Why do Americans feel compelled to claim somehow that they are responsible for the liberty of Europeans every time some European nation disagrees with our policies?
Sure, I undertand that the might and power of the United States was intrumental in the Allies' eventual victory over the Axis forces in World War Two. People also like to remember how we "bailed them out" in World War One, too.
But it was not me, and it was not you, who did this. The European who begs to differ with The United States on some issue was also not likely to be alive back then, either.
No more than they or we were alive when the French helped us immeasurably in our War for Independence. No more so than there being alive an actual French person to thank for that beautiful statue that still greets immigrants and tourists alike to New York harbour.
No more so... than there is a black person alive who was enslaved in the United States to grow cotton or tobacco or perform household chores. No more than any struggling white person here personally thinks they benefitted from the "peculiar institution."
The Frenchman today owes you no more for his freedom than you owe that black man on the street a portion of the wealth his ancestors helped create without any form of payment for their labors.
If compensation for past wrongs is irrelevant, since "none of us were alive," the constant carping on alleged past "debts" is equally absurd.
So grow up, America. Slavery was evil, and has never been atoned for economically. The war in Iraq is blatant aggression and a violation of international law. Our friends urge us not to make this mistake - they do care.
Friends don't let drunk drivers start careless, clumsy, pointless, unprovoked wars on their friends behalf.
4/7/03 - 3 AM
© Huw Powell