Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I'd like to offer up my own American myth about Europe, but also state that some myths are true. At least, originally, the term myth referred to things true since the ancients didn't recognize our fancy contradistinctions between so-called myth, so-called dream, and so-called reality:

Europeans are much less interested in tying the sources of power in Europe to supra-governmental interests, such as global and multinational corporations, oil majors, etc.

When European nations oppose the USA, the answers as to why are usually found in corporate battles (France lost a few Iraqi contracts, no?) and when they agree on a place like, say, Kosovo, the mutual sharing of contracts create a similarity in policy. The media too is "owned" as in the USA, and sure they are very willing to open up the books on the USA when it comes to Iraq, but that's easy. What of European adventures? I followed the Balkan Wars very closely and was dismayed at the one sidedness of German, French and British (to be expected) accounts of the wars. It mirrored American disinformation pretty closely. The same is true of other media accounts of events on the continent. When it doesn't favor the European powers, the media never crosses their line.

All of which is to say that I believe in general Europeans are much less circumspect about the levers over governmental power than Americans are. The reasons are obvious: the US system is bought and paid for by special interests that pervert the function of gov't. Any man on the street will tell you, "Oh, they're voting that way because they are owned by the credit card companies." Most voters are profoundly aware of why/how their politicians vote on certain issues. In Europe, with no ties between political funding and politicians, this relation is not as obvious. Though I maintain it exists.

Only in the UK is this relation made open and explicit. A UK pol or administration is much more open to saying "We are backing the US in Iraq because otherwise our control of resources in the region would cramp our economy and bleed our corporations." (ie. Brits make the connection between war, blood, oil and corporate profits readily).

Maybe the UK is a more proper model for Europe proper?

by Upstate NY on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 09:51:59 AM EST

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