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Offline TRang

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Serious Question - Do European countries really hate the USA?
« on: November 8, 2013, 08:38:14 AM »
Do European countries really hate the USA?

Iv'e lived here all my life and been filled with its propaganda. I know were not the greatest nation and i know we did some spying recently. (The whole situation, when you step back, is pretty funny)

With this site being so diverse I think the time has come I found out if Europeans really hate us and why.
....Its cause were free isn't it



[gmod]Topic edited for clarity.[/gmod]
« Last Edit: November 9, 2013, 01:35:03 AM by Rasmus »

Offline Spirit of Kurnous

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Re: Serious Question
« Reply #1 on: November 8, 2013, 03:04:48 PM »
well we dont in the UK as a general rule, but then we dont class ourselves as European so not sure if that counts :D
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Offline Faeluchu

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Re: Serious Question
« Reply #2 on: November 8, 2013, 03:26:29 PM »
Down here in potato land we're not entirely certain about how to deal with the US; on the one hand there's the universal feeling of friendship and all that jazz dating even back to the war (we're big on history here, hence why most of us still hate Germans/Russians :D ), on the other hand there is a certain feeling of "being cheated" due to many unrealized promises (not to mention an occasional scandal now and then like the spying thing now.)
Personally I've met one American so far and he was an arrogant douchebag, so my opinion might be a bit biased. :D

But it's really not about hating or not hating, it's more that Europe in general resents any attempts of control from outside. We still try to be a global power and as such anything that shakes our belief that others do not treat us as equals meets with a lot of hostility. We don't "hate" you for being free or anything like that, we "hate" you for trying to show your superiority on every step. Europe (or the EU, since countries on their own usually show more sense) tries very hard to assert its position in the world's politics as a power that's at least as powerful as the US or China, but the sad fact is that our time is over; the only real influence we have now is a cultural one (and perhaps a scientific one, but only in more theoretical things - cf. EU's space exploration [or a distinct lack of thereof]). We cannot force anyone's hand politically, we depend on organizations like NATO or the UN (or even the judgment of the States) before we commit what meagre forces we have to any military operation and because of that feeling of certain helplessness and lack of power we take it very bad whenever someone tries to exert his influence on us.
At least that's the way I see it whenever I try to be rational. Whenever I'm not I blame the Germans, like every good Pole. :D
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Offline Irisado

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Re: Serious Question
« Reply #3 on: November 8, 2013, 04:09:46 PM »
well we dont in the UK as a general rule, but then we dont class ourselves as European so not sure if that counts :D

I firmly class myself as European :).

But it's really not about hating or not hating, it's more that Europe in general resents any attempts of control from outside. We still try to be a global power and as such anything that shakes our belief that others do not treat us as equals meets with a lot of hostility. We don't "hate" you for being free or anything like that, we "hate" you for trying to show your superiority on every step. Europe (or the EU, since countries on their own usually show more sense) tries very hard to assert its position in the world's politics as a power that's at least as powerful as the US or China, but the sad fact is that our time is over; the only real influence we have now is a cultural one (and perhaps a scientific one, but only in more theoretical things - cf. EU's space exploration [or a distinct lack of thereof]). We cannot force anyone's hand politically, we depend on organizations like NATO or the UN (or even the judgment of the States) before we commit what meagre forces we have to any military operation and because of that feeling of certain helplessness and lack of power we take it very bad whenever someone tries to exert his influence on us.
At least that's the way I see it whenever I try to be rational. Whenever I'm not I blame the Germans, like every good Pole. :D

It's a little more complicated than this.  The EU is actually very effective at soft power.  A number of EU member states have better diplomatic relations with some countries than the United States, and the EU tries to act as a mediator on the global stage when possible, using incentives to persuade other states to behave in a certain way.  In the past, this involved using the incentive of joining the EU to encourage other states to reform, for example.  Being Polish, you'll probably be aware of a number of changes which Poland had to make before it could join the EU, for example.

More widely, the EU still has a number of diplomatic missions across the globe, which allows it to engage in foreign affairs, but most of these revolve around, as you might expect, diplomacy, or peace keeping/monitoring operations.

The United States is the dominant actor in terms of hard power.  Military interventions simply won't happen without US support and approval.  This is where the EU has little influence.  There is no European army.



