A Phony Alliance

By Hitchens, Peter | The American Spectator, July 1999 | Go to article overview

A Phony Alliance


Hitchens, Peter, The American Spectator


The U.S. fights for Europe while the E.U. fights America.

The USA has a strange habit of fighting the wrong enemy and ignoring the right one. Conservatives, sadly, have not been immune to this, though they have a better record than liberals in learning from their mistakes.

In the early years of Soviet global power after World War II, many in the U.S. ludicrously saw Great Britain and her bankrupt empire as a more dangerous rival than Stalin. Perhaps the lingering memory of the White House in flames in 1813 will always keep British and American conservatives further apart than they ought to be. The exposure of the real and repellent nature of the Soviet empire, by such writers as Arthur Koestler, together with the struggle for Berlin and the string of coups and takeovers across Eastern Europe, eventually persuaded those on the right that Moscow presented a profound and serious threat not just to American power but to everything America stood for. Yet, having recovered from one foolish mistake, American conservatives moved on to make another. During the long decline of the USSR, they failed to see the power of the cultural revolution that was trashing thought, literature, and morals in the West's universities, churches, and media. Now, weakened by that cultural revolution, the USA squanders its prestige in futile combat with puny tyrants in the Balkans and the Middle East, while actively encouraging the growth and consolidation of a new and resentful rival: the European Union.

It seems to be the settled view of the State Department that the E.U., which until recently was supposed to be nothing more than a trading bloc, should be encouraged to solidify into a superstate. Worse, those nations in Europe that are wary of joining this monster get no sympathy from the U.S., which seems rather to like the idea that "Europe" should have one address, supposedly so that it is easier to deal with. Much of the recent diplomacy over the Balkans has been designed to encourage the notion that there is a political entity called "Europe" which should learn to police its own problems. The truth-that the military operations against Serbia have been almost entirely American-has been deliberately obscured by the pretense that it is a joint American-European assault under the NATO flag.

This is a multiple fantasy. Without American forces, NATO is a military weakling. And as the historian Timothy Garton Ash has pointed out, Europe has changed its borders more often than Africa in the last hundred years. It has not been a political unit since the fall of the Roman Empire. Even then, its boundaries enclosed only part of the continent, which has no clearly defined limits but is generally thought to extend from the shores of the Atlantic to the disappointingly unspectacular range of hills known as the Ural Mountains. Within that space run a number of frontiers, some economic, some physical, some linguistic, some religious, all of them making nonsense of the idea that there can be a United States of Europe as there is a United States of America. A man who loses his job in Dublin cannot simply sell his house, put all his goods in a UHaul truck and drive to Athens or Milan. The language, laws, schooling, and culture are so different that he would need to undergo a four-year immersion course to cope when he got there. If he went further in any direction, the problems would be even greater. As well as more languages than I can count, Europe has three distinct alphabets. If you include the Caucasus region, make that five alphabets.

Only two of those alphabets are currently recognized in the European Union, which is an unequal alliance between a resurgent Germany and a declining France, together with their client states and a hesitant and isolated Britain. The E.U. also excludes the Slav nations and-no matter what you may hear-is likely to carry on doing so. The interesting thing, from an American point of view, is what holds the whole thing together. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Phony Alliance
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.