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 A dictator gets in power, and since the West is barred from making judgments, the dictator can destroy his own country, kill a big chunk of his country's population, make the rest of them miserable, and generally be a horrible person who causes lots of suffering. Or, you get a nasty civil war that you ignore because it's politically impossible to resolve. This does not play well on American TV, and inevitably leads to interventionist sentiment. I don't know why it plays acceptably on European TV, but apparently it does--if your proposition is widespread.

I don't know if I had a proposition (it's just my private wishful thinking) is widespread in Europe. I don't live there anymore since a long time and that's why I have so many difficulties to understand what's going on.

I am dreaming about a happy big family alliance of European, Russian (may be China) and the US all agreeing when it is appropriate to intervene in a civil war conflict of a sovereign nation to prevent genocide and massive destruction of infrastructure and property of civilians. The problem is they all disagree over the morals and laws nowadays as to when to intervene militarily. I thought that Europe and Russia were right now a bit more closer in their thinking about when it would be appropriate to use peace enforcing military defense forces, but I learned already in this thread that it's obviously not the case.

I think the reasons, why Europeans might not be as easily turned on by nasty civil war images on TV to jump up and believe they should intervene and teach other cultures how to behave civil and fair with the might of their weapons, is the fact that they remember too much how hard it is to teach a misbehaving member of their own community exactly that.

The only real difference in American civilian and European civilian experience of the elder generation is that America's wars were never endured by their own civilian population at home.

Why did Bush believe (and why do so many Americans believe) that they "just can go in and teach someone morals and helas, they accept and become "good people" according to their standards?" You know it's this "just say no to drugs - kind of way of solving all problems - and if that's not enough - please get some councelling and that will do it). I always wondered about that.

Why was it that almost all Europeans were utterly sceptical about the invasion of US troops in Iraq? Nice to watch our scepticism be equated with cowardness by the US media. Nice to watch how we were hold accountable by questioning our morals. But why did the majority of Americans believe that it could work? Get rid of the evil man, try to not kill too many civilians on the way, and helas, we will have peace and freedom in Iraq? Where did this US way of thinking come from?

So, what is it? Are we European nations in the NATO or EU more coward than the Americans to protect victims of aggression and murder in dictatorships and civil wars in other countries? Or are the Americans more "naive" or are they "more moral" or "more courageous"?

Or is it that European civilians have more say in what their government can decide upon their participiation in military engagements? May be the US government is more authoritarian and can pretty much "do what they want" and deploy their forces "independent what the poor guys, who do the fighting for the US politicians" for whatever they seem fit? May be it's just that the US is less democratic than European democracies, when it comes to who decides when and for what causes their military is sent to war?

And I don't quite agree that the images of starving people, cut off hands and other "uncivilized, undemocratic" images of theocratic or dictatorial cultures and regimes,  don't touch Europeans as much as Americans, but may be the press in Europe and many politicians don't use them as easily and fast as an internal political tool and justification for their ideologically drivien policies as it is in the US.

by mimi on Sun Jul 23rd, 2006 at 07:49:11 PM EST
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