The differences of opinion between the EU and the USA can cover a wide variety of issues, including trade (steel tariffs and bananas spring to mind), and diplomacy (various EU member states have tried to keep diplomatic relations open with various countries which the US has not in the past.  It should be noted, however, that the EU often does not speak with one voice over foreign policy issues - Iraq, Libya, and Syria being three examples - so it's not a question of the United States versus the EU, that's too simplistic.

I think, based on opinion polls, it's fair to say that the public in a number of EU counties is very sceptical about US foreign policy, especially since Iraq, but to conclude from that there is somehow 'hatred' seems a bit over the top to me.


« Last Edit: November 8, 2013, 04:13:53 PM by Irisado »
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Re: Serious Question
« Reply #4 on: November 8, 2013, 04:18:21 PM »
Well speaking from the otherside, most of the people I know here love Europe and being a Texan, we don't always see eye to eye with the government. So please don't hold hate for our country as a whole but against the guys who are running things, as just a itty bitty spot in this country we all don't approve of a lot of things that go on here.
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Offline Big Bad Wolf

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Re: Serious Question
« Reply #5 on: November 9, 2013, 12:34:41 AM »
I would guess, as an American, I dislike us for the same reasons that anyone else does (speaking broadly of course).

Curious to see other responses though, this thread has the means for an interesting discussion that I'm eager to follow! :)
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Offline Chrysalis

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Re: Serious Question - Do European countries really hate the USA?
« Reply #6 on: November 9, 2013, 02:48:56 AM »
I'm from France (and actually live in France). I personally have no hate for the USA and I'm always glad to chat with american friends! :)
The fact is that France, for example, is today populated by more than 65.000.000 inhabitants. And you can have as many points of view concerning USA as you have inhabitants... However, I have to admit that most of our people is always ranting for a reason or another, about the USA or any other reason. Politically, we've also seen the right-hand forces (traditionalists, nationalists...) becoming more powerful recently, so possibly you could have a feeling of rudeness toward strangers (including USA) when watching news about France.
I also have to add that I live and have grown up in a special part of France: Normandy. We have very strong ties with USA, mainly because of the events of WWII. Normandy was the very first part of land that was liberated by allied forces, which were mainly young american soldiers. Over here, you can find Memorials and museums everywhere. As well as war cimeteries where people from USA as well as France gather every year. Although this relation was born in war and pain, I think it has sealed some kind of friendship.

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Re: Serious Question - Do European countries really hate the USA?
« Reply #7 on: November 9, 2013, 05:15:24 AM »
I don't hate the USA.
I love lots of things about the States and its peoples.
I have American friends, I enjoy visiting American cities (SF is one of my favourite places on the planet), and there are some extremely admirable traits in the American psyche that the rest of the world could learn from.
You tend to be genuinely warm, friendly and optimistic, and have a strong moral code which, rightly or wrongly, you stick to come hell or high water.
But.
The country is highly insular, the general population is troubling naiive, the society is grossly wealth-centric and your foreign policy is frankly murderous.
It's difficult to truly like a country that throws its weight around with such wild abandon while denying its own people decent access to health care. When you're as rich and powerful as the USA it seems only fair to expect a certain standard of behaviour, and it often falls well short of this.

....Its cause were free isn't it

Hah! Either you're blatantly trolling, or you really have bought in to the crap.


well we dont in the UK as a general rule, but then we dont class ourselves as European so not sure if that counts :D

I'm definitely European!
« Last Edit: November 9, 2013, 09:12:06 AM by Killing Time »

Offline Spectral Arbor

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Re: Serious Question - Do European countries really hate the USA?
« Reply #8 on: November 9, 2013, 08:39:20 AM »
As your Northern Neighbour, I can say that while I don't hate the USA, I find the policies of your government, elected by the people, to be remarkably irresponsible.

I find a general belief in American freedom, without an acknowledgment of the freedom of other countries. A country, and by extension it's people, should be free to do whatever they want, until such time as that freedom takes away the freedom of another. I'm not of the opinion that American politics, and thus it's people, share that view.

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Re: Serious Question - Do European countries really hate the USA?
« Reply #9 on: November 9, 2013, 06:32:05 PM »
For some interesting insight into American issues, there is this very interesting article regarding sub-categories of American thought.

I am from the US, and I believe that most Europeans don't hate us (at least not the ones I've met), but they have a strong dislike for our federal government.

I usually point out that we don't like it much, either.

