' role as the world's policeman over? He said: "There is a real difference of opinion about what multilateralism is. For Europe, it's getting together around the table to try to find a joint position. For the United States, multilateralism is a style of leadership, the United States decides, and the others must follow them."

    There is agreement on both sides of the Atlantic that terrorism is one the greatest international threats. But Americans are much more concerned, particularly about the nuclear threat from Iran. Tertrais said: "There's not really any difference between Americans and Europeans on the nature of the threat. The divergence has always been, and still is today, on how to deal with that threat. Traditionally, the Americans are keener to use the military option, whereas Europeans generally consider that should be a last resort."

    The survey shows the same trend on concerns about the dangers of Islamic fundamentalism and a major epidemic of disease, but climatic change worries Europeans more than Americans. On that Tertrais told EuroNews: "A majority in the US is not totally convinced that climate change is real and particularly about the need to spend tens of billions to do something about global warming."

    Finally 71% of Europeans think that Europe must promote democracy in the world, less than half of Americans believe that is their country's role. And they approach it differently, Tertrais says: "The Americans tends to see their mission as spreading democracy throughout the world and that is the US political model of democracy. The European view is more that the European Union, because of the nature of its institutions, is in a better position to do that and it employs, what one might call, less forceful methods."

  2. The problem with these attitude surveys is that s much depends on the wording of the question and if the survey is by interview the actual way the question is asked and by whom. Two interviewers asking the ame questions could get different answers from the same person. Very often responses are coloured by the interviewees belief of what the answer should be or even what they think the interviewer thinks. It is well known that even in very simple surveys like voting intention a reasonable number of interviewees lie, and responses to surveys are often 'protest votes'. The only opinion surveys that are really tested are voting intention ones and I do believe they are now often factored based on real data, and do get reasonably close, and can idicate probable error levels but surveys like this are untestable and thuse could be way out in reality, even assuming the questions were open to little interpretation and always presented in the same way. My general observation is they tend to support the view of the organisation who sponsored it and are done as a tool to promote their view on life however independant the survey organisation appears to be, after all the customer is always right.
  3. I think that the people of America are sick and tired (in the main) of the antics of Dubya. I think that there will be a backlash at the next opportunity to get rid of him, then we will see a period of introspection followed by a much more tolerant US that will help without "sticking its oar in" when wanted. Personally I am quite excited about the future of US relations around the globe, it could be a very long period of peace if the mullahs allow peace to reign. The only thing that could turn it all into a ball of chalk is the "Israel question" I think, because the US (quite rightly) WON'T abandon Israel to the Arabs.
  4. I am not sure, the Americans are strange folk, their liberals can often be just as punchy as their consevatives, and have in the past failed to bring succesful peace. Also it is often the 'hard' men that make peace, just think currently of Adams and Paisley, or dear old Ronnie Raygun. Our logic says we should see a concilatory democrat next time round but I would not be over surprised if it was another Republican, the question then will really be whether or not the next President can see a way to knock some sense into the Israelis and Palestinians and get them to stop killing each other. It is not so much a case of abandoning the Israelis, but getting both sides to see the war they are fighting cannot be won, and the only sensible way forward to to end it
  5. I agree with what you say Maxi, but I just don't ever see it happening. Each generation brings new fundamentalists on both sides to oppose any attempt as reconciliation or even just peace :)
  6. Even so a few year ago one would have said the same about both sets of pratts in NI, and look at them now.
  7. If the U.S and the EU are drifting apart then for me it is all the better; the Atlantic cannot be wide enough.
    How many visits to that country between 1966 and the Iraq invasion I couldn't count, but, would not now ever dream of setting foot there, nor, of doing business with U.S. concerns.
    A stand however small has to be made somewhere.
    There is plenty of work in Europe and it is a much more interesting and diverse continent.

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