Offline Irisado

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Re: Serious Question - Do European countries really hate the USA?
« Reply #10 on: November 9, 2013, 07:17:03 PM »
I'm far more concerned about those who are not in government in the US at the moment than those who are.  That's not to say that US foreign policy makes for a harmonious world currently, it doesn't, as was shown by divisions over Syria, but at least there is some diplomatic engagement by the Obama administration, notably recently with Iran, which is more likely to receive a favourable opinion from European leaders and, most likely, the public.

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Offline TRang

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Re: Serious Question - Do European countries really hate the USA?
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2013, 03:42:00 PM »
So do the people in other countries hear a lot about the decisions that the U.S. government makes?
I barely hear anything about the governments of other countries. Also I agree that the U.S. government makes pretty stupid decisions at times but in reality that is not our fault. Truly honest people do not exist in the U.S. government anymore. Most of them are there to help themselves. Fact is it takes too much money to become an American politician. So most of the time we pick between a Terd and a shinier terd.

And on the subject of U.S. foreign involvement. Someone has to do it. Granted we pick and chose in strange ways. Such as how we did not get involved in Darfur or Bosnia(until late). But that just cause one generation can only handle so much. And really Black Hawk Down made people really uneasy about foreign involvement.

And i think Bosnia was something EU could have handled.... Germany should have stepped in or France and Britain

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Re: Serious Question - Do European countries really hate the USA?
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2013, 04:23:56 PM »
Ha! So, you set up a question that you expect a negative reaction to, and then try to assert that the good ol' US of A, is A-Ok.

If you vote, you're responsible for your government. If you don't vote, you're responsible for your government. If the good people of the US were so opposed to their own government, a 3rd party would develop. Reference the number of "two-party" systems in the world.

Even Canada has recently elected a "3rd party" to the official opposition. It can be done.

And no, the US need not intervene in the world at large. They're quite welcome to look after their interests on their own soil. It is the belief that they need to intervene that I was referring to earlier. Freedom for America, and anyone else that does what America says. Otherwise, send in the troops and "liberate" people from their own ignorance of good, proper, American values.

Oh, and the stuff we didn't do well at? That was other people's fault. We're perfect. We don't make mistakes. God bless America.

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Re: Serious Question - Do European countries really hate the USA?
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2013, 04:29:41 PM »
So do the people in other countries hear a lot about the decisions that the U.S. government makes?
I barely hear anything about the governments of other countries.

This is very much one of the reasons that those of us on this side of the pond are so despairing of the US.
Not only do we watch and listen to everything you do (much of the time in the same way you would watch a car crash), but we're also very aware of the fact that the vast majority of you haven't got a clue about what's going on in the rest of the world.
And given that your economic and foreign policy have such a massive impact on global affairs it might be nice if you took a little more notice.

Quote
Also I agree that the U.S. government makes pretty stupid decisions at times but in reality that is not our fault. Truly honest people do not exist in the U.S. government anymore. Most of them are there to help themselves. Fact is it takes too much money to become an American politician. So most of the time we pick between a Terd and a shinier terd.

Like I said before. Most of us don't hate Americans. We just have very strong opinions about the system which creates exactly the sort of situation you have just described.

Quote
And on the subject of U.S. foreign involvement. Someone has to do it. Granted we pick and chose in strange ways. Such as how we did not get involved in Darfur or Bosnia(until late). But that just cause one generation can only handle so much. And really Black Hawk Down made people really uneasy about foreign involvement.

And i think Bosnia was something EU could have handled.... Germany should have stepped in or France and Britain

If we're talking about global policing then this is what the UN is for. The USA should stop trying to run roughshod over its institutions and actually give it some teeth - Bosnia was one of the rare instances where the US and the UN actually pulled in the same direction for a change. The UK, France and Germany all played it by the book and also contributed significant forces to the UN mission.
However, if you think the USA is some kind of benevolent global policeman then you need to start looking further afield for your views on world affairs.
US aggressive imperialist foreign policy is truly foul. Their wars in Iraq are the latest in a succession of appalling and illegal adventures which are all about maintenance of power and the hegemony of global oil.

Offline TRang

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Re: Serious Question - Do European countries really hate the USA?
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2013, 04:52:16 PM »
Let me just say that the U.S. was offered oil at 10$ a barrel when Iraq brutally took over tiny Kuwait. We intervened where the U.N. saw no need. You can not negotiate with Mad men hell bent on the domination of the worlds oil reserves. What the U.S. did in Iraq was justified.

 Also the U.N. takes too long to make decisions while people are suffering. Bosnia, Darfur, Syria. Libya, Rwanda. The U.N.was content to let the people of these countries die. Also when U.N. troops liberate a country they do not fire a shot so no force is administered.

I cant magically make a third party appear since i'm not rich, though id like to see one form since I am completely against a two party system.

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Re: Serious Question - Do European countries really hate the USA?
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2013, 05:17:14 PM »
Let me just say that the U.S. was offered oil at 10$ a barrel when Iraq brutally took over tiny Kuwait. We intervened where the U.N. saw no need. You can not negotiate with Mad men hell bent on the domination of the worlds oil reserves. What the U.S. did in Iraq was justified.

The irony is that it is the US who is the mad man hell bent on the domination of the world's oil reserves.


Quote
Also the U.N. takes too long to make decisions while people are suffering. Bosnia, Darfur, Syria. Libya, Rwanda. The U.N.was content to let the people of these countries die. Also when U.N. troops liberate a country they do not fire a shot so no force is administered.

Unless I'm very much mistaken, in ALL of the cases you've just mentioned the UN sent troops which involved a US force. All of these amazing shows of American benevolence and power are UN police actions with US soldiers providing (some of) the muscle.
The UN is what gives legality to these military actions, and the US is obliged to provide military power through the terms of the UN mandate. Without it the US is just being a bully.
I agree that the UN is often seen as weak, but much of the weakness stems from the fact that US consistently undermines its power.

As GBT stated above me, if you want to have an intelligent discussion about the USA then fine. But don't come on here asking questions and then ducking down behind the flag while spouting ignorant assertions about world history that we've been living through since you were in diapers.
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Offline TRang

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Re: Serious Question - Do European countries really hate the USA?
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2013, 05:32:45 PM »
. Sure the U.N. sent troops but it took them years. Millions of people died while the U.N. stood by and people all over the world wanted action taken...

 Also the U.S. controls much less than 10% of the worlds oil. And the military presence we have in the Middle East does not effect the price we pay. We all pay the same amount per barrel that you do.

I did not hide behind my flag. I love the United States and stated in my first post that I know what were about and the things we've done. I know a lot for my age and i think saying im spouting ignorance from my mouth is slightly overstated and quite rude. And there was never U.N. involvement in Darfur... You Are Mistaken  ... And Bosnia was a Disaster that could have been avoided

Also if you've ever see Hotel Rwanda you'd know that that was a failed U.N. attempt at peace. I did alot of resaerch on that specific case, the U.N. troops werent aloud to fire shots...They just went in to save all the white people.

Also GBT is the one who forced me to defend my country. I was curious and asked a legitimate question while he mocked my post instead of contesting it. I am for a good discussion and can admit when i am wrong. 

Offline Irisado

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Re: Serious Question - Do European countries really hate the USA?
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2013, 06:01:37 PM »
[mod]Personal remarks on all sides will cease from this point onwards. Thank you.[/mod]

So do the people in other countries hear a lot about the decisions that the U.S. government makes?
I barely hear anything about the governments of other countries. Also I agree that the U.S. government makes pretty stupid decisions at times but in reality that is not our fault. Truly honest people do not exist in the U.S. government anymore. Most of them are there to help themselves. Fact is it takes too much money to become an American politician. So most of the time we pick between a Terd and a shinier terd.

Because the United States is the only super power much of what goes on there is reported widely.  I've lived in Spain, Italy, and, of course, the UK, and the media in all three countries pays a lot of attention to domestic and foreign policy as far as the United States is concerned, because so much of what the US does impacts on the rest of the world, not just in terms of foreign policy, but also in terms of economics.

Quote
And i think Bosnia was something EU could have handled.... Germany should have stepped in or France and Britain

The EU had next to no combined military force at that time, so there was precious little that it could do in terms of intervention.  The failure of EU foreign policy in both Bosnia and Kosovo was the collective spur to try to do something about European defence, but it still doesn't have the capability to act independently even today in terms of intervention.  In terms of peace keeping, and other monitoring roles, it does have some capability.  If you want to learn more about that, you can check out the European Commission's External Relations web page.

Let me just say that the U.S. was offered oil at 10$ a barrel when Iraq brutally took over tiny Kuwait. We intervened where the U.N. saw no need. You can not negotiate with Mad men hell bent on the domination of the worlds oil reserves. What the U.S. did in Iraq was justified.

There was a UN resolution to oust Iraqi forces from Kuwait in 1991, and push them back into Iraq, so the UN very much saw a need to take action.  A range of UN resolutions were then imposed in the wake of this resolution.  It wasn't the 1991 conflict which was overly controversial, but the 2003 invasion, which had no UN mandate, and the justifications for intervening kept changing.

The idea that you can't negotiate is one of the dividing lines between the US and many EU states.  EU states tend, as a general rule, to prefer to negotiate, and then act with UN backing if negotiations fail.  The US was not interesting in achieving UN backing, and really only went through the motions.  At the very best, it could be argued that the US felt that it was desirable to have a UN resolution, but it certainly didn't feel that it was necessary, let alone essential.

Quote
Also the U.N. takes too long to make decisions while people are suffering. Bosnia, Darfur, Syria. Libya, Rwanda. The U.N.was content to let the people of these countries die. Also when U.N. troops liberate a country they do not fire a shot so no force is administered.

Ask yourself why the UN Security Council takes too long to make decisions?  Which countries sit on it?  Which countries wield a veto?  Think about that, and then you'll be able to answer your own question here.

As for the point liberation, I'm afraid that's incorrect.  Afghanistan and Iraq saw plenty of shots being fired (by more countries than the US, so it's not just the responsibility of the US, although they are the lead actor), to borrow your phrase, and it's possible to argue that they're actually less free, especially in the case of Iraq, than they were before foreign forces intervened.

Also if you've ever see Hotel Rwanda you'd know that that was a failed U.N. attempt at peace. I did alot of resaerch on that specific case, the U.N. troops werent aloud to fire shots...They just went in to save all the white people.

This isn't exactly what happened.  A useful summary of what happened can be found here, with one of the UN's own reports into the disaster here.

France did not intervene just to save 'white people' incidentally.  It intervened to establish a humanitarian zone, and ended up evacuating its own allies in the country as well as French nationals.  Many of these allies were allegedly involved in ethnic cleansing.



« Last Edit: November 10, 2013, 06:19:49 PM by Irisado »
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Re: Serious Question - Do European countries really hate the USA?
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2013, 08:06:43 PM »
The EU is a construct of vastly differing alliances all with a history of dealing (often poorly) with each other to the point of armed invasion. It's not a good idea to lump all of the EU together as a joint cause as you would with the constituent states of the USA.

....Its cause were free isn't it

Exactly what freedoms are we implying here? Last time(s) such a statement was made we ended up in a firearms argument which never ends well no matter who may be concerned. Is this the case again or is there something you'd like to describe better as to the differences between nation states? For one, the EU with some member nations enforcing blaspheme laws is a concern for me compared to how the USA often (not always) deals with the situation.

Conflating the two different Gulf Wars is a disservice. One was vastly different from the other when it came to formation, action, and post action. As Irisado mentioned, the former was a joint effort with a shared goal, the latter was not and neither at the same time.
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Re: Serious Question - Do European countries really hate the USA?
« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2013, 08:23:29 PM »
Also GBT is the one who forced me to defend my country. I was curious and asked a legitimate question while he mocked my post instead of contesting it. I am for a good discussion and can admit when i am wrong.

I can't force anyone to defend their country. Volunteer army. I am not responsible for anyone's actions, save mine and my childrens'. Again, I point out, what I find to be a stereotypically American lack of responsibility for their actions.

Quite frankly, one country's military actions, for good or ill, don't absolve that country of their place in continued global turmoil. The question asked was whether or not other countries hate the US. I don't think that many do. I do think that many people would be of the opinion, right or wrong, that the US uses force to achieve their international objectives, while relentlessly attempting to make the entire world operate in the same manner as the US. Despite their own people saying they don't like the way their government is run.

I find it offensive. I also find relieving one's self in a public fountain to be offensive. I wouldn't hate someone for doing it, but I certainly would like for that person to never do it again.

The irony of forcing "freedom" on people is a bitter pill to swallow. I personally believe that the Canadian way is best. I also live here. I don't suggest that Canada should go out and force other people to act like Canadians. It works for us. It might not work for others.

A person is free when they're willing to accept the consequences of their actions. I could drop my life, move to some South American country, and start up a cartel. I could, but I do not wish to live with the consequences of that action. I'm free to do so, but choose not to. I'm free to do anything I want.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2013, 08:25:25 PM by GreatBigTree »

 